[b-hebrew] T-SADE

Arnaud Fournet fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Sun Jul 25 04:30:43 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Arnaud Fournet" <fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr>
To: "Will Parsons" <wbparsons at alum.mit.edu>
Cc: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 25, 2010 5:30 AM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] T-SADE

>>> In addition, it's well known from Egyptian hieroglyphic that tsamekh was
>>> nearly doubtless an affricate [ts] (S p r scribe => t_ p r and not **s p 
>>> r
>>> as is expected)
>> I would disagree about samekh being "nearly doubtless" [ts], certainly
>> not on the basis of Egyptian transcriptions, seeing that Egyptian
>> phonology is quite uncertain.  (That Egyptian /t_/ indicated an affricate
>> seems quite unlikely considering its development in Coptic.)

I forgot to address that point in the previous mail.
That Egyptian /t_/ becomes /t/ in Coptic proves nothing.

At first sight, it would seem that the changes t > ts > s are a kind of 
one-way path. But there are plenty of examples showing that these changes 
can happen in the opposite direction.
1. For example Indian loanwords into Vietnamese now have t where Indo-Aryan 
had s < PIE *s.
2. In Uralic some dialects of Vogul-Mansi have -t- for Uralic *s.
3. And closer to us maybe, tea or the reflects the Min Chinese equivalent of 
BeiJing cha [t$ha]
4. Not to mention American English the > da

So Coptic t < /t_/ proves nothing. There are very good chances /t_/ was an 
affricate with an articulation very close if not identical to /ts/.

Arnaud Fournet

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