[b-hebrew] lexicographical method

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Sep 8 01:34:33 EDT 2012

Dear Nir:

On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 10:42 AM, Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. <nir at ccet.ufrn.br>wrote:

> to karl
> your etymology based on a process of “distillation” among peers and then
> "elimination" is correct only in an average sense, and may lead you to
> errors
> of interpretation when (for philosophical reasons) you presuppose a
> “unifying
> element” between several items when one does not exist. you may be throwing
> to the garbage relevant stuff when you eliminate the odds and seek common
> denominators.

This is not etymology, rather an analysis of the words in their contexts.

> As in my response to rolf,  at issue is historical and contextual
> consideration about changes in etymology.
> In fact, most lexicographers give several options for a word,
> which may be quite Mutually Incompatible.

Why only in Biblical Hebrew? I don’t find that in other languages.

> Think of the English word “call” which may mean
> “voice”, “to name”, “to address someone”, “destiny”, “guess” etc.
> what would your "call" be in this case? clearly, some of these meanings are
> just modern.

If you look at the function, actions, the verb “call” has one central
meaning, somewhat fuzzy around the edges. According to form maybe seems
different, but the function is the same. The same with every language I
have learned.

As for the nouns from the same root, even there the functional meanings
show a connection.

So why Biblical Hebrew different?

> hebrew LXM is usually "bread" but at some points may be "meat"
> or even "meal", as evident also in arabic.
> back to the skies: HRQY(  in job, a very late book, may just not fit (both
> grammatically, Being a verb, and textually) with the use in gen 1,
> an early book. By positing “expansion” you find the common denominator
> of the two meanings, which is just a far shadow of each of them
> separately: “an (expandible?) surface” and “to rise to the skies”.

I find that the idea of expanding, spreading out fits all but two of the

> >>> karl: As a lexicographer of Biblical Hebrew, my method is as follows:
> I look up as many examples of a word’s uses as is practical, for words used
> about 30 times or fewer, I can have all occurrences of the term before me
> at the time. I then start a process of elimination….. etc
> >>> karl: My opposition is the whole, not only the individual elements. The
> individual elements combine to make up the whole, that’s why we mention
> them.
> Nir cohen
> Karl W. Randolph.

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