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#38300 - 08/11/01 04:39 AM  
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#38301 - 08/11/01 03:15 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Sparteye Offline
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From Origins A Short Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, Eric Partridge:

Palestine, whence Palestinian

The adj derives from L Palestinus (var of Palaestinus), adj of Palestina, var of Palaestina, trin of Gr Palaistine, itself from H Pelesheth. The inhabitants were, in H, Pelistim or Pelishtim (cf Ar Filastin), whence Gr Philistinoi, LL Philistini, both pl, whence, by b/f, the F sing Philistin, whence E Philistine (n, hence adj). Strictly, the Philistines inhabited SW Palestine; "after harassing the Israelites for centuries they were finally assimilated by the native Semites" (Webster) and were regarded as barbarians, hence Philistine, an unenlightened person, hostile to art, literature, thought, the transition being aided, both in E and in F, by G Philister, a G universities' (orig, theological students') slang name -- at Jena as early as C17 -- for a townsman, hence outsider, hence any ignorant person. First used in France by Theophile Gautier in 1847 (B & W), Philistine was "introduced into England by Matthew Arnold (cf Judges, xvi, 9)" (Walshe). Hence Philistinism.


#38302 - 08/14/01 03:27 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Damn - and all this time I've gone along thinking she was gertrude Stein's sister.


#38303 - 08/14/01 04:44 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Do I understand that per Sparteye's sources, "Philistine" was derived from Palestine, not of separate origin?

The Bible recounts that the Philistines were slain with the jawbone of an ass, so I'd best jawbone no further here.


#38304 - 08/14/01 06:34 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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To re-capitulate, Palestine was a name for the whole region, and only recently applied in adjective form to the Muslim population of the area. The Philistines were a small, possibly non-Semitic, group inhabiting a relatively small part of the area.


#38305 - 08/14/01 07:25 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Additional note to Sparteye's excellent etymology (and I parbly don' need to tell most of you this). The Classical Greek phi was not an unvoiced labio-dental fricative nor even an unvoiced bilabial fricative but rather an unvoiced aspirated bilabial plosive (the pi was an unvoiced unaspirated bilabial plosive). Thus Pelistim and Philistinoi were not that far apart, phonetically.


#38306 - 08/15/01 08:24 AM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Not all Palestinians are Muslims. There are quite a few Palestinian Christians as well.

Bingley


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#38307 - 08/15/01 12:49 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Phaldage says the phollowing:

and I parbly don' need to tell most of you this...The Classical Greek phi was not an unvoiced labio-dental fricative nor even an unvoiced bilabial fricative but rather an unvoiced aspirated bilabial plosive (the pi was an unvoiced unaspirated bilabial plosive).

Not only did you need to tell me that, but you need to explain the difference (if you'd be so kind).


#38308 - 08/15/01 01:55 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Whilst agreeing that the two sounds produced in aspirated and unaspirated form would, indeed, be similar, how can we be certain that that was the way that the Classical Greeks made the sounds?


#38309 - 08/15/01 02:02 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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ph is usually pronounced /f/ in English. The sound /f/ is made using the upper teeth and the lower lip (hence labio-dental) and not quite bringing them together, thus creating turbulence in the air flowing between them (hence fricative). The vocal cords are not vibrating (so the sound is unvoiced (/v/ is pronounced in the same way as /f/ but with the vocal cords vibrating, i.e., /v/ is voiced)). /f/ is therefore an unvoiced labio-dental fricative.

A plosive (also called a stop) is a sound made by temporarily stopping the flow of air altogether. An unvoiced bilabial (two lips) plosive would be a /p/, while a voiced bilabial plosive would be a /b/.

Some sounds are aspirates. There's a tiny puff of air blown out. The difference between aspirated and unaspirated is not significant for meaning in English, and is not shown in the spelling system. It does occur in, for example, the difference between the pronunciation of /p/ (e.g., pit)at the beginning of a syllable and /p/ at end of a syallable (e.g., tip). In some languages this difference makes the difference between different letter sounds (I think it's true of some Indian languages, come in please, Avy). We're not very good at hearing or producing the difference, just as Japanese have problems with /l/ and /r/, which to us are blindingly obviously different.

Phi and pi were the aspirated and unaspirated versions of an unvoiced bilabial plosive. I will now go and lie down for a while.

Bingley


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#38310 - 08/15/01 02:08 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Rhuby astutely asks, how can we be certain that that was the way that the Classical Greeks made the sounds?


It's simple, Rhuby. We just believe the linguists that produced the SWAG in the first place !


#38311 - 08/15/01 02:10 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Aha! the cunning linguists!



#38312 - 08/15/01 02:33 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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thank you, dear heart! i was sitting at my desk making f's a p's and trying to mentally analyze what was different...

I wish i had this board forever, and not just for the past year.. I can't tell you how many times, in reading, i have come across an authors note-- explaining some concept, and the explaination is greek!-- literally greek! the author just presumes that because i have an interest in the subject, and i am reading his/her book-- that i must be as educated as they are-- and that i know greek! Needless to say--i have found such experience frustrating!-- and when i was much younger intimidating!


#38313 - 08/15/01 02:44 PM Re: P from Ph  
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I can add little to Bingley's excellent description of the sounds we make other than to say that if you hold your hand close in front of you mouth while saying, e.g., pill, bill and spill you should be able to feel the puff of air that accompanies the aspirated consonants and doesn't accompany the unaspirated. Note that the b is unaspirated as is the p in spill.


