[b-hebrew] -HM vs -MW suffix

Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. nir at ccet.ufrn.br
Fri Feb 17 15:29:01 EST 2012


i was not emphasizing VOWEL vs CONSONANT, this distinction is modern. nor was i saying this is the stuff
standard BH was made of. but yes, i claimed the -W suffix occurs in the OT in some poetic verses. this only 
shows that poetic language is more flexible than narrative. it doesnt mean that -W exists in BH narrative.

more generally, there are many cases where an AHWY letter is added as an affix in a specialized use, where 
it does not occur in general. the most common is the H-suffix:

HM -->HMH (Jer 1:11), ShM-->ShMH, NRD-->NRDH, LK-->LKH, KLN-->KLNH, YHMU-->YHMYUN (two separate affixes!) 

not to mention place names where the last H-suffix is directional.

you also have double versions of names like CDQYH/CSQYHW etc where one can argue with some reason that the extra W is a simple suffix.

in names like AXYQM, AXYM(C one can similarly argue that the Y is a suffix for the first word. though in others it may refer to first person genitive.

we also mentioned MN-->MNY, (L-->(LY, (D-->(DY before where Y is a suffix.

in XYTW-Y(R  (ps 50:10) is a clear w-suffix. i imagine there are similar places.

the pausal construction seems to be used in order to guarantee MILEL on the last word of the phrase. this is what the extra vav
does in LAHEM (milra) --> LAMO (milel). YEKASUM--> YEKASYUMO (Ex 15:5 two irregular affixes in one word! let us not steer
the issue again to "tashlum dagesh"...), Y)KLM-->Y)KLMW (Ex 15:7)
 etc. Ex 15 is considered one of the oldest chapters in the OT and is full of those w-suffixes!!! 
see also Ps 2:3,5, 22:5, 58:7 etc etc where the use is not always pausal but is equally poetic.
some of the suffixed forms should, in fact, be considered older forms used when the newer form is MILRA.

many other letters are used as suffixes, as in YSSWN. so, why not -W? and why not PR)-->PRH as in Jer 2:24?after all,
language is a creative process.

in jeremiah there are many words where past feminine singular ends with Yin QRY, then removed KTYV. this might be genuine original BH.

job 4:12: MMNW-->MNHW equally applies an older form to achieve the pausal.

job 5:16 (AWLAH-->(OLATAH: a T-suffix possibly returning to an older form. see Ps 3:3.

etc etc.

conclusion: there are single-letter suffixes, including vowel lettwer suffixes, all over the place!!!

of course, you can always join the vowel to the consonant before it and claim the consonant is also part of the suffix.
but in the cases i cite, this is often quite far-fetched as the consonant is a grammatical phoneme which is part of the
word before. such as final MEM.

nir cohen

On Fri, 17 Feb 2012 07:04:33 -0500, Isaac Fried wrote
> In the word *$EL-O שלו (as in $EL-IY שלי of Songs 1:6, or $EL-ANU שלנו of 2Ki 6:11), 
> is the  O a mere "vowel suffix", or is it the contracted personal pronoun HU, 'he'? I don't think that Hebrew is made up of "vowel suffixes".
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Feb 16, 2012, at 12:59 PM, Nir cohen - Prof. Mat. wrote:
> an added -W in mostly pausal poetic situations, representing 
> an archaic vowel suffix.  

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