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

David Kummerow farmerjoeblo at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 25 18:56:05 EDT 2008

Dear Isaac,

It seems to me that you are again unable to provide answers to the 
critique levelled at your position and do not engage with, or seek to 
understand, linguistic methodology proper so that you can still hold on 
to your fallacious view of linguistics, the language of BH, and 
etymological reconstructions.

Look, you wanted to converse in "plain" English, so I attempted a 
definition of "morpheme" for you that was in plain English. Now you just 
want to nit-pick. Of course I could define "morpheme" more elaborately, 
and also define the words I did use: "unit", "bears", and "meaning". 
Comparing the definition I gave and reading the sections I pointed to in 
Joüon-Muraoka and Waltke-O'Connor would, if you wanted to see, elaborate 
the point and flesh out more of what "morpheme" means. The answer's 
there if you want it.

If your view of linguistics is that it is "but one big tautology", why 
don't you just stay clear of it and stick with mathematics? Why write a 
book on etymology if you do not understand the basics of the required 
methodology, viz. phonemic and morphemic analysis (of course, there's 
more to than simply this; one also has to be familiar with historical 
linguistics, etc.)? I'm sure you would take to task someone who 
attempted some algebraic maths without having first come to grips with 
how to add, subtract, etc. Similarly, etymological reconstruction cannot 
be done without first knowing some linguistic basics.

I find it quite ironic that someone who does not understand linguistics 
claims that linguistics is "but one big tautology"! My suspicion is that 
claiming that linguistics is "but one big tautology" is but a cop-out 
indicating (a) that you don't want to budge from your position, even 
when proven wrong; and (b) you will never budge from your position, even 
when proven wrong. I more than willing to be proven wrong on these two 

David Kummerow.

> David,
> I think that by now we have come full circle, and are also possibly 
> taxing the patience of the other members of this list.  
> You are saying that the morpheme is the "smallest linguistic unit that 
> bears meaning". I could take you to task as to what is 'smallest', what 
> is 'unit' and what is 'bears', but suffice it to say that it relies on 
> this vague and ill defined concept of 'meaning', making the science of 
> linguistics appear to me as but one big tautology. 
> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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