F L E E T I N G   L A B I A L S

 

 

ROOT

ROOT

VOWEL USED

WORD

MEANING

BIBLICAL/

MODERN

ב ג

G . B

A

gav;

gav

back, hunch, swelling;

back

B

B M

ן ב ג

G . B

I

gibben

hunch of the back

B M

ב ג

G . B

O

gov

pit, hole

M

א ב ג

(Aramaic)

G . B .

U

guba

pit, hole

(also Daniel’s)

B

ב ג

G . B

E

gev;

gev

pool;

depression, hollow

B

א ב ג

G . B .

E E

gev’;

gev’

pond;

depression, hollow

B M

M

ו ג

G . W

A

gaw

back

B M

ו ג

G . W

E

gew;

gew

back;

community

B M

B

ה ו ג

G . W

E A

gewa;

gewa;

back,

body

B

M

ה י ו ג

G . W . .

E I

gewiy

corpse

M

י ו ג

G . W

O I

goy

crowd, people

B M

ף ג

G . P

A

gaph;

gaphaim

back;

wing(s), limbs

B

M

ה פ ו ג

G . P .

U A

guph’

corpse

B M

 

 

This table, inspired on the adventures of the hunch one may have on his back, shows how in Hebrew the three consonants B, W and P alternate in words with comparable meanings. This may be explained by the fact that when alphabetic writing began, and spoken language had to be registered in alphabetic signs, not everything was clear-cut in the pronunciation of the words of the existing language.

 

In the first place there must have been variations in pronunciation in different places and by different people. Secondly, the scholars of that time probably could not always define well the roots of all words, especially of different words with identical sounds in some positions. Thirdly, the job obviously was not done singlehanded.

 

Differences in spelling were inevitable.

 

Interesting is also the use made of vowels in differentiating messages of the same root .

 

 

 

 

 
Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: Thursday 10 January 2013 at 19.41.46