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

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sun Jun 29 04:04:36 EDT 2008

Although not properly a linguist, I would like to point out that 
"Proto-Semitic" is nothing but a scholarly construction, which, while it 
serves as a useful model, probably never sounded anything like that model. 
I'd also point out that before the inverntion of writing, and probably until 
the invention of the alphbet, there was probably much more "fluidity" in the 
connection between the pronounciation of specific sounds (phonemes) and 
their meaning. In other words, we think that we know the "proper" spelling 
of a word, and that changing that spelling changes its meaning. But before 
there was "spelling", meaning was probably much more connected to context.

Does that make sense?

Yigal Levin
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yaakov Stein" <yaakov_s at rad.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2008 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] bgdkpt (was: About Dagesh's)

> Yitzhak
>> The modern inventory of Proto-Semitic sounds is as follows ...
> This is not very different from Rabin's table. In fact, he references
> various possibilities including the ones you mention, and rejects
> several of them.
> In any case, my point in bringing this up was that although in
> proto-Semitic
> there were triplets, interchanging the consonants from the triplets
> did change the meaning of the word. This is NOT the case for bgdkpt.
> (Of course our friend Isaac will probably add that some of these
> changes might have only "somewhat" changed the meaning.)
>> Some of these sounds remained in use for a long time.
>> See Steiner's article here:
> http://sbl-site.org/assets/pdfs/JBL1242.pdf

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