Home ] Accent placement ] Affix hey conveys a sense of direction ] All schwas were vocal ] Consonants ] Hebrew verb paradigms originated by adding affixes to catav ] Dagesh is a stop ] Proto-Hebrew had a single vowel ] hebrew/morphology_table.doc ] Hebrew as a Descriptory System ] Masoretic spelling and the LXX ] Derivation of nouns ] The conversive function of waw ] Affixes ] The grammatical function of Hebrew yiqtol ] Stress accent ]


I'm an amateur. Hebrew grammar is my hobby. If that sounds superficial, the Masoretes were also amateurs by the modern academic standards. They traded beans.

Certainly, not everything written here is correct. Some ideas are only sketched. But I do offer a new understanding of Hebrew as mathematically precise descriptory system.


Hebrew as a Descriptory System.  Proto-Hebrew is based on consciously formulated linguistic concepts rather than evolved naturally

Proto-Hebrew had a single vowel.  Just the long [a]. Hirek and shuruk derive from kamatz.

Consonants  Sophit consonants are pronounced differently than in medial positions. 

Begedkefet consonants sound similar regardless of dagesh. Varying aspiration (e.g., caf/ chaf) appeared when the Masoretes artifically syllabified Hebrew words to make chanting more distinct.  

Origin of nouns. All nouns appeared from the davar form. Etymology of segholates, calav - calb. Some nouns are frozen verbs.

Hebrew verb paradigms originated by adding affixes to the paal form. Etymology of paradigms, e.g.,catav - ncatav - nichtav.

Morphological table of Hebrew. All grammatical forms derive from the davar form.

Grammatical function of wayyiqtol. Hebrew verbs have tenses. The aspect theory results from misunderstanding of time reference shifts. Deictic center shifts in Hebrew parallel old Russian, "И как взмахнет он мечом".

Wayyiqtol is "and <future tense verb>", e.g., wayyomer means "and he would say [then]". Wayyiqtol is semantically similar to weyiqtol. 

Weqatal is "and <past tense verb>". Weqatal relates "prophetic past" - future events which already happened in prophetic visions. Weqatal also relates strong command where the action is considered as done, e.g., Exodus 25:10. Such usage parallels Russian "Пошел!"

Short form of wayyiqtol appears because of the accent shift. Unaccented final vowel is lost. 

Four reasons for the accent shift in wayyiqtol. Moraic stress precludes accent shift in some verb stems. 

Accent placement  Neither Sephardic, nor Ashkenazi pronunciation is entirely correct. Post-tonic gemination helps reconstruct the accent. Generally, accent rests on final syllable in verbs, penultimate in nouns. Word-initial stress shift in Hebrew. 

All schwas were vocal.  Pre-tonic schwa became silent

Dagesh is a stop.  Both dagesh kal and hazak mean stop. Dagesh forcibly syllabifies the word to pronounce it clearly. Unlike other languages, Hebrew lacks excessiveness and every sound must be pronounced distinctly, thus the need for dagesh. Dagesh kal is a chanting device not intended for speech.

Affixes  Hebrew affixes are semantically meaningful, and employed according to highly structured rules. Originally, affixes consisted of vowels only. Affix consonants confirm the vowels and lack independent semantics.

Affix hey conveys a sense of direction.  Prefix and suffix hey have the same etymological meaning wherever they are employed.

The conversive function of waw.  Affix and infix waw in any word imply reversal. Wa is contraposing "and." Waw reverses to passive in hufal, pual. Waw in weqatal, wayyiqtol reverses tense. Weqatal is the original future tense, and yiqtol - innovation.

Stress accent  Syllabification is flexible and depends on accent.

Masoretic spelling and the LXX. Dagesh kal is the only difference.