[b-hebrew] CV syllables, was music in Hebrew

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Tue Jan 31 19:15:36 EST 2006

On 31/01/2006 22:21, Herman Meester wrote:

> ...
>It is quite possible that Hebrew once had (no longer visible) case
>endings, in the same way modern standard Arabic (on the higher
>stylistic level at least) still has.

As I understood it, these endings are never actually used in modern 
Arabic, but only in classical texts, and I suppose a few deliberate 
imitations of classical texts. If I am wrong here, I would be interested 
to know - as I am trying to study Arabic.

>However, if we have original case endings that have ossified and no
>longer function as case endings, such as the word layla לילה, which is
>probable the "accusative" of layl ליל, cf.  יומם ולילה yomam wa-layla,
>then this is indicated with a mater lectionis ה hey.
>The fact that לילה layla, unlike feminine words ending on -a ה, has
>penultimate stress, proves this. ...

Is the directional he suffix also an ossified accusative ending? This is 
also unstressed, I think, and is also written with a he mater lectionis.

>... Third, Hebrew doesn't
>have real open syllables that have patach. ...

Patah is found in stressed open syllables in words with non-final stress 
like TAXAT "under" and BAYIT "house", and in the dual suffix -AYIM. But 
I suppose such words are basically segolates, with patah instead of 
segol next to a guttural or a yod, and so were originally closed by two 
consonants which became separated by the late addition of an unstressed 

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list