[b-hebrew] Qal passives

James Christian jc.bhebrew at googlemail.com
Sun Jun 20 03:54:16 EDT 2010

Hi Yitzhak,

I've just read two or you posts from two different but related threads. In
the one you gave me the impression that you hold the position that the
Masoretes knew both Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew well and did not allow the
one to influence the other and now I read this post...

Needless to say I'm left scratching my head. It would seem that when you
respond to Karl you hold one position but when you respond to Randall you
hold another. Please clarify.

James Christian

On 20 June 2010 09:24, Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 11:23 AM, Randall Buth wrote:
> > The MT has retained vocalizations like luqqaH and yuqqaH לֻקַּח יֻקַּח
> > as well as yuttan יֻתַּן and 'ennenu ukkal' איננו אֻכָּל. [Note that this
> > last form is a participle, and thus not pu`al, nor feminine like 'fire'.]
> > This is remarkable because Aramaic had no internal qal passive, nor
> > even a nifal. [Aramaic did have forms built off of the passive-perfect
> > participle with cEc-I-c vowels.] And the BH vowels don't fit the Arabic
> > passives, *luqiHa. They do not function as pu``als, and there are no
> > pi``els attested for them to be passives to. From comparison with
> > other Semitic languages it is clear that an internal Qal passive used
> > to exist, but a qal would not have a lengthened middle consonant:
> > either *luqaH or *luqiH. but not *luqqaH.
> > So how can the dagesh in MT luqqaH be explained?
> > Due to the nature of long and short vowels in unaccented syllables, the
> > passive nature of these BH forms needed to develop a morphological/
> > phonetic change during the biblical/post-biblical period. The phonetic
> > lengthening of the consonant after the [u] vowel achieved this. But
> > this resulted in a homonym with pu``al forms in the past/suffix tense
> > and with hof`al in the future/prefix tense.
> I would like to suggest that perhaps it is not an issue of phonetic change,
> but of morphological leveling.  As internal Qal passives were increasingly
> lost, especially under the influence of Aramaic that did not have them,
> these were viewed not as a separate class by themselves but as an
> exceptional form of the Pual and Hophal for some roots (just like yitpaqad
> might be viewed as an exceptional form of the Hitpael).  Eventually,
> morphological leveling had its way, and the unique forms of the Qal
> passives were lost.
> Yitzhak Sapir
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