[b-hebrew] why?

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sat Jul 3 20:16:38 EDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 11:52 PM, Donald R. Vance, Ph.D. wrote:
> Pere:
> The anaptyctic seghôl exerted such pressure that it entirely replaced the a
> in the a-class segholates (e.g., *málek --> mélek) and even the i in a few
> i-class segholates (e.g., *qíber --> *qéber), but not the o of the u-class
> segholates. (In the course of the development of Hebrew, the u became o in
> the u-class segholates, *qúde$ --> *qóde$.) Finally, since it is a
> characteristic of Biblical Hebrew that the vowel in the accented syllable of
> nouns is normally lengthened, the i of the i-class segholates became ê
> (i.e., sêrê) and the o of the u-class segholates became ô (i.e., hôlem),
> but, the accented seghôl of the a-class segholates (and of the i-class
> segholates that had one) was not lengthened.

Hello Donald,

According to Geoffrey Khan, Vowel Length and Syllable Structure in the
Tiberian Tradition of BH, "the vowels of syllables which take the main
stress of a word are always long."  He gives as an example of a seghol
the word מלך in Ex 6:11 which is transcribed in Arabic as مالخ.

Yitzhak Sapir

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