פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

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Isaac Fried
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פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Isaac Fried » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:31 pm

We read there
הִנֵּה שַׂמְתִּיךְ לְמוֹרַג חָרוּץ חָדָשׁ בַּעַל פִּיפִיּוֹת תָּדוּשׁ הָרִים וְתָדֹק וּגְבָעוֹת כַּמֹּץ תָּשִׂים
NIV: “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff"
What is interesting in this here פִּיפִיּוֹת is that it is found with a dagesh in the first פ and also a dagesh in the י (directly following a xireq), but lacks a dagesh in the second פ, leading to the reading PIYFIYOT.
I consider this further evidence to my thinking that the dagesh has no vocal function in the reading of the word, and is but an ancient marking for a vowel. Here, since פִּיפִיּוֹת is written in full with a yod after the first P, a dagesh hinting the xireq under the first P, becomes superfluous, and is indeed absent.
The other conclusion we draw from the reading PIYFIYOT is the soft F and the hard P reading of the Hebrew פ is random.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Isaac Fried
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Isaac Fried » Sun Jun 30, 2019 4:50 pm

I am observing that in Nu. 14:14
וַעֲנָנְךָ עֹמֵד עֲלֵהֶם, וּבְעַמֻּד עָנָן אַתָּה הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם יוֹמָם, וּבְעַמּוּד אֵשׁ לָיְלָה
NIV: "your cloud stays over them, and that you go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night."
עַמֻּד and עַמּוּד occur, side by side, in the same verse. In both the short and the long spelling the letter מּ is with a dagesh in it, as expected following a patax.
In Ex. 27:10
וָוֵי הָעַמֻּדִים וַחֲשֻׁקֵיהֶם כָּסֶף
NIV: "and with silver hooks and bands on the posts"
הָעַמֻּדִים has no dagesh in the letter ד following a qubuz, and so the letter ק of וַחֲשֻׁקֵיהֶם.
Yet, in Zach. 4:3 we find הַגֻּלָּה in which the letter ל does carry within it a dagesh, as expected following a qubuz.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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Jason Hare
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Jason Hare » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:43 pm

Because kubuts can be either long or short (like chirik). A long vowel will not be followed by dagesh in an unaccented syllable. A short vowel, however, will be followed by dagesh (or in some other way closed).
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Isaac Fried
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Isaac Fried » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:03 pm

Jason,

Thanks. Your post is succinct and to the point, but I still would like to have some clarifications as to what you say. Your help in this matter is especially valued (I hope by all of us) as you are a spontaneous speaker of practical Hebrew.
My main question concerns the long and (or) short vowels you mention. Do you actually, in speaking Hebrew, compress or extend vowels?
I would also much appreciate your opinion on this: In Nu. 14:14 we encounter first וּבְעַמֻּד עָנָן, and then וּבְעַמּוּד אֵשׁ. Do you see any reason as to why the first is written "defectively" without an U, and the second is written in full with a U? Was this done on purpose, for some reason, or is it merely a scribal whim that became sanctified over the years? Do you read the short וּבְעַמֻּד differently then the longer וּבְעַמּוּד? The letter מּ has a dagesh in both, do you actually "double" this M in the reading of this word?

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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Jason Hare » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:27 pm

Isaac Fried wrote:Jason,

Thanks. Your post is succinct and to the point, but I still would like to have some clarifications as to what you say. Your help in this matter is especially valued (I hope by all of us) as you are a spontaneous speaker of practical Hebrew.
My main question concerns the long and (or) short vowels you mention. Do you actually, in speaking Hebrew, compress or extend vowels?
I would also much appreciate your opinion on this: In Nu. 14:14 we encounter first וּבְעַמֻּד עָנָן, and then וּבְעַמּוּד אֵשׁ. Do you see any reason as to why the first is written "defectively" without an U, and the second is written in full with a U? Was this done on purpose, for some reason, or is it merely a scribal whim that became sanctified over the years? Do you read the short וּבְעַמֻּד differently then the longer וּבְעַמּוּד? The letter מּ has a dagesh in both, do you actually "double" this M in the reading of this word?

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Hebrew lost the pronunciation of consonant doubling (represented by shadda in Arabic) and the long and short vowel distinctions with the simplification of the modern dialect. Essentially, we have five vowel sounds (plus diphthongs) despite maintaining the long/short distinction in pointing. Americans who learn Hebrew, for example, still generally make segol short (IPA: [ɛ]), tsere long (IPA: [e] or [eɪ]) and sheva doubly short (close to IPA: [ʌ] or [ə]). We don't make such distinctions in Israeli Hebrew, in which even what is traditionally called a movable sheva is often unpronounced (as in שְׁלוֹם בַּ֫יִת /ʃlom 'bɑɪt/) and all vowels of a similar sound were merged into one phoneme. In the current system, segol sounds like tsere sounds like movable sheva; kamats sounds like patach sounds like chataf-patach; cholam sounds like kamats katan sounds like chataf-kamats. As far as I know, shuruk and kubuts always sounded the same, though there was apparently a different of length, which is the same with long and short chirik.

As Patai (1953) wrote (p. 51):

The differentiation between such a high number of phonetic elements seems to indicate that at the time when this writing system was being put into its final shape (which took place during the ninth century in the city of Tiberias in Palestine), the language actually possessed what was held by the grammarians to be 64 different phonemes. However, none of the surviving Jewish communities, whether Ashkenazic, Sephardic or Oriental, has retained this number of phonemes. In the Hebrew spoken by each of them, similar phonemes merged into one, and consequently a smaller or greater reduction int he number of phonemes took place.

