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English and Ancient Hebrew Morphology

To understand my work in Ancient Hebrew you must have a concept of root morphology. I have given examples of Ancient Hebrew morphology in a previous article. Now I offer examples in English to begin to make a comparison.

First let us consider English morphology. We will consider morphs which are word elements that have meaning and are used to form words. The element 'fort' means "strong" and we find that element in such words as 'comfort', 'effort', 'fortitude', 'enforce'. The root element 'sen' means "feel" as in 'sense', 'sensual', 'sensation', 'sensitive'. It is important to point out that 'sensation' and 'sensitive' are stem words based on the lemma 'sense', and again 'sen' is the root; and it is a bound form because 'sen' in not a word in English. Also 'fort' is a root and a bound form in the words above, it is only not considered a bound form when it means "fortress". But 'comfort', 'effort', 'enforce',… are not stem words, they are lemmas. Words like 'comfortable', 'comfortless', 'comforting', and 'comforts' are stem words, the lemma is only inflected grammatically to form stem words.

A lemma is a basic word. A lemma may be a root, but a lemma is never a bound form. A root does not have to be a bound form, but in languages such as English it usually is. An example of an exception is the lemma 'breakfast' formed from the lemmas 'break' and 'fast'. In those cases the roots 'break' and 'fast' are also used as words in the language, so they are not bound forms. Some other roots in English and their meanings are 'form' "shape", 'press' "press", 'spec' "see", 'val' "value", 'via' "way", 'viv' "life", 'vol' "roll".

Some suffix forms in English are 'ant' (adjective "state of being") as in 'dominant', 'flamboyant', also 'ant' (noun, "person" or "individual") as in 'appellant', 'combatant', 'confidant'(n.); and 'age' ("collective") as in 'baggage', and 'mileage'; and 'hood' ("collective") as in 'neighborhood'; and 'age' ("process") as in 'marriage' and 'pillage'. There are a great many other suffix forms.

The meanings of the parts of words constitutes the definition of the meaning of the word formed. That is what made word formation possible. Unfortunately, historical linguistic change has confounded the process, so we loose sight of the semantic component in all of this and the importance of that component. If lemmas and roots were not bound forms then the semantics of word formation would be clear and we would have an ideal language. In words like 'include', 'preclude', 'conclude', the meaning of 'clude' is not readily apparent. 'Ex' generally means something like "without" but that is not apparent from words like 'examine', 'extend', 'explain'.

The form 'com' comes from 'con', and 'sym' comes from 'syn. Also 'con' comes from 'syn' which is a Greek form, and all four of those forms has the meaning "together" in word formation. It is related to the Semitic 'sn' which means "two". It is interesting that 'al' means "toward" in such forms as 'allege', 'alleviate', 'alliance', and the Ancient Hebrew word 'al' means "toward".

Some Ancient Hebrew forms which parallel some of the roots mentioned above are: 'B' "via", 'H' "nature" ('HY' "life"), 'Z' "without" (as English 'ex-'), '-UT' "collective"; 'A' may correspond to "individual" but I am not sure. 'UT' would be considered an inflectional form.

In Ancient Hebrew we have root prefixes, suffixes, and infixes, and we have inflectional prefixes, suffixes, and infixes. Most of the form words are prefixes, such as B- "by", L- "to" (directional), M- "from", N- "let", T- "get", A- "will", Y- "shall", WU- "would", U- "and", ect… Some form words stand alone, such as AM "if", AU "but", GM "also", and OM "with". OL KN "Therefore" is literally "upon so". Some helping verbs are suffixes, such as -T "have", and -Y "to"(helping verb). Other suffixes are used to determine grammatical sense. Also 'U' and 'Y' are used as infixes to determine grammatical senses.

In Ancient Hebrew only the inflectional elements used to determine grammatical sense, and form words can be bound forms. The roots are not bound forms. Since the roots are not bound forms, that is what makes Ancient Hebrew different from any other known language, outside of ancient Semitic or ancient Hamito-Semitic languages.

In Ancient Hebrew root morphology, covered in a previous article, three letter words, lemmas, are formed from two parts. Either the first two letters is the first root and the last letter is the second, or the first letter is the first root and the last two is the second, or there is a root infix in a two letter word, as in 'BA' "come", 'BYA' "bring". Also two letter words are all derived from two roots. Some examples with Z "without" are ZK "unaffected" ("unadulterated") [without][hit], ZN "pervert" [without][permit] (note in parallel N prefix means "let"). Other examples are 'YS' "afirm" [indeterminate] [opposite], KL "all" [self][negate], AM "mother" [individual][contain], AB "father" [individual][need].

Examples with three letter roots are given in the previous article. The methodology of discovering the meanings are treated in a subsequent article. I hope after this study, you will become more conscious of word elements in your own language. And I hope you will become more curious about word elements in ancient languages. Each of the 22 letters of the original alphabet has 3 basic meanings, so there are 66 basic abstract meanings. In general my critics will probably not go so far as to conclude that Ancient Hebrew is as regular or ordered in word formation as I suggest. But if the morphology is highly ordered as I suggest, then Ancient Hebrew must not be derived from another language and it can only be derived from itself. Also in the historical context this could be possible if the Egyptians preserved the original language in their writing. Only the original language would not be derived from any other language than itself.

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