[b-hebrew] yhwh pronunciation

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed Jul 20 08:37:59 EDT 2005

On 20/07/2005 11:41, Read, James C wrote:

>Sorry for the mess up before. That's what happens when you join a 
>discussion from memory without checking the grammar first.
>However, while you are quite right that a regular verb would be 
>bisyllabic I'm sure you are all aware that regular roots are few 
>and far between. And that the root hwh is anything but regular. 
>Plus the general conception that this is a causative form. To the 
>best of my knowledge pe guttural hiphils and hophals are trisyllabic.
>The evidence from the ancient names of a second long vowel o/u is 
We have discussed this on the list before, and I think we have come to 
the conclusion that for the root HWH, according to the normal rules for 
weak verbs, both the Qal 3rd person "imperfect" and the Hiphil 3rd 
person "imperfect" would most probably have the form YAHWEH, i.e. 
identical to the reconstructed form of the divine name. The Qal might 
also be YIHWEH as the "imperfect" of roots with initial he is somewhat 
variable, cf. YIHYEH from HYH.

Note that these forms are both bisyllabic. There is no reason to expect 
a trisyllabic form here, except that the he might take a very short 
hataf vowel e.g. YAHWEH might become YAHaWEH with the small a indicating 
a very short hataf patah. But there is no way that a long o vowel would 
be found in this position.

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

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