[b-hebrew] Question on vowel

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 10:34:46 EDT 2008

On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 6:02 AM,  Pere Porta wrote:
> I'm seeking the reason for the different vowel in two words that are
>  structurally equal.
>  I'm telling on the cluster consisting of Qal Participle singular of verbs
>  lamed"heh + suffix of first person singular, -ny
>  Look at www.oham.net/out/S-d/S-d1496.html and then at
>  www.oham.net/out/S-d/S-d1497.html
>  In the first, the second root consonant takes tsere. While in the latter the
>  second root consonant takes qamats.
>  Does anyone of you which is the reason for this?
>  Maybe the reason is that the first case is in pause while the second is not?
>  Or maybe the reason is that aleph does not take tsere but qamats
>  (disregarding of pause or non-pause position of the word)? Is there another
>  reason for these different vowels?

The fact is that both of these occur in pause.  The second is at a generally
minor pausal marker, but it is also a frequent pausal forms.  For a discussion
of pausal forms see the following:


According to the Hebrew University Bible, the Kennicott 93 manuscript contains
for the second the following spelling - rw)yny.  Evidently, the
vocalization here
was with tsere, and in fact, one sees that often r?h has tsere in
similar forms such
as "sees him."  The use of qamats is the odd one out.  It might be
tempting to claim
that the Masoretic reading is incorrect here and to suggest a
correction, but this
would go against the principle of lectio difficilior.  If one looks at
the above
description of pausal forms, one does not find this as a pausal form.
But type 12
has a very similar alternation between tsere in contextual and qamats in major
pause.  Furthermore, he notes that the participle forms do not show the pausal
alternation of tsere and qamats and normally have tsere even in pause.
 Now, here
we see a form that normally does not have a pausal form.  However, perhaps some
similar process was at work in this particular word.  In this word, a
suffixed participle
perhaps conditions were appropriate for pausal alternation.  In most cases, like
type 12 participles, the participle form had a tsere.  But in this
word the general
pausal alternation from tsere to qamats took place.  If it is right to
compare it to type
12, then the use of qamats is more ancient than the tsere (see discussion in the
book).  To me, this is interesting because my initial feeling was that
the tsere
represented a reflex of an original -i-, in this location (which in
turn developed from
the following original root consonant -y- that became an -h in
non-suffixed forms).
Furthermore, the qamats form goes against the consonantal form "rw)yny" in
Kennicott 93, and yet it seems (if all the above follows) to be more
"original" than
that alternate consonantal representation.  In any case, for your
purposes I suggest
just listing the qamats form as a rare variant form of the tsere form.

Yitzhak Sapir

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