[b-hebrew] Initial Consonant Clusters in Biblical Hebrew

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Jun 12 21:09:15 EDT 2010

Hello Jim,

There is no evidence at all that the Kassite name for Babylonia - Karaduniash -
ever had an /sh/ in the first or second syllable.  It wasn't Ka-shraduniash,
or Kash-raduniash,  or Ka-sh-raduniash.  There was simply no /sh/ at all.
Even if there were, it would not be transcribed in Hebrew as Ka&dim.  It is
not "likely" that there was an /sh/ either.  You and Karl and James have
a habit of saying something is likely when really you have no evidence for
it at all.  That's now how it works in scholarship!  In scholarship, something
is likely if you can show evidence that it is reasonable and likely.  If your
evidence that the Kassite name for Babylonia had a /sh/ is from the Hebrew
name Ka&dim, then that makes your theory circular.

Even if it were that Kassite had a /sh/ in Karaduniash -- which it
doesn't! -- but even if it did, then we wouldn't know how the syllabic
structure of Kassite would be broken up.  It is most likely that it would be
kash-raduniash, and rather unlikely that the syllable would begin with a
consonant cluster after an open syllable.  When your articles say that
Hittite had a consonant cluster in the middle of the word -- they are talking
about a cluster that is broken up on two syllables.

I had given you evidence that Hebrew in Biblical times could support any
consonant cluster at the beginning of the word.  I suggested the imperative
of the Qal was pronounced as qtvl, where v is some vowel, irrelevant in this
discussion.  So all you need to do is find a verb that has a Shin-Resh in the
beginning of the root, and that is used in the Qal and then you know that
the imperative would begin with a consonant cluster "shr".

Even if Karaduniash did have a consonant cluster in the beginning of the
second syllable ("ka-shra"), and even if Hebrew did not borrow such a syllable
structure as one with the consonant cluster divided across syllables
("kash-ra"), each of which is itself extremely unlikely or just not
possible, then
Hebrew according to the article that you bring would delete the first consonant
just like you claim Akkadian did.  This based on the quote that you yourself
bring -- " In many languages, consonant clusters simplify by deleting the first
consonant, but never the second one."  'Never' means just that - never!

Karaduniash is not Ka&dim.  It's that simple.

Yitzhak Sapir

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