[b-hebrew] sullam

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Fri Nov 30 09:18:35 EST 2012

uri, isaac, david,
just for clarification, when i say "source" i dont mean "etymology". i mean an earlier, simpler word/phoneme which gave way to a newer word
(within evolutive linguistics). here i was addressing what jim has started the thread with: a hurrian source for the hebrew word SULLAM.
it seems that jim's own analysis provides an akkadian source:
>> jim:  ...Akk. simmiltu
see also p. 19 of shaul bar's "a letter that has not been read" p 19

nir cohen

 On Thu, 29 Nov 2012 17:22:57 -0500 (EST), JimStinehart wrote
> Nir Cohen:
> slm does  n-o-t  mean “ladder” in Ugaritic!!!  You’ve really got to be careful citing a source like you did.  Here’s what the leading Ugaritic dictionary, Lete & Sanmartin (2003), says at p. 762 as to slm in Ugaritic:
> “ ‘staircase’(?) (Hb. SLM, HALOT…metathesis Syr. sebbelto…Akk. simmiltu…)”
> We see that Ugaritic scholars don’t know what slm means in Ugaritic.  They are guessing at a meaning of “staircase” based primarily on Genesis 28: 12!  And as is the penchant of scholars, they quickly move on to metathesis and half-heartedly assert a dubious Akkadian cognate on that questionable basis.  To the best of my knowledge, no mainstream scholar has guessed that slm might mean “ladder” in Ugaritic since 1965.
> You will note that the other cognates that Bomhard cites from Hebrew are not helpful, as they mean “to weigh, balance”.  
> In fact, mainstream scholars are right in saying that it’s unclear what a Semitic etymology of SLM may be.  In my opinion, the reason why mainstream scholars have failed to identify a consensus Semitic etymology for SLM is because it’s a Hurrian loanword from the Amarna Era.  I might also note in passing that Ugaritic contains many more Hurrian loanwords than does Hebrew, as a substantial minority of the inhabitants of Ugarit were ethnic Hurrians.  So it is very possible that slm in Ugaritic may be a loanword from Hurrian, just as I see the case being for SLM at Genesis 28: 12.
> Heavens, Nir Cohen, you scared me out of a year’s growth!  Please check a standard Ugaritic dictionary next time before claiming a Ugaritic cognate.
> Jim Stinehart
> Evanston, Illinois 

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