[b-hebrew] Past tense with gutterals

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Jun 5 04:10:52 EDT 2008

2008/6/4 David H

H is your last name?

> I've been looking at the past tense with gutterals recently, and have some questions
> concerning pronuciation.  Take for example nata' נטע  [with an ayin at the end]; 'she' form
> of the verb would be  נטעה  but my problem is, when spoken aloud, in MODERN ISRAELI
> HEBREW  would it be 'notea' with the schwa pronounced as 'e', or simply 'nota'
> [the same as the masc. form]?

Modern Hebrew pronunciation of the last word in Ps 104:16 is [nata].
Masoretic pronunciation is [nɔtˤɔʕ] ( ɔ = qamats, tˤ = teth, ʕ = ayin )

> Another question is also, ח [chet] seems to be treated as a non-gutteral in
> some places, take for example, 'bachar' בחר  it is supposed to be pronounced
> 'bacharah' in biblical hebrew with an extra- 'a' because of the gutteral, but I am
> assuming in modern israeli hebrew many speakers would simply say 'bachrah',
> is this correct?

Your assumption is wrong.  Modern Hebrew pronunciation is [baxara].  The first
word in Prov 31:18 is pronounced by Modern Hebrew speakers as [taʔama]
Masoretic pronunciation is [tˤɔʕamɔ] ( ʔ = glottal stop )

Yitzhak Sapir

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