[b-hebrew] Masoretes Ears ( was - verb forms etc.)

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Thu Apr 19 21:49:25 EDT 2007


Uri,

I would be really glad to hear your opinion as to why the masoretes  
placed a Dagesh after HA-, as in HA-BAIT, 'the house', and MI-, as in  
MI-POH, 'from here'.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 19, 2007, at 2:31 PM, Uri Hurwitz wrote:

>   Isaac,
>     The  problem which you mention with  the masoretes  voweling
>    need not be. Precisely because they were dealing with sacred
>   texts, in a language which they no longer spoke, they wanted to
>   ascertain a secure transmission of such texts the way they heard
>   them read. Since they heard ATTAH, with an emphasis on the
>   Tav, they marked it accordingly. They did not consider it  their
>   mission to analayze the reason for that. It so happens that in
>   many cases the reading tradition preserved and reflected
>    ancient linguistic developments. The relevance or lack of it,
>   as you put it, played no role in their work.  And this example
>   applies to other cases you mentioned.
>
>    BTW they did have good ears - note the Hat(.)afim for what they
>    heard as semi-vowels in guttorals!
>
>    Uri
>
>
>
> Isaac Fried <if at math.bu.edu> wrote:
>   Uri,
>
> You are right. Since school days I am being constantly reminded that
> the Dagesh forte in the TAV of ATAH is to account for a "missing" or
> "assimilated" NUN. But I have hard time accepting this. Is it
> conceivable that the NAKDANIM would mar the sacred text for a reason
> that is practically utterly irrelevant? Do we care as we read the
> Torah that at some point AT was possibly ANT, and BAT was possibly
> BANT? If I remember correctly this is also the reason given for the
> Dagesh following MI- and HA-. Do you believe it? The speculation that
> the discarded NUN did not go away quietly but rather left a faint
> remainder in the form of a "slight emphatic pronounciation as still
> heard in Masoretes time" is not easy for me to accept either.
>
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
>
> On Apr 18, 2007, at 9:53 AM, Uri Hurwitz wrote:
>
>> Isaac Fried wrote, inter alia:
>> "Uri, The relationship between Hebrew and Arabic is enigmatic
>>
>> and I am not prepared to be sucked now into this murky
>>
>> vortex. "...
>>
>> Arabic preserves many Proto-Semitic features which are
>>
>> common to all Semitic languages. Just one small example:
>>
>> Heb. ATTAH compared with Arab. ANTA. Notice the Dagesh
>>
>> forte in the Heb. Tav which compensates for the original Nun
>>
>> that had been there and is preserved in the Arabic. In Hebrew
>>
>> it was assimilated to the next letter, but marked its former
>>
>> presence by the slight emphatic pronounciation as still
>>
>> heard in Masoretes time and marked by them as a dagesh.
>>
>> To cite just one more example :the exact same process
>>
>> occurred in verbs. Notice the imperfect of NPL in Qal, where
>>
>> the Nun drops and is commpensated with a dagesh.
>>
>>
>>
>> As for the pre-historical devlopment of Semitic languages
>>
>> or human languages in general, this is the realm of sheer
>>
>> speculation.
>>
>> Uri
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------
>> Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
>> Check outnew cars at Yahoo! Autos.
>> _______________________________________________
>> b-hebrew mailing list
>> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>>
>
>
>
> ---------------------------------
> Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
>  Check outnew cars at Yahoo! Autos.
> _______________________________________________
> b-hebrew mailing list
> b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/b-hebrew
>



More information about the b-hebrew mailing list