agrees with the vocalic character of ו and י (§5b, note 2). Thus such words as וָו, חַי, גּוֹי, עָשׂוּי, גֵּו, בַּ֫יִת are not to be pronounced according to the usual Jewish custom as vāv, ḥay, gôy, ʿāsûy, gēv, bayith (or even as vaf, &c.; cf. modern Greek av af, ev ef for αὐ, εὐ), but with the Italian Jews more like wāu, ḥai, &c. The sound of ־ָיו is the same as ־ָו, i.e. almost like āu, so that ־ָו is often written defectively for ־ָיו.
[9a] Numerous as are the vowel signs in Hebrew writing, they are yet not fully adequate to express all the various modifications of the vowel sounds, especially with respect to length and shortness. To understand this better a short explanation of the character and value of the several vowels is required, especially in regard to their length and shortness as well as to their changeableness (§§ 25, 27).
I. First Class. A-sound.
1. Qameṣ (־ָ), when it represents a long a, is, by nature and origin, of two kinds:—
(1) The essentially long â (in Arabic regularly written ־ָא), which is not readily shortened and never wholly dropped (§25c), e.g. כְּתָב kethâbh (writing); very seldom with a following א, as רָאשׁ 2 S 121, 4 (see the examples in §72p).
[9b] The writing of קָאם Ho 1014 for קָם would only be justifiable, if the ā of this form were to be explained as a contraction of ăă cf. however §72a; דָּאג Neh 1316 for דָּגּ (dāg) is certainly incorrect.—The rarity of the â in Hebrew arises from the fact that it has for the most part become an obtuse ô; see below, q.
[9c] (2) ā, lengthened only by position (i.e. tone-long or at all events lengthened under the influence of the tone, according to the laws for the formation of syllables, §27e–h), either in the tone-syllable itself (or in the secondary tone-syllable indicated by Mèthĕg, see below), or just before or after it. This sound is invariably lengthened from an original ă, and is found in open syllables, i.e. syllables ending in a vowel (§26b), e.g. לְךָ, קָטַל, יָקוּם, אָסִיר (Arab. lăkă, qătălă, yăqûmŭ, ʾăsîrŭ), as well as in closed syllables, i.e. those ending in
- In MSS. ו and י, in such combinations as גֵּוּ, חַיּ, are even marked with Mappîq (§14a).
- Of a different kind are the cases in which א has lost its consonantal sound by coalescing with a preceding a, a §23a–d.
- In Arabic this ă is always retained in an open syllable.