tiberian phonology, puzzle for peter

Vincent DeCaen decaen at chass.utoronto.ca
Thu Aug 5 14:51:51 EDT 1999

hey peter,

since you easily grasp the principles of phonological analysis, here's
a teaser to open your mind. ;-)

using standard transcription, and vowels I,",E,A,F,O,U,  schwa :

MELEK:  "king",  P.ESEL  "idol"
how many vocalic phonemes (first syllable only!)?

but forms in major pause!?
MELEK:  , vs.  P.FSEL
how many now?

but closed syllables, unstressed?
MELEK:/MAL:K.  	vs	CEDEQ/CID:Q "righteousness"
P.FSEL/P.IS:L	vs	)FBEN/)AB:N "stone"
how many now? still just one from *a or *i?

and take a guess which pattern is most common, which least (hint, all
the textbooks take MELEK: as paradigmatic: wrong!).

Dr Vincent DeCaen     <decaen at chass.utoronto.ca>
c/o Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor
University of Toronto, Toronto ON, CANADA, M5S 1A1

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative, www.chass.utoronto.ca/~decaen/hsei/

The mind takes to a new idea the way the body takes to microbe:
It rejects it.  --P.D. Medawar

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