[b-hebrew] dagesh forte and dagesh lene

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Sat Apr 3 19:55:15 EDT 2010


Here are some of my thoughts on the Hebrew dagesh:

1. The dagesh "forte" appears after patax, xirik, qubuc, (segol). In  
my opinion, it preceded the NIKUD, and served to provide hints as to  
the proper reading of the consonantal text. It has nothing to do with  
"gemination".
Examples:

          אַקּוֹ, גִּבֵּן, חֻפָּה

2. The dagesh forte is not placed in the letters אהחרע nor in a  
letter marked by Schwa. in the latter case it is transported forward  
to become the dagesh lene.

3. Because it is otherwise redundant, the moved dagesh is kept only  
in the influenced בגדכפת letters.
Examples:

        אַמְתַּחַת, אֶצְבַּע, גִּזְבָּר,  
עֻלְפֶּה, שָלַחְתְּ

Counter examples:

       רִכְבוּ, מִקְּדָשׁ, עִנְּבֵי,  
יָשְפֶה, צָרְפַת, קָרְבָּן, קִרְבָה

4. The dagesh in an initial בגדכפת letter is a vestige of a dot  
that used to mark the beginning of a word.

Isaac Fried, Boston University


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