Question about biliteral roots

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Refael Shalev
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Question about biliteral roots

Post by Refael Shalev »

It's well known that in hebrew along with other semitic languages the majority of the roots are triliteral.

But if we observe a cluster of roots with related meaning and 2 repeating consonants, doesn't it make sense to consider them as originally biliteral?

E.g: נה"מ- הו"מ-המ"י- המ"מ making noise or sound

סו"כ- יס"כ- נס"כ- מס"כ to cast oil and metaphorically to cast confusion etc.

I would like to know what is your opinion.
Thanks!
Refael Shalev
ducky
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by ducky »

the view of the three letters roots in Hebrew started with Rabbi Judah ben David Hayyuj and Jonah ibn Janah.

Before that, there was another view that the root can be 2 letters and even one letter
(I agree with that view more).

**
the examples you bring are a little bit different.
You show that there are dominant two letters as the source of the three letter root.
as the previous basics was just S-K, and then through time, it was expanded to MSK, YSK, NSK and so on...

You still see here three letters roots
only that you say that all of them are based on same two dominant letter - and basically came from the same basic meaning (that was also "spread" in time)
David Hunter
Refael Shalev
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by Refael Shalev »

I think that this observation can explain the word נפילים for example. Not giants who fell from the sky but tall men with the base פל like in עופל and the opposite נפל-שפל-אפל to fall, to be low physically or morally, to be dark (in arabic sun or moon set).
Refael Shalev
kwrandolph
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Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by kwrandolph »

I too think that there are many verbs that are properly biliteral roots, but I haven’t made a study of it. Among those I would include many, but not all, of those that are ayen-doubled, many but not all of those that are listed as having a medial ו or י and a few others. The majority of roots are triliteral, with a few quadraliteral roots.

That’s my seat-of-my-pants 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.
Jason Hare
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Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by Jason Hare »

But you have created a lexicon. Should you not have made a study of things related to roots?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
Refael Shalev
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by Refael Shalev »

Hi Karl,

Some of the quadraliteral roots pointing over the biliteral root: קרקר, חלחל...
Refael Shalev
Isaac Fried
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:32 pm

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by Isaac Fried »

Refael Shalev writes
I think that this observation can explain the word נפילים for example. Not giants who fell from the sky but tall men with the base פל like in עופל and the opposite נפל-שפל-אפל to fall, to be low physically or morally, to be dark (in arabic sun or moon set).
As I see it נפל is not "be low" but rather be high - on the ground. The Hebrew root, or act, does not represent an ongoing process, say that of an apple coming down from a tree, but only its end result: the apple resting on the ground. אפלה is not the darkness falling over the earth, but rather the darkness rising and enveloping the earth.
Another example would be שכב which is not 'lie down', but rather שגב, rise, upon (up-on) the bed.

Isaac Fried, Boston University
www.hebrewetymology.com
Refael Shalev
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Re: Question about biliteral roots

Post by Refael Shalev »

Hi Isaac,

Or that the roots have two opposite meanings like in שרש.
Refael Shalev
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