Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

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kwrandolph
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Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby kwrandolph » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:39 pm

To All:

Often a feminine plural, which normally is spelled with a ות-, is spelled defectively merely with a tau ת-. But as I was reading today, the question came to me, is that really a feminine plural? Or is it a reference to a generalization?

What caused the question was אבת which is usually translated as a plural. But why not translate that as a generality, sort of like “fatherdom” or “ancestry” rather than a reference to specific individuals as would be indicated by אבות?

What do you all think? Or am I all wet on this one?

Karl W. Randolph.

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SteveMiller
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby SteveMiller » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:54 pm

Karl,
A way to check your theory is to compare some MT texts which have the defective feminine plurals with the DSS text. The DSS does not omit the vav as often as the MT. If you give me 5 defective feminine plurals in Isaiah or Habakuk, I can look them up in Logos, and tell you if the vav is there in DSS or not. If the vav is there in DSS, but not MT, that would mean that the MT is a case of the so-called defective cholem.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby kwrandolph » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:25 am

SteveMiller wrote:Karl,
A way to check your theory is to compare some MT texts which have the defective feminine plurals with the DSS text. The DSS does not omit the vav as often as the MT.


Or is it the other way around, that the DSS tended to add waws and yods that the original text didn’t have? I’ve heard, but I don’t remember where, that there apparently was an effort to tighten up QC (quality control) in copying of texts during the late second temple period, at a time when they apparently still had scrolls predating the Babylonian Captivity. (Nasty Romans, they destroyed them.) It was apparently during this period that the extra waws and yods disappeared from Tanakh copies.

SteveMiller wrote:If you give me 5 defective feminine plurals in Isaiah or Habakuk, I can look them up in Logos, and tell you if the vav is there in DSS or not. If the vav is there in DSS, but not MT, that would mean that the MT is a case of the so-called defective cholem.


Isaiah 39:6, 64:10, none listed in Habakkuk.

There are about 260 times that אבת is used, about 230 times אבות is found, so just from frequency alone would seem to indicate that the term אבת meaning ancestry is legitimate.

However, the use of “fathers” to refer to ancestry also in Tanakh makes this question more of a nit picking curiosity than an earthshaking discovery.

Karl W. Randolph.

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SteveMiller
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby SteveMiller » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:24 pm

Isa 39:6
1QIsaA אבותיכה
1QIsaB אבתיך
4QIsaB אבותיך

Isa 64:10
1QIsaA אבותינו
4QIsaB אבתֿ[ינו ]
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

ducky
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby ducky » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:23 am

Hello

The feminine pluar ת shuldn't be called "defective".
It is the exact same thing as the ות suffix.
The difference is a matter of style only.
The "ot" was developed from the "at" by the Canaanic Shift that turns the long "a" vowel to an "o" sound (in some conditions).
And the choice of wiritng doesn't chnage its essence

As for the DSS...
As it was said here before, it shoudn't be seen as a source to use for that matter since the writers' style was to add a lot of vowels letters in an extreme way for the comfort of reading the consonantal text.
David Hunter

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:52 am

ducky wrote:The feminine pluar ת shuldn't be called "defective".
It is the exact same thing as the ות suffix.
The difference is a matter of style only.


After reading some of your other responses, I notice that you’re quite expert in the medieval Hebrew of the Masoretes.

However here we are discussing Biblical Hebrew, which differed from the medieval Hebrew of the Masoretes in that it had a different grammar and some words had different meanings.

One of the ways unique to Biblical Hebrew was the tau suffix, which apparently gave the force of a generalized group. Therefore the form אבת refers to the generalize “ancestors” instead of specific “fathers” of אבות which is also found in Tanakh.

ducky wrote:The "ot" was developed from the "at" by the Canaanic Shift that turns the long "a" vowel to an "o" sound (in some conditions).
And the choice of wiritng doesn't chnage its essence


What evidence do you have of Canaanite writing that predates Biblical Hebrew? Biblical Hebrew was already well formed by the 15th century BC. I haven’t heard of any Canaanite writing that predates that time.

ducky wrote:As for the DSS...
As it was said here before, it shoudn't be seen as a source to use for that matter since the writers' style was to add a lot of vowels letters in an extreme way for the comfort of reading the consonantal text.


