[b-hebrew] Segholate: a call for discussion

Vadim Cherny vadim_lv at center-tv.net
Sat Oct 23 04:01:27 EDT 2004

The below is a short summary of the hypothesis

calav - ca.lA.vu (1) - calAbbu (2) - cA.labb (unstressed final vowel lost) - cEi.labb (3) - cEil(e)bb - c(e)l(e)bI (4) - calbI or sifrI - calb or sifr. At the same time, cEil(e)bb - calb (5).


1. The hypothesis is that all Hebrew nouns had penultimate stress (just like Germanic initial-stress-derived nouns). Morphological stress moved one vowel back to compensate for syntactical stress accompanying the nouns.

2. Consonant doubling occurs cross-linguistically to close an otherwise open stressed syllable with simple sound (a, i, u)

3. When consonant doubling is not an option (in the present case, it would have created callabb, unpronounceable), a stressed simple vowel in an open syllable is elongated to composite. Thus davar - doivar.

A composite stressed vowel in otherwise open syllable is closed with its second sound (tzere ae closes with iud, holam au should have closed with shuruk).

4. Stressed suffix reduces a vowel to schwa mobile. Thus, cl(e)bbI - calbi or sifri

5. Composite vowels in super-heavy CVCC syllables shorten to component sounds (ae - i or a), as in itlabesh - itlabasht.

Vadim Cherny

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