[b-hebrew] Post biblical forms of Hebrew

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Oct 17 14:25:34 EDT 2009


On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 7:31 AM, Randall Buth
> But I'm glad to hear of your interest in psycholinguistics. There are
> interesting studies showing significant sound processing during reading,
> even in languages like Chinese that are primarily pictograph (semantic
> logograms).
> And if you would like a statement, then -- it is difficult to conceive how
> a person would be fluent in a second language where they could not and did
> not speak/think to themselves in that language.
> This sounds like a personal opinion, relating only to a narrow
understanding of linguistic ability.

> > You cannot say I value so and so's opinion more than Karl's because Karl
> > does not speak Modern Hebrew. Well, OK, you can but it doesn't make you
> look
> > very objective.
> This is a strange comment. Are you implying that relying on someone's
> evaluation, about something that they also claim to have not mastered, would
> be more 'objective'? My view is that the value of modern Hebrew for biblical
> is best discussed
> by those who have mastered both. Many may disagree with that, but it is
> still a reasonable view.

My objection is based on learning other cognate languages (in my case,
Indo-European languages) and seeing that unless I totally mastered each
language, that there is a bleeding of understanding from language to
language. It never completely disappears.

I do not have that problem with Biblical Hebrew, as I know no cognate
languages (other than just barely enough Aramaic to struggle through the
Aramaic portions of Tanakh). Hence, as I read Tanakh, I am able to think in
and react to the text in Biblical Hebrew without having to filter out
concepts from other languages, as I do with European languages.

My ignorance of modern Hebrew is not by choice, but by circumstances. I have
seen enough of it to recognize that it is a different language. Some of the
questions we have dealt with here on this list have been from people who
know modern Hebrew, and incorrectly project their understanding of modern
Hebrew onto Biblical Hebrew.

> Now if we could get comprehensive, standardized testing we could even make
> this truly objective. This does not exist for biblical Hebrew, and I've been
> lamenting this for over ten years in other forums.
> How do you expect to get standardized testing in a language that, based on
discussions here on this list and elsewhere, is only imperfectly understood?
Whose standards would be used?

It is well enough understood that the text can be translated with all the
major themes correctly translated. But there are still a lot of questions on
the margins.

Standardized testing is possible for modern languages which are well known
and understood.

> he/you may be using internalization differently than being able to rapidly
> think/ process thought in the language.
> Whenever there is a question concerning Biblical Hebrew, I first open my
Bible to the Hebrew text, as I am more fluent in it than in any translation.
(Hence I’m not impressed anytime someone tries to convince me of a certain
reading based on translations.) After all, I do not read it in translation
for my personal reading.

> blessings
> Randall
> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

Karl W. Randolph.

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