[b-hebrew] 'Tav" Preformative Third person Masc Plural form?

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Thu Nov 16 21:31:58 EST 2006

> On 11/16/06, Vadim Cherny wrote:
> >
> > From: "Yitzhak Sapir"
> > > Furthermore, the suffix -na appears to be original to both and
> > > if dropped, it was first dropped in the third person feminine
> > > conjugation.
> >
> > Another possibility is that suffix -na is actually a "polite imperative"
> > which follows the verbs, like tictov  na.
> Not really.  The "polite" suffix word is in my opinion probably related to
> a verb form that ended in -n.  In any case, it is a development of only
> some Semitic languages, whereas the -na that follows the feminine
> plurals is original to Semitic.  Even Hebrew recognizes the difference,
> whereby the feminine plural conjugation suffix is spelled "nh" while the
> "polite" suffix is spelled "n)".

The direction is uncertain. It could be, indeed, that plural FT suffix -na
became the "polite" na. The semantic relation is there: the FT or imperative
to many women includes a semantic shade of insistence or politeness.
The spelling difference, I believe, is less important since hey is a mater
lectionis in the suffix.

Vadim Cherny

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