[b-hebrew] Unpointed, plus qal passive

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Jun 19 21:12:23 EDT 2010

On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 7:57 PM, K Randolph wrote:
> Randall:
> RB “ish liqrat re`o/re`av and ish et re`o/re`av”
> Just out of curiosity, why do you never write in Hebrew, rather you write
> your transliterations of modern Hebrew?

Actually, that's not really Modern Hebrew -- Modern Hebrew doesn't have
the Ayin and does not distinguish the qoph.  It is Biblical Hebrew.

> For example, I know barely enough Aramaic to read the Aramaic portions of
> Tanakh. When I read them, I read them mostly through the lens of Hebrew,
> which I know far better.

Someone who knows both languages well, however, does not read one "through
the lenses" of the other.

> Now we look at the Masoretes—what language did they use in their
> discussions?

Well, we don't have a tape recording from that time.

> What language was used to record those discussions?

While some Masoretic treatises such as אכלה ואכלה are primarily in Aramaic,
even these include Hebrew phrases mixed in as well such as שאין להם הכרע.
Other texts such as דקדוקי הטעמים are in pure Hebrew.

> In both cases, Aramaic.

... and Hebrew.

> Why did they use Aramaic?

... and Hebrew.

> The answer should be obvious.


> And because Aramaic was a close cognate language of Biblical Hebrew, they tended
> to give the unpointed text of Tanakh even pronunciations based on their
> knowledge of Aramaic and the Aramaic rules of pronunciation of unpointed
> Aramaic.

Huh?  Just where did they do that?

Yitzhak Sapir

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list