Hebrew Grammar (VOLT etc.)

david h's picture

Israel,

Why would one start studying or reviewing Hebrew grammar with Zalman Hanu who is known for his controversy and criticism that he attracted. It would be easier to have a simple, up-to-date Biblical Hebrew grammar with clear and concise content, which could give a better understanding. Later on when this content is a little bit more clear , you could start to dig into other material?

From the ping-pong conversation it is clear that the main difference is in the starting point. That said, understanding that there are issues that can not be solved; the decisions are left to the user. The second difference is familiarity with subject matter, and how this rule or the other might be applied to the text, the Biblical text, and when this rule can't be applied.
Based on what I've written you'll see why I really doubt that the subject was explained to Prof. Dotan in a clear manner.

Dagesh: It is well known that the Biblical Hebrew has a dagesh named Dehik and/or Ate Merahik. Why "and/or"? Because some say that the phenomenon was called Ate Merahik , and the dagesh that marked it was called Dahik -- who said that? Prof. Dotan. Some say that Dehik and Ate Merahik are two different things.
Ha-Gra, Vilna Gaon, for example, when he discussed the dageshim he first talked about dagesh hazak, then dagesh kal. In the section/paragraph about the dagesh kal he also talked about the dehik and ate merahik, which tell you that he might have seen that kind of dagesh as kal. While others saw that dagesh as a form of dagesh hazak.

Let's see the Dehik in action.
The word בן has a dagesh even though the word before ילדה is ending in the letter he ה (this issue already was mentioned several times).
In other words, the dehik nullifies the rule which doesn't allow a beged kefet letter to have a dagesh after ahevi אהו"י letters. Is that all? Not quite. This dehik is marked when the first word ילדה has a mile'el stress because of the nasog ahor (=when the stress is shifted), and only if the stressed syllable could have light ga'ya.


Now the sheva is na or nach?
Prof. Dotan, like Prof. Rabbi Breuer and Prof. Yeivin articulated and formed different rules. Prof. Dotan, for example,is known for his rule about the nasog ahor: sheva after nasog ahor is sheva nach נח. So, the sheva is na or nach? Does the word have a *true* mile'el stress?

Another important aspect of the nasog ahor is that it is never shifted to a closed syllable. We said "never"? Well, not if we are talking about perfect verb forms with vav consecutive. Is this going to affect any marking e.g. sheva na? Well, the answer is very simple: there's no shortcut besides examining the Bible several times.
Here is one more example which shows that one time there's nasog ahor, and another time there isn't. Is that going to affect the sheva, or the rule that sheva is na under the first of a pair of identical letters?

We know that in the Tiberian tradition a sheva after a long vowel was pronounced as sheva nach. Just a quick glance at the Tevir will prove that.
The rules of the Tevir (or the servants of the tevir) tell us that darga could be its servant only if there are at least two vowels/syllables or one vowel/syllable and sheva na between the servant and the tevir. That is why this sheva is regarded as na:


and this sheva is nach:

So, every sheva after a long vowel which is accented should be na, right? Well, we said before that the ta'amim has a great power.
The next example shows the letter dalet with sheva, and the vowel before it is long & accented, but this sheva is nach! Find any printed book, or bring any established opinion that will claim otherwise. I'm all ears.

Moreover, the rules (or part of them) of the heavy regular ga'ya shows similarity (sheva after long vowel). Heavy regular ga'ya is marked in a closed syllable which is separated from the stressed syllable by another syllable which is marked by sheva na.
So, this is sheva na:


and this sheva is nach:

In other words, one can not ignore the ta'amim. They are going hand in hand with the nikkud. There is always a chain reaction -- one thing that is related to the other, and one thing that is affecting the other in certain circumstances. One should open his eyes and see that there are many changes to the nikkud (whether it is, or isn't related to the goal of marking sheva na, kamats katan etc. etc.) and should understand them. Copying marks from a siddur or chummash without understanding the basic, without exploring the text , is not going to help. Neither is Wikipedia, Wikishimiki .

Is it possible to find different points of view? Of course. So, the first task has nothing to do with VOLT, FontLab, FOG, OpenType etc. etc.
The first task is the understanding of the rules of the grammar, understanding the Bible, and understanding that there are different points of view that can't be bridged!

