Jewish-Languages Mailing List

January 2003

Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 22:54:48 +0200
From: Yohanan Friedmann <msyfried @ mscc.huji.ac.il>
Subject: Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam, vol. 26(2002) and 27(2002)

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The Institute of Asian and African Studies
The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation

is pleased to announce the publication of

Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam

vol. 26(2002) (278 pp.) and vol. 27(2002) (609 pp.)

Studies in honour of Shaul Shaked

[Several articles on Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Persian and Judaeo-Turkic are
included in vol. 27]

Volume 26 - Guest editor: Werner Sundermann (Freie Universitat, Berlin)

Table of Contents:

W. Sundermann, Foreword
J. Kellens, Reflexions sur la datation de Zoroastre
P.O. Skjaervo, Praise and blame in the Avesta: The poet-sacrificer and
 his duties
H. Humbach, Yama/Yima/Jamsed, king of Paradise of the Iranians
R. Frye, Ethnic identity in Ancient Iran
G. Gnoli, The "Aryan" language
A. Hultgard, Creation and emanation: Zoroastrian reflections on the
 cosmogonic myth
M. Macuch, The Talmudic expression "Servant of the Fire" in light of
 Pahlavi legal sources
G. Lazard, Encore la versification Pehlevie
A.V. Rossi, Middle Iranian "gund" between Aramaic and Indo-Iranian
W. Sundermann, "El" as an epithet of the Manichaean "Third Messenger"
P. Gignoux, Une amulette du Museum fur Islamische Kunst de Berlin
G. Veltri, The figure of the magician in Rabbinical literature:from
 empirical science to theology
J.R. Russel, Room at the inn: Armenian P'ut'kavank and Sroasa
G.G. Stroumsa, Thomas Hyde and the birth of Zoroastrian studies
J. Naveh, Some new Jewish Palestinian Aramaic amulets

Reviews by J.N. Ford and Meir M. Bar Asher

Volume 27 - Table of Contents

M.J. Kister, The struggle against Musaylima and the conquest of Yamama
A. Arazi, Les poemes sur la nativite du Prophete Muhammad a Grenade
 au XIV siecle
D. Shulman, Tamil praises and the Prophet: Kacimpulavar's "Tiruppukal"
M. Lecker, The levying of taxes for the Sasanians in pre-Islamic
 Medina (Yathrib)
R. Shani, Noah's Ark and the ship of faith
S. Sviri, Words of power and the power of words
M. Omidsalar, Orality, mouvance and editorial theory in Shahnama studies
M. Zakeri, Some early Persian apophthegms (tawqi`at)
H. Daiber, Der Aristoteleskommentar Alexander von Aphrodisias (2/3
 Jh. n. Chr) und der samaritanische Gelehrte Levi uber
 die Ewigkeit der Welt
J. Blau, Hebrew versus other languages of the medieval Jewish
 society
A. Levin, An interpretation of a difficult passage from the Kitab
G. Khan, The notion of transitive and intransitive actions in the
 early Karaite grammatical tradition
S Hopkins, On the Vorlage of an early Judaeo-Arabic translation of
 Proverbs
S. Stroumsa, From the earliest Judaeo-Arabic commentary on Genesis
T. Gindin, Three fragments of an early Judaeo-Persian "Tafsir" on
 Ezekiel
A. Netzer, Early Judaeo-Persian fragment from Zafreh
E. Yarshater, The Jewish dialect of Kashan
S. Soroudi, "Sofreh" of Elijah the prophet: a pre-Islamic Iranian
 ritual?
D. Shapira, Five Judaeo-Turkic notes
M. Amir Mo`ezzi Shahbanu, dame du pays d'Iran et mere des imams entre
 l'Iran pre-Islamique et le Shiisme imamite
E. Jeremias, Rabita in the classical Persian literay tradition: the
 impact of Arabic logic on Persian

Reviews by M. Schwartz, L. Chipman, S. Gunther and J. Rubanovich

------------------------------
ORDER-FORM

Special offer: Complete set of JSAI (27 volumes): $540 (special offers
for direct sales only, not through booksellers).
Each volume: $35. Postage and handling: $2.00 for the first volume; $1.00
for each additional volume. Individuals only may join the association
"From Jahiliyya to Islam". Membership costs $50. For their dues, members
receive two volumes of JSAI and a 30% discount on all Schloessinger
Memorial Foundation publications.
Cheques payable to the Schloessinger Memorial Foundation should be sent
to the Director of Publications, The Max Schloessinger Memorial
Foundation, Institute of Asian and African Studies, The Hebrew
University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel.
Please note that we cannot accept Eurocheques or credit cards, but
personal and institutional cheques in your currency are accepted.
Inquiries: E-mail: msjsai @ pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il / Fax: +972- 2-588-3658

Please send the following:
Name:
Address:

Yours sincerely,

-----------------------------
Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam
The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Fax: +972-2-588-3658

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 10:56:12 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: alphabet conference (fwd)

Forwarded message about a very interesting conference for graduate
students.
-Sarah

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 13:26:34 -0500 (EST)
From: Daniel Kokin <kokin @ fas.harvard.edu>
Cc: eboeckel @ fas.harvard.edu
Subject: alphabet conference


Dear All,

Greetings! I wanted to tell you all about this conference which I am
helping to organize and to encourage your participation and suggestions.
If you or others you know might are interested in presenting, please be
in touch with us! Pass the word on to others who might be interested.
Regards,

Daniel


CALL FOR PAPER ABstraCtS!

The Harvard Humanities Center Proudly Presents

Alphabetics
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, 2003

Letters are ubiquitous, multifunctional, and largely ignored. While each
discipline must to some degree acknowledge the contribution of alphabets
to knowledge production, transmission, and organization, rarely do
alphabetics take the center stage of scholarly attention across the
disciplines. This conference aims to expose participants from various
fields and the general academic community to the wide range of uses and
interpretations -literary, political, mystical, artistic, linguistic,
etc.- for which alphabets and their component letters have been marshaled.
Do letters constitute a universal repository of meaning? Is there a "the
Alphabet"?
All proposals treating letters, alphabets, or alternate writing system are
welcome, but special consideration will be given to topics that fall into
one or more of the following areas:

Writing Systems
(History, development, and nature of various writing systems;
transliteration and meaning; typography; paleography; printing)

Letter as Symbol
(Letters in math or scientific notation, alphabet as code, semiotics,
mystical alphabets, music, alphabet as organizational concept)

Letter in Visual Arts, Letter as Visual Art
(Alphabet and architecture, textuality of art, visual literacy, letter in
film, calligraphy, human alphabets, digital effects, watermarks)

Literary Effects of the Alphabet
(Combinatorial literature, letter play [e.g. figured poetry, alphabet
rhymes, letter games, puns, rebuses, acrostics, palindromes, anagrams,
lipograms, univocalics, spoonerisms], alphabet in psychoanalysis
(especially Lacan), chirography, children's literature, primers)

Alphabets and Society
(History of the book, orthographic reforms, nation and alphabet, religion
and alphabet, literacy, the teaching of alphabets, the signature)

Special Conference Events:
1. A Concert of Baroque Alphabetic Music
2. Printing Press Demonstration (tentative)
3. Keynote Address (Speaker TBA)
4. Houghton Library Exhibition: 16 March-30 April

Please submit e-mail abstracts of up to 500 words to
alphabet @ fas.harvard.edu by
January 31, 2003.
Include your name, university, department, area of specialization,
and suggestions you may have for the Houghton exhibit!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Erika Boeckeler (Comparative Literature) and Daniel Kokin (History)
Conference Organizers

Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 23:59:56 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: alphabet conference (fwd) => Rashi script

On the Antiquity of the (so-called) Rashi Script
================================================

Dan "Moonhawk" Alford wrote:

> ... one Sanskrit tradition closer to the writing demands keeping
> the sounds accurate in order to preserve their vibrational power
> even if the verbal meaning fades; another, spoken, tradition demands
> staying with the meaning while the regional sounds become variable.

When the sound of a letter changes, for example:

aleph - GHT/CHS --> T --> current glottal stop (written as ? below).
The Rashi aleph is similar to a modern het. This is evidence that
the ancient aleph once had a somewhat het-like sound.

bet - MB --> B
The Rashi bet looks somewhat like an M turned 90 deg clockwise.
Compare Latin mansio = abode & Hebrew BayiS; mausoleum & beis-3olam.

heh - DH --> H
It seems the ancient heh had a DH sound. This may explain why
heh is the definite article in Hebrew while "the" has this function
in English.

consonantal vav - F --> V

het1 - W --> KH (written as X below)
Compare ancient Greek digamma and Germanic Wynn.
het2 - X = KS --> KH Compare English/Spanish Mexico.

yod - G/K --> Y

mem - M --> W a "lazy" mem (made with the mouth not fully closed)
sometimes sounds like a W in other languages.

aiyin - G/K --> almost soundless velar (written as 3 below)

tzadi - S --> TZ The Rashi tzadi has a thin S shape.

shin - D/T --> SH (note the T in English -tion and -tial suffixes)
The Rashi shin looks like a modern tet turned 90 deg clockwise.
This is evidence that the ancient shin had a tet-like sound.
SHeN = tooth. Compare TaN = jackal, TaNiN = crocodile. Giving the
ancient shin a dental sound makes SHeN cognate with L dens and
Sanskrit dánta; and LaTiN/LaDiNo related to LaSHoN = tongue.

sounds of resh/nun/lamed rotate. Often: lamed = N, nun = R, resh = L.

