[b-hebrew] be-ne vs. ve-ne

fred burlingame tensorpath at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 09:45:49 EST 2010


that's exactly my point, Paul ...

do the very detailed and complex punctuation and pronunciation marks
represent a common spoken language?

or do the punctuation and pronunciation marks represent a code for chanting
the language that occurs only in the confines of a formal religious service?

It seems the latter conclusion applies, but I don't know.

regards,

fred burlingame

On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 10:47 PM, Paul Zellmer <pzellmer at sc.rr.com> wrote:

> Fred,
>
> Your follow-on question is looking at language somewhat backwards.
>  Language is spoken first, and then written.  If someone is truly fluent in
> the language of the Hebrew Bible, that would imply that that person can not
> only read and pronounce the text, but generate conversation in that language
> with natural pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.  For such a person, the
> words of the written text would only be symbols to indicate what vocal
> sounds would be made if the message were being spoken.
>
> Ari's rules come from analyses made of the actual text.  They were not made
> up first, and then applied to the text.  So all four rules would not even be
> consciously thought of by a truly fluent speaker, any more than you are
> consciously thinking of the numerous rules of grammar and pronunciation of
> the English language as you read this.
>
> To put this in more technical terminology, your stated opinion of your own
> question looks at the Masoretic markings as being prescriptive when they
> were actually descriptive.  They were following the sounds of the language
> as they actually heard, without regard for *why* the sounds were pronounced
> that way.
>
> Therefore, for the dialect that the Masoretes were reducing to writing, the
> marks reflect very accurately how the language would have been spoken,
> whether in the formal setting or outside.
>
> The ones that I know who seem to approach true fluency in Masoretic Hebrew
> are not average, so I don't know how to answer that area of your question.
>  But they can take the consonantal text and consistently read it out loud
> with the same pronunciation as is reflected in the pointed text.
>
> Hope this helps,
>
> Paul Zellmer
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:
> b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of fred burlingame
> Sent: Monday, December 27, 2010 10:10 PM
> To: AMK Judaica
> Cc: Hebrew List
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] be-ne vs. ve-ne
>
> Hello Ari:
>
> Thanks for your clear explanation of the rules applying to vocalization of
> this word בני.
>
> I would appreciate if you could answer one follow up question. In your
> experience, and if you know, can the average person who is fluent in the
> biblical hebrew language tanakh today ... be handed a page from the
> text, without any vowel or cantillation marks, and yet know exactly when to
> say "be-ne" or "ve-ne."
>
> I could see the person fluent in the language internalizing rules 1-3
> without the need for punctuation or pronunciation marks. But perhaps rule
> no. 4 might be a reach.
>
> I am trying to acquire a sense of whether the pronunciation marks reflect
> how the language would have been spoken in the home and outside of a
> formal synagogue or temple setting.
>
> regards,
>
> fred burlingame
>
> 2010/12/27 AMK Judaica <amkjudaica at hotmail.com>
>
> >
> > FRED:
> >
> > 1) if the previous word ends in a closed syllable, then an initial beged
> > kefet letter on the following word is plosive with a dagesh kal, i.e.,
> bene
> > 2) if the previous word ends in an open syllable and is accented with a
> > disjunctive cantillation, then the following word retains the dagesh kal,
> > i.e., bene
> > 3) if the previous word ends in an open syllable and is accented with a
> > conjunctive cantillation, then an initial beged kefet letter on the
> > following word become fricative (lacks dagesh kal), i.e., vene
> > 4) there are exceptions to no. 3 known as dehik and ati marhik, but these
> > are more complicated
> >
> > best wishes,
> > ari kinsberg
> >
> >
> > > Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2010 17:56:41 -0600
> > > From: tensorpath at gmail.com
> > > To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> > > Subject: [b-hebrew] be-ne vs. ve-ne
> > >
> > > These geographically nearby excerpts (phrases) of the masoretic text
> seem
> > to
> > > alternate pronunciation back and forth of the same word as vocalized in
> > the
> > > subject line.
> > >
> > > Can anyone identify which word requires "ve-ne" vocalization; and which
> > word
> > > instructs "be-ne" vocalization without reference to the pointed text?
> > >
> > > 1. למשפחת בני גלעד
> > >
> > > 2. ממשפחת בני יוסף
> > >
> > > 3. שבטי בני ישראל
> > >
> > > 4. את בני ישראל
> > >
> > > 5. מטה בני יוסף
> > >
> > > Does the last letter in the word preceding בני dictate its
> pronunciation;
> > > depending on that letter's status as consonant or vowel?
> > >
> > > Your comments are appreciated.
> > >
> > > regards,
> > >
> > > fred burlingame
> > > _______________________________________________
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