Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

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HoneyBuzzard
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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby HoneyBuzzard » 2017-06-03, 23:00

barny wrote:


It's not IPA, just a standard transliteration. The horizontal line is the macron, and it indicates a long vowel. The dash indicates the stress.

אֶ ʾe
אֶ֫ ʾé
אֵ ʾē
אֵ֫ ʾḗ

The < indicates a development from the form on the right to the form on the left, and the * here indicates a reconstructed form. "qḗḏmā < *qidma" means that an unattested word qidma developed into the qḗḏmā found in the OT. Note that the accent is on the first syllable (קֵ֫דְמָה).

What Drink is giving is a historical explanation, but in practical terms you can consider the silent shewa in qḗḏmā justified by the fact that the long vowel is stressed (only unstressed long vowels are required to be in open syllables). If the second syllable had been accented originally, the short vowel in the first syllable never would have lengthened to ṣēre (e.g., miḏbā́r < *midbar-), and if the first vowel had been long, the first syllable never would have been allowed to be closed in the first place (sū́s < *sūs- with a final vowel). These are the (pre)historical rules that produced the practical rule in Biblical Hebrew.

māḵṓm similarly had a short vowel originally, *makōm. It's relevant because if the first vowel had been long originally, it wouldn't have been allowed to reduce to shewa na in the plural (compare something like tōraṯō 'his law' where the vowel in the first syllable doesn't reduce).

(I'm obviously not the expert here, but I'm sure Drink will correct me if I've misunderstood something.)

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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby barny » 2017-06-03, 23:40

księżycowy wrote:Not a problem!

As a side note, it's noted that the pronunciation outlined above is from an 18th(?) Century Hebrew scholar, who's name escapes me at the moment. So it's been a debated subject for a while I guess.


You probably have in mind Levita aka Bachur. I understand he wrote re the rules of shva na and nach. and people follow it to this day. He died in the 6th century. The ancestor of recent British PM David Cameron. And that seems odd to me. That in Orthodox Shuls they'd be following the rules set down by somebody that wasn't an orthodox rabbi and was probably quite far from being an orthodox rabbi, and whose name is not that well known in / even in, the general orthodox world, yet his work apparently somehow had a big impact and was listened to and followed, by publications that mark shva na and shva nach.
Last edited by barny on 2017-06-03, 23:45, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby barny » 2017-06-03, 23:42

HoneyBuzzard wrote:
barny wrote:


It's not IPA, just a standard transliteration. The horizontal line is the macron, and it indicates a long vowel. The dash indicates the stress...........The < indicates a development from the form on the right to the form on the left, and the * here indicates a reconstructed form..............



Thanks for that really helpful explanation..e.g. of the notation that drink used. I will think again about whatever questions I have but in light of that information that you have provided, as that answers some things.

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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby Drink » 2017-06-05, 17:39

I realize that now that you were made aware of the meaning of the notation I was using, that you may be able to answer some of these questions yourself, but I will answer some of them just in case you are still confused about them:

barny wrote:How would the masoretic tradition record whether a word used to be different, and were short, before the time of biblical hebrew?


The masoretic tradition does not record this.

barny wrote:I'm presuming that Feldheim are using the traditional sephardi rule for kamatz katan when they mark it. I'm aware that the modern hebrew rule for kamatz katan is different, and i'm talking strictly biblical hebrew.


The traditional Sephardi reading tradition does not necessarily agree with Feldheim. The Modern Hebrew rules, however, probably do agree with Feldheim in the vast majority of cases regarding qamatz.

barny wrote:But I don't see why you describe Kamatz as a short vowel in an open syllable. If Makom used to be something like Mekom(which I don't think you're saying), then that's nothing to do with why Mekomot is mekomot.. Or do you mean it used to be a patach in makom, then got lengthened to a kamatz? Though still I don't see how that would impact mekomot, where the first vowel gets reduced because it's more syllables.


Again, I am talking about reduction from a historically short vowel. What used to be a short a in an open syllable was either lengthened to a qamatz gadol or reduced to a shva na, depending on the position of stress in relation to the short open a (note that it's not the number of syllables, but the position of the stress).

barny wrote:I know that in IPA [ i] is a long form of chirik like ee street. And capital 'i', [ I] is a short form of chirik like zit. (Though a sephardi I know wouldn't distinguish two forms of chirik, just ih.. and Israelis likewise also just do one sound that is between the two and closer to the shorter 'i' the [ I] in Hit but higher and sharper). Though I doubt that you mean to convey that there was at some point a long chirik in qidma like the word 'street'?


