Historical Linguistics of Biblical Hebrew An Outline


Hebrew 298 Professor Ronald Hendel University of California, Berkeley Spring 2008

*Revised and abridged from handouts of Thomas O. Lambdin and John Huehnergard (Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University) Copyright © 2008 Please do not cite without permission.

Preliminaries: The Semitic Language Family and Linguistic Reconstruction I. Phonology A. The Overlay of Phonological Systems 1. Alphabet 2. Matres Lectionis 3. Vowel Points B. Consonantal Changes 1. Unconditioned Changes 2. Conditioned Changes 3. Sibilants: Phonetic Changes 4 5 5


C. Vowel Changes 8 1. Original Long Vowels 2. Diphthongs 3. Original Short Vowels: Changes in Quantity (open and tonic syllables) 10 a. Preliminaries: Syllables and Stress b. The Chain of Changes Nouns, Finite Verbs with Pronominal Suffixes Finite Verbs 4. Original Short Vowels: Changes in Quality (closed syllables) 14 a. Three Laws Barth’s Law Qatqat > Qitqat Philippi’s Law b. Origins of Seghol (and Segholates) II. Nouns and Pronouns A. Grammatical Features 1. Case 2. Number and Gender 3. State 4. Definiteness B. Personal Pronouns and Pronominal Suffixes 1. Independent pronouns and subject suffixes (nominative) 2. Possessive suffixes (genitive) 3. Object suffixes (accusative) C. Other Pronouns (Demonstrative, Relative, Interrogative) 17 17




III. The Verbal System A. Semantics of the Qal Stem 1. Situation 2. Tense 3. Aspect 4. Mood B. The Proto-Northwest Semitic Verbal System: Qal Stem C. Vowel Classes of the Sound Root: Qal Stem D.. The Qal Stem of Weak Roots 1. I-Yod (‫)פ"י‬ 2. II-Waw/Yod (Hollow) (‫)ע"י ,ע"ו‬ 3. III-Yod (‫)ל"ה‬ 4. I-Nun (‫)פ"ן‬ 5. I-Guttural 6. I-ʾAleph (‫)פ"א‬ 7. Geminate Roots (‫)ע"ע‬ E. The Derived Stems 1. Semantics of the Derived Stems a. Situation b. Voice 2. Qal Passive (G-) 3. Niphal (N) 4. Piel (D) 5. Pual (D-) 6. Hiphil (C) 7. Hophal (C-) 8. Hithpael (Dt) 9. Polel/Polal/Hithpolel Appendix 1: Contraction Concordance Appendix 2: Cognate Consonants Selected Bibliography

24 24

26 27 29


42 43 44


Preliminaries: The Semitic Language Family and Linguistic Reconstruction
figure: Semitic Language Family

Central Semitic innovations:

*qatala replaces perfective/preterite *yaqtul (vs. East Semitic) *yaqtulu replaces imperfective *yaqattal (vs. East Semitic and Ethiopian)

Linguistic Reconstruction “house” Akkadian Old South Arabic Ethiopic Arabic Ugaritic Hebrew Aramaic bītum byt bet batun bt bayit bēt

Changes case ending: u (nominative) mimation/nunation: final m/n contraction of diphthong: ay anaptyctic vowel: i spirantization: t


– C.. probably dialectal or historically earlier. ō he for final ā. C. 4) Qumran Hebrew: matres lectionis in words like ‫יקטולו‬ Samaritan Hebrew (reading tradition): madbar. B.C. Origen’s Hexapla (secunda).g. Matres Lectionis (ʾimmôt haqqerîʾâ) ● 10th cent.E.E. ʿābed. B.: baroque orthography internal matres used for short vowels in some scribal traditions (e.E. “Masters of Tradition.מדבר‬αβδαχ = ‫2( עבדך‬ms suff.: innovation of final matres (perhaps from Aramaic) waw for final ū yod for final ī he for final ā.C. ay > ê) ● 6th . etc. Alphabet borrowed from Phoenician – ‫ ש‬represents /š/ and /ś/ 2.5th cent.שלמה‬ ● 8th cent. esp. 8th-10th cent. ‫)כה . or some combination. ē ● 1st cent. ē. 5 .g. B. ī (from contraction of diphthong.E: no matres lectionis (inscriptions.: innovation of medial matres waw for internal ō.C.E.” The most elaborate (and eventually dominant) system: Tiberian Masoretes. ō (for the latter.. B.C. Evidence for non-Tiberian phonology (HHL.מרים‬μαδβαρ = ‫ . Μαριαμ = ‫ . ʾatti (2fs pronoun) Transcriptions in LXX.E. Vowel Points (niqqûd) ‫ .C.: revision of final matres waw for final ū.בעלי המסרת‬ca. σεθρ = ‫סתר‬ note also Γομορρα = ‫עמרה‬ Babylonian and Palestinian vocalization systems Note also pausal system.I. SP and Qumran) 3. B. ū (from contraction of diphthong. from Phoenician) ● 9th cent.E. Jerome. The Overlay of Phonological Systems 1. e. aw > ô) yod for internal ē.). Aharon Ben Asher. ch. Phonology A.

ʾereṣ qayiṣ ṣedeq “earth” “summer” “righteousness” ● *ģ and *ʿ merge to ʿ PS *ģalmat*ʿayn> > Heb. e. Γομορρα = ‫עמרה‬ ● *ḫ and *ḥ merge to ḥ PS * ḫamiš* ḥadat> > Heb. Consonantal Changes 1. š and ś remain distinct phonemes in Hebrew. Unconditioned Changes ● *d and *z merge to z PS *daqin*zayt> > (d = ð.E. *ṭ. with some survivals (cf. 6 . and *ṣ merge to ṣ PS *ʾarḍ*qayṭ*ṣidq> > > (ḍ = emphatic d.C. ● *ḍ. zāqēn zayit “old” “olive” ● *t and *š merge to š PS *talāt*šim> > (t = θ. ʿalmâ ʿayin “young woman” “eye” N. and ṭ = emphatic t) Heb.. pronounced as in “thy”) Heb.C. Greek transcriptions. Greek transcriptions). ḥāmēš ḥādāš “five” “new” Chronological notes.B.B. but were not distinguished in the alphabet (which was borrowed from Phoenician). pronounced as in “thigh”) Heb.E. The laryngeal/pharyngeal (“guttural”) mergers (#4-5) are attested in all of the NWS languages of the first millennium B.B.g. The interdental mergers (#1-3) are attested in the Canaanite languages of the first millennium B. šālôš šēm “three” “name” N.

N. yeled yāšab “boy” “sit” ● Quiescence of ʾalep in syllable-final position. Cf. *nC > CC PS *yantin *bint> PNWS *yattin > > *bitt > Heb.> PNWS *yaldPCS *wataba *yataba Exception: conjunction.2. The phonetic value of w > v in postclassical Hebrew. The ʾalep is preserved in spelling. Greek transcriptions of ‫יהוה‬ as Ιαουε (Clement) and Ιαβε (Origen). Conditioned Changes ● Word-initial *w > y PS *wald.> *bē(ʾ)r *diʾb.> *zē(ʾ)b *muʾd. It is still pronounced /w/ by most mizraḥi Jews. rō(ʾ)š ṣō(ʾ)n “head” “sheep” Note odd (hypercorrected) spellings in MT: *biʾr.> *mō(ʾ)d > > > beʾēr zeʾēb meʾōd “well” “wolf” “very much” ● Syncope of intervocalic he and yod (syncope of yod = contraction of triphthong) *vhv2 > v2 *vya > ā *vyu > e *bahu (prep. ● Assimilation of nun. yittēn bat “let him give” “daughter” > > Heb. wa-.) > *banaya *šatiya *yištayu *yibniyu *śadiyu *yibniyū > > > > > > bānāh šātāh yišteh yibneh śādeh yibnû *bu *yaqtil “he built” “he drank” “he will drink” “he will build” “field” “they will build” > > bô yaqtîl *vyv̄ > v̄ 7 . PS *raʾš*ḍaʾn> > *rā(ʾ)š *ḍā(ʾ)n > > Heb. + 3ms pron.B. suff) > *yuhaqtilu (Hiphil impf.

