Understanding Hebrew Vowels (1)

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Elementary Hebrew !wvl tyrb[ : 

Elementary Hebrew !wvl tyrb[ VL 1: Masoretic Vowel Points (~ydIWQnI) IBH, pp. 33-38

Introduction : 

Introduction Hebrew’s consonantal alphabet (abjad) What about vowels? Linguistic definition of vowel (sonant) Linguistic definition of a consonant Preservation of vocalization(s) in oral traditions over centuries Scribes called Masoretes begin representing vowels around 7th cent AD System had to leave consonantal text undisturbed

The Work of the Masoretes : 

The Work of the Masoretes Oral pronunciation tradition hard to maintain over long periods of time Aramaic corruptions Hebrew no longer the spoken language LV LF T TH FLLST CTS R GD THGS T HV Live (or love?) life to the fullest. Cats (or cots, or coats?) are good things to have.

Development of Tiberian Phonology : 

Development of Tiberian Phonology System of marks introduced above or below consonantal text (niqqudim) Such marks used as early as the period of the Amoraim (AD 200 – AD 500) One system became prevalent in 10th century – The Tiberian Masorah This system basically eclipsed all others as official vocalization for biblical texts. Developed by the Ben Asher family But certain vowel indicators go back to the earliest periods of Hebrew

Development of Graphic Vowels in Hebrew : 

Development of Graphic Vowels in Hebrew Use of matres lectionis (m.l. or ha'yrIq. twOMai) “vowel letters” consonants associated with certain vowel sounds. Originally 3: waw, w, yodh, y, heh h These three ml’s reflect three vowel classes in Hebrew.

Vowel Classes and ML : 

Vowel Classes and ML a class vowels h e.g. hallelujah, messiah, blah hm = ma “what” i class vowels – y (e.g. they) ym = mee “who” u class vowels – w (e.g. blow) awh = hoo “he” All Hebrew vowels can be organized under these three classes.

The a class vowel points : 

The a class vowel points Tone short B; PataH a “a” as in father Tone long B' qämec ä “a” as in father but held longer Historically long formed with ha'yrIq. twOMai and niqqudim hB' qämec hë´ â same as qämec

The i class vowel points : 

The i class vowel points Tone short i type Bi Hîreq i I “i” as in hit e type B, sügol e “e” as in bet Tone long e type Be cërê ë “e” as in they Historically long i type yBi Hîreq î “ee” as in bee e type yBe cërê yod ê like ë

The /u/ class vowel points : 

The /u/ class vowel points Tone short o type B' o “o” as in hope u type Bu u “u” as in soup Tone long o type Bo ö held longer Historically long o type AB ô u type WB û

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