[b-hebrew] Proverbs 26:21 alternate spellings?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Sep 30 15:05:29 EDT 2003

On 30/09/2003 11:28, Karl Randolph wrote:

>In French, there is a pattern of meaning so that a Frenchman knows when to use soir or soirée, matin or matinée and so forth, is there any such pattern in Biblical Hebrew?
>For some of it, it is the difference between the male and female of an object, such that PRD and PRDH refer to a male and female donkey, the same pattern with N(R and N(RH.
>For example, what’s the difference between )BR and )BRH, both meaning “wing feather”? What about )MR and )MRH referring to sayings? XQ and XQH both mean “statute for setting limits”? NTYB and NTYBH meaning “way, direction one should go, byway”? There are many other such words. ...
Very good questions! I remember studying XQ and XQH and finding some 
kind of distinction, at least that for some of the senses of the word(s) 
only one of the two forms is used. Another important one is CDQ/CDQH. 
And DG/DGH was discussed on this list not long ago.

>... Has anyone made a study to indicate when one should use a word with a final hey and without? Are we dealing with the masculine referring to the specific and the feminine to the general? Is there any pattern? Or is this merely acceptable alternate spellings? ...
More very good questions. There is some evidence for choice of 
gender-based form to fit a chiastic pattern of genders, in poetry. I 
don't know of any other pattern, or of any general study.

>... Are some merely a feminine noun written without the hey in the singular? ...
Probably not, except in a few cases of textual corruption. Final he as a 
mater is never dropped, except in a small set of suffixes -ka, -ta, -ha, 
-na. Evidence for this, if you could find it, would be feminine 
agreement for forms without he. Evidence against would be construct 
forms, as the -t of the feminine construct could never be dropped, as 
well as plurals in -im.

>... There are examples much more complex than the ones given above.
>Is this a publishable study?    ;-)
You could probably get a PhD for it, at least if you discovered some 

>Karl W. Randolph.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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