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10350Re: [ANE-2] Re: BH 'oth and Akkadian awa:tum?

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  • Robert M Whiting
    Apr 1, 2009
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      Brian -- I'm not sure why you didn't mention it, but of course the
      Akkadian word for 'sign, mark, signal, token' is ittu. The second t is a
      feminine marker and the plural is ita:tu. Since it is widely accepted
      that Hebrew 'oth is cognate with ittu, a relationship of 'oth with
      Akkadian awa:tu is impossible because the t of awa:tu is again a feminine
      marker since, as you point out, awa:tu is based on the verbal root awû,
      there is no connection between the two because ittu has a t in the root
      and awa:tu does not.

      On your problem with reading ya ta ta, this may simply be an artifact of
      the writing system. With an open syllabary there will be a vowel
      appearing after every consonant regardless of whether it is there in the
      language or not. Thus ya ta ta may not be meant to write the plural
      yata:ti (as in mata:ti) but rather the accusative singular yatta.

      Bob Whiting
      whiting@...

      On Wed, 1 Apr 2009, Brian Colless wrote:

      > If in BH, as some have argued, the verbal root aleph-waw-taw is
      > actually derived from the noun aleph-waw-taw, i.e., 'oth, is it
      > imaginable that the noun was related to the Old Babylonian awa:tum?
      > Xianhua Wang
      >
      > Xianhua
      > I do not know whether others have responded to you privately, but I
      > will take this opportunity to make a few observations on these two
      > words, particularly their occurrences in the early West-Semitic
      > epigraphic texts that I work on.
      >
      > (1) 't, plural 'tt
      > This word ('tt 'signs') appears on the Izbet Sartah ostracon (Iron
      > Age), in the first line of the inscription, and as the bottom line of
      > the text is a copy of the West Semitic consonantal alphabet, we could
      > assume that it is a reference to those letters as 'signs'. (In
      > Mishnaic Hebrew the term for letters of the alphabet is 'otiyyot.) My
      > reading of the letters preceding 'tt is 'lmd 'I learn' . (The M has
      > also been seen as Sh, but it is not the same as the Shin in the list
      > of signs at the bottom, nor is the last sign of the text, in the
      > bottom right corner, in the phrase h.ld`lm 'duration(s) of the the
      > world'; the writer apparently means that this document he has written
      > and stored away in a hole in the ground will keep his memory alive for
      > ever.)
      >
      > For a (murky) photograph and a drawing go to:
      >
      > http://cryptcracker.blogspot.com/2007/01/ancient-abagadary-abecedary-this-is.html
      >
      > http://collesseum.googlepages.com/abgadary
      >
      > Now, the second T of 'TT is below the first one, but not clear; only
      > the horizontal stroke of the + stands out; but we can see what the
      > scribe intended, in the first words of the second line: K T T N, with
      > two clear examples of T in a ligature (as in Arabic writing). The
      > sequence KT in this context might lead us to expect KTB 'write', but
      > this is not possible, because of the double T and the N, which matches
      > the N in the alphabet on the bottom line; the k could be the
      > conjunction kiy, and ttn a verb from ntn 'give'; my interpretation is
      > "I see that the eye gives the breath of a sign (' T again, 'letter')
      > to the ear".
      >
      > Notice that there is no W in the word 't in this document.
      >
      > Another possible occurrence is on Byblos tablet D from the Bronze Age,
      > written in the WS logo-syllabary (lines 23-24):
      >
      > pa ti sa ta ru ni 'u ya ta ta la ki ti ma
      > "and (pa) they observe (tisataru) for me (-ni) the sign(s) ('uyatata)
      > for truth (la-kiti-ma)"
      >
      > This is in a covenant context, and the reading of the signs is
      > according to George Mendenhall (The syllabic inscriptions from Byblos,
      > 1985, 71) and myself (Brian E. Colless, The syllabic inscriptions of
