Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/71

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§§ 47. 48.
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This ē became to a large extent ī with the West-Syrians: They said ܢܼܐܡܱܪ nīmar "says", ܐ̄ܚܪܹܢܳܐ ḥe̊rīnō "alius", ܪܝܫܳܐ rīšō, ܟܹܐܦܴܐ kīfō, ܟܹܐܝܢ kīn, &c. Yet they keep the ◌ܶ in ܢܶܐܟ݂ܘܿܠ "eats", ܡܶܐܟ݂ܽܘܠܬܴ݁ܐ "food", ܓܶܐܪܴܐ "arrow", &c.; and there are found still in isolated cases ܢܦܷܐܫܳܐ as well as ܢܦܺܐܫܳܐ, ܡܷܐܡܳܐ as well as ܡܺܐܡܳܐ (Inf.) "to swear", ܬܷܐܒ݂ܕ݁ܽܘܢ as well as ܬܻܐܒ݂ܕ݁ܽܘܢ "are lost" (2. m. pl.), &c. (§§ 174 A, 175 B). ܐ, ܐܝ—or the defective form of writing i,—are (even apart from etymology) in these cases almost invariably certain marks of an original ē. The style of writing of the East-Syrians separates ◌ܹ ē with tolerable consistency from ܝܼ ī[1].

In the end of a word the West-Syrian transition from ē to ī, except in ܢܹܐ (= Hebr. נָא) appears only in Greek words in η, e. g. ܕܺܝܱܬ݂ܝܩܺܐ or even ܕܺܝܱܬ݂ܝܩܺܝ διαθήκη for ܕܝܵܬܹܝܩܹܐ of the East-Syrians. Otherwise ◌ܶ remains here: ܓܳܠܷܐ "reveals", ܡܱ̈ܠܟܷܐ "kings", &c.

e. § 47. The short ◌ܸ seems to have been ĕ in the West, from ancient times; in the East it was pronounced sometimes as ĕ, sometimes as ĭ. This difference has no grammatical significance.

A short ĕ may often be lengthened in the concluding syllable through the (original) tone: thus ܕܳܚܶܠ "terrifies"; ܩܷܜܠܷܬ "I killed" (in which cases the second vowel is written by the East-Syrians with ◌ܵ) should perhaps be pronounced dāḥḗl, qeṭlḗth: It is the same principle with the monosyllabic ܫܷܠܝ (ܡܶܢ) "suddenly" and ܫܷܬ݂ "six", for which ܫܝܠ and ܫܝܬ are found in very old MSS. Yet this is not certain; and still less certain is it whether such a lengthening was generally practised. But beyond all doubt ܒܷܪܝ "my son" (§ 146) has a long ē.

ō, o. § 48. The ܘܿ (ō) with the West-Syrians at an early date coincided with ܘܼ (◌ܽܘ, ū). It has been retained only in the interjections ܐܘّ and ܐܘܿܝ "oi" (for which others say ܐܾܘܝ). Thus we have otherwise ܩܳܜܽܘܠܴܐ qōṭūlō for ܩܵܜܘܿܠܵܐ qāṭōlā "murder"; ܨܠܽܘܬ݂ܳܐ ṣe̊lūthō for ܨܠܘܿܬ݂ܳܐ ṣe̊lōthā "prayer", &c. Moreover such an East-Syrian ܘܿ appears not seldom to be only the result of toning down an original ū, especially in the neighbourhood
  1. Now-a-days the East-Syrians pronounce ◌ܹ,—both in cases where it corresponds to the ◌ܶ and in those where it corresponds to the ◌ܺ of the West-Syrians,—for the most part very like ī, and yet in another way than the pointed ܝܼ.

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