[b-hebrew] final alef

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Fri Aug 17 14:30:12 EDT 2007

Dear Raoul:

The only guide for pronunciation that we have today is the Masoretic points,
and their points indicate the pronunciations as you mention below.

How those words were pronounced in Biblical times is a matter of guesswork.
Educated guesses, for sure, but the evidence is not sufficient to prove any
proposed pronunciation. One educated guess is that the Masoretes "had it
right" and accurately preserved pronunciation from Biblical times. I propose
that in Biblical times, all syllables had the form of CV (consonant vowel),
in which case the final alep would have had a vowel connected to it. I
recently read "Nineveh and the Old Testament" by André Parrot, and the
transliterations of Hebrew names from Nineveh seem to indicate CV syllables.
But as I wrote above, the evidence is insufficient to prove any Biblical
period pronunciation, and the only guide for vowels are the Masoretic

Karl W. Randolph.

On 8/17/07, Dr Raoul Comninos <capechurch at gmail.com> wrote:
> How would one properly pronounce the following two words:
> X"+:) sin
> GAY:) valley
> Am I correct in taking these to be monosyllabic with silent shewa in
> both cases. If so, Alef would be purely orthographical in both
> instances?
> Dr Raoul Comninos
> 93 Wagenaar Street
> Monte Vista
> 7460
> South Africa
> capechurch at gmail.com
> Fax: (086) 6544615

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list