[b-hebrew] Inseparable Prepositions and that shewa

Vadim Cherny vadimcherny at gmail.com
Thu Apr 22 15:57:03 EDT 2010

Vadim Cherny wrote:

> The Masoretes, sorry, did not write anything on grammar. Saaida wrote
> centuries after them.
> Michtav has dagesh while $imchem doesn't - would you suggest any
> conceivable difference between them which have led to different use of
> dagesh kal?

The Masoretes did write works on grammar.  Saadia was contemporaneous
with Ben Asher (vocalizer of the Aleppo codex).  Ben Asher himself wrote
the Diqduqe Teamim.  Even later works, such as the Hidayat al Qari are
valuable and provide a consistent understanding of the Masorah.  These
were written by people who were still trained in the authentic Tiberian

The reason mikht at v does have a dagesh is because historically there
was no vowel between the kaph and the taw while in the case of the
work $imkhem there was a vowel.  Furthermore, a pronoun like -khem
is very prone to linguistic leveling.

Yitzhak Sapir

Ben Asher and Saadia lived three or four centuries after the Masoretes  
introduced their notation. Even in our time, when knowledge in  
transmitted much more accurately than in their age, commenting on 17th- 
century works is hardly is straightforward matter. Unlike Saadia, we  
have access to the LXX and Secunda. And to call diqduq a clear  
instruction would be a bit of overstatement.

The Masoretic tradition has dagesh kal even in Aramaic texts - do you  
seriously believe that every other Aramaic author was wrong in  
omitting them (as far as I know)?

You mean the vowel between root and suffix chem, like in the DSS's  
dvarac? Why, the development seems just the opposite: epenthetic vowel  
sneaked between root and suffix in vulgar speech, something that the  
Masoretes would have glossed over. And this brings us to another  
question, why no epenthetic vowel (thus dagesh) in ctavtem?

Instead, we can view dagesh kal as an attempt at resyllabification for  
clear pronunciation, which would explain the absence of dagesh in - 
chem and its presence in -tem, since the semantic intonation is  
different on nouns and verbs.

Vadim Cherny

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