Both of the Sanskrit "traditions" mentioned by Moonhawk occur in
(proto)Hebrew.

1 - The word retains its original spelling but acquires the new sound.
Example 1: bet-aleph = come, come in
BaCHS --> Ba? (where ? = glottal stop)
Compare Bacchus, Gk god of wine/fertility; female body-part box.
For semantic range, compare English "come on to" = sexual advance
and the noun "come" = semen.

Example 2: "Fire, Women, and Other Dangerous Things"
aleph-shin oCHSa:D --> ?a:SH = fire
Compare oxid(ation), the essence of fire.

*shin-heh-aleph D/T-[D]H-oGHT --> aleph-shin-heh ?iSHaH = wife, woman.
Compare daughter/Tochter. In ancient times, the Hebrew wife went to
live with the tribe of her husband. For everyone else, she was like
another daughter. Only for her husband was she a wife.

After the aleph lost its sound, it usually moved to the beginning
of the Hebrew word, so most correspondences (today) have the form:
aleph-C1-(C2) = C1-(C2)-GHT.

2 - The word retains its original sound but becomes respelled with
other letters that afterwards most nearly represent that sound.
I call this the NBOW (new bottle, old whine) phenomena. This may
involve "borrowing back" the original sound from a neighboring
language in which that sound did not change.

Examples:
het-shin replaces aleph. In Aramaic, het-dalet replaces aleph.

*aleph-bet = 1,2 = *to count --> het-shin-bet KHaTaV --> KHaSHaV
= to count. Compare Latin abacus < Gk ábax = a counting board.

*aleph-bet-lamed --> het-shin-mem-lamed=(color of) amber/electrum
Ezekiel 1:4 --> XaSHMaL = electricity
electrum = an ancient amber-colored alloy of gold and silver.
Amber becomes charged with static electricity when rubbed.

*nun-aleph-saf --> nun-het-shin-taf NaXoSHeT = copper.
Compare het-yod-nun-heh XeNaH = henna (copper colored)

*nun-aleph --> nun-het-shin = snake. Compare Eunectes murinus
= anaconda < anacandaia < Sinhalese henakandaya

[This is easier to read with a Courier non-proportional font.]

Another example: Hebrew has replaced the presumed *heh = DH with
a dalet. Greek and Latin lost the D in the DH and have an H-sound:

DaM = blood Gk HeMo-/HaeMo- Gk HaiMa = blood
DaMem = bleeds Gk HyMen = membrane (that bleeds when
punctured)
?aDoM = red compare earth (below) and Gk erythrós = red
?aDaM = Adam, man, mankind Latin HoMo = man, HuMman; but compare Gk
DeMos = people, population
?aDaMah = ground, earth = Latin HuMus ~ Gk cHaMaí = on the ground
DiMooY = image Latin iMaGinem < imago=a copy, likeness
DoNaG = (bees)wax OE HuNiG = honey
DVoRah = bee OE HyF = (bee)hive [maybe]
DaG = fish OE HaCa = hake
DaG = fish MD HoK = hook, angle; OHG hako=hook
DaGaR = hatch ME HaCchen; ~ MHG hecken = to
hatch
DuR = circle, Talmudic: rim Gk HáLos = circle, halo
DaG < *DHaG and Gk iCH-THi = fish are reversals of each other.

3 - Both 1 and 2 occur, creating synonyms where 2 seemingly
different words have the same meaning.
Example:
SHaD = breast This word has the older letters but the newer sound.
Compare [T]Chad (an area south of Lybia < LeV = heart,
south of the Gulf of Sidra = SHiDRa = spine, backbone
on an anthropomorphic body-part map of north Africa.

DaD = breast This word has the newer letters but the older sound.
Compare teat/tit; titer/titrate (drop by drop).

4 - It is well-documented that "Rashi" script was adopted by printers
as a convenient method to make a clear visual distinction between
Talmudic text and later commentary, especially that of Rashi. But
the script is *not* an arbitrary design. If the shape of a Rashi
letter significantly differs from the standard script, the change
represents an ancient difference in pronunciation.

The pronunciation elicited by the Rashi script is OLDER. In other
words, it is as though the printers used an older script to represent
newer writings simply because the older script was (at that time)
still recognizable/readable and sufficiently "different" to accomplish
their goal. The Rashi script may have been used by descendents
of Jews who were not taken to Babylonia.

5 - Stan Tenen of the Meru Foundation also believes the Rashi script is
older than the Meruba Ashuris. His analysis is based on letter-shapes
generated by images of the hand and not on the analysis of letter-
sounds. See: http://www.ottmall.com/mj_ht_arch/v26/mj_v26i01.html#CF

By the way, the idea that hand/sign-language preceded written language
is not far-fetched. In a hunter-gatherer society, silent hand signals
would enable a group to communicate without alerting their prey.
American Indians were able to communicate coast-to-coast with a fairly
uniform sign language long after their spoken languages had become
mutually unintelligible.

6. Based on the ancient sounds suggested above, YH+VH becomes meaningful.

dosh kham,
Israel Cohen
izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 15:16:23 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: alphabet conference (fwd) => Rashi script

Many points of the discussion below will be absolutely destroyed when the
author of the discussion below will learn basic Hebrew paleography. The
first Hebrew printers who used
Rashi script for the first edition of Rashi commentary on the Pentateuch
(completed February 18, 1475) didn't invent the script and didn't fashion it
not in compliance with the sounds or with the meaning. This was a Sephardic
[i.e. Spanish] handwriting of the 14th to 15th century, which Spanish Jews
brought (in the form of manuscripts and in their habit of writing). There is
no evidence of Rashi script before 13th century. This beautiful writing is a
product of Spain and Spanish Jewish culture close to its final period. The
paleographers will rather relate Rashi script (which a Rabbinic sub-type,
i.e. semi-cursive) to Sephardic quadrate script than to any other script.
Later when the Rashi script was accepted for Rabbinic writings by Ashkenazim
it received slightly different shape closer to what is known as Weibertaich
(i.e. German type for women).
Thus ascribing shapes of Rashi letters to a particular sounds and shapes
especially of Devanagari writing is pointless (even we know that some
Cabalists ascribed certain meanings to characters).
Genetically Hebrew alphabet is close to other Semitic alphabets and it is
almost certain about connection of cursive Heh to Arabic ha in the middle
position, Hebrew lamed to Syriac and Arabic lam, Hebrew Tsade to Arabic
emphatic sad, Hebrew mem to Syriac mim, Hebrew nun to Arabic nun, Hebrew
resh to Arabic ra, Hebrew `ayin to Arabic `ayn, and Hebrew taw to Arabic ta.
Some time similarity can be demonstrated if one rotates or turns a letter
around presupposed axis. Many of these data are known from the books on
history of writing systems.
There is no historically verified data whatsoever to state that Spanish Jews
were not descendants of the Jews who were exiled to Babylon in 586 B.C.E.
(even some of the modern scholars made them
descendants of the Berbers).

Hayim Y. Sheynin

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 16:52:08 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: Hebrew volume

This info is from Linguist List:
http://linguistlist.org/issues/14/14-125.html

LINGUIST List 14.125
Tue Jan 14 2003
Books: Language Description: Izre'el, Mendelson (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <marisa @ linguistlist.org>
Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are
available at the end of this issue.
Directory

1. izreel, Speaking Hebrew: Izre'el, Mendelson (eds.)

Message 1: Speaking Hebrew: Izre'el, Mendelson (eds.)
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2003 13:23:47 +0000
From: izreel <izreel @ post.tau.ac.il>
Subject: Speaking Hebrew: Izre'el, Mendelson (eds.)

Title: Speaking Hebrew
Subtitle: Studies in the Spoken Language and in Linguistic Variation
in Israel

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: The Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies

Book URL: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/semitic/te'udaabstracts.html
Availability: Available

Editor: Shlomo Izre'el, Tel Aviv University
Editor: Margalit Mendelson, Tel Aviv University

Hardback: ISBN: NA, Pages: , Price: 50USD

Abstract:

The subject of this volume being offered to scholars of the Hebrew
language and its devotees is spoken Hebrew. Its nucleus is a meeting
of scholars that occurred in February 2000 at Emory University in
Atlanta (Georgia, USA). Papers were delivered by team members of The
Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) and other scholars invited for
this purpose, and questions were discussed pertaining to the
compilation and design of the corpus. At the initiative of Yair
Hoffman, editor of the Teuda series, other scholars engaged in the
research of the Hebrew language were asked to contribute from their
research to this volume. These articles, to a large extent,
supplement the writings of the CoSIH workshop seminar, because they
show from various and diverse aspects the pressing need for compiling
a corpus of spoken Israeli Hebrew.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

* The articles marked with an asterisk are products of the research
workshop of The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) (Atlanta
2000). These articles will be published in their original, English
form in: Benjamin Hary (ed.). Corpus Linguistics and Modern Hebrew:
Towards the Compilation of The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew
(CoSIH). Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University, The Chaim Rosenberg School of
Jewish Studies.

