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The Shema (Deut 6:4) has long posed a crux interpretum in studies of early Israelite religion. Although the verse is often understood as a rejection of “foreign” deities in favor of Israel’s God Yahweh, some have understood the verse as a textual consolidation of Yahweh’s multiple identities. The present study draws attention to the specific local manifestations of Yahweh at Kuntillet Ajrud and their respective archaeological contexts, locating those expressions within the larger regional and pan-Israelite religious system. Attentiveness to the archaeological provenance of each pertinent inscription suggests that distinctions obtained between the devotional expressions towards each local manifestation of Yahweh. Insofar as it is possible to draw conclusions from the extant epigraphic and iconographic data, the expressions of devotion towards Yahweh of Teman was officially sanctioned; no such official recognition of Yahweh of Samaria existed. When no sanctioned space existed for such recognition, personal expressions of piety were expressed interstitially.

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
In: Congress Volume Aberdeen 2019

A recent publication (Hutton 2011) provided evidence and phonological rationale for Baden’s assertion (2010) that the derivational prefix of the Biblical Hebrew hitpaʿʿēl stem could assimilate not only to the normally recognized ‘dentals’ (t, d, and ), but also, in certain ad hoc circumstances, to the affricates (s, z, and ) and, eventually, to other classes of segments. This paper analyzes the process from the theoretical standpoint of feature geometry. An analysis informed by theoretical phonology suggests that the underlying derivational phoneme *t was unspecified with respect to voice and some other features. When this underspecified phoneme *t was placed in immediate contact with a segment exhibiting the same place of articulation and manner specifications, it was occasionally linked to the pharyngeal node of the following segment on an ad hoc basis. Along with commonly operational default rules, this linkage helps to explain cases wherein derivational *t assimilated to members of the set of coronal stops and affricates {d, [t ʕ ], s [ts], z [dz], and [ts ʕ ]}. Moreover, in a narrow set of instances, the segment *t was linked to the nasal articulator node of the following coronal /n/, or to the root node of a few other coronal phonemes (š [s], and possibly ś [ɬ] and l). Over time, these linkages proceeded up the feature tree as the feature spreading was increasingly generalized. This finding is basically consistent with the proposals laid out in Baden 2010 and Hutton 2011, but augments them slightly, providing a more unified, economical, and principled explanation.

In: Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics