originally consisted only of vowel: iod and kamatz for the first and the second
person. The affix vowels are similar in nouns, past and future tense, and
imperative mood. Consonants, on the contrary, are wildly different and allowed
to drop out. That the same ת is the past tense suffix both in the first
and the second person also suggests that consonants are non-essential.
vowel suffixes would drop out, as did the case suffixes. Confirming consonants
were added to prevent the reduction, catAvi – catav’, but catAvti.
suffix in 3ms verbs is unnecessary because it could be figured out by
usually have subject, and do not need unconjugated form. In the rare instances
of absent subject, 3ms form was used, rained – it rained – he rained.
however, often lack possession, and need unpossessed form, davar. To avoid
confusion with unpossessed form, 3s nouns (unlike verbs), have suffix, u – hu
– au – o.
1p suffix is based on consonant nun rather than a vowel. The choice of nun was
mistakenly modeled on the suffix of abstract plurality –on (helbon), where nun
is only a confirming vowel. Suffix –on was changed into –no to conform to
the verb suffix mold CV. Unaccented [o] became shuruk, -nu.
original 2p suffix –ten became feminine through association of נ with
The new masculine -tem form was based on מ from the –im suffix.
pronounceable after the open syllable (catavtini), נ dropped out in 1s of
nouns, dvarni - dvari. In 1p of nouns, נ was preserved by epenthesis,
possessive verb suffixes were decided upon, they had to be distinguished from
conjugative: otherwise, 3ms verbs with 1s possessive –ti would be
indistinguishable from 1s conjugative –ti. Non-essential suffix consonants
were changed to נ and כ.
was added to 1s possessive suffix by analogy with 1p conjugative. The 2s כ
was likely chosen as the next letter in alphabet after י of the 1s suffix.
suffixes are compound, davar – d’varchA – d’v’rchaIm – d’v’rchEm
(tzere) – d’varchem (epenthesis of patah at the expense of tzere).
do we know that seghol in –chem appeared from tzere, not from schwa, ch’m -
chem? Accented schwa becomes tzere, dvarEnu. Accented seghol only appears in
place of long vowel reduced because of the epenthesis, cotev (tzere) – cotevet.
suffixes combine the respective 2-3s suffixes with gender-specific plurality,
cha-im – chem, ch-en – chen. 3p suffix hu-im (3ms+masc.pl.) was molded hem
after the 2p suffix chem.
first feminine suffix was ה in 3fs. In paal, 3fs is modeled on other stems:
catva (patah shortens) instead of ctava (pro-pretonic tzere shortens) follows
hitcatva and nicht’va.
was modeled on 3fs, catavh (catva) – catavt.
clusters are lost in speech, catavt – cata’t. The Masoretes suggested dagesh,
a stop, to preserve final consonant, catavt – catav.t.
When the nearby vowel is long enough, it splits in epenthesis, cotevt –
cotevet. In nouns, accent shift elongated the schwa, davarch – davar’ch –
duplicity suffix –aim is a combination of the second- and first-person suffix’
vowels: -ca and –i, “your and my” referring to two.
Diphthongs are accented on the first vowel sound, and -Ai requires a confirming
abstract plurality suffix –ot is a combination of the second- and third-person
vowels: -ca and –hu, “you and he” referring to faraway,
abstract many, -au – o – on (Helbon) – ot.
plural suffix derives from the duplicity suffix, ai – e. Open accented vowel
was closed with iod to prevent post-tonic blurring, *divrE-torAh –
divret-‘rah. Compare iod in Ashkenazic dOivor.
is pronounced on a single breath, and stress on the tzere suffix is relatively
weak. Elsewhere, plural suffix tzere has to be closed firmer to avoid the
post-tonic blurring, ai – e – em. The choice of mem was mistaken because of
its stop, dvarem – dvare.m. When mem is pronounced distinctly, it draws accent
from tzere and reduces it into hirek, dvare-m – dvarim.
nouns follow predictable pattern, dvarei – dvareii – dvaraii (plural and 1s
suffixes; two iod’s form heavy syllable, and reduce tzere to patah) – dvarai.
Similarly, 2fp dvaraich derives from plural ei and 2fs caf suffixes.
form of the future tense was built with prefixes א, ת, ה (modeled
on 1-3ms pronouns) + imperative verb. Weak ה turned into י (compare
rotzeh – raziti).
hey-derived iod denotes both feminine (2fs) and the third person (3ms) future
tense. The FT inventors had to accept the ambiguous role of hey (iod) because
the other characteristic component of 3ms suffix, waw, was already reserved for
in the FT denote person, and suffixes – gender. By this logic, 3fs FT should be הct’vה (ict’vi). Two
ה were added up into ת, creating apparent similarity to 2ms form,
prefixes are the same as in 2-3ms. Shuruk as suffix of plurality follows the 3p
past tense suffix.
prefix follows 2-3fs. In the suffix –na, ה means feminine. נ is
the same feminine suffix of plurality as in the 2fp past tense. Nun was taken
for the suffix of plurality instead of shuruk (2-3mp) to avoid the uncomfortable
fem. sing. present tense of verbs, accent on tzere made suffix unaccented,
*cotEva – cotEv’. Tav was substituted for hey to prevent the reduction.
were constructed by adding possessive suffixes to the noun אנ, living
essence: ani is my
an. Hatef proves the reduction induced by suffix. Similarly,
אנתה and אנחנ׀ with
interpolated ת and ח.
and case suffixes are related. Iod marks genitive case which conveys possession.
In speech, the most common possessive relationship is first person, my thing,
also marked by iod.
marks accusative case which often applies to interlocutor’s, your
marks nominative case, and also the most distant, often abstract his/its
possession. Nominative is the basic case, and the third person is the basic verb
Just like affixes, prepositions have coherent meanings which seem to fluctuate only because of approximate translation. For example, l always denotes approaching and thus dative case, giving to. In bahar lanu, he chose us, l is seemingly accusative. The translation, however, is inaccurate. Bahar has a sense of thrusting in the direction, and is properly accompanied by directional or dative preposition l. Bahar lanu should be properly understood as, he made a divide for us.
Tav could be chosen for its stop-like quality which firmly protected vowel,
but also for the metaphysics of being the last letter in alphabet. Nun,
another confirming consonant, is the middle letter of alphabet if we exclude
vowelized aleph, waw, hey, and iod.
variation of 2-3p suffixes could be originally Aramaic version of Hebrew
Compare ben – bant (feminine suffix tav, reduction
of tzere in heavy syllable) – bat.
Also, an - m’ain; iod closes semi-open (wean nun) accented vowel, as in