FORWARD by Yair Hoffman, Series Editor
PREFACE by Shlomo Izre'el

Corpus Linguistics and Computational Linguistics
* John Sinclair CORPUS LINGUISTICS: THE STATE OF THE ART
* John Sinclair LEXICAL GRAMMAR: A NEW LOOK AT LANGUAGE
Shuly Wintner HEBREW COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS: PAST AND FUTURE

Language and Society in Israel
* Eliezer Ben-Rafael MULTICULTURALISM AND MULTILINGUALISM IN ISRAEL
Muhammad Amara HEBREW AMONG THE ARABS IN ISRAEL: SOCIOLINGUISTIC
ASPECTS
* Otto Jastrow THE CORPUS OF SPOKEN PALESTINIAN ARABIC (COSPA)
* Elana Shohamy and Bernard Spolsky FROM MONOLINGUAL TO MULTILINGUAL?
EDUCATIONAL LANGUAGE POLICY ISRAEL

Linguistic Variation
* Yaakov Bentolila LINGUISTIC VARIATION ACROSS GENERATIONS IN ISRAEL
Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald LANGUAGE VARIETIES IN CONTEMPORARY HEBREW
Zohar Livnat ON LANGUAGE, LAW, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Spoken Hebrew in Israel and Its Study
Moshe Bar-Asher MODERN HEBREW AND ITS CLASSICAL BACKGROUND
* Shlomo Izreel THE EMERGENCE OF SPOKEN ISRAELI HEBREW
* Shmuel Bolozky PHONOLOGICAL AND MORPHOLOGICAL VARIATION IN SPOKEN
HEBREW
* Geoffrey Khan THE STUDY OF MODERN HEBREW SYNTAX
Yael Reshef THE SOCIOLINGUISTIC PHENOMENON OF V FORM IN HEBREW IN
THE BRITISH MANDATE PERIOD
Ron Kuzar THE SIMPLE IMPERSONAL CONSTRUCTION IN TEXTS REPRESENTED AS
COLLOQUIAL HEBREW
Esther Borochovsky - Bar Aba BETWEEN SPOKEN AND WRITTEN LANGUAGE:
EXAMINING PARALLEL SPOKEN AND WRITTEN TEXT
Yitzhak Shlesinger POLARITY IN LANGUAGE LEVELS IN LITERARY TEXTS
Tamar Sovran SPOKEN AND POETIC LANGUAGE IN ISRAELI MODERN POETRY
Il-Il Yatziv FROM TRANSCRIPTION OF SPOKEN TEXT TO ITS REPRESENTATION
ON A GRID SET

Toward the compilation of The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH)
* Giora Rahav POPULATION SAMPLING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A
REPRESENTATIVE CORPUS
* Benjamin Hary and Shlomo Izreel THE PREPARATORY MODEL OF THE CORPUS
OF SPOKEN ISRAELI HEBREW (COSIH)
* Regina E. Werum METHODOLOGICAL REMARKS ON CREATING THE CORPUS OF
SPOKEN ISRAELI HEBREW (CoSIH)

The volume (Hebrew with English abstracts) is available (for $50
including shipment) from:

The Chaim Rosenberg School of Jewish Studies
Tel-Aviv University
POB 39040
IL-61390 Tel Aviv
Israel
Fax +972-3-640 7031
email: jewishsc @ post.tau.ac.il
Lingfield(s): Language Description

Subject Language(s): Hebrew (Language Code: HBR)

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 17:36:38 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: searing for Ladino speakers in various countries

Please respond directly to Professor Bernie Rang, El Camino
College: fbrang @ aol.com

-Sarah

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2003 18:39:13 EST
From: FBRang @ aol.com
To: sbenor @ Stanford.EDU
Subject: Ladino

Ms. Sarah Bunin Benor
I am a Spanish professor at El Camino College in Torrance, California. I am
going on sabbatical leave in the Spring of 2004. I want to follow the path
of some of the Sephardim that left northern Spain (Gerona) and traveled
across the northern rim of the Mediterranean ending their trek in Istanbul,
Turkey. I am most interested in contacting Ladino communities in Italy,
Rumania, Bulgaria and Turkey (Iran probably is not a good idea at this time).
 I am most interested in finding written texts if possible. I would like to
see if the personal "a" (accusative "a") was ever a part of their Spanish and
if not, when it disappeared from use to identify the the direct object
(accusative nouns). I have read current texts on Salom from Istanbul as well
as a number of collections of poems and folklore stories made available from
Bilikent University in Turkey. I have also read a dissertation by Angelica
Avcikurt at Hacettepe University ("Non-Regional Variation in Present-Day
Judeo-Spanish in Istanbul".) I have yet to encounter any 20th or 21st
century use of the personal "a" with the direct object or accusative noun
being identified simply by syntax and the logic of the sentence. I am not
interested in trying to identify the cause of this phenomenon (unless I
stumble on a clear and easy solution) but to identify "when" this happened
and if it happened in all the countries across the northern rim. I am sure
there have been mulitple influences including French, Italian and Rumanian as
well as the Slavic and Turkic language hosts. I am not a Hebrew speaker, nor
am I Jewish, but I believe Hebrew does not identify the accusative noun this
way either.
I would appreciate any ideas, opinions or observations you may have. If you
were to have any contacts that I could use in those countries as well, I
would really appreciate you putting us into contact with each other.
Thanks in advance for your consideration and thoughts.
Professor Bernie Rang
El Camino College
fbrang @ aol.com
brang @ elcamino.edu

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 08:11:35 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: Rashi script

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin --

A few items were not clear to me.

> Many points of the discussion below will be absolutely
> destroyed when the author of the discussion below will
> learn basic Hebrew paleography.

Which points? Were you referring to me [as the author]?

> The first Hebrew printers who used Rashi script for the
> first edition of Rashi commentary on the Pentateuch
> (completed February 18, 1475) didn't invent the script
> and didn't fashion it ...

Agreed. I maintain that the "Rashi" script is *older* than the
Asheris Meruba and that the Italian printers who used it for
Talmudic commentaries simply used an existing, recognizable
script.

> ... not in compliance with the sounds or with the meaning.

But I do maintain that there *is* a relationship between
the sound and shape of letters. That is, letter shapes are
not "arbitrary". For example, the Cyrillic letter for the
SH sound was intentionally copied from the Hebrew shin.

> This was a Sephardic [i.e. Spanish] handwriting of the 14th
> to 15th century, which Spanish Jews brought (in the form of
> manuscripts and in their habit of writing).

This is commonly known. In Oct 1996, Herb Basser wrote:
http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/orion/archives/1996b/msg00536.html
what is called rashi script is in fact a common ordinary
sephardic script for hebrew used by sephardic scribes all
through the middle ages. when printers needed to distinguish
between the commentary text and the biblical text itself they
choose the sepahrdic script type -- which was well known --
sephardic mss were read by northern europeans and vice versa;
rashi's was the first commentary [printed in this script so
the script] became known as rashi ...

> There is no evidence of Rashi script before 13th century.

With this I cannot agree. Stan Tenen maintains that the script
of the Elephantine papyrus (approx 300 BCE) is closer in style
to the so-called Rashi script than to the Asheris meruba script.

And I maintain that the Rashi aleph and shin (in particular)
represent the older sound of letters whose sound had changed
long before the 13th century.

> Thus ascribing shapes of Rashi letters to a particular sounds
> and shapes especially of Devanagari writing is pointless

Did anyone relate Rashi letters to Davanagari, a script used for
Sanskrit, Hindi and other Indian languages?

However, when a Rashi aleph resembles a (current) het, that
indicates the aleph may have had a het-like sound. And when a
Rashi shin resembles a (current) tet [rotated 90 deg clockwise],
that indicates the shin may have had a dental D/T sound.

I maintain there is independent linguistic evidence to
corroborate a GHT/CHS -> T -> glottal stop sound change
for the aleph, and a D/T -> SH sound change for the shin.

> There is no historically verified data whatsoever to state that
> Spanish Jews were not descendants of the Jews who were exiled
> to Babylon in 586 B.C.E.

I did not say anything about the genealogy of Spanish Jews.
A Rashi-like script could have been taken to Spain by the
descendents of Jews who were or were not exiled in Babylon.

dosh kham,
Israel Cohen
izzy_cohen&bmc.com

Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 09:41:29 -0500
From: rdhoberman @ notes.cc.sunysb.edu
Subject: Re: Rashi script

Izzy Cohen wrote, "However, when a Rashi aleph resembles a (current) het,
that indicates the aleph may have had a het-like sound. And when a Rashi
shin resembles a (current) tet [rotated 90 deg clockwise], that indicates
the shin may have had a dental D/T sound."

