Qal (The Pure Stem)

The common form of the 3rd sing. masc. of the Perfect Qal is קָטַל‎, with ă (Pathaḥ) in the second syllable, especially in transitive verbs. There is also a form with ē (Ṣere, originally ĭ), and another with ō (Ḥolem, originally ŭ) in the second syllable, both of which, however, have almost always an intransitive meaning, and serve to express states and qualities, e.g. כָּבֵד‎ to be heavy, קָטֹן‎ to be small.

Rem. 1. The vowel of the second syllable is the principal vowel, and hence on it depends the distinction between the transitive and intransitive meaning. The Qameṣ of the first syllable is lengthened from an original ă (cf. Arabic qătălă), but it can be retained in Hebrew only immediately before the tone, or at the most (with an open ultima) in the counter-tone with Metheg; otherwise, like all the pretonic vowels (ā, ē), it becomes Še, e.g. קְטַלְתֶּ֫ם‎ 2nd plur. masc. In the Aramaic dialects the vowel of the first syllable is always reduced to Šewâ, as קְטַל‎=Hebr. קָטַל‎. The intransitive forms in Arabic are qătĭlă, qătŭlă; in Hebrew (after the rejection of the final vowel) ĭ being in the tone-syllable has been regularly lengthened to ē, and ŭ to ō.

2. Examples of denominatives in Qal are: חָמַר‎ to cover with pitch, from חֵמָר‎ pitch ; מָלַח‎ to salt, from מֶ֫לַח‎ salt; שָׁבַר‎ (usually Hiph.) to buy or sell corn, from שֶׁ֫בֶר‎ corn.

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