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Re: orion Spoken DSS Hebrew

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Many thanks to John for his useful remarks; it is a pleasure to see
substantive discussion that advances without taking up pre-established
positions. And I quite agree that we cannot in the nature of things be very
definite on the issue of Aramaic vs. Hebrew. But with respect to my image
of code-switching, I didn't really have immigrants in mind. The picture I
get from examining the inscriptional evidence is of the gradual emergence
of Aramaic in the Levant from the 9th-8th century and later, and, as Knauf
noted in his review of Jo-Anne Hackett's book on the Deir `Alla
inscriptions, there are indications of contact-language phenomena, in which
Aramaic exerts pressure on a local Canaanite dialect. This picture seems to
be reflected in the textual tradition, in which we find at least some
Aramaic text preserved in the HB, but also in such an ad hoc collection as
that in Qumran-- which I, by the way, quite agree has the character of a
heterodox collection, rather than a sectarian library.
As I've said, though-- BH shows few signs of actual linguistic "influence"
from Aramaic, although there are a fair number of loans. Real lexical
influence is determinable first when it can be demonstrated that its use is
unconscious, as when a German schoolgirl asked me, back when I was teaching
at the Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, "Wie heisst ´Baby´ eigentlich auf
Englisch?" ("What is ´baby´ called in English?"). What we have is evidence
of some kind of Nebeneinander of the two languages; the extent of the
contact surfaces between them and the size and relationships between the
respective Hebrew-speaking and Aramaic-speaking groups seems to me to be a
matter of conjecture.

With best regards,

Fred Cryer