[b-hebrew] song of Deborah

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Thu Nov 17 09:29:09 EST 2011


If one recognizes that there were some 30 generations separating the last
native speakers of Biblical Hebrew (it survived as a second but official
language for generations after it ceased being spoken natively) and
Tiberian pronunciation, and at least eight generations before the earliest
transliterations to Greek (one generation is sufficient for
mispronunciations to appear, as workers among immigrants and their children
can attest), there is no way that the pronunciation was preserved. I even
think the “matres lexionis” (sp?) were a post exile interpretation of
pre-exile orthography.

I looked at your link, and it is so speculative. As speculation based on
speculation, what probability is there that it is correct?

As for the dating of Deborah’s song, we have historical records indicating
its date, so in the absence of any solid linguistic evidence to the
contrary, why not just accept the historical date? And in accepting its
historically attested date, does that not bring some of the speculation
into question?

Karl W. Randolph.

On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 7:50 AM, David Steinberg <
david.l.steinberg at rogers.com> wrote:

> The early dating of the so called "archaic poetry" is essentially based
> on the work of Albright, Cross and Freedman. It always went well beyond
> the evidence but has now been shown to be unfounded. A few elderly
> scholar whose reputations are bound up in early datings - Cross and Avi
> Hurvitz - still maintain the early dates but the evidence is against
> them. See -
> 1. The material I discuss and reference in the box /Can Biblical Texts
> be Linguistically Dated?/ http://www.houseofdavid.ca/anc_heb_6.htm
> <http://www.houseofdavid.ca/anc_heb_6.htm>
> 2. Vern, Robyn, "The Relevance of Linguistic Evidence to the Early
> Dating of the Archaic Poetry of the Hebrew Bible", PhD dissertation,
> University of Sydney, 2008.
>  If you look at the text of any of the so called archaic poems,and you
> revert it to its probable form c. 1200-1400 BCE (add case, mood, and
> other short vowel endings, revert contractions of final /y/ and /w/
> consequent on the disapearance of final short vowels etc.) you will find
> that the orthography is not really archaic and, in many cases, such as
> the use of /matres/ - is often typologically late.
> David Steinberg

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