Author Topic: correcting our spirantization  (Read 13151 times)

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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2011, 10:17:18 PM »
you are actually the first i have ever heard of that says malktha :) I have only heard it malikta. Same goes for "b!tch" kalibta... never have i heard it like kalbtha?


Both malktha and kalbtha are how you pronounce those words in the classical language. :)

as i told you.. the vowel is not unpredictable. You know that whenever you have a consonant right before the -ta there will be a short vowel in between.


What about "kikhwa" from kawkva, then? Why don't we say "kawikhba?"

btw. with or without the spirintized letters there is not a predictable syllable pattern in this case. If you say that the absolute masculine state of king is "mlekh" and the emphatic state is "malka" ... with all your respect, but aren't you contradicting yourself :)?


No actually, the normal absolute state for words that follow the pattern xaxxa is xxex:

  • malka -> mlekh ("king")
  • kalba -> klev ("dog")
  • garma -> grem ("bone")
  • Tarpa -> Tref ("leaf")

according to who? source?


i kinda doubt that the suffix -Y that marks a feminine state is silent? If so.. then how would you say "you" (ant)? (i read this post from you in another topic).


According to every classical grammar I've read. Here's one by Muraoka (p. 19).

Even the "y" that marks a feminine form in a lot of places is silent. The masculine word for "you" is spelled ܐܢܬ and the feminine is spelled ܐܢܬܝ, and they're both pronounced "at" (with a silent noon, too) in the classical language.

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2011, 04:35:06 PM »
the levantine arabic dialects kinda looks like ours except that it remains unspirantized (and of course its still arabic tho).

levantine arabic:

your father --> Abuk (aramaic: abu5)

your brother --> a5uk (aramaic: a5u5)

your (pl.) mother --> emkun (aramaic: emo5un)

while the fus7a arabic is:

your father --> abak

your brother --> a5ak

your (pl.) mother --> umkum


Since they spoke aramaic before and then shifted for arabic... why did they not keep their spirintization? As we know spirintization emerged and therefor there must have been a pattern for non-spirintized words too, obviously :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2011, 12:16:58 AM »
Since they spoke aramaic before and then shifted for arabic...why did they not keep their spirintization?

...Because they shifted to Arabic. :)

You can ask the same question about other aspects of their dialect. Why didn't they keep the "p" and "g" sounds?

As we know spirintization emerged and therefor there must have been a pattern for non-spirintized words too, obviously :)

Like I said, word formation and the sound pattern were different and nobody knows for sure. The definite article may or may not have been tacked onto the end, or they could have had one generic vowel that they put in between every consonant and thus didn't even notice it existed (doubtful, but who knows?).

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2011, 12:16:58 AM »

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2011, 08:31:13 AM »
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...Because they shifted to Arabic. smile

You can ask the same question about other aspects of their dialect. Why didn't they keep the "p" and "g" sounds?

this argument does not make sense. It is arabic yes, but why did they keep the aramaic way of saying those words? why did their spoken language (not written) not keep a single spiritized letter?

Some dialects use the G but i dont know about the P :) I think that the arabic of maroco uses the G. Egypt uses G instead of J. Many of the levantine arabic dialects pronounce their K very soft, almost like a G.

Quote
Like I said, word formation and the sound pattern were different and nobody knows for sure. The definite article may or may not have been tacked onto the end, or they could have had one generic vowel that they put in between every consonant and thus didn't even notice it existed (doubtful, but who knows?).

Well.. to me proto-semitic is the 100% correct way of the semitic languages. We might never reach the 100% perfectness anylonger as languages develop over time. Athough we should still try to make our language as correct as possible :) We have a pattern of how consonants and vowels would be placed right now... and of course it will be different if we did not have spirintized letters. So it doesn't mae sense to show tons of patterns and say that they will be different. It will yes, because the original patterns were without spirintized letters.

about docking the definite article at the end... i actually think that its a quite confusing system when our absoloute feminine form looks exactly like our definite form. Although don't get me wrong.. im not saying we should get rid of it xD

and btw. Proto-semitic is not a 100% unknown language that we dont know anything about. By looking at the various semitic languages you can of course see patterns. for example.. if 4 out of 5 semitic languages produces its words from consonantal roots, dont you think that proto-semitic did too (of course its just an example  :) )
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 12:14:06 PM by 7ayruta »
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2011, 03:36:54 AM »
this argument does not make sense. It is arabic yes, but why did they keep the aramaic way of saying those words? why did their spoken language (not written) not keep a single spiritized letter?

Some dialects use the G but i dont know about the P :) I think that the arabic of maroco uses the G. Egypt uses G instead of J. Many of the levantine arabic dialects pronounce their K very soft, almost like a G.

Of course it makes sense: Arabic doesn't have spirantization, therefore Levantine Arabic doesn't have spirantization.

