Page:Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar (1910 Kautzsch-Cowley edition).djvu/75

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LXX, allows us to regard this view as correct. It is just possible that Qameṣ is here used loosely for å̄, as the equivalent of ō, on the analogy of פֹּֽעֲלוֹ &c., §93q. As a matter of fact, however, we ought no doubt to divide and read pŏʿo-lô (for pŏʿ-lô), pŏʿŏ-lekhā, qŏdā-ším.—Quite as inconceivable is it for Metheg to be a sign of the lengthening into ā in בָּֽחֳרִי־אָֽף (Ex 118), although it is so in בָּֽאֳנִי bā-ʾo (in the navy), since here the ā of the article appears under the ב.

§10. The Half Vowels and the Syllable Divider (Šewâ).

 [10a1. Besides the full vowels, Hebrew has also a series of vowel sounds which may be called half vowels (Sievers, Murmelvokale). The punctuation makes use of these to represent extremely slight sounds which are to be regarded as remains of fuller and more distinct vowels from an earlier period of the language. They generally take the place of vowels originally short standing in open syllables. Such short vowels, though preserved in the kindred languages, are not tolerated by the present system of pointing in Hebrew, but either undergo a lengthening or are weakened to Šewâ. Under some circumstances, however, the original short vowel may reappear.

 [10b]  To these belongs first of all the sign ־ְ, which indicates an extremely short, slight, and (as regards pronunciation) indeterminate vowel sound, something like an obscure half ĕ (e). It is called Še,[1] which may be either simple Še (Šewâ simplex) as distinguished from the compound (see f), or vocal Še (Šewâ mobile) as distinguished from Šewâ quiescens, which is silent and stands as a mere syllable divider (see i) under the consonant which closes the syllable.

 [10c]  The vocal Še stands under a consonant which is closely united, as a kind of grace-note, with the following syllable, either (a) at the beginning of the word, as קְטֹל qeṭōl (to kill), מְמַלֵּא memallē (filling), or (b) in the middle of the word, as קֽוֹטְלָה qô-ṭe, יִקְטְלוּ yiq-ṭe.

 [10d]  In former editions of this Grammar Še was distinguished as medium when it followed a short vowel and therefore stood in a supposed ‘loosely closed’ or ‘wavering’ syllable, as in מַלְכֵי, בִּנְפֹל. According to Sievers, Metrische Studien, i. 22, this distinction must now be abandoned. These syllables are really closed, and the original vowel is not merely shortened, but entirely elided. The fact that a following Begadkephath letter (§6n) remains spirant instead of taking Dageš lene, is explained by Sievers on the ‘supposition that the change from hard to spirant is elder than the elision

  1. On שְׁוָא, the older and certainly the only correct form (as in Ben Asher), see Bather, ZDMG. 1895, p. 18, note 3, who compares Šewayya, the name of the Syriac accentual sign of similar form ־֔ (=Hebr. Zaqeph). The form שְׁבָא, customary in Spain since the time of Menaḥem b. Sarûq, is due to a supposed connexion with Aram. שְׁבָת rest, and hence would originally have denoted only Šewâ quiescens, like the Arabic sukūn (rest). The derivation from שֵׁבָה, שִׁיבָה (stem יָשַׁב, Levias, American Journ. of Philol., xvi. 28 ff.) seems impossible.