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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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18 Nominals with Helping Vowels (Segolata)


A large group of nominals are described as “Segolata” which in the singular (status absolutus and status constructus) are accented like מֶ֫לֶךְ on the next to last syllable and show a short ä1—sometimes also a (as with נַ֫ﬠַר) —in the last syllable.

18.1 Basic Form and Helping Vowels


When such Segolata take endings, in particular for all suffixes, a form is visible that is called the basic form: If the ending is taken away, a word with doubled final syllable remains.

In the lost-ending form, a whole short helping vowel, denoted with Segol or Patach, fits in between the two ending consonants.2

The form expanded through a helping vowel remains accented on the first syllable, which is now open.

Vowels of the 1st Syllable

Very often the short vowels in the first syllable appear lengthened: i to long e (סֵ֫פֶר), u or å to long o (בֹּ֫קֶר), a (in pause) to long a (מָ֑לֶךְ). In the first syllable, ä also appears very often (מֶ֫לֶךְ), which nowadays is pronounced most of the time as short, even though it stands in an open syllable (→ § 8.2). ← 58 | 59 →

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