[b-hebrew] 'Vocal shwa' had no true/phonemic quality at the time of LXX.

Garth Grenache garthgrenache at hotmail.com
Thu Jul 1 23:35:22 EDT 2010


You have said that the Masoretes themselves explain the shwa in the way you do.
This supports your case dramatically and in a way that I cannot deny, not having read what they said.
But what is the age of the writing that says so?

And then again, if the Masoretes had -by the time of their pointing, or shortly after- come to this tradition of so reading the shwa, how did the vowel originate before it was pointed?  How was it pronounced then?  The LXX and NT gie contradictory evidence (e.g. Salomon vs Solomon) if we are believing that the short/reduced vowel which became pointed as shwa always had a certain quality in a certain position.

But these questions I can answer:

G> Rather Greek IW- is used to transliterate both Yo- and Yho-,

Y> What is the evidence for this?

The LXX has IW- for places in the consonantal Hebrew text which read Yho- and Yo-.

G> and the omega (W) [in IW] represents the long o: in Yo-.
G> Likewise in Greek IOUDA, [the OU represents the long u: in Yhu-]
G> [I am suggesting t]hat the vowels of the LXX can be
G> explained with the full vowels of the Hebrew words,

Y>It might.  It could also represent the Masoretic vocalization.

Did not the LXX exist (finished 132BC) before the Masoretes (7th to 11th centuries) existed?

Y>this is much less likely for יהודה (which is not spelled יודה in Biblical times)

I am not saying that IOU- represents Yu- but rather Yhu-, with a non-phonemic glide between the Y and H not represented in Gk.

Y> and the comparative evidence in the cases of Solomon and Gomorra supports
the contrary position.

My suggestion is that existence of both Salomon and Solomon indicate that at the time of the LXX&NT, the reduced vowel was not considered to have a phonemic quality.  How could the quality be meaningful if it is here 'a' and there 'o'?
Rather, does not this discrepancy suggest that to the Greek ear and the Greek tongue, the name needed to have some vowel between the s and the l, and thus it is an epenthetic vowel, not a phonemic one, at this stage?

Garth Grenache,

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