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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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04 The Schwa-Sign


04.1 Signs for Half-Vowels

Schwa Mobile

The “Schwa”1 sign, a double dot under the preceding consonant sign, indicates the vowel reduced at its strongest.

In contrast to the Schwa quiescens (“silent Schwa”2 → below § 04.2) the sign of the Schwa is called in this function Schwa mobile (“movable schwa”3).

In contrast to the Schwa compositum (→ below) it is called “Schwa simplex” (simple Schwa).

Chatéf Vowels

The Schwa sign, combined with a vowel sign for a, ä, or å, denotes a half vowel, which is reminiscient of German a, ä, or å. These vowels are called Chatéf vowels (→ § 9.1).

In contrast to the simple Schwa (→ above) the signs for the Chatéf vowels are called “Schwa compositum” (composite Schwa).

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