Why should the sound system be exempt from Arabic influence? "G" and "p" were lost, why not spirantization? In language shift, it's not always clear why some aspects of the original language are retained while others are not.

Also, Egyptians (for the most part) and Moroccans didn't used to speak our language, so it's not surprising they don't have spirantization. :)

Well.. to me proto-semitic is the 100% correct way of the semitic languages. We might never reach the 100% perfectness anylonger as languages develop over time. Athough we should still try to make our language as correct as possible :) We have a pattern of how consonants and vowels would be placed right now... and of course it will be different if we did not have spirintized letters. So it doesn't mae sense to show tons of patterns and say that they will be different. It will yes, because the original patterns were without spirintized letters.

Proto-Afro-Asiatic is an older ancestor to our language, isn't that what's "100% perfect" and shouldn't we try and revert to that? :)

about docking the definite article at the end... i actually think that its a quite confusing system when our absoloute feminine form looks exactly like our definite form. Although don't get me wrong.. im not saying we should get rid of it xD

It's actually not that confusing in context, you can always tell which is which.

and btw. Proto-semitic is not a 100% unknown language that we dont know anything about. By looking at the various semitic languages you can of course see patterns. for example.. if 4 out of 5 semitic languages produces its words from consonantal roots, dont you think that proto-semitic did too (of course its just an example  :) )

I know Proto-Semitic isn't completely unknown and a lot of it can be confidently reconstructed, but a lot of it is also guesswork that, again, is constantly changing. Historical linguists are constantly coming up with new ideas and theories. Do you really want to base a language off of what people think it sounded like, only to have further evidence come to light later that proves otherwise?

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2011, 12:48:25 PM »
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Also, Egyptians (for the most part) and Moroccans didn't used to speak our language, so it's not surprising they don't have spirantization. smile

i know that :) but what i meant was... arabic does not have G in the written language, but the egyptians have it in their spoken language. So since lebanese, palestianian, syrian and so on have aramaic "parts" in their spoken language, why did they not keep spirantization?

And the way they speak does not have clusters? Yes they have another pattern than ours... but ofourse, that follows with spirantization and it is not a bad thing :)

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Proto-Afro-Asiatic is an older ancestor to our language, isn't that what's "100% perfect" and shouldn't we try and revert to that? smile

we could always go further back and find an older language. What i am saying is that we should keep our language as original (to the semitic standard) as possible. keep the correct pronounciatiions etc.
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »
i know that :) but what i meant was... arabic does not have G in the written language, but the egyptians have it in their spoken language. So since lebanese, palestianian, syrian and so on have aramaic "parts" in their spoken language, why did they not keep spirantization?

And the way they speak does not have clusters? Yes they have another pattern than ours... but ofourse, that follows with spirantization and it is not a bad thing :) 

I said before about it being unclear why some aspects of language shift while others do not (so I'm not 100% sure), but I bet it has to do with all of the spirantized letters (w, gh, dh, kh, f, th = و‎, غ‎, ذ‎, خ‎, ف‎, ث‎) being separate phonemes in Arabic. Therefore, while spirantization doesn't usually affect word meaning in Aramaic, it could create a totally different word in Arabic. Because of that, it probably was lost in order to avoid confusion.

we could always go further back and find an older language. What i am saying is that we should keep our language as original (to the semitic standard) as possible. keep the correct pronounciatiions etc.

Only Proto-Semitic, not earlier or later? Why? Seems random, like you're just picking any point along a timeline and rolling with it. Or maybe you just like the name "Semitic?" :)


Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2011, 09:00:42 AM »
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I said before about it being unclear why some aspects of language shift while others do not (so I'm not 100% sure), but I bet it has to do with all of the spirantized letters (w, gh, dh, kh, f, th = و‎, غ‎, ذ‎, خ‎, ف‎, ث‎) being separate phonemes in Arabic. Therefore, while spirantization doesn't usually affect word meaning in Aramaic, it could create a totally different word in Arabic. Because of that, it probably was lost in order to avoid confusion.

i only agree a little bit. some words might create a different meaning (although i cant come up with any). It's a minority though.. lets say the spirintized K. what other meaning would ismakh have instead of ismak?


I also wondered how come we have silent letters while arabic doesnt (i dunno about hebrew)... It doesnt really make sense to have silent letters xD is this some process that occured too?

