[b-hebrew] Historic reasons?

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 07:05:02 EDT 2007

On 10/17/07, Pere Porta wrote:
> In my study on Hebrew patterns I have remarked that as regards the Qal
> imperfect 3rd person singular masculine or most transitive regular verbs the
> Bible uses, in a general way, the short form (look at
> www.oham.net/out/P-t/P-t189.html)  more often, by far,  than the long one
> (look at www.oham.net/out/PI-t2/PI-t2-034.html).
> But this seems not to apply to the book of Job, where the long form seems to
> be much more usual than the short one.
> I'm wondering whether there are any reasons (perhaps historic? others?) for
> this.

Your "long" and "short" forms appear to be not what Hebraists normally use in
reference to verbs.  They appear to be comments on the absence or presence
of a waw for the vowel [o:].  However, in Tiberian Hebrew vocalization, the
vowel [o:] is always long irrespective of whether there is a waw or not.  In
general, and this applies to all [o:] vowels, a vowel is long in Tiberian Hebrew
if it is in an open or stressed syllable.  So [yixto:v] and [yi$po:+] are
pronounced with the same vowel in the second syllable.  The only way to
get a short [o] vowel is in a short open syllable before a guttural.  A short
open syllable is designated by a schewa or hataf patax.  Thus, the word
thwm is pronounced toho:m with a short [o] after the t.

Yitzhak Sapir

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