Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Beitza: `Uchla de`ifrat Hu` -- text only

Dave at Balashon has an interesting post about bidur, and the idea that there is a class of words that start with bd, and all of which mean "single, separate."

I was having somewhat related thoughts about a class of words that start with pr and mean "scattered, separate." I encountered this while learning through beitza where the objection is made that an egg laid from a hen which stands to be eaten is `uchla de`iphrath hu`, food which merely splits and separates from itself. The root is prt but Rashi translates it as prd.

I thought it might just be replacing the voiceless dental (t) for the voiced dental (d), but then I thought it might be standard Aramaic switching of certain shin for tav, thus coming from pr$. Jastrow lists this as a separate word and root.

Thus, we have:
prg - a separation (see pargod, separating curtain, and related Greek word)
prd - to separate
prz - scatter
prk - also to separate
prs - a piece
pr' - to peel off
prtz - a break in something
prq - a section
prr - a piece, a crumb, to crumble
prt - as above, to separate

There are also a series of these words that mean to bloom (e.g. pry, prhh).


Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

From what i've read, Proto-Afro-Asiatic (the reconstructed language formerly known as Proto-Hamito-Semitic) seems to have had biliteral roots, which then expanded into triliteral roots in Semitic.

Anonymous said...

In Milon HaTanach, Steinberg lists a few more roots with the same meaning: פר , פרה , פרך , פרם , פרש


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