[b-hebrew] Plural of חֵרֵשׁ (deaf)

George Athas George.Athas at moore.edu.au
Thu Apr 7 07:02:48 EDT 2011

Hi Pere!

Firstly, 'reduction' is a technical term meaning to remove a vowel and have its place taken by a shewa. So, that's we are observing with the second sere in חֵרְשִׁים.

Secondly, the examples you give for proving your point are all verbs. Since verbs follow their own verb paradigms with distinctive features for each stem, of course you will find things different there. The 'normal conditions' I was referring to was the declension of the noun. What happens in verb conjugations is not germane to what happens in noun declensions. By proper grammatical process, the first sere in חֵרְשִׁים should become a hatef-patah through vowel reduction, leaving the second sere intact. My question is, why does this not happen?

Moore Theological College (Sydney, Australia)

From: Pere Porta <pporta7 at gmail.com<mailto:pporta7 at gmail.com>>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 07:34:10 +0200
To: George Athas <george.athas at moore.edu.au<mailto:george.athas at moore.edu.au>>
Cc: B-Hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org<mailto:b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>>
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Plural of חֵרֵשׁ (deaf)


I would say that in חֵרְשִׁים the second sere of חֵרֵשׁ does not get reduced. it simply vanishes and a shewa takes its place.

You assume that "under normal conditions" the first tsere would get reduced. But this is not true.

a) first root consonant guttural:

In Gn 5:29 ------- אֵרְרָהּ, he cursed her (Some codexes have hatef patah and not shewa)

b) first root consonant other than guttural:

In Jb 6:7 -------- מֵאֲנָה, she rejected (and not מֲאֵנָה)
In Ps 129:8 ------- בֵּרַכְנוּ, we blessed, of בֵּרֵךְ (Ps 10:3)

As for a reference:

-1. First of all my own work on Hebrew patterns (named "Oham" = Otsar ha-mishqalym), where I've deeply studied about nine thousand (9,000) patterns.

-2. The Academy of the Hebrew Language stated: Nouns having sere in their first syllable and also in their second one drop the second sere and take shewa instead, with the following exception:
They take segol and not shewa when suffixes -kha, -khem or -khen are added; but if the second root consonant is guttural a patah replaces the segol.

But remark: the first sere remains.

Of course, I can give you the Academy's exact reference if it is of your interest.

I hope this will be useful and helpful.

Kind regards from

Pere Porta
(Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain)

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