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Just a Little Taste of Judean (Part 3 :)

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Monday, April 12, 1999, 10:44
Gosh - a whole flurry of posts since I wrote my reply.  You've certainly
got us interested, Steg  :)

I'll not reply separately to all.
> >>Only three declensions survived in spoken Latin, so with the effect of >>analogy etc. we could end up with a system like this ('manus' >>certainly >>survived & joined the 2nd declension). So we could have something >>like >>this (stress on penultimate syllable): > >>1st decl. >> SING. PLURAL >>construct pela pelar >>absolute pele pelaru >>(I rather liked pfela ;) >>
[etc snipped] ......
> >I like it, it's certainly more plausible...and i like the shift from >cases to states,
Thanks - I kinda liked it too. It seemed a neat shift from the Latin declension to the Semitic construct/ absolute state constructions.
>although i didn't actually mean that when i rationalized >about the absolute state.
I thought maybe you didn't - but I was trying to put your rationalization into a Latin-based context.
>Although i don't quite get the stages in the evolution of the > do the Nom&Acc and Gen&Dat mergings happen?
That actually has happened in Romanian. Briefly: the ablative case was first casualty, merging with the accusative in spoken Latin well before the end of the BC period. The neuters never distinguished between Nom. & Acc. and there was a strong move, even in the Classical language, to bring the two cases together in plural forms; it seems that even in the singular in some areas they were falling together quite early on. The pronouns in all the Romance langs show that the dative & genitives had fallen together here; generally we find the sigular is derived from a dative (cf. French 'lui' <-- 'illui' and 'leur' <-- 'illo:rum'). In modern Romanian we have a two-case system for nouns & adj. as well as pronouns: one derived from the Nom+Acc and the other from the Gen+Dat. Judean Romance, as part of an eastern Romance grouping, is likely to have developed along similar lines.
>And how come you shortened the long vowels before the -ru ?
I haven't exactly - the vowel carries the stress. The long-short distinction simply did not survive as such in Romance; this quantitative distinction gave way to a _qualitative_ distinction between high-low or tense-lax (the higher vowels being tenser) except for /a/ where the long & short forms coalesced. Therefore we find in stressed syllables: /a/ and /a:/ --> /a/ /e/ --> /E/ /e:/ --> /e/ /i/ --> /I/ /i:/ --> /i/ /o/ --> /O/ /o:/ --> /o/ /u/ --> /U/ /u:/ --> /u/ There was a distinct tendency for /E/ and /O/ to diphthongize to /jE/ and /wO/. In unstressed syllables the pattern was simpler, but the details differ for western & eastern Romance.
>I need to learn some Latin....maybe i should wait until after this wave >of schoolwork to really get into this, hrmph.
Yep - and maybe read up on Vulgar Latin. Fortunately the Romance group is probably has more written about it than most other language groups. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- [RHOTACISM] At 1:03 pm -0500 11/4/99, Tom Wier wrote:
>"Raymond A. Brown" wrote:
>> Also in eastern Romance we know that final -s did not survive; it either >> disappeared or changed to some voiced palatal sound. So the NomAcc plural >> would likely to be /puellaZ/ or /puellaj/ - but maybe under the influence >> of 'puellaru' we find 'puellar' :) Also in some Greek dialects final -s >> regularly became -r. It's known among scholars as 'rhotacism' and we could >> imagine it occuring in 'proto-Judean'. > >Right -- but wasn't that relatively early? I mean, way before the period >we're talking about here, right? Like, before Classical Greek.
No. Probably had happened in Elean & Eretrian dialects before the Classical period, but certainly was still alive through and beyond the Classical Greek period in these dialects, not giving way to Attic koine till the 3rd cent. BC. But more more interestingly, it is not attested in Lakonian before the 2nd cent. BC. and is attested in inscriptions as late as the the 2nd cent. AD., which is, I assume, within the period we're talking about. Indeed, it survives to the present day in Tzakonian which is derived from the ancient Lakonian dialect. So it was definitely still around among some Greek speakers, at least, in 'proto-Judean' times. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- [FINAL -M] I think this is a red herring. No actual Romance lang has actually restored this long lost sound! And the way 20th cent. Anglophones pronounce Latin is IMHO quite irrelevant. I think Tom Weir has dealt with this well :) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ [ARTICLE & DEMONSTRATIVES] Classical Latin had quite an array of demonstratives; I quote, giving the nom. sing. masc., fem. & neuter in the traditional manner: (a) is, ea, id The "general purpose" demonstrative, much like French 'ce, cette' etc. (b) hic, haec, hoc this (near me) - Fr. ce.....-ci (c) iste, ista, istud that (near you), that (of yours) (d) ille, illa, illud that (yonder) (') We must also include: (e) ipse, ipsa, ipsum And emphasizing adjective meaning 'herself', 'himself', itself', 'myself' etc. in sentences like: "She herself said this" "I'll do it myself" etc. All of (a) to (d) could be and were used as 3rd person pronouns also. In Vulgar Latin we find: (a) does not survive. (b) practically disappears except in odd survival like French 'avec' <-- 'ab ho:c'; Spanish 'ahora', Portuguese 'agora' <-- ha:c ho:ra: (c) Takes on a new lease of life as "this" and, contrary to what was said in one posting, survives in all the modern Romance langs. (d) Survives now with three different uses: i. meaning 'that' cf. Italian 'quello' <-- ecco illu(d); Spanish 'aquel' <-- accu ille. ii. 3rd person pronouns iii. Definite article. (e) Becomes 'isse' etc in the spoken language and survives in Iberian Romance as 'eso' with meanings not dissimilar from Classical Latin 'iste'. It also survives in Italian 'esso' etc. Furthermore, it also long survived in many dialects as 3rd person pronoun & as the definite article. Sardinian still uses such as 'sa', 'so' as definite article. Modern French has changed most radically: 'ce, cette' etc (<-- ecce iste) are now used as adjective only, while 'celui, celle' etc (<-- ecce ille) are now used only as pronouns. The prefixed 'ecce', 'ecco', 'accu' meant "lo, behold" and seems readily to have been added to demostratives :) Now - if you follow what is known of Romance tradition then your def. article must derive either from (il)le or from (is)se. But it is just possible, I guess, that the Hebrew ha- might give life to the very moribund hic, haec, hoc so that it survived here as the definite article. The main problem is that the initial /h/ was certainly silent in spoken Latin at this time. The Greek article in the nom. masc. & fem. also had the forms {ho}, {he:} (sing) and {hoi}, {hai} plural, but again /h/ was fast disappearing. However, the Greek forms and the Latin 'hic' etc could, I guess, have coalesced with 'ha-', giving Judean a distinctive definite article. (I'm pretty sure there was a bit of Arabic influence in getting the Italian 'il' and Spanish 'el' instead of 'lo' [I know the latter is used in Spanish as a neuter article :) ], so this is maybe not implausible). I wouldn't BTW worry too much about the final -c of hic etc. It wasn't there in all the forms of this very irregular (and certainly moribund) demonstrative (it began life as an enclitic -ce meaning "here", cf. colloquial English "this 'ere"). If we imagine a 'coalescing' of 'ha-', Greek 'ho' etc. and this fast dying Latin demonstrative, I think the final -c can safely be ignored. So there you have it. Use a form derived from ille, like all the major modern Romancelangs; use a form derived from isse as some minor Romancelangs still do; be original and argue for a ha-, ho, ho(c) coalescence. I guess I know what Steg will do :) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Finally my thanks to Adam Walker & Tom Weir for reminding me about Yevanic. I had come across mention of it before, but had forgotten. Ray.