#38314 - 08/15/01 03:36 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Bingley! That was awesome!

So clear, not a wasted breath (aspirations and all), and so helpful.


#38315 - 08/15/01 03:51 PM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Rhubarb! That was awful!

So clear, not a wasted breath (aspirations and all *heh*), and so ...


#38316 - 08/16/01 02:40 AM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Dr. Bill writes, "Palestine was a name for the whole region ..."

Actually, Palestine was the name for a vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, which included, but was not limited to, the territories now in dispute, up to the time of that Empire's collapse and dissolution following WWI. The British picked up the name in the famous White Paper and Balfour Declaration which led to the League of Nations Mandate under which Britain ran the country as a colony up to their ignominious and spiteful departure after WWII, having, in the meantime, sawed off better than half the territory mandated to them by the League and handing it over to one of their stooges who needed a throne. That area was originally called Trans-Jordan, since shortened to Jordan, and was supposed to be a national home for the Arabs, who never had any rights whatever under the Ottoman Turks. When the Palestinian Arabs clamor for their own state, they conveniently forget that they have had one for over 50 years; it's called Jordan.


#38317 - 09/16/01 12:13 AM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Can't believe I was too thoughtless to LIU earlier. Per Encyclpedia Britannica (oder editions):

Philistia, a district embracing the rich lowlands on the Mediterranean coast from the neighborhood of Jaffa [note: now Tel Aviv] to the Egyptian desert south of Gaza. On the subsequent extension of the name in its Greek form, Palestine, see Palestine.

Palestine: There is no ancient geographical term that covers all the area now known as Palestine. Until the period of the Roman occupation the region was subdivided into independent provinces or kingdoms, different at different times, but never united under one collective designation. The extension of the name of Palestine beyond the limits of Philistia proper [that is, a part of the coastline] is not older that the Byzantine period. ... In the words of ..., it "has never belonged to one nation and probably never will."

#38318 - 09/16/01 12:36 AM Re: Palestine from Philistine?  
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Re Bobyoungbalt's post, above:
The British had two separate mandate territories, I believe: Palestine, and Trans-Jordan. (These territories are roughly the current Israel and Jordan.)

In 1920 or so the British colonial secretary, Winston Chruchill, issued a White Paper stating in part: The nationality to be acquired by all citizens of Palestine would be Palestinian and nothing else. ... But in order that the Jewish community (in Palestine) should have the best prospect of free development it is essential that it should know that it is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance.* That is the reason why it is necessary that the existence of a Jewish national home in Palestine should be internationally guaranteed." The statement was rejected by the Palestine Arab delegation.

As of 1947 there were 650,00 jews in Palestine. On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted a plan to divide Palestine into separate jewish and non-Jewish state, the former receiving the minority of the land. The arabs rejected this. The following May 14 the British simply ended their mandate and pulled out.

That day a Jewish state was declared, effective midnight May 14. By 5:25 on the 15, the surrounding arab nations had declared was and attacked.
~~~~~~~~~~
*Note that "Palestinian" is used as denoting a person's geographic locus (and including jews), not as an ethnic group.


#38319 - 09/17/01 09:41 AM f from p(h)  
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It occurs to me there are no less than FOUR distinct changes of P to F in Near Eastern languages, bearing on this.

Original Semitic P changed to F in old Arabic (i.e. pre-Quranic). So Falastin, Farsi, corresponding to the European names Palestine, Persian (which come to us via Greek & Latin).

Post-classical Greek PH (aspirated P) changed to F: this happened a century or so after the New Testament period, it appears. This is why the letter phi now represents an F sound in Modern Greek.

However, this happened after words containing photo-, graph- etc were borrowed into Latin, so Latin retained the original aspirated P sound, and it was this that was carried forward into Middle English and Middle French. I believe (I can't swear to this) that the F pronunciation of Modern Greek was only introduced to the West after scholars fled the fall of Constantinople, or at least shortly before that when Byzantine scholars came to the West and re-established the study of Greek. (The first chair of Greek was established in Italy in the 1300s, I think.)

Finally, P changed to F in ancient Hebrew in some positions: at the ends of words, and when single between vowels. So the letters kap and qop came to be pronounced kaf and qof. (They are usually written kaph and qoph.) The word nepesh 'soul' came to be nefesh. It is not clear (at least not to me) when this change took place, how early in the Biblical period. The much later Tiberian system of punctuation shows it was in place before the year 500, and if oral tradition was accurately transmitted (Hebrew having by then been a "dead" language for a long time), then the contrast could well have been in place in the living Biblical Hebrew language. The consonant script doesn't show it, but doesn't need to.

It is believed that P in other positions (where it remained P in later Hebrew) was aspirated. So the Greeks heard the Hebrew words like par`o as Pharao rather than Parao. (This was before the unrelated PH > F change in Greek.) The P of Pharoah, Philistine/Palestine , having been borrowed into Greek, some centuries later changed into F just like native Greek words like photo-.

As far as I'm aware, the Hebrew and Arabic changed are unrelated to each other.

The Greek and Hebrew parts of this story also apply similarly to the groups we write CH and TH.

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