[9g] 4. The long î is frequently even in the consonantal writing indicated by י (a fully written Ḥireq ־ִי); but a naturally long î can be also written defectively (§8i), e.g. צַדִּיק (righteous), plur. צַדִּקִים ṣaddîqîm; יִירָא. (he fears), plur. יִרְֽאוּ. Whether a defectively written Ḥireq is long may be best known from the origin of the form; often also from the nature of the syllable (§ 26), or as in יִֽרְאוּ. from the Metheg attached to it (§16f).
[9h] 5. The short Ḥireq (always written defectively) is especially frequent in sharpened syllables (קִטֵּל, אִמִּי) and in toneless closed syllables (מִזְמוֹר psalm); cf. however וַיִּשְׁבְּ in a closed tone-syllable, and even וַיִּ֫פֶן, with a helping Segôl, for wayyiphn. It has arisen very frequently by attenuation from ă, as in דִּבְרֵי from original dăbărê, צִדְקִי (ground-form ṣădq), or else it is the original ĭ, which in the tone-syllable had become ē, as in אֹֽיִבְךָ (thy enemy) from אֹיֵב (ground-form ’âyĭb)
It is sometimes a simple helping vowel, as in בַּ֫יִת, §28e.
The earlier grammarians call every Ḥireq written fully, Ḥireq magnum; every one written defectively, Ḥireq parvum,—a misleading distinction, so far as quantity is concerned.
[9i] 6. The longest ê ־ֵי (more rarely defective ־ֵ, e.g. עֵנֵי for עֵינֵי Is 38; at the end of a word also ־ה) is as a rule contracted from ־ַי ay (ai), §7a, e.g. הֵיכָל (palace), Arab. and Syriac haikal.
[9k] 7. The Ṣere without Yôdh mostly represents the tone-long ē, which, like the tone-long ā (see c), is very rarely retained except in and before the tone-syllable, and is always lengthened from an original ĭ. It stands in an open syllable with or before the tone, e.g. סֵ֫פֶר (ground-form sĭphr) book, שֵׁנָ֫ה (Arab. sĭnăt) sleep, or with Metheg (see §16d, f) in the secondary tone-syllable, e.g. שְׁאֵֽלָתִי my request, נֵֽלְכָה let us go. On the other hand in a closed syllable it is almost always with the tone, as בֵּן son, אִלֵּם dumb.
[9l] Exceptions: (a) ē is sometimes retained in a toneless closed syllable, in monosyllabic words before Maqqeph, e.g. עֵֽץ־ Nu 3518, as well as in the examples of nāsôg ’āḥôr mentioned in §29f (on the quantity cf. §8b 3 end); (b) in a toneless open final syllable, Ṣere likewise occurs in examples of the nāsôg ’āḥôr, as יֵ֫צֵא Ex 1629; cf. Ju 939.
[9m] 8. The Segôl of the I(E)-class is most frequently an ĕ modified from original ĭ, either replacing a tone-long ē which has lost the tone, e.g.
- At least according to the Masoretic orthography; cf. Wellhausen, Text der Bb. Sam., p. 18, Rem.
- Jerome (cf. Siegfried, ZAW. 1884, p. 77) in these cases often gives ă for ĭ.
- Cf. the remarks of I. Guidi, ‘La pronuncia del ṣērē,’ in the Verhandl. des Hamburger Orient.-Kongr. of 1902, Leiden, 1904, p. 208 ff., on Italian e for Latin i, as in fede = fĭdem, pece = pĭcem.