[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Sun Jun 22 20:38:57 EDT 2008

Dear Isaac,

I personally assume no one has deliberately sought "to set out to build 
theoretical castles in the air". I assume this even of your own 
position. Ironically, I have previously demonstrated clearly to you that 
your own position regarding compounding of personal pronouns is simply 
linguistically untenable -- that is, that it could well be considered a 
"theoretical castle in the air" given that you seem to conveniently turn 
a blind eye to the proof of the error of the theory so that the theory 
itself can still be maintained.

It seems to me that you do not value linguistic methodology and have no 
real interest in seeking to be conversant in it. It is a mockery to say 
that "[a]nything said about the vocalization of ancient languages should 
be taken with three grains of salt." There is generally sound linguistic 
methodology utilised in the study of ancient Semitic phonetics -- no one 
is "set[ting] out to build theoretical castles in the air".

I'm not sure why you say that the essays I mentioned are difficult to 
obtain because they are not:


The second link even has an option to browse the entire volume!

I assume ILL is an option for you too since you're affiliated with an 
academic institution.

I'm curious about your BACAR, 'reaped', and BICER, 'fortified'. Can you 
provide some examples?

In any case, I do not want to get into a debate with you again as we 
clearly operate with divergent methodologies and so no resolution on 
most matters linguistic seems quote remote.

David Kummerow.

> David,
> 1. It is not mockery but a modest reminder that before we set out to 
> build theoretical castles in the air we need to pause and reconsider how 
> flimsy, dubious, uncertain and controversial the raw data possibly is.
> 2. The articles you cite are not easy to get. Posting them would be 
> helpful.
> 3. If someone prefers to see $IBER of Exodus 9:25 as 'broke to pieces' 
> or 'broke over and over'; or GIDE(A of Psalms 107:15 as 'hacked to 
> smidgens' it is his choice. Some Hebrew grammar books say so too 
> [Gesenius, on page 141 of his grammar book, asserts that "The 
> fundamental idea of the piel, to which all the various shades of meaning 
> in this conjugation may be referred is to busy oneself eagerly with the 
> action indicated by the stem"] but the value of their supporting 
> evidence is practically zero. I myself don't find any justification for 
> this extra reading into the text.
> 4. Similarly, you may look at the $IXET [with a taw] form of Genesis 
> 38:9 as a hint to recidivism, or you may consider it a guard against the 
> reading $AXAT with a tet.
> 5. Evidently, piel is principally causative as in GIDAL, XIZAL, and so 
> on. It is also used to create words with an extended, or implied, 
> meaning distinct from the one in the paal form, for instance, BACAR, 
> 'reaped', and BICER, 'fortified'; or from a name, for instance ZANAB and 
> ZINEB. This device is put to good use now in spoken Hebrew with the 
> purpose of enlarging the vocabulary, for instance, $ATAQ, 'was silent', 
> $ITEQ, 'paralyzed'; QAMAC, 'grasped', QIMEC, 'economized'.
> 6. It is conceivable that some of these piel forms were not "originally" 
> there but were introduced by the nakdanim or their forerunners to 
> embellish the reading.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Jun 20, 2008, at 8:40 PM, David Kummerow wrote:
>> And I presume that we take your own view, Isaac, with a bag of salt,
>> given your characteristic mocking of a position in the place of any
>> substantial critique.
>> Regarding your previous post concerning the intensive function of the
>> Piel, it has been shown that one of the functions of the Piel is indeed
>> that of verbal plurality (what was known by the pre-theoretical
>> terminology of "intensive"). See the following:
>> Fehri, Abdelkader Fassi. 2003. “Verbal Plurality, Transitivity, and
>> Causativity.” Pages 151-185 in Research in Afroasiatic Grammar II:
>> Selected Papers from the Fifth Conference on Afroasiatic Languages,
>> Paris, 2000. Edited by Jacqueline Lecarme. Amsterdam Studies in the
>> Theory and History of Linguistic Science 241. Amsterdam/Philadelphia:
>> John Benjamins.
>> Greenberg, Joseph H. 1991. “The Semitic ‘Intensive’ as Verbal
>> Plurality.” Pages 577-587 in Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau: On
>> the Occasion of His Eighty-Fifth Birthday, November 14th, 1991. 2 vols.
>> Edited by Alan S. Kaye. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
>> Of course, this is not the only function of the Piel as there is also
>> the resulatative function of (generally) stative verbs; see:
>> Jenni, Ernst. 1968. Das hebräische Pi‘el: Syntakisch–semasiologische
>> Untersuchung einer Verbalform im Alten Testament. Zürich: EVZ-Verlag.
>> Regards,
>> David Kummerow.
>>> Yitzhak,
>>> 1. Anything said about the vocalization of ancient languages should
>>> be taken with three grains of salt.
>>> 2. Foreign rendering of Hebrew names should be taken with two grains
>>> of salt as we don't know what they heard, where, and from whom.
>>> 3. Unusual grammatical forms on isolated inscriptions should be taken
>>> with a grain of salt as the scratcher may have been only semi educated.
>>> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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