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$ 17. CHANGEABLE AND UNCHANGEABLE VOWELS,
AND THE WEAK LETTERS.
I. 1. If a long vowel rests, or originally rested, in one of the weak letters X, 1, or', whether it is ordinarily written with that letter or not, that is, whether it is in the scriptio plena or defectiva (§ 3. 6), it cannot, under any circumstances, be converted into a short vowel, whatever changes the word in which it occurs may undergo ; e.g. 183, 7, Din, 77, ix. If, in such cases, the vowel is written defectively, it is called impure; thus n (for NRI) has an impure kamets, 72 (for 7'3) an impure tsere, 37 (for ]'?) an impure chirek.
2. Unchangeable are, likewise, the short vowels in closed and toneless syllables ; e.g. no?, 1979, 1997, 7072, non;
3. Hence also the short vowels in toneless syllables before a dagesh forte ($ 5.1); e.g. Spa, nina, nesm; and
4. The long vowels which, standing before gutturals, have been formed from short ones, by way of compensation for an omitted dagesh forte (§ 16. 1), as 7779 (for 773), O'? (for D'90); and, therefore,
II. In all other cases, the vowels are changeable under various conditions, of which it may here suffice to specify the following:
1. If a word ending in a closed but long and accentuated syllable is joined to the following word by makkeph, and hence loses the tone, the vowel of that syllable is shortened (§ 11. 4. d, 5), namely, kamets into pathach, tsere into segol, and cholem into kamets chatuph (§ 3. 8); e.g. and 7150700'; wine and 737-Ww; pin and inspm.
The same or similar changes take place if, within the same word, a closed syllable with a long vowel loses the tone, as 797 and Dş727, 75 and 7128, by, and 1720p, you and the end, and 'wv; or if an open, syllable,, by some modification of the word, becomes closed, as 37 and iazm, p) and iod), and 797.
If the vowel is unchangeable (in accordance with I. 1), the makkeph and the consequent loss of tone have, of course, no effect; e.g. X-di', '
p hp (Ps. xvi. 5), biru (Job xxi. 17). 2. If a word which has an open penultima with a changeable kamets or tsere, is so modified that the penultima becomes the second syllable before the accent, both kamets and tsere are altered into sh’va, or if the first letter of the syllable is a guttural,
In a similar manner, the sound u is regarded as shorter than the
But chateph-pathach is looked upon as shorter than chateph-segol, and chateph-pathach preceded by pathach as shorter than chateph-segol
III. It may be useful here to explain a few changes to which the
, , ,א vowels are liable in connection with the weak letters
1. If a weak letter is furnished with sh’va, and the preceding vowel . is homogeneous to it (8 3. 4), it may, and often must, rest in the
4. If a weak letter is both preceded and followed by a vowel, it may rest in one of the vowels or in a kindred one; e.g. i Dip (comp. $ 65. 1).
EXERCISE X. Practise to read fluently the following chapter of the Bible (the first of the Book of Ruth).
a metheg ? 2I . Was there any reason for connecting the כִּי has the second
two words on?? and nippi (verse 7) by makkeph ? — 22. To what class of dagesh does the dot in the first letter of nipid belong? and how is this word pronounced ?—23. Why has the 7 in nyol (ibid.) no metheg ?- 24. Describe the nature of the dots in the last two letters of APR (ver. 8).-25. Why may two tone-syllables follow each other in the words 700 day (ibid.) ?26. Of what description is either dagesh in 19!??mi (ver. 9)?—27. Why has the second syllable in ziyn (ver. 11) a metheg? – 28. Why has the first '? (in ver. 12) a dagesh in the 32-29. Was it necessary to join the two words
?? (ver. 12) by makkeph ?—30. Why has the 3 in D a dagesh ?—31. Why has the first ? (in ver. 13) a metheg ? and why the second ?? — 32. Explain the dots in the two letters of mo (ver. 14).–33. What kinds of sh’va and of dagesh has the word 'YIDA (ver. 16)?— 34. Why has the 3 of n'a (in ver. 19) in both instances dagesh ? and why the 9 in. OINI??— 35. What kind of dagesh has the 5 in? (ver. 20) ? — 36. Why has n3 (ver. 21) the tone on the penultimate, whereas it is regularly accentuated on the last syllable ? — 37. State the words in this chapter which have kamets chatuph, and give the reasons. — 38. Name the words in which any of the aspirates (a, a, 7, 3, 2, n) has dagesh forte. — 39. Which are the distinctive, and which the conjunctive accents in the first three verses ? — 40. Analyse the structure of the same verses with regard to their accents.
07 The selections at the end of this part of the Grammar may be used as additional reading exercises, and the learner should not advance to the following division before he is able to read with ease and Auency.
THE WORDS AND THEIR INFLECTION.
GENERAL SURVEY In this division the PRONOUNS occupy the first place, not only because they belong to the oldest and simplest elements of the language, but because they form the chief foundation for the inflection of both nouns and verbs. They are followed by the Noun and ADJECTIVE, and then only the VERB is introduced, because, primitively, the expression of objects accessible to the senses, precedes the description of actions, which involves a certain degree of abstraction. As the ARTICLE is indispensable for defining the noun, and the Hebrew NUMERALS are properly nouns, both are naturally treated in connection with the substantives. Lastly follow the PARTICLES, or the parts of speech incapable of inflection, in this order :-first, the