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

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman joel at exc.com
Mon Oct 10 18:11:46 EDT 2005

>>It's not a prosodic rule.  It's not hard to find examples in Tanach of
>>the same prosody with different trope types, and, hence, different
>>BEGED KEFET behavior.  The Masoretes invented this arbitrary
>>inter-word rule (and, actually, for all we know, invented the entire
>>BEGED KEFET rule).
>word within a short phrase. And there is surely pre-Masoretic evidence 
>for the different pronunciations of begadkepat letters in 
>transliterations into Greek, Latin etc.

There is considerable pre-masoreteic evidence, and none of it confirms
the Masoretic Beged Kefet rules.  I go through the evidence in great
detail in my NYU book (_In the Beginning: A Short History of the
Hebrew Language), which is available from most libraries.  "Rebekka"
demonstrates well, as the Masoretes recorded two syllables and a /v/
for the second consonant, while the LXX gives us three syllabes and a
/b/ for the second consonant.  "Milcah" shows the same pattern, with
/k/ according to the Masoretes but /x/ according to the LXX.

>[...] The Masoretes recorded what they heard, in the tradition of
>chanting the Bible which they knew. So they

There is similarly little evidence that the Masoretes recorded what
they heard.

-Joel M. Hoffman

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