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Only Proto-Semitic, not earlier or later? Why? Seems random, like you're just picking any point along a timeline and rolling with it. Or maybe you just like the name "Semitic?" smile

Don't get me wrong brother :) The way we pronounce our language today sounds like Farsi, Turkish and Kurdish. We might have some sounds they don't use such as 6 (ܛ) and 9 (ܨ). Thats why i say that we should stick to the semitic way of pronouncing our consonant since we speak a semitic language. We lost many semitic consonants (even though many of them are still in our alphabet) and adopted new sounds like ch, zh, j and more. So my point is that we should start to pronounce the semitic consonants again. Thats why i want to get the proto-semitic pronouncations and not something before protosemitic. That probably means that we have to introduce new words that includes these letters. That also means that we should get rid of spirantization, that means we would get new patterns too. Althoug the thing with the new patterns is nothing to be scared of haha. The same way that our patterns are logical those are too. It's still 3 letter (consonant) roots (mostly)... so yeah.

I'm not really a "semitic fanatic" hahaha... i just think that since we are categorized in that class we should stick to it :)

But khon.. i know that you are convinced about your opinion and the same goes for me :) I think this has something to do with "how original and "correct" we want us to be"  :) So yeah, i don't think we will agree on one another...  :bigarmhug:

« Last Edit: March 10, 2011, 09:03:24 AM by 7ayruta »
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2011, 12:42:22 AM »
i only agree a little bit. some words might create a different meaning (although i cant come up with any). It's a minority though.. lets say the spirintized K. what other meaning would ismakh have instead of ismak?

Try changing a root consonant rather than an affix, e.g. dhakara (ذكر, "he remembered) vs. dhakhara (ذخر, "he equipped(?)"). I don't speak Arabic though, so I'm a little limited when it comes to finding minimal pairs in that language.
 
I also wondered how come we have silent letters while arabic doesnt (i dunno about hebrew)... It doesnt really make sense to have silent letters xD is this some process that occured too?

Yes, it's because the letter used to be pronounced. (Biblical) Hebrew doesn't have silent letters either, they usually just drop the letter out in writing if it became lost in pronunciation.

Don't get me wrong brother :) The way we pronounce our language today sounds like Farsi, Turkish and Kurdish. We might have some sounds they don't use such as 6 (ܛ) and 9 (ܨ). Thats why i say that we should stick to the semitic way of pronouncing our consonant since we speak a semitic language. We lost many semitic consonants (even though many of them are still in our alphabet) and adopted new sounds like ch, zh, j and more. So my point is that we should start to pronounce the semitic consonants again. Thats why i want to get the proto-semitic pronouncations and not something before protosemitic. That probably means that we have to introduce new words that includes these letters. That also means that we should get rid of spirantization, that means we would get new patterns too. Althoug the thing with the new patterns is nothing to be scared of haha. The same way that our patterns are logical those are too. It's still 3 letter (consonant) roots (mostly)... so yeah.

The classical language doesn't have "ch," "zh," or "j." Also, as far as I know, spirantization isn't from foreign influence, rather just a product of the natural evolution of our language. There's nothing wrong with that either. :)

I'm not really a "semitic fanatic" hahaha... i just think that since we are categorized in that class we should stick to it :)

But khon.. i know that you are convinced about your opinion and the same goes for me :) I think this has something to do with "how original and "correct" we want us to be"  :) So yeah, i don't think we will agree on one another...  :bigarmhug

I know khon, and I know there are people out there who disagree with both of us and would rather stick to the modern dialects. A little healthy debate never hurt anybody. :)

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2011, 03:16:53 PM »
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Try changing a root consonant rather than an affix, e.g. dhakara (ذكر, "he remembered) vs. dhakhara (ذخر, "he equipped(?)"). I don't speak Arabic though, so I'm a little limited when it comes to finding minimal pairs in that language.

In this case spiriantization is not even necessary... :) I get your point though, but i don't think you get mine. I'm talking about the spoken language... not the written. It's much easier to make exceptions in the spoken language (that's why we see such influence on the levatine arabic dialects). Yet we don't see even 1 spirintized letter in the spoken language either.

Quote
Yes, it's because the letter used to be pronounced. (Biblical) Hebrew doesn't have silent letters either, they usually just drop the letter out in writing if it became lost in pronunciation.

So what's the reason for us not to pronounce the letter?

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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2011, 03:36:28 PM »
In this case spiriantization is not even necessary... :) I get your point though, but i don't think you get mine. I'm talking about the spoken language... not the written. It's much easier to make exceptions in the spoken language (that's why we see such influence on the levatine arabic dialects). Yet we don't see even 1 spirintized letter in the spoken language either.

I guess I don't get what you mean, then. I didn't see a distinction between the spoken and written language. If spirantization took place in Arabic, then "he remembered" would sound exactly like "he equipped" (both dhakhara), thus causing confusion and possibly hinting at why it was lost for the Levantine dialects.

So what's the reason for us not to pronounce the letter?

Are you asking why we shouldn't go back to pronouncing the letter or are you asking how the letter became silent?

