[b-hebrew] Reconstructing Ancient Languages

ISAAC FRIED if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 23 12:55:29 EDT 2009


Ari;

If it has a "living tradition" how can it be "completely", or even  
"partially", dead?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 23, 2009, at 12:07 PM, AMK Judaica wrote:

>
> Incidentally, for the semiticists/linhuists out there, I'm curious  
> whether you think it is or easier (or fraught with greater  
> pitfalls) to reconstruct an ancient language that still has a  
> living tradition or one that is complete dead.
>
>
>
> -Ari Kinsberg
>
> Brooklyn, NY
>
>> From: amkjudaica at hotmail.com
>> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 11:21:09 -0400
>> Subject: [b-hebrew] FW: Beit/Veit
>>
>>
>> yigal,
>>
>>
>>
>> how do we know the pronounciation of ugaritic and akkadian (or for  
>> that matter, classical arabic)?
>>
>>
>>
>> thanks,
>>
>> ari kinsbeg
>>
>> brooklyn, new york
>>
>>> Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 09:18:23 +0300
>>> From: leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
>>> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Beit/Veit
>>>
>>> Hi again,
>>>
>>> That was exactly my point: as far as we can tell, Biblical Hebrew  
>>> did not
>>> have a "v" sound. Not only doesn't Arabic, but neither did  
>>> Ugaritc or
>>> Akkadian, which are much closer in time to Biblical Hebrew. So  
>>> yes, Isaac's
>>> wife was something like "Reb'ka" (with what the Mesoretes called  
>>> a Sh'va),
>>> which is how the Greek got "Rebekka".
>>>
>>>
>>> The problem with D and Dh (Th as in "that") is just like B/V -  
>>> since Greek
>>> does not have a Dh sound, we have no way of knowing whether when  
>>> Greek wrote
>>> Delta, they heard Dalet or Dhalet or both. The only thing that we  
>>> know is
>>> that in Biblical Hebrew the difference was not "regular" enough  
>>> to warrent
>>> two letter-signs like in Ugaritic, but by the time of the  
>>> Mesorets, they
>>> were able to include the differences in the BGDKPT rule. The  
>>> same, BTW, is
>>> true for Gimmel, however it was "originally" pronounced.
>>>
>>> Yigal Levin
>>>
>>>
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Yodan" <yodan at yodanco.com>
>>> To: "'b-hebrew'" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>>> Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 8:56 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Beit/Veit
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Yigal, thank you and thanks to Karl and Kevin.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> A question to you and to others:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Does the fact that Arabic doesn't have a "v" consonant support the
>>>> possibility that Hebrew too didn't have a "v" consonant (we know  
>>>> that VAV
>>>> was pronounced like WAW, and this is still the case in some Hebrew
>>>> "dialects")? If so, perhaps what later became VEIT was  
>>>> pronounced like
>>>> BEIT?
>>>> (e.g. Ribka later became Rivka?).
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> A somewhat related question: Does anyone know if DALED is  
>>>> believed to have
>>>> been pronounced as an emphatic consonant, like in Arabic,  
>>>> perhaps in
>>>> addition to another pronunciation (like "d" or like "th" in  
>>>> "that", as do
>>>> Yemenite Jews)?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Thanks!
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Rivka Sherman-Gold
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>
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