[b-hebrew] bgdkpt (was: About Dagesh's)

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sun Jun 22 21:11:10 EDT 2008

I want to repeat what I said before. The dagesh is often a mere  
hinter sign that has nothing to do with the rest of the nikud. Now as  
soon as we see a dot inside one of the BK"P letters, placed there for  
whatever reason, we automatically harden it. How old this practice is  
is not clear to me.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jun 22, 2008, at 2:18 AM, Kevin Riley wrote:

> -------Original Message-------
> From: Yaakov Stein
> Date: 22/06/2008 3:22:01 PM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [b-Hebrew] bgdkpt (was: About Dagesh's)
>> The bgdkpt were weakened by spirantisation.
> I was asking how these particular combinations arose.
> If the process is spirantization, that is changing a stop into a
> Fricative,
> Why not t -> ts rather than t -> unvoiced th ?
> K:  In most languages (Greek, Gaelic, Welsh are some I an aware  
> of) , the
> change is t -> th.  As a variety of 's' sounds already existed in  
> Hebrew,
> that change was unlikely.
>> If you say the hard and then soft sounds, you will find that they are
> The same,
>> except the hard sound is a complete stop, and in the soft sound the
> Air is not stopped.
>> You need to keep both F and V as bilabials to feel this.
> When we change a b into a v the lip motion completely changes,
> In particular the lower lip rather than dropping, performs an outward
> Slide.
> Similarly, when k changes to kh the base of the tongue changes  
> position
>> From high to low and uvulation is used.
> The g to j change is the most radical.
> I am not sure in what sense you mean "the same",
> But there are nontrivial differences between the pairs.
> On the other hand, pure changes in voicing keep the vocal tract
> Parameters
> The same, and only change the vocal fold muscle state.
> There are of course similarities between some of the Paris.
> Some South American Spanish speakers pronounce a b somewhere  
> between a b
> And a v.
> The p - f connection exists in other languages as well.
> K:  If the change was from a bilabial b to a bilabial v, then the lip
> position does not change.  The g -> j is a change found in Yemeni,  
> but not
> in other dialects, from memory.  The classical form for both Hebrew  
> and
> Aramaic is from a voiced velar stop to a voiced velar fricative.   
> The same
> alternation is found in Greek and Spanish.
>> Technically - from memory, voicing is not strengthening, but a  
>> form of
> Lenition.
> Lenition is any softening of consonants that occurs over time.
> Sonorization (I.e. Adding voicing) is the most common form of  
> lenition.
> In the case of bgdkpt, I am not sure that there was any mutation over
> Time at all.
> K:  That is not the usual position taken by Semiticists.  Not that  
> they are
> always correct, of course.
> If we look at mutation of consonants over time in Semitic languages,
> We find completely different connections. For example, the connection
> Between
> The Hebrew C, the Aramaic (, and the Arabic D are well documented.
> The C - D connection IS lenition, but is between languages that are
> Relatively far apart.
> Between the two very close languages, we have the hard-to explain
> Connection between
> A dental stop and a guttural. Even more complex is the older Aramaic
> Correspondence to Q.
> And what about the correspondence between the Hebrew T (unvoiced th ?)
> With the Aramaic $ ?
> K: I would have thought these were changes from one phoneme to  
> another, not
> necessarily lenition.  The change T->$ as well as D -> C/Q are hardly
> lenition.  Rather, you have a re-allocation of inter-dentals (probably
> fricatives rather than stops) to other consonants while maintaining  
> some
> other feature, such as glottalisation [or whatever it was].  It is not
> unknown from other languages.  I have seen it explained, but can't  
> remember
> off-hand.
>> The Celtic languages uses both spirantisation and voicing as a  
>> form of
> Lenition.
>> The usual explanation is that the spirantisation is imported from
> Aramaic.
>> As usual, there is enough evidence to make it a possibility, not
> Enough to say it is a certainty.
> Do you mean an early Aramaic ? I am trying to understand if you  
> believe
> (like I believe Isaac does) that this happened late.
> Do you have a reference for this ?
> K:  Most books on Hebrew date it to sometime either just before or  
> during
> the Exile - so that means Imperial Aramaic, I would assume.  I  
> thought this
> was the consensus position.  The only book I have to hand is Saenz- 
> Badillos,
> who dates it to "before 700 BC" (p42), but I know others believe it  
> is a
> result of Aramaic influence during and after the Exile.  Saenz- 
> Badillos sees
> it as a two-fold change, first aspiration, then spirantisation, with
> spirantisation being later (p83) - I think in context he means  
> later than
> 600 BC.  'Early' and 'late' are somewhat relative terms.  The  
> problem is
> that these changes are not reflected in spelling, which is why similar
> changes in Greek are also argued over.  As Greek transcriptions are  
> often
> used to date the Hebrew changes, it can easily become a circular  
> argument
> for both.  The spirantisation of bgdkpt is very unlikely in any  
> language
> like Arabic which retains the PS fricatives G,D T and X.
> Kevin Riley
> If I remember correctly, Rabin in his 1991 book on Semitic  
> languages has
> The double forms
> VERY early. I will look it up.
> Yaakov (J) Stein
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list