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2011, 05:27:38 PM »
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I guess I don't get what you mean, then. I didn't see a distinction between the spoken and written language. If spirantization took place in Arabic, then "he remembered" would sound exactly like "he equipped" (both dhakhara), thus causing confusion and possibly hinting at why it was lost for the Levantine dialects.

i mean, why the levantine dialects dont have one single spirantized letter. Of course the spoken language in arbaic is different than the written? I don't think that you can make a change in a language that will affect it 100%. You can see it in this case too... just look at the percentage of aramaic in their arabic? But why is it then, that the spirintized letters are gone 100%.

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Are you asking why we shouldn't go back to pronouncing the letter or are you asking how the letter became silent?

I'm asking why many letters became silent... and now you mention it, i also want to ask why we shouldn't start pronouncing them again :P
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2011, 12:42:57 PM »
I'm asking why many letters became silent... and now you mention it, i also want to ask why we shouldn't start pronouncing them again :P

Sounds go silent in languages all the time, it's normal. How many silent letters are there in English?

As for why we shouldn't start pronouncing them again: probably just tradition. :)

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2011, 06:00:57 PM »
Sounds go silent in languages all the time, it's normal. How many silent letters are there in English?

As for why we shouldn't start pronouncing them again: probably just tradition. :)

Silent letters just dont make sense.. if you don't want to pronounce them, then keep them out of the words? Or start pronouncing them again maybe. Well i told you before... The english don't really focus as much on their history and originality as much as we do. so yea.. comparing their language etc with ours doesn't really make that much sense.


Here are some words that are spelt with a ܚ  ... i dont really see why we should pronounce them wrongly instead of just adding a dot to the letter to indicate when it should be pronounce like a 5 and not 7.

(the following ܚ are to be pronounced like a 5 and not 7 and there will be an arabic equivilent too)

  • ܚܒܨ- خبيص  (mess)
  • ܒܛܝܚ - بطيخ (melon)
  • ܐܚ - اخ (brother)
  • ܚܘܚ- خوخ (peach)
  • ܚܘܚܕܐ - خوذة (helmet)
  • ܚܡܪ - خمر (wine)

i see no reason for pronouncing these words wrongly. Instead my suggestion is to add a dot to the letter ܚ when it is supposed to be a 5 sound.
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2011, 11:12:59 PM »
Silent letters just dont make sense.. if you don't want to pronounce them, then keep them out of the words? Or start pronouncing them again maybe.

It doesn't make sense in terms of logic, but it does make sense for natural, phonetic reasons. It has almost nothing to do with "wanting to pronounce" the silent letters. Most of our language's speakers have been illiterate for the entire history of the language (including its proto-forms), so how the word is spelled was of no consequence to our ancestors. Sometimes, you actually do see the word without the silent letter (e.g., "sister" used to be ܐܚܬܐ instead of ܚܬܐ). Other times, you'll see the word in a sort of intermediate stage between silent letter and no letter at all (e.g., "person" is usually spelled ܐܢܫܐ, but it also comes up as ܢܫܐ). I think part of the reason for that is to avoid ambiguity: e.g., ܢܫ̈ܐ, depending on how you vocalize it, can mean "people" (nasha) or "women" (neshe). Also, in some words, the silent letter becomes pronounced in the plural (e.g., mdheeta -> mdheenatha "cities").

Well i told you before... The english don't really focus as much on their history and originality as much as we do. so yea.. comparing their language etc with ours doesn't really make that much sense.

I was giving the example of English having silent letters to illustrate that our language is no different from English in that it's subject to phonological rules. "Deletion" is normal and happens in all language families (including the Semitic languages). Comparing their language with ours does make sense in that case. I wasn't justifying our silent letters because English has silent letters and we should become more like English. :)

Here are some words that are spelt with a ܚ  ... i dont really see why we should pronounce them wrongly instead of just adding a dot to the letter to indicate when it should be pronounce like a 5 and not 7.

(the following ܚ are to be pronounced like a 5 and not 7 and there will be an arabic equivilent too)

  • ܚܒܨ- خبيص  (mess)
  • ܒܛܝܚ - بطيخ (melon)
  • ܐܚ - اخ (brother)
  • ܚܘܚ- خوخ (peach)
  • ܚܘܚܕܐ - خوذة (helmet)
  • ܚܡܪ - خمر (wine)

i see no reason for pronouncing these words wrongly. Instead my suggestion is to add a dot to the letter ܚ when it is supposed to be a 5 sound.

Again with the "old = correct?" What happens if linguists discover that their previous theories were wrong (say, they found a third sound for our ܚ that just so happened to merge into 5 or 7 in Arabic)? What do you do in that case when you've got everybody distinguishing 5 and 7 by that point?

Also, what do you do for sounds whose exact pronunciation linguists are unsure of (like the Biblical Hebrew sin that merged with "sh" in Arabic and "s" in our language)?