bōśem ≈ Greek balsam. Sibilants: Phonetic Changes Original śin was a lateral fricative [ɬ]. BCE. as in “check” (Egyptian transcriptions) Original šin was perhaps [s]. after Aramaic interdental shifts: *t (written with ‫ > )ש‬t and *d (written with ‫ > )ז‬d. becomes [s] Original samekh was pronounced like [č]. Change #4 is 1st millennium NWS. [č]. probably [š] vs. pronounced like hl (cf. Change #3 is before the Canaanite shift. prior to samekh > [s] C.But *ba + yad > beyād (preservation of morpheme boundary) Cf. melek ʾănōkî “king” “I” Chronological notes.vs. Transjordanian dialectal pronunciations of šin. Change #5 is post 6th cent. Original Long Vowels ● Canaanite Shift: *ā > ō *talāt*ʾanāku > > šalōš ʾānōkî “three” “I” 8 . śin and samekh coalesce to [s] (note graphic interchanges) šibbōlet vs. Ugaritic and Phoenician bd ● Spirantization: b g d k p t develop postvocalic allophones (in Aramaic and Hebrew) PS *malk *ʾanāku > > Heb. becomes [š] In LBH. sibbōlet (Judges 12:6). 3. kaśdim ≈ Akkadian kaldu). Vowel Changes The original phonemic system in PS and PNWS has six vowels: long vowels: short vowels: ā ī ū a i u 1. Changes #1-2 are PNWS. representing Cis. as in Arabic.

yn in Samaria Ostraca). 9 . which then became generalized and extended (to all o-type and i-type vowels) in spelling practice.B. vowel dissimilation *sūsaykā > sûseykā “your horses”) but contracts to ê when unstressed *baytī *ʿaynī > > bêtî ʿênî “my house” “my eye” N. builder (pt.B. spring” (N.N.. but not in other Amarna Canaanite dialects and not at Ugarit (a-na-ku = /ʾanāku /. in syllabic transcription). Begins in southern Canaan in Late Bronze Age. Found in Amarna letter from Jerusalem (a-nu-ki = /ʾanōkī/). N.B. Diphthongs: aw and ay ● *aw is retained as āwe when stressed (with addition of unstressed anaptyctic vowel to break up consonant cluster) *mawt > māwet “death” but contracts to ô when unstressed *mawtī > môtî “my death” ● *ay is retained as ayi when stressed (with addition of unstressed anaptyctic vowel to break up consonant cluster) *bayt *ʿayn > > bayit ʿayin “house” “eye. The contraction of diphthongs led to the reinterpretation of medial waw and yod in traditional spelling as matres lectionis for ô and ê. Diphthongs always contract in Northern Hebrew (e.)” Chronological note. ● Original *ī and *ū remain î and û (generally marked in MT by matres lectionis). change of quality in stressed *áyCā > -éyCā. similarly Ugaritic. 2.*bāniyu > bōneh “he builds. Phoenician.g.

a late 2nd or early 1st millennium NWS change: *dabaru *dabarīma *kataba *ʾanti > > > > PH PH PH PH dabar dabarīm katab ʾatt “word. a closed syllable will end without a vowel point. retained as short vowels (although not always the same vowel as the original). hence the birth of silent šewa. ִ ְ ָ In verbs it is not that simple.a. thing” “words.e. At the end of a word. an unaccented short vowel can only occur in a closed syllable (CvC). ĕ e or ŏ The initial situation includes the loss of final short vowels. and so the best procedure is to know something of the word itself.g. the only instance in which the sequence CāCe turns up in a noun is before the 2ms suffix. but a rule of thumb is to treat them (in the context of syllabification) as if they were regular šewa’s (sometimes vocal. 10 . e.מ ְד‬ ָ ִ The only confusing case is the qameṣ. original short vowels can be lengthened. The metheg is used fairly consistently in the Bible. ‫ ..g. debārekā. The ḥateph vowels are a problem. which almost always signifies that the qameṣ is ā. i. you just have to know. *a *i *u lengthened ā ē ō retained a. sometimes silent). This change entails the loss of the case system. the Masoretes felt a need to put a ֶ ֵ vowel point at the end of a closed syllable. Here. Vocal šewa is always the product of reduction. For example. the only way to distinguish between the two is to know something of the history of the particular word.ĕ e or ă. but occasionally isn’t used when it would be helpful. Original Short Vowels: Changes in Quantity (= open and tonic syllables) Because of stress or phonetic changes. ‫תבי‬Ô kotbî. ְ ָ e kāt bû. even though there is no vowel pronounced.e u. “your word. Preliminaries: Syllables and Stress In Biblical Hebrew. as in ‫ב ְרָך‬Ëְ . This same grouping in a verb usually means CāCe (Í‫תב‬Ô. or reduced to vocal šewa (or a ḥateph vowel). for instance).3.i.e i. a. They used the same symbol as the symbol for vocal šewa. however. or to trust in the metheg. sēper. or you have to trust in the metheg.o reduced (to šewa or ḥateph vowel) e or ă. things” “he wrote” “you” (2fs) N..” Otherwise a consonant with a qameṣ ָ followed by a consonant and a šewa sign will always represent CoC in a noun form (including the infinitive construct when it is used as a noun.B.ספר‬In the middle of a word. “my writing”). Since the qameṣ can stand for short o or long ā. as in the middle of ‫ר‬Ê‫. e. midbār.

not vocal šewa. (The previous syllables are the penultima and the antepenultima.e.B. Stress in Biblical Hebrew is almost always on the final syllable (or ultima). and the one before that is the propretonic syllable. Exceptions to final syllable stress are things like some pronominal suffixes (with anceps vowels)..e. it is a closed syllable or a long vowel).”) Accented syllables can take almost any form: Cv (rare). below).) The stressed syllable is known as the tone or tonic syllable. In construct forms. Only original short vowels in originally open syllables are reducible. wherever the propretonic syllable was a consonant plus an original short vowel. The only two possibilities for such a syllable are reduction to vocal šewa and lengthening. The syllable preceding the tone syllable is the pretonic syllable. If it is a consonant plus an original short vowel (as in *dabarīm and *zaqinīm. Cv̄C. segholates. impossible in Hebrew. assume that the tonic syllable is the first syllable of the following word.) *dabarīm > *zaqinīm > *katab + am > *debarīm *zeqinīm *ketabam > > > debārîm zeqēnîm ketābām “words. (Two vocal šewa’s together in a word is an impossible situation. CvC. b. (There are only two exceptions to this: bāttîm. as in the cases we are considering. *ṣadaqat > *ṣadqat > ṣidqat “righteousness of” 11 . we are left with an unaccented open syllable with a short vowel.A long vowel in an unaccented syllable can only be part of an open syllable in Biblical Hebrew. (Remember. The Chain of Changes ● Nouns (including verbal nouns) and finite verbs with pronominal suffixes 1. Cv̄. Propretonic Syllable Propretonic reduction will take place wherever it can. things” “old” “he wrote them” If propretonic reduction cannot take place (i. and some forms of weak verbs.” and ʾānnāʾ. you must look at the original pretonic syllable. the pretonic syllable must lengthen. locative he. If the syllable immediately preceding has already reduced to vocal šewa.) Once propretonic reduction takes place. Propretonic reduction eventually goes to zero. N. “houses. i. original long vowels and diphthongs cannot reduce to šewa. see under pretonic reduction (below). “ah please.

b. *a almost always lengthens under stress *dabar > *katab + am > dābār ketābām “word. *dabarīm > *kawkabīm > *yišlaḥ + im > debārîm kôkābîm yišlāḥēm “words. *daqinīm *gadulīm > > zeqēnîm gedōlîm “old” “big” If the propretonic is not reducible. Pretonic Syllable a. *bukur *ḥimōr 3. *ʿinab *gubla? > > ʿēnāb gebal “grape” “Byblos” But before an ō in the tone syllable. *i and *u will lengthen pretonically. *u tends to reduce. while in *kawkabīm and *yišlaḥim the original propretonic is irreducible. *i and *u reduce to šewa pretonically (unlike *a. *a always lengthens pretonically. *Qatqat > Qitqat) 2. *i and *u generally reduce to šewa. p.*dabaray > *dabray > dibrê “words of” (see further below. things” “stars” “he will send them” Note that in *dabarīm the original propretonic is reducible. Tonic syllable a. thing” “he wrote them” > > bekōr ḥămôr “first born” “ass” 12 . depending on the propretonic syllable. 14. *yiktub + im > yiktebēm *yintin + im > yittenēm *madbiḥāt > mizbiḥōt “he will write them” “he will give them” “altars” > mizbeḥōt If there is no propretonic syllable. *i and *u in an originally open syllable either lengthen or reduce pretonically. *i tends to lengthen. as noted above). If the propretonic is reducible.

