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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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06 Accent Signs


06.1 Méteg

Words of three or more syllables frequently have a secondary tone syllable, which can be marked by a Méteg (מֶתֶג “bridle”).

Méteg is a short, vertical stroke under the consonant that begins the secondary tone syllable. If a vowel sign stands there, then a Méteg stands to the left of it.

In the manuscript to which Biblia Hebraica returns, no consistent rule is used for the placing of a Méteg. In general, accented and unaccented syllables alternate.

A Méteg, which stands in an open syllable with long vowel before Schwa mobile, often helps to distinguish between a long Qámes (â) and Qámes chatuf (å).

Méteg after a Short Vowel

However, a Méteg can also stand reversed next to a short vowel before Schwa quiescens.

Examples a) through c) show syllables that should have been sharpened, in which however the Dagesch forte (→ § 5.2) has dropped out.

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