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2011, 09:17:05 AM »
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It doesn't make sense in terms of logic, but it does make sense for natural, phonetic reasons. It has almost nothing to do with "wanting to pronounce" the silent letters. Most of our language's speakers have been illiterate for the entire history of the language (including its proto-forms), so how the word is spelled was of no consequence to our ancestors. Sometimes, you actually do see the word without the silent letter (e.g., "sister" used to be ܐܚܬܐ instead of ܚܬܐ). Other times, you'll see the word in a sort of intermediate stage between silent letter and no letter at all (e.g., "person" is usually spelled ܐܢܫܐ, but it also comes up as ܢܫܐ). I think part of the reason for that is to avoid ambiguity: e.g., ܢܫ̈ܐ, depending on how you vocalize it, can mean "people" (nasha) or "women" (neshe). Also, in some words, the silent letter becomes pronounced in the plural (e.g., mdheeta -> mdheenatha "cities").

It's impossible to say something is logical in one way and not in another. There is only 1 logic in this world. Therefore it IS unlogical in every way to have letters that are not to be pronounced. Keep and pronounce them or remove them. Again with the English? - That's the same as justifiying your faults because others have them too.

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Again with the "old = correct?" What happens if linguists discover that their previous theories were wrong (say, they found a third sound for our ܚ that just so happened to merge into 5 or 7 in Arabic)? What do you do in that case when you've got everybody distinguishing 5 and 7 by that point?

Seems too unlikely. You can't just put everything up that way. What do you do if you found out there's a volcano beneath your house?

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Also, what do you do for sounds whose exact pronunciation linguists are unsure of (like the Biblical Hebrew sin that merged with "sh" in Arabic and "s" in our language)?

hmm... I don't have an answer for that one. time will probably show.

Is the biblacal hebrew "sin" a proto-semitic letter too? Or is it just some hebrew thing haha
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2011, 01:16:30 PM »
It's impossible to say something is logical in one way and not in another. There is only 1 logic in this world. Therefore it IS unlogical in every way to have letters that are not to be pronounced. Keep and pronounce them or remove them. Again with the English? - That's the same as justifiying your faults because others have them too.

Language irregularity is alogical, not illogical. Logic has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Seems too unlikely. You can't just put everything up that way. What do you do if you found out there's a volcano beneath your house?

It seems very likely to me. Do you know anything about the current state of historical linguistics? It's always changing. Always.

If there's a volcano beneath my house, then I move. :)

hmm... I don't have an answer for that one. time will probably show.

Is the biblacal hebrew "sin" a proto-semitic letter too? Or is it just some hebrew thing haha

So what do you have planned in the meantime as linguists map out (or guess) the phonology of Proto-Semitic?

The Hebrew sin goes back to Proto-Semitic, as far as they can tell.

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2011, 09:11:39 AM »
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Language irregularity is alogical, not illogical. Logic has absolutely nothing to do with it.

If the entire universe is based on logic. How would you exclude it from language.

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It seems very likely to me. Do you know anything about the current state of historical linguistics? It's always changing. Always.

If it is that likely to you, then you must have some kind of hypothesis. So what is your guess  :)? Maybe it will result in a hard 7 and a hard 5 or something? but afterall... the sounds that will occur IF they do, will e that ancient that we wont even have a word in our vocabulary that has that sound? so its not the biggest problem... if we do have words that actualy have these sounds, then okay lets pronounce them correctly :)

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If there's a volcano beneath my house, then I move. smile

yup.. do something about the problem, exactly how i am doing something with this problem :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #53 on: March 17, 2011, 07:48:16 PM »
If the entire universe is based on logic. How would you exclude it from language.

We're getting very off-topic, this is turning into a philosophical discussion.

Basically, silent letters, for complicated phonological reasons, make the word easier to pronounce. The silent letters are kept in writing because a) they're helpful if they appear in plural/other forms, and b) scribes are used to reading/writing the word with the silent letter and removing the silent letter would confuse a great number of people. There's your logic. :)

If it is that likely to you, then you must have some kind of hypothesis. So what is your guess  :)? Maybe it will result in a hard 7 and a hard 5 or something? but afterall... the sounds that will occur IF they do, will e that ancient that we wont even have a word in our vocabulary that has that sound? so its not the biggest problem... if we do have words that actualy have these sounds, then okay lets pronounce them correctly :)

Before they knew of Proto-Indo-European, the ancients used to think Latin came from Greek because of their similarities. Even today, linguists debate on whether Japanese and Korean are related to Altaic languages (or if Japanese and Korean are related to each other). I don't have to have a personal hypothesis to know that the historical linguistic view can (and probably will) change greatly, if not soon then in the future.

yup.. do something about the problem, exactly how i am doing something with this problem :)

