[b-hebrew] dagesh forte and dagesh lene

Vadim Cherny vadimcherny at gmail.com
Sun Apr 4 22:10:42 EDT 2010

The problem with two dageshes is why would the Masoretes mark two  
different phenomena with one sign?

I suggest reading both dageshes as a pause (vocal stop).

Dagesh kal resyllabifies words to break consonantal clusters to  
provide for clear chanting (ni-zchar - ni-'char, but niz-char).

Dagesh hazak protects posttonic vowel by causing gemination.

This explains three odd cases.

Word-initial dagesh breaks consonantal clusters: natan vakar would be  
chanted as nata-nvakar - nata-'vakar. Dagesh breaks this concatenation.

Dagesh after ha- and wa- is actually a posttonic dagesh after a  
secondary stress which falls on ha- and wa-.

No dagesh in dvarcha because the Masoretes were primarily concerned  
with chanting, and d'va-'r'cha is perfectly chantable.

Vadim Cherny

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