[b-hebrew] Why tsere? (was ואילילה Micah 1:8)

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Tue Jul 23 19:25:09 EDT 2013

Some more examples for the interaction-contraction of the personal  
pronouns אני ANIY, 'I', and אנו ANU, 'we', with the first letter  
of the verb in the hif'il form:
גבה אַגְבִּיהַּ נַגְבִּיהַּ patax under the  
A, schwa under the G, dagesh in the B, Mapiq in the, radical, H.
אכל אַאֲכִל נַאֲכִל xatap-patax, namely a patax/schwa  
compromise, under the second A. No dagesh in the K.
ירד אוֹרִיד נוֹרִיד AO- and NO-
יכח אוֹכִיחַ נוֹכִיחַ AO- and NO-
יטב אֵיטִיב נֵיטִיב EIY- and NEY-
יצב אַצִּיב נַצִּיב patax followed by a dagesh.
נפל אַפִּיל נַפִּיל patax followed by a dagesh.
נסע אַסִּיעַ נַסִּיעַ patax followed by a dagesh.
ירה אוֹרֶה נוֹרֶה AO- and NO-
קום אָקִים נָקִים qamatz, no dagesh in the Q.
בוא אָבִיא נָבִיא qamatz, no dagesh no dagesh in the B.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

On Jul 23, 2013, at 2:59 PM, Isaac Fried wrote:

> 1. The NIYQUD is perplexing. It is conceivable that the different  
> point marks are combinations to express certain compromises in the  
> various reading traditions, and to also satisfy certain euphonic  
> exigencies.
> 2. I go out of the assumption that the dot in the letter, the  
> dagesh, was already there when the NAQDANIYM came to add the  
> external dot vowels. The dagesh served as an early, pre NIYQUD,  
> reading cue for a patax, a xiriq, and a qubuc. No dagesh was thus  
> needed in "full", or plene writing. This is what we call now the  
> dagesh "forte".
> 3. In case of a schwa following a patax, a xiriq, or a qubuc the  
> dagesh was moved ahead one letter. This is what we call now a  
> dagesh "lene". As we got the habit to automatically "harden" BGDKPT  
> at the sight of an internal dot, the dagesh "lene" was retained for  
> these letters, but was ignored for all other letters.
> 4. The same thing happened to the initial dagesh, which I think is  
> but a remnant of a dot to mark the first letter of a distinct word.
> 5. Now, in אַשְׁבִּיתָה )$BYTH of Dt 32:26, there is a  
> dagesh in the letter B, and hence the patax under the initial A.  
> Because the word is written "full" with a yod following the B no  
> dagesh is needed in the letter T. Similarly, there is a dagesh  
> "lene" in the letter D of וָאַבְדִּילָה W)BDYLH of Ezr  
> 8:24, but no dagesh "lene" in the letter L (not BGDKPT) of  
> וְאַבְלִיגָה W)BLYGH of Job 9:27.
> 6. In Micah 1:8 we find אֶסְפְּדָה  
> וְאֵילִילָה אֵילְכָה in which the segol is,  
> methinks, a xiriq/tsere compromise (as in אֶצְבַּע ECBA,  
> 'finger'), and where the tsere is due to the yod.
> Isaac Fried, Boston University
> On Jul 23, 2013, at 6:54 AM, Pere Porta wrote:
>> he word in Mic 1:8 we dealt with some days ago, has tsere under  
>> the aleph.
>> Now,  some words are found in the biblical text having the same  
>> pattern (binyan, person, number...)...  And so,
>> )$BYTH, ashbytah (Dt 32:26)
>> W)BDYLH, w'abdylah (Ezr 8:24)
>> W)BLYGH, w'ablygah (Job 9:27)
>> All of these have PATAH under the aleph.
>> My question is:
>> is there any good reason for the tsere  -and not a patah--     
>> under Tthe form in Mic 1:8?
>> Pere Porta
>> (Barcelona, Catalonia, Northeastern Spain)
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