[b-hebrew] The vowels of אֶחָד

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 10 13:32:06 EDT 2011

  For many examples of an 'open' syllable of the first 
consonant of a noun, please check the Segolites - Melekh,
 Keter, Yeled, etc. In this case the stress is of course
 on the first syllable. No need to discuss here again the
 origin of this type of Heb. nouns.

   As for the irregularity of 'Ehad', this may well be
 because originally here too the stress was on the first
 syllable. Notice the pronounciation of same word in
 Arabic where the stress is on the first syllable.

   Segol and Tseire are not marked in in  ancient Semitic
 systems, whether Akkadian or Ugaritic, nor do they appear
 in the vocalization marks of Arabic. That this language
 definitely has the vowel 'e' is abundantly clear from its
 constant appearance on the colloquial pronounciations -see
 for example 'El-Amarna' 'El - Arish' compared with the
 formal 'Al-Arish'.

 But to return the Hebrew Het : yes, of course it is
 a guttural, and so if will be vowelled with a Hataf- Patah.
 On the other hand,it does appear with a plain Sh'wa: e.g.
 'I'll think' - 'Ehshob',similarly the (Ayin: Naga(ti.

  In short, exception, irregularities exist. All one needs
 is to consult elemtary Heb. grammer books. Further,
 ancients, like moderns, simply made mistakes.  

  Complaints should be directed to the masoretes twelve
 hundred or so years ago. Their mistakes were noted of
 course by other ancients who followed them. Since the
 texts were canonized, and could not tempered with,
 such mistakes were often corrected 'off text':'
 'Tiqunei Sof'rim'.

 Incidentally the term 'virtual' must have entered
 the vocabulary of Heb. teachers in recent years,
 as result of computer use.

  The current term for it in modern Hebrew is 'Hazuy'.

  Ezov Haqqyr,

  Uri Hurwitz                               
 Great Neck, NY



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