[b-hebrew] Yerushalayim

Uzi Silber uzisilber at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 08:31:55 EDT 2010


Esteemed members,

1) I'd always assumed that the suffix 'ayim' in yerushalayim implied a pair
of items, as in Machanyim or Sha'arayim (not to mention raglayim or
yadayim). I suppose this isnt possible?

2) is the prefix 'Yeru' similar to the prefix of 'Yeri' in Yerikho?
On the other hand, could it be related to the 'Yeru' in a personal name like
'Yeruba'al'?

u




On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 6:42 AM, <wbparsons at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

>
> Yitzhak,
>
> Thanks for the reply.  I'm convinced on some points, but not others...
>
> On Tue, 6 Jul 2010 05:49:16 +0300
> Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 12:37 AM, Will Parsons wrote:
> >
> > Welcome to the list!
> >
> > >> In the case of the name Jerusalem, the last vowel was original a long
> > >> i:.  We know
> > >> this from Assyrian transcriptions and also from the name of the
> Canaanite god
> > >> Shalim which underlies the city's name.
> > >
> > > I don't know about the Assyrian transcriptions, but can we know with
> > > confidence that the pronuncation of the Canaanite god *was* Shalim?  My
> > > understanding is that Ugaritic like other Semitic languages didn't
> regularly
> > > represent the vowels, so how would this be known?
> >
> > Yes.  We have the transcriptions of Abdi-Hepa, Amarna age ruler of
> Jerusalem,
> > we have the transcription of Sennacherib talking about Jerusalem in
> > various copies
> > of the Sennacherib prism, and although Ugaritic is written mostly with
> > an alphabetic
> > cuneiform, there are also tablets written in other cuneiform where
> > personal names
> > DINGIR-shalim and DINGIR-shalima appear.
>
> OK - I'm convinced that the form "Shalim" can be estsblished.  You say
> above,
> though, that the vowel is long, specifically [i:].  Is this implicit in the
> Assyrian/Ugaritic transcriptions?
>
> > >> The yodh could represent this long i:
> > >> and nothing else.
> > >
> > > Why nothing else?  Couldn't the yodh indicate a pronuncation (e.g.)
> such as
> > > -aym?
> >
> > Perhaps my Hebrew is interfering with the English here.  The above is
> meant
> > to mean - the yodh could be nothing more than a long i:.  There are other
> > possibilities, and indeed I advocate one below.
>
> I'm confused by what you mean here - which yodh are your referring to?
> And do you mean that this yodh could not refer to [e:] for example?
>
> > >> However, the Greek eta used to transcribe the name indicates
> > >> a lowering of the vowel at this position.  It is perhaps significant
> > >> that the eta itself
> > >> has its development from both a long a: and a long e:.
> > >
> > > Although true, I don't see how development in Greek is significant for
> Hebrew.
> > > The transcription with eta just indicates the translators of the LXX
> heard a
> > > pronuncation similar to [jeruʃale:m].
> >
> > No.  I think it means that we cannot rule that this transcribes a
> diphthong.
> > Just like the yodh is ambiguous, so too is the eta.
>
> Here I must disagree concerning eta.  I don't believe there is any
> possibility
> of seeing Ιερουσαλημ/Ierousalem as indicating a diphthong in the last
> syllable,
> or any pronuncation other than one substantially like [jeruʃale:m].
>
> > >> See here -
> > >> http://books.google.com/books?id=yws4Zey-ZnYC&pg=PA73&dq="mid front
> vowel"
>
> Yes, I am familiar with Allen's work (I have a copy) and nowhere does he
> suggest
> a diphthongal value for eta.
>
> > >> In my opinion, the use of a yodh in mid-word position is indication
> > >> that the vowel
> > >> already had a diphthong pronunciation at this point, even if it wasn't
> > >> the [ai] or
> > >> [ayi] of Tiberian [yarushalaim].
>
> I'm confused here.  Aren't we talking about the *absence* of yodh in the
> Hebrew spelling?
>
