Varieties of metheg
Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Wed Nov 29 09:38:28 EST 2000
Can anyone enlighten me about some subtle variations in the positioning of
metheg in the BHS text? These things are important as we try to convert the
electronic Hebrew text and develop intelligent fonts for a new generation of
computer study tools.
1. According to Gesenius, metheg appears under a consonant to the left of
any vowel, and this is certainly the most common case - encoded 75 by CCAT.
It can appear in the middle of a compound shewa - encoded 35. But quite
often (almost all cases are at the beginning of a word) it appears to the
right of the vowel, and is encoded 95. I can't find any rule to determine in
what environment the metheg is to the right rather than the left - note e.g.
the contrast between HAXAYYAH and HAROMESET in Gen 1:21. Is there a rule
which I have missed? Is there some difference in meaning between left and
right metheg? Or is this simply free variation?
2. Most often CCAT encodes metheg under an initial shureq as 95, which
corresponds with the right metheg in the printed BHS. But sometimes (Gen
2:12, 9:2,10 etc) this is encoded as 75, although the printed BHS looks
identical. Is there a good reason for the difference in the (OTA) CCAT text?
Is there a distinction, perhaps in L but not in printed BHS, which should be
preserved? Or is this simply inconsistent transcription?
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