[b-hebrew] Stress

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Wed Oct 3 07:52:18 EDT 2007


You are saying:
"This theory is all the more unusual for the NXXXH forms, as when the  
verb is already in the plural"
You may be right that it is "unusual" in the sense of not being in  
the traditional grammar books, but it is unavoidable. We have no  
choice but to explain the nature of this extra AH within a systematic  
context and reason of Hebrew grammar. The Hebrew language is logical,  
systematic and transparent. There is not a "pips" in the Hebrew  
language that is not grammatically meaningful and logically  
explainable. I am sorry but I refuse to accept the idea that the  
ancient Hebrews idiosyncratically distorted and bloated  
["paragogized"] their words not according to inherent grammatical  
logic but just "for purely poetic reasons". I can not agree with the  
argument that the ancient Hebrews inflated a word by a certain  
mysterious process of agglutination or HE-HI-zation just to make it  
look or sound more important, or endowed with some ephemeral  
additional shade of meaning such as "urgency".
As free thinking men it is our right and duty to boldly question the  
most cherished assumptions of the traditional Hebrew grammar books.
If you discard the notion, which I do without a shred of hesitation,  
that the additional -HA in RIYB-AH is clumsily stuck there just for  
extra volume and vocal effect, then what is it? It must be what it  
always is, the universal personal pronoun HI) as for instance in:
YALDAH = YALD-HI), 'a girl, girl-she'.
YALDAH = YALD-HI), 'she gave birth, gave-birth-she'.
YALDAH = YALD-HI), 'her YELED, her son, son-she'.
It is true that the last H is mupeket, but this internal speck is a  
mere minimal graphical mark anciently dropped into the letter to  
remind us of the discriminating nature of this final H. Those, who  
with great fanfare and deliberation cough out a H mupeket do it on  
their own cognizance. In fact, I am put off by this, occasionally  
heard, fanny barking out of the H mupeket.
Language is full of apparent redundancies. You may ask why is it PARX- 
AH HA-GEPEN and not PARAX HA-GEPEN, is GEPEN a woman? And why do we  
say HEM YA-$IR-U, they will sing', and not HEM YA$IR? The extra  
personal pronoun U = HU) following YA-$IR is obviously superfluous  
since HEM, 'they', is already clearly declaring the number. Give me a  
free hand and I will slash for you eighty percent of the English  
grammar without so much as a shade of damage.
Hebrew is in the habit of placing its referential personal pronouns  
in front of the root as in NA-RUC = )ANU-RUC, 'we will run', at the  
end of the root as in RAC-NU = RAC-)ANU, 'we ran', or at both ends of  
the root as in YA-RUC-U = HI)-RUC-HU), 'they will run'. In Psalms  
57:8-9 A-$IR-AH =ANI-$IR-HI) is with both pronouns referring to the  
speaker,  (UR-AH = (UR-HI) is with HI) referring to the dignity  
[essence, soul], the lyre and the fiddle [harp]. )A-(IR-AH is again  
with both pronouns referring to the speaker.
People are telling me that they "feel" that the last -HA of A-$IR-AH  
is for the $IR, as in the $IR-AH = $IR-HI), 'poetry', of Exodus 15:1,  
and that the last -AH of )A-(IR-AH is for the $AXAR, 'dawn'.
As for urgency, you can find it everywhere.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Oct 2, 2007, at 1:25 PM, Yaakov Stein wrote:

> Isaac,
> I quite agree with you that LKH is not in the plural,
> and didn't mean to imply that it was.
> Sorry if my wording was not clear.
> I furthermore understand your contention that all the terminal
> H (at least in the song of songs) are personal pronouns,
> but disagree. This theory is all the more unusual for
> the NXXXH forms, as when the verb is already in the plural
> it is not clear why the personal pronoun is needed.
> I could accept a theory that the terminating H is purely
> for poetic reasons, or that it is a dialectic ending.
> But when it appears it is always in an urgent context.
> What do you make of Psalms 57 )$YRH,
> (WRH KBWDY and )(YRH $XR ?
> Here there is no partner for a pronoun,
> and once again there is urgency in the context.
> (Once again getting up early in the morning,
> the self-awakening, etc.)
> Y(J)S

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