Hey, no reason to get testy; <G> pseudo-etymologies pop up with regularity.
It's amusing rather than annoying. In this case, 'tis much better to state
clearly and concisely *why* seeming sound-alikes are not on.
Simply put: Loan words do NOT turn up as phonological equivalents in the
borrowing language(s) -- not back then and not in our modern computerized
world. It would be astonishing if they did!
As a point of information for non-philologists: it's the predictable
patterns of phonological changes that permit philologists to recover
earlier stages of a language and to map cognate words and languages.
Now, there are indications from known Masri [Egyptian] loan words into,
for instance, Hebrew and Greek, that spoken Lower Egyptian had, among
other things, muddy vowel phones (like Greek, but unlike Hebrew), clipped
sibilants, popped bi-labials, and very gutteral gutterals. If (transliterated)
AMEN were a loan word from Egyptian, then it would show up in Hebrew as
something like (transliterated) EMIN or IMUN or IMYN. (Just an educated
guess, mind you, loan words can diverge even farther -- particularly
across language families, e.g., Eng. "rose" and Heb. "vered" are cognates...)
>Also, as my colleague Chayim Cohen constantly points out, semantic
>equivalence and equivalent usage is more important for establishing
>the meaning of words than etymology,
Etymology gives us the general semantic field; semantic equivalence gives
us the semantic range among cognates within the general field. Equivalent
use must be employed with caution. Words will fall under a general semantic
field, but rarely have precisely the same primary meaning from cognate to
cognate. Then, words always carry different connotations -- which are
culturally dependent. And, of course, there is also the problem of diachronic
semantic drift within a language. There are general use-equivalencies, but
there are no one-to-one use-equivalencies, not even among basic words such
>>> Honest and frank facing of fact is always needed in science.
>>> R. MArtinez
Yes, indeedy... though it is really stretching the semantic field to call
philology a "science" -- and then one must be sure one is dealing with facts.
BTW: It's really tricky to remove a hound, nose down on a scent, from an
e-letter. Now if we were back in the 17th century and out fox hunting....
Dr. R.I.S. Altman, co-coordinator, IOUDAIOS-L [EMAIL PROTECTED]
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