[b-hebrew] kiddush versus edush?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Jul 7 16:52:56 EDT 2010


Uzi, the earliest known examples of Hebrew cursive are from the 7-8th centuries CE, hundreds of years after the ancient script fell totally out of use by Jews world-wide (yes, the Samaritans continue to use a stylized form of old Hebrew script, but by this time they were a very small community and had little contact with the Jewish world. This Wiki entry seems to have most of the facts right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursive_Hebrew . See especially the explanation for the cursive form of Aleph, which, even though it looks like a Paleo-Hebrew Aleph, is really derived from the square script. But remember, the square ("Ashuri") was ultimately derived from the Paleo-Hebrew as well, so some of the letters may have "regressed" even if the Medieval scribes had never seen the older forms.

As far as the so-called "Rashi script": it was never used by Rashi, but rather adopted from the Sephardi (Spanish) cursive of several centuries after Rashi, in order to set Rashi's commentary apart from the biblical and Talmudic text by some early printers. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashi_script .


Yigal Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Uzi Silber
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 2010 3:22 PM
To: Yitzhak Sapir
Cc: B-Hebrew
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] kiddush versus edush?

Hi everyone,
thanks for your very interesting responses. First allow to me to apologize:
while I have written about a variety of jewish topics, both contemporary and
ancient and have an abiding love of tanach (though I am a Jewish agnostic),
I dont have the deep academic training many of you do, relying instead on
the wonderful research that has developed over the past decades and
centuries by scholars like you, your colleagues and teachers.

Karl, I have question: so the script was really developed from ktav ashuri.
I had assumed that the script system had evolved at least partially from the
original hebrew/canaanite script that existed during the period of the split
kingdoms.
it's clear that most of the letters are similar to ktav ashuri -- but take
resh, alef, lamed, mem and nun which really looks like their
canaanite/hebrew, post pictogram predecessors (8 century BCE perhaps?).

I understood the present hebrew script as descending from the type of
writing bar kokhba used on the coins he minted who in turn used the far
older script.
BTW: when and by who was the script developed? by the masoretics? did it
exist by Rashi's time? perhaps not, since he felt the need to develop his
own script.

thank you all,

uzi




On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 3:45 AM, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 12:14 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:
> > I'm not totally sure that it's the same thing, but the early Aramaic word
> > "arqa", land, (equivalent to Hebrew "erec") later becomes "ar'a", that
> is,
> > qof becomes ayin. If you look at Jeremiah 10:11 you'll find both forms in
> > the same verse!
>
> Hello Yigal, Uzi, and everyone,
>
> Dad was represented in Old Aramaic as a Qof due to a particular
> development of this phoneme.  This Dad is not a Dalet (as Uzi
> seemed to imply).  The letter appears to be the emphatic
> corresponding to voiceless Sin and voiced Lamed and together they
> form a triad similar to Taw - Teth - Dalet or Kaf - Qoph - Gimel.  The
> Dad sound is actually a very late reflex of this sound.  Richard Steiner
> suggests that the sound was originally [tɬ'].  In Arabic, this developed
> into Dad.  But in Northwest Semitic, he suggests it developed along
> the path - PS [tɬ'] > [qɬ'] > [qχ'] or [tɬ'] > [kɬ'] > [kχ'].  Because of
> the k/q component it was written Qoph in Old Aramaic.
>
> This sound remained distinct in Old Aramaic, even though it was written
> with a Qoph, and in Official Aramaic it began to merge with Ghayin, while
> Qoph did not.  Ghayin is a voiced uvular whereas q/k are voiceless.  It
> therefore seems that at the basis of the sound change qχ' became
> voiceless, thus giving Ghayin.
>
> Because Hebrew maintained the letter Sin it is reasonable that it might
> have also maintained the letter Dad.  We have examples of various
> doublets where the same word is written with both Qoph and Sade in
> the same verse -
>
> Judges 5:26 has מחצה followed by מחקה.
> 1 Kings 6:34 has צלעים followed by קלעים.
> Isaiah 28:10 and 28:13 have צו לצו followed by קו לקו.
>
> These may suggest that the authors recognized the sound as a
> composite of both a voiceless uvular (q) written as Qoph and an
> emphatic sibilant (ɬ') written as Sade.  Another reason to think it
> survived in Hebrew is that we find the Punic word חמוצים transcribed
> amoutim in Dioscorides, whereas Sade is normally transcribed as
> s in Greek/Latin.
>
> In Jer 10:11, we find ארקא / ארעא as was mentioned.   This uses a
> voiced consonant ע and an voiceless consonant ק to transcribe
> the sound.  The fact that the author spells the word with an Ayin
> shows that by this time the [q] component had become a voiceless
> ghayin.  Because the voiceless-voiced distinction is strong in both
> Hebrew and Aramaic, I think what is really happening is that the
> author is using the Hebrew pronunciation for the reflex of Dad [qɬ']
> rather than the Aramaic pronunciation which no longer had a
> voiceless [q] component at that time.  However, he is dressing
> the above practice of using ק - צ pairs in Aramaic orthography,
> using ק - ע instead of ק - צ.
>
> As explained above, the qoph of this sound change in Aramaic
> is different from the qoph of the ק - א interchange in Arabic.  This
> sound change in Arabic is interesting because it is inconsistent
> and differs based on location, education and other factors.  In
> some cases, the speaker may try to preserve the original qoph,
> but it is his education/literacy that determines if he knows to
> replace the glottal stop in his speech with a qoph in the correct
> places.  As was mentioned some words of particular significance
> are still pronounced with a qoph even in speakers who pronounce
> the qoph as a glottal stop א.  A similar situation appears in the
> Aramaic qoph-ghayin change.  Macuch (Maarav 5-6, p. 228)
> notes that South Babylonian Mandaeans preserved the words
> arqa "earth", aqna "sheep", and aqamra "wool", to which a
> hyper-correct aqapra "dust" was added.
>
> Yitzhak Sapir
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>
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