[93a] Masculine nouns from the simple stem may, as regards their form and the vowel changes connected with it, be divided into four classes. A synopsis of them is given on pp. 264, 265, and they are further explained below. Two general remarks may be premised:
(a) That all feminines without a distinctive termination (§122h) are treated like these masculine nouns, e.g. חֶ֫רֶב f. sword, like מֶ֫לֶךְ m. king, except that in the plural they usually take the termination ־וֹת; thus חֲרָבוֹת, constr. חַרְבוֹת (and so always before suffixes, see §95).
[93b] (b) That in the plural of the first three classes a changeable vowel is always retained even before the light suffixes as a lengthened pretonic vowel, whenever it also stands before the plural ending ־ִים. All suffixes, except כֶם, כֶן, הֶם, הֶן (־ֵיכֶם, ־ֵיכֶן, ־ֵיהֶם, ־ֵיהֶן), are called light. Cf. §92e.
[93c] 1. Paradigm I comprises the large class of segholate nouns (§84aa–a). In the first three examples, from a strong stem, the ground-forms, mălk, sĭphr, qŭdš have been developed by the adoption of a helping Seghôl to מֶ֫לֶךְ (with ă modified to è), סֵ֫פֶר (ĭ lengthened to ē), קֹ֫דֶשׁ (ŭ lengthened to ō). The next three examples, instead of the helping Seghôl, have a helping Pathaḥ, on account of the middle (d, f) or final guttural (e). In all these cases the constr. st. sing. coincides exactly with the absolute. The singular suffixes are added to the ground-form; but in c and f an ŏ takes the place of the original ŭ, and in d and f the guttural requires a repetition of the ă and ŏ in the form of a Ḥaṭeph (נַֽעֲרִי, פָּֽעֳלִי); before a following Šewâ this Ḥaṭeph passes into a simple helping vowel (ă, ŏ), according to §28c; hence נַֽעַרְךָ, &c.
[93d] In the plural an a-sound almost always appears before the tone-bearing affix ־ִים (on the analogy of forms with original a in the
- A sort of detailed commentary on the following scheme of Hebrew declensions is supplied by E. König in his Hist.-krit. Lehrgeb. der hebr. Spr., it. 1, p. 1 ff.
- According to P. Haupt ‘The book of Nahum’ in the Journ. of bibl. Lit., 1907, p. 29, the e in סֵ֫פֶר and the o in קֹ֫דֶשׁ are not long but accented, and hence to be pronounced σέφρ, ὄζν (אֹ֫זֶן), a theory unknown at any rate to the Jewish grammarians.