Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at sil.org
Sat Aug 11 06:59:37 EDT 2001

Here are some Hebrew proper names including the letters -IYY-, as in CIY.OWN
"Zion" (Hebrew data from the WTS database), with their traditional English

Class 1: Hebrew -IYY- > English -ij- (13 names)

):ABIY.FH         Abijah
):ABIY.FM         Abijam
):ADONIY.FHW.     Adonijah
):AXIY.FH[W.]     Ahijah
)"LIY.FHW.        Elijah
+OWB ):ADOWNIY.FH Tob-Adonijah
+OWBIY.FHW.       Tobijah (2Ch 17:8)
YIB:NIY.FH        Ibnijah
YIR:)IY.FYH       Irijah
MIY.FMIYN         Mijamin
MAL:K.IY.FH[W.]   Malchijah
(IY.OWN           Ijon
(AN:TOWTIY.FH     Anthothijah

Class 2: Hebrew -IYY- > English -i- (23 names)

)W.RIY.FH[W.]     Uriah
B.UQ.IY.FHW.      Bukkiah
D.FNIY.")L        Daniel
HOWDIY.FH         Hodiah
XAG.IY.FH         Haggiah
(Y:)XIZ:QIY.FHW.  Hezekiah, Jehizkiah
XIL:QIY.FHW.      Hilkiah
+OWBIY.FH         Tobiah
YO)$IY.FH[W.]     Josiah
YIZ.IY.FH         Izziah
Y:XIY.FH          Jehiah
YA(:AZIY.FHW.     Jaaziah
Y:RIY.FHW.        Jeriah
YI$.IY.FH[W.]     Isshiah
MOWRIY.FH         Moriah
N"RIY.FH          Neriah
SUK.IY.IYM        Sukkiim
(UZIY.F)          Uzzia
(UZ.IY.FH[W.]     Uzziah
(IY.IYM           Iim (Jos 15:29)
CID:QIY.FH[W.]    Zedekiah
CIY.OWN           Zion
Q:RIY.OWT         Kerioth

Class 3: Hebrew -IYY- > English -iy- (3 names)

(EG:LAT $:LIY$IY.FH  Eglath-Shelishiyah
                     (KJV translates as "an heifer of three years old")
(IY."Y HF(:ABFRIYM   Iye-Abarim (KJV Ijeabarim)
(IY.IYM              Iyim (Num 33:45) (KJV Iim)

Class 4: other (3 names)

)IY.OWB           Job    (traditional rendering)
K.IY.W.N          Kaiwan (assimilation to an Arabic form?) (KJV Chiun)
K.IT.IY.IYM       Kittim (this Hebrew form seems to be an error in WTS)

Conclusion: there is some regrettable inconsistency in the English
transcription of Hebrew -IYY-, but the rendering of Zion is consistent with
the commonest way in which these letters are transcribed.

The letter y is very rare in transcriptions of names in the Hebrew Bible.
The following are the only ones I can find in a list of proper names in the
RSV (OT), apart from names like "Assyria" and "Babylon" which are clearly
derived from Greek and Latin forms. None of these forms appear in KJV.
Consonantal yod was apprently consistently transcribed "j", except that it
was simply omitted in cases like those noted above, and usually (not always)
word initially before "i".

Ayyah (KJV Gaza, 1Ch 7:20)
Yiron (KJV Iron, Joshua 19:38)

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Henry Churchyard [mailto:churchh at crossmyt.com]
> Sent: 10 August 2001 23:28
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Zion
> Right, it's not a _mater lectionis_ (vowel letter) in Hebrew (that
> would give the reading [zin]).  Whether the letter _yodh_ in this word
> represents a single or geminated [y] consonant sound in Hebrew
> wouldn't make much difference for the Greek transliteration, because
> the ancient Greek alphabet did not have a separate letter for [y]; the
> theoretically possible transliteration <Ziion> would not necessarily
> have been vastly superior to <Zion>.  Ancient Latin did use the letter
> <I> to write the consonant sound [y] somewhat regularly, but the
> distinction between <I> and <J> as clearly separate letters only
> happened in modern times.  Latin <Ziion> would have become modern
> English <Zijon>, I guess, with a "j" sound (phonetically [dzh]) as in
> "judge".
> >Subject: Re: Zion
> >From: Johannes Hellberg <j.hellberg at forsfak.been.o.se>
> >Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 17:27:57 +0200
> > The consonants aleph, he, yod and vav can be used as 'matres
> > lectiones', but in this case it cannot be in that way since the yod
> > in Zion is doubled (geminated).  Hence it must be a consonant of
> > full value, and not a matres lectionis according to the Masoretes.
> > The Septuagint , however, was translated long before the Masoretes,
> > and in an unvocalized Zion, yod might have been reckoned as 'matres
> > lectionis'
> >01-08-08 16:16, skrev Tony Costa p=E5 tmcos at hotmail.com f=F6ljande:
> >> I think this is also an example of the 'matres lectionis' (mother
> >> of readings) where the consonants aleph, he, yod and vav are used
> >> as voewls.  The yod (or 'yud') I think functions in this case as a
> >> vowel and hence is transliterated this way.. Best,
> >>> From: Johannes Hellberg <j.hellberg at forsfak.been.o.se>
> >>> Subject: Re: Zion
> >>> Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2001 17:39:03 +0200
> >>> Usually the English transliterations of Hebrew names follow the
> >>> greek translation, the Septuagint.
> >>> 01-08-07 16:28, skrev Silberman, Alfred p=E5
> >>> alfred.silberman at baesystems.com f=F6ljande:
> >>>> Why is Zion transliterated with a non-consonantal yud; Zion
> >>>> instead of Ziyon?
> --
> Henry Churchyard   churchh at crossmyt.com   http://www.crossmyt.com/hc/
> ---
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