[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

Kevin Riley klriley at alphalink.com.au
Thu Jun 19 21:23:41 EDT 2008

The bgdkpt were weakened by spirantisation.  If you say the hard and then
soft sounds, you will find that they are the same, except the hard sound is
a complete stop, and in the soft sound the air is not stopped.  You need to
keep both F and V as bilabials to feel this.  Technically - from memory,
voicing is not strengthening, but a form of lenition.  The Celtic languages
uses both spirantisation and voicing as a form of lenition.  The usual
explanation is that the spirantisation is imported from Aramaic.  As usual,
there is enough evidence to make it a possibility, not enough to say it is a
Kevin Riley
-------Original Message------- 
From: Yaakov Stein 
Date: 19/06/2008 6:45:47 PM 
> 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. 
I quite agree that in spoken language we can forget about the idea that 
Dagesh doubles the letter 
(although I try to emphasize this when reading tora). 
Similarly, we can forget about the shva na and nax distinction (with the 
Same remark). 
What was never clear to me was WHY the dagesh changes some of the 
BGDKPT letters in the way is does. 
What is the connection between the B and V sound ? 
Between the P and F ? 
It would be much easier to understand if the P became B 
Or the F became V by adding voicing (as a strenghtening). 
Do you have any ideas why these particular couples are related ? 
I heard several years ago in a lecture on Semitic languages that 
These dagesh letter changes were probably brought in from the 
Horite language, which has many more such combinations. 
Do you know anything about that ? 
Yaakov (J) Stein

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