Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/112

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 [26q6. A special kind of closed syllables are the sharpened, i.e. those which end in the same (strengthened) consonant with which the following syllable begins, e.g. אִמִּי ʾĭm-mî, כֻּלּוֹ kŭl-lô. If without the tone, they have, like the rest, short vowels; but, if bearing the tone, either short vowels as קַ֫לּוּ, הִנֶּ֫נּוּ, or long, as שָׁ֫מָּה, הֵ֫מָּה.

On the omission of the strengthening of a consonant at the end of a word, see §20l.

 [26r7. Syllables ending with two consonants occur only at the end of words, and have most naturally short vowels, קָטַלְתְּ, וַיִּשְׁבְּ; but sometimes Ṣere, as נֵרְדְּ, וַיֵּבְדְּ, or Ḥolem, תּוֹסְףְּ קשְׁטְ. Cf., however, §10i. Usually the harshness of pronunciation is avoided by the use of a helping vowel (§28e).

§27. The Change of the Vowels, especially as regards Quantity.

 [27a]  The changes in sound through which the Hebrew language passed, before it assumed the form in which we know it from the Masoretic text of the O.T. (see §2k), have especially affected its vowel system. A precise knowledge of these vowel changes, which is indispensable for the understanding of most of the present forms of the language, is derived partly from the phenomena which the language itself presents in the laws of derivation and inflexion, partly from the comparison of the kindred dialects, principally the Arabic. By these two methods, we arrive at the following facts as regards Hebrew:

 [27b]  1. That in an open syllable the language has frequently retained only a half-vowel (Šewâ mobile), where there originally stood a full short vowel, e.g. עֲגָלָה (ground-form ʿăgălăt) a waggon, צְדָקָה (groundform ṣădăqăt) righteousness, קָֽטְלוּ (Arab. qătălŭ), יְקַטְּלוּ (Arab. jŭqattĭlŭ).

 [27c]  2. That vowels originally short have in the tone-syllable, as also in the open syllable preceding it, been generally changed into the corresponding tone-long vowels, ă into ā, ĭ into ē, ŭ into ō (see §9, ae, k, r). If, however, the tone be shifted or weakened, these tone-long vowels mostly revert to their original shortness, or, occasionally, are still further shortened, or reduced to mere Šewâ mobile, or, finally, are entirely lost through a change in the division of syllables; e.g. מָטָר (Arab. măṭăr) rain, when in close dependence on a following genitive in the construct state), becomes מְטַר; עָקֵב (Arab. ʿăqĭb) heel, dual עֲקֵבַ֫יִם, dual construct (with attenuation of the original ă of the first syllable to ĭ) עִקְּבֵי [on the קּ, see §20h]; יִקְטֹל (Arab. yăqtŭl), plur. יִקְטְלוּ (Arab. yăqtŭlû). For instances of complete loss, as in כַּסְפֵּי, cf. §93m.