[21e] (2) In the middle of words after Šewâ quiescens, i.e. at the beginning of a syllable immediately after a vowelless consonant, e.g. יִרְפָּא yirpā (he heals), קְטַלְתֶּם ye have killed; but after Šewâ mobile, e.g. רְפָא rephā (heal thou), כָּֽבְדָה she was heavy.
[21f] On קָטַלְתְּ, וַיִּשְׁבְּ and similar forms, see §10i.
Whether Šewâ be vocal and consequently causes the aspiration of a following tenuis, depends upon the origin of the particular form. It is almost always vocal
(a) When it has arisen from the weakening of a strong vowel, e.g. רִדְפוּ pursue ye (not רִדְפּוּ) from רְדֹף; מַלְכֵי (not מַלְכֵּי), because originally mălăkhê, but מַלְכִּי from the ground-form malk.
Rem. Forms like שָׁלַ֫חַתְּ thou (fem.) hast sent, in which we should expect an aspirated ת after the vowel, cf. וַיִּ֫חַדְּ Ex 189, have arisen from שָׁלַחְתְּ, יִחְדְּ, &c.; Pathaḥ being here simply a helping vowel has no influence on the tenuis; cf. §28e.
[22a] The four gutturals ח, ה, ע, א, in consequence of their peculiar pronunciation, have special characteristics, but א, as the weakest of these sounds, and sometimes also ע (which elsewhere as one of the harder gutturals is the opposite of א), differ in several respects from the stronger ה and ח.
[22b] 1. They do not admit of Dageš forte, since, in consequence of a gradual weakening of the pronunciation (see below, note 2), the strengthening of the gutturals was hardly audible to the Masoretes. But a distinction must be drawn between (a) the complete omission of the strengthening, and (b) the mere echo of it, commonly called half doubling, but better, virtual strengthening.
[22c] In the former case, the short vowel before the guttural would stand in an open syllable, and must accordingly be lengthened or modified.
- The exceptions יָקְתְאֵל Jos 1538 (see Minḥat shay, on this passage), 2 K 147, and יָקְדְעָם Jos 1556 may perhaps be due to the character of the ק.
- Cf. terra and the French terre, the German Rolle and the French rôle; German drollig and French drôle. The omission of the strengthening shows a deterioration of the language. Arabic still admits of the strengthening of gutturals in all cases.