short or long

Trevor & Julie Peterson 06peterson at
Sun Jan 13 07:15:47 EST 2002

Actually, it would be a long-a in every case that I can think of. The use of
the meteg to specify is inconsistent, so you have to go by morphology where
it's absent. Assuming we're talking about G-stem (Qal) verbs and the perfect
tense-form, the 3ms always has a long-a. The shva results from vowel
reduction, so it marks the consonant as its own syllable. (My understanding
is that it's not pronounced that way in Modern Hebrew, but it still tells
you that the preceding vowel is a, not o.)

Trevor Peterson
  -----Original Message-----
  From: Polycarp66 at [mailto:Polycarp66 at]
  Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 1:31 AM
  To: Biblical Hebrew
  Subject: Re: short or long

  In a message dated 1/13/2002 12:10:06 AM Eastern Standard Time,
hebrew2day at writes:

    In the 3rd person plural (M or F) perfect tense how do you tell if the
    vowel is long or short, or if the shva is silent or vocal?
    I know the functions of the shva, but when the vowel is a gamets(before
    conjugated) does it change?


  Gen 1.21 $fR:CW.
  Since a syllable must begin on a consonant (unless it's a shureq), and
since there is no metheg to indicate the beginning of a new syllable this
must be divided

  $fR:     |      CW.

  The accent here is Milra' (on the last syllable).  This means that the "f"
is in a closed and UNACCENTED syllable.  It therefore must be hames-qatuph.


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