[b-hebrew] Unpointed, plus qal passive K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Mon Jun 21 15:34:10 EDT 2010

This message is too long, I read only part of it. Another reason to stop
where I did was to prevent my answer from becoming longer and more involved
than it already is.

On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 9:19 AM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com> wrote:

> The following includes a few misunderstandings by KR
> in providing 'statements/evidence'. This makes discussion longer
> and more difficult.
> > [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.
> [RB]>> I see that you have not added even one example to back your claim.
> >>
> [KR]
> > 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,
> . . .
> The is irrelevant, because the question is not whether or not language
> interference takes place. The question is whether Hebrew traditions have
> been
> rewritten on the basis of Aramaic traditions.

Who said anything about Hebrew traditions? The question was, how was the
language affected? And with that, how did that affect people’s understanding
of the Hebrew text?

> For that, it would be easy to
> provide evidence. For example, during Second Temple times it is easy to
> point out Aramaic loanwords, and Persian loanwords, that have been
> incorporated into Hebrew. Just like loan words in languages throughout the
> world are continually crossing language borders and being imported.
> Structures are imported, too. And in mishnaic Hebrew times we have
> evidence of massive knowledge of Greek and some Latin, since Greek
> and Latin words have been adopted into both mishnaic Hebrew and talmudic
> Aramaic. However, during all of these periods, the basic integrity of the
> languages is maintained, and maintained separately. Hebrew was Hebrew
> and Aramaic was Aramaic. The people were multi-lingual and maintained
> distinctive traditions. They did not 'read Hebrew thru Aramaic'.

Do you know anything about psycholinguistics, i.e. how people know and learn
languages? Your paragraph above not only raises that question, but also did
you really read and understand what I wrote? Or did you just react to a few
key words without stopping to think?

> (Ironically,
> there is evidence of re-reading mishnaic Hebrew through biblical eyes,
> in medieval times. But that should be understandable, shouldn't it?)
> And they placed the preservation of the BH language in high regard,
> recognizing and preserving its distinction from Aramaic.
> Conversely, if they rewrote and virtually erased BHebrew based on
> Aramaic, then please provide EVIDENCE of it.

What sort of “EVIDENCE” would you accept? If you à priori rule out certain
lines of evidence, then is it worth my effort to present it, again?

Or should I turn it around and ask you for evidence that it didn’t occur?

> ...
> [KR]
> > 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?
> [RB]
> This is another basic misinterpretation by Karl. No one is claiming that
> no changes have taken place in Hebrew from Ezra to the Masoretes.

Would not the largest changes have occurred within the first few
generations? Between Jeremiah and Ezra, if the major influence is Aramaic?

> Languages change over time. What is important is to document and
> explain the changes.

How would you document a change in pronunciation between Jeremiah and Ezra?
Or that it didn’t occur?

> Karl claims that the changes are direct misreadings through Aramaic.

No I don’t claim that, bringing back that earlier question, did you read and
understand what I wrote?

> The data show that that is an "impossible" position.
> {NB: 'impossible' here, means beyond a level of improbability that would
> require massive conspiracy theories to account for the data. Maybe some
> space people came and devised a morphology so that later
> researchers would mistakenly recognize organic development within the
> Hebrew tradition.} Researchers are aware that the bgdkefet letters are
> phonologically developed. They are NOT convinced that the
> morphological character of the grammar categories has been changed
> by this. By and large the begedkefet phenomena are phonetic, ie.
> sub-phonemic, non-meaningful alterations. Everything is still
> transparently visible.

It would be hard for me to find a better example than the above paragraph
that you did not read and understand what I wrote.

> [RB]
> >> Yet biblical Aramaic is differently vocalized …[from] Onkelos Aramaic….
> [KR]
> > Where is your evidence for that? Did Aramaic already have a written vowel
> > system during Biblical times that was not preserved in the Bible?
> We have both the MT traditions of Biblical Hebrew and the MT traditions
> of biblical Aramaic. They reflect different morphologies and different
> languages that have been separately preserved. Their internal consistancies
> and developments can even be studied. So that sometimes we have
> surprises like ktiv/qre in biblical Aramaic where the qre form is
> preserving
> earlier Aramaic traditions rather than later ones as is typical in BH
> ktiv/qere.

The MT again, centuries later, even centuries after Onkolos. Can you
document all the changes, or lack of changes, from Onkolos to MT? Where is
the evidence? How would you demonstrate it?

As for the KTB/QR) pairs, a seat of the pants reaction appears that over 90%
of the time, the KTB gives a superior reading. This is after reading Tanakh
completely through several times, something you admit you have not done.

I may get back to finishing your missive, but my answer has already gotten
too long for my liking.

Karl W. Randolph.

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