Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/62

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§§ 34. 35.
— 24 —

Although this falling away of the ܐ is very ancient, yet the East-Syrians frequently retain it as a consonant in such cases: thus e. g. they prefer to punctuate ܢܸܫܐܲܠ, ܒܐܵܬ݂ܵܐ, without pushing forward the vowel to the preceding consonant, as if it should still be read nešʾal, be̊ʾāthā; but all this without consistency.

B. Between two vowels ܐ receives with many Syrians (always?) the pronunciation y, e. g. ܐܴܐܱܪ ōyar "air" (West-Syr.). This pronunciation, which occasionally finds expression even in writing, e. g. ܨܰܝܱܐ for ܨܰܐܱܐ "defiled" (§ 172 A B), has however not been general.

In the end of a syllable ܐ always loses its consonantal value: ܫܷܐܠܷܬ݂ "I demanded", is in sound the same as ܫܷܠܷܬ݂; ܢܶܐܟ݂ܘܿܠ "eats" = ܢܷܟ݂ܘܿܠ; ܣܴܐܒ݂ܺܝܢ "are growing old" = ܣܴܒ݂ܺܝܢ, &c. Etymology alone can decide here, as in many other cases, whether ܐ is a mere vowel-letter or an original guttural (Arabic Hemza). Such an ܐ is now no longer written in cases like ܣܱܓܻ݁ܝ from saggīʾ (cf. ܣܴܓܻ݁ܝܐܴܐ, ܣܱܓܻ݁ܝܐܺܝܢ), &c.) "much". On the changes of vowels at the disappearance of such an ܐ v. § 53.

Auxiliary vowel of the ܐ. § 34. An ܐ, which in the beginning of the syllable ought to receive a vocal sheva,—according to the analogy of other consonants,—retains a full vowel instead; but in the middle of a word it gives up this vowel to the foregoing consonant (by § 33 A) and loses its own consonantal value. The vowel is ◌ܰ or ◌ܶ, and the latter even in many cases where it was originally a. Thus ܐܷܡܱܪ "spoke", compared with ܩܜܰܠ "killed" 3. s. (originally amar, qaṭal); ܐܱܡܺܝܪ "spoken", compared with ܩܜܺܝܠ "killed" (from qaṭīl); ܐܱܟ݂ܘܿܠ "eat", like ܩܜܘܿܠ "kill",—ܡܷܬ݂ܶܐܟ݂ܶܠ "is being eaten" (like ܡܶܬܩܜܶܠ "is being killed"); ܡܠܱܐܟ݂ܳܐ "angel" = מַלְאֲכָא; ܡܱܟ݂ܶܐܒ݂ܷܐ "afflicted" machevē (East-Syrian ܡܲܟܲܐܒܸܐ) &c. The Nestorians occasionally write in these cases ◌̱ (§ 17) e. g. ܡܸܬ݂ܐ̱ܟܸܠ, which is even improperly used for regular vowels, as in ܫܲܬܐ̱ܣܹ̈ܝܗܿ = ܫܷܬܐܷܣܷܝ̈ܗܿ (§ 45) "her foundations". An o (perhaps lengthened?) has been thus maintained in ܐܘܿܪ̈ܰܘܳܬ݂ܳܐ (Plural of ܐܘܿܪܝܳܐ "manger") from ŏrawāthā. Such an ܐ with a sheva disappears without leaving a trace in ܣܘܿܓܐܗܘܿܢ, ܣܘܿܓܗܘܿܢ "their multitude" from ܣܘܿܓܳܐܐ for soγʾā.

Orthographic Note on ܐ. § 35. Seeing that a radical ܐ frequently thus falls away in pronunciation, it is often left out also in writing, and that even in the oldest