[b-hebrew] music in Hebrew [was Re: Long: *Some* Bib for Bryan]

Rochelle Altman willaa at netvision.net.il
Wed Jan 25 12:18:47 EST 2006

At 02:27 PM 1/16/2006, Peter Kirk wrote:
>On 15/01/2006 07:04, Rochelle Altman wrote:
>>At 01:16 AM 1/15/2006, Peter Kirk wrote:
>>>>. That's the point; if it is postulated that CVC did not occur until 
>>>>post-exilic times, then we have to add the vowel to "l-" ... It's why I 
>>>>included the "l-"    Technically, on the same grounds I should have 
>>>>included a vowel for "b" in the 29th.
>>>I think you have missed my point. If the alef in l-'adonay(a) is silent, 
>>>we have la-do-na-ya, all CV syllables. You also have a non-permitted 
>>>consonant cluster in "ha-artza" (even taking "tz" as one consonant), 
>>>oddly considering that there isn't one in the Masoretic Hebrew; this 
>>>needs to be something like ha-aratza.
>>IF the alef is silent, yes. Was it? The alef had better not be silent in 
>>the 23rd, for instance.
>>Here we have a clearly marked three syllable "a-do-nai."  Shall we change 
>>the psalm formula to be  "silent-do-nai" opening the song to prove that 
>>(1) yhvh is two-syllables and (2) Hebrew -- unlike Aramaic, had no 
>>tendency whatsoever to lose final weak vowels? The same psalm formula is 
>>used in the 33rd... three syllable opening. (It's also the formula for 
>>Shir Ha-Shirim.)
>My point was a simple one. In the Masoretic pointing, alef in 'adonay 
>becomes silent (as shown by having no point of any sort under it) 
>following prefixes like l- and b-. The evidence for this is from places 
>where 'adonay is written explicitly e.g. Genesis 18:32; Psalm 22:31; 
>73:28; 130:6; Isaiah 22:5; 28:2; Jeremiah 46:10,10; 50:25; Daniel 9:9; 
>Malachi 1:14. In fact the same contraction is also used before 'adoni "my 
>lord" e.g. Genesis 32:5; 44:9,16,16,33; 1 Samuel 24:7,11; 
>25:27,28,30,31,31; 2 Samuel 4:8; 18:28; 19:29; 1 Kings 1:2,2; 18:13; 20:9; 
>1 Chronicles 21:3; Psalm 110:1. But this alef is not always elided in the 
>MT e.g. before 'adone (plural construct) Psalm 136:6.
>Now of course we don't know whether this alef was elided in the same way 
>after l- in the earlier time we are talking of, when Hebrew had only CV 
>syllables. But we should at least allow for the possibility, which would 
>imply that 'adonay is three syllables, or four allowing for a final vowel, 
>and that la'donay was exactly the same.

I said I would answer when I returned, so...

I can only answer for texts that were translated into English from Hebrew: 
BN MS.Lat. 8824 and from the binding of Isaac through the book of Joshua in 
BM Cotton Claudius B.4.

It is relevant that the English transliteration of ADNI, "ADONAI," dates 
back to at least the 9th-10th centuries CE. Using xenographic exchange, 
ADONAI shows up in the English text in BM Cotton Claudius B.4 where YHVH or 
ADNI is written in Hebrew texts using xenographic exchange.. We have 
examples of this use among the DSS, for example, in 11QPS where YHVH is 
written in Paleo-Hebraic. (BN 8824 was from a consonantal vorlage; 
apparently, so was Cotton Claudius B.4.)

MT pointing or no, the alef clearly was enunciated.

Now, Psalms 22:31, 130:6; 136:3 (not 6) all include "l-"; Psalm 73:28 has 

The OE word for "Lord" is "driht-";  The OE for "EL" is "God."

In every occurrence of YHVH or ADNI the OE uses "drihten  plus a filler, 
e.g. PS 96(95) "nu drhten"; Ps. 23 "drihten me" or the masculine genitive, 
-es -- "drihtenes" (of [the] Lord) depending upon context. All of these 
uses are three syllables and match metrically to the Hebrew..

  In the specific cases of "my Lord" or "our Lord" "adoni" we find drihten 
minne (my lord) or "drihten ure" "our Lord" as in Ps: 22:31 -- four 
syllables match four syllables.

Now, in the cases of "l-" and "b-", the MT allots the vowel to the particle 
instead of the consonant. Why? Because it is the same vowel phoneme. In 
fact, this allotment does not mean that the vowel attached to the aleph was 
not enunciated; it was. Look at the pronunciation: la do nai. It was merely 
subsumed into one phoneme.

Rhythmically, ADNI remained three syllables.

What I find interesting is that two examples of apocopated forms, final 
vowels lost, "l-" and "b-" are being used here to illustrate how Hebrew 
remained CV and never lost or reduced weak final vowels until the 
post-exilic period.

I said I had no intention of getting into this aspect; because the evidence 
denies that Hebrew, unlike darn near every other Semitic or IE language, 
never lost weak finals. The mechanisms of vowel loss are diverse. Note that 
when ADNI or YHVH stands alone, apparent aphaeresis does not occur.

Syncope is the most common cause of apocopation in Semitic languages -- 
with the *second* vowel lost or reduced. Another very common mechanism is 
apocopation by proximity, that is, loss of a vowel phoneme because two 
vowels are perceptually the same. The apparent lack of vowel pointing for 
the alef is apocopation by proximity -- and the wrong consonant was 
assigned the vowel. In apocopation by proximity, it is the *first* vowel 
that is lost; not the second.

Well, Kimchi said that the Masoretes were no grammarians; it's pretty clear 
that they had tin ears, too.

I am sorry, I arrived at 1:00 am and have had to plow through more than 700 
messages -- I am too tired to continue right now. Hope I'm not too 
confusing in this note.

>Peter Kirk
>peter at qaya.org (personal)
>peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
Rochelle Altman 

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list