[b-hebrew] Inseparable Prepositions and that shewa

Ryan Clan robert.ryan at xtra.co.nz
Thu Apr 15 16:04:53 EDT 2010

Your opinions please.

My grammars are divided into two schools of thought concerning the way 
an inseparable preposition attaches itself to a word that begins with a 
vocal shewa.

The first school of thought says that under these conditions, an 
inseparable preposition creates a closed syllable at the beginning of a 
word, usually invoking the "rule of shewa." However, this approach 
ignores the absence of a dagesh lene in any following begadkephat letter.

The second says that the initial syllable is left open with the hireq 
vowel, with vocal shewa following. The absence of a dagesh lene in a 
following begadkephat letter is often cited as proof. However, this 
approach ignores the usual rule that a short vowel likes to be closed in 
an unaccented syllable.

1. So, which do we choose? How do we account for the problems that arise?

2. And more importantly, how did this situation come about?

3. Is Modern Hebrew pronunciation influencing the situation here? And if 
so, should it?

Kay Christensen

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