[b-hebrew] final alef

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 18 18:37:14 EDT 2007

   As to the relationship between the two homonyms   LO   (lamed aleph -
   "NO"),  and  LO  (lamed waw -- "TO HIM"),  here again it pays to consult
   Arabic , because,  like in so many other cases, it preserves earlier stages
   of the language. The spelling of  "NO" in Ar.-- "LA,"  is the  equivalent of the
   Heb.lamed aleph, while the spelling of  "TO HIM"  is --LaHW   pronounced 
  "Lahu". Obviously the "H" was dropped by the time of the consonsntal text
   of the HB.
     Interestingly the same occurs in some spoken Arabic dialects.
    Uri Hurwitz
            Yigal Levin wrote:

   I tend to agree - the aleph is there because it was

 meant to be pronounced as a gluttal stop (not as a

 "silent letter"). From both the Bible and especially

 inscriptions, it would seem that the mater lectionis

 that was used for the final "O" (once these entered

 Hebrew orthography) was actually he (as preserved 

in names such as "Shiloh" and "Shelomoh"). Also,

 what's the relationship between l) (lamed aleph) 

and l)w (lamed aleph waw)? Is the former an

 abbreviation of the latter? Or was l) spelt with 

an aleph to distinguish it from its homonym lw 

(lamed waw) - "for/to him"? 


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