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Grammar of Biblical Hebrew


Wolfgang Schneider

Although Wolfgang Schneider’s Grammatik des biblischen Hebräisch: Ein Lehrbuch serves primarily as an introductory textbook to biblical Hebrew, it makes an invaluable contribution to the text-linguistic study of Hebrew Bible. Schneider’s understanding of narrative syntax and discourse linguistics continues to influence such grammarians as Niccacci and Talstra, through whom his work is validated. His discussion of clauses and text syntax remains pertinent to Hebrew students and professors alike. With this English translation, Schneider’s work may now make a worldwide contribution to biblical studies by clarifying for the student the contribution of text grammar to the reading of the biblical text.
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03 Vowel Signs


Various systems have been developed that also represent the vowels and therefore can fix the pronunciation of the sacred texts. The system of vowel letters is old (9th century b.c.): Individual consonant signs stand for vowels. Systems of punctuation that could determine the pronunciation precisely were invented later (5th–9th century a.d.).

03.1 Vowel Letters

Jod and Waw

The half-vowels Jod (י) and Waw (ו) as consonants can be made silent after vowels. They continue in Scripture, appearing now to mark the vowel standing there.

Alef and He

The end sounds Alef (א) and He (ה) as consonants can be cancelled out and appear now to mark the final vowel.

Finally, vowel letters are also written in cases where no consonant was dropped.

The Individual Vowel Letters

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