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A problem solved?!?

From:Brian Betty <bbetty@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 17, 1999, 20:07
On 2-17-99, Shaul Verdi wrote: "Yeah, there is a root KH - W - L with the
meaning grant, accord, concede.  That's almost certainly it!  The mystery
is solved. The middle root letter is "w", a "hollow" letter in Arabic
grammatical terms, falling out in many conjugations. So the fact that only
the KH (in Spanish orthography - "j") and the L remain is quite
understandable. [snip] As for Gustavo's comment that the Portuguese
equivalent uses a "sh" (S) sound rather than KH, I guess we must now see
that not as a more faithful rendition of the original Arabic, but rather as
the assimilation of the expression into the (beautiful and gentle, IMHO)
sound patterns typical of Portuguese.

Oy, I'll have to argue against this one. Medieval Spanish X and J were /S/
and /Z/, like in modern Portuguese. So Ojala' would be more likely "in
sha'llaah" with weird initial variations (shift of IN to O) or something
under the abnormal wear and tear of being an expression borrowed from
Arabic. I could see the Arabic in+S >oZ (the nasal voices the S) more
easily than /XWL spontaneously becoming Z-L.

Or am I smoking crack? Opinions, people?


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