[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 12:36:53 EDT 2010

Hello Will, Garth, and Uzi,

Uzi -- the dual interpretation is unlikely.  That is, the final Mem is
part of the
root word (as pointed out by others) which makes a dual reading problematic.
Probably the fact that a dual ending appears on many other place names
influenced the development of this pronunciation, though.  However, the
comparison to Jerubaal is appropriate.  Both Jerubaal and Jerusalem
are theophoric names, of the same prefix.  In the case of Jericho, we
have the root ירח -- the moon.   ,

As for the diphthong -- yes, a reading with a simple long [e:]/[ɛ:]/[æ:]
would be consistent with the evidence.  However, I think the use of a yodh
is telling.  In other examples where a long [i:] develops to a long [e:] such
as in the case of a participle [qo:te:l] (from [qa:ti:l]) we don't see a yodh.
Perhaps though there are similarly rare instances that have a yodh in
such participles.  Can anyone here check that up?

Furthermore, in words such as צבים the plural of original th'aby, giving
in Hebrew [-ajim] we find the spelling צבאים in 1 Chr 12:9.  This suggests
to me that for the Hebrew speaker -aji:- -a?i:- and perhaps -ai:- had merged
or become hard to distinguish.  So I think the use of a yodh in late 1st Mill
BCE spellings of Jerusalem indicates some kind of split vowel and possibly
a diphthong.  This might be something that would be recognized as a split
by the Hebrew speaker but not in Greek.  For example, [æɛ] [æ?ɛ] or even
[ææ] or [ɛɛ] (the last two indicating a split vowel but with a zero divider).

As for Vox Graeca, what does Allen mean when he uses the symbols
æ and ę to mean different vowels (seeing how he does not use IPA)?

Regarding long i: in the name Shali:m, see here:

The sentence "the yodh could be nothing more than a long i:" is not
meant to exclude any possibility including that it could represent a
long e:.  However, I think a long i: is unlikely because by the time
yodh appears we already have the Greek eta transcriptions.  I also
think e: is not the best explanation because as mentioned above
i: that became e: is not spelled with a yodh.

Yitzhak Sapir

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