[b-hebrew] consonant vowel order of )EHYEH & YAHWEH

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Oct 3 15:21:15 EDT 2005

Oh come on Vadim! This example only shows the difference between an unaccented 
*written* o in Russian. But any old fool can see that the accented written o and 
the unaccented written o represent two completely different phonemes and so this 
example has no more relevance than my pointing out the difference between the s in 
bees and the s in lots.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Vadim Cherny
Sent: Mon 10/3/2005 8:06 PM
To: Peter Kirk
Cc: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] consonant vowel order of )EHYEH & YAHWEH
>>Now, when you pronounce waw in YHWH as v, syllable-final guttural hey is 
>>no problem (I don't suggest that pronunciation, just following your 
>>example) if you distinctly syllabify the word, yh.vh or even yh.(bh)h. 
>>When, however, you use soft w-u, such stop is almost lost, and hey 
>>Since, however, hey does not take schwa, hey was vocalized, and yeh.wa 
>>became ye.ho.wa.
> When sheva under a guttural consonant becomes vocalised, the vocalisation 
> is always a composite sheva and always matches the preceding vowel. So 
> there is no way that an "o" vowel, or any kind of long vowel like the 
> holam often postulated, could have found its way into the divine name by 
> this kind of process.

The first vowel is more or less "a," thus composite schwa is with "a," too, 
as you correctly noted.
Short a do become o - short o. Consider davAr - *dAvar - dOivor. In 
Ashkenazic, first kamatz elongated to holam, while the second kamatz, now in 
closed unaccented syllable, actually shortened to short o sound. The same 
process created kamatz-katan out of kamatz. I wouldn't bet about the English 
pronunciation, though the effect seems to be there, but Russian examples are 
plenty: малина is more or less pronounced молина.

Vadim Cherny 

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