Biblical Hebrew – Fossil of an Extinct Proto-Language


Scientific enterprise is a part and parcel of the contemporaneous to it general human cultural and, even more general, existential endeavor. Thus, the fundamental for us notion of evolution, in the modern sense of this characteristically Occidental term, appeared in the 19-th century, with its everything pervading, irreversible cultural and technological change and the existential turmoil. Similarly, a formerly relatively recherché word emergence, became a widely used scientific term only in the 20-th century, with its cultural, economical, political, and national sagas of emergence and destruction played against a background of the universe emerging from the Big Bang and disappearing into its black holes, if not into its ultimate Big Collapse. Today, the rules of engagement in scientific emergence-evolution games, steadily spreading from natural to cognitive sciences, and beyond, are dominated by the 19-th century concept of natural selection which has inverted the time-arrow of the classical creationist dogma, with its rarely spelled out pessimistic implication that the life is moving from the highest biological organization to an entropic chaos. In its turn, the natural selection’s excessively contagious, “do-it-yourself” optimism might ultimately turn out to be its undoing : the natural selection conjecture, when transposed to such fields as linguistics from the strictly biological scene, with its times of engagement ranging from at most hundred years of life expectancy for an individual organism to at least millions and even billions of years for evolutionary processes to bring this or that organism to existence, becomes for the first time verifiable and even falsifiable. The present paper studies some implications of the well-known but almost universally disregarded tight combinatorial morphological-semantic structure of the verbal system of Biblical Hebrew, to show that this linguistic fossil testifies to the existence of a now extinct Proto-Language whose extremely tight verbal organization and meaningful architecture made it both structurally strikingly similar and expressively vastly superior to humanly designed Assembler languages, – an absolutely novel, paradoxical phenomenon, never before and nowhere else observed and apparently incompatible with the basic tenets of modern linguistic natural selection theories and, at the very least, crying out for new explanatory linguistic paradigms.



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Edward G. Belaga
Strasbourg University

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