[b-hebrew] Need Help With Trope Identification

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 12:44:56 EST 2008

On Fri, Dec 12, 2008 at 2:54 AM, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:
> Dear John,
> I suggest that this text is not in the Tiberian cantillation system, but
> rather in the Nazarene cantillation system.  In the Tiberian system,
> the sign you refer to would be the conjunctive merkha.  However, is
> not the regular servant of atnax, that is munax.   Rather, the author
> of this Hebrew text of Matthew copied from the Biblical cantillation
> marks in Gen 25, without knowing what he is doing.  Thus, in Gen
> 25:19, the last part of the verse reads avraham (tipxa) holid
> (merkha) et-yitzhak (silluq).  Merkha is the conjunctive servant of
> disjunctive silluq, and disjunctive tipxa can divide the clause before
> silluq.  However, before atnax, the only conjunctive servant is munax.

I want to explain this a little better:  In the Tiberian system, there are
various accent marks/tropes.  They are divided into two main groups
-- conjunctive and disjunctive.  The verse can be seen as being
divided into segments, each one ending in a disjunctive accent.  Each
of this segment has only one disjunctive, in the final word.  The other
accent marks in the segment are conjunctive.  (It's possible for no
conjunctives to appear in the segment if there is only one word,
however).  The conjunctives that may appear in the segment are
systematic and based on the disjunctive that marks that segment.
Thus, if the disjunctive is silluq, you'd see a merkha.  If the disjunctive
is atnax, you'd see a munax.  Sometimes the rules are more complex.
Thus, in the other thread, I mentioned the rule that if the disjunctive is
tabir, the conjunctive is merkha only if there is one syllable between
the conjunctive and disjunctive.  Otherwise, the conjunctive that would
be used would be darga.  In any case, the verse shown in the scan
uses merkha in a way that is inconsistent with these rules, probably
indicating that whoever used the trope did not know the system well.

Yitzhak Sapir

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