Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Peter Kirk (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 17:24:20 EDT

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    On 31/07/2003 13:58, John Hudson wrote:

    > Weingreen, _A practical grammar for classical Hebrew_ (2nd ed.,
    > Oxford, 1959, pp.6-7) records yod, vav and he sometimes being used for
    > common vowel prior to the development of the point system, in addition
    > to their usual consonantal role:
    > he = short a
    > yod = short e and short i
    > vav = short u and short o
    > Weingreen uses the term 'vowel-letters'.
    > My Hebrew knowledge is nowhere near good enough to judge the accuracy
    > of Weingreen's explanation nor terminology on this issue.
    > John Hudson
    In unpointed texts vav, yod and word final he may indeed represent
    vowels. In pointed texts, yod and he used as vowels remain unpointed but
    a point appears above or below the preceding consonant; but a vav
    receives a point. But the remaining unpointed yods and hes are then not
    vowels, rather they are silent letters as the vowel is already
    represented by the point and the yod or he (also the vav in holam male)
    is actually redundant.

    Peter Kirk

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