[b-hebrew] Question about Pi'el Imperfect

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu May 17 04:42:47 EDT 2007

On 5/17/07, Pere Porta wrote:

> > I had another question though
> > I noticed that the one example they gave when N.F) is added to an
> > imperfect ZKR the holem is changed to a qamas. But they didn't explain
> > why it was done.
> > So without the NF) its YIZ:KOR with the NF) its YIZ:KFR
> >
> > So should I assume that whenever the NF) is added after a word and that
> > word has a holem that it is changed to a qamas?

> it is not a qamas but a qamas qaton, thus read 'o' and not 'a'. Namely, the
> long vowel (holem) becomes short (qamas qaton).

A qamats always sounds like the 'ou' in "bought" and a holam always
like the 'oa' in 'boat'.  The qamats can be long or short and the holam
just so happens to always be long but only because the way Tiberian
Hebrew developed, all short holams were eventually lost or lengthened.
The qamats (as any other vowel) is long when the syllable is stressed
(even secondary) or open.  Sometimes a short qamats appears in an
open syllable and then it is denoted by a hataf-qamats.  It is generally
accepted that n) is actually a development of an earlier energic form
yaqtulun(n)a, while the imperfect is a development of an earlier
yaqtulu, as per Rainey.  One should therefore keep in mind that what
we have here is likely not simply a change of vowel (which is
significant in itself), but a possibly different verb conjugation altogether.

Yitzhak Sapir

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