Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/45

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§§ 7. 8.
— 7 —

"in him"; ܩܛܠܬܗ̇ qe̊ṭaltāh "thou hast killed her"; and so also ܩܕܡܝܗ̇ qe̊δāmēh "before her"; ܢܩܛܠܝܗ̇ neqṭe̊līh "he is slaying her" (Impf.), &c.

In the latter case this system has already in part given up the exact, and relatively phonetic significance of the 'points'. That significance, however, came to be abandoned in many other cases besides, as when, for instance, one began to write ܣ̣ܡ sām "he placed", because it is a Perfect like ܩܛܠ qe̊ṭal. Other considerations too mixed themselves up with the matter; thus it became the practice to write the 1st pers. sing. perf. with ◌̇ over the first consonant, e. g. ܩ̇ܛܠܬ qeṭleth "I killed" (interfeci). The points, upper and under,—particularly the former,—are often wrongly placed; thus ܥܟ̇ܕ is found for ܥ̇ܟܕ ʿāveδ "does", and ܣܠܩ̇ for ܣ̇ܠܩ sāleq "ascends".

Combination of points.§ 7. Farther, a second or third point was often added to distinguish more exactly between verbal forms in particular; for example, there was written ܥ̇ܒ̣ܕܬ ʿevdeth, ܥܒ̣ܕܬ̇ or (East-Syrian) ܥܒ̣ܕܬ̤ ʿevdath "she did"; ܡ̇ܢܘ̣ manū "who is?" compared with ܡ̇ܢܘ mānau "what is?"; ܒ̇ܪ̤ܐ be̊rē "creatus" as distinguished from ܒ̣ܪܐ be̊rā "creavit" and ܒ̇ܪܐ bārē "creat", &c. This complicated system, often fluctuating according to districts and schools, and seldom faithfully attended to by copyists, still maintained a footing in many forms, even alongside of the employment of a more exact indication of the vowels.

System of vowel-marking by points.§ 8. Out of this punctuation then, there was formed, with the Nestorians first of all, a complete system of Vowel-Signs. To be sure it never attained to perfect consistency and universal acceptance: even the appellations of the vowels fluctuate a good deal. The system is used in Nestorian impressions, on the authority of good manuscripts, after the following scheme:—

◌ܲ ă Pe̊thāḥā, e. g. ܒܲ .
◌ܵ ā Ze̊qāfā (or according to Nestorian pronunciation, Ze̊qāpā): ܒܵ .
◌ܸ ĕ, ĭ Re̊vāṣā arrīkhā or Ze̊lāmā pe̊šīqā: ܒܸ .
◌ܹ ē Re̊vāṣā karyā or Ze̊lāmā qašyā: ܒܹ .
ܝܼ ī Ḥe̊vāṣā: ܒܝܼ .
ܘܼ u, ū ʿE̊ṣāṣā allīṣā: ܒܘܼ bu.

ܘܿ o, ō ʿE̊ṣāṣā re̊wīḥā: ܒܘܿ bo.