[b-hebrew] YHWH pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Tue Aug 2 09:36:22 EDT 2005

On 02/08/2005 14:20, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> ...
>>I don't understand this. The yod MUST be a consonant because ALL Hebrew
>>words start with a consonant.
>If it looks like a duck, and flies like a duck, then before the law it is a
>duck. Iod is pronounced as a vowel in 3ms FT, and there is no evidence
>whatsoever that it ever was pronounced as consonant, at least as 3ms FT
>If you are inclined to dwell into this issue, it is my belief that iod in
>3ms FT is mater lections derived from he in 3ms nouns. A similar process
>made iod 2fs FT suffix where we could expect he.

No Hebrew word, that is ZERO!, starts with a mater lectionis. (I take 
the u- copula as simplified from an original wu-.) Yod can be either a 
consonant or a mater lectionis. At the start of the word it cannot be a 
mater lectionis. Therefore it is a consonant. (If it looks like a duck, 
and flies like a duck, then before the law it is a duck.)

A suffix is a suffix and cannot be separated off as part of a word. If 
the final -iy suffix were to be written separately, it would need to be 
prefixed with alef, as in the word 'iy = "island, coastland".


>>On the other hand, there is evidence which I posted
>>earlier today for a final -e vowel sound.
>The problem is, no other hypothesis explains the pronunciation Iao. If YHW
>is not a compound of matres lectionis, but a regular word, he must have been
In the Greek or Latin spelling Iao, the initial I is not a vowel but a 
consonant, according to the regular rules of Greek and Latin spelling. 
Therefore Iao would be pronounced Ya-o, two syllables starting with a 
consonant, and with a zero divider which may replace an original "h" sound.

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list