Stress in written Hebrew (DSS)?

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Thu Sep 16 20:38:41 EDT 1999

Thanks for your response, Henry.

What I was interested in was the possibility of some form of sentence
stress being encoded in a particular manner in the DSS. The article claimed
that it could show stress indicated at a *sentence* level from the way a
sentence was written. The author claims that all texts were written to be
read aloud and that that reading, at least in the DSS, was facilitated.

>> Ex 4:28-31 [..], primary (+) and secondary (*) [stress]

I noticed in the sending that the stress indications were moved for some
reason by one character, let me try again

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

2 $lxw w't kl h'tt '$r cwhw wylx m$h[
        *   *                *

3 w'hrn wy's pw 't kl zkny bny y$r'l    wydbr
         +    * *        *   +    *      +

4 'hrn 't kl hdbrym '$r dbr yhwh 'l m[
       +          +              *

5 wy`]$ h'tt l`yny h`m     wym`n
               + *  +       *

6 ] yhwh 't bny y[$r'l

>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), 

The method claimed to have been used in the DSS is based on spacing between

>or about any Biblical recitation
>pronunciation used at Qumran itself (concerning which almost nothing
>can be directly known)?

This is what I'm interested in finding out. Can it be known? The article
claims it can. So, I thought by showing how stress was shown in the article
one might be able to decide.


>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

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