He also accurately summarized the use of gemination in modern Hebrew thus: "The gemination of 18 consonants, an important feature of the Sephardic pronunciation, is as completely absent from sabra-Hebrew as it is from Ashkenazic" (p. 54). The gemination that is still heard in the Arabic language has been lost in modern Hebrew, though it certainly survived until modern times in the readings of the Sephardic communities.

As regards the use of the plene form in one instance and the defective in the other, the Masoretes are said to have preserved the consonantal text as they received it (in most instances). Therefore, knowing that it should be read as amud in both instances and finding a vav only in one, the instance without the vav was pointed with kubuts and the instance with it was pointed with shuruk, just as they would cholam chaser words that they knew should be pronounced with a long -o- in an open syllable and would simply add the cholam to the vav in other instances.

Further Reading:
=====
Blake, F. (1943). The Origin and Development of the Hebrew Daghesh. Journal of Biblical Literature, 62(2), 89-107. doi:10.2307/3262431

Chomsky, W. (1973). Dagesh and Rafe in the Tiberian Tradition. The Jewish Quarterly Review, 63(4), 352-360. doi:10.2307/1453811

Patai, R. (1953). The Phonology of 'Sabra'-Hebrew. The Jewish Quarterly Review, 44(1), 51-54. doi:10.2307/1453175
Jason Hare
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Jason Hare » Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:55 pm

I think you would agree with Uzi Ornan's (2014) estimation of the entire use of nikkud for real-world purposes in which he calls the various rules used to explain the vocalization system nothing but the invention of unnecessary exceptions (p. 114, emphasis added):

חלק ניכר מן הדקדוק המקובל אצלנו אינו דקדוק של שפה שמדברים בה. הוא שייך, למעשה, לעיון פילולוגי ולא בלשני. הדרך לתיאור מורפולוגי מיוסדת על הפונולוגיה ועל שחרור מרבי מתלות בתוך העיון הדקדוקי. על יסוד הבנה בלשנית נכונה של מושג הפונמה יש לבטל תסבוכות המתחפשות ל”כללים“, שאינם אלא המצאת ”יוצאים מן הכלל“ מיותרים.‏

What do you make of his sentiment?

Of course, I can send any of these articles to you if you would like to look them over.

=====
Ornan, U. (2014). False Rules and Unnecessary Exceptions (כללים שגויים ויוצאים מן הכלל מיותרים). Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects, 77(1) 99-115. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24328478
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Isaac Fried
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Isaac Fried » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:10 pm

Jason,

Can I see this on line somewhere?

Blake, F. (1943). The Origin and Development of the Hebrew Daghesh. Journal of Biblical Literature, 62(2), 89-107. doi:10.2307/3262431

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:12 pm

Isaac Fried wrote:Jason,

Can I see this on line somewhere?

Blake, F. (1943). The Origin and Development of the Hebrew Daghesh. Journal of Biblical Literature, 62(2), 89-107. doi:10.2307/3262431

Isaac Fried, Boston University

Do you have access to JSTOR through your university? It is available through the TAU proxy server. If you cannot get it through Boston University, I can provide the article for you. I'll upload it long enough for you to download it, and then I'll send you a link.
Jason Hare
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Isaac Fried
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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Isaac Fried » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:34 pm

Jason,

Thanks for the references. I have looked them up now. I think I have seen them before. This is what I think on the dagesh.

1. There are three kind of inner dots that we call dagesh. (a) A dot in an initial letter to mark the beginning of the word. (b) An internal dagesh to mark a vowel (I think I see a hint to this in William Chomsky's paper), and (c) an end mapik.

(2) I believe the dagesh to be an old marking preceding the Naqdanim (the "Masoretes") introduced to guide the reader through the vowelless text of the HB, and hence its absence in plene writing such as פִּיפִיּוֹת. It may be safely ignored now.
Some of the learned speculations on the dagesh is due, I suspect, to variations and deviations in the niqud. For instance the חָדֵלּוּ of Judges 5:7
חָדְלוּ פְרָזוֹן בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל חָדֵלּוּ
where חָדֵלּוּ was possibly also חָדַלּוּ. The tsere, two horizontal dots, is possibly designed to recall this. The "Masoretes" heard different reading traditions to which they had to pay heed and accommodate.

(3) It is true that spoken Hebrew has only A, E, I, O, U, and that it does not "double" anything, yet it functions perfectly.

(4) A dagesh in BKP has come to change the reading of these letters, but randomly, at the presence or the absence of an inner dot, that otherwise has nothing to do with the pronunciation. For instance, the place name כֶּרֶם שלום changes to the silly לְחֶרֶם שלום upon the moving of the letter כ to second position in the word, which is regrettable.

(4) We have been several times to Uzi Ornan's house in Tivon, some years ago, but while there I have never mentioned not Hebrew nor politics.

Isaac Fried, Boston University

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Re: פִּיפִיּוֹת Isaiah 41:15

Postby Jason Hare » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:51 pm

So, you think that the kaf in מֶ֫לֶךְ should sound like the kaf in מַלְכָּה? That both should be [k] and neither should be [χ]?

I don't think that reverting to some reconstructed pronunciation is going to help anyone to communicate or to even convey concepts from one person to another without verbal communication in the language in any meaningful way. EVERYONE who uses Hebrew today (whether in Acamedia or in Israel) distinguishes between כ and כּ. Ceasing to do so will only cause a breakdown in communication.
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