[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Mon Jun 16 23:06:18 EDT 2008


Allow me to write V for a soft bet, and B for a hard. Also, F for a  
soft pe and P for a hard. Recall also that $ is shin.
So we have in Hebrew DAVAR, 'thing, word', but also DABAR, 'leader,  
speaker'. We have NAFAX, 'blew', but also NAPAX, 'blacksmith'.
I do not know why there is a dagesh in the middle radical of the piel  
form, but does it practically matter now if we write NI$EK, 'kissed',  
without a dagesh in the $? Those who pretend to read it NI$-$EK  
delude themselves. I think that BK"P became hard thereby only  
incidentally, but now we are stuck with this phenomenon and need to  
say DIBER, not DIVER.
Look at the word KAF, 'palm of the hand'.  'My hand' is KAPI. Why is  
the pe now dgusha? Because, say the grammar books, the word is from  
the root KPP. So what? Does this have to turn an F into a P?
Conclusion: The less you explain the better off you are.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jun 16, 2008, at 9:43 PM, Yakov Hadash wrote:

> On Jun 16, 2008, at 8:11 PM, Isaac Fried wrote:
>> We will need to keep the dot, the "dagesh qal", in the letters  
>> bet, kaf, pe to distinguish between their "hard" and "soft"  
>> manifestation. Otherwise, the dagesh is redundant in plain speech.
> Yeah but you didn't address my issue.
> Without the dagesh hazak, there is no way of explaining a lot of  
> confusing issues with vocalizing Hebrew, especially with פיעל  
> and התפעל, which have dagesh hazak as part of the stem.
> Do you want people to just not be able to know why there's a noun  
> "davar" and a verb "medabber" (and not "davar" and "medaver")?
> YH.

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