[b-hebrew] Kamatz katan; Ashkenazi pronunciation; was: Translating

Vadim Cherny VadimCherny at mail.ru
Wed Oct 4 12:52:19 EDT 2006

From: "YODAN" <yodanco at yodanco.com>
> The fact that the original symbol of kamatz (see the Leningrad Codex and
> Aleppo Codex) was not like a T letter (which is the current symbol of both
> Kamatz vowels) but, rather, as a horizontal line under which there is a
> This is believed to reflect the pronunciation of kamatz by the Masoretes -
> as something in between Patah (ah) and Holam (oh) - which is how au or aw
> pronounced.

That's far from certain. The dot is BELOW the patah-like line. A dot below
represents hirek rather than holam, and the sound is [ai] - [e] rather than

>  In practically all cases of kamatz katan there is an underlying
> word with kubutz or shuruk (UH) or holam (OH) vowel

So you say that etymologically kamatz katan originates from holam/ shuruk,
and that that etymology was somehow remembered so that we pronounce kamatz
as [o]? That seems quite incredible.
Etymological derivationof the words with kamatz katan from the words with
holam/shuruk is very doubtful (I'm prepared to discuss your examples).
The "remembrance" of etymology, bearing of etymology on current
pronunciation of a cmoon vowel, is also very unlikely.

What's wrong with a simple explanation that kamatz katan is a kamatz in
closed unaccented syllables? Strictly environmental difference in

Vadim Cherny

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