Stress in written Hebrew (DSS)?

Henry Churchyard churchyh at
Thu Sep 16 11:11:54 EDT 1999

> Subject: Stress in written Hebrew (DSS)?
> From: Ian Hutchesson <mc2499 at>
> Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 15:18:00 +0200

> I wonder if anyone would like to comment on this stretch of Ex
> 4:28-31 which is from Qumran.  It's from an article I've been
> reading. Two levels of stress are claimed, primary (+) and secondary
> (*), for this Hebrew that was either spoken or sung.

> 1 'hr]n 't kl dbry yhwh '[$r
>           *

Not quite sure what you're asking -- about the prosodic and
constituency information transcribed in the Tiberian masoretic
accentual orthography (which only applies to the Tiberian masoretic
pronunciation, of course), or about any Biblical recitation
pronunciation used at Qumran itself (concerning which almost nothing
can be directly known)?

But if you're only concerned with the location of main stress within
each individual word, then various kinds of indirect or semi-indirect
evidence lead to the linguistic reconstruction that stress-positioning
in Hebrew at that time was not too different from the
stress-positioning attested in the later Tiberian masoretic
orthography, with a few exceptions -- for example, segholate
epenthesis was not yet a general process, and the process of stress
shift off a light penult (which is responsible for alternations such
as that between pausal penultimate-stressed kaathaabhuu "they wrote"
and non-pausal final-syllable stressed kaathbhuu) probably had not yet

Henry Churchyard   churchyh at

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list