[b-hebrew] dagesh forte and dagesh lene

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Apr 6 20:49:28 EDT 2010

Formally, the punctuation of דְּבָרְךָ (with the personal  
pronoun אכה instead of אתה ) is correct since there is a qamatz  
under the B, and a dagesh (not "forte", nor "lene") does not follow a  
qamatz. But, דְּבַרְכֶם (with the personal pronoun אכם  
instead of אתם ) is irregular as the B is here marked with a patax.  
A dages follows a patax, but if the next letter has a schwa, then the  
dagesh is moved forward, so that we should have had here  
*דְּבַרְכֶּם with a hard K.
I believe the dagesh (that in my opinion preceded the NIKUD) more  
than the NIKUD, for instance, the lack of dagesh in the letter P of  
רִדְפוּ suggests to me that this is a newer pronunciation for a  
possibly older *רְדֹפוּ likewise רִבְבוֹת for  
רְבָבוֹת*, and more of the like.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Apr 4, 2010, at 10:10 PM, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> 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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