Pretonic Syllable In this category. *a does not lengthen.Exceptions: – Short *a is retained in monosyllabic nouns that originally ended in a double consonant.) gādōl (adj. *qatala + nī > qeṭālánî “he killed me” b. if the pretonic syllable is not reducible (i.. it is a closed syllable or has a long vowel). 13 . This determines the quantity of the propretonic vowel. *katabū *yitibū *yiktubū *yintinū > > > > *katebū *yišebū yiktebū yittenû > > kātebū yēšebû “they wrote” “they will sit. dwell” “they will write” “they will give” But. unlike *a (above) ● Finite verbs without pronominal suffixes 1. *ʿamm > ʿam “people” – In the 1cs object suffix on verbs. *yiktub + im > *kabid > *gadul > *ʾimm > *ʾuzz > yiktebēm kābēd (adj. If the pretonic vowel can be reduced to šewa. *yudabbir *haqīmātī > > yedabbēr “he will speak” hăqîmōtî “I established” e (ă instead of š wa because the h is a guttural) If the pretonic is the first syllable in the word. it is the pretonic vowel which reduces whenever possible.e. *i and *u also generally lengthen under stress. the vowel is lengthened. and the propretonic vowel will lengthen.) ʾēm ʾōz “he will write them” “heavy” “big” “mother” “strength” Note that *i and *u lengthen even in nouns that originally ended in a double consonant. it will. the propretonic vowel is reduced. if it can.

(Late change. The original ya. *a often becomes i. *a remains short *katab *yašlaḥ hēqîmû yāsōbbû “they established” “they will turn” > > kātab yišlaḥ “he wrote” “he will send” b. δαβρη) *madbar *malḥamat *ṣadaqat *dabaray > > > > midbar milḥāmāh *ṣadqat > *dabrê > (*maqtal nouns) (fem. *yaqtil. Preformatives of imperfect/jussive vary according to theme vowel: *yaqtul. verby vs. Hexapla μαδβαρ.g. construct of *qatal) ṣidqat dibrê 14 . construct of *qatalat) (mpl. *yaC. which has become effaced (probably original antepenultimate stress in finite verbs). not in Hexapla or Babylonian vocalization.B. *i and *u lengthen under stress *yantin *yaktub *qaṭuntī > > > yittēn yiktōb qāṭōntī “he will give” “he will write” “I am/became small” N. Original Short Vowels: Changes in Quality (= closed syllables) a. *yiḥzaqu > yeḥĕzaq *yitammu > yētam ● *Qatqat > Qitqat. In unaccented closed syllables. 4. Tonic syllable a.> yiC*yaktub *yantin > > *yiktub *yittin > > yiktōb yittēn N. e. vs. Three Laws ● Barth’s Law (Proto-Central Semitic). *yiqtal. In Proto-Hebrew. *maqtalat nouns) (fs.e. The different changes in the finite verb vs.B. the noun and verbs with pronominal suffixes (i. nouny words) probably derive from an original difference in stress position.is preserved in some weak root types: I-Guttural Geminate Hollow *yaʿmudu *yasubbu *yaqūmu > > > yaʿămōd yāsōb yāqûm vs.*hiqīmū > *yasubbū > 2.

● Philippi’s Law: *Philíppi > Philáppi In accented. probably derives from a reanalysis and generalization of some *Qatqat > Qitqat forms. note that both are late changes. generalized as *CeCe > CiC.B. originally closed syllables. Segholates lack the dibrê-type form: *malakay > malkê (not milkê) probably due to the influence of forms like malkî. malkî qibrî siprî qodšî Note the two different irreconcilable developments for *qitl. *ʿinz *ʾimm *šinn > > > ʿēz (not ʿaz) ʾēm (not ʾam) šēn (not šan) N. Some such reanalysis led to the synchronic inference: *debe > dib. Qatqat and Philippi are complementary: unaccented *CaC > CiC.B. b. a synchronic rule. *i often becomes *a. 15 . This may be a reflex of the ms. where a doubled consonant (or an original *nC > CC) was at the end of the stem word. such as: *dabaray > *dabrê > dibrê Dibrê was at some point reanalyzed as deriving from *deberê. N. *qitl. (Late change. accented *CíC > CáC.N. *qutl The process of segholation (with e as the anaptyctic vowel) may be something like the following: *qatl *qitl1 *qitl2 *qutl *malk *qibr *sipr *qudš > > > > *malek (anaptyxis) *qiber *siper *qudeš > > > > melek qeber sēper qōdeš (assimilation) (assimilation) (lengthening) (lengthening) cf. Origins of Seghol (and Segholates) ● Segholates: *qatl. construct debar (with propretonic reduction of the short a). The Rule of Šewa (*CeCe > CiC).B. not in Hexapla or Babylonian vocalization) *bint *kabídtī *dibbírtī > > > batt kābádtî dibbártî Exceptions to Philippi’s Law: mainly monosyllabic nouns.

7) *yištayu *yibniyu *śadiyu > > > yišteh yibneh śādeh 16 .B. raʾš/riʾš. *CiG > CeG *ʿizrī *ʾitmōl *yiḥzaq *markabat > > > > ʿezrî (cf. wayyāśem (conv. mm. yitten. p. see above. ben (construct) yāśēm (jussive) vs. siprî) ʾetmôl *yeḥzaq > yeḥĕzaq *mirkābāh > merkābāh N. weak roots *qayl *qawl *qity *qitG *qaGl *bayt *mawt *piry *zibḥ *naʿr > > > > > bayit (anaptyxis with i) māwet (lengthening of a) perî zebaḥ naʿar ● Influence of gutturals: *i often goes to e before or after a guttural or reš in an unstressed closed syllable: *GiC > GeC. nn (liquids) *karmill *minmínnī *katabtínna > > > karmel mimménnî ketabtén ● *i > e when the accent is retracted (actually just allophone of i) *bin *yaśim *yittin > > > bēn (absolute) vs. Cf.Note the NWS mixing of qatl/qitl: malk/milk.) yittēn vs. impf.(with maqqep) ● Word-final *ayu and *iyu > e (syncope of intervocalic yod = collapse of triphthong. Echo vowels (ḥateph) often develop after a syllable-closing guttural ● Influence of liquids: *i > e in a stressed syllable before ll.

The formal distinctions of number and gender in nouns (ms. *ø. dabarum dabarim dabaram dual dabarāmi (~ ni) dabaraymi dabaraymi plural dabarūma (~ na) dabarīma dabarīma 17 .*ū. Mimation varies with nunation in NWS (Aramaic and Moabite have nunation). see below. *ū. *at. nom. State (IBHS §13) Mimation after a short vowel was lost early in NWS (but preserved in Amorite PN’s). gen. fp. *ø. acc. fem. nom. as the distinction of gender in animals. ʾātôn (“she-ass”) and ḥămôr (“he-ass”). *āt) may derive. Number and Gender (IBHS §6-7) The distinction of number is a natural kind. fs. 1. gen. and nomen rectum of construct phrase: (baytu malki) accusative = direct object of clause (qaṭala malka) In the dual and plural. Nouns and Pronouns A. referred to as the oblique. Hebrew preserves some (very old) word pairs that distinguish natural gender: ʾēm and ʾāb. Case (IBHS §8. B1). at least in part. 3mp. acc.1-2) nominative = subject of clause (malku halaka) genitive = after prepositions (la-malki). 2. 3fs. the genitive and accusative have a common set of endings. mp. At some point the distinction of natural gender was extended to a distinction of grammatical gender. *ā. Grammatical Features The basic nominal inflection of PS and PNWS is approximately as follows: masc. *at. from the subject suffixes on the predicate adjective (3ms. 3.II. 3fp. The malkatum malkatāmi malkatim malkataymi malkatam malkataymi malakātum malakātim malakātim sing.

construct and suffixed forms vs.a) X dabarū (~ īX dabarā (~ay) X malkatu (~ i. fp. mp. mdual fs. indefinite did not exist in PS or early NWS. signaled by differences of accentuation and vocalization. am) dabarūma (~ īma) dabarāmi (~ aymi) malkatum (~ im. With the loss of final short vowels and the attendent loss of the case system. It is a secondary development in Central Semitic: Canaanite (Hebrew. though some of the contrasts were lost. fdual dabaru (~ i. unbound form is derived from the old mp oblique form: *dabarīma > *dabarīm > debārîm 4. mp. am) malakātum (~ im) malkatāmi (~ aymi) This system persisted after the loss of mimation after short vowels. absolute) was originally signaled by the presence or absence of these endings. fs.e.distinction between bound and unbound (i.. fp. bound ms. a new system of contrasts arose in Hebrew. Phoenician) Classical Arabic: prefixed ha (+ junctural doubling) prefixed ʾal- 18 .a) X malakātu (~ i) X malkatā (~ay) X unbound dabarum (~ im. with fp ending + dual oblique ending: *malakāt + ay + nū > malkōtênû X The mpl. Definiteness The contrast of definite vs. bound ms. debar X dibrê X malkat X malkōt X unbound dābār debārîm malkāh melākôt The mp bound form is derived from the old masculine dual oblique bound form: *dabaray X > *dabrê X > dibrê X The fpl bound form with suffixes is doubly marked.

