[b-hebrew] hatef vowels

J. Leake john.leake at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Feb 17 21:27:04 EST 2013


[Apologies, Isaac, the system didn't like the PDF, so I've put it all in the email.]

My point was really (and I didn't make it clear) that this Andalusian 
usage fits almost flawlessly with the voiced shewas and ḥaṭūphīm as 
we've come to expect them learning Hebrew via Weingreen and Gesenius 
(i.e. outwith the living spoken Israeli Hebrew tradition).  Here are four Andalusian poems I've . The Abulafia was the 
first one that came into my head, while the three Shemuel ha-Nagid poems
 were the first that came to hand in differing metres (I had meant to 
include another short poem in hazaj, but this was at hand. The other also behaved itself metrically as far as I checked). 

But of course while this confirms the quantity, it says nothing about the quality - all
 these ḥaṭūphīm could be indistinct shewas in isolation, as you suggest, as far as the metre 
goes. Metre at least has nothing to say on this issue, just on the vowel length!

John Leake, Open University.


Voiced shewa in four
short Andalusian Hebrew poems
redindicates voiced shewa used as regular short 
greenindicates silent
shewa where voiced expected
bluewaw indicates וּ where voiced
shewa/ḥaṭūphexpected metrically (an
apparent Hebrew licence)
Note: All metric schemata run left-to-right.


Shemuel ha-Nagid (in basīṭ   ¯ ¯ ˘
¯ |¯ ˘ ¯  |¯ ¯ ˘ ¯  |¯ ¯  )
קַח מִצְּבִיָּה דְמֵי עֵנָב בְּאֶקְדָּחָה/ בָּרָה, כְּמוֹ אֵשׁ בְּתוֹך
בָּרָד מְלֻקָּחָה.
בַּעְלַת שְׂפָתוֹת כְּחוּט שָׁנִי, וְחֵךְ
לָהּ כְּיֵין/ הַטּוֹב, וּפִיהָ כְגוּפָתָהּ מְרֻקָּחָה.
מִדַּם חֲלָלִים קְצֵה יָדָהּ מְאָדָּם – לְכֵן/ חֶצְיָהּ כְּאֹדֶם וּמַחְצִיתָהּ בְּדֹלָחָה
Shemuel ha-Nagid (in rajaz  ¯ ¯ ˘ ¯  |¯ ¯ ˘ ¯  |¯ ¯  (˘ )¯ )
אֶרֶץ לְאָדָם בֵּית כְּלוּא כָּל יָמָיו/ לָכֵן אֲנִי
אוֹמֵר אֱמֶת לַסָּכָל:
תָּרוּץ — וְשָׁמַיִם סְבִיבוֹתֶיךָ/ מִכָּל עֲבָרִים; קוּם וְצֵא אִם תּוּכָל.
Shemuel ha-Nagid (in hazaj ˘ ¯ ¯ ¯  |˘ ¯ ¯ ¯  |˘ ¯ ¯  )
הֲבִזְקוּנִים לְךָ מַרְפֵּא לְהַשְׁקִיט
/ בְּךָ יֵצֶר, לְקִנְיָן
יַחֲרִידָךְ
וְזֹקֶן יַחֲלִישׁ גּוּפָךְ — וְיַגְבִּיר
/ בְּךָ עֵצָה לְהוֹסִיף
הוֹן בְּיָדָךְ 
Todros Abulafia (in rajaz   ¯ ¯ ˘
¯  |¯ ¯ ˘ ¯  |¯ ¯  (˘ )¯ )
בָּאַהֲבָה חַלְתִּי וְלֹא יָלַדְתִּי/ וּבְפַח צְבִיָּה בַּת עֲרָב
נִלְכַּדְתִּי.
לִנְשֹׁק בְּפִיהָ אִוְּתָה נַפְשִׁי עֲדֵי/ לִהְיוֹת נְקֵבָה בַעֲדָהּ
חָמַדְתִּי —
כִּי הַנְּקֵבוֹת הִיא מְנַשֶּׁקֶת, וּבִשְׁ־/ בִיל שֶׁאֲנִי זָכָר, אֲנִי
הִפְסַדְתִּי!
Theבְ at the start of
the second hemistich in line 1 seems to close the syllable rather than be
voiced. I don't think there's any Arabic licence here to replace a single long
syllable with two short ones (i.e. reading /ū.və-/ for /wə.və-/) (though that
would often work in Greek poetry), so I think this must be either a Hebrew
licence or perhaps the poet's actual usage whereוּבְ- starts a word. This is rather like modern Israeli
usage, isn't it?
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