[b-hebrew] reading unpointed Hebrew

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Nov 24 17:10:58 EST 2006

Of course, כחול (KAXOL) nay mean ‘as the sand’, and כחולה may mean ‘as a
sick woman.’ For this reason native Hebrew speakers, routinely and
subconsciously, replace the shwa under the prefixed, non radical, בכ"ל by a
full e sound, effectively disjoining the prefix. Thus, KXULA, but KeXOLA,
בכור, ‘first born’, but BeXOR, ‘in a hole’. Consider also the confusion
between לבנים ‘white’ and לבנים ‘for boys’.
Isaac Fried
-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Dr. Joel M. Hoffman
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2006 1:10 PM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [b-hebrew] reading unpointed Hebrew

I do not think that reading (that is, understanding) unpointed Hebrew
is significantly more difficult than reading pointed Hebrew, and, in
fact, sometimes the vowels get in the way of clarity.  For example, in
unpointed Hebrew, the prefix VAV means "and" (among other things), but
in pointed Hebrew, that same prefix "and" can be, V', VA, VE, U, etc.
Similarly, the relationship between MELEKH ("king") and MALKA
("queen") is transparently the same as that between KAXOL ("blue [m]")
and K'XULA ("blue [f]") only without the vowels.


Joel M. Hoffman, PhD

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