[b-hebrew] Unpointed, plus qal passive

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 08:49:36 EDT 2010


On Sat, Jun 19, 2010 at 12:18 PM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>wrote:

> [KF]
> >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.
> I see that you have not added even one example to back your claim.

There were studies made on people who know more than one language, some of
which I read as I was interested in linguistics, as to how they dealt with
their languages, how well they kept them apart, if they did: in other words,
psycholinguistics. It’s been several years since I looked at the articles,
so I no longer have listings of those articles, but it was clearly shown
that there is a certain amount of infusion from one language to another.
That infusion is not limited to individual words, but also includes phrases,
ways of thinking and idioms. In other words, the languages are not in clean,
airtight boxes within a person’s mind. The closer the languages, the harder
to maintain separation between them.

As far as preserving the pronunciations—I interact a lot with immigrants and
their children, and notice that even where the children grow up in homes
where their parents insist on speaking their native tongues, the children
almost invariably speak their parents’ languages with a local accent. That
can even include children brought here by their parents as old as ten years
old. Other people notice the same phenomenon. From the time of the early
Persian era when the last of those who had learned Biblical Hebrew in a
clearly Jewish background died to the Masoretes was over 30 generations. And
now you are trying to convince me that an unwritten pronunciation was
maintained unchanged over 30 generations when it is rare to maintain it over
one? Don’t the different transcriptions from differing times and places
already put a lie to that claim?

> Yet biblical Aramaic is differently vocalized …[from] Onkelos Aramaic….

Where is your evidence for that? Did Aramaic already have a written vowel
system during Biblical times that was not preserved in the Bible?

>> Finally, I was sad to see you return to your refrain, proclaiming the
> consonants
> 'close enough' and then dismissing the vocalization as 'untrustworthy'. But
> you
> haven't shown any linguistic proof/evidence of linguistic
> untrustworthiness.

When I first learned Hebrew, I was taught in class what the professor called
the Yemenite pronunciation of the Masoretic points. I have since come to the
conclusion that those points indicate pronunciations that are inaccurate as
far as preserving the pronunciation of the consonants, which were written,
let alone the vowels which prior to the Masoretes were not written. Yes I
refer to the BGD KPT, but I also include the sin/shin distinction.

But the most important reason I claim that the vowel points are
untrustworthy is because they sometimes indicate meanings that are
gibberish, i.e. just plain wrong. And I slowly came to this conclusion after
reading Tanakh over and over and over again (something you admit you have
not done).

> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicalulpan.org
> randallbuth at gmail.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

Karl W. Randolph.

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