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.