The IPA /i/ and /ɪ/ have nothing to do with vowel length. They are vowels of different quality. The long and short chiriqs historically differed in vowel length, not quality (they may have also developed a secondary difference in quality, such as in some varieties of Ashkenazi Hebrew, but this is irrelevant). So if I were writing in IPA, a short i would be /i/ and a long i would be /iː/.

Also note that on this forum, brackets around the letter "i" produce Italic text, so your IPA did not display correctly. As a workaround, you can insert a space before the "i". Make sure to preview your posts and make sure it displays how you meant it to.
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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby barny » 2017-06-05, 20:28

Drink wrote:The traditional Sephardi reading tradition does not necessarily agree with Feldheim. The Modern Hebrew rules, however, probably do agree with Feldheim in the vast majority of cases regarding qamatz.


Does Levita rely on pre biblical archaic forms of verbs as a factor in determining shva na / nach?

And do you know of any tanach simanim or tikkun that marks shvas with the rules he used?

Drink wrote:The IPA /i/ and /ɪ/ have nothing to do with vowel length. They are vowels of different quality. The long and short chiriqs historically differed in vowel length, not quality (they may have also developed a secondary difference in quality, such as in some varieties of Ashkenazi Hebrew, but this is irrelevant). So if I were writing in IPA, a short i would be /i/ and a long i would be /iː/.


I will now use forward slashes or the forum's IPA tag for IPA.. Now that I see the forum uses square brackets for formatting markup. And square brackets i, for italics. Also, I was using the IPA listed as the webpage I mentioned, and that webpage had no colon after the 'i' ever, It used uppercase 'i' for the ih in hit. And lowercase 'i' for the ee sound. So I was getting my IPA from that link, which was wrong. You mention that the IPA for short 'i' and long 'i' are /i/ and /i:/ respectively.. But I think they're /I/ and /i:/ respectively. i.e. short 'i' is capital I without colon.. And you've done it as lowercase i without colon. (and I agree, in the context of IPA, long and short would refer to quality)

Let's say we're being historical with our pronunciation of chirik. And so you say it can be long or short, in length, but is of one quality. Would you say the chirik, should be /I/ like the ih in 'hit' Or like /i:/ like the 'i' in glee, or something different or in between?

When it comes to secondary differences in quality, in ashkenazi hebrew.. what would you say is the rule for long in quality vs short in quality? (which I suppose is the same as the rule for long or short in quantity that I think perhaps nobody really does nowadays) Would you say it's
"A", or would you say it's "B" or "C" or Other?
A) When the chirik is in a closed unaccented syllable it's short in quality like the 'i' in 'hit'. Otherwise, i.e. when it's in an open syllable or a syllable that is closed but accented, then it's long in quality like the 'i' in glee. So for example, the the first word of Tanach, Beraisht, would be 'ee' because it's not in a closed unaccented syllable.. it's in a closed syllable but the syllable has an accent so it's 'ee'. Beraisheet Beraish/i:/t.
B) When it's in an open syllable it's 'ee' like glee. And when it's in a closed syllable it's 'i' like hit. So for example the first word of the tanach, Beraisht, would be like the 'i' in hit. Beraish/I/t
C) Chirik Yud is long 'ee'. Chirik without yud is short 'ih' like hit.

Also i'd be interested to know if kubutz and shuruk follow the same rule as chirik in terms of its quality, book vs boot.

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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby Drink » 2017-06-05, 21:38

barny wrote:Does Levita rely on pre biblical archaic forms of verbs as a factor in determining shva na / nach?

And do you know of any tanach simanim or tikkun that marks shvas with the rules he used?


I have no idea. I don't know anything about Levita. Note that you don't need to actually know the historical forms to come up with a set of synchronic rules for Biblical Hebrew. The history only makes it make more logical sense.

barny wrote:You mention that the IPA for short 'i' and long 'i' are /i/ and /i:/ respectively.. But I think they're /I/ and /i:/ respectively. i.e. short 'i' is capital I without colon.. And you've done it as lowercase i without colon. (and I agree, in the context of IPA, long and short would refer to quality)


/i/ and /ɪ/ are vowels of different quality. They can both be long (/iː/, /ɪː/) or short (/i/, /ɪ/). We know that there was a distinction in the length of the chiriq. We don't know whether there was a distinction in quality as well. So it could be that the short one had a different quality from the long one, but since we don't know we assume the simpler explanation that there was only a distinction of length. That is why I use /i/ for the short chiriq rather than /ɪ/. The words "long" and "short" only refer to length, not quality.

barny wrote:When it comes to secondary differences in quality, in ashkenazi hebrew.. what would you say is the rule for long in quality vs short in quality?


