Saturday, October 13, 2018

skeleton and sheled

I just read something interesting in Klein's entry for the Hebrew word sheled שלד:

PBH [Post-Biblical Hebrew] skeleton. 

Syriac שלדא (=skeleton), from Akkadian shalamtu (properly meaning 'the whole' corpse), from shalamu (=to be complete), which is related to Hebrew שלם (=was complete). Greek skeleton (=skeleton) is a Syriac loan word. The explanation of Greek skeleton as used elliptically for skeleton soma (=dried up body) as if skeleton were the neutral verbal adjective of skellein (=to dry up) is folk etymology.


In his CEDEL entry for "skeleton", Klein mentions another Akkadian cognate - shalamdu, and says his source is W. Muss-Arnolt in Transactions of the American Philological Association, Vol. XXIII, p. 148.

While the theory connecting skeleton to the Greek word meaning dried up is still popular, if Klein's theory is accurate, then it would be possible to connect "skeleton" with both sheled and the words deriving from the root שלם, like shalom שלום - "peace" and shalem שלם - "complete."

Horowitz (p. 261) explains how the transformation between those two Hebrew roots:
Strangely, this word [sheled] comes from the root שלם, whole, complete. The word in Assyrian is שלמתו [shalamtu], meaning "the whole body." In passing through Aramaic the מ [mem] dropped out and ת [tav] hardened to a ד [dalet].


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As my previous post mentioned, I'm still occupied with the projects I've been working on, but I'm going to try to put up smaller posts like this one (which require less research). I hope you still find them interesting!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Balashon is on hiatus

As you may have noticed, I haven't written any posts in Balashon in over a year. While I have not abandoned Balashon, I have put my activity on hold for now, as I am working on a different project.

I hope to finish the project in the next few months, and when it's completed I will let Balashon readers know about it, and hopefully start writing (and responding to Balashon emails) again.

Thanks for checking in!