The sounds represented by alef and Het (the Middle-Eastern, pharyngeal
Het), are indeed similar: they're both produced in the throat, without any
involvement of the organs of the mouth (tongue, palate, teeth, etc.). The
sounds of shin and Tet are similar, both produced with the front part of
the tongue. This is no mystery, it is obvious to anyone with a knowledge
of elementary phonetics, and it has nothing to do with the shapes of the
letters. What the sounds of alef and Het have in common they share with
&ayin and he, and what shin and Tet have in common they share with tav.

Anyone who wants to see an alphabet in which the shapes of the letters
really do correlate with the articulation of the sounds they represent
should look at a chart of the Korean alphabet, called "Hangul". It is the
only one in the world that has such systematic correlations.

Bob
___________________________________________
Robert Hoberman
Professor of Linguistics and Judaic and Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Linguistics
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:32:16 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

Dear Izzy:

Don't you think that the words 'bear' (verb) and the noun 'bear' are the
products of homonymy (tsimudim, or lashon nofel al lashon in Hebrew),
because the origin of the first one in Indo-European from the words
having general meaning 'to carry', while the second one in origin refers
to 'brown' (color). So bear-ing and DOVeN-ing could not be parallel in
etymology.

There were many attempts to find etymology of davnen. I didn't find any of
them to be sufficient. What it comes to my mind now, that it can be
imitative formation to express monotonous and repetitious speech
accompanied with frequent shaking or noding.

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin
Adjunct Professor of Jewish Literature
Head of Reference Services
Gratz College
7605 Old York Rd.
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:54:12 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

I just replied the same to a different set of addresses. I apologize if
someone will get this second time.

Izzy,

You can with the same success to state that it comes from English DOVe (the
bird of peace),
because the Jews are constantly pray for peace (shalom), but this is of
course a joke.
Don't you think that the words 'bear' (verb) and the noun 'bear' are the
products of homonymy
(tsimudim, or lashon nofel al lashon in Hebrew), because the origin of the
first one in Indo-European languages is from the words having general
meaning 'to carry', while the second one in origin refers to 'brown'
(color). So bear-ing and DOVeN-ing could not be parallel in etymology.

There were many attempts to find etymology of davnen. I didn't find any of
them to be sufficient. What it comes to my mind now, that it can be
imitative formation to express monotonous and repetitious speech
accompanied with frequent shaking or noding.

Also the word 'nave' as an architectural detail is most probably homonym of
'nave' (from Lat. 'navis' ship. It is akin to navel. Thus 'navigare' doen't
have anything in common with bear-ing or daven-ing.

Best wishes,

Dr. Hayim Y. Sheynin
Adjunct Professor of Jewish Literature
Head of Reference Services
Gratz College
7605 Old York Rd.
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:22:04 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

Hayim Sheynin [mailto:hsheynin @ gratz.edu] wrote:
>>
Don't you think that the words 'bear' (verb) and the noun
'bear' are the products of homonymy (tsimudim, or lashon
nofel al lashon in Hebrew), because the origin of the first
one in Indo-European from the words having general meaning
'to carry', while the second one in origin refers to 'brown'
(color). So bear-ing and DOVeN-ing could not be parallel in
etymology.

There were many attempts to find etymology of davnen. I
didn't find any of them to be sufficient. What it comes
to my mind now, that it can be imitative formation to
express monotonous and repetitious speech accompanied
with frequent shaking or noding.
>>

Dear Dr. Sheynin --

I agree that bear (to carry) and bear (the brown animal)
are homonyms in English. And "davening" has nothing to do
with carrying a load or with the color brown. It also has
nothing to do with the sound "bear".

But, it may have something to do with bears-in-the-sky,
the constellations Ursa major and Ursa minor (which
includes the North star), and with the process of
determining one's orientation.

I suspect the same semantics that accounts for bear
(the animal) --> (getting one's) bearings [in English]
may account for Hebrew DoV --> Yiddish davening.
Although the Yiddish word for bear is BeR, the meaning
of Hebrew DoV would be well-known to Yiddish-speakers.

dosh kham,
izzy
izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 13:09:30 -0500
From: K I Weiser <kweiser @ yorku.ca>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

I am no expert on the etymology of davenen or linguistics but I would like
to remind you that doven (as opposed to daven) is a minority pronunciation
in Yiddish and, if I am not mistaken, used chiefly in the tote-mome-loshn
dialect (e.g. Podolia, Rumania) region.

Kalman Weiser

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 11:15:13 -0800
From: Yona Sabar <sabar @ humnet.ucla.edu>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

Dear Hayyim,

Talking about homophones, which one do you have in mind by "Jews are
constantly pray for peace"? It seems that no matter how much we pray
for peace, we are still a prey of war...

Hag MeLeK sameaH,

Yona

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 21:54:49 +0200
From: Gideon Goldenberg <msgidgol @ mscc.huji.ac.il>
Subject: amusement on the web

Our discussion forums have become a real source of amusement, with
reflexes of word-games once popular among Hebrew-speaking children,
like
Al tedovev et ha-dov
Al texattel et he-xatul
Al tesalleq et ha-seleq
Al tek(h)ofef et ha-qof
Al te&orer et ha-&ir
Al tekhapper &al ha-kfar etc. etc.
Such refreshing humour disguised as etymology can rejuvenate grown-up
scholars. And I greatly admire Hayim Sheynin's hyper-delicate responses,
trying to bring us back to solid scholarship without offending anyone.
Yours, GG

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 15:30:24 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

A bare bear boar her cubs (born by the bourne), and, bearing them, yawned
utterly bored near the boar; all upon a Carrollesque game board.

These examples of punning lie at very the base of so much Jewish exegesis, that
it can be difficult to distinguish between contemporary methodologies.

I see the pun, an isolated phonosyntactic string used for another, as an event
of controlled and deliberate generation in a synchronic environment. Aliterate
or preterliterate speech groups are perfectly able to interpret such strings;
indeed, are able to use them to the end of investigation (e.g., a "folk"
etymology). These strings are apt to analysis since, in the acartesian
coordination of language, they are perceived as concrete linguistic entities,
still endowed with contrastive and structural differences. (Plato's Cratylus,
Lyon's dilemma of "mean"). A midrashic or kabbalistic pun certainly attempts
to extract and associate meaning from similarity [but also from
dissimilation]. Underneath, however, we are left with a string as an arbitrary
signifier, and the punner is, to some extent, aware of this. I would like to
ask George what constitutes the pun in Chinese, particularly, is difference of
tone {\ _ / -}admissible?

Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 20:05:14 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: Dictionary (fwd)

Please respond directly to Teddy.
-Sarah

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 10:12:04 -0800
From: Teddy1945 <teddy1945 @ cyberhotline.com>
To: editor @ jewish-languages.org
Subject: Dictionary

Hi,
I am trying to find an old Yiddish/Polish dictionary, it was published
in Warsaw before the war and one was published in Tel-Aviv in the 1950's
by "Nowiny i Kurier". I would appreciate any help in the above matter.
I thank you in advance and hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely,
Teddy

Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 01:04:43 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: puns => Job 19:20 => homonyms

Seth sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu wrote:

> A bare bear boar her cubs (born by the bourne), and, bearing them,
> yawned utterly bored near the boar; all upon a Carrollesque game
> board.

> ... I see the pun, an isolated phonosyntactic string used for
> another, as an event of controlled and deliberate generation
> in a synchronic environment. Aliterate or preterliterate speech
> groups are perfectly able to interpret such strings; indeed,
> are able to use them to the end of investigation (e.g., a "folk"
> etymology). These strings are apt to analysis since, in the
> acartesian coordination of language, they are perceived as
> concrete linguistic entities, still endowed with contrastive
> and structural differences. (Plato's Cratylus, Lyon's dilemma
> of "mean"). A midrashic or kabbalistic pun certainly attempts
> to extract and associate meaning from similarity [but also
> from dissimilation]. Underneath, however, we are left with
> a string as an arbitrary signifier, and the punner is, to
> some extent, aware of this. I would like to ask George what
> constitutes the pun in Chinese, particularly, is difference
> of tone {\ _ / -}admissible?

That is the most succinct analysis of the concept of punning
that I have ever seen.

Job 19:20 -- An Ancient Hebrew Pun ?
====================================

Representing aiyin by 3, I presume B'3oR SHiNai = by the skin
of my teeth [Job 19:20] is a euphemism for B'QoSHi = barely,
hardly, with difficulty. [The aiyin would have had a velar
G/K sound, as in 3aZa = Gaza).

Is there any other explanation for why this (generally)
agreed-upon meaning is given to this phrase?

Incidently, the English translation of this phrase is widely
understood by native English speakers even though few of them
know its origin.

The closest analogue I could find in English is:
SCaNT = barely enough --> SKiN of (my) Teeth
For scant, Random House online does include the meaning:
 7. Dial. scarcely; barely; hardly.

