Re: upsilon (and Hebrew vav/waw)

From: Noam & Joan Hendren (
Date: Sun Feb 04 1996 - 04:13:03 EST

> David Moore wrote:
> >On Fri, 2 Feb 1996, Stephen C Carlson wrote:
> >> As for DAUID, Greek at the time did not have a 'v' sound, so upsilon
> >> (or beta) would be the closest sound to represent it. This does not
> >> necessarily imply that upsilon had that sound, just that it was the
> >> closest.
> >
> > It is probably good to note that the Hebrew waw, which figures in
> >Hebrew of "David," may not have originally represented the "v" sound.
> >Gesenius, in his grammar, classifies the waw as "sonant" rather than
> >labial or labio-dental (p. 35).
> Waw was probably a sonant, or else the plene spelling in Hebrew will make
> little sense, as well as the sound of the digamma. The only issue, of
> course, is when waw came to be a vav, so to speak, and I have no > > >
additional information about that...
> Stephen Carlson
> - --

Yemenite Jews of today continue to pronounce the vav as waw. Whether this
is a holdover from ancient pronunciation due to the community's relative
isolation or simply an influence from Arabic pronunciation (waw not vav), I
am not aware. I understand that classical Arabic has remained relatively
stable over the centuries; perhaps the Yemenite Hebrew has followed suit.

Noam Hendren <>

"Read not to contradict and confute,
 nor to believe and take for granted,
 nor to find talk and discourse,
 but to weigh and consider."
                      Sir Francis Bacon
                         "Of Studies"

*I subscribe to b-greek-digest only!

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:37:37 EDT