[b-hebrew] T-SADE

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Fri Jul 23 19:23:07 EDT 2010

  I have not yet found it, but there is an article I read some time ago 
arguing for an affricate sound for Tsade as the original - at least in 
NW Semitic.  I am sure Yitzhak would know, as I think the reference came 
originally from him.  There has been some discussion of affricate sounds 
in the Afro-Asiatic proto-language.  I will try and find my copy of the 
article and give the reference if I find it.

Kevin Riley

On 24/07/2010 6:19 AM, Will Parsons wrote:
> From: "Arnaud Fournet"<fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr>
> Subject: [b-hebrew] T-SADE
> Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2010 11:46:39 +0200
>> Maybe this has already been discussed before, but I have some questions
>> about the affricate or non affricate pronunciation of (T)SADE.
>> Cantineau 1954 discusses a Greek manuscrit called Vaticanus of the
>> Lamentations supposedly dating back to the IVth century AD, which mentions
>> in Greek letters Tau-Sigma-Alpha-D-Eta as name of that letter. He infers
>> from that document that the affricate pronunciation must be old and possibly
>> the original one.  So I have a handful of questions about the presumed
>> authenticity of that manuscrit, its dating and its relevance for TSADE or
>> SADE, possible alterations or any reason to conclude in this or that
>> direction, or not to conclude at all, or to prefer some other better
>> reference for that issue. What should exactly be thought about that issue?
> I don't have Cantineau's work to examine, or a facsimile of the Codex
> Vaticanus, but the sigla in my copy of the Septuagint indicate that reading
> in the Codex Vaticanus is τιαδη/tiade rather than τσαδη/tsade.  Even if the
> reading *is* τιαδη/tiade, it probably doesn't support an ancient value of
> [ts] for sadhe.  I don't know what Cantineau means by "old" (Biblical times,
> or IVth century AD?), but it's very unlikely that sadhe had the affricate
> value [ts] when it was spoken as a mother tongue.  The emphatics in
> Hebrew as in other Semitic languages form a series contrasting on one
> hand to unvoiced series and the other a voice series of obstruents.  As
> far as I know, there are two attested phonetic realizations of "emphatics",
> velarized/laryngealized type of Arabic, and the glottalized type of the
> African Semitic languages (more likely for Hebrew).  In either case, we have
> parallel series /s - S - z/ like /t -T - d/ like /k - K - g/.  An affricate
> like [ts] doesn't fit this model.
> Even if what Cantineau means by "old" is the IVth century AD, the
> transcription with ΤΣ/TS (if in fact that *is* in the Codex Vaticanus)
> would give negligible evidence in favour of a [ts] in the comtemporary
> Hebrew pronunciation.  Consider the problem of the transcriber: he is
> faced with a funny S-sound that doesn't really correspond with anything in
> Greek.  Of course, in the text of the LXX itself, sadhe (as well as shin)
> is regularly transcribed as sigma, since that is the nearest Greek
> approximation to both Hebrew sounds (and indeed, most manuscripts of
> LXX use σαδη/sade instead of τσαδη/tsade here).  If the transcriber
> wanted to indicate the "funny" sound, he had to improvise.  If the
> reading *is* TS, that might be taken as evidence that *Greek*, not Hebrew,
> had developed a [ts] affricate in the IVth century (which is far more
> likely).
> I mentioned above shin also as being transcribed by sigma.  Apparently,
> according to my sigla, there is also an attempt to indicate shin more
> accurately in the Vaticanus, ρηχς/rekhs (resh) χσεν/khsen (shin).
> This isn't evidence that shin was pronounced something like [ks], only
> that the transcriber was trying desperately hard to find something that
> would suggest the Hebrew pronunciation.

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