Independent pronouns and subject suffixes (nominative) (IBHS §16.B. annītum) (cf. Personal Pronouns and Pronominal Suffixes 1. Heb. ʾēlleh) B. The notation ã. A syllable with a historical anceps vowel is usually not accented. Thamudic): Aramaic: OSA: prefixed h-. ĩ. -hn These definite articles probably derive from demonstrative pronouns (Rubin 2005: 65-86): “this” (near deixis) PS *hanni > PCS *han “that” (far deixis) PS *ʾulli > PCS ʾul (cf. annûm. hnsuffixed -aʾ suffixed –n. OB ullûm. Notes on Hebrew development: 19 .Inscriptional Arabic: (Lihyanite.2) independent pronouns PS 1cs 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1cp 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp *ʾanã *ʾanākũ *ʾantã *ʾantĩ *h/šuʾã *h/šiʾã *niḥnũ *ʾantum(ũ) *ʾantin(nã) *h/šum(ũ) *h/šin(nã) Hebrew ʾănî ʾānōkî ʾattāh ʾatt hûʾ hîʾ ʾănaḥnû ʾattem ʾatten hēm. OB. hēnnāh subject suffixes (on perfect) (originally on predicate adjective) PS *-kũ *-tã *-tĩ *-a/ *-at *-nũ *-tum(ũ) *-tin(nã) *-ū *-ā Hebrew -tî -tā -t - -āh -nû -tem -ten -û -û N. whose derived forms may be long or short. ũ indicates an anceps vowel. hēmmāh (*hēn).

The form ʾănû is normal in Rabbinic Hebrew. 2mp: The form ʾattem was formed by analogy with 2fp ʾatten < *ʾattinn. 3mp: The form hēmma was formed by analogy with 3fp hēnnā < *hinnā.1cs: Ugaritic has both ʾan and ʾank. This is probably a textual problem of graphic confusion (‫. which does not occur in BH. At Qumran sometimes written ‫. LBH mostly ʾănî.-תי‬though pointed -t (kātabt). Ditto for the -ī of the 1cs independent pronoun. but is read as ʾănaḥnû (qerê). Classical Biblical Hebrew has both. 3fp: Note the Rabbinic Hebrew form hēn. ʾănî/ʾānōkî. 3fs: In the Pentateuch the pronoun is written ‫ הוא‬eleven times. Occasionally the perfect is written with ‫ . ‫ אנו‬is written (ketib). 42:6. Rabbinic Hebrew only ʾănî. In Jer. Possessive suffixes (genitive) (IBHS §16.כתבתה‬ 2fs: Seven times written ‫ .אתי‬though pointed ʾatt. 2. 2ms: The writing ‫ כתבת‬suggests kātabt. The initial ʾă probably derives by analogy with the 1cs ʾănî. Similarly. the subject suffix -tem was formed by analogy with 2fp -ten < *-tinn. 1cp: Five times the form naḥnû occurs. The subject suffix -tī (originally *-kũ) was probably formed by analogy with the -t of the 2ms and 2fs pronouns and the -ī of the 1cs pronominal object suffix.)י/ו‬ The archaic forms ‫ הואה‬and ‫ היאה‬are found in Qumran texts (archaizing or dialectal). pointed ‫( ִוא‬a qerê ‫ה‬ perpetuum).4) Possessive suffixes on the singular noun PS 1cs 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1cp 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp *-ī/-ya *-kã *-kĩ *-hũ *-hã *-nĩ *-kum(ũ) *-kin(nã) *-hum(ũ) *-hin(nã) Proto-Hebrew *-ī *-ak(ā) *-ik(ī) *-uh(ū) *-ah(ā) *-inū *-kimm *-kinn *-am/-himm *-an/-hinn Hebrew -î -ekā -ēk or -ēkî -ōh/ô -āh -ēnû -kem -ken -ām -ān postvocalic -î -kā -k -hû or w -hā -nû -kem -ken -hem or -mô -hen 20 . 2fp: ʾattēnāh/ʾattēnnāh occurs four times.

1cs: The final -û was formed by analogy with the independent pronoun ʾănaḥnû and the subject suffix -nû.Notes on Hebrew development: 2s and 3s: Note the vowel harmony in the Proto-Hebrew forms. -a. -u.)שלמה‬ The historical development of *uhu > ô (2ms) and *ahā > â (3fs) provides the probable origin of the use of he (by reanalysis) as a mater lectionis for final -ō and -ā. based on the three original case vowels. 3mp and 3fp: The suffixes -ām and -ān must be the result of analogy among 3mp and 3fp object suffixes on the perfect: *qatalūhum > *qatalūm (reanalyzed as qatalū + m) *qatalū : *qatala :: *qatalūm : *qatalam after loss of final short vowels. the parallel developments in the pronoun and subject suffix. 2ms: The MT spelling ‫ ך‬suggests the pronunciation -āk (= pausal vocalization in MT. -i. ‫. above. *dabarayThe fp base form is the normal fp plus the dual oblique ending -ay.g. > *malakōtay1cs 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs Proto-Hebrew *-ay + ya *-ay + kã *-ay + k *-ay + hũ *-ay + hã Hebrew -ay -eykā -ayik -āyw (-eyhû in old poetry) -eyhā 21 . 2fs: The biform -ēkî occurs five times. and as vocalized in the Hexapla). cf. *qatalam reanalyzed as *qatal + am Possessive suffixes on the plural noun The mp base form is the old dual oblique. Later this dual signification was disambiguated by the use of waw as the mater for final -ō. 3ms: The older form -ōh (with final he mater) occurs over fifty times (e. the frequent spelling ‫ כה‬in the Dead Sea Scrolls. 2mp: The form -kem was formed by analogy with the 2fp -ken < *-kinn. Cf.

except for the 1cs.1cp 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp *-ay + nū *-ay + kimm *-ay + kinn *-ay + himm *-ay + hinn -ênû (cf. Object suffixes on the perfect: postconsonantal after 3fs (at-) 1cs 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1cp 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp -ánî -ekā -ēk -ô/-āhû -āh -ānû -kem --ām -ān -nî -kā -ek -hû/-û -āh -nû -kem -am -an postvocalic (with 2fs tî-.or -en(n)-. ām on singular noun) -êhen 3. 2mp tû-) -nî -kā -k -hû/-w -hā -nû -kem -m -n Object suffixes on the imperfect follow -ē. These were probably derived by analogy with III-Yod jussive and energic forms with object suffixes: *yabnihū (jussive) *yabninhū (energic) > > yibnēhû yibnénnû (reanalyzed as yibn + ēhû) (reanalyzed as yibn + ennû) 22 . -ēnû on singular noun) -êkem -êken -êhem/-ām (cf. Object suffixes (accusative) The object suffixes are equivalent to the possessive (genitive) suffixes on the noun. -nî.

Ugaritic my māh (“what”) corresponds to Arabic mâ. Akkadian ullu and Arabic ʾullāʾi rare: hallāz. zōʾt (rarely zô) derive from PS *dū (gen. acc. Ugaritic mh 23 . *dā). f. zô (demonstrative pronouns) also function as relative pronouns še in LBH is a reduced form (grammaticalization) of ʾašer 3. *šizeh. f. found in Aramaic and Ethiopic. hallēzū 2. Aramaic ʾatrā. Arabic ʾatru ša (archaic) is related to Akkadian ša. Other Pronouns 1.C. cf. and ultimately to the pronominal base of the 3rd person *šu-. Akkadian ʾašru. a noun originally meaning “place. *dāt ʾēlleh < *ʾillay consists of the base ʾill-. *dī. hallāzeh. Demonstrative pronouns (IBHS §17) zeh (rarely zû).” Cf. Relative pronouns (IBHS §19) ʾašer is derived from *ʾatr-. zû. Interrogative Pronouns (IBHS §18) mî (“who”) < miya (Amarna). cf.

” 158) dynamic stative Perfect relative past relative non-future Imperfect relative non-past (present/future) relative future N. imperfectivity. E. involves the relationships among three temporal points: that of the speaker or speech-act (S).” (“Margins. and a reference point.2) “Aspect is concerned with the ‘different ways of viewing the inner temporal constituency of a situation’ (Comrie). Situation is therefore a quality of the lexicalization of meaning. refers to the inherent meaning of the circumstance signified by the verb. In CBH. In Bernard Comrie’s formulation: .’” (“Margins. In this manner . The primary aspectual distinction that is grammaticalized in most languages is that of perfectivity vs.’ while not entirely familiar to Semitists.. participle is tenseless. as a linguistic category. Tense (IBHS §20.2) “The linguistic term. the event (E). 13) dynamic verbs in the Qal are either transitive or intransitive there are many other types of situation (often called Aktionsart or lexical aspect) see below. for other dynamic situations in the derived stems 2. Situation (IBHS §22.e. and the reference point (R). Aspect. whereas events and processes are dynamic.III.2) “The system of relative tense. as with any tense system.B. but rather ‘orders’ it relative to a point of reference. ‘situation.e. in contrast to tense which describes the temporal relations between an event. stative. with imperfective aspect 3. continue as before unless changed.” (Comrie. Aspect (IBHS §20.” 154) “states are static. The Verbal System A.1a. covers a series of contrasts quite familiar. particularly that of dynamic (or fientic) vs. i. Situation. i. ‘a tense does not ‘situate’ a process in time. Semantics of the Qal Stem 1. a speaker. require a continual input of energy if they are not to come to an end..

