[b-hebrew] vowel length

Reinhard G. Lehmann lehmann at uni-mainz.de
Tue Nov 7 14:35:17 EST 2006


a really great description of complicated matters in a short way - 
(I always teach the in the first weeks of my Biblical Hebrew beginners 
class - and it works!!!)

Just one remark: I'd like better to say: The Massoretes were aware of 
vowel lenghth - of course, for they were not deaf -, but they were not 
so much interested in.

> No.  The Massoretes were aware of vowel length.  But vowel length,
> at least in most cases, was not phonemic.  Vowel length was a product
> of the history of the Hebrew language, but due to the development of
> the Hebrew language, it so happened that given a particular syllable
> and stress structure, the vowel lengths of the various syllables in the
> word were fixed.  That is, open and stress vowels were lengthened
> during this development and long unstressed vowels took on

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