Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Learning Awe From the Bantu

Where do you have go nowadays to find people who still respect their elders?
Why deep in Africa, of course.
The new entry:


AWE     YiRAH     Yod-Resh-Aleph-Hey

Year-RAH____יראה____[YRAHà AW]

ROOTS:    The same wise men who link godliness to giddiness derive AWE from Old Icelandic agis, fright, and  Greek achos, pain, distress.  The W sound derived from a guttural does not reflect very AWESOME scholarship either.

 יראה  YiRAH is the  noun for the AWE a sentient creature might have for a Creator, as in Leviticus 19:32.  The verb root of “revering” (B-Y adds this to the inferior “fear” definition) is ירא Yod-Resh-Aleph. 

Uggaritic (extinct Semitic) has a similar word, and timidity is one meaning that comes up in the Bantu below. The  י Yod/Y as “weak letter” does not affect the ability to derive a word like AWE or its yet undiscovered precents.

Forר   Resh /R becoming WR, see entries like “WORM,” “WREN,”  “WRIST” and “WRONG.” 

 For ר   Resh /R becoming W, listen to Elmer Fudd say “CWazy Wabbit.”


BRANCHES:   Rev. Jonathan Mohler learned Bantu on location in southern Africa. In the Luyia dilaect “to fear” is

rya, an M213 metathesis of  ירא YaRAy . Related is  -riririra, to be nervously shy or fearfully hesitant. One can hear the stuttering, fearful repetition of the R-vowel root.  Closer to יראה  YiRAH is oburye, the respect, honor, and fear shown to parents and superiors. A Bantu tribesman always feels somewhat self-conscious or nervous in the presence of an omurye. Ribwa means feared, respected; (-bwa is a passive suffix).

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Posted via email from Isaac Mozeson