[b-hebrew] Jerusalem

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Thu Jul 8 00:20:18 EDT 2010

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 4:12 AM, Will Parsons wrote:

> Are you sure that [qo:te:l] *is* from [qa:ti:l]?  I would have thought it
> more likely to be from [qa:til], like the Arabic form.

You are right.  Original i: remained i: in Hebrew, and the original form is
indeed qa:til.  I am not sure Hebrew at this stage had long [e:].  One
source of e: in Tiberian Hebrew is the contraction of the diphthong
*ay > e: in certain conditions.  The LXX may provide evidence that it
already was somewhat underway.  However, there are also other words
with e: and these do not have -y-.  For example, consider the word
פרדס which was borrowed from Persian where there was a long e:, and
yet there is no yodh.  In this situation, it seems that a yodh was not
used for e: unless it was the result of ay or some other historical
development.  A discussion of the various vowels in Tiberian Hebrew
and their origins that I made use of in considering the above is to be
found at - http://books.google.ca/books?id=93eMm1X80vcC&pg=PA53

I would prefer to skip the issue of vowel lengthening as I'm not sure
when this took place.  However, even if we include e: as a result of
lengthened original short i > e, these cases do not generally have
yodh (as in the qo:te:l example).  The yodh then indicates to me that
the Hebrew speaker recognized the vowel as somewhere between
[aj] and [e:].

Yitzhak Sapir

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