Like tense and aspect. doubt. Mood (IBHS §20.g.” (“Margins. Aspect is concerned with the differing perceptions of an event. in which the former is unmarked for mood and the latter is marked. without necessarily distinguishing any of the internal structure of the situation. command. and as such is crucially concerned with the internal structure of the situation. ‘modality . For deontic modality this includes wishes and requests. expressed by Imperfect and Volitionals) (“Margins.” 169) modal includes two further distinctions: deontic modality (speaker’s will.” 172) 25 . commands.” (vs. but to the whole sentence. expressing wishes. belief) and real vs.” (“Margins. mood is a key dimension of the grammaticalization of meaning. does not relate semantically to the verb alone. or primarily.” (“Margins. where they diverge defines epistemic modality. For epistemic modality this includes conditions and some kinds of questions..2) “Mood is generally defined as involving the speaker’s attitude or opinion toward a proposition. obligation) vs.’ This feature is of particular significance for Hebrew.the perfective looks at the situation from outside. e. The major contrast in mood is between the indicative (or declarative) and the modal. permission. but differs functionally in that . unreal “The distinction between deontic and epistemic modality in CBH is clearly shown in the difference betwen the modal use of the Volitionals and the Imperfect. real.” 170) “In CBH the Perfect is used to indicate unreality in both deontic and epistemic modality. modal. e.. wish.g. Where the two overlap defines the category of deontic modality.. while the Imperfect may be used for either deontic or epistemic modality. whereas the imperfective looks at the situation from inside. The Volitionals are specialized for deontic modality. and the like. since there is in many cases no contrast of verbal for the semantic contrast of indicative vs.” 164) Perfect = perfective aspect Imperfect = imperfective aspect 4.. epistemic modality (speaker’s knowledge or opinion about a proposition. either seen from without as a bounded whole (perfective) or seen from within as an unbounded process (imperfective).

in past tense narrative after the conjunction wa-. The preterite *yaqtul was replaced by the perfect *qatala in most positions. as may be seen in contrasts such as yāqûm (*yaqūmu) / yāqōm (*yaqum) 3. *qutl- ● ● ● Notes on the Hebrew development: 1. i. *qitil. The volitive form is preserved only in the cohortative of the 1st person (ʾeqtelāh. etc. *yaqtilu. *qatal (energic: *qutulanna) Participles (or verbal adjectives) Active participle: *qātilStative participle (or predicate adjective): *qatil-.. *yaqtul was also retained as the jussive. above). qatīlInfinitives Infinitive absolute: *qatālInfinitive construct: *qatāl.B.(bound form) or *qitl-. and owing to this fusion. Energic: *yaqtvlanna or yaqtvluna or yaqtvlinna. jussive and cohortative forms are interchangeable in most constructions. including converted usage in past tense narrative. It was retained. 5. The formal distinction between the jussive and the imperfect in inflection has been lost. The -nn. etc. qatalPassive participle: *qatūl-.appearing before the pronominal suffixes of the imperfect is probably to be taken back to the energic forms (see previously under pronominal suffixes). -ūna) Jussive/Preterite: *yaqtul. except for some weak forms (see 2. qatul-. however. the so-called converted usage: *wayyaqtul. and *yiqtalu (pl.e. In view of the phenomenon of junctural doubling. 2. niqtelāh). The Proto-Northwest Semitic Verbal System: Qal Stem ● ● Suffix conjugation Perfect: *qatvla v = a. naqtulanna (reanalyzed as) naqtula + na > niqtelāh nnāʾ 26 . i. The optional -ûn in Hebrew is derived from the imperfect form. u (= theme vowel) Prefix conjugations Imperfect: *yaqtulu. and *yiqtal (pl. -ū) Volitive: *yaqtvla. *yaqtil. we must posit a close relationship in pre-Hebrew between the energic and the volitive. 4. It forms with the jussive what may be termed the “volitive” or “injunctive” paradigm. Imperative: *qutul.

C. *(a. c. A kind of “reverse” analogy seems necessary to account for the converted perfect sequences of Hebrew. The perfect was used in PNWS (at least) in both protasis and apodosis of conditional sentences (with reference to future time. imperfective) sequence is probably the result of several distinct forces: a.i) *qatala. On the preformatives of the imperfect/jussive. but even its habitual past function (i. where the perfect often requires a present tense translation in English. a meaning which was originally totally alien to the perfect (which has perfective aspect).u) *qatala. The perfect was originally not a verb but a predicate adjective or stative participle (qatil. given the ambiguity of the perfect mentioned in (a) and (b) above. The converted perfect in a future or habitual (i. ● dynamic verbs *(a. Thus. qatul. b. see Barth’s Law (p.e. zāqēn) and others related to them semantically (like zākar.a process which led to the isolation of the particle nāʾ.e. *yaqtilu *natana *yantinu > > nātan yittēn 27 . imperfective aspect). at least from the reference point of the utterance). yādaʿ). 14). The original meaning is still clear in the stative verbs (like kābēd. 6. the sequence qatala wa-yaqtul apparently engendered its opposite yaqtulu wa-qatala where the perfect takes on not only the future function of the imperfect. qatal). Vowel Classes of the Sound Root: Qal Stem Vowel class refers to the patterned variation in the second (“theme”) vowel of the perfect and imperfect. *yaqtulu *kataba *yaktubu > > kātab yiktōb The main dynamic type.

a) *qatila.a)2 *(u. The original*(i.a) *qatula. but qārēbāh (pausal) gābar. but gābērû (pausal) 28 . but gedēlanî (presuffixal) qārab.a). Several weak roots tend to fall into this class.u). *yiqtalu *qaṭuna *yiqṭanu > > qāṭōn yiqṭan A small stative class. many of these went to *(a. *yiqtalu *lamada *yilmadu > > lāmad yilmad A very small original class. *(u.This originally common type became extinct in Hebrew with the exception of nātan/yittēn and the types yāšab/yēšēb. Other *(a. and *(i. According to Arabic and Akkadian.a). may have originally been *(u.a)2 *qatala. ● stative verbs *(i.a). As a result of Philippi’s Law (kābídtî > kābádtî). *(a.a) class shows up frequently in pausal or presuffixal forms (or perhaps the result of analogical mixing): gādal. also šākab/yiškab and rākab/yirkab. *yiqtalu *kabida *yikbadu > > kābēd yikbad The main stative type. śām/yāśîm. including original *(a.i) verbs were reanalyzed as Hiphil. *(a. *yiqtalu *gadala *yigdalu > > gādal yigdal A small stative type.a)1 *qatala.

is PNWS.a)1 yādaʿ *yidaʿ. 29 . All but a few of these verbs were originally I-Waw.> #y.u) type above has an unusual development in the imperfect.a) *wašina *yiwšan*wišan? > > > yāšēn *yiyšan.g.(not *yawtib-) and *tib (not *witib). is extremely old (attested in Egyptian) and the reason for it cannot be determined. etc.is preserved in forms such as *yatib. This root allomorphism. wtb ~ tb. Roots I-Yod (‫)פ"י‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. Other originally *(a. where *wṣ > ṣṣ. but perfect yāsap (Qal). The assimilation of waw to a following dental is probably Proto-Semitic.u) *waṣara > *yawṣuru > *yawṣur → *wataba *yatibu *yatib *tib *tibt *wadaʿa *yadaʿ*daʿ *daʿt > > > > > > > > > yāṣar *yaṣṣur > *yiṣṣur > yiṣṣōr *yiṣir > yiṣer yāšab *yitibu > *yitib > šēb šebet yēšēb yēšeb (imperative) (infinitive construct) (perfect) (imperfect) (jussive) *(a. The Qal Stem of Weak Roots 1.g.i) type: yēšēb/yēšeb (and wayyēšeb). 2. the change of #w. jussive *yawsup > *yawsip > yōsep.> yēdaʿ daʿ daʿat stative *(i. The *(a. Verbs originally I-Waw fell into two groups already in PS: (a) those having root allomorphs without the initial w.D. The imperfect/jussive contrast is preserved in the *(a.i) *(a. 4. 3. The root allomorph without initial w.and (b) those without this allomorph. e. e..> yîšan yešan 1.u) verbs were interpreted as Hiphil.

