oldest word form might be the davAr class. They show no sign of syntactical
differentiation like the initial-stress-derived hayyal and segholates. That the
same roots rarely exist both in davar and in hayyal and segholate forms suggests
that most davar nouns succumbed to initial-stress-shift, and either acquired
gemination (hayyal) or reduced (segholates).
nouns are commonly positioned after verbs, the syntactical accent caused their
accent to shift backward,
initial-stress-derived nouns acquired gemination and formed the hayyal class,
davAr - dAvar – dAbbar (post-tonic gemination) – dabbAr (kamatz reduced to
patah in closed unaccented syllable). Gemination protected post-tonic vowel
initial-stress-derived nouns lack gemination. Such nouns became segholate, calAv
– cAlav – cal’v.
schwa lost its sound: calb could be easily pronounced as a single syllable,
rather than cal’b. Vocal schwa was lost also in pre-tonic position, cal’bI
Masoretes introduced dagesh to break consonantal cluster, as elsewhere: calv –
cal.b; ni-zchar – niz.car.
vocalization came at the expense of the full vowel, calb – celev. Compare
cotevt – cotevet. The Masoretes heard epenthesis in chanting.
normally elongates to tzere (talmi’dnu – talmideinu). In the pausal form of
segholates, segol elongates to kamatz. That suggests that kamatz was originally
there, shortened to segol in epenthesis, calb (kamatz) – celev.
form c’lavim also suggests the original calav with two kamatz. The second
kamatz is preserved in c’lavim. Only kamatz, tzere, and holam reduce to schwa,
and the first vowel in c’lavim was plausibly kamatz.
alternative to gemination is elongation. Both methods protect the post-tonic
vowel: either by stop or by softly extinguishing the accented syllable.
Ashkenazic accent shift similarly caused elongation, davAr – dAvar – dA:var
– dOivor. Elongation does not fully protect post-tonic vowel, and in
Ashkenazic second kamatz reduced to short [o] mistaken for holam. Similarly in
segholates, cAlav - cA:lav – cElav – cEl’v.
vowels do not survive in heavy syllables, and turn patah when accented, celv –
calv. In unaccented syllables, tzere turns short [ae] or hirek. Those segholate
words which are generally employed with suffix or constructus, and whose only
vowel is thus unaccented, acquired hirek, sefr – sifrI - sifr.
form kutl similarly appeared as kAtal – kA:tal – kOt’l – kutl.
form retained word-final accent, calav – c’lavIm, and there is no need for
constructus plural, c’lavim – c’l’vei (accent shift in constructus) –
calvei (patah instead of the more common hirek).
verbs form nouns with ל, מ, כ, ב prepositions.
were originally vocalized, and produce no metathesis and dagesh, c’ch’thov -
infinitives are modeled on the verb form which has unvocalized prefix and
produces metathesis, lzacor – liz.cor. The noun form should be l’z’chor
– liz’chor. The form l(e)argish also shows that preposition l is vocalized;
compare with targish where unvocalized prefix assimilated the word-initial vowel
prefix מ to paal created a class of nouns denoting the essence (place or
result) of the verb’s action. מcatev has changed into מictav
similarly to ncatev – nictav.
mem could not be straightforwardly applied to other verb stems. All of them
produced very similar “nouns of essence”: whether write or dictate,
the result is a letter. Mem-nouns from the verb stems other than paal
were attached a different meaning: not the action’s result, but its subject or
object. מ did not go well with נ, and the participle of nifal lacks
מ: nicnas instead of mincanes.
a gap appeared for the paal verbs: they lacked derivative nouns denoting subject
of their action (מ-nouns of other verb stems). Such nouns were
initial-stress-derived from basic verbs, catEv – cAtev – cA:tev – cOtev.
nouns proved unnecessary, and came to be used as present tense. Syntactical
accent of verbs move the accent, cOtev – cotEv. The reduction cotev – cotvim
shows that holam is actually short [o], unable to reduce. Pre-tonic vowel is not
normally reduced, but the artificial present tense is reduced irregularly.
of the cotev form also introduced feminine suffix tav instead of the standard,
though weak, hey. Tav in cotev was modeled on 2fs past tense tav suffix. Suffix
tav could not be pronounced in lamed”hey verbs, and they retained suffix hey.
Ambiguous innovation of suffix tav necessitated another deviation, epenthesis
cotevt – cotevet instead of *cotvah.
nouns with initial א, ת, ה are the future tense verbs.
–ot refers to uncountable plurality, a multitude forming a new object. Suffix
–ut is a reduction of –ot.
with suffix –on commonly have dagesh in the last consonant. The only such
class is segholate. Likely, -on is the old version of –ot. Suffix -on was
employed when segholates were the only class of nouns.
commonly replaces ה, and ה replaced נ in the nifal
imperative-derived nouns. Suffix –ot is preferable to –on where final nun
drops out. Both נ and ת are confirming consonants for the holam
to suffix –ot, -on denotes abstract plurality, Helbon – place of milk. –un
suffix is a reduction of –on.
noun classes should not be distinguished based on their vowels. Rather, two
classes should only be regarded as different if some of the same roots are
encountered in both. By this definition, -on, -un, -ot, and –ut suffixes form
a single class.
of shomer and shamea classes are semantically evolved participles.
of d’vash class are davar nouns generally employed in constructus which
reduced the first vowel.
typically employed in constructus are reduced irregularly: karev – kar’vA
– k’r’vA (constructus) – kirva.
verbs of catev class, employed as nouns, lost syntactical stress, barEh –
derive from nouns, adam – adom. Usage of nouns as adjectives is modeled on
constructus, where the second word is semantically similar to adjective. Second
words of constructus have strong syntactical accent, Adam – A:d’m – A:dom
with short [o].
adjectives evolved from imperative or future tense, gadOl.
were standardized around the gadOl form, and [o] in adOm became long.
nouns describe the result (“destination”, thus ה) of the quality:
gadOl – gadOlla (penultimate accent of nouns) – g’dullA (unaccented holam
gdolA (instead of gdulA) was the only choice to distinguish from passive
participle ctuva, noun gdulla, and 3fs past tense catva.
The stress shift is evident in Germanic. In English, both verbs and nouns
borrowed from Germanic were pronounced with the same accent. Eventually, the
phonetic tendency of differentiating stress in verbs and nouns based on
intonation shifted the accent in English, too, recOrd - rEcord.
Segholates might appear because of the suffix shuruk, calAbu – calAbbu (post-tonic
gemination) – calAbb (unaccented final vowel dropped) – cAlabb (initial
stress shift in nouns) – cAl’bb (two consequential geminations would be
awkward) – calb (loss of the schwa vocalization - dagesh kal breaks
cluster). Plurals lacked suffix shuruk, and produced no gemination (dagesh).
 Suffix –ut could appear by mistake. Conjugated imperative of paal ל"ה, zanoה – zanot –znut. The imperative-derived nouns from ל"ה root often refer to abstract notion, possibly related to the semantics of ה. The final –ut was taken for suffix and applied to create other nouns.