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Re: Essene etymology
>One of the etymologies proposed for Essene was a form
found in some Aramaic dialects of
plural XSY' (presumably something like Xassaya (but
who knows the vocalization at that time. < [Michael Stone].
Why would it be Xassaya (implying a dagesh hazaq in the samekh)? If we
assume no dagesh (note that Jastrow gives both ASA and ASSA for healer) --
or alternatively if we assume hebrew Xasiyn or Xasiyd, neither of which
have dagesh in the Samekh -- then the following occurs to me:
Wouldn't the initial Xet, as a guttural introducing an unstressed open
syllable, have been pointed with Xataf-pataX? This of course is half-way
between an "a" and an "e" -- which could account for the rendering Essene
with an E rather than Assene with an A, thus answering the vocalization ques-
tion that someone asked a while back.