[b-hebrew] Inseparable Prepositions and that shewa

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Apr 28 05:19:41 EDT 2010

On Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> Had not dagesh marks appeared centuries before Saadia, who would thus
> be expected to explain rather than challenge them?

No.  The earliest dated vocalized document is from 895 CE, which is from the
time of Saadia Gaon.

>  >Well, that depends.  Which Aramaic author or authors did you have
>  >in mind that omitted them in vocalized texts?
> No doubt, your linguistic knowledge vastly exceeds mine. Still, I
> won't recall a single Aramaic text which supports dagesh kal in, say,
> word-initial position.

Vadim, EVERY vocalized Aramaic text has and supports a dagesh qal in
bgdkpt in word-initial position (unless the previous word ends in a vowel).
The only reason for the rather sweeping statement made above is probably
because you don't actually have any single actual example that does not
support a dagesh qal.

>  >Vocalized Aramaic texts in the Hebrew tradition (such as Onqelos) also
>  >have dagesh qal.  Even Syriac has qu$$aya and rukkakha to mark the
>  >differences.
> Or, perhaps, Onkelos was dageshed well later? We don't have its early
> manuscripts. I have no information about Syriac.

No, we have very early vocalized manuscripts for Targum Onqelos dating
to the same period when vocalization appears in the Bible.  Also, Targum
Onqelos was just an example.  There are other vocalized Aramaic texts
besides Onqelos.

>  >Or did you simply make a claim about
>  >"every other Aramaic author" just like you make up vocalizations of
>  >non-existent words in the Bible?
> Why not stop beating a dead horse? I used binchem example the way
> qtalchem is used.

No, you used the binchem example as follows:

> Binchem has no gemination; what except intonational difference in
> chanting can explain its difference from michtav?

This is a very specific example, not the type of thing you'd use qtl for.
Also, a similar word ("$imkhem") shows that it has NO DIFFERENCE
in syllabification from mikht at v.  This is why it is important to use actual
examples.  In the above claim, you just made up the idea that there was
a difference.  Also, I still have no idea what you mean by "gabcha"
and you seem to have dropped it.  Is this another word you made
up to support your theories?

>  >The DSS does not have "dvarac."  The DSS has final -kh and -th leading
>  >scholars to believe the pronunciation was -ka.
> But DSS also have final hey in otem - at tmh, so final hey in 2ms is
> likely a similar epenthetic sound.

An epenthetic vowel cannot appear at the end of the word.  By definition,
an epenthetic vowel is a vowel added in the middle of the word. The final
-h in -kh/-th is not related to DSS ?tmh.  The final vowel in the pronominal
-kh/-th suffixes is reconstructed to Proto-Semitic based on Comparative
Semitic linguistics, whereas ?tmh has no comparable form and may be
an analogy from feminine ?tnh.  Because of our ability to compare additional
languages it is clear it has nothing to do with -kh/-th.  Just because there
is an -h here and an -h there does not mean they are related.

> It is still more clear in Secunda: tovac for tovcha.

I already explained this development in the previous mail.  This is a
development (innovation) in the language of the Secunda that did not
take place in the linguistic development of Tiberian Hebrew.

> If you would argue that Greek X was ch, then you would have to explain
> LXX's Xalannia for Calneh.

Could you please provide a full citation for the "LXX's Xalannia for Calneh"?

> Why not? tav is theta rather than tau, caf is chi rather than kappa in
> Secunda.

k, t, and p, can be either aspirated or fricative.  In English, "pin" has
an aspirated p, "spin" has a non-aspirated p, and "fin" has a fricative.
In Greek, phi could represent either the "pin" (aspirated) sound or
the "fin" (fricative) sound, whereas pi represented the non-aspirated
"spin" sound.  Similarly, tau vs theta and kappa vs chi.  When Hebrew
was transliterated into Greek, the pharyngealized (emphatic and
non-aspirated) hebrew consonants were transcribed using the non-
aspirated variants - teth with tau, qoph with kappa.  The bgdkpt
consonants (which could be either fricative or aspirated depending on
their surrounding vowels) were transcribed with theta, chi and phi
because those did not distinguish aspirated from fricative.  This is
why Greek does not allow us to distinguish fricative from aspirated
variants.  Latin does -- since it has p, ph, and f as variants.

>  >The pronunciations in the Secunda feature the drop of the last vowel
> in
>  >the suffixed pronouns. They show a development similar to Aramaic
> where
>  >the last vowel that was lost displaced the original case vowel -
> malkuka
>  >"your king (nominative)" -> malkak.
> Might it be very different? It is one thing to drop a final vowel
> after an open syllable (malkuka), and quite another - after a closed
> syllable (dvarcha). There must be a reason for vulgar epenthesis in
> dvar(e)cha but not in catavta, and the only such reason is semantic:
> verbs and nouns received different intonational accent.

There was never "dvarcha".  The correct word was *daba:ruka.  Like
malkuka > malkak, this would have become daba:rak following the
innovation in the Secunda.  In Tiberian Hebrew this innovation never
took place so Tiberian Hebrew vocalized this as dab at rkh@ (as in
2 Sam 7:21).

There is no "vulgar epenthesis" in "dvar(e)cha".  I don't know even
what word you are referring to (again, because you didn't cite a verse).
But in any case, your theories of "vulgar epenthesis" are baseless.

The reason -ta has no vowel before it was already explained in the
previous mail and is not related at all to semantics or intonational

>  >No, we can't.  The dagesh is not "an attempt at resyllabification."
> The
>  >dagesh is present in -tem because historically there was never any
>  >vowel separating -tem and the root.  It is not present in -khem
>  >because nouns had a case vowel and verbs had a vowel following most
>  >nominative suffixes (-ti: in katavti:, -ta in katavta, etc.)

You see, right here I already explained it to you!

> You really believe that the Masoretes wrote a diachronic grammar,
> reflecting the case vowel lost perhaps a thousand years before them?

No, that is not what I said.  The Masoretes preserved a language which
had reflexes of the case vowel.  Because the case vowel was there,
the bgdkpt consonants became fricative.  After the case distinctions
were lost, a neutral vowel took its place.  By the time this vowel
dropped in various instances, the bgdkpt rule was no longer operative.
So the bgdkpt consonants remained fricative even though there was
no vowel.  That's how sound change works.  The speakers of the
language are not aware of the historical developments.  They just
know that the word is pronounced a particular way.

Yitzhak Sapir

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