Homonyms
========
Someone asked:
> "what does 'lumber' (planks of wood) have
> to do with 'lumber' (to move slowly, ponderously) ?"

Peter Grey [correctly] said:
> Firstly, a word that has two different meanings may well
> be two separate words that have ended up with the same form.
> ... for example "cleave" = split, and cling to.

It may be interesting, however, to examine some of the
reasons why this occurs.

Reason 1:
Genuine (cognitive) metaphor, a la George Lakoff.
Using "lumber" as the example:

"Trunk of tree" is to "lumber" as
"Trunk of body" is to "lumbar".
So, thinking of one may cause you to think of the other.
According to Lakoff, the body-term probably came first.

Reason 2:
In some *other* language, two (or more) different
meanings are based on (near) homonyms. When speakers of that
language become speakers of *your* language, they take the
translation of one of those homonyms in your language and use
that word for all the meanings it had in their native language.

This may explain why the Hebrew sound MiSHPaT means both
"a gramatical sentence" and "the sentence (verdict) pronounced
by a judge". Or, viewed from the other direction, why the
English sound "sentence" has both of those meanings.

Or why Hebrew BaD = cloth, fabric; BaDaH = myth, fiction;
BaDa?i = liar results in English fabric = cloth and to
fabricate a (false) story. He made it up out of whole cloth.
There's not a stitch of truth in it. The children's yarn
"The Emperor's New Clothes" is based on this idea.

Hebrew ZaLiL = sound (tone) and sound (deep, dive, sink
--> submarine). The sound of English "sound" has the same
two meanings: sound (audible) and sound the depths, Puget
Sound, = to dive, as a whale.

Reason 3:
A foreign word is simply borrowed into your language with
its original meaning, but its sound is similar to an existing
word in your language. This process may be closest to Peter's
explanation (above). For example: Face the music = consequences.
Music = melody, tune, song already existed. Music = consequences
was probably borrowed into English from Yiddish MaSKoNe
mem-samekh-kuf-nun-aleph < Hebrew mem-samekh-kuf-nun-heh
MaSKaNaH = conclusion, inference, deduction MSKNH --> MuSiC

Why should this phrase enter American English at about 1850?
Probably the result of German-Jewish immigration to the States...
which preceded Eastern European Jewish immigration to the USA
by about 50 years.

Reason 4:
Simple parallel derivation from homonyms in a precursor language.
Example: Latin anima/animus --> English animated/animosity. But
compare Hebrew Roo'aX = spirit and (its reversal) XaRon (aF) = anger.

English swipe (swab/sweep) = stroke of a wiper and swipe = to steal.
Izzy thinks this word is a het-W parallel to Hebrew samekh-het-vet
SaXaV, which has the same two meanings. But compare Hebrew NaGaV
= to wipe and (its anagram/metathesis) GaNaV = to steal.

If you haven't become completely bored by now, let's lumber back
to the original question.

Hebrew shin-aiyin-mem-mem = boring, dull, ponderous;
Now, compare bored and board (of wood).
Next, compare board (of wood) and board (of directors).
In Hebrew, board (of directors) is Mo3eTZeT.
It contains aiyin-tzadi 3eTZ = wood.
American Indians use a "talking stick" at council meetings. See
http://www.councilfire.com/israel.htm

The Hebrew word for committee is Va3aD. This sounds quite like the
the English word WooD pronounced by a native speaker of German.
Would you derive Vatican from Va3aD KoHaNim = committee of priests? :-)

If you are asleep by now, you might be ZZZzzz... sawing wood.

dosh kham
Israel Cohen
izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 08:00:03 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: doven-ing, another Just-So-Story by izzy (humor)

DoVeN-ing
=========
An essential element of [Yinglish] DoVeN-ing =
"(congregational) praying" is the requirement
to face in the direction of Jerusalem.

The nave of older Western churches usually was
oriented towards Jerusalem. Compare navigate.

Random House online contains:

orient
9. to place so as to face the east, esp. to build
(a church) with the chief altar to the east and
the chief entrance to the west.

Likewise, Muslims face Mecca when praying.

Bear with me and I'll try to explain the connection
between DoVeN-ing and facing the right direction.

The two stars that form the pouring edge of the bowl of
the Big Dipper [Ursa Major = big bear] point to ...

Polaris
1. the polestar or North Star ... in the constellation
Ursa Minor [Little Bear]: the outermost star in the
handle of the Little Dipper.

This explains why, in English, the process of determining
the direction you face is called "getting one's bearings".

bearings
9. a horizontal direction expressed in degrees east
or west of ... north ...

The Hebrew word for bear is DoV.
Hence, DoVen-ing.

izzy, the tail-bearer
izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 16:22:30 -0500
From: George Jochnowitz <jochnowitz @ postbox.csi.cuny.edu>
Subject: bare facts

Haverim,

Fair is foul and fowl is fare (see Macbeth, Act 1, scene 1).

Why does a French person eat only one egg for breakfast? Because one egg is
an _oeuf_.

Why does an Israeli family eat only one chicken at dinner? Because one
chicken is an _of_.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Georges (Gershon)

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 16:36:33 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: bare facts

If foul is fare, can a chicken get you on the subway?
Sj

Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 15:49:14 -0500
From: George Jochnowitz <jochnowitz @ postbox.csi.cuny.edu>
Subject: orientation and puns

Haverim,

It is true that to get one's bearings is to orient oneself. Most Jews face
east when davening--even if we live in Eastern Europe, where facing
Jerusalem means facing south.

In the Orient, however, things are different. In the Hong Kong synagogue,
one faces west, which is the correct orientation.

I heard very little punning in China. In 1984, however, people used to say
about Prime Minister Hu Yaobang, "When Hu speaks (Hu shuo), it's nonsense
(hushuo). The tones were the same. So are the written characters. The
meaning of the surname Hu is 'westerner'. Westerners, who speak Altaic
languages, were understood as speaking _hushuo_.

I assume that the 1984 pun did not reflect public opinion about Hu. Five
years later, when Hu Yaobang died, students attending the memorial service
in Beijing did not leave Tiananmen Square when the service was over. That
was the start of Beijing Spring, which ended with the Tiananmen Massacre.

By the way, the word for 'beard' is _huzi_, since people from the west of
China may have beards. My own nickname in Chinese was _da huzi_ (big
beard), although most people called me Lao Qiao.

The word for 'four' in Chinese is _si_ (4th tone). The word for 'death' is
_si_ (3rd tone). Many people consider the number 4 unlucky.

The word for 'daddy' in Chinese is _baba_ (4th tone + zero tone). The word
for 'eight' is _ba_ (1st tone). Father's Day in Taiwan is August 8th, 8/8.

I don't know whether I've answered Seth's question.

George (Lao Qiao)

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 08:10:36 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: etymology of daven

While these folk etymologies and puns are fun, here's a question
about real etymology.

I've seen several ideas about the etymology of "daven," and none of them
has satisfied me. I came up with my own idea a few years ago when I was
working on a paper about Hebrew-origin verbs in Yiddish. I'd love to get
(serious) feedback on this idea:

In my paper, I explore non-periphrastic Hebrew-origin verbs
in Yiddish, such as the following:

Yiddish verb - Hebrew root
1. Kaysn ('to anger') - k.'.s.
2. Darshe(ne)n ('to preach') - d.r.sh.
3. Gazlen ('to plunder') - g.z.l.
4. Barkhe(ne)n ('to escape') - b.r.h.
5. Paske(ne)n ('to decide') - p.s.k.
6. Akhlen ('to eat') - '.k.l.
7. Zarkenen ('to throw') - z.r.q.
8. Harge(ne)n ('to kill') - h.r.g.

I argue that these verbs are derived from Hebrew verbal material but are
borrowed in an agentive nominal form, formed on analogy with agentives
like *darshan*. (If anyone would like to see the paper, let me know.)

Examples:
1. darshenen (Yid. 'to preach') < darshan (Heb./Yid. 'preacher') + -en
(Yid. verbal morpheme)
3. gazlen (Yid. 'to plunder') < gazlan (Heb./Yid. 'robber') [-en is
analyzed as the verbal morpheme]
2. hargenen (Yid. 'to murder') < *hargan (unattested but would be
Heb. 'murderer') + -en (Yid. verbal morpheme)

I realized that *davenen* has the same form as many of these verbs. It
could very well come from the Hebrew root d.b.b, ('speak, whisper' [which
is what one does while praying]) which would be davav in the present tense
(like darash, harag). The agentive form of this would be davvan (which
would become daban), but let's assume that the borrowers used the form
davan. The resulting Yiddish verb would be davenen.

Sarah Bunin Benor
Stanford University
Department of Linguistics

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:32:26 -0500
From: Sholem Berger <sholemberger @ hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Your suggestion seems very interesting, but I have some layperson's
questions. Of the pairs you cite, which are in fact attested in
Hebrew/Loshn-Kodesh besides those you mention specifically (darshan,
gazlan)? I am not familiar with barkhan, paskan, akhlan, or zarkan -- and in
any case wouldn't the agentive form have to be in relatively common use for
this borrowing to occur? Or do linguists hold that such borrowing-on-a-model
can occur even if no analogous forms actually exist in the source language?

