Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/43

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§ 4.
— 5 —

together of two words, of which the one ends in ܠ, while the other begins with ܐ (Syriac final-aleph initial-lamedh.png), see above § 1 C.

 
Vowel expression: (a) By vowel letters. Actual use.

VOWEL EXPRESSION (A) BY VOWEL LETTERS.

§ 4. A. The letters ܘ ܝ ܐ are frequently made use of by the Syrians to express vowel sounds.

ܐ denotes every final ā and ē, and in certain cases ē within the word; that ā was pronounced ō by the later West-Syrians, and that ē in part ī. Thus ܡܐ (); ܡܠܟܐ malkā (malkō), ܡܡܣܐ mamsē; ܢܐ (); ܩܐܪܢ pēran (pīran).

ܝ denotes every ī in the middle and end of a word, also certain cases of ē in the middle: ܒܝܫ bīš; ܒܝ ; ܕܝܢ dēn; ܥܝܢ ʿēn (ʿīn). For ē there appears also ܐܝ: ܟܐܝܢ or ܟܝܢ kēn (§ 46). In an open syllable ē is frequently not expressed at all, e. g. ܡܣܟܢܐ meskēnā (meskīnā); in ancient MSS. it is sometimes unindicated even in a closed syllable, e. g. ܐܚܪܢ ḥe̊rēn.

ܘ in the middle and end of a word denotes any long or short u or o: ܩܘܡ qūm; ܦܘܪܘܢܐ purqānā; ܢܓܠܘܢ neγlōn (neγlūn); ܬܫܒܘܚܬܐ tešboḥtā (tešbuḥtō); ܡܠܟܘ malkū; ܐܘ ō. Only the very common words ܟܘܠ kol, kul "all", "every", and ܡܛܘܠ meṭṭol, meṭṭul "because of" are often in old times, and always in later times, written without ܘ, thus ܟܠ, ܡܛܘܠ. The Cod. Sin. frequently leaves out the ܘ even in other words, e. g. ܠܩܒܠ for ܠܘܩܒܠ luqval.

ܘ and ܝ farther express the diphthongs au and ai: ܠܘ lau; ܒܝܬܐ bait; the dipthongs īu and ēu are written ܝܘ: ܓܠܝܘ gallīu; ܢܓܠܝܘܗܝ neγlēu.

B. A final and originally short a in Greek words is expressed by ܐ: in pronunciation it was doubtless always lengthened. Greek α in the middle of a word is also often written ܐ, e. g. ܕܘܓܡܛܐ or ܕܘܓܡܐܛܐ δόγματα &c. Even the Syriac a is sometimes thus expressed, e. g. ܛܐܠܐ all for the usual ܛܠܐ. In the very same way ܝ appears pretty often for ĭ in the middle of a word, e. g. ܐܦܝܣܩܘܦܐ (or ܐܦܣܩܘܦܐ) episkopā, ἐπίσκοπος; ܟܪܝܣܝܣ (ܟܪܝܣܣ) χρῆσις. In quite isolated examples this happens even in Syriac words, as ܓܝܫܪܐ (ܓܫܪܐ) gišrā; ܫܝܓܪ̈ܐ (ܫܓܪ̈ܐ) šiγrē.