[b-hebrew] Study on energic nun ter

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 02:32:00 EST 2007

On Dec 4, 2007 6:29 AM, Pere Porta wrote:

> When I write "energic nun" I follow the path of grammars and dictionaries at use on this subject.
> I do not know if this "energic" nun was there first and it dropped over time out of the form...
> (By the way I wonder if there is any way to know this: was the nun first? did it come after
> (supposedly, after -hu)?

I think there is a difference between "energic nun" and the nun used
in pronoun suffixes, which
is how the question was originally phrased:

> Does anyone know if someone has studied the case of the endings -ha
> and -na. -hu and -nu, etc (personal pronouns as suffixes of verb forms)?
> Frequencies, difference of meaning or of shade of meaning, cases
> where -ha/-hu is used rather than -na/-nu and contrary or reverse cases ...

In that respect, I quote Dennis Pardee "Ugaritic", Cambridge
Encyclopedia of the World's
Ancient Languages: "Accusative enclitic particples on imperfect verbs
show a great deal
of variation because of assimilation to -n verbal forms and apparent
reanalysis.  For example,
singular third masculine can appear as -h (= [-hu]); as -n (=[-annu] <
[-an] + [-hu]); as -nh
(=[-annahu] < [anna] + [hu]); as -nn (=[-annannu]; apparently from
[-anna] + [nnu], through
reanalysis of [nnu] as a pronominal suffix); and finally even -nnn (apparently =
[-annannannu], through double reanalysis).  See Pardee, "Three
Ugaritic tablet joins",
JNES 43, p. 244-245 (altogether 239-245), n. 14.

Thus, what was apparently originally a phonologically conditioned feature
(for example, -n after short vowels vs -h after consonants and long vowels),
was already reanalyzed in Ugaritic.  The situation in Hebrew is probably similar
even if the reanalysis took different paths.  Hetzron (see Kummerow's
has an article on this issue which I probably need to reread still a few times.

Yitzhak Sapir

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