[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

Bearpecs at aol.com Bearpecs at aol.com
Tue Jul 26 16:56:09 EDT 2005

In a message dated 7/26/2005 1:15:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time,  
leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il writes:

Actually, the final W in Shema'ayahu is not a mater lectionis, since  the
..yahu is an abbreviation of YHWH, in which the W is obviously  consonental.
I'm not sure how it was pronounced, but it was not written  just to indicate
the vowel u.

How can you say the waw is "obviously" consonantal.  What evidence do  you 
have for this?  
The same name is spelled $MRYW in the Samaritan Ostraca, where it is  to be 
interpreted as $:maryaw, the theophorus element contracted from $:maryahu  in 
keeping with a common phonological change in Northern Israelite.  There,  the 
waw is indeed consonantal, but it is a glide which developed from 'u' being  
contiguous to 'a'; "in Judahite, by and large, the fuller form yhw was  
preserved, while in the North, the he had already been lost, yw." (Cross &  Freedman, 
p. 51.)  
But we have no evidence AFAIK that theophoric names ever contained an  
element in which both the heh and waw were consonantal.
btw:  Freedman  & Cross (p. 41) on Y-HWH in the Me$a`  stele:
(Wherever I use a dash, read "a".  For e with a macron above, I use  e~.)
" 'Y-hweh,' *y-hwe~ < *y-hwiy(u).  The he is a mater lectionis for  final e~."

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