[b-hebrew] kamatz vs. patax
Nir cohen - Prof. Mat.
nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Tue Jan 25 14:15:50 EST 2011
several short replies, mostly to isaac, and 2 questions:
1. >>> De: Isaac Fried
The thing is that we (at least this humble member of this great list)
don't know what is the intended distinction between a qamats and a
one practical difference is knowing if the word is stressed milra or mil'eil.
for example, a patax or kamatz changes the stress, hence the whole meaning, of
the word naxal (river or inherited).
2. >>> I think that the dagesh preceded the NIKUD and wherever the NAKDANIYM
saw a dagesh
they marked a patax, otherwise they put a qamats.
isaac, the word naxal contradicts this simplistic explanation: there is no
it is clear in my mind that the NIKUD does reflect, at least partially,
subtleties which existed in old semitic, and in BH, and is not just a
3. >>> ...In any event, no one I know speaks a qamats
differently than a patax.
4. >>> I think you should add the explanation that the claim of "proper"
pronunciation is a theoretical corollary of the dubious proposition
that a schwa following a qamats is a schwa "NA", which should
actually be "moved". I must say that I have never heard a-me-ru, sha-
le-xu, which also barely sound Hebrew to me.
>>>On Jan 18, 2011, at 1:27 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:
> Ask any competent Torah-reader. The proper pronunciation is a-me-
> ru, sha-le-xu
>>> De: Uri Hurwitz <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>
...>"The thing is that we... don't know what is the
intended distinction between a qamats and a
patax. Did these markings represent different
pronunciations, or was the qamats used to indicate
only something gramatical, we just don't know >..."
>>>De: K Randolph <kwrandolph at gmail.com>
>>>>> Correspondingly they were given different markers.
> One was a Qamatz, another a Patach, and related to
> the last, a semi-vowel hataf-patach. There is no point
> in explicating the differences bweteen long and short
> vowels here.
>>>Admittedly so, but which were those two ‘A’ vowels? And which symbols did
they use to designate those vowels?
indeed, in modern, 21st century hebrew shwa is mostly not pronounced. but up to
the 19th century and even beyond i believe it was mostly pronounced. and, many
lost today, including the difference between kamatz and patax, were in use in
yemenite hebrew, which should be fully documented in the literature. even in
ashkenazi hebrew, which had lost all gutturals and many other distinctions,
was pronounced as an A and kamatz as a plain O, or close to O, same as in
in spite of the relative isolation of the latter.
5. >>>De: Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu>
> I am afraid that the Hebrew "short" and "long" vowels (which are in
any event nonexistent now) is a figment of the imagination, as is
most grammatical systems are a posteriori systems which try to capture all the
richness and variation of the language in as few simple rules as possible.
those who composed the nikud knew much more BH than we know today, so we should
give them the benefit of the doubt before dubbing them a hoax. as i see it,
nikud makes no sense without the short/open hypothesis.
6. >>>One thing I am convinced of, which is that the claim that xataf-patax
is a "semi-vowel" (which no one to my knowledge pronounces as such)
is a terminological farce resulting from a silly interpretation of
the word xataf.
what is a semi-vowel? the way i was taught is that xataf-vowel is a shwa na,
and a vowel, phonetically. namely, when a shwa would result in a phonetic
7. questions: A. since the babylonians had a detailed vowel system, can we
find any parallel between theirs and BH nikud?
B. who made the nikud for biblical aramaic (daniel, ezra, neh) and targumim?
what nikud laws do they follow?
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