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  5. "כלבִי לא מדבר."

"כלבִי לא מדבר."

Translation:My dog doesn't speak.

July 12, 2016



Is it very common that the pronunciation of letters changes when words are inflected? (like here v <--> b, k <--> kh, or vav pronounced like a vowel <--> consonant etc.) I've seen it quite often. Are they any patterns for this I should be aware of?


It's extremely common - but not so much in spoken everyday language.


The contraction itself isn't common in everyday language. But you'll never hear an Israeli saying "kalvi" instead of kalbi or "abi" instead of avi


The pattern followed here is this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segolate Another very common pattern is that, sometimes, a consonant in its strong form comes to follow a shwa after inflection. When that happens, it becomes weak. That's why it also happens a lot with prefixing.


Wow, I totally thought that your dog would talk!


Lol, what? Mine does. She's actually a cat though, so maybe that has something to do with it.


החתול שלי מדבר עם חתולים אחרים


Arabic: "Kalb", Hebrew: "Kelev". But in the 1st person singular genitive they both become "Kalbi".


And in a variant of colloquial Arabic, kalb can become "kaleb", (even closer)


Only one donkey can talk, I was taught.


Well, ויפתח יהוה את פי האתון ותאמר לבלעם מה עשיתי לך כי הכיתני זה שלש רגלים Num. 22.28 And YHWH opened the mouth of the jenny donkey, and she said to Balaam: What have I done to you that you have given me blows these three times? Indeed the only speaking animal in the Bible besides the נָחָשׁ is this she-ass! אָתוֹן is the very rare case that there is a unique word for the female animal not related to its male counterpart.


There is a case to be made that the serpent in Genesis 3, though he was called a serpent ( ‏נחש nakhash), was not really a serpent. In ancient times, when people heard an animal speaking in a story, that was the signal that a supernatural being was talking, that is a non-human. My basis for saying that the serpent was not a serpent, that is, not a member of the animal kingdom, is Revelation 12:9...the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan...By the way, the tidbit about how ancient people thought was from the Hebrew scholar Dr. Michael S Heiser.


Well, as a mundane person I can only speak about the face meaning of the texts. Your point seems to have been already discussed a long time, as Abraham ibn Ezra reported: ויאמר רב סעדיה גאון אחר שהתברר לו שאין דבור ודעת כי אם באדם לבדו נצטרך לומר כי הנחש גם האתון לא דברו. רק מלאך דבר בשבילם And Rabbi Saadia Gaon said differenty that it became clear to him that speech and knowledge is only in man alone. We need to say that both snake and donkey did not speak. Only an angel has spoken for them. But others say it is no more difficult for G-d to give intelligence to a serpent than to human beings. So who knows...


Numbers 22:28 clarifies that YHWH opened the donkey’s mouth. However, because Revelation 12:9 spells out that that ancient serpent is Satan, I respectfully disagree with Rabbi Saadia Gaon that we NEED to say that both snake and donkey did not speak.


Mine doesn't either.

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