[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

B. M. Rocine brocine at twcny.rr.com
Wed Jul 27 10:02:17 EDT 2005

Uri, I find it interesting that on the Mesha Stele, the final he is not 
only used for the 3. m. s. pronominal suffix, but also the 3. f. s., as 
in line 8 bah.  According to contemporary Hebrew phonics such a word 
would be pronounced with an aspirated /h/, that is /bah/ with a 
"breathy" h.  Let's assume the two pronominal suffixes, though written 
identically, were pronounced differently.  If so, I think the existence 
of different pronunciations for a final he is an expression of matres 


Uri Hurwitz wrote:
>   Brian,
>   The  letter "He" as a pronominal suffix, not only in the examples you 
> cite bellow but also for instance in in A&TR$TH in the Kunt. El- Ajrud 
> may well have been a  vocalized consonant,   --"  ...tahu", as the 
> cited  above .  In classical  Arabic this is the case to the present.  
> Interestingly, like in most cases in BH, this contracts to a syllable in 
> the colloqiual dialects.
>   Uri
> */"B. M. Rocine" <brocine at twcny.rr.com>/* wrote:
>     Hi Yitzak,
>     Will you count the 3. m. s. pronominal suffixes as final he maters?
>     There are many of them that are pronounced /o/: (line 6) vayyahlephoh,
>     benoh, (7) boh, ubetoh, (8) moh, beyamoh, etc.
>     I admit, when we pronounce such final he's as /o/, we may be using
>     anachronistic pronunciation rules. IOW, they may have been consonants
>     as, I think, Joel Hoffman mentioned as a general possibility for
>     epigraphic Hebrew ("Moabite").
>     Shalom,
>     Bryan
>     Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
>      >
>      > The Mesha stele also uses -h for apparently final -a, in bllh (in the
>      > night, line 15).
>      > I was more convinced this is a mater lectionis than all the -o
>     examples because
>      > all the -o examples are proper names: qrxh, dwdh, nbh. Do we know
>     if there was
>      > no consonantal heh in those names?
>      >

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