SV: vav - waw

Søren Holst sh at
Sun Aug 12 12:09:17 EDT 2001

I'm sure a historical phonology specialist is going to come along with a
more detailed answer. In the meantime a short one:

1) You seem to find that evidence for the waw rather than for the vav
pronunciation is needed. But there's nothing whatsoever to make anyone
assume a vav pronunciation in antiquity to begin with.

2) The equivalent letter in Arabic is a W.

However, at the risk of being called a minimalist, I'll have to grant you
that proof positive of the waw pronunciation, in the form of tape recordings
from antiquity, is unlikely to ever come our way.

Soren Holst

> -----Oprindelig meddelelse-----
> Fra:	kymsabq [SMTP:kymsabq at]
> Sendt:	11. august 2001 15:45
> Til:	Biblical Hebrew
> Emne:	vav - waw
> In several of the Hebrew grammars that I consult it is often set forth
> that the vav consonant was originally waw in BH.  I have not, as of yet,
> been able to determine precisely how this thought was arrived at and
> whether or not the truth of the matter is that nobody actually knows and
> the waw idea is just based on hypothesis or conjecture.  My first thought
> was that since the vav was intermittantly used as a vowel, that perhaps
> this is how the waw idea came about; since a hard V sound wouldn't
> generally be associated with a vowel sound.
> If it would be possible for someone to lend time to responding this query,
> I'd appreciate an as detailed as possible rendition of the matter so I can
> look into it on my own further and come to my own conclusion.  Thank you
> in advance.
> kyms
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