[b-hebrew] question from parshat ha'azinu

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Oct 6 21:34:47 EDT 2003


Dear Trevor: 
 
When I got a list of the verses that have the -MW suffix, I then wrote down my initial 
impressions of its uses. Your questions below give me more food for thought. 
 
In a quick search where -MW- is used as an infix between a preceeding word and a 
personal pronoun suffix, it is always appended on K- prefix. This appears to be used 
over a hundred times. It is sometimes used where one could expect the K- to be 
prefixed to the following word possibly making it emphatic, sometimes as stand 
alone, as in "Who is like you?". 
 
What you pointed out may change my initial response. 
 
I'll have to get back later on further impressions. 
 
Thanks for the feedback. 
 
Karl W. Randolph. 
 
Karl W. Randolph. 
 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Trevor Peterson" <06peterson at cua.edu> 
 
> Karl wrote: 
>  
> > • the meaning of the suffix could either be plural or  
> > singular, though usually plural • it occurs more often in  
> > poetry than prose, Deuteronomy 32 is poetry 
>  
> The frequency in poetry may not have much to do with semantics. Since it 
> is poetry, we should consider the possibility that it was added for 
> sound--to lengthen a form (and thus lengthen a line), perhaps. It could 
> also be an archaic or dialectal feature, which tend to hold on in poetry 
> longer than in prose. 
>  
> > • it is more  
> > often attached to a single letter prefix than to a noun or  
> > verb e.g. KMW or LMW 
>  
> There could also be a connection with the longer forms from these 
> single-letter prepositions (particularly K), where the -mo- appears 
> before the usual suffix. If this is basically the same thing, it's one 
> of the most common appearances in prose. 
>  
> > • where it is plural, it usually refers  
> > to a natural group or assemblage, such as a people, tribe •  
> > it seems to emphasize the subject of the -MW more so than the  
> > noun or prefix it’s appended to • it seems to indicate that  
> > very subject, possibly a reflexive emphasis, not a general subject  
>  
> I'm not sure what you mean by this last part. A possessive or object 
> suffix is intended to refer to something else, rather than the word to 
> which it is attached. Could you give some examples of this emphasis you 
> see (and how it differs from other suffixes)? 
>  
> Trevor Peterson 
> CUA/Semitics 
-- 
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