[b-hebrew] Verbal accent

Vadim Cherny vadim_lv at center-tv.net
Thu Dec 30 12:20:10 EST 2004

> >Would it be correct to say that short vowels tend to "prefer" closed
> >unaccented syllables or open accented syllables?

Short vowels occur in:

unstressed closed syllables (those were likely accented before, so got
diphthongs (tzere and patah) bordered with consonantal cluster on either
shortened to compensate for epenthesis
expanded from schwa (two schwas in a row environment)

As you could see, all these short vowels were originally long, whatever
Gesenius says on this matter.

> >In looking at the lexical form of the hebrew verb, qatal for
> >example, why is the second syllable (the accented one) usually (I
> >guess except for III-heh and III aleph verbs) pointed with patah and
> >not qamets if it is accented and closed?

because it was likely tzere, shortened to patah similarly to hitlabesh -
hitlabashti. The paal 3ms suffixless form with patah is likely imitiational,
and also helps avoid confusion with verbs of condition (catev).

Vadim Cherny

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