05 Signs of Articulation
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.
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 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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