yēlēk.i) *(a.u) and *(a. 7. 2. *yakhul > yākōl.ע"ו‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. The imperfect yûkal probably derives from the Qal passive *yukhal. The verb hālak falls in with the main I-Yod type *(a. #3).u) *qama *yaqūmu *yaqum *qūm *śama *yaśīmu *yaśim *śīm *baʾa *yabāʾu? > > > > > > > > > > qām yāqûm yāqōm (wayyāqom) qûm śām yāśîm yāśēm (wayyāśem) śîm bāʾ yābōʾ *(a. Note that the vowel contrast of imperfect/jussive is explicable as a result of contractions in triconsonantal roots (see below.a) 1. lēk. but because these same roots are treated as triconsonantal in East Semitic and elsewhere.5. leket.i): hālak. Note that the infinitive construct of the type šebet is originallly a feminine segholate noun (*qitl). *tibt > šebet. and reanalyzed as a perfect. 30 .a)1 stative *(i. The immediate antecedents of the two main types in Hebrew – *(a. 6.u) *mita *yamūtu *yamut *buša *yibāšu > > > > > mēt yāmût yāmōt (wayyāmot) bōš yēbōš *(u.i) – are often adduced as an argument for biconsonantal roots in PS. Roots II-Waw/Yod (Hollow) (‫)ע"י . no economy of reconstruction is gained by adopting a biconsonantal theory. The verb yākōl (“was able”) probably derives from the *yaqtul preterite of √khl.

a triliteral theory with contractions is preferable to a biconsonantal theory. since both *iyu and *ayu > e.in bānîtî. It appears that all *(a. Roots III-Yod (‫)ל"ה‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. -îtā.u) verbs are from roots II-Waw and all *(a..2. arose from such forms as *yaqwum-. In view of these differing forms. The triliteral theory requires that the prefix conjugation types *yaqūmu/*yaqum. -înû. The imperfects converge in form. In the perfect. Ethiopic qōma Note that *awa should contract to *ā (see p. note that the -ī.i) *banaya *yabniyu *yabniy *bini > > > > bānāh yibneh yiben (wayyiben) benēh stative *(i. Arabic qāma. *yaśyim-. -îtem. 7). Hebrew has leveled through a single paradigm for both original vowel classes. -ît. it contracts to *a in Hebrew perhaps by analogy with the sound root *qatala. 3. Aramaic *qāma. and îten reflect the original *(i. etc. *yaśīmu/*yaśim.a) class (*bakiytī > bākîtî). This provides a trigger for the mixing of perfect forms. presumably deriving from differing contractions: *qawama > Hebrew *qama. which contracted differently in open and closed syllables: II-Waw imperfect *yaqwumu > jussive *yaqwum > *yaqūmu *yaqum II-Yod *yaśyimu *yaśyim > > *yaśīmu *yaśim The perfect also shows differences in vowel length. etc.. But the survival of other vowel classes (regardless of the middle consonant) suggests a more normal distribution at an earlier state of PS.i) verbs are from roots II-Yod. 3.a) *bakiya *yibkayu *yibkay > > > bākāh yibkeh yēbk (wayyēbk) 1. 31 .

3. yēbk. In the *(a.i) 1. e. it contracts to *a perhaps by analogy with the sound root 3fs *qatalat. 7). As noted previously. This extra suffix preserves the distinction with the 3ms perfect (bānāh): 3fs *banayat > *banat + at = banatat > bānetāh Note that *aya should contract to *ā (see p. the object suffixes on the imperfect in Hebrew derive from the IIIYod jussive and energic forms: *yabnihū (jussive) *yabninhū (energic) 4.2.g. The 3fs perfect has an extra feminine suffix.a)1 *(a. 4.u) *napala *yanpul*nupul *nagaša *yingaš*nagaš *natana *yantin*nitin > > > > > → > > → nāpal yippōl nepōl nāgaš yiggaš gaš nātan yittēn tēn > > yibnēhû yibnénnû (reanalyzed as yibn + ēhû) (reanalyzed as yibn + ennû) *(a. yēšt. probably by analogy with the sound root 3fs perfect (qātelāh < *qatal + at).a)1 class the imperative and infinitive construct have assimilated to the I-Yod type. Roots I-Nun (‫)פ"ן‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. imperfect yēšēb yiggaš imperative šēb gaš infinitive construct šebet gešet 32 . The contrast between imperfect and jussive is maintained from PS: imperfect *yabniyu jussive *yabniy > > yibneh *yibni > *yibn > yíben But note that a few verbs do not have anaptyxis in the jussive. See below (#3) for this analogy..

In general. #4). 5.*CaCe > CaC: *yaʿmudū > *yaʿamedū > yaʿamdû *yiḥzaqū > * yeḥezeqū > yeḥezqû 3. e.> yi-. yaḥalōm (all *a.u). 2. Roots I-Yod.g.2. yeḥkam (both *a. 33 . and below. perhaps triggered by the unusual yiṣṣōq type (see above. The plural types yaʿamdû and yeḥezqû have been affected by a variant of the Rule of Shewa. yeḥezaq. lāqaḥ has assimilated to the *(a.g. e.a)1 class of I-Nun roots in the imperative and infinitive construct: imperfect imperative infinitive construct e yiqqaḥ qaḥ (also l qaḥ) qaḥat 3. Geminate Roots. Roots I-Guttural Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. The difference in the vowels of the prefix conjugations reflects the original contrast of verbal prefixes (Barth-Ginsberg): *yaʿmud-. and geminate roots show considerable mixing. The initial ʿayin prevented the normal assimilation of ya.. I-Yod. and yaḥmōl. I-Nun I-Yod Gem. yaḥšōb.a). One also finds variation within a root... e. The I-ḥet forms vary in their use of ḥateph vowels.a)2 *ḥazaqa *yiḥzaq*ḥizaq > > > ḥāzaq yeḥezaq ḥazaq 1. imperfect yiggaš yiṣṣōq yāsōb/yissōb yētam/yittōm imperative gaš ṣaq/yeṣōq sōb infinitive construct gešet ṣeqet sebōb/sōb tōm The secondary forms probably derive from analogies. #3. in which the ḥateph changes into the corresponding short vowel.u) *ʿamada *yaʿmud*ʿumud > > > ʿāmad yaʿamōd ʿamōd stative *(a. yiḥzaq-. the I-Nun.g.

avoiding two -ō. yaʿazor but wayyaʿzerû.u) *ʾasara *yaʾsur*ʾusur > > > ʾāsar yeʾesōr ʾesōr stative *(i. The *(a.a) imperfect jussive imperfect jussive *yaʿliyu *yaʿliy *yiḥrayu *yiḥray > > > > yaʿaleh yaʿal (wayyaʿal) yeḥereh *yiḥr > yiḥar (wayyiḥar) 6. with quiescent ʾaleph in the prefixed forms: imperfect *yaʾmuru jussive *yaʾmur > > *yā(ʾ)muru > *yā(ʾ)mur > *yōʾmuru > yōʾmar *yōʾmur > *yōʾmir > wayyōʾmer The change of *yōʾmur.yaḥalōm but yaḥlemû. note yahapōk but ʾehpōk. lēʾmōr.a) imperfect yeʾemaṣ is substantially identical to yeḥezaq.to yōʾmar (imperfect) and *yōʾmir (jussive) is dissimilatory. Hence. The I-Guttural roots with III-Yod preserve the *ya/*yi contrast in the prefix conjugations as well as the imperfect/jussive contrast: *(a. 3. for the imperfect: *yaʾsur > *yaʾsōr → yeʾesōr. yaʾasrû ≈ yaʿamdû. 34 .u) type. etc.by reduction produces a reversion to the I-Guttural type.(< *u): the disappearance of the -ō.i) *(i. 2. The imperfect yeʾesōr was probably reformed on the basis of the imperative ʾesōr.vowels in sequence (*yōʾmōr). The *(i. Roots I-ʾAleph (‫)פ"א‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. the infinitive construct. Cf. 4. For other I-Gutturals. The weak *(a. I-ʾAleph roots are a subdivision of I-Guttural.u) imperfect yeʾesōr (3mp yaʾasrû) involves a peculiar rule associated with ʾaleph and the following -ō.a) *ʾamiṣ *yiʾmaṣ*ʾamaṣ > > → ʾāmēṣ yeʾemaṣ ʾemaṣ 1.