      > Byblos: Text D, Abr-Nahrain [Ancient Near Eastern Studies] 31, 1993,
      > 1-35, 22). The root str is common Semitic for 'cover, protect'.
      >
      > Notice the Y in the noun taken as meaning 'sign' or 'signs' (but the -
      > a seems to be accusative singular, whereas -ti would be expected for
      > the plural form, as in matati 'lands', see below; it could be a
      > 'misprint' with so many instances of TA and TI in the line).
      > Mendenhall invokes Arabic 'ayat (cognate with Hbr 'ôt, 'sign, mark')
      > and assumes that the root is 'YT (not 'WT) .
      >
      > (2) hawatu, awâtum
      > The same Byblos tablet D (Colless 1993, 6-7) )begins thus (1-2a)
      > ha wa tu h.u ru ba `i lu 'i 'a tu 'u ni ma ta ti la ki ti
      > "The word(s) (hawatu) of H.uru-Ba`ilu: I bring (root 't') the lands
      > (matati) to myself (-ni), to truth (la-kit(t)i)"
      >
      > For my part this reading immediately gives me confidence that the
      > values Mendenhall has assigned to the syllabograms are correct, though
      > I altered a few of them on my own table of signs:
      > http://collesseum.googlepages.com/westsemiticsyllabary
      >
      > Ugaritic has plenty of examples of hwt 'word', and the initial h- may
      > have been present in Akkadian (right? but not written?)
      >
      > The Akkadian awâtum is said to come from awûm 'speak'.
      >
      > In this connection, the Hebrew word hawah has been studied by Meir
      > Lubetski (Religion, 20, 1990, 217-232); it is usually given the
      > meaning 'desire', and the basic meaning may be aspiration, exhalation,
      > but could also be outbreathings, utterances in Psalm 52:4, 9, and 91:3).
      >
      > Finally, with regard to your question, there may be a connection
      > between everything in this section (roots HW and AWU, breathing out)
      > but not with the 'sign, mark' words in part 1.
      >
      > Brian Colless
      > Massey University, NZ
      >
      >
      > On 30/03/2009, at 11:45 PM, X.Wang wrote:
      >
      >> Dear Colleagues,
      >>
      >> I am currently trying to publish a review article on the meaning of
      >> the sign of Cain. Hopefully another one following up will be on the
      >> subject of fratricide. This current one is expected to be a
      >> philological foundation-building for the next.
      >>
      >> Moberly's 2008 Harvard Theological Review article and Fox's 1974
      >> Revue Biblique article are my major references for the current
      >> paper. I hope to present in a few more supporting points for
      >> Moberly's view that the sign of Cain was actually provided in the
      >> Biblical text. The sign is a judgement made by YHWH.
      >>
      >> My academic command in Biblical Hebrew and Semitics in general and
      >> the availablity of references in Beijing can only allow for such a
      >> tiny project. Hope it can bring me back a little bit to the Biblical
      >> world.
      >>
      >> During the preparation of the paper, I came up with quite a crazy
      >> idea: If in BH, as some have argued, the verbal root aleph-waw-taw
      >> is actually derived from the noun aleph-waw-taw, i.e., 'oth, is it
      >> imaginable that the noun was related to the Old Babylonian awa:tum?
      >> I am wondering if this idea is worthy of a passing note in the paper.
      >>
      >> I believe I have a lot of specilists in this list to learn from for
      >> the question. Enlighten me if you happen to know any information
      >> related to the etymology of 'oth. Thank all in advance.
      >>
      >> Sincerely yours,
      >> Xianhua
      >> Dr. Xianhua Wang, Associate Professor
      >> School of History, Beijing Normal University
      >> 19# Xinjiekouwai Dajie, Beijing 100875, China
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Charles Ellwood Jones
      >> ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ 2009-03-17 04:58:57
      >> ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ ANE-2
      >> ÿÿÿÿÿÿ
      >> ÿÿÿÿÿÿ [ANE-2] New OI Publication Online
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      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
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