Re: New contribution

From: Mark E. Shoulson (
Date: Wed May 05 2004 - 07:33:52 CDT

Simon Montagu wrote:

> John Cowan wrote:
>> Dean Snyder scripsit:
>>> 3) adoption of the various supra-consonantal vowel and accent systems
>> 4) The abandonment of most of the apparatus introduced in step 3, as far
>> as productive use of the script is concerned, reverting to the 22CWSA.
> I don't think that it can be described as "abandonment". The vowel
> system was only ever used for a limited range of texts, and continues
> to be used for a limited range of texts to this day, in parallel to
> use of the 22CWSA for most other texts written in the script.

Definitely not abandoned. Vowel-points are still very much used in
Hebrew today. Apart from children's books, poetry is also regularly
pointed (my translations of Tolkien are mostly unpointed, except the
poems which are all *fully* pointed--including such things as dagesh,
etc. These concerns are important for Hebrew scansion). They are also
regularly used in things like newspapers, just not on every word.
Something like two or three words a page (I'd guess) has a point or two
written in it, in order to forbid a mistaken reading that might
otherwise be made. And foreign proper names also gets points now and then.

> Even more so the accent system which, except possibly as a conceit, is
> only ever applied to the Biblical text.

I used to think so, but I've since seen books with accents on an Aramaic
translation of the Bible, and also a few accents (not completely
accented) on the text of the Mishna(!) And once or twice I've seen
blessings accented. And prayer books that at least *discuss* the
prosody of non-Biblical prayers in terms of accents. But yes, that
system (those systems, really) is essentially limited to Biblical text
in general.


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