 As for "d.b.b." and "daven", aside from my question above (which also holds
for d.b.b. -- i.e. is there an attested agentive "davavan"?), wouldn't one
like to know if "d.b.b." is attested in Loshn-Kodesh in reference to prayer?
The most frequent LK reference I'm aware of that makes use of "d.b.b." is a
proverb from Tanach -- "the lips of scholars whisper", but this is usually
used to praise those who teach in the name of their own teachers.

Sholem Berger

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:48:18 -0500
From: Uri Horesh <urih @ babel.ling.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Sarah,

d.b.b. in the CaCCan template would probably not become daban (or more
accurately, dabban), but rather davvan, rather like taxxan. In Modern
Hebrew, tha latter is pronounced [taxexan], as if there is a schwa mobile
between the two x's. However, the first consonant in this template has a
patax, not a kamac, which is usually indicative that the syllable
structure is tax.xan 'one who instigates intrigues', not *ta.x(e)xan.
However, it's spelled with two "kaf"s, neither with a dagesh. I know I'm
missing something here. Perhaps a more senior Semiticist (e.g., Gideon
Goldenberg), could shed some light on this.

At any rate, that might explain why Yiddish davenen has a /v/, not a /b/.

And an anecdote to conclude: Modern Hebrew has "gazlan", penultimate
stress, as something equivalent to the food trucks we have here in Philly.
The folk etymology for that is that these trucks originally popped up
outside of army bases (and later schools and other public places) offering
food at much higher prices than the military cantines, thus "stealing" the
soldiers' precious funds, although their services were/are often more
elaborate and at more flexible hours than the aforementioned cantines.

Uri

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Uri Horesh
Graduate Student
Department of Linguistics
University of Pennsylvania
619 Williams Hall
Philadelphia PA 19104-6305
E-mail: urih @ babel.ling.upenn.edu
http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~urih/home
http://www.penndivest.org
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:24:24 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

As Sarah B. B. indicates, Hebrew dalet-bet-bet
is associated with meanings such as:
"to move gently (of lips)"
"cause to speak"

More interestingly, according to Compendious
(Grossman/Segal), the meaning of DoVa:V during
the Medieval period (Responsa) was "to pray".
QED ?

A more standard term for "to whisper" is
Hebrew lamed-het-shin. It also means "to
utter an incantation". In modern times, a
LaXSHaN is a theatrical prompter.

Reversing L-X-SH to SH-X-L, then giving
the shin a dental D-sound, the het a
pre-Latin V-sound (as in LeXeM = VL *levamen
-> leavened bread), and the final L an
N-sound (as in lymph/nymph, Lo? = "no")
produces D-V-N, as in davenen.

I prefer Sarah's solution.

izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 19:46:04 +0200
From: David Grossman <davidg @ macam.ac.il>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

I moderate an active e-mail forum called Davening. It discusses issues and
practices relating to Jewish prayers.

Some time ago we discussed the meaning of the term on that group. Bottom
line: nobody really knows. Any suggestions are based on mere speculation.

This seems to be the topic on many lists at this time - probably because of
Izzy Cohen's cute posting.

David Grossman

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 20:48:16 +0200
From: Gideon Goldenberg <msgidgol @ mscc.huji.ac.il>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

It is probably impossible to state with certainty the origin of
davenen / dovenen, but the etymology mentioned by Sarah Bunin Benor
is the only one which reasonably makes a structural and historical
sense. The pattern qatlan/qotlan is in many cases indifferent to the
verbal binyan with which it seems to be derivationally connected;
cf. gazlan/gozlan as against sarbhan/sorbhan. Mishnaic traditions
seem to prefer the third radical spirantized. Such forms are also
derived from mediae geminatae and are not uncommon in Later Hebrew,
like bareran, xasheshan, hasesan, xobhebhan. The most natural form
derived from d.b.b. according to this pattern should be dobhebhan
(or dabhebhan), phonetically actualized dov(e)van/dav(e)van, whence
in Ashkenaz doven/daven, the base of doven-en/daven-en. Hebrew forms
and vocables in Yiddish that have never been used in Hebrew context
are well known. The meaning certainly fits. Gideon Goldenberg.

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 11:04:00 -0800
From: Yona Sabar <sabar @ humnet.ucla.edu>
Subject:: Re: etymology of daven

Sara,

It is possible to have a new form (davenen) without an actual base
(davevan), but in analogy to other such verbs with real base (like
darshan, etc.); cf. Israeli Hebrew tizmen "to synchronize, to time",
in analogy to tizmer "to orchestrate" < tizmoret "orchestra", etc.

Also, I remember reading some where that davenen seems to be an old
Latin substratum "divination" (whispering).

Yona Sabar

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 14:47:26 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Sarah,

My sense of intuition in Hebrew whispers that you are on the right truck.
The supporting argument:
The root D.B.B. was used in the noun DeVeV in the meaning 'expression',
locution' and in the meaning 'prayer' already in the early medieval times:

examples: 1. Devev piw patuah be-sha'arah matuah (Yannai);
2. Athin be-hin lahashon, divevi mi-la'ashon (Kalir)
3. Devev-sefatay we-qol tahanunay shim'ah ve-ha'azinah (Sifrut
ha-piyyutim)

See Otsar ha-lashon ha-`Ivrit, me-et Yaaqov Knaani, v.2, p. 535, col. 2.

Hayim

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 14:53:21 -0500
From: Paul Glasser <pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

A few random comments on the "davnen" series:

1) I believe that Sara Benor's proposed etymology has already come up
before, but I don't have a reference handy. If I find one, I'll be sure to
share it. Yes, I would like to see the paper about Hebrew-origin verbs
entering Yiddish through agentives, which makes a lot of sense.

2) However, some corrections (I think):

a) I don't know of a verb "kaysn" 'to anger', just the agentive "kaysn"
'someone quick to anger'. Uriel Weinreich has "kaasn zikh" 'to be angry';
likewise Harkavy. Of course, that doesn't weaken Sara's argument.

>	b) The statement "The agentive form of this would be davvan (which
> would become daban), but let's assume that the borrowers used the form
> davan." That bothers me. Yiddish reflexes generally (although not always)
> reflect the presence or absence of Hebrew dagesh. On what grounds do we
> assume that there was a form "davan"? And is any agentive attested? Not
> that the lack of an attestation would be a fatal blow - cf. "hargenen" -
> but I would be much happier if there were one. Particularly since there is
> no Yiddish agentive *(der) davn, davonim, like "shadkhn, shadkhonim" (and
> verb "shadkhenen (zikh)"), as per Sholem Berger's question.

I now see that Uri Horesh has addressed the matter of the dagesh. That would
lead one to expect *daveven. Again, this is not a fatal flaw, based on the
phenomenon of haplology, but I still think it needs to be addressed.

3) Viz. Yona Sabar's suggestion of "divination": that etymology, or a
related one, French "office/service divin," has arisen more than once and
has not been proved convincingly. See, for example, Solomon A. Birnbaum, "A
Refutation of All the Etymologies Proposed for Yiddish dav(e)nen," Jewish
Language Review 5 (1985), 169-172.

4) Gideon Goldenberg mentions both "davenen" and "dovenen." While both forms
do exist in Yiddish, the latter form is a minority form, as Kalmen Weiser
has noted. Moreover, it is definitely an internal Yiddish innovation. Thus,
the only form directly traceable to Hebrew must be "davenen."

P.(H.)G.

Dr. Paul (Hershl) Glasser
Associate Dean, Max Weinreich Center
Senior Research Associate, Yiddish Language
212-246-6080 X6139 (ph)
212-292-1892 (fax)
mailto:pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16 Street
New York, New York 10011
http://www.yivo.org

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 15:49:52 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Concerning the patax and shwa mobile (shwa na`) in the following syllable,
I noticed that in Hebrew, both in the Bible and in modern language there are
a number of similar cases. In the Bible in most of this cases the patax is
marked with meteg which shows that this patax still maintains its long (or
prolongated) status (like qamats). The function of the shwa in this position
is to divide the syllables (See Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley, Hebrew Grammar,
2nd. ed., 1910, p. 51-52, #10)
In this grammar an explanation of Sievers is quoted, that "the fact that the
following Begadkefat letter remains spirant instead of taking Dagesh lene,
is explained by Sievers on the supposition that the change from hard to
spirant is older than the elision of vowel ..." Although I doubt this
explanation on the base of phonetic structure of North Semitic languages
which did not pass the process of spirantization (Canaanic dialects,
Ugaritic, Phoenician and Assyrian), I do not have a better explanation.

However it is understood that in such position especially in Radices mediae
geminatae, the both consonants of such forms as davevan (cp. qalelan 'one
who uses to curse'). The vowel in the first syllable of qalelan is also
patax. One can increase the number of examples.

