[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Jun 17 10:02:30 EDT 2008


It is not the Dagesh Xazak you are hearing, methinks, but an  
inevitable faint echo produced by the pressing and releasing of the  
tongue, as occuring in the production of the D sound in the word  
KADUR, 'ball', which upon a slight lingering upon the D to stress it  
becomes KADdUR. Such reading is independent of the dagesh in the D,  
and would be naturally articulated this way by any speaker, aware or  
unaware of a dagesh. The same thing happens to the L of $ALOM,  
clearly sounding $ALLOM to me, the absence of any dagesh in the L  
I admit, though, that in the Sabbath-night ZMIROT it is $AAA-LOM  

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jun 17, 2008, at 12:16 AM, Yigal Levin wrote:

> Dear Issac,
> I know that you think that linguistics is not a science, but one  
> could say
> the same about nature - who cares why the sun rises in the east and  
> sets in
> the west? The less we know the better. The purpose of "pure"  
> theoretical
> science is to satiate our human curiosity about the world around  
> us. Humans
> are a part of that world - that's why we study history,  
> anthropology and
> social sciences (Yes, I know there are differnce in practice and in
> application...).
> The study of linguistics is meant to explain how languages develop and
> "work". But they also shape future development: once somebody, be  
> it the
> masoretes, Medieval grammarians, Gesenius or Ben-Yehudah, codify  
> the rules
> in order to explain existing phenomona, those rules are then taken  
> as "fact"
> and influence (or: limit) further development. Understanding the  
> development
> of the Dagesh's and of the BGDKPT rules is interesting to some (and  
> who ever
> is not intersted need not particpate in this thread). However they  
> are a
> part of the Hebrew language as it has existed since the mesoretes, and
> that's the only REAL Hebrew we have. A few year ago, the Hebrew  
> Language
> Academy "floated" the idea of officially doing away with niqud,  
> which is not
> really used in most Hebrew writing anyway. The outcry was  
> tremendous. Even
> though most Israelis hated learning the rules and don't really  
> remember
> them, they do feel that they are a part of their language.
> I, BTW, certainly do "hear" (or maybe it's "feel") the Dagesh Hazaq  
> in daily
> speach. That could be because I know that it's there.
> Yigal Levin
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Isaac Fried" <if at math.bu.edu>
> To: "Yakov Hadash" <yakov.hadash at gmail.com>
> Cc: "b-hebrew Hebrew" <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 6:06 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] About Dagesh's
>> Yakov,
>> 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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