[b-hebrew] Translating - some elementary questions

Yonah Mishael yonahmishael at gmail.com
Tue Oct 3 23:45:21 EDT 2006

On 10/3/06, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

The -ta personal suffix for verbs bears the dagesh qal because of the
closed syllable that comes before it. לָמַדְתָּ LfMaD:T.f because of
the closed syllable מַדְ MaD: .

Notice that this is not the case with verbs like ברא BR) which do not
have a closed syllable (with the quiescent alef): בָּרָאתִי BfRf)TiY .
This is not a dagesh hazak, and it has to do with the closed syllabel
that precedes it.


Yonah Mishael ben Avraham
Joplin, MO
yonahmishael at gmail.com

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