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 16:10:38 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu>
Subject:: Re: etymology of daven

Whence the modern Italian "indovinare" (to guess), as well as "dovinare" (=
to prophecy, to predict; in literary texts from the 13th and 14th centuries,
such as Memoriali bolognesi (1279-1300), and as a noun ("dovini" =
soothsayers, seers) in the 1325 Abruzzese poem "Fiorita" by Armannino
giudice da Bologna; Alternating with devino, devinare).

The incunabula editions of the [Christian] Italian Bible give for Jeremiah
28.9 "Lo profeta il quale ha dovinato pace" (Vulgate: propheta qui
vaticinatus est pacem; Hebrew: ha-navi' aser yinnavi' le-salom). (taken
from "La Bibbia volgare secondo la rara edizione del 1 Ottobre 1471." ed.
Carlo Negroni. Commissione per i testi di lingua. Bologna : Romagnoli, 1885
[based on ed. Venice : Adam di Ambergau, 1 October 1471; however, check
Malermi editio princeps, Venice : 1 August 1471]; contrast reading in
Judeo-Italian translation of MS Parma Palatina 3068: Lu prufeto che serà
prufetezato a paçe (lû p.rûp`eyTô qey seyrah p.rûpeyTeyza'Tô 'ah pa'$ey
[where T= tet, p` = feh, $=tsadey, . = shwah nah]).

Judeo-French (Glossaire de Bâle):
devinayle (= divination)
Micah 3.6: MKSM (Parma = "visiuna")
Daniel 5.12: 'HYDN
(= riddle, enigma; cfr. It. "indovinello", riddle)
Psalms 49.5 HYDTY

e devinayles
Numbers 22.7: WQSMYM

devinont devinera (act. part. + fut. 2 sing)
Genesis 44.15: NHS YNHS

deviney (past 1 sing.)
Genesis 30.27: NHSTY (also gives "sorteyey" =I told a fortune)

e devinons (act. part. pl.)
Isaiah 44.25: WQSMYM

From Latin:
divino , avi, atum, 1, v. a. [divinus, II. A.] , to foresee, divine; also,
to foretell, predict, prophesy (class. cf. vaticino, praedico): non equidem
hoc divinavi, Cic. Att. 16, 8 fin. : ut nihil boni divinet animus, Liv. 3,
67 ; cf.: quod mens sua sponte divinat, id. 26, 41 ; and: animo non
divinante futura, Ov. Tr. 4, 8, 29 : immortalitatem alicui, Plin. 7, 55, 56,
§ 188 : permulta collecta sunt ab Antipatro, quae mirabiliter a Socrate
divinata sunt, Cic. Div. 1, 54, 123 ; cf.: divinatae opes, Ov. Nux, 80
.--With acc. and inf.: neque ego ea, quae facta sunt, divinabam futura, Cic.
Fam. 6, 1, 5 ; so id. de Sen. 4 fin.; id. Rep. 2, 5; id. Quint. 19; Liv. 4,
2 et saep.--With rel. clause: divinare, quid in castris obvenisset, Liv. 8,
23 ; so id. 40, 36; 41, 24.--Absol.: Venus faciat eam, ut divinaret, Plaut.
Mil. 4, 6, 42 ; so Ter. Hec. 4, 4, 74; Cic. Div. 1, 3; 5; 6 et saep.; Hor.
S. 2, 5, 60; Ov. M. 11, 694; id. Tr. 1, 9, 52 al.: si de exitu divinaret,
Nep. Ages. 6, 1 : quaestum praestare divinando, Vulg. Act. 16, 16 .
Synonymous with: 1: propheto 2: proloquor 3: documentum 4: profor 5:
effugio.

The passage from divino > divìno > dovino (pretonic i > o), if I'm not
mistaken, is a dissimilation.

In French documents: adavineur, adavinier (1352; see Du Cange: ¶DIVINUM >
1.DIVINUS (v. 2 p. 891)
In English (OED): a. F. devine-r (12th c.) to recount, signify, wish,
prophesy, ad. L. dvnre to foretell, predict, after devin divine.

If the alternation of the pretonic (and secondary arhyzotonic) from palatal
to velar vowel (DI-VÌ, DÍ-VI-NÀ-RE) can be established for medieval
Latin/Romance, how do we more concretely link the semantic passage into
"recitation of tefillot"?

Sj

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 16:06:25 -0500
From: Paul Glasser <pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Not just the "semantic passage. "Let's keep the "geographic passage" in mind
as well - as far as I know, "davenen" is an Eastern Yiddish word only; the
Western Yiddish word is "orn" (< Latin "orare").

P.(H.)G.

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 16:40:36 -0500
From: Paul Glasser <pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

You're right. However, what I think weakens your argument is that there is a
sizable number of Romance-origin words that survive in Western Yiddish only;
I don't know of a single one that survives in Eastern Yiddish only. (If I'm
mistaken, I look forward to being corrected.)

P.(H.)G.

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 16:47:02 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

True, but it should be remembered that diachronic periphery and isolation
often allow condtions favorable to the conservation of what are otherwise
obscure/obsolete/non-current/ forms and varieties in the areas of origin,
such as Iberian type construct com+edo, while more French and Italian types
are from manduco; also Sardinian: conservation of velars; "ibba" (<EQUAM)
while elsewhere <CABALLU/AM (very stereotyped examples; nontheless
applicable).

Sj

Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2003 17:14:27 -0500
From: Seth Jerchower <sethj @ pobox.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Although of [potential] Latin origin, the route may not have been through
Romance but ecclesiastic. Although, unless there is something more
concrete/documented, it needs a heck of a lot more support (how did this
become popular? how would an eastern European populace spread latin? Is the
term originally derogatory, implying that Church Latin, and Hebrew Prayer,
were a magical mumbo-jumbo? was the route socially "vertical", rather than
horizontal, and if so, when and where do we find it first attested? Could
it be that an illuminist Pole, rejecting religion á la Voltaire, came up
with the term? Would it have found so much popularity that the Jews adopted
this in a positive sense? Or could Haskalah Jews have used it in reference
to Orthodox prayers, on the same model as this hypothetical illuminist?) In
other words, yes, there are well attested Romance forms to corroborate a
phonological relation, but not much more.

Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 11:49:42 -0500
From: Hayim Sheynin <hsheynin @ gratz.edu>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Dear all,

I should confess in the front of all Jewish language researchers in my great
sin. I am a
lover of Latin, from its golden period (Vergilius, Ovidius, Horatius,
Cicero, Caesar) up to Lingua Latina viva.
Moreover, I am a lover of Latin etymologies in all the languages when it
occurs (e.g.
Arab. siyasa 'politics, policy, diplomacy, government' > (Eng. society,
French societe)
from Lat. societas, -atis; or Heb. otobus from Latinized form autobus >
Greek
autos (self) + Lat. iflectional suffix -ibus (like in omnibus, rebus)

Saying all this, I do not understand why one will continue to discuss the
etymology
of the Yiddish word daven from Latin divinare, if it is found that the verb
Davav
was used in the early medieval Hebrew, precisely in the meaning "to pray"
and in the
form of abstract name (segolate formation based on *qatl / *qitl pro-form)
Devev /
Devava (prayer, praying), registered participium praes. act. Dovev and
possibility of
pattern C[patax]C[shewa]C[suffix -an] davevan (parallel to bareran,
shixexan, chasheshan,
laqeqan, qalelan) as nomen agentis.

I think now that in the light of all these facts the most probable etymology
for
Yiddish dav[en]en and its derivative, a verbal noun daven-ing (Germanic
suffix
-ung / -ing), is established.

It would be nice to find in what earliest Yiddish text this word occurs and
check
the early usages. If they occur in context close to Hebrew testimonia, this
even
better.

Another contributing fact that Latin borrowings in Yiddish occured (albet
not often) in Western Yiddish, while davenen is registred only in Eastern
Yiddish.

Following this discussion, I reconsider my opinion "that it can be imitative
formation to express monotonous and repetitious speech accompanied with
frequent shaking or noding."

By the way the last opinion was based on the parallel formation in Russian
Taldychit' with the pejorative meaning 'to express monotonous and
repetitious speech', imitating ta-ta-ta or da-da-da and the nomen agentis
taldyka ('one who taldychit').

An additional lesson I learned that not all etnic and religious groups
relate to prayer the same way, even Boccaccio like Russians laughed on too
zealous piety or use of religion to cover worldly sins.

Hayim Sheynin

Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2003 06:08:33 +0000
From: Ghil`ad ZUCKERMANN <gz208 @ cam.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: etymology of daven

Dear colleagues,

Thank you very much for the perspicacious insights. Please do not forget
to consider the possiblity that Yiddish DAVENEN can well be a
*multisourced neologism* - just as Israeli DIBUV (or DIVUV) "dubbing" is
based simultaneously on English DUBBING and on (Medieval) Hebrew DIBBUV
"speech" - from d.b.b. of all roots :-) .

