How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

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Glenn Dean
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How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Glenn Dean »

Hi:

I'm going over Kutz & Josberger pp. 73-75 and I had a question on how do you know when a pathach (in the historic form) reduces to sheva but other times it reduces to hatuf-pathach.

On p. 73, we see the word חֲ|כָ|מִ֫ים (so the pathach on the het reduced to hatuf-pathach, and internally I reasoned that it did this because a guterral can NOT have a vocal sheva).

BUT now let's look at p. 75 and towards the lower part of the page we see the word חְ|כְ|מֵי* (which then becomes חַכְ|מֵי)

so if I use my reasoning from above, since the het is at the front of the word, the pathach in the historic form should have reduced to hatuf-pathach, but it did not. It reduced to sheva (and then because a word can NOT begin with two shevas, the sheva under the het reverted back to pathach)

My question is - how does one decide in one case it (i.e. pathach) reduces to sheva, while in another it reduces to hatuf-pathach?

Thanxs!

Glenn
Jason Hare
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Jason Hare »

Image

If you see [​A​] in the image above (the theoretical *חְ|כָ|מִים), you can imagine it without the syllable separation: *חְכָמִים. Can you, though, imagine pronouncing the ḥet with a vocal sheva? When gutturals fall into a pattern that would normally have a vocal sheva, their vowel is actually altered to allow the guttural to be pronounced (in most cases). This often happens even with SILENT sheva (but not always). It is also a rule of gutturals that they generally prefer patach to other vowels.

You'll notice in [​B​] that there are two vocal shevas side-by-side (*חְכְמֵי־◌֫). This is also unpronounceable. Normally, these two shevas will resolve into chirik in the one syllable and a medial sheva in the second. In the case of gutturals, it resolves as a full vowel - depending on the historic form of the word.
  1. Segolates will resolve to their initial vowel (which we see when they bear the possessive suffixes, as in סִפְרִי "my book," כַּלְבִּי "my dog," קׇדְשִׁי "my holiness," etc.). In this case, you need to be familiar with the form of the specific word. מַלְכֵי־◌֫ "kings of"
  2. Words with gutturals as their first radical will normally resolve to patach. חַכְמֵי־◌֫ "sages of"
  3. Letters besides gutturals (in words other than segolates) will resolve as chirik with medial sheva. כִּתְבֵי־◌֫ "writings of"
Does that help at all?
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
Jason Hare
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Jason Hare »

Remember that the near syllable (N) that falls just before the tone (T) is lengthened, whereas any distant syllable (D) beyond N will reduce if it can.

Situations in which D will not reduce:
  1. Closed syllables will remain closed and will not reduce. (מִשְׁפָּט > מִשְׁפָּטִים | מִשְׁפְּטֵי־◌֫)
  2. Historic long syllables will remain long. Sometimes this will cause the N syllable to reduce. (מוֹעֵד > מוֹעֲדִים | מוֹעֲדֵי־◌֫)
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

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Isaac Fried
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Isaac Fried »

Glenn asks
My question is - how does one decide in one case it (i.e. pathach) reduces to sheva, while in another it reduces to hatuf-pathach?
There is nothing for one to decide. There is no "historic" forms nor "reduced" forms, nor imagined asterisked forms, only existing forms, which one looks up in tables of Hebrew verbs and nouns to properly punctuate. To wit:
חָכָם, חֲכָם-, חֲכָמִים, חָכְמָה
but
גָּמָל, גְּמַל-, גְּמַלִּים
The only question is how to read the hateph-pathah. For instance, how to read the name מָחֲלַת of Gen. 28:9
מָחֲלַת בַּת יִשְׁמָעֵאל בֶּן אַבְרָהָם
Also, it is not "hatuf-pathach" but hateph-pathah. The pathach is not "hatuf", חטוּף, 'swift, snached'. The hateph-pathah is but a compound marking consisting of a pathah and a schwa.


Isaac Fried, Boston University
www.hebrewetymology.com
Glenn Dean
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Glenn Dean »

WOW! Thanxs Jason - yes that helps a ton!

First, thanxs for producing that pic (I could not produce such a pic like that, EVER, so thanxs!)

I'm not sure how I missed how the two situaions were different, but from your pic I now see how they are completely different! In the "A" case, the near syllable (containing the kaf), the vowel has lengthen to qamets, while in the "B" case the kaf is no longer in a near syllable but is now distant, so it's vowel reduces to sheva. SO clearly (ha-ha, I can now say "clearly") the two situations are different, producing the two different vowels on the het.

Thanxs again!

BTW, I'm giving this book by K&J a "thumbs up"!

Glenn
ducky
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by ducky »

Hi Glenn, It is not about the syllable position.

There is no grammatical difference between the Hataph's and the Mobile Sheva.
they have the same essence.

