Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/72

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§ 49.
— 34 —

of a guttural or an r, e. g. ܝܺܫܘܿܥ (§ 40 C), ܙܥܘܿܪܐ "small", ܚܪܘܿܪܐ "hole", ܫܡܘܿܥܬܐ "report", ܫܘܿܥܐ "rock", and many others: so too in the neighbourhood of an n, e. g. ܐܲܬ݁ܘܿܢܵܐ "oven", ܓܢܘܿܢܵܐ "tent". In many casesܘܿ may denote an o originally short, but lengthened by the tone; so perhaps in ܢܷܩܜܘܿܠ "kills", ܩܕܘܿܫ "sanctuary" (§ 103), &c. Still, there is as little certainty about tins as about the similar case in § 47.

The East-Syrians in particular distinguish also a short ܘܿ (o) from a short ܘܼ (u), but this distinction is of little importance. Here too a guttural or an r frequently seems to bring about the ܘܿ pronunciation, e. g.: ܬܸܫܒܘܿܚܬ݁ܐ "glory", ܐܘܿܪܝܵܐ "manger", &c.

It is curious that the West-Syrians have, besides the form ܟܽܠ "all", the form kol, which accordingly they have to write ܟܳܠ. Is it a lengthened kōl? So too ܟܳܠܷܗ, ܟܳܠܴܟ, &c.

While even with the East-Syrians the sound o began pretty early to pass into u, the tradition varies a good deal in the case of ܘܿ and ܘܼ; but with respect to cases of grammatical importance there is no doubt whatever.

Greek ο and ω are with the East-Syrians either retained,—and then they are written ◌ܳܘ, ◌ܳ, e. g. ܬ݂ܪܴܘܢܳܘܣ, ܬ݂ܪܴܢܳܘܣ θρόνος—, or they become u. There is a good deal of variation in the usage, e. g. ܦܺܝܠܻܝܦܴܘܣ and ܦܺܝܠܝܦܽܘܣ, ܗܺܝܓܡܳܘܢܳܐ and ܗܺܝܓܡܽܘܢܳܐ ἡγεμών &c.

With the East-Syrians ܘܿ corresponds to the Greek ο and ω, in so far as they keep from altering the words more decidedly.

As they cannot express an o without a vowel letter, they put ◌ܵ with defective-writing for the Greek ο, ω, and pronounce it ā, e. g. ܬܷܐܴܘܕܳܪܴܘܿܣ Theodāros for ܬܷܐܴܘܕܳܪܴܘܿܣ Θεόδωρος.

ai and au. § 49. A. The diphthongs ai and au remain very steady, particularly in the beginning of a word, although in dialects the pronunciation ē and ō occurred. Commonly, however, simplification of the diphthong prevails in a closed syllable. The West-Syrians farther proceed (according to § 46) to turn the ē occasionally into ī, and the ō always into ū (§ 48): thus, along with ܒܱܝܬܴ݁ܐ, ܒܷܝܬ݂ "house"; with ܚܰܝܠܴܐ, ܚܹܝܠ "strength"; with ܥܱܝܢܳܐ, ܥܹܝܢ "eye"; ܡܓܰܠܷܝܢ from me̊γallain, "they reveal"; ܬܪܷ̈ܝܢ from te̊rain, "two"; ܣܱܘܦܴ݁ܐ, ܣܘܿܦ݂, ܣܽܘܦ݂ "end", &c. So by analogy from ܠܥܹܝܢ (in