[b-hebrew] T-SADE

Arnaud Fournet fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Tue Jul 27 02:06:23 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "K Randolph" <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
To: "B-Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, July 26, 2010 9:22 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] T-SADE

> Arnaud:
> On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 10:41 PM, Arnaud Fournet
> <fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr>wrote:
>> Arnaud Fournet
>> ***
> I don’t know ancient Egyptian, so my question is, did it have the “x”
> phoneme or anything similar? If not, then is not the “ts” phoneme the
> closest to “x” that they had?
I assume that you mean a digraph -ks- (not a velar fricative -x-).
As far as I know, underlined t_  very much looks like [ts] (archaic tsamekh) 
and underlined d_ very much looks like emphatic [ts.] (archaic tsade).
S.ippoor > Egyptian d_ p r

> Secondly, how well do we know ancient Egyptian pronunciation? Just as 
> there
> are variances among members of this list concerning pre-Babylonian Exile
> Hebrew pronunciation,
How many Hebrew dialects were there?
What ethnolinguistic reality is exactly covered by "pre-Babylonian Exile 

> so are there reasons to question what we “know” about
> ancient Egyptian pronunciation?
I tend to think that the pronunciation is quite secure.
It can be counterchecked against a number of independent data: coptic (and 
that means several dialects), Proto-Afrasian, loanwords from Semitic or 
Berber, the structure of hieroglyphs, basic principles of phonology, etc.
Now academic traditions can be very stubborn in their refusal to acknowledge 
that they may be wrong on certain counts and ignore refutation. And I 
suppose that people are spontaneously and sincerely more sensitive to this 
or that kind of evidence and may differ in their reactions to "evidence", so 
it further compounds the issues.
I consider Sumerian to be extremely conjectural and massively unreliable but 
Egyptian is clear (at least as far as consonants are concerned).
Now maybe the absolute chronology of changes is not clear and I suppose it's 
not very easy to clarify at all.

> Thirdly, assuming that the Greek pronunciation of Xi was the “x” phoneme,
> there is evidence that as late as the Persian period,
That's very interesting.
What is this evidence?

This is another question but the word horse sus is very intriguing.
It has an obvious similarity with Hurrian aSSuSSa-nni horse-trainer.
The relative chronology of Proto-Semitic *ts(amekh) > s and *s > sh(in) has 
a bearing of the relationship between sus and aSSuSSa-.
It also raises a number of questions on Hurrian and Mitanni Aryan. 
Incidentally Georgian has an affricate ac^ua "horse".

> the Hebrew samekh was
> pronounced as an “x”, though there is evidence that it was losing its “x”
> sound to be replaced with a simple “s” phoneme (Nehemia 2:1, 5:14, 13:6,
> Ezra sometimes with a samekh, sometimes with a sin e.g. Ezra 4:7–8, 7:1,
> 8:1).
In that case, this is more an indication that sin was then losing its 
lateral features and moving toward being a plain sibilant.
As regards that word, it's also possible that the contact between -z- 
and -r- may cause some phonetic contextual problem.
In some languages the sequence -r-s- is impossible and changed to -r-ts- but 
I don't know if (historical or proto-)Hebrew had this kind of problem.

> Look forward to your answer.
> Karl W. Randolph.
Hope it fulfills some of the expectations.

Arnaud Fournet

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