[b-hebrew] Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a dagesh?

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Thu Oct 6 02:04:53 EDT 2005

The rule is that not only after a maqaf, but also after a "connecting" 
cantilation mark, if the first of two words ends in an "open syllable" (that 
is, with a vowel or a mater lectionis), the initial letter of the second 
word will remain without a dagesh even if it is a BGDKPT. The reason for 
this is purely phonetic - very much like the French not pronouncing many 
final letters, unless they are followed by an initial vowel. There are, of 
course, exceptions.
In the prayer book, those passages that quote biblical verses, quote them as 
the appear in the Bible. Other passages, especially poetry, often use 
"semi-biblical" spelling. Modern Hebrew usually ignores this rule.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher V. Kimball" <mail at cvkimball.com>
To: "b-hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 3:05 AM
Subject: [b-hebrew] Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a dagesh?

> "Beged Kefet" letters (bet, gimmel, dalet, kaf, pe, tav) are letters
> that change their pronunciation when they have a dagesh.
> According to a spelling rule: "Every time a Beged Kefet letter begins a
> word, it has a dagesh."
> Alas, this doesn't seem to be the case much of the time, at least in
> prayerbook Hebrew.
> The "word" in the above rule probably means a prosodic word so that in A
> maqaf B the first letter in B wouldn't have a dagesh.
> Is this rule an over-generalization or particular only to biblical Hebrew?
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list