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Grammar of Biblical Hebrew

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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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05 Signs of Articulation

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05.1 Mappíq

A Mappíq (מַפִּיק “emphasizing”) stands in the He (הּ) at the end of a word when it should be a consonant and not a vowel letter.

05.2 Dagesch

A diacritical mark can stand in some consonants other than Alef (א), Chet (ח), Ajin (ע) and Resch (ר). It is called a Dagesch (דָּגֵשׁ “sharpen”) and indicates a strengthening of the consonant in question. The Dagesch has two functions:

Dagesch Lene

Dagesch lene1 denotes the hard pronunciation of the six consonants “BeGaDKeFaT”: Bet (ב), Gimel (ג), Dalet (ד), Kaf (כ), Pe (פ) and Taw (ת). These consonants have the hard pronunciation (with Dagesch lene) when no vowel or half vowel immediately precedes them.

Often after a consonantal final syllable, the Dagesch lene is missing in the “BeGaDKeFaT” consonant that follows. This is explained most of the time by the supposition that the lack of a vowel at this place is not original; thus a vowel has fallen out.2

A “BeGaDKeFaT” consonant in the initial sound of a syllable has Dagesch lene after a pause in speech or after a consonant in final position.

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