[b-hebrew] Resh: To be Guttural or not to be Guttural - that is the Question!

cmeadows3 at verizon.net cmeadows3 at verizon.net
Mon Jul 2 11:06:22 EDT 2007

Hi John,

Sounds like and interesting project!

Gesenius doesn't address this specifically - nor Lambdin, Weingreen, or Jouon/Muraoka, although the J/M (my favorite) does give a brief discussion of the tendencies or resh to assimilated some (not always consistently) guttural features.

I think Peter's answer is the best - language doesn'f fit into neat rules - although some do better than others.

Consider the English verbs "sing", "bring", and "wing".  The different past tense forms "sang", "brought", and "winged" seem to defy logic!  One could do some digging and render several hypotheses regarding these - like the verb "wing" being obviously derived from the noun and thus likely a "newer" verb used more colloquially and thus having assimilated the simple "-ed" passive morpheme.  But still we are left with 3 seemingly isomorhic verbs which behave differently.

In addition the Masoretic rules are but one scheme (and a later one at that) intended to systematize pronunciation rules for a language which was spoken and had both dialectic variation and diachronic evolution.

So I guess the answer is "just because"!!

Good luck with your work.

Charles Meadows
Marshall University

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