[b-hebrew] historical question with linguistic import

Yigal Levin Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Sun Jul 15 23:41:17 EDT 2012


And your Arabic, which makes liberal use of matres lectionis. 

Yigal Levin

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Uri Hurwitz
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 1:41 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] historical question with linguistic import


    Check your Ugaritic

    Uri Hurwitz



   > ... There are lots of other languages whose written representations
only cover the consonants. Arabic comes to mind, as well as Ugaritic.
....


Dave Washburn <



    





On Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 2:30 PM, K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you, Dave:

> I see what you mean. If it were a complete syllabary, it would have a 
> different symbol for each of the consonant - vowel pairs. Just like 
> Hiragana in Japanese. As it is, it is an incomplete syllabary, listing 
> only the initial consonants.

Exactly. I suspect that ancient Hebrew had more than 22 C-V sounds.

> Similarly, if it were an alphabet, it would list all the sounds, 
> including the vowels. But as the vowels were added as an afterthought, 
> a thousand years after Hebrew ceased to be used in daily life, it 
> could not be called an alphabet as well. At best maybe an incomplete
alphabet.

I'm not so sure about this. There are lots of other languages whose written
representations only cover the consonants. Arabic comes to mind, as well as
Ugaritic.

> Of the two possibilities, an incomplete syllabary appears more and 
> more likely to have been the case. And with Thutmosis III identified 
> as Shishak, that would include the Hebrew spoken up to the time of the
Babylonian Exile.

I don't really have an opinion on this. My goal was just to answer the
question about vowels etc. :)


--
Dave Washburn

Check out my Internet show: http://www.irvingsplace.us

Now available: a novel about King Josiah!


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