Re: Cephas

> I think of patterns in English involving dropped [l]'s before
> certain consonants.  We pronounce "would" and "could" without
> [l], though from the spelling [l] used to be pronounced
> (cp. "will").  Some dialects of American English pronounce
> "help" as [hep].  Save, safe, safety, and saving are cognate
> with salvific, salve, and salvation; and when the [l] is 
> dropped there is a regular vowel change.
> "Calf" and "calves", "half" and "halves" are usually
> pronounced without the [l].  The word "almond" is pronounced
> either [owlmund], [awlmund], or [amund], all correct 
> American English pronunciations, the last having lost the
> [l].  Compare German to English Wald/woods, welch/which,
> and Kalb/calf.
> Offhand, I cannot think of any Greek word which contains
> the sound sequence [alp].  If so, this would lend support
> that a name *Chalphai in Aramaic would undergo a regular
> sound change when pronounced by speakers of Greek in
> Asia Minor and Macedonia (or anywhere), to become perhaps
> "Kepha".  
> On purely philological grounds, is this proposal credible,
The linguistic arguments seem plausible to me.  FUrthermore, a quick
check of acCordance lists no Koine forms with the alp as an INITIAL
sequence.  NOte, however, that their existence accross a syllable
boundary, as in the form in question, allows possible
resyllabification such that the sounds are not contiguous.

Mari Broman Olsen
Northwestern University
Department of Linguistics
2016 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208