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

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Jun 27 12:44:08 EDT 2008


1. We moving in circles and becoming, I am afraid, tiresome. This  
discussion may also belong in a Linguistics forum not here, but it  
has, nevertheless, at its core, a fundamental issue pertaining to  
2. Linguistics is not an exact science, if at all, and one can not  
"demonstrate" anything by the force of its use.
3. The assertion that "general linguistics can define meaning/ 
semantics" is patently and thoroughly paltry. We don't need "general  
linguistics" to DEFINE something.
4. What you call "linguistic methodology" is of concern to students  
of linguistics only, it has no bearing whatsoever on the study of  
Hebrew etymology and grammar. For example, the question if a certain  
"linguistic unit" is a morpheme or not is of interest to a  
linguistics student only, wanting on a test to please his professor  
and get a good grade. Otherwise, the correct answer to this question  
5. You are making a grave mistake in spurning my ideas on the  
structure of the Hebrew word. They are possibly the most significant,  
if not the ultimate, contribution to the understanding of the Hebrew  
language in the last 1000 years. If you miss them it will be your own  
great loss.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jun 27, 2008, at 5:43 AM, David Kummerow wrote:

> Dear Isaac,
> Again you unfortunately display an ignorance of linguistics which  
> allows you to retain your etymological theories without  
> modification. Of course general linguistics can define meaning/ 
> semantics. In fact, I've repeated to you the fact that phonemics  
> articulates a coherent methodology the results of which may be  
> easily reproduced and/or falsified. I see no such thing in your own  
> approach; indeed, it would appear wholly subjective.
> Sadly, your "ideas about the structure of the Hebrew word" do not  
> deserve careful consideration. As I've repeatedly demonstrated,  
> your method lacks a reliable linguistic basis. Since you've set out  
> from the beginning with an erroneous methodology and assumptions  
> which have no basis in linguistic reality, your results therefore  
> have no basis in linguistic reality. Your first mistake (other than  
> getting skilled in the linguistic methodology necessary to conduct  
> a work such as yours) was to attribute morphemic status to  
> phonemes. This is the root of the error and from this root grows  
> everything else.
> I guess I should take my own advice regarding the above and end my  
> half of the discussion here. My hope is that you will look into the  
> foundational problem with your method, correct it, and move on to  
> more productive and fruitful etymological work. You seem to have  
> much time and energy for such work which many people don't, and it  
> would be fantastic if you could contribute some worthwhile research  
> that does merit careful consideration.
> Regards,
> David Kummerow.
>> David,
>> Yes, but the whole thing is useless or trivial or sheer waste of  
>> time. Linguistics requires that the 'linguistic unit' under  
>> consideration be first ascertained to be meaningful (and minimal!)  
>> to qualify for morpheme status, but it does not tell us how to  
>> achieve this knowledge. Once I know the meaning of a certain  
>> 'linguistic unit' I don't need linguistics to tell me it is a  
>> morpheme. It is what it means to be. This is tautology at its best.
>> My ideas about the structure of the Hebrew word merit careful  
>> consideration, rather than derision. It is pity, but instead of  
>> concentrating on Hebrew we waste our time on the barren word  
>> inventions and interplays of Indo-European linguistics.
>> Isaac Fried, Boston University

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