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orion Orion: The Distinction between Domains

Yes, Fred, you did misunderstand me.

'How' and 'What' are two different domains.
        Domain 1 is scribal training: How.
        Domain 2 is scribal performance: What.

Domain 1, 'How', training must engender totally and completely
automatic, even robotic, responses.  The 'How' must be mastered
first to leave a scribe (or any performer of a learned skill)
free to concentrate on the 'What'.

Domain 2, 'What', in the case of scribes, is primarily the
copying of texts and the taking of dictation.

To put this difference between Domains in practical terms:
A court stenographer stops a trial to say: "I forgot 'HOW'
to write the symbol for "knife" and missed the rest of the
testimony.  The witness has to repeat everything because I
got lost and couldn't keep up with 'WHAT' was said."

This particular steno would not be employed very long... and
neither would someone who claimed to be a professional scribe
and didn't know HOW at any period from 3300 BCE to the present.

Of course we find scribal errors, particularly in copied texts,
but - there is no contradiction.  Orthographic variance and the
apparent freedom of text choice are in Domain 2:  WHAT. Trained
scribes write *what* they hear; they copy *what* they see.

All the best,


PS: Actually, Fred, there is quite a bit of evidence for distinctions
among dialects. A number of people have written on the subject, for

James R. Davila, "Qoheleth and Northern Hebrew," _Maarav_ 5-6 (1990)
        (Segert Festschrift) 69-87.

C. H. Gordon, "North Israelite Influence on Postexilic Hebrew,"
        _IEJ_ 5 (1955) 85-88.

Stephen A. Kaufman, "The Classification of the North West Semitic
        Dialects of the Biblical Period and Some Implications
        Thereof," in _The Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress
        of Jewish Studies: Panel Sessions, Hebrew and Aramaic_
        (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1988) 41-57.

Gary Rendsburg, _Linguistic Evidence for the Northern Origins of
        Selected Psalms_ (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990)

- - - . _Diglossia in Ancient Israel_. (New Haven: American Oriental
        Society, 1990).

Dr. R. I. S. Altman                                  RISA@CONCENTRIC.NET      
Voice/FAX: 602-834-6640                                   XNK@DELPHI.COM