[b-hebrew] Fw: WAYYIQTOL

furuli at online.no furuli at online.no
Thu Mar 11 10:42:57 EST 2004

Dear Dave,

We cannot today know exactly how vowels in the past were pronounced, 
therefore I qualified my statements by using the words "the same, or 
almost the same".  My argument regarding the Masoretes, and that 
WAYYIQTOL is non-existent before their time, does not rely on the 
assumption that shewa and patah were pronounced similarly, or almost 
similarly. But the argument rests on the manuscript evidence that we 
have and on the study of and comparison of 70.000 Hebrew verbs
The assumption of similar pronunciation is just a way to try to 
understand Masoretic reasoning and procedures.

Some sources which are worth reading in connection with the 
pronunciation of shewa are:  Kurt Levy (1936). Zur Masoretischen 
Grammatik, Bonner Orientalistische Studien, Heft 15; E. A. Speiser 
(1925-26, 1932-33) "The Pronunciation of Hebrew According to the 
Transliterations of the Hexapla" The Jewish Quarterly Review, New 
Series XVI 343-382, XXIII 233-265, and XXIV 9-46; T. Harviainen 
(1977). "On vowel reduction in Hebrew", Orientalia Suecana, 167-174; 
I. Yeivin (1980). "Introduction to the Tiberian Massora"; and  G. 
Kahn (2000). The Early Karaite Tradition of Hebrew Grammatical 

Best regards


Rolf Furuli
University of Oslo

>On Thursday 11 March 2004 07:59, furuli at online.no wrote:
>>  As to what today is called WAYYIQTOL, WEYIQTOL and WEQATAL, they
>>  carefully followed what they heard in the synagogue as well. Because
>>  shewa and patah could be pronounced in a similar, or almost similar
>>  way (as an "a" sound), the pronunciation of the first syllable of all
>>  three forms could have been the same, or almost the same.
>Since the rest of Rolf's argument is based on this statement, I would have
>expected some defense of this claim.  But I don't see any.  In fact, their
>careful use of patah, hatef-patah and shewa suggests that there were
>distinguishable differences in pronunciation among the three.  If this is the
>case, as it seems to be, it negates the rest of the argument.
>Dave Washburn
>Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
>is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

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