[b-hebrew] mishnaic hebrew

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sun Nov 27 08:57:59 EST 2011


On Sat, Nov 26, 2011 at 11:08 PM, Randall Buth <randallbuth at gmail.com>wrote:

> >> Karl katav
> >> > However, the higher level activities in post-Babylonian Exile Judea
> were
> >> > supposed to be in Hebrew, not Aramaic.
> >>
> >> This misses the point. Hebrew existed in two registers, a high Hebrew
> >> and a low Hebrew. That means that listing activities for high Hebrew
> >> does not explain the existence of a low Hebrew register/dialect.
> >
> > That both were spoken as second language explains both. The one is from
> the
> > elite that studied many years, the other village learning.
> Your reply still misses the point or adds something truly bizare.

How much do you deal with intergenerational immigrant populations working
in a second language, particularly the younger generation trying to
maintain the parents’ languages? I do so almost daily, and see different
registers depending on many factors. When I look at late Biblical Hebrew, I
see the same patterns.

> You are positing two Hebrew 'high registers'

Where? That’s news to me.

> but you have not explained how a
> language community would develop such a thing, nor do you seem to
> be aware how strange such an "explanation" sounds. Is there another
> example of a single language community developing two high registers?
> And the elite and villagers appear to have lived together in
> reasonable proximity. For example, the 24 temple rotations lived out in
> villages. One of them was near Tzuba where we run BH classes a couple
> of millenia later. High registers are the goal of speakers in the proper
> context, whatever one's background. If someone speaks the register
> poorly they may use a low register or not speak, but they do not invent
> a recognizably distinct, consistent, new dialect/language.
> And if they knew enough Hebrew to 'invent' mishnaic Hebrew they
> would have known enough Hebrew to put it in the shape of the elite's LBH.
> Your "explanation" fails from internal consistency and inability to cover
> the data. In fact, it is the "elites" who are recorded with the low
> language,
> people like Gamaliel.
> Please do not suggest that Gamaliel did so because
> he was incapable of the high register. Some anti-rabbinicists in the
> 19th century tried that and were taken to task and disproven.
> Who did the recording and when?

> >> ...
> >>
> >> > Lower level activities, like occasional contact with their distant
> >> > emperor
> >> > and trade, could be carried on in Aramaic.
> >>
> >> this is an uninformed comment. Cross-cultural governmental business
> >> is normally done in 'official' languages, high registers. Defining it
> >> differently is not a position. Within the Persian empire, Aramaic was
> the
> >> high language for the various governments.
> >
> > You are comparing apples with oranges.
> ...
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> If you think that comparing one language having a high and low register
> with a second language having a high and low register
> is 'apples and oranges', then the thread is over. That is exactly the
> comparison that must be made for a reasonable appraisal of the
> situation. Too many people have misapplied the "Latin" analogy and
> ignored that Latin had two registers as it developed into the romance
> languages and that Hebrew had two registers as mishnaic Hebrew
> developed.
> You are distorting the Latin analogy, and if that is what you truly
believe, then that is why you answer as you do.

> --
> Randall Buth, PhD
> www.biblicallanguagecenter.com
> Biblical Language Center
> Learn Easily - Progress Further - Remember for Life

Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list