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Reply to "The Word ["Amen"]"

Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
I just caught up on reading most of this thread... Just a question HB, am I supposed to trust what you say as a linguist when you haven't ever heard of or read someone like Chiek Anti Diop before? IMO that means you never heard the evidence that Kai laid out so other words, you were missing the African centered argument. SInce that was something I could tell, or rather 'knew' by your post...doesn't that back up the idea that the Western educational system is not exactly fostering 'our perspective' of history or acadamia?

Firstly, I'm not an Africanist nor an Egyptologist.... Never claimed to be .... I'll repost the following:

Originally posted by HonestBrother:

Oshun, I've spent much of my life in a library. There are MANY MANY books. They don't always agree with one another. And one can't read them all no matter how much you may wish to. My field of expertise is mathematics by the way ... I have engaged the topic of this thread to the best of my ability and knowledge. I've also personally spent hundreds of hours in the study of languages. So I'm not relying solely on European scholarship but also on a great deal of first hand personal experience.

And I have spent a hell of a lot time studying languages. For more than a decade I was in the practice of learning one new language every year. And I have a degree in the subject. So I do have some amount of expert knowledge. Virtue asked about the methodology. One does not have to be an Africanist to make general observations about linguistic methodology. And so I attempted to explain:

Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Originally posted by virtue:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
Originally posted by Melesi:
1. Meaning is as the word is used. Nobody uses the word like that, therefore that's not what the word means.

2. Moreover, the etymology may not be right. It could be from a similar but different Hebrew word, amman.

3. Be careful of similar-counding felicities. They are usually wrong.

4. Be careful of your motives.

I agree with Melesi here (will wonders ever cease?)

But it frequently happens in linguistic research that one encounters similar sounding words. Just because two words sound or look similar it doesn't mean that they are related in any way. Similarity can be coincidental. So there are methods that are more or less reliable for determing if they are truly related. In the absence of evidence all else is speculation.
I know nothing of etymology.... what is the method? And why if the same word pops up in major religions around the world as well as translated from ancient texts as such is this not cause for serious investigation?


Let's take English as a case study. English has borrowed extensively from other languages:

theology, logic, skeptic (are all from Greek)

paternity, ad hoc, ad hominem (come from Latin)

kindergarten (from German)

Yenta (from Russian)

smorgasbord (Swedish)

The tendency to borrow from Greek and Latin is most intense in the areas of scholarship and higher learning.

Whereas things like "smorgasbord" seem to have been retained almost randomly (and reflect our immigrant history).

But in all cases conscious borrowing tends to show similarity (or at least analogy) of usage between the source language and the corresponding English term. In the case of 'smorgasbord', for example, the English term denotes something like a meal in which there is a large variety of dishes to choose from (like a buffet). But the Swedish source (if I remember correctly) denotes the buffet table itself.

There has also been a very heavy French influence in English since the Norman invasion. But we still say that English is a Germanic language. So on what basis do we make that determination? Look at basic items of vocabulary (words that even children know):
























Point? You see an extensive system of similarity between terms which have more or less the same meaning - and English and German are separated by a few thousand years. There are in addition fairly predictable rules governing the way pronunciations have diverged over time.

Sister Fine, I love you (and usually admire your intentions) ... I'm no expert but if Hebrew were an offspring of Akan it would not be such a well kept secret.

I'll be back to finish.....

This was NOT "European scholarship". I wasn't looking down at some book or getting this from a website. I typed this directly from my knowledge of these languages. I chose English and German because I wanted to use an example that everyone could understand - since we all know English.

I also gave a few links about the subject of language classification. I'll note here that even European scholars disagree about specific classifications. My point was that there is a large body of scholarship in place based on the methods which I was attempting to explain.

Check out the following article by Anta Diop. He uses the same methods (in the latter portion of the paper on the linguistic evidence for his claims) which I attempted to elucidate and which a European scholar would use. He also cites European scholars:

The only difference is that he considers a hypothesis - and consequently data - that a European scholar might not consider... and here is where the issue of cultural bial is most relevant.

PS: I fail to see any "evidence" laid down by Kai. He made a few vague assertions (some of them wrong) and then vaguely cited Anta Diop and van Sertima who, as far as I can tell, had nothing to say about this particular topic anyway even if you were tempted to accept their general point of view.

PSS: Just because an assertion is "Pro-Africa" or "Afro-centric" doesn't mean it's correct.

PSSS: It is still possible that your claims about the origin of the word "amen" may be correct... but so far no one on this thread has produced a shred of legitimate evidence.
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