[b-hebrew] Reconstructing Ancient Languages

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 23 21:53:29 EDT 2009


Ari,

As to "living tradition" consider the fact that the greatest Hebrew  
writer of modern times, Nobel prize winner, S. Y. Agnon (1887-1970)  
learned Hebrew in school from the Tanakh, the Mishnah and the Midrashim.
Hebrew was not spoken also at the home of the greatest Hebrew poet of  
modern times H. N. Bialik (1873-1934).

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 23, 2009, at 1:15 PM, AMK Judaica wrote:

>
> Isaac,
>
>
>
> perhaps i wasn't clear.
>
> if it has a living tradition/s (hebrew, arabic, aramaic, amharic,  
> etc.) then it is not dead.
>
> if it has no living tradition (akkadian, ugaritic, punic, etc.)  
> then it is dead.
>
>
>
> -ari kinsberg
>
>> CC: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> From: if at math.bu.edu
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Reconstructing Ancient Languages
>> Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2009 12:55:29 -0400
>> To: amkjudaica at hotmail.com
>>
>> 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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>>>>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>>>
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