The DSS vary greatly in their quality, and one of the biggest ways is what you mention above.

Karl W. Randolph.

ducky
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby ducky » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:31 am

Hello Karl,
Sorry for the long comment
I tried to be understood as possible

The Canaanic Shift is the name for the phenomenon of long "a" turning to "o".
A known example is by comparing the Arabic "sala:m" (salaam) and the Hebrew Shalom.
The long "a" of sala:m turned to an "o" in Hebrew.

Other example words are שלש/שלוש (the number three) which derived from "thala:th".
Never mind the consonant of (th=ש), but also here, the long "a" turned into "o".
(as Shalaash --> Shalosh).

Another example is every Qal participle. For example, כתב (kotev).
Also here it is derived from "ka:teb".

This phenomenon was called a Canaanic shift because it was found very clearly in the texts of the Canaanic letters of Al-Amarna. And it was found that the Canaanic language pronounced a Semitic long "a" as "o" (in some conditions). And Hebrew is one of the Canaanic languages, and so it has that phenomenon also.
Therefore it was called by the name Canaaanic Shift. (Even though, there is evidence that this phenomenon also happened in some non-Canaanic languages accents).

As for the pointing signs of Holam...
A Holam (an "o" sound) is not an original Semitic vowel and it is a development of Hebrew.
Whenever the Hebrew uses a Holam, it means that there was something else before that.
So basically, three reasons:

1. a short vowel "u" (in a stressed syllable)
For example, dov=דב=bear.
And in the plural, the "u" sound is kept dubbim=דבים=bears.

2. A long "a" vowel that was turned into "o" (the Canaanic Shift)

3. A diphthong "aw"-->o:.
For example, known forms of Hiphil, as הוליד=holid.
hawlid-->ho:lid

Hebrew is a consonantal language and basically, there was no use in "vowel letter" since each letter came to represent a sound.

When it comes to the (3) (the aw-->o:) the Holam would be written with a Waw letter because the letter W is actually a consonant that turned to be silent and not really an "original vowel letter"

As for (1) (the short "u"). When it turns into a Holam, it would be written without the letter Waw.

And when it comes to the Canaanic Shift, the choice was at the hand of the writer.
Basically, the Waw shouldn't be there.
But for the matter of the development of the language, it was added sometimes for "comfortability" of reading.
And so you can find the word שלש/שלשה written also as שלוש/שלושה.

And you can find the word קולות=voices written as קולות, קולת, קלות and they are all in the same meaning.

Because there is no difference between the Holam with Waw and the Holam without Waw (once the "o" sound was developed).

And you can see in Gen 31:31 בנותיך but in Gen. 31:41 בנתיך.
(And this "o" is also derived from the Canaanic Shift)

ְAnd as for the word אבת/אבת, you can see it is written differently in the same sentence on two verses
Ex.20:4 פקד עון אבת על בנים
Ex 34:7 פקד עון אבות על בנים
אבות // אבת

(And I will finish my comment just by saying that I gave three options for the Holam to be written, and gave "rules" of when the letter Waw is written and when it is not written. But of course, there are exceptions and what I wrote is the basic thing)
David Hunter

kwrandolph
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:16 pm

ducky wrote:The Canaanic Shift is the name for the phenomenon of long "a" turning to "o".
A known example is by comparing the Arabic "sala:m" (salaam) and the Hebrew Shalom.
The long "a" of sala:m turned to an "o" in Hebrew.


Written Arabic long post-dates Hebrew, are you sure that the shift was not the other way around?