tammōt..linking vowel in the Akkadian pars-ā-ta.u) *sababa *yasubb*subb? > > > sābab yāsōb sōb stative *(i.... *u in C2vC2v sequences: *sababa > sābab *tamima > *tamma > tam 3.7.< *ā after the geminated consonant and before a subject suffix with a consonant (i.. where C2vC2 > vC2C2: *yasbub*yitmam> > *yasubb*yitamm> > yāsōb yētam 4. This is probably related to the -ā. I-Nun): yāsōb and yissōb yētam and yittōm and yittam (probably originally a Niphal) The imperative sōb may have triggered this analogy: gaš : yiggaš :: sōb : yissōb 35 . 2.. tammōtā. sabbōt. There are several I-Nun type biforms in the imperfect (see above. The distinction between sābab and tam points to a different treatment of *a as opposed to *i. In the imperfect the geminated consonant gave rise to a reformation of the vocalic pattern. tammōnû. sabbōtem/ten tammōtî. sabbōnû. sabbōtā. Geminate Roots (‫)ע"ע‬ Main vowel classes dynamic *(a. The perfect has a “linking vowel” -ō. 1st and 2nd person forms): sabbōtî.a) *tamima *yitamm> > *tamma yētam > tam 1. tammōtem/ten. and in some Arabic dialects.e.

they may be schematized as follows: Situation of Qal 1. doubly transitive. make fat”) Hiphil (causative.) Causative Factitive = “a construction in which a cause produces a state” Causative = “a construction in which a cause produces an event” (IBHS. Some examples of this scheme: 1. Hiphil forms are fairly common from stative roots (in which case Piel and Hiphil are virtually synonymous).E. cause X to eat Y”) hinḥîl (“cause X to inherit Y”) 2. de-adjectival. Semantics of the Derived Stems a. or 36 . Many Piel forms from dynamic roots are denominative. smash”) zērê (“make scattered. 400) This scheme is somewhat idealized and does not include a large number of verbs arising from other less clear derivational processes. Stative Dynamic-intransitive Dynamic-transitive Factitive/Resultative Piel (factitive [= dynamic]) Piel (resultative) Hiphil (transitive) Hiphil (doubly trans. In this model the Hiphil is associated with transitive and intransitive dynamic verbs. 4. +1 argument) hēbîʾ (“bring. 3. and the Piel with stative verbs and dynamic-transitive verbs. cause to come”) hippîl (“cause to fall”) Piel (resultative. This is statistically so. make full”) diššēn (“fatten. That is. Qal stative mālēʾ (“be full”) dāšēn (“be fat”) Qal intransitive bāʾ (“come”) nāpal (“fall”) Qal transitive šābar (“break”) zārāh (“scatter”) Qal transitive ʾākal (“eat”) nāhal (“inherit”) Piel (factitive. 691) Resultative = “the bringing about of the outcome of the action designated by the base root” (IBHS.. The Derived Stems 1. Situation To the extent that verbs of the derived stems have a semantically predictable relationship to one another and to the simple (Qal) stem. +1 argument) millēʾ (“fill. 3. 2. transitive) šibbēr (“make broken. transitive. disperse”) Hiphil (causative. but secondary use of these forms has tended to erase these original distinctions. + 1 argument) heʾekîl (“feed. dynamic-trans.

The Niphal.de-participial – cf. It is possible that the N form originally produced a dynamic intransitive verb relative to a dynamic transitive verb. Akkadian. but survived in a merged type. 2. and their full inflection too may be a secondary development.2) active Qal Piel Hiphil medio-passive Qal passive and Niphal Pual Hophal reflexive Niphal Hithpael Hithpael Although the real system is far from clear. bārûk (passive participle) and bērēk (Piel) – and are fairly easy to distinguish from the original group. The N verbs. but their function in each language is somewhat different. it is likely that it had a more vigorous existence in other dialects of Hebrew during the early phases of the language. of which only the Hithpael survives in Hebrew). Gt. and Ct (causative. 37 . also took over the function of the passive. In Aramaic and Ethiopic these -t. with the complete loss of the internal passive. In Arabic. apparently only derivable from the G verb. designated Gt (Grundstamm). Dt (Hithpael). Forms with prefixed -t-. They are probably originally part of the G system. Voice (IBHS §21. and only secondarily did the active and passive forms split into two independent systems.forms remain distinct from the passive system. Dt (doubled). and to a lesser extent Hebrew. 3. (2) the forms with prefixed -t-. Pual. or C. surviving forms being taken by the grammarians as Pual or Hophal. It is possible that the internal passives were originally merely the stative form of a dynamic transitive verb.forms took over the role of the passive. whether G.forms. Dt. and Ct became obsolescent as derived forms. To judge from the popularity of the Hithpael in post-biblical Hebrew. Internal Passive. while retaining its old role as an intransitive verb. and (3) the form with a prefixed -n-. on the other hand. the -t. had corresponding -t. D. Notes on these three types: 1. expressing the reflexive/reciprocal or middle meaning of the verb. and that the coalescence with the medio-passive/reflexive systems above was secondary. designated N. In Hebrew the Qal passive became obsolete.forms. It is probable that every dynamic transitive verb. in early Semitic there were at least three ways to express the medio-passive of a corresponding active verb: (1) the internal passive (Qal Passive. b. The three -t. seem definitely to be associated with the G verb. Hophal). as isolated lexical items.

ywld (yûllad). 3.) Note that the imperfect falls together with the Hophal. pointed yiwwalēd. e. The change of the prefix vowel in the imperfect from *yaC to yiC is probably a generalization of the Barth-Ginsberg change of *yaC > yiC in the Qal. ʾukkal. yullad.is probably formed by analogy with the Hiphil imperative: H jussive: imperative :: N jussive : imperative *yaqtil : *haqtil :: *yiqqatil : *hiqqatil 4. see below. # 9. Piel (D) (IBHS §24) perfect imperfect jussive imperative *qattila *yuqattilu *yuqattil *qattil > > > > *qittil > qittēl yeqattēl yeqattēl qattēl The earliest form of the perfect cannot be reconstructed with certainty. Arabic and Ethiopic suggest *qattala. while Hebrew and Aramaic suggest *qattila. Some examples are: perfect imperfect luqqaḥ.g. hōrag yuqqaḥ. yuttan.6) perfect imperfect *qutala *yuqtal > > quttal (should be qōtal) yuqtal The perfect form with reduplication of the second consonant is probably the result of misconstrual as a Pual . forms like sōbab which were reinterpreted as Polal. The imperative form with initial h. (Cf. The best solution is that 38 .2. Eventually the Niphal subsumes the semantic role of the Qal Passive (see above). Qal Passive (G-) (IBHS §22. Niphal (N) (IBHS §23) perfect imperfect jussive imperative *naqtala *yanqatilu *yanqatil *inqatil? > > > > niqtal yiqqātēl yiqqātēl hiqqātēl The change in the perfect from *naqtal to niqtal is apparently due to the *qatqat > qitqat dissimilation.. yuqqam (√nqm) Many Niphal imperfects in the earlier books are probably Qal Passive imperfects.

The change from *haqtil > *hiqtil is obscure. Note that the *ha. etc. and usually ʿayin.in the perfect hiqtîl and the imperfect yaqtîl.. while Hebrew and Aramaic suggest *haqtila. “compensatory” lengthening is normal with reš. In II-Guttural roots (including reš in this instance). ʾaleph.*qattala > *qattila by paradigmatic leveling of -aC1C1i.of the perfect is preserved in I-yod roots: hôlîd < *hawlida. Hiphil (C) (IBHS §27) perfect imperfect jussive imperative *haqtila *yuhaqtilu *yuhaqtil *haqtil > > > > *hiqtil *yaqtil *yaqtil haqtēl → → > hiqtîl (not hiqtēl) yaqtîl (not yaqtēl) yaqtēl The first problem here is the same as the Piel: Arabic and Ethiopic suggest a base form *haqtala for the perfect. Pual (D-) (IBHS §25) perfect imperfect *kuttaba > *yukuttabu > kuttab yekuttab Note that roots II-Guttural show the same variations between compensatory lengthening and virtual doubling as the Piel: *burraka > *burak > bōrak 6. of course. the long vowel -ī. as in the Piel (*CaCCiC > CiCCiC). The change from *qattil > *qittil is obscure (*CaCCiC > CiCCiC). Note the influence of Philippi’s Law in the 1st and 2nd person perfect forms: *dibbirtī > dibbartī. Probably *haqtala > *haqtila by the influence of -aCCi. hēqîm/ yāqîm: perfect imperfect jussive *haqīma *haqimtī *yuhaqīmu *yuhaqim > > > > *hiqīm *hiqimtī *yaqīm *yaqim > > > > hēqîm hiqamtī (Philippi) > hēqamtî yāqîm yāqēm 39 . So-called “virtual doubling” is common with he and ḥet: *barrika *šaḥḥita > > *birrika *šiḥḥita > > *birik > bērēk šiḥēt (virtual doubling) 5. The only possible source for this is by analogy with the Hiphil forms of Hollow roots (II-waw/yod). The major problem is. since these consonants do not double. e.from the imperfect *yuhaqtilu.from the imperfect *yuqattilu.g.

