L"h verbs

Bryan Rocine 596547 at ican.net
Wed Sep 16 13:31:12 EDT 1998


Do these tid-bits help?

The letter heh, as a mater lectionis for the final vowel in a word,
originally had a more variable value than the other matres lectionis,
ranging from long /o/ to long /e/, but settled down to represent mostly

Check out Jouon, sect. 79 or Gesenius 75.  Both say third heh roots
are really third yod, which yod, btw, is retained in passive participles
and latent in many other
forms.  That would make some of the _heh_s to which you refer quiescent or
matres lectionis.  

That many word-ending _heh_s are matres lectionis is evidenced by
attestations of the same word with the vowel point, say a qamets, but
without the _heh_( for
instance, _)atta_ the m. s. subject pronoun without _heh_ is attested);
however, I don't know if we can consider all word-ending, silent _heh_s
matres lectionis.  Probably yes.  I wonder if one of our b-hebrew friends
can confirm this.  

I understand Anderson and Forbes(1986) and Barr(1988) are good on
the use of matres lectionis.


> From: Irene Riegner <iriegner at concentric.net>
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Subject: L"h verbs
> Date: Tuesday, September 15, 1998 4:28 PM
> I was just reading in a biblical Aramaic grammar that in the so-called
> l"h verbs in biblical Aramaic, which are really l"y / l"a verbs, the "h"
> in the 3rd sing. masc ending functions as a mater lectionis indicating
> that the previous vowel (a qamatz) is long.  Does the "h" also function
> this way in biblical Hebrew?  In the 3rd sing. fem---e.g. bnth = she
> built?  How about the "h" in 3rd sing. fem. hollow verbs---e.g. qmh =
> she arose?  How about in the imperfective where a segol precedes the
> "h".
> Thanks for your responses.
> irene

B. M. Rocine
Associate Pastor
Living Word Church
6101 Court St. Rd.
Syracuse, NY 13208


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