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state, §89), and the representation of case-relations belongs therefore almost exclusively to the syntax (§117 ff.). The comparative and superlative of adjectives also can be expressed only by a syntactical combination (§133). On the other hand, several changes in the forms of nouns are occasioned by the additions of the plural, dual, and feminine terminations, as well as of the pronominal suffixes, and also by the close connexion of two nouns, by means of the construct state.
Brockelmann; Grundriss, p. 404 ff.; ‘Ueber die Femininendung at, ah, ā’ in Semit. Sprachwiss., p. 106 f.; Grundriss, pp. 105, 405 ff.; ‘Die Femininendung T im Semit.’ (Sitzung d. orient.-sprachwiss. Sektion d. schlesischen Gesellschaft, Feb. 26, 1903); against him J. Barth, ZDMG. 1903, p. 628 ff.; Brockelmann’s reply, ibid., p. 795 ff.; and Barth again, ibid., p. 798 ff.
[80a] 1. The Hebrew, like all Semitic languages, recognizes only two genders in the noun, a masculine and a feminine. Inanimate objects and abstract ideas, which other languages sometimes indicate by the neuter, are regarded in Hebrew either as masculine or feminine, more often the latter (see the Syntax, §122q).
[80b] 2. The masculine, as being the more common and important gender, has no special indication.
Feminine nouns are also without an indication of gender when the meaning of the word naturally denotes a feminine, as אֵם mother, אָתוֹן a she-ass, עֵז a she-goat, רָחֵל an ewe (cf. §122b). As a rule, however, the feminine had originally the ending ־ַת, as in the 3rd sing. perfect of verbs (§44a). This ־ַת, however, is regularly retained in Hebrew only in close connexion with a following genitive or suffix (cf. §89e and §91o), except where the form has arisen through the addition of a simple ת (see below, d). Otherwise, the feminine ending of the independent form (the absolute state, §89a) is—
[80c] (a) Most commonly a tone-bearing ־ָה, e.g. סוּס , סוּסָה . Of nouns ending in ־ִ, like עִבְרִי, the feminine (by §24b) is עִבְרִיָּה, cf. §86h. As in the 3rd sing. fem. perfect (קָֽטְלָה, &c.), this ־ָה seems to have arisen by the rejection of the final ת, and the lengthening of the ă in the open syllable, whereupon the ה was added as an orthographic indication of the final long vowel: cf. the exactly similar origin of such forms as גָּלָה for גָּלַי, §75c. It must, however, be
- To speak of these changes as a declension of the Hebrew noun, as is usually done, is accordingly incorrect.
- In Mal 114 מָשְׁחַת (so e.g. ed. Mant.) would stand for מָשְׁחֶ֫תֶת, the ptcp. fem. Hophʿal; but מָשְׁחָת (so Baer and Ginsb.) is also supported by good authority.