the long vowel occurring in open syllables and the short vowel in closed syllables (see above). Hithpael (Dt) (IBHS §26) perfect imperfect jussive imperative *hitqattila *yatqattilu *yatqattil *hitqattil > > > > hitqattēl *yitqattil *yitqattil hitqattēl > > yitqattēl yitqattēl The perfect and imperative forms were probably originally *taqattila and *taqattil.in the Hollow forms. *hitzakkira > hizdakkēr (tz > zd).Note the alternation between -ī. 7. 19). *yaC > yiC. in the imperfect. H jussive : imperative :: Ht jussive : imperative *yaqtil : *haqtil :: *yitqattil : *hitqattil Note the generalization of Barth-Ginsberg. this is original with this system. the development of the Niphal imperative). Hophal (C-) (IBHS §28) perfect imperfect *huqtala > *yuhuqtalu > hoqtal yuqtal Note that the initial vowel in the perfect alternates between u/o. 40 .and -i.were probably reformed by analogy with the Hiphil jussive : imperative (cf. 8. but a Št of √ḥwy. *šuʾa. the following analogical changes took place: 1cs perfect : 3ms perfect :: 1cs perfect : 3ms perfect *hiqimtī : *hiqīm :: *hiqtiltī : *hiqtīl 3ms jussive : 3ms imperfect :: 3ms jussive : 3ms imperfect *yaqim : *yaqīm :: *yaqtil : *yaqtīl Note that the distinction between languages with H-causative vs. The form hištaḥaweh is probably not originally a Hithpael. as in the Niphal imperfect. or a dental. Š-causative corresponds to the distribution of 3rd person pronouns with h or š – *huʾa vs. *hitṣaddiqa > hiṣṭaddēq (tṣ > ṣṭ). The forms with initial h. etc. (see p. and the metathesis plus assimilation with a root beginning with an emphatic. Note the metathesis with a root beginning with a sibilant. At some point in the development of the Hiphil of sound roots. *hitšammira > hištammēr. which would yield *taqattēl.

the Polal. or generated by reanalysis and analogy in relation to the Qal Passive: Qal Passive *subaba *yusabbu > → sōbab *yusubab > yesōbab The imperfect *yusabb. The reflexive Hithpolel was generated similarly. 41 . Hollow roots were drawn into this paradigm by mixing/analogy with geminate roots.probably changed to yusubab by analogy with the perfect *subab. yesōbab were reanalyzed as new passive stem. The active Polel was generated by analogy with Polal (and the ē of the Polel imperfect by analogy with tone vowel of the Piel). sōbab. perfect imperfect Polel qōmēm yeqōmēm Polal qōmam yeqōmam Hithpolel hitqōmēm yitqōmēm Either a retention of an old stem type otherwise unknown. Polel/Polal/Hithpolel The equivalent of Piel/Pual/Hithpael from hollow and geminate roots.9. With the demise of Qal Passive.

B. change of quality in stressed *áyCā > -éyCā: Old Contractions in II-Waw/Yod verbs [see p. yod) [see p. 9] *aw > āwe when stressed: *mawt > māwet *aw > ô when unstressed: *mawtī > môtî *ay > ayi when stressed: *bayt > *ay > ê when unstressed: *baytī > bayit bêtî “death” “my death” “house” “my house” > sûseykā “your horses” N. 31] *sūsaykā *wu > ū in originally open syllable: *yaqwumu > *yaqūmu *wu > u in originally closed syllable: *yaqwum > *yaqum *yi > ī in originally open syllable: *yaśyimu > *yi > i in originally closed syllable: *yaśyim > *yaśīmu *yaśim *awa > a: *qawama > *qama (perhaps by analogy with *qatala) *iyi > i: *śiyima > *śima 42 . yod) [see p. *ba + yad beyād (preservation of morpheme boundary) Diphthongs (with waw.Appendix 1: Contraction Concordance Triphthongs (with he. 7] *vhv2 > v2 *vya > ā *vyu > e *bahu > *yuhaqtilu > *banaya *šatiya *yištayu *yibniyu *śadiyu *yibniyū > > > > > > > *bu *yaqtil bānāh šātāh yišteh yibneh śādeh yibnû > > bô yaqtîl *vyv̄ > v̄ N.B.

p b m Ug.Appendix 2: Cognate Consonants labials dentals interdentals sibilants palatal “guttural” liquids PS p b m t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ t d ṭ θ ð š z θ̣ ð̣ s z ṣ š ś s z ṣ š ś s z ṣ š š s z ṣ š ś k g q k g q k g q k g q ʾ h ḥ ḫ ģ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḥ ʿ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḫ ģ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḥ ʿ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḥ ʿ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḥ ʿ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḫ ģ ʿ ʾ h ḥ ḫ ʿ ʿ ʾ ʾ ʾ ḫ ʾ ʾ l n r l n r l n r l n r l n r l n r l n r l n r l n r Akk. see p. p b m s z ṣ š ś/s k g q k g q k j q k g q k g q Aram. Old Aramaic graphemes are indicated by brackets [x]. p b m ṣ ṣ θ d/ð θ̣/ģ ð̣ š š z z ṣ ṣ ṣ ṣ Heb. 8. f b m Eth. 43 .B.B. For some clarification of the sibilant situation. N. prior to the consonantal mergings of later Aramaic dialects. p b m Ph. f b m t[š] d[z] ṭ[ṣ] ʿ[q] s z ṣ š ś θ s š ð z z θ̣ ṣ ṣ ð̣ ð̣ ṣ s z ṣ s š s z ṣ s š s z ṣ š š OSA p b m N. p b m Arab.

. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Winona Lake.” VT 2 (1987) 129-53. Phonology: Original Short Vowels Blake. 155-203 in Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. 1990. Gender. A. [IBHS] Preliminaries Garr.. rpt. Cambridge. Hildesheim: Olms. R. Bruce K. Lambdin. Thomas O. “Semitic Sibilants in an Afro-Asiatic Context.: Eisenbrauns. “Pretonic Vowels in Hebrew. W. Garr. A History of the Hebrew Language. W. Angel. Hendel. Phonology: Three Laws Hasselbach. The Historical Grammar of Classical Hebrew: An Outline. The Case for Fricative-Laterals in Proto-Semitic.E. “The Markers of Person.Selected Bibliography Bauer. Ind. 1985. and John Huehnergard. Ronald. [HHL] Waltke. Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine: 1000-586 B. and Number in the Prefixes of G44 . Phonology: Sibilants Faber. Richard. Halle: Niemeyer. H. Mass. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute. Winona Lake. Leander. IN: Eisenbrauns. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Moran.” JNES 10 (1951) 243-55. Rebecca. Unpublished course handout. Alice.. and Michael O’Connor. 1977. 1922.” JSS 29 (1984) 189-224. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ed. Sáenz-Badillos. “Features of Central Semitic. 2004. Historische Grammatik der hebräischen Sprache des Alten Testamentes. Frank R. Steiner. John. rpt. Gianto. 2005.” Pp. Huehnergard.C. and P. New Haven: American Oriental Society. 1998. “Sibilants and šibbōlet (Judges 12:6). 1993. 1962. “Pretonic Vowels in Hebrew.” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 301 (1996): 69-75. R.

Tense. Das hebräische Piʿel. Aspect. 2003. A. HSS 57.Preformative Conjugations in Semitic.: Eisenbrauns. Ind. Winona Lake. Winona Lake: Ind. 2005. “In the Margins of the Hebrew Verbal System: Situation. Semitic Noun Patterns. Studies in Semitic Grammaticalization. Ronald. “The Apparent Interchange Between a and i in Hebrew. “Philippi’s Law Reconsidered. Aaron. Zurich: EVZ-Verlag. eds. Joshua. 135-45 in Biblical Studies Presented to Samuel Iwry. Winona Lake. (Qatqat > Qitqat) Lambdin.: Eisenbrauns. Winona Lake. Huehnergard. 457-74 in Memoriae Igor M. HSS 59. 2005.: Eisenbrauns. Jenni.” JAOS 124 (2004) 23–35.” Zeitschrift für Althebraistik 9 (1996) 152-81. John. “Hebrew Verbs I-w/y and a Proto-Semitic Sound Rule.” JNES 9 (1950) 76-83. Thomas O. Morschauser.” Pp. Kort and S. 45 . L. Rubin. Ind. Mood. 1968. ed. Kogan et al. Diakonoff. Blake. Verbs Hendel. Frank R. 1985. Nouns and Pronouns Fox. Ind. Ernst.” Pp.: Eisenbrauns.

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