> > > Rather than the diphthong being a development of an earlier simple
> vowel, and
> > > that Yerushayim vs Yerushalem is the same sort of doublet seen in
> bayith vs
> > > beth?  In which case Yerushalayim (or rather *Yerushalaym) would
> represent an
> > > earlier pronuncation, the diphthong being monophthongized as usual in
> the
> > > pronuncation reflected by the usual Hebrew spelling and Greek
> transcription.
> > > The diphthongal pronunciation would be an alternate preserved either as
> a
> > > dialectal variant or perhaps in a different speech register, ultimately
> to
> > > survive and prosper in the pronuncation reflected by the Massoretes.
> >
> > The evidence simply does not support this.
> > 1) Historical *ay is always spelled out in pre-exilic inscriptions
> > from Judea (in
> > contrast to other locations).  But Jerusalem is spelled ירשלם in Kh. Bet
> Lei.
>
> OK - I think that the absence of yodh in early spellings is evidence that
> points away from a *ay.
>
> > 2) Jerusalem in pre-exilic Assyrian transcriptions has an -i-.
>
> I have to accept the transcriptional evidence, but then the phonetic
> process
> by which [i:m] finally arrived at [ajim] becomes hard to understand.
>
> > 3) The Canaanite patron god of the city is Shalim.
>
> OK - I'm convinced.
>
> > 4) Eta and -y- could both represent either a diphthong or a simple vowel.
>
> No - I don't think eta could.  Eta has three basic origins in Greek:
>
> a)  The result of fronting an original [a:] in Ionic to something like
>    [æ:].  It was apparently this phonetic change in Ionic that caused H
>    to be first used as a vowel instead of an aspirate.
>
> b)  The reflex of an inherited Indo-European [e:].  By the classical
> period,
>    H had further evolved to a closer vowel, (though still relatively open)
>    [ɛ:], and at this point H came be used for both these cases as they had
>    fallen together in sound.
>
> c)  The result of contraction, most notably between [e] & [a].  The result
>    would most likely have resulted in something like [ɛ:].
>
> This relatively open sound continued to become closer in time, until by
> the middle ages it merged with [i].  This of course took time, and for
> a lot of the Hellenistic period we can posit a transitional form like
> [e(:)].  (This is further bourne out by the use of H to transcribe long E
> in Latin, and conversely, the use of Latin E to transcribe Greek H.)  But
> at no time during this process, did H have a diphthongal value.
>
> If ירשלם *did* have a diphthongal pronunciation at the time of the
> LXX, one would expect it to be transcribed as Ιερουσαλαϊμ/Ierousalaïm.
> Note that e.g., on one hand we have transcriptions like Ισραηλ/Israel,
> and on the other Εφραϊμ/Ephraïm.
>
> > 5) Normal *ay become tsere in Biblical Aramaic.  But Jerusalem has
> seghol.
>
> I didn't know that.  I don't know the significance of having the seghol is,
> though (apart from it pointing away from *ay).
>
> > 5) I dislike "alternate register preservation" explanations.  Sometimes
> > there is no alternative - Masoretic pronoun suffixes -ka and -ta appear
> in
> > DSS as -kh and -th but in the Secunda without a vowel, making dialectical
> > variation very likely and the most reasonable and simplest explanation.
> > But here the evidence suggests just the opposite - that -i- became -ay-
> > or -ayi- by Masoretic times.  There is no evidence for an -ay- in
> pre-exilic
> > times and various evidence (Assyrian, Kh. Bet Lei) against it.
>
> I guess you've convinced me that my hypothesis of a doublet Yerushalayim/
> Yerushalem is mistaken, but I still find it hard to posit a credible path
> by which [i:] evolved to [a(j)i], in lack of additional corroborative
> evidence.  (Of course, I realize that my lack of knowledge of such evidence
> is not the same as there being none.)
>
> > Best, and again, welcome to the list!
> >
> > Yitzhak Sapir
>
> Thanks.
>
> --
> William Parsons
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