Monday, December 03, 2007

Original names of Hebrew vowels (nekkudot)?

Here is n interesting footnote in Samuel David Luzzatto's Prolegomeni ad una grammatica ragionata della lingua ebraica (Aaron Rubin edition, pg. 9):

[A]lterations are met in the names of the Hebrew vowel points. . . The vowels שׁוּרֶק ,חֹלֶם ,חִירֶק, are all words distorted for the purpose of presenting in their first syllables which vowel is indicated by these words. Ḥayyuj in the Tractate on quiescent letters, writes always שֶׁרֶק , חֶלֶם, חֶרֶק, with two Seghols.

Edit: there is a weird, distracting formatting glitch as explained here. Unfortunately the Hebrew appears incorrect above. For some reason my seghols appear as tzérés. I will fix it as soon as I can.

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