[b-hebrew] Fact of language?

Pere Porta pporta7 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 3 01:56:01 EDT 2010

 > Karl,
> > biblical Hebrew and today Hebrew are the same language if for "language"
> we understand its inner structure rather than its vocabulary.
> >
> What do you mean by “inner structure”?
> ____

Dear Karl,
By "inner structure" I mean the way the basic lines of the language are
built up.
For instance:

1. The masculine plural is in -ym (masc.) and in -ot (fem.) in both biblical
Hebrew and today Hebrew.
Hebrew plurals (of nouns) are not made up with suffix -S as in Spanish
(casa, house > casaS, houses) nor with suffix -K as in Hungarian (no, woman
> noK, women)

2. The behaviour of conjugations (binyanim) is the same for both types of
Hebrew. Of course there are some differences (*) but the BASIC behaviour is
the SAME.

3. In both the object marker is preposition ET.

And so on....

(*) In today Hebrew: no trace of the "conversive waw" that causes a change
in meaning of the "time"...


> You admit that vocabulary is not “inner structure” because even where some
> of the same words are used, they are used with different definitions. Many
> words are used the same way.
> _________

Yes, I think that vocabulary is not, strictly speaking, "inner structure".
Though, of course, modern nouns have been invented with a tight relation
with Hebrew roots ----> maX$eb, computer, is fully related to verb (or to
root, if you prefer) X$B, think.


> You can’t mean grammar, because, for example, qatal in Biblical Hebrew had
> a completely different meaning than the modern grammatical qatal. And that’s
> just one grammatical difference, of several.
> ___________

I think that grammar of Biblical Hebrew and grammar of today Hebrew are
essentially the same, quite the same. Of course there are differences
between them, but nothing essential (to my mind).


> From what little I have seen of modern Hebrew, it treats the binyanim
> differently than did Biblical Hebrew.
> __________

In which sense does modern Hebrew treat the binyanim differently than did
Biblical Hebrew?


> And the spelling, … wow … is all I can say.
> So what do you mean by “inner structure”?
> ________
What I'm saying... is it enough?

Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)


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