Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/271

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Arabic literary language forms the dual in the noun, pronoun, and verb, almost as extensively as the Sanskrit or Greek; but in modern Arabic it has almost entirely disappeared in the verb, pronoun, and adjective. The Syriac has preserved it only in a few stereotyped forms, with which such duals as the Latin duo, ambo, octo may be compared. In the same way, the dual of the Sanskrit is lost in the modern Indian languages, and its full use in Old Slavonic has been restricted later, e.g. in Bohemian, just as in Hebrew, to pairs, such as hands, feet, eyes, ears. On the Germanic dual, see Grimm’s Gramm., 2nd ed., i. p. 814.

§89. The Genitive and the Construct State.

Philippi, Wesen und Ursprung des Stat. Constr. im Hebr...., Weimar, 1871, p. 98 ff: on which cf. Nöldeke in the Gött. Gel. Anzeigen, 1871, p. 23.—Brockelmann, Grundriss, p. 459 ff.

 [a 1. The Hebrew language no longer makes a living use of case-endings,[1] but either has no external indication of case (this is so for the nominative, generally also for the accusative) or expresses the relation by means of prepositions (§ 119), while the genitive is mostly indicated by a close connexion (or interdependence) of the Nomen regens and the Nomen rectum. That is to say, the noun which as genitive serves to define more particularly an immediately preceding Nomen regens, remains entirely unchanged in its form. The close combination, however, of the governing with the governed noun causes the tone first of all to be forced on to the latter,[2] and the consequently weakened tone of the former word then usually involves further changes in it. These changes to some extent affect the consonants, but more especially the vocalization, since vowels which had been lengthened by their position in or before the tone-syllable necessarily become shortened, or are reduced to Še (cf. §9a, c, k; §27e–m); e.g. דָּבָר word, דְּבַר אֱלֹהִים word of God (a sort of compound, as with us in inverted order, God’s-word, housetop, landlord); יָד hand, יַד הַמֶּ֫לֶךְ the hand of the king; דְּבָרִים words, דִּבְרֵי הָעָם the words of the people. Thus in Hebrew only the noun which stands before a genitive suffers a change, and in grammatical language is said to be dependent, or in the construct state, while a noun which has not a genitive after it is said to be in the absolute state. It is sufficiently evident from the above that the construct state is not strictly to be regarded as a syntactical and logical phenomenon, but rather as simply phonetic and rhythmical, depending on the circumstances of the tone.

  1. On some remains of obsolete case-endings see § 90.
  2. The same phenomenon of the tone may also be easily seen in other languages, when two words are closely connected in a similar way. Observe, for example, in German the natural stress on the last word in ‘der Thron des Königs’; though here the other order of the words (inadmissible in Hebrew) ‘des Königs Thron’ exhibits the same peculiarity.