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Brian Tucker wrote
<pre>Could you critique the following statements, for a lecture I'm working
A Study of Linguistic Roots of Hebrew
Linguistic origin: Where did Hebrew come from in the history of
1. It originated in a particular group within the Family of Shem (Gen
2. The descendants of Shem are referred to as Shemites or Semites, i.e.
3. The term Semitic was first used by Auguste Ludwig Schlozer to refer
to the whole family of languages stemming from the descendants of Shem
in J.G. Eichhorn's _Repertorium fur biblische und morenlandische
Luteratur_ (Leipzig, 1781), p. 161. This was the earliest designation
for this whole family of languages.
4. The name for the Hebrews (Ayin Beth Resh) has its origins in their
historical experience 'go over or pass over'
<p>If you are doing a scholarly history of language you can't use the bible
as your prooftext. The biblical text is the understanding of the
Israelites/Judaeans of several millennia past. It is their interpretation
of their past and like many myths of origins, beginnings are traced to
a particular ancestor who may or may not have actually existed.
<p>Over 200 yrs. have passed since Schlozer (1781). Surely you must
realize that much has changed since his researches including the rediscovery
of Akkadian and Ugaritic.
<p>Try starting with the Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 4. There's
an introductory article on Semitic languages called Languages (Introductory)
on p. 155 and an article called Languages (Hebrew), p. 203. In addition
there are articles about the cognate languages, Aramaic and Akkadian and
others. All articles have a bibliography.</html>