[b-hebrew] Fact of language?

Vadim Cherny vadimcherny at gmail.com
Sat Jun 5 13:35:05 EDT 2010

There are distinct issues here. Learning, no doubt, is easier in the  
context. But when you know the language, understanding the context is  
best - sometimes only - possible through etymology. Reading Tanakh  
without realizing intricate connections between same roots in  
different binyanim, ignoring the clear - if statistical - sense of  
binyanim is just unreasonable.

It is not a bit presumptuous, IMO, to set up oneself against such  
giants like Rashi who accepted the etymological sense as a viable  
instrument of understanding Tanakh.

Vadim Cherny


Randall Buth wrote:

Anyway, the etymological fallacy is something that is ingrained into  
beginning Hebrew students by the way in which the language is often
taught, contrary to the way in which anyone ever learned through direct
usage, and some common HB pedagogical grammars even list things like
tsawah צוה 'he commanded' and I've had students try to say 'shalak'  
throw and tsava for command, and claim that it was good BH, just like
they had learned.

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