But again, we don’t know how Biblical Hebrew was pronounced. One thing we can be certain of, is that the pronunciations preserved by the medieval Masoretes clearly were not the same pronunciations as Biblical era pronunciations. Biblical era pronunciations started being forgotten when the majority Aramaic speaking Jews returned from the Babylonian Exile. By the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, Hebrew had assumed the same status as medieval Latin in Europe. By the time of the medieval Masoretes, over a thousand years had passed since there had been no native speakers of Biblical Hebrew, a thousand years of influence by Aramaic, Persian and Greek on the pronunciation of Hebrew.

ducky wrote:This phenomenon was called a Canaanic shift because it was found very clearly in the texts of the Canaanic letters of Al-Amarna. And it was found that the Canaanic language pronounced a Semitic long "a" as "o" (in some conditions). And Hebrew is one of the Canaanic languages, and so it has that phenomenon also.
Therefore it was called by the name Canaaanic Shift. (Even though, there is evidence that this phenomenon also happened in some non-Canaanic languages accents).


When was Al Amarna? Of the dates I’ve seen for those letters, the one that seems best to fit archaeology and history is about 800 BC, again centuries after Biblical Hebrew was well established.

But again, see note above about Biblical Hebrew pronunciations.

ducky wrote:And you can find the word קולות=voices written as קולות, קולת, קלות and they are all in the same meaning.

Because there is no difference between the Holam with Waw and the Holam without Waw (once the "o" sound was developed).


Are you sure there’s no difference in meaning? How many of these variant spellings may be the result of copyist errors?

ducky wrote:And you can see in Gen 31:31 בנותיך but in Gen. 31:41 בנתיך.
(And this "o" is also derived from the Canaanic Shift)


And it hasn’t crossed your mind that Biblical Hebrew may have had a distinction not found in Indo-European languages that Jacob made use of in his discussion? From the time of the Persians, there was Into-European influence on the language, first Persian, then Greek, so that by the late Second Temple period, Hebrew’s grammar had already shifted to a largely into-European grammar as remains also in modern Israeli Hebrew.

Karl W. Randolph.

Saboi

Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby Saboi » Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:29 am

Comparing with the Septuagint, it also occurs with πατήρ.
- Genesis 10:21; אבי = πατρו = patrī (Singular Dative)
- Genesis 47:3; אבותי = οἱ πατέρες = patrēs (Plural Nominative)
- אב; ἀγός, φάτις, πατήρ, φυτόν, εὖ, ἥβη
; Songs 6:11; באבי, φυτοῖς

דב "dog-like"
- δάος, δάου "Wolf"
- θωός "Jackel, Canis aureus, hunting dog"
- θαυνον "wild animal" (Faunus)
- Dogue, Dog, Dogge

ב is a terminal from ו (Nominative case ending)

קול > φωνή (φ/ק) > Phone

ducky
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Re: Is this a defective feminine plural, or what?

Postby ducky » Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:04 am

Hello Karl,

I understand your view.
It is not mine, but I respect it.

I gave examples from Arabic because it is a known language.
but the example can be given using Akkadian and Aramaic as well.

(And notice, by the way, that Aramaic, unlike Hebrew, doesn't have this Cannaanic Shift, And the long "a" in Aramaic is pronounced as "a". So what's that tells you about its influence over Hebrew?)

As for all of your wondering about the קולות קלות קולת and בנותיך בנתיך
try to figure out if you can prove what you're saying
If you can, I'll go with you on that.

And as for אבות/אבת - you saw that it came in both form in two similar sentences
So ho would you explain that?

I see that you use a lot of the method of "copyist errors"
And I can't understand your method.
You started this thread by saying that there is a change of meaning because of different spelling,
but on the other cases, you see the different spelling as an error?
So what is it?
Why didn't you call the אבת /אבות case as an error too?

But never mind that. If you can prove what you say, I'll go with you.
David Hunter


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