Dageš Forte

In grammar Dageš forte, the sign of strengthening, is the more important. It may be compared to the sicilicus of the Latins (Lucul̂us for Lucullus) or to the stroke over and . In the unpointed text it is omitted, like the vowels and other reading signs. Oort, Theol. Tijdschr. 1902, p. 376, maintains that ‘the Masoretes recognized no distinction between Dageš lene and forte. They used a Dageš where they considered that a letter had the sharp, not the soft or aspirated sound.’ This may be true; but the old-established distinction between the two kinds of Dageš is essential for the right understanding of the grammatical forms.

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