[b-hebrew] Meteg and Shva Na/Nah

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Dec 11 16:33:32 EST 2008

On Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 7:21 PM, David Hamuel wrote:

>> the specific case of vayomru...
> ...and other words is also a matter of tradition. We have different traditions. For example
> see Deut 1:27 (the first word); some editions -- there's a gaya under the letter resh; under
> the gimmel —  sheva na. Based on the Yemenite tradition the gaya is under the letter tav;
> under the gimmel — sheva nach!

Dear David,

No.  The difference in pronunciations from the Tiberian standpoint is:
under resh: [vat-te:-,rɔɔg-'nuu]
under taw: [vat-,te:e-rɔg-'nuu]

The difference is only which syllable is lengthened (and probably
split).  Not the schewa nach.
Said another way, in this case, the different traditions do point out
difference in vowel length
(as against the ridiculous claim that the presence of a yod or waw
modifies the length of a
hirik or shurek/qibbuts).  However, vowel length was not phonemic in
the Tiberian tradition
except in very rare and special cases, and this is not one of them.
You are suggesting that
the difference in tradition implies a difference in syllabification.
This is much more unlikely,
and actually requires a lot of proof on your part.

(your claim for under resh: [vat-te:-,rɔɔ-ga'nuu])

Your claim that it modifies whether the schewa is na or nach is
inconsistent with the modern
scholarly view as successfully shown by Geoffrey Khan since the late
80s.  I would not mind
if you show me which quotes support your point of view, but if you
actually do adduce some
(I asked you and you have still not provided any) I'd probably point
out how the quotes should
be interpreted in light of Khan's extensive studies.  But then, again,
you still have not provided
any.  The difference pointed out by you in Diqduqe Hateamim, of which
at this point I'm only
relying on the articles I have at hand, is not substantial.  In the
Tiberian thought, a 'servant' is
not a 'king.'  It means the same thing and the main point of the
statement is that a schewa
in the middle of the word is equivalent to that at the end of a word,
rather than that at the
beginning; namely, it is quiescent.  Of course, this is a general
statement and doesn't deal
with two consecutive schewas and other exceptions, but it defines the
general rule.

Yitzhak Sapir

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