[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Jun 19 20:35:35 EDT 2008

On Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 11:42 PM, Isaac Fried wrote:
> Yaakov,
> Notice the curious rendering in Exodus 2:21 of Σεπϕωραν
> [Sepforan] by the LXX for ZIPORAH the wife of Moses. It has a P and
> an F! See it for yourself at

This does not indicate an F.  Only Latin could differentiate an aspirated
peh and an F.  It indicates: [sˤippʰoran], or alternatively a long aspirated p.
The similar phonology is also  recognized in the name of the town
Sepphoris [sˤippʰori].   Possibly we might suppose that the Greeks heard
the aspiration rather late in the vocalization of the p.
Alternatively, emphatic
consonants tend to have an effect on one another.  Thus, *qtl "kill" became
q-tˤ-l.  Similarly, in hitpael, we find that emphatic consonants
(except q) turn
the t emphatic as well.  nisˤtˤaddaq < *nisˤtaddaq.  Possibly, the Sade
caused the p in the first syllable to become emphatic.  In other words, in
special cases where aspirated [pʰ] was postvocalic, and in the same syllable
as [sˤ], we had [pʰ] > [pˤ].  In turn, the Greeks transcribed it with
a pi instead
of phi, just like emphatic k (quf) and t (teth) were transliterated
with a kappa
and tau, and not chi and theta.

Yitzhak Sapir

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