single letters, words, or even whole sentences, which are then often added in the margin and thence brought back into the text in the wrong place; such omission is generally due to homoioteleuton (cf. Ginsburg, Introd., p. 171 ff.), i.e. the scribe’s eye wanders from the place to a subsequent word of the same or similar form. Other causes are dittography, i.e. erroneous repetition of letters, words, and even sentences; its opposite, haplography; and lastly wrong division of words (cf. Ginsburg, Introd., p. 158 ff.), since at a certain period in the transmission of the text the words were not separated.—Intentional changes are due to corrections for the sake of decency or of dogma, and to the insertion of glosses, some of them very early.
Advance in grammar is therefore closely dependent on progress in textual criticism. The systematic pursuit of the latter has only begun in recent years: cf. especially Doorninck on Ju 1–16, Leid. 1879; Wellhausen, Text der Bb. Sam., Gött. 1871; Cornill, Ezechiel, Lpz. 1886; Klostermann, Bb. Sam. u. d. Kön., Nördl. 1887; Driver, Notes on the Hebr. text of the Books of Sam., Oxf. 1890; Klostermann, Deuterojesaja, Munich, 1893; Oort, Textus hebr. emendationes, Lugd. 1900; Burney on Kings, Oxf. 1903; the commentaries of Marti and Nowack; the Internat. Crit. Comm.; Kautzsch, Die heil. Schriften des A.T.2, 1909–10. A critical edition of the O.T. with full textual notes, and indicating the different documents by colours, is being published in a handsome form by P. Haupt in The Sacred Books of the Old Test., Lpz. and Baltimore, 1893 ff. (sixteen parts have appeared: Exod., Deut., Minor Prophets, and Megilloth are still to come); Kittel, Biblia hebraica2, 1909, Masoretic text from Jacob b. Ḥayyim (see c), with a valuable selection of variants from the versions, and emendations.
The division and arrangement of Hebrew grammar follow the three constituent parts of every language, viz. (1) articulate sounds represented by letters, and united to form syllables, (2) words, and (3) sentences.
The first part (the elements) comprises accordingly the treatment of sounds and their representation in writing. It describes the nature and relations of the sounds of the language, teaches the pronunciation
- This scriptio continua is also found in Phoenician inscriptions. The inscription of Mêšaʿ always divides the words by a point (and so the Siloam inscription; see the facsimile at the beginning of this grammar), and frequently marks the close of a sentence by a stroke.