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The Arabic word somehow looks like a mixture between the Aramaic and the Hebrew form
Could such a mixed form have arisen among Arabic Jews (e.g. the Jewish tribes in Medina), who partially "corrected" the Aramaic word under influence of the Hebrew form?


Maybe! I'm generally skeptical of speaker's ability to perform such feats of reetymologizing words like this. The problem is especially that, despite them getting a long way towards torah, they never actually arrived there and got stuck at tawrayah or tawrēh instead.

Surely, if they were looking to pronounce it correctly, they could have just pronounced it correctly?

So it reamins a bit of a mystery.


My idea was that they basically only restored the Initial /t/ from Hebrew - its absence would be the Feature that stood oout most in the Aramaic form. I assume that subsituting /aw/for /o:/ would have been normal in the Arabic of that period?


That's certainly a possibility. Although why not "fix" it completely, so to speak?

Here is another idea: Since all of the nouns that in the 'regular' pronunciation end in āh all come from these original *-awat- and *-ayat- sequences, dialects that had ō and ē for this instead, simply would not have had a vowel ā before final h. So they had to compromise in their phonology. Either tawrōh or tawrēh. It's a little bit surprising that they would then choose for tawrēh though, as the traditional pronunciation of the vowel in tōrāh is: [toːrɔː]m you'd think tawrōh would be the better approximation.


Rounded qames is a pretty late development, though, and never made it into the Sephardi pronunciation. Either way, tawrēh is definitely weird. Also, why put an [h] there anyway? It wasn't pronounced in Hebrew or Aramaic.

Maybe this is just the same kind of sloppy borrowing as in ʾinjīl? Then again, how sloppy is that? Do you think the eu- of euangelion could somehow have been mistaken for the definite article, like in Al-Iskander?


Thanks for the correction on the vowels, wasn't sure when exactly that happened!

As for the final h. At first I wanted to say 'because they wanted to make it a feminine of course!'. But then there's dunyā type feminines, which would perfectly emulate the final . So... Maybe we have to go for a earliest for *awrayah which was emulating the Aramaic form, with its own feminine ending, and then t was added to make it look more Hebrew?

I don't like that explanation very much, but it certainly is the best I can come up with.

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