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Bar Kokhba Documents

(3,342 words)

Author(s): Mor, Uri
The Bar Kokhba documents were discovered in the Judean Desert (Wadi Murabbaʿat, Naḥal Ḥever, and other sites), mostly in the 1950s and 1960s (Eshel 1998; Yadin et al. 2002:2–4). They consist of military letters, legal documents, and lists, written at or around the time of the Bar Kokhba (Bar Kosiba) Revolt (132–135 C.E), in Hebrew, Jewish Aramaic, Nabatean, and Greek. It appears that the choice of language was a matter of functionality: Jewish Aramaic was the natural option, being the traditiona…

Guttural Consonants: Pre-Masoretic

(2,931 words)

Author(s): Mor, Uri
The guttural consonants in the Semitic languages are the two laryngeals /ʾ/ (plosive; glottal stop) and /h/ (fricative), and the two pharyngeals /ḥ/ (voiceless fricative) and /ʿ/ (voiced fricative). Hebrew inherited all four of them, as א ʾ, ה h, ח , and ע ʿ, respectively. A common feature of the gutturals is their tendency to weaken and lose their consonantal sound. The existence of laryngeals in Hittite and their absence from other Indo-European languages indicate that this tendency is not peculiar to Semitic languages, but is rather a…