So suggesting we go back to some (but not all, since all aren't known) of the reconstructed, hypothetical Proto-Semitic sounds is doing something about the "problem?" :)

All languages change. Proto-Semitic sounds are just an "incorrect" version of Proto-Afro-Asiatic sounds, and Proto-Afro-Asiatic sounds are an "incorrect" version of something earlier. Without language change, the entire world would be speaking the same boring language and we wouldn't see the vast diversity that we do in the world's different languages. The fact that we merged 5 and 7 isn't the problem, the problem is picking and choosing random reconstructions and cutting and pasting them together to get some sort of Frankenstein's monster language that doesn't and never did hold any historical or cultural significance for anybody. You're basically going to have to take different aspects of Proto-Semitic (sounds, grammar, vocabulary) from different times in the language's evolutionary history, piece them together in some sort of standard form, then have everyone start speaking and writing it...only to have a linguist discover something later on and throw a huge monkey wrench into the whole thing. Then what do you do? Do you get everybody to change to the new theory (i.e., re-teaching everyone the new aspects of the language)? Do you do that every time someone comes up with a new theory?

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2011, 09:36:07 AM »
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We're getting very off-topic, this is turning into a philosophical discussion.

Basically, silent letters, for complicated phonological reasons, make the word easier to pronounce. The silent letters are kept in writing because a) they're helpful if they appear in plural/other forms, and b) scribes are used to reading/writing the word with the silent letter and removing the silent letter would confuse a great number of people. There's your logic. smile

Makes it easier? If so why did Biblical Hebrew not have them? Or why does Arabic not have silent letters? I guess they have the same human tounge as we do  :blink:

but true... we might cut that discussion of and stay on-topic  :)



Also... i do understand you. Nitpicking is in some ways not very smart to do. When you do this one
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Proto-Semitic sounds are just an "incorrect" version of Proto-Afro-Asiatic sounds, and Proto-Afro-Asiatic sounds are an "incorrect" version of something earlier. Without language change, the entire world would be speaking the same boring language and we wouldn't see the vast diversity that we do in the world's different languages.
keep in mind that i DO aknowldge that.. but as i said: Our language is in the semitic language group so lets stick to it and keep our pronounciations clean.

What i wish for is that the letters present in our accepted vocabulary should be pronounce correctly. Silent letters is another topic and we might be able to debate that one another time. I just don't see the reason for not pronouncng our present consonants correctly. We see that the letter ܚ is very present in our language. So why should we stick to an extreme way of pronouncing either 5 or 7?

Maybe we shouldn't split all the letters because we lack some of the consonants in our present vocabulary... But the ones that are still present shouldt be kept and i see no reason for sticking to an extreme way of pronouncing letters.

Here is just one off-topic question:

i remember that you once stated that when the letter Y is at the beginning of a word and is placed before a consonant is is to be pronounced EE.... like EESHO. Is that correct though? what about the word YALOPA (the student) ???

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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2011, 12:34:16 PM »
What i wish for is that the letters present in our accepted vocabulary should be pronounce correctly. Silent letters is another topic and we might be able to debate that one another time. I just don't see the reason for not pronouncng our present consonants correctly. We see that the letter ܚ is very present in our language. So why should we stick to an extreme way of pronouncing either 5 or 7?

Maybe we shouldn't split all the letters because we lack some of the consonants in our present vocabulary... But the ones that are still present shouldt be kept and i see no reason for sticking to an extreme way of pronouncing letters.

But, as you said, we would have to create new letters to separate all the merged sounds. I guess I just don't like the idea of changing the script (especially with its rich history) that much when it's fine the way it is. Adding dots to separate letters would just be messy.

Here is just one off-topic question:

i remember that you once stated that when the letter Y is at the beginning of a word and is placed before a consonant is is to be pronounced EE.... like EESHO. Is that correct though? what about the word YALOPA (the student) ???

In yalopa, the "y" isn't followed by a consonant, so the rule sticks. :)

Try saying ysho` ("Jesus"), ydha ("hand"), yrax ("a month"), ydha`ta ("knowledge"). Say each one repeatedly really fast, and you'll notice you'll start to say eesho`, eedha, etc. quite naturally.

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #56 on: March 18, 2011, 07:11:05 PM »
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But, as you said, we would have to create new letters to separate all the merged sounds. I guess I just don't like the idea of changing the script (especially with its rich history) that much when it's fine the way it is. Adding dots to separate letters would just be messy.

we already add dots to letters.... so whats the problem :D ? ad a dot to xeth when it is supposed to be 5eth... and problem is solved?

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In yalopa, the "y" isn't followed by a consonant, so the rule sticks. smile

Try saying ysho` ("Jesus"), ydha ("hand"), yrax ("a month"), ydha`ta ("knowledge"). Say each one repeatedly really fast, and you'll notice you'll start to say eesho`, eedha, etc. quite naturally.

