[b-hebrew] Translating - some elementary questions

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 15:56:07 EDT 2006

On 10/3/06, Vadim Cherny <VadimCherny at mail.ru> wrote:
> > Why do the Greek and Latin forms consistenly end the 2nd m.s.
> suffix without a vowel?
> > Yitzhak Sapir
> Are you sure? I was under impression that transliterations have -ac/-ec 2ms
> suffix, quite with a vowel.

An -ak / -at ending is a consonantal ending.  There's a vowel, then a consonant.
That is why I said, end with a vowel.  Here are some examples from Emanuel
Tov's Introduction to Textual Criticism:
dodkha is spelled in Latin dodach
)oznkha is spelled in Latin oznach
zanaxta is spelled in Latin zanath

> The difference with the MT could be explained: we just read the MT
> incorrectly. Vocalization in suffixes is trailing (like under het), not
> lagging.

No, it's not.

> The Masoretes meant to read dvarac, we just erroneously read
> dvarcha.

We know this is not erroneous from the DSS which spell these words
with a final he.

> That explains absence of dagesh kal in the suffix consonant in MT:
> dvarcha rather than the expected dvar.ca with interconsonantal stop, dagesh
> kal.

Then why does the masculine ending on verbs, -ta have a dagesh?

The real reason is that the fricativization of these letters occurred
very early.  We
have evidence it occurred already in the 5th century BCE.  By the time of the
Massoretes, the rule that a bgdkpt letter is fricative after a vowel no longer
applied, but in various words where this fricative rule applied and
the vowel before
the bgdkpt letter dropped later, the fricative sound remained.  Take the word
*malk- "king".  Originally, the plural had a long a: in the second
syllable.  Thus,
the plural of "melekh" is "melakhim".  This used to be the case in the construct
form: "mala:khe".  However, when the second a: dropped, the word remained
"malkhe".  The verbal suffixes had no vowel before them ever.  Thus, the word
"I heard" is attested in Amarna as $a-mi-ti "$ami(ti", without a vowel
between the
(ayin and "ti" suffix.  This goes for the rest of the verbal suffixes.  However,
the noun suffixes had a vowel before them.  This was the case ending.  While
the case ending was eventually lost, the "-ka" suffix remained fricative.

Yitzhak Sapir

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