Part B: To Be Continued

gohebrew's picture

David,

Thank you for your continuing expose on this topic of how Hebrew grammar is defined by the placement of the nikud in a word.

I look forward to part two.

I have chose R' Zalman Henna's book simply because it addresses the function of nikud, as it name implies: ספר יסוד הניקוד "The Foundation of the Hebrew Vowels (nikud)".

I have acquired many books, mostly from non-Jewish or secular grammarians. With all due respect to their great scholarship attributed כבודם של כבודם מונחו, the books are very poorly structured and written.

Each assumes that the reader has certain knowledge, yet that knowledge is not defined in the book.

Examples and explanatory posts from you and Eli are very helpful, but a succinct comprehensive presentation has not yet been forthcoming.

You described it accurately earlier, by comparing the relationship between a series of nikud and dagesh as a "chain-reaction".

Again, I seek to cull from your examples and those of Eli, a set of definitions of the chain-reactions; ie. this causes this, then this causes this, and so on.

This is why I think this is possible in MS Volt. Once the Hebrew text is marked up completely based upon the set of definitions of the chain-reactions, then the shvas can be marked correctly as na or nach (with a standard appearance), the kamatzes as katan or gadol (with a standard appearance), and afterwards the other markings are returned to their original appearance.

But I agree with you. This is the structure of the algorithm, but importance of the relations between the nikuds and dageshs is primary.

gohebrew's picture

David,

Who addresses this topic clearly and succinctly? I was disappointed with Davidson. Doesn't anyone write a clear overview?

Typograph's picture

David, Thank you for your long post but maybe you should clearify.
If he does't know what is TAAM MAADMID, MOLICH, MATHIM Ect' you are talking chinies.
The first thing to do, is to break up the TEAMMIM to their 4 groups and what they are.

Lets say the PASUK שאל אביך ויגדך
under the Gimel We hav a Tsere that normaly the following sheva shoult be NA becuase the Tsere is A Tenua Gedola.
But in this case we Have a TAAM MAAMID Over the gimel,therfore this sheva is nach.

But this you did not explain.

In other word, if you don't break it down to him from the basics, all he will hear is chienies...

gohebrew's picture

When I was a child, I learned to eventually derive an unknown meaning of a word from its context in a sentence and/or in the paragraph.

Later, after the meaning of that word is derived or discovered, meaning by implication, could be further derived, as our sages obm promise: הלומד דבר מתוך דבר - one can derive further information by extrapolation.

So, David and Eli, when you cite examples with words that sound like Chinese or Greek, they do not fall upon my deaf ears. Rather, eventually, everything is understood. More than you intend to convey is understood.

gohebrew's picture

Eli,

I quoted R' Zalman Henna's book earlier about Tenuas. You have referred to the term many times as well.

I don't clearly understand 'what is a tenua?'

In music, a tenua, or a movement, is a series or a set of sounds. In Hebrew grammar, is a tenua also a pair or set of sounds?

gohebrew's picture

>> the Tsere is A Tenua Gedola

According to this, each sound is a tenua movement.

Where are the different nikud sounds or vocalizations defined as tenuah katana or tenua gedola? Are their others?

quadibloc's picture

Although I'm not at all familiar with the subtleties of Hebrew vowel notation, the discussion is clear enough. The initial post pointed out that there are many controversies with respect to certain subtle points, and that the positions taken on these questions by Zalman Hanu, in particular, are considered controversial and not generally accepted. The response to that by GoHebrew was that the books by other authors had not gone right to the level of the basics, of the foundations of Hebrew grammar, in the way that those of Zalman Hanu had done.

So instead of resolving this by David Hamuel spending time explaining everything in terms of the basics of Hebrew grammar, one would think what's needed here is a pointer to a good book. Are there more orthodox works on Hebrew grammar that attempt to go right to the basics, right to the foundations, of why Hebrew works the way it does?

I can see why someone with a new theory might have to go further down than others in order to justify his new ideas; that doesn't make them true, of course, since languages are natural systems that we take as we find them - grammar is not like physics or mathematics, where reductionism all the way down is a strongly effective approach.

gohebrew's picture

John S.,

You have surmised well the issue at hand.

There is another factor I seek to add to your summary.

