-mw suffix (was Re: [b-hebrew] Isaiah 53:8)
peterkirk at qaya.org
Mon Dec 13 06:59:01 EST 2004
On 12/12/2004 06:58, Samuel Arnet wrote:
> ... L:MOW in fact only occurs 4 times (Job 27:14; 29:21; 38:40; 40:4).
And in none of these cases is it in a pausal position - indeed in all
but 29:21, it is linked to what follows by maqaf, and 29:21 is textually
But in Isaiah 53:8, Genesis 9:26,27 and Deuteronomy 33:2 twice, LF^MOW
is in a pausal position where a different form with retracted stress can
be expected. These are all of the cases listed at
> In the following 5 cases, it *could* be X3ms but may be X3mp; listed
> below are the references in the order of descending likelyhood,
> according to Joüon-Muraoka
In fact it seems that there is a strong tendency for LF^MOW, whether
singular or plural, to occur in pausal positions. I checked a good
proportion of the 55 cases with only one apparent exception.
So is it possible that LF^MOW and L:MOW are simply different forms of
the same lemma, with a rather regular stress shift? It looks as if
LF^MOW is the pausal form and L:MOW is a reduced form (cf. a construct)
used mostly when phonologically dependent e.g. joined by maqqef.
If this is true, I would expect to see a similar pattern with other
prefixes like K-. But if the pattern shows that the distinction between
-F^MOW and -:MOW is phonologically dependent i.e. linked to the
accentuation and stress environment, it becomes rather difficult to
maintain that they are semantically distinct forms showing a number
I note after writing the above that this is no new controversy and no
new explanation. The issue is mentioned in Gesenius (GKC) 103f note 3,
where the link to the position of the pause is noted. Gesenius writes:
> The question whether LF^MOW can also stand for the sing. LOW ... must
> be answered in the affirmative unless we conclude with Diehl and Haupt
> that /all/ the instances concerned are due to corruptions of the text.
> It is true that in such places as Gn 9:26,27, Dt 33:2, Is 30:5, Ps
> 73:10 (all /in/ or immediately before the principal pause; in Dt 33:2
> with /Zaqeph qaton/ at least) LF^MOW can be better explained as
> plural... On the other hand, in Is 44:15 its explanation as plural
> would be extremely forced.
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
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