[b-hebrew] Masoretic Pointing and CV-syllables

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 14:18:32 EDT 2007


There is a simple answer to your question below, namely that words
that are spoken often and quickly often become contracted and
shortened over time. Thus words like X+) would have had their final
vowel swallowed yet understood, while words that were used far less
often such as D$) retained their final vowel for understanding. By the
time the Masoretes wrote down their pronunciations, they recorded the
contracted versions that were in use in their day.

An example in English would be the use of "not" after a verb. For
those verbs where it is not often used, or for emphasis, it is still
fully pronounced and spelled out. But after common words such as do,
did, would, it has long been contracted, even in writing. Now even
those contracted spellings do not always reflect spoken
pronunciations, where "didn't" often becomes "dint" or even "din" with
no loss in understanding, and the same sort of swallowing occurring
with the other common contractions, with no loss in meaning.

That Mishnaic Hebrew would have had the same sort of contraction
should be expected.

Karl W. Randolph.

On 8/18/07, Peter Bekins <pbekins at fuse.net> wrote:
> ... The
> interesting question is why wasn't there an epenthetic vowel thrown
> in? There are other lamed-aleph qitl segholates such as DE$E) "grass".
> Pete Bekins
> Grad Student, Bible and Comparative Semitics
> Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, OH

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