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"Semitic Celts" (was: Re: Genitive relationships (WAS: Construct States))

From:Raymond A. Brown <raybrown@...>
Date:Sunday, March 7, 1999, 14:18
At 6:59 pm -0500 6/3/99, Steg Belsky wrote:
>On Sat, 6 Mar 1999 22:07:02 +0000 "Raymond A. Brown" ><raybrown@...> writes: >> >>And the consonant mutations of Biblical Hebrew are very reminiscent of >>the >>consonant mutations of the Gaelic langs (at least in their earlier >>forms). >> > >>Ray. >> > >I'm not sure what you mean by consonant mutations....from what i think >i've seen, the changes that Gaelic consonants go through are much more >extreme than Hebrew things like bege"d-kefe"t fricativization and the >different forms of the -t- in the _hitpa`eil_ paradigm. > >Unless you're talking about something else?
Plosives with or without 'dagesh lene'. When they are without dagesh the are traditionally transliterated: ph, bh, th, dh, kh and gh; but with dagesh lene: p, b, t, d, k, g. This is reminiscent of the lenition of the Gaelic languages: 'soft' ph, bh, th, dh, ch, gh ~ 'hard' p, b, t, d, c, g. Indeed, it's my understanding that in the earliest form Gaelic the softened consonants were pronounced much the same way as, I'm told, the Yemeni Jews still pronounce the Hebrew consonants without dagesh. I know Gaelic also has soft mutations mh, sh /h/ and fh which Hebrew does not have, that the _modern_ Gaelic pronounciation of the some of the softened consonants are somewhat different (but then modern Iraeli pronunciation is different from re-constructed ancient Hebrew); I know also that Irish Gaelic also has nasal mutation or 'eclipsis' which Hebrew never had. All I said is that they are 'reminiscent' - certainly reminiscent enough for those who are looking for correspondences between insular Celtic and Semitic. FWIW I believe the Hebrew and Gaelic developments are unconnected in that neither inflenced the other & that they developed independently in both languages. I think it's a fairly 'natural' treatment of intervocalic plosives that can, and has, occurred at different times in quite unrelated languages. Ray.