Y is not followed by a consonant? isn't L a consonant?

hmmm.... i dont really get the EE sound xD i get Yashu3, Yashu3, Yashu3 and still Yashu3....
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #57 on: March 18, 2011, 10:29:05 PM »
we already add dots to letters.... so whats the problem :D ? ad a dot to xeth when it is supposed to be 5eth... and problem is solved?

Are you talking about the rukakha letters? Those are allophones, though. You can predict where they will occur if you know the grammar, so you can leave them out and it would not affect the meaning (in the same way that English doesn't mark whether the letter "s" makes a "s" or "z" sound, because native speakers know which one it is intuitively) and they often are left out when they conflict with vowel points. If we go back to "5" and "7" (which are separate (non-predictable) phonemes, not allophones of a single phoneme like the rukakha/qushaya letters are) and only use a single dot to distinguish the two sounds, that would greatly clutter everything. You can't leave the dot out in that case because the sound wouldn't be predictable in its phonetic environment (like the rukakha letters are). It's not as simple as adding a single dot to solve the problem, you would have to revamp the entire alphabet and way of writing to accommodate the new sounds which the language has evolved in a way to render useless anyway.

Y is not followed by a consonant? isn't L a consonant?

You're thinking about the way it's written (without vowels), I'm talking about the way it's pronounced (yalopa, with an "a" in between the "y" and "l"). :)

hmmm.... i dont really get the EE sound xD i get Yashu3, Yashu3, Yashu3 and still Yashu3....

I thought this was weird, so I gave this test to a couple of people since you mentioned that. I thought they would pronounce it like ee-, but they pronounced it the exact same way you did. :)

There might be another explanation for this, like other languages that the person speaks influencing the pronunciation.

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #58 on: March 19, 2011, 08:59:32 AM »
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Are you talking about the rukakha letters? Those are allophones, though. You can predict where they will occur if you know the grammar, so you can leave them out and it would not affect the meaning (in the same way that English doesn't mark whether the letter "s" makes a "s" or "z" sound, because native speakers know which one it is intuitively) and they often are left out when they conflict with vowel points. If we go back to "5" and "7" (which are separate (non-predictable) phonemes, not allophones of a single phoneme like the rukakha/qushaya letters are) and only use a single dot to distinguish the two sounds, that would greatly clutter everything. You can't leave the dot out in that case because the sound wouldn't be predictable in its phonetic environment (like the rukakha letters are). It's not as simple as adding a single dot to solve the problem, you would have to revamp the entire alphabet and way of writing to accommodate the new sounds which the language has evolved in a way to render useless anyway.

I would agree with you if the 5 sound was alien to our language. Because basically our language has lost the 5 sound... the only 5-sound we have got is a spirantized K. Why should many dialects such as the chaldean stick to a extreme way of pronouncing ܚ as either 5 or 7? They switch between 5 and 7 alot (they do it in a fair way with some "oops" though).

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You're thinking about the way it's written (without vowels), I'm talking about the way it's pronounced (yalopa, with an "a" in between the "y" and "l"). smile

i don't understand what you mean by that? if you put vowels marks on Y you will only get the Ya/Yaa/Ye/Yeh sounds when its at the beginning of a word?

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There might be another explanation for this, like other languages that the person speaks influencing the pronunciation.

aight :) but this happened in aramaic and is also in the levantine arabic dialects, i know. They say eed (hand) for example :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #59 on: March 19, 2011, 02:31:58 PM »
I would agree with you if the 5 sound was alien to our language. Because basically our language has lost the 5 sound... the only 5-sound we have got is a spirantized K. Why should many dialects such as the chaldean stick to a extreme way of pronouncing ܚ as either 5 or 7? They switch between 5 and 7 alot (they do it in a fair way with some "oops" though).

Why should they not stick to one way of pronouncing the letter? Like I said, the language merged the two sounds thousands of years ago and we've been pretty fine with one pronunciation for ܚ for that entire time. Seems odd just to split them back up just because linguists think that our nomad ancestors pronounced them separately thousands of years ago. :)

i don't understand what you mean by that? if you put vowels marks on Y you will only get the Ya/Yaa/Ye/Yeh sounds when its at the beginning of a word?

I don't see what's so hard to understand: it's yalopa, not "ylopa." It's spelled yodh-zqapa-lamadh, there's an "a" between the "y" and "l," therefore the "y" is not immediately followed by a consonant and would have no reason to be pronounced like "ee."

