Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/66

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§ 40.
— 28 —

D. In the middle of the word, ya becomes ī in the adverbial ending āīth, from and along with āyath (§ 155 A). ܘ, which appears as an initial letter without a full vowel only in ܘ "and" (A supra), is sometimes treated within a word just like ܝ. Thus from remote times there appear as alternative forms ܚܰܝܘܬ݂ܳܐ ḥaiwe̊thā and ܚܰܝܽܘܬ݂ܳܐ ḥayūthā "animal"; ܚܰܕܘܬ݂ܳܐ and ܚܰܕܽܘܬ݂ܳܐ "joy" (§§ 40 D; 101; 145 F)[1]: forms with ū in these cases have become more usual; while other forms,—for instance, ܠܷܐܽܘܬ݂ܳܐ along with ܠܷܐܘܬ݂ܳܐ (לֵאוְתָא) "weariness", ܕܢܲܪܘܼܚܘܼܢ (East-Syrian) along with ܕܢܱܪܘܚܽܘܢ "that they may have room"—occur only in isolated cases.

E. A ܝ after ā, and before another vowel, is pronounced by the East-Syrians like ܐ, thus ܚܳܝܷܐ "lives", ܐ̄ܚܪܴܝܱܬ "at last", like ḥāē, ḥe̊rāath, &c.[2] (thus the converse of § 33 B). Perhaps old modes of writing, like ܪܘܚܢܐܝܢ for ܪܽܘܚܳܢܳܝܺܝܢ "spiritual" (pl.), are founded upon this. If the vowel succeeding ܝ, after a or ā, is e or i, then the difference between the highly vocal y and ܐ is hardly perceptible. Whence come the interchangeable forms ܡܱܝܺܝܬ and ܡܱܐܺܝܬ "dead"; ܦܱܝܺܝܫ "remaining" and ܦܱܐܺܝܦ (§ 118); ܐܱܫܩܳܐܺܝܢܝ and ܐܱܫܩܳܝܺܢܝ, "give me to drink" (§ 196) &c.: Thus old MSS. have ܫܪܝܪܝܝܬ for ܫܱܪܻܝܪܴܐܻܝܬ "truly" (§ 155 A).

F. In the same way awu and aʾu are scarcely distinguishable by the ear. Accordingly we find, for example, ܪܡܘܘܢ or even ܪܡܐܘܘܢ for ܪܡܱܐܾܘܢ "they threw" (§ 176 E), ܡܚܘܘܗܝ or ܡܚܐܘܘܗܝ for ܡܚܰܐܾܘܗ̄ܝ "they struck him" (§ 192), &c. Similarly, ܡܠܘܘܐ as well as ܡܠܘܿܐܴܐ "matter".

G. ܝ serves in rare cases as a mark of a vowel and a consonant at one and the same time; e. g. in ܢܒܺܝܳܐ ne̊vīyā "prophet" (in which the conclusion must have a sound differing very little indeed from that in ܐܱܬܻ݁ܝܐܴܐ "come", &c); ܫܺܝܽܘܬܴܐ šīyūthā "form"; and in the before-mentioned ܐܱܫܩܳܝܺܢܝ ašqāyīn. Similarly ܩܘܪ̈ܝܝܢ for ܩܽܘܪ̈ܝܴܝܺܝܢ quryāyīn "rustici" (to avoid the triple ܝ).

H. The Greek ια, ιω, &c. are sometimes treated as monosyllables, sometimes as dissyllables, for instance: ܗܶܕܝܘܿܜܳܐ ἰδιώτης; ܐܱܟܣܶܢܝܳܐ ξενία,
  1. With the old poets these words are sometimes dissyllabic, sometimes trissyllabic. The Nestorians prefer the dissyllabic pronunciation of ܚܝܘܬܐ at least.
  2. Accordingly they like to put a small ܐ over such a ܝ.