Re: Hebrew Vav Holam

From: Karljürgen Feuerherm (
Date: Thu Jul 31 2003 - 20:07:42 EDT


> Weingreen is right, but "vowel-letters" isn't standard terminology that I
> know of.

I would have thought it was standard enough, but then I studied from
Weingreen. However, it is basically just a convenient English equivalent for
beginning students to mater lectionis ('Mother of reading' just doesn't come
out right in English). In essence, the point is to draw attention to the
fact that a letter otherwise used as a consonant is serving to indicate the
presence of a vowel instead.

I think it would be wise not to rely upon things in grammars such as
Weingreen for our present purpose, because even though it is an excellent
work, its primary purpose is/was to instruct beginners, not to make deep
pronouncements upon realities of Hebrew orthography. In such grammars, finer
details tend to be broadbrushed in the interest of a sufficiently digestable
beginner's presentation.


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