Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/76

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§ 53.
— 38 —

B. Essentially the same thing takes place frequently within the word. Especially when a consonant without a full vowel follows one that has no vowel, a short vowel is inserted often between the two to facilitate pronunciation. Thus ܡܱܕܶܢܚܳܐ = ܡܱܕ݂ܢܚܳܐ "sunrise"; ܕܶܚܶܠܬ݂ܐ = ܕܶܚܠܬ݂ܐ "fear"; ܬܷܫܱܒ݁ܩܽܘܢ = ܬܷܫܒ݁ܩܽܘܢ "you permit or remit"; ܬܷܕܰܚܠܻܝܢ = ܬܷܕ݂ܚܠܻܝܢ "thou fearest (f.)"; ܢܷܙܶܒ݁ܢܽܘܢ = ܢܷܙܒ݁ܢܽܘܢ "they buy"; also ܡܱܘܷܡܝܳܐ = ܡܱܘܡܝܳܐ "she swears"; ܙܰܘܷܥܬ݂ܳܐ = ܙܰܘܥܬ݂ܳܐ "quaking"; and ܫܸܐ̱ܠܬ݂ܵܐ (= ܫܷܐܷܠܬ݂ܳܐ v. infra C) "question". Particularly does this occur when one of the letters is a liquid or ܘ ܝ ܗ ܐ ܥ‍; on the other hand it is never found between sibilants and dentals. A marked amount of fluctuation however prevails in individual cases in the pronunciation of the various dialects and schools. With the old poets the longer forms, as indicated by the metre, are upon the whole rare; they abound in the vocalisation of the Bible, with both East- and West-Syrians.

C. The small stroke under the letter, called mehagyānā "the accentuator", serves as a sign of the fuller pronunciation particularly with the East-Syrians; the one above the letter, called marhe̊ṭānā "the hastener", as the sign of the shorter (§ 17). Yet often the full vowel is also written instead of the former, thus ܐܲܫ̱ܠܜܹܐ or ܐܱܫܷܠܜܶܐ = ܐܱܫܠܜܶܐ "I empowered".

The sign ◌̱ stands sometimes too in cases where the vowel which is supposed to be inserted is an original vowel, e. g. in ܩܸܩ̱ܠܬܵܐ = ܩܹܩܱܠܬܴ݁ܐ from qalqaltā. Sometimes it is not easy to say whether a vowel is original or inserted. Here and there such a vowel alters the original vocalisation more strongly; thus from ܥܱܩܪܒ݂ܳܐ "scorpion", has come the West-Syrian ܥܷܩܱܪܒ݂ܳܐ and then the East-Syrian ܥܩܲܪܒ݂ܳܐ.

The inserted vowel is mostly e, but often too it is a, especially before gutturals, and before q and r.

The relations of Rukkākhā and Quššāyā suffer no alteration through this insertion, as several of the foregoing examples show.

 
Influence of the consonants upon the vowels. Of ܐ.

INFLUENCE OF THE CONSONANTS UPON THE VOWELS.

§ 53. An ܐ originally a consonant and ending a syllable in the vowels. middle of a word becomes, in combination with a preceding a or i, an ē, which for the most part is farther developed with the West-Syrians into ī.