A guttural letter that needs to be reduced to a Mobile Sheva, reduces to Hataph instead.

The reason that you saw in the examples the words חכמים with Hataph - it is because it is an existing word, which its "supposed to be" Mobile Sheva is actually A Hataph.

And when you see the word חכמי* inside a process, it is written with Sheva because it is the "dry" way of the reduced vowel.

basically, there would be no change in the process if it was written with Hataph since there is really no difference between this and the Sheva.
David Hunter
Jason Hare
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Jason Hare »

Glenn,
Glenn Dean wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:48 am WOW! Thanxs Jason - yes that helps a ton!
I'm glad that it helps. :)

I have to say that the system that Kutz and Josberger give as vocalization "rules" is something that I had never seen before. I learned basic Hebrew using Seow's grammar, and it talked a lot about historical development of roots and theoretical morphological changes, etc. He didn't really get into what the historical forms are suggested to have looked like, and he certainly didn't set up any set of rules for syllable reduction or anything, although there was some discussion of "heavy" sufformatives/suffixes. It was never condensed into a system, and that's what I like about K&J. I think they are onto something with their explanations, but it must be noted that the system of roots is even more complicated than what they present.

I've recently come across an unpublished manuscript on historical Hebrew, roots and such. It really opens these things up. It's being reviewed for publication, so I can't exactly give the details, but there are other materials out there on the topic that are worth reading.
Glenn Dean wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:48 am First, thanxs for producing that pic (I could not produce such a pic like that, EVER, so thanxs!)
The wonders of PowerPoint! :)
Glenn Dean wrote: Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:48 am I'm not sure how I missed how the two situaions were different, but from your pic I now see how they are completely different! In the "A" case, the near syllable (containing the kaf), the vowel has lengthen to qamets, while in the "B" case the kaf is no longer in a near syllable but is now distant, so it's vowel reduces to sheva. SO clearly (ha-ha, I can now say "clearly") the two situations are different, producing the two different vowels on the het.

Thanxs again!

BTW, I'm giving this book by K&J a "thumbs up"!
Me, too. I quite like their grammar. Be aware that most people haven't come across the system that they present, so it will look foreign. I think it's a useful way to introduce what's happening with the syllable lengths. It's certainly better than "here are the forms - memorize them!"

Good luck!

Jason
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
Jemoh66
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Jemoh66 »

Good stuff guys!
Jonathan E Mohler
Studying for a MA in Intercultural Studies
Baptist Bible Theological Seminary
Glenn Dean
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue May 26, 2020 6:28 pm

Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Glenn Dean »

I'm really excited by the system they (K&J) present - may be in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to "put-it-to-the-test" (by that I mean I open up my Tanach to Gen 1 and say take the first 10 nouns I see, and then try to explain why the vowels are as they are). BUT even if I fail big-time doesn't mean the system is flawed (most likely it just means I need to learn it better). On the other hand, what if I do this test and I get say 8 out of 10 correct!!

Each "test" would consist of the following:
1. get a noun in Gen 1
2. retrieve its lexical form from a lexicon
3. try to create its historical form
4. if the noun has a suffix, add it to the historical form and modify the vowels according to rules presented in K&J
5. if the noun has a prefix, add it to #4
6. Is #5 equal to the word in Gen 1? If YES, then success; if NO then argg.....

Glenn
Jason Hare
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Re: How do you know a vowel reduces to sheva versus hatuf-pathach?

Post by Jason Hare »

Well, there are certainly words that come from different roots (like גָּמָל, which root has a doubled lamed seen when placed in the plural גְּמַלִּים). You aren't able to predict such things from the rules. They need to be learned as other than the normal patterns.

It's a great idea to try this. Remember that segolates emerged from two different historical roots. The one used for the singular will have a closed syllable before suffixes (כַּלְבּוֹ and כַּלְבְּךָ). The one used for the plural will act the same as nouns like דָּבָר.

*כַּלְבְּ ← כַּלְבּוֹ "his dog"
In this, the sheva under the lamed is silent (closing the syllable). The bet contains dagesh lene.

*כַּלַב ← *כַּלַבֵי־◌֫ ← *כְּלְבֵי־◌֫ ← כַּלְבֵי־◌֫ "dogs of X" (construct)
In this, the patach is a result of syllable resolution. Both of the first vowels were reduced because they were in distant syllables. Thus, both shevas were attempting to be vocal sheva. Thus, there was no dagesh in the bet. After the syllable resolution, the bet remains soft, and the sheva is playing double duty. It is both closing the syllable before it and opening the one following. Such a vowel is considered "medial," performing both duties.

Good luck and let me know how it goes for you!
Jason Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel
www.thehebrewcafe.com
Nihil est peius iis, qui paulum aliquid ultra primas litteras
progressi falsam sibi scientiæ persusionem induerunt.

— Quintilian
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