A secondary difference means that two sounds that are already differentiated one way are also differentiated another way, such as short and long vowels also differing in quality. The secondary distinction is usually ignored in descriptions of grammar because it doesn't tell you anything new; it is only relevant to the actual pronunciation. And I remind you that we don't know whether there was a secondary distinction of quality or not.

If you meant to ask specifically about Ashkenazi Hebrew, then remember that true Ashkenazi Hebrew is very different in many ways from Biblical Hebrew. There are vowels that are short in Ashkenazi Hebrew, but long in Biblical Hebrew, and vice versa. There are also many different varieties of Ashkenazi Hebrew. So answering this would probably lead you down the wrong track (although if you are interested in Ashkenazi Hebrew in and of itself, then I can still answer your questions, although preferably in a separate thread).

barny wrote:Also i'd be interested to know if kubutz and shuruk follow the same rule as chirik in terms of its quality, book vs boot.


Everything I said above also applies to qubutz/shuruq. Note that both qubutz and shuruq can be either long or short, so you have to rely on other factors to differentiate them, just like for chiriq.
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Re: Hebrew Syllables with Sheva

Postby barny » 2017-07-28, 14:57

brachot wrote:Hello,

I am trying to nail down how to tell for sure if a syllable in Biblical Hebrew is open or closed when there is a sheva involved.


I have finally found the rule!

There are various rules for it being vocal e.g. first letter..


I understand it to be the case from googling, that bachur/levita identified 5 rules
1) first letter of a word.
2) second of two shvas under consecutive letters.
3) after a tenua gedolah(long vowel), where the long vowel has no primary stress. and reversing the effect of any stress of vowel shift from a nasog achor of suffix on the noun/verb. (The rule is often misstated as just after a long vowel)
4) under a dagesh
5) if a shva appears under the first of two consecutive identical letters (e.g., the first lamed of halleluyah)



But the one we are dealing with is this one..

If the vowel preceding the shva is long And has no primary stress, then the shva is vocal.

brachot wrote:קֵ֔דְמָה (Leviticus (VaYikra) 1:16) should be pronounced "qê·ḏə·māh" (open first syllable?) Correct?
My question is how do you know? Why could it not be qêd·māh?


shva is preceded by a tsere, tsere is a long vowel. But there is primary stress on that vowel. So it doesn't match that rule(it doesn't match any rule , for it being vocal), so it's silent.

brachot wrote:What about verse 17 for instance...
יַבְדִּיל yav·dîl Why only 2 syllables (closed first syllable?) and not 3 like the above example. It does have a prefix so maybe that is part of it.


The vowel before the shva is patach, that's a short vowel. So doesn't match that rule so is not vocal.

Another example is Veshamuhru. Ex 31:16 That one is vocal. We can't determine the shva until we know if the kamatz is long or short, and whether the kamatz has primary stress or not. We are going to have to look at the kamatz first.. If we look at the shva first, we see It doesn't have primary stress so that's half that shva na rule matched, but we need more info.. So it might match the rule but we still need to know if the kamatz is long or short. So if we look at the shva first we don't yet know. We look at the kamatz and we can determine that one. The rule for whether a kamatz is long or short is that it if it has no stress at all then it's short. The kamatz on veshamuru has a meteg (indicator of secondary stress), so it has stress, so for a kamatz that makes it long. Then we look at the shva. The shva is indeed preceded by a long vowel with no primary stress. So the shva is vocal.

It is possible that many metegs/metagim were added later.. Our chumashim may have more metegs than the LC or Aleppo. If so, I don't know who did or why / how they decided

There is one other point about nasog achor,that could shift stress, and if a verb or noun has a suffix then perhaps stress might shift of a vowel might shift.. and one should look at the word without the suffix and correcting also for any nasog achor. So, after reversing any effect of nasog achor or suffixes.. Then see if the long vowel preceding the shva, has no primary stress, if it does then it's shva na.

So for example, gemu-luh-chem(joel 4:4)..has a kubutz.. but without the suffix, it's gemul with a shuruk. Shuruk is a long vowel. gemulchem, is gemu-luh-chem, because one works out the shva as if it were a shuruk there.


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