Dageš Lene

1. Dageš lene, the sign of hardening, is in ordinary printed texts placed only within the בְּגַדְכְּפַת‎ letters as a sign that they should be pronounced with their original hard sound (without aspiration), e.g. מֶלֶךְ‎ mèlĕkh, but מַלְכּוֹ‎ mal-kô; תָּפַר‎ tāphár, but יִתְפֹּר‎ yith-pōr; שָׁתָה‎ šāthā, but יִשְׁתֶּה‎ yiš-tè.

2. Dageš lene occurs almost exclusively at the beginning of words and syllables. In the middle of the word it can easily be distinguished from Dageš forte, since the latter always has a vowel before it, whereas Dageš lene never has; accordingly the Dageš in אַפִּי‎ ʾappî, רַבִּים‎ rabbîm must be forte, but in יִגְדַּל‎ yigdal it is lene.

A variety of the Dageš lene is used in many manuscripts, as well as in Baer’s editions, though others (including Ginsburg in the first two cases, Introd., pp. 121, 130, 603, 662) reject it together with the Ḥaṭefs. It is inserted in consonants other than the Begadkephath to call attention expressly to the beginning of a new syllable:

(a) when the same consonant precedes in close connexion, e.g. בְּכָל־לִּבִּי‎ ψ 92, where, owing to the Dageš, the coalescing of the two Lameds is avoided;

(b) in cases like מַחְסִּי‎ ψ 62:8 = maḥ-sî (not măḥa-sî);

(c) according to some (including Baer; not in ed. Mant.) in לֹא‎ in the combination לוֹ לֹּא‎ Dt 32:5, or לֹא לּוֹ‎ Hb 1:6, 2:6 &c. (so always also in Ginsburg’s text, except in Gn 38:9); —Delitzsch appropriately gives the name of Dageš orthophonicum to this variety of Dageš (Bibl. Kommentar, 1874, on ψ 94:12); cf. moreover Delitzsch, Luth. Ztschr., 1863, p. 413; also his Complutensische Varianten zu dem Alttest. Texte, Lpz. 1878, p. 12.

3. When Dageš forte is placed in a Begadkephath, the strengthening necessarily excludes its aspiration, e.g. אַפִּי‎, from אַנְפִּי‎.

This entry was posted in Grammar and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.