[b-hebrew] Interchange of L/lamed with R/resh in Biblical Hebrew

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Mon Jun 23 21:36:03 EDT 2008


I a sorry but I am not sure what the value of this "established  
scientific linguistic methodology of phonemics" is. It is also not  
clear to me at all why I cannot relate (AQAD to (AGAD. If you say  
that (AQAD is 'bind, tie together', than it is one and the same as ) 
I never said that Q=D nor that D=R. Never ever. I am afraid you are  
not paying good attention to what I am saying. What I said is that if  
you replace D by R you get the OPPOSITE root.
It is true that the Arabic dictionaries list (QD as 'tied', and so do  
Hebrew dictionaries, the question is when did this meaning enter the  
language. Unless we know this we should not use it.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jun 23, 2008, at 7:06 PM, David Kummerow wrote:

> Dear Isaac,
> /q/, /g/, /d/, /r/, /'/, and /`/ are established phonemes in BH. You
> simply cannot take /`aqad/ and relate it to /'agad/ or /`aqad/ to
> /`aqar/! There is no justification for your unconstrained and
> unsubstantiated fusing of phonemes. You are only able to do this  
> because
> of your disregard for the established scientific linguistic  
> methodology
> of phonemics.
> I fail to see why using the established methodology of phonemics has
> produced an "imaginative" result here. This is how linguistic analysis
> is to be conducted, not in some wanton disregard for the phonemes of a
> language! It is not "imaginative" to investigate Semitic cognates,
> either. HALOT lists some evidence, and I fail to see that if there  
> is a
> Semitic cognate meaning "to bind" that it does not apply here.  
> Certainly
> better than than a theory of /q/ = /d/ and /d/ = /q/ or /d/ = /r/ and
> /r/ = /d/! To put it in terms you may understand, it's like saying  
> 1 = 2
> and 2 = 1. That is, it's like saying different numbers are an illusion
> and are instead the same number!
> In any case, your own result here is quite strange: replace /d/  
> with /r/
> to produce `AQAR and have this `AQAR mean "to plant". `AQAR actually
> means the exact opposite! This is semantic gymnastics indeed.
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
>> David,
>> I think that the bible uses here the obscure, only once appearing,
>> verb (AQAD [related to )AGAD, 'unified, held together', and used here
>>  supposedly instead of QA$AR or ASAR] intentionally to further
>> obfuscate an absolutely minimal tale.
>> There is (AQOD, for a coloring pattern on sheep, as in Genesis 30:39
>> and Genesis 31:10, and the the place name BEIT (EQED HA-RO(IM of 2
>> Kings 10:12-14, both not easily related to 'bind'.
>> At the time of this event Abraham was a very old man and Isaac a
>> fully developed NA(AR. Biblical time scales are not easy to figure
>> out, but the fact of the matter is that Isaac was strong enough to
>> carry uphill and to quiet a distance the full load of firewood needed
>> to burn a goat. So how did this old man succeed, all by himself, in
>> binding his son and placing him on the altar? Did Isaac play along,
>> or did the old man stealthily sneak upon him with a rope, previously
>> used to bound the kindling, during sleep? Was there a struggle or did
>> the old man stun him first with a stone to the head? And why did he
>> place Isaac upon the altar before slaughtering him?
>> But these questions are not for us. We want to just try and figure
>> out what (AQAD means. The context here is not helpful as there is
>> actually barely a coherent context here. So we replace the D by an R
>> and have (AQAR, suggesting that all we can say about what Abraham did
>> is that he held is son still [literally "planted" him] upon the altar
>> above the firewood.
>> (AQAD = bound is no more than imagination working overtime,
>> "cognates" not withstanding.
>> Just for the sake of interest. In Rembrandt's famous depiction of the
>>  (AQEDAH, which can be seen here
>> http://www.artchive.com/artchive/R/rembrandt/abraham.jpg.html
>> Isaac is not shown bound, at least not by the feet.
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>> On Jun 22, 2008, at 11:43 PM, David Kummerow wrote:
>>> I would have thought that the more natural semantic antonym of `QR
>>> "to uproot" would be NT` "to plant". There is nothing "obvious"
>>> about your contrary claim. It makes little sense to have Isaac
>>> "planted" into the alter. In any case, from memory I think that `QD
>>> is not so obscure in that there are common cognates meaning "to
>>> tie, bind". There is nothing lame about an English rendering "tied
>>> up" or "bound" if that is indeed the case.
>>> Regards, David Kummerow.
>>>> Jim,
>>>> The letters L and R don't "interchange". In my opinion the letter
>>>> L indicates elevation and the letter R dispersion/aggregation.
>>>> Every Hebrew root containing the letter R refers to a material
>>>> state of several bodies, such as (RM for a heap of grain versus
>>>> (LM for something tall and massive. Some jump on this supposedly
>>>> L-R interchangeability to relate Hebrew and Indo-European words,
>>>> for instance KAPTOR of Exodus 25:33 to the Latin word capitulum.
>>>> See: Vernes, Maurice: Les Emprunts de la Bible Hebraique au Grec
>>>> et au Latin, Ernest Leroux, Paris, 1914, pages 68-69. Often, the
>>>> substitution of R for another letter sharpens the meaning of a
>>>> word otherwise obscure. Take for instance the rare verb (AQAD of
>>>> Genesis 22:9, lamely translated by the NAB as 'tied up', and by
>>>> the JPS bible as 'bound'. Obviously it is the opposite of (AQAR,
>>>> 'tore away'. See more in my book at www.hebrewetymology.com
>>>> <http://www.hebrewetymology.com>
>>>> Isaac Fried, Boston University
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