Zevit, Ziony. Matres Lectionis in Ancient Hebrew Epitaphs. Cambridge, Mass.: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1980.

In this work Zevit studies the use of matres lectionis in Hebrew orthography. In the introduction he re-assesses the conclusions of Cross and Freedman in their first dissertation, specifically the claim that matres lectionis had a late origin in Northwest Semitic orthography in 10th century Aramaic. The appearance of vowel letters in the Ugaritic texts suggests that the idea of matres lectionis was “was current in the Canaanite cultural milieu prior to the end of the 2nd millennium.” However there is not enough evidence to draw relationships between the use of vowel letters in the Ugaritic cuneiform script and the linear scripts. Still, Zevit challenges the idea that the use of matres lectionis in Hebrew orthography must be traced to Aramaic orthography. Unfortunately, no Hebrew inscriptions are extant prior to the 10th century Gezer calendar, in which the use of vowel letters is debatable at best. Zevit’s approach is compelling, but he does not make detailed arguments to support his contentions. The bulk of the monograph is spent analyzing the Hebrew inscriptions.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Orthography, Zevit, Ziony

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: