[b-hebrew] yamim or yamin?

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri Jul 11 07:21:39 EDT 2008

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 6:19 PM, Bryan Cox <wrote:
> Thanks, Ken, for the references.  Unfortunately, it will be a while before my next
> seminary library excursion (they're just far enough away that I have to plan my trips),
> and you would know that the online preview just happens to exclude page 13.

The relevant comment on page 13 says "The alteration of final mem and nun is a
characteristically RH phenomenon, reflecting an old dialect feature
(see Unit 10.5A), in
which Aramaic has had a considerable influence."

p. 63, 10.5A says "The masculine plural -ym alternates with -yn,
doubtless under the
influence of Aramaic, although this is not to deny that the ending -in
is a feature of the
Semitic languages in general and appears in the Mesha stela and at Jg 5.10 (see
Segal 1927, section 281).  E.Y Kutscher (1982, 121-122) showed how
final -m passed
to -n, and not only in the plural, in the final phase of the Biblical
period.  Thus the
pervasive use of final nun for mem probably relates to nasalization as
a dialect feature
that can be traced back to the earliest stages in the development of Hebrew."

Kutscher 1982 refers to his book, A History of the Hebrew Language.

It is not characteristic only of Hebrew but evidently also in Galilean
Aramaic and
Late Samaritan Hebrew.

Yitzhak Sapir

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