Grammatical Treatment of the Hebrew Language

1. At the time when the old Hebrew language was gradually becoming extinct, and the formation of the O.T. canon was approaching completion, the Jews began to explain and critically revise their sacred text, and sometimes to translate it into the vernacular languages which in various countries had become current among them. The oldest translation is the Greek of the Seventy (more correctly Seventy-two) Interpreters (LXX), which was begun with the Pentateuch at Alexandria under Ptolemy Philadelphus, Read more [...]
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Changes Of Hebrew Consonants

The changes which take place among consonants, owing to the formation of words, inflexion, euphony, or to influences connected with the progress of the language, are commutation, assimilation, rejection, addition, transposition, softening. 1. Commutation may take place between consonants which are either homorganic or homogeneous, e.g. עָלַץ‎, עָלַס‎, עָלַו‎ to exult, לָאָה‎, לָהָה‎, Aram. לְעָא‎ to be weary, לָחַץ‎ and נָחַץ‎ to press, Read more [...]
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Rāphè (רָפֶה‎ i.e. weak, soft), a horizontal stroke over the letter, is the opposite of both kinds of Dageš and Mappîq, but especially of Dageš lene. In exact manuscripts every בגדכפת‎ letter has either Dageš lene or Rāphè, e.g. מֶלֶךְֿ‎ mèlĕkh, תָּפַֿר‎, שָׁתָֿה‎. In modern editions (except Ginsburg’s 1st ed.) Rāphè is used only when the absence of a Dageš or Mappîq requires to be expressly pointed out. Read more [...]
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1. Mappîq, llke Dageš, also a point within the consonant, serves in the letters א ה ו י‎ as a sign that they are to be regarded as full consonants and not as vowel letters. In most editions of the text it is only used in the consonantal ה‎ at the end of words (since ה‎ can never be a vowel letter in the middle of a word), e.g. גָּבַהּ‎ gābháh (to be high), אַרְצָהּ‎ ˒arṣāh (her land) which has a consonantal ending (shortened from -hā), different from אַ֫רְצָה‎ Read more [...]
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Hebrew Phonology

Hebrew Vowels The original Hebrew alphabet consisted only of consonants and vowel letters. The vowel signs and pronunciation (known as vowel pointings) currently accepted for Biblical Hebrew were created by scholars known as Masoretes after the 5th century AD and are known as Tiberian vocalization. The Masoretes are thought also to have standardized various dialectal differences. However, it is questioned that Classical Hebrew's vowel inventory was not identical to that notated by the Masoretes. Read more [...]
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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 Read more [...]
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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 m̄ and n̄. 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 Read more [...]
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Dageš, a point standing in the middle of a consonant, denotes,  (a) the strengthening of a consonant (Dageš forte), e.g. קִטֵּל‎ qiṭṭēl ; or (b) the harder pronunciation of the letters בְּגַדְכְּפַת‎ (Dageš lene). The root דגשׁ‎ in Syriac means to pierce through, to bore through (with sharp iron); hence the name Dageš is commonly explained, solely with reference to its form, by puncture, point. But the names of all similar signs are derived rather from their Read more [...]
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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 Read more [...]
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Grammatical Structure

1. The formation of the parts of speech from the stems (derivation), and their inflexion, are effected in two ways: (a) internally by changes in the stem itself, particularly in its vowels: (b) externally by the addition of formative syllables before or after it. The expression of grammatical relations (e.g. the comparative degree and some case-relations in Hebrew) periphrastically by means of separate words belongs, not to etymology, but to syntax. The external method (b) of formation, by affixing Read more [...]
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