[b-hebrew] yhwh pronunciation

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Mon Jul 25 22:53:22 EDT 2005


As I wrote before, I know of an inscription written in 
proto-Sinaitic script that has seven words, among which one 
has a waw indicating third person singular possessive (if 
I'm not mistaken, is that not a mater lectionis?) and one 
has a yod in the second person singular perfect to replace 
a hey. From this example, I suspect that the use of matres 
lectionis well predates the Phoenician use of the alphabet.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>

> On 25/07/2005 03:32, Karl Randolph wrote:
> > Peter:
> >
> > Just out of curiosity, what time frame do you determine for the 
> > invention of matres lectionis?
> >
> >
> I don't know, Karl. Do you? Obviously no later than the late ninth 
> century because it is attested at that time. And there is very 
> little written Hebrew earlier than that. There is older Phoenician, 
> which apparently did not use matres lectionis at all. And there are 
> no he matres lectionis in the Gezer calendar, which is Hebrew from 
> the late tenth century, although there are final vavs which may 
> well indicate long "u" sounds (in the repeated word YRXW which is 
> understood as meaning "two months", a construct dual) - but this 
> rather short work just may not include any words ending with a 
> vowel other than "u". This suggests, but by no means proves, that 
> use of final he as a mater lectionis was a ninth century innovation.
> > Do you include where the final he in a verb is changed to a yod 
> > as an example of matres lectionis?
> >
> >
> Well, that depends on the pronunciation of the yod. If it marks a 
> long "i" vowel, as for example in the 1st and 2nd person singular 
> "perfect" forms of the qal of "lamed-he" verbs, it is a mater 
> lectionis. But if it is a consonant, as in the qal passive 
> participle, then it is not a mater lectionis.
> -- Peter Kirk
> peter at qaya.org (personal)
> peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
> http://www.qaya.org/

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