Warmest wishes,

Ghil`ad

***********************
Dr G. Zuckermann
Churchill College
University of Cambridge
www.zuckermann.org
***********************

"Be an optimist (at least until they start moving animals in pairs
to Cape Kennedy)"

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 12:36:42 -0800
From: Sarah Bunin Benor <sbenor @ stanford.edu>
Subject: Origins of Schonk (fwd)

I could not think of any possible origins in Yiddish. Any ideas? Please
respond to Kay and/or me and/or the list.
-Sarah

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 10:53:28 +0000
From: kay roberg <kayroberg @ hotmail.com>
To: editor @ jewish-languages.org
Subject: Origins of Schonk

25th January 2002

Sarah Bunin Benor
Editor
2002 Jewish Language Research Website

Dear Sarah,

I am a librarian at the London School of Jewish Studies in the United
Kingdom. Last week I had a query which I wonder if you could shed light
on or advise me where I might find further resources. I have detailed
below the whole correspondence for you to see. Originally I thought
that the word was English/Australian slang but having spoken to other
people it seems the word has yiddish origins. I would love to hear your
comments on this matter.

Thanking you for your help

Kayla Roberg
kayroberg @ hotmail.com

Dear Kayla

Shonk = nose (as I thought).

The quotation is ...

"Simmons [an 11-year old East Londoner from a Council School] wagged
his head sagely. Then, suddenly pointing an accusing finger almost in
Kosminski's eye, he cried:
'But I forgot. It's no use talkin' to you. You're a German
yourself!'
'I ain't! said Kosminski fiercely.
'No,' said Nash, turning on him suddenly. 'You're a schonk ; that's
what you are. I knew you was a schonk the very first time I see you.'
Not being able to deny this reference to an Hebraic descent, which
was obvious to the most unobserving, Kosminski relapsed into silence."

from :
"Nash and Some Others" by C.S. Evans (William Heinemann, 1913)

There is a hidden irony here (unintended?) since Simmons is an
English-sounding name that often has a Jewish origin. (Symons, Simm
onds, Simmons, etc.)

Hope this explains my interest. The fact that this is a text from 1913
explains the mild put-down of Kosminski ... a year later, as WWI began,
the persecutions of foreigners in the East End would take a nastier
turn.

Regards


Dear John,

I think I have found the defintion you are looking for. It is an
Australian slang word and I've found it two slang dictionaries. It is
spelt without the c. just shonk. From what I understand shonk is an
Australian word for a dishonest person or a person dealing in
dishonest, not straight practices and in slang it refers spefically to
a Jew. (The stereotype of the Jew being dishonest, swindler is perhaps
the connotation here)

If it is spelt with a c it then becomes a dutch word to give a gift
originally derived from the german schenken. This does not fit in with
slang word you are looking for.
shonk taken from noun a dishonest person; a swindler or con artist.
[? from shonk, offensive name for a Jewish person - This is the
definition from the Macquarie Dictionary.

THE MACQUARIE DICTIONARY

Since it was first published in 1981, the Macquarie Dictionary has
become firmly established as the record of Australian English. Many
smaller and specialised dictionaries, as well as thesauruses and other
reference works have contributed to Macquarie's reputation as
Australia's leading language reference publisher.
http://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/p/dictionary/slang-s.html


The Probert Encyclopaedia
Slang (S) on this
websitehttp://www.probertencyclopaedia.com/ZS.HTM defines shonk as

SHONK

Shonk is british slang for the nose.
Shonk is derogatory slang for a Jew.

SHONKY

Shonky is slang for Jewish.
Shonky is Australian slang for unreliable, dishonest.
Shonky is Australian slang for someone engaged in irregular or illegal
business activities

Regards

Kayla Roberg

London School of Jewish Studies - Library

Schaller House, Albert Road, Hendon, London, NW4 2SJ

Tel: 0208 203 6427

email: kayroberg @ hotmail.com

I was just looking at email I sent you and noticed definition from The
Probert Encyclopaedia - and this would be stereotypical slang for Jew
with a long nose

SHONK

Shonk is british slang for the nose. -

Regards

Kayla

Dear John,

I spoke to a Jewish taxi driver who has interest in this area and he
said the one thing that doesn't make sense is how it came from
Australia to Britain at that period. He still thinks its the English
slang word for nose and the originally konk which he rembembers
being used in his school days. The sh part of this word he said might
be a connotation to shylock and therefore the word together makes
shonk.

but the only other way is that during that period Jewish men and women
convicts were sent to australia and came back to Britain and thats how
the word got overseas. He also thinks it has a Yiddish/jewish sound to
it

This query is certainly facinating - I'll keep you posted if I come
across anything else

Regards

Kayla

Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 16:01:24 -0500
From: Lewis H. Glinert <lewis.h.glinert @ dartmouth.edu>
Subject: shonk

Can't help on the Yiddish, but on Jewish convicts being sent to Australia see
Todd Endelman's riproaring The Jews of Georgian England -- and as for convicts
coming back, you need look no further than David Copperfield.

About the jewish connotations of the sh- prefix, I daresay Anglo-Jewish
'shnozzle' is an example.

Lewis Glinert

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 01:15:40 -0600
From: Cohen, Izzy <izzy_cohen @ bmc.com>
Subject: Re: Origins of Schonk <= shnook ?

Sarah --

Try Yiddish shin-nun-vav(oo)-kuf SHNooK =
(elephant) trunk; snout.

Both of those meanings (I think) easly shift
to "nose", even though the elephant's trunk is
anatomically a lip.

Compare Hebrew het-dalet-kuf XaDaK-haPiL =
elephant trunk. Treating het as X=KS, as it
was in contact with Latin, KSDK may have
metathesized to SKDK -> scnk ?

For a similar het -> sc metathesis, compare
Hebrew YaRa:aX = moon -> KRKS -> Latin cresc-
-> English increase, decrease, crescendo,
crescent (moon-shape), croissant (moon-
shape pastry). The moon is the growing-est
thing in the sky.

Also, compare English snooker
2. Slang. to deceive, cheat, or dupe:
snookered by a con man.
[1885-90; orig. uncert.]

Israel Cohen
izzy_cohen @ bmc.com

Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 22:05:33 -0500
From: dls38 @ cornell.edu
Subject:dovevanim lemineihem.Re: etymology of daven (fwd)

A friend's thoughts...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 20:46:07 +0000
From: daniel kennemer <knnmr @ hotmail.com>
To: dls38 @ cornell.edu, sbenor @ stanford.edu
Subject: dovevanim lemineihem.Re: etymology of daven

An interesting idea and enjoyable read.
I still prefer the Turkish root for davenen, as seen in the modern turkish
"dua" = prayer. a khazarian-turkish studies person claimed to know of a form
"daunmak", (-mak being the turkish infitinitive suffix.), i.e. "to daun"...
and in turkish a v can often appear or dissapear in this situation, such as
"tavuk" for chicken, pronounced "ta-uk". "davun-mak"?
the Hebrew explanation seems problematic, as the agentive form of d.v.v
would more likely be "dovevan", much as het.v.v becomes "hovevan",
("amateur"), and not "havvan" nor "haban". Further, D.v.v, like het.v.v, has
several "dovev" forms attested. For instance, two pi'el verbs exist, "dovev"
and "dibev", much like the double pi'el of het.v.v: "hovev" and "hibev".
This in addition to the questionable link between d.v.v and prayer, as
it would seem to hint that the person praying is merely mouthing the words,
without really thinking, and we all know that isn't the case! ;)
Someone described as a "dovevan", in modern hebrew at least, would
probably be understood as being even further removed, as "ledovev (mishehu)"
means "to get (someone) to talk", as in interrogations or other situations
involving reluctant conversation. (The cheyder melamed in this case?)

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 13:30:53 -0500
From: George Jochnowitz <jochnowitz @ postbox.csi.cuny.edu>
Subject: Turkish daven

Haverim,

I heard some years ago that the word "yarmulke" comes from Turkish. Does
anybody know anything about this? It would fit in with a Turkish etymology
for "davenen."

I heard just today that "pastrami" was borrowed by Romanian from Turkish. I
had previously thought it was the other way around.

Happy Rosh Hodesh Adar I, which, as always, begins on the evening of Chinese
New Year. (In years with only one Adar, Chinese New Year may coincide with
Rosh Hodesh Shvat.)

George

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 13:55:38 -0500
From: Paul Glasser <pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org>
Subject: Re: Turkish daven

I'm not an expert on Turkish by any means, but the etymology I've always
seen is "yagmurluk," which the Turkish dictionary I consulted translated
'raincoat'. I'm not sure how you get from raincoat to skullcap, but that's
what I know. I see that in Jewish Language Review 7 (1987), 200-201, Bohdan
A. Struminsky proposed a different etymology, Latin "almunicum" 'church
canon's cap', once again via Polish.

As far as pastrami is concerned, I've always seen Rumanian pastrami <
Turkish bastirma. That's all I know.

P.(H.)G.

Dr. Paul (Hershl) Glasser
Associate Dean, Max Weinreich Center
Senior Research Associate, Yiddish Language
212-246-6080 X6139 (ph)
212-292-1892 (fax)
mailto:pglasser @ yivo.cjh.org

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16 Street
New York, New York 10011
http://www.yivo.org