[b-hebrew] Re: enclitic mem [was Encletic mem]

Deborah Millier deborahmillier at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 21 22:32:00 EDT 2003

Okay, let me see if I got this right.  An enclitic mem
is simply a mem that shows up at the end of a Hebrew
word...in a grammatically unexplanable (at this point)
place.  Right?  I had read Waltke and O'Connor's piece
about it a while back but forgotten most of it.  I'll
revisit them tomorrow on the topic.  But, if what
Trevor says is correct, we still do not know what
function they served.  Are there any patterns to note?
 Perhaps that will be answered by W&O (I've got to get
to sleep), but I ask you all too.  Any stabs as to how
to explain the phenomenon?

-- Michael Millier

> >Dear Michael,
> >
> >The "enclitic mem" is essentially an extraneous
> "mem" that shows up at
> >the endd of some words. The classic discussion of
> it is the article by
> >Horace Hummel, "Enclitic Mem in Early Northwest
> Semitic, especially
> >Hebrew," JBL 76:85-107. There is a good summary in
> Waltke-O'Connor
> >paragraph 9.8, pp. 158-160.
> Perhaps a little elaboration will be helpful.
> Enclitic mem doesn't tell us
> much, does it? Enclitic simply means that it goes on
> the end of a word.
> Mem--well, mem only tells us how it's written in a
> consonantal text. So,
> that's not much help either.
> The frustration becomes apparent when we turn to a
> language like Ugaritic,
> where there seems to be a host of mems with various
> functions. Because
> Ugaritic uses a more or less Phoenician orthography
> (basically no
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