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2011, 02:45:36 PM »
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I don't see what's so hard to understand: it's yalopa, not "ylopa." It's spelled yodh-zqapa-lamadh, there's an "a" between the "y" and "l," therefore the "y" is not immediately followed by a consonant and would have no reason to be pronounced like "ee."

maybe this question will help you to understand why i dont understand.

can you give a word where Y is the start-letter and is NOT pronounced like an EE and is not followed by an a like in yAlopa? you cant... because when Y is the start letter simple logic will tell you its either EE or A lol.

the word yalopa (Y-L-W-P-A) and the name Yashu3 (Y-SH-W-3) both have a Y as the first letter... but if you read without the vowel marks, then how would you know how it is to be pronounced? sorry, if there is something simple i just didn't get  :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #61 on: March 19, 2011, 03:36:54 PM »
maybe this question will help you to understand why i dont understand.

can you give a word where Y is the start-letter and is NOT pronounced like an EE and is not followed by an a like in yAlopa? you cant... because when Y is the start letter simple logic will tell you its either EE or A lol.

Wait...what? Are you saying the only two possibilities for a word-initial yodh are "ee" and "yA" (yodh-zqapa)? Nothing else?

the word yalopa (Y-L-W-P-A) and the name Yashu3 (Y-SH-W-3) both have a Y as the first letter... but if you read without the vowel marks, then how would you know how it is to be pronounced? sorry, if there is something simple i just didn't get  :)

Knowledge of the grammar. :)

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #62 on: March 19, 2011, 03:50:34 PM »
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Wait...what? Are you saying the only two possibilities for a word-initial yodh are "ee" and "yA" (yodh-zqapa)? Nothing else?

no i just formulated myself pretty bad. what i meant was not just yodh-zqapah, but just a random vowel u know..

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Knowledge of the grammar. smile

would it be to much to explain what part of knowledge you have to have for understanding why it is EEshu3 and not Yashu3  :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #63 on: March 19, 2011, 08:41:39 PM »
no i just formulated myself pretty bad. what i meant was not just yodh-zqapah, but just a random vowel u know..

You mean does yodh ever have a vowel after it besides zqapa? Like pthaxa (yarxa, "month") or rvaca (yulpana, "learning") or rwaxa (yom, "a day")?

would it be to much to explain what part of knowledge you have to have for understanding why it is EEshu3 and not Yashu3  :)

If you know where the vowels go (i.e., ysho`), then you "know" to pronounce (actually just naturally pronounce) it like eesho`. :)

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2011, 12:34:24 PM »
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You mean does yodh ever have a vowel after it besides zqapa? Like pthaxa (yarxa, "month") or rvaca (yulpana, "learning") or rwaxa (yom, "a day")?

you still dont get me :D if you are reading without the vowel marks and there is a word beggining with a Y. How do you know whether its a EE or Y ?

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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #65 on: March 20, 2011, 02:00:48 PM »
you still dont get me :D if you are reading without the vowel marks and there is a word beggining with a Y. How do you know whether its a EE or Y ?

Same way you know when ܚܡܪܐ means "wine" (xamraa) or "donkey" (xmaaraa). :)

The idea is if you're reading without vowel marks, then you've advanced to a stage where you don't need them to understand because you know where they are already. If you know where they are, then you know whether to pronounce it as "ee" or "y."

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #66 on: March 20, 2011, 02:25:33 PM »
aahh okay. i thought you meant that there is a rule to stick by :)
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #67 on: March 20, 2011, 02:58:36 PM »
aahh okay. i thought you meant that there is a rule to stick by :)

Initial yodh + no vowel point on it + following consonant = "ee[consonant]"

Initial yodh  + vowel point on it + following consonant = "y[vowel][consonant]"

So if you know that there's no vowel mark on the yodh, then you "know" to pronounce it like "ee." :)

Offline 7ayruta

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #68 on: March 20, 2011, 03:47:24 PM »
Thanks alot Carlo. You're a great help for many of us  :)

So is there a reason for why we say Eesho3 and not Yashu3 as it's supposed to???
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Offline Carlo

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Re: correcting our spirantization
« Reply #69 on: March 20, 2011, 06:12:16 PM »
Thanks alot Carlo. You're a great help for many of us  :)

So is there a reason for why we say Eesho3 and not Yashu3 as it's supposed to???

For the o/u (short "u," not long "oo"), I don't think we contrast those two sounds (i.e., they're treated like the same sound), especially if it's at the end of a word before a final consonant. Compare kul/kol, Athur/Athor, deeyukh/deeyokh, etc.

As for the other bit, I know we tend to delete initial vowels a lot:

  • Hebrew shalom = Aramaic shlam ("peace")
  • Hebrew baneem = Aramaic bneen ("sons")
  • Hebrew kathav = Aramaic kthav ("he wrote")
  • Hebrew maxar = Aramaic mxar ("tomorrow")

So it's not that far of a stretch to go from Yasho` to Ysho` (and then to Eesho`, like I explained before).

 

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