(a) In many forms of the Imperfect, under the influence of a prefixed Wāw consecutive (וַּ see §49c–e), e.g. יֹאמַ֫ר he will say, וַיֹּ֫אמֶר and he said; יֵלֵ֫ךְ he will go, וַיֵּ֫לֶךְ and he went. Cf. also §51n on the impf. Niphʿal, and §65g, end, on the impf. Piʿel; on these forms in Pause, when the ו consec. does not take effect, see below, p.
[29e] (b) For rhythmical reasons (as often in other languages), when a monosyllable, or a word with the tone on the first syllable, follows a word with the tone on the ultima, in order to avoid the concurrence of two tone-syllables. This rhythmical retraction of the tone, however (נָסוֹג אָחוֹר receding, as it is called by the Jewish grammarians), is only admissible according to a, above, provided that the penultima, which now receives the tone, is an open syllable (with a long vowel; but see g), whilst the ultima, which loses the tone, must be either an open syllable with a long vowel, e.g. קָ֣רָא לָ֑יְלָה Gn 15, 417, 2725, Ex 1629, ψ 511, 10414, Dn 1113, or a closed syllable with a short vowel, e.g. תֹּ֣אכַל לֶ֫חֶם Gn 319, Jb 33, 2228. The grave suffixes ־כֶם, כֶן, ־הֶם, ־הֶן are exceptions, as they never lose the tone. Moreover a fair number of instances occur in which the above conditions are fulfilled, but the tone is not retracted, e.g. esp. with הָיָה, and before א; cf. Qimḥi, Mikhlol, ed. Rittenberg (Lyck, 1862), p. 4b, line 13 ff.
[29f] Although Ṣere can remain in a closed ultima which has lost the tone, it is perhaps not to be regarded in this case (see §8b) as a long vowel. At any rate it then always has, in correct editions, a retarding Methog, no doubt in order to prevent its being pronounced as Seghôl, e.g. לְבָ֣עֵֽר קָ֑יִן Nu 2422; cf. Nu 1723, Ju 202, Is 663, Jer 2329, Ez 2225, ψ 377, and even with a following furtive Pathaḥ Pr 119, 1126, &c., although there is no question here of two successive tone-syllables. In other cases the shortening into Seghôl does take place, e.g. ה֫וֹלֶם פַּ֫עַם who smiteth the anvil, Is 417, for הוֹלֵ֫ם פַּ֫עַם; מֵ֫אֶת שֶׁ֫מֶר 1 K 1624.—The retraction of the tone even occurs when a half-syllable with a Šewâ mobile precedes the original tone-syllable, e.g. וַיּ֫אֹמְרוּ לוֹ Gn 195, and frequently; י֫וֹרְדֵי בוֹר ψ 281; טָ֫מְנוּ לִי
- Even Hebrew prose proceeds, according to the accentuation, in a kind of iambic rhythm. That this was intended by the marking of the tone, can be seen from the use of Metheg.—Jos. Wijnkoop in Darche hannesigah sive leges de accentus Hebraicae linguae ascensione, Ludg. Bat. 1881, endeavours to explain, on euphonic and syntactical grounds, the numerous cases in which the usual retraction of the tone does not occur, e.g. וּבוֹרֵא֣ ח֫שֶׁךְ Is 457, where the object probably is to avoid a kind of hiatus; but cf. also Am 413. Prätorius, Ueber den rückweich. Accent im Hebr., Halle, 1897, has fully discussed the nasog ’aḥor.
- The reading עֲדָ֑יִים (so even Opitius and Hahn) Ez 167 for עֲדָיִי֑ם is rightly described by Baer as ‘error turpis’.—That an unchangeable vowel in a closed final syllable cannot lose the tone is shown by Prätorius from the duplication of the accent (see above, §22f).