I intend to only derive the basic and foundations of nikud vocalization of Hebrew grammar from R' Zalman Henna's book, and to differentiate it from any controversial theories or statements.

I stand corrected by Bill to regard non-Orthodox explanations as acceptable, as our sages obm regarded wisdom from any source as valid (only 'truth' ie. belief is unacceptable from invalid sources - hence, we don't find Martin Buber's I-Thou philosophy or Buddhist thought finding a home in Orthodox Judaism, but embraced advances in science, mathematics, and phsics etc).

It seems that the good book, or a primer to the function of nikud vocalization, needs to be written. My list gets longer. :)

gohebrew's picture

An aside:

The naming convention and spelling of the name of R' Zalman Henna (Rabbi Shlomo Zalman b"r Yehuda Leib Sh"n Katz from Henna):

The name 'Henna' is spelled 'הענא'. This is a Yiddish spelling and pronunciation. The ayin ע is like a ֶ 'EH' sound. Hence, it is pronounced 'Henna', and not 'Hanu' or 'Hanau'

From his haskamot letters of endorsement, Henna is the name of the town from whence R' Zalman either came or originated. It was common then to identify a person not by referring to his or her surname. Rather, reference was made to the place from whence they came.

For example, R' Moshe Neviller was called by this name, because R' Moshe came from the village of Neville.

David, why do you prefer to call "R' Zalman Henna" as "Zalman Hanu"? I've heard also "Zalman Hanau". Is Hanu or Hanau the gentile pronunciation of th Yiddish "Henna"?

gohebrew's picture

At www.hebrewbooks.org, I found this book, by R' Zalman Hena, listing the tenua gedola and tenua ketana. The book is called: "Sefer Zohar HaTeiva" - alluding to the source of light in Noah's Ark.

Here is R' Zalman Hena's list:

He lists as a tenua gedola the following 5 nikkud:

a) kamatz gadol (what is a kamatz katan?)
b) chirik gadol (what is a chirik katan?)
c) tzeiray (he says a segol is an offshoot תולדתו of a tzeiray)
d) shuruk gadol (a shuruk katan is known today as a kubutz)
e) cholam

He lists as a tenua katana the following 5 nikkud:

a) patach
b) chirik katan
c) segol
d) shuruk katan(, known today as a kubutz)
e) kamatz chataf (is this a kamatz katan?)

gohebrew's picture

A tenua is only defined by nikud, and not by the Hebrew letters.

Perhaps, there are only particular aspects of the nikud which cause different reactions, which we are calling "chain-reactions", and not due to certain Hebrew letters, as Eli showed by emamples.

If we pin-point those particular aspects of the nikud, then Eli might be convinced that it is necessarily those Hebrew letters.

Do those same Hebrew letters react in the same way under similar conditions? If not, then this seems to indicate that they themselves cause the said reactions.

In my mind, I hear Prof. Dotan's mantra repeating itself: "It's all in the nikud, it's all in the nikud, t's all in the nikud ..."

gohebrew's picture

Eli, are there any words spelled the same, with the same same nikud or dagesh, but differ regarding the shvah-na or kamatz katan?

ie. the word is used differently, one as a verb, and one as a noun?

Typograph's picture

GoHebrew, R' Zalman Hena's way of grouping the tnuot gedolot and ketanot, is not exactly the way you want to do it in volt because this is not todays standart.

gohebrew's picture

Eli,

What is today's standard for grouping the tnuot gedolot and ketanot?

What is the practical difference between these two types of groupings?

Typograph's picture

here

Typograph's picture

>> Eli, are there any words spelled the same, with the same same nikud or dagesh, but differ regarding the shvah-na or kamatz katan?

ie. the word is used differently, one as a verb, and one as a noun?

----- Meny

Example: Lamed qamats + mem sheva + dalet qamats + he = can be either LOMDA or LAMDA
Another: Shin Qamats + Mem Sheva + Resh Qamats + He = SHOMRA or SHAMRA

Typograph's picture

and another
TEVEL = Tav Bet Lamed
Mileil = Tevel Asur min Ha'tora
Milera = World

gohebrew's picture

Eli,

Your first set of two examples, lomda/lamda, and shomra/shamra, differ in either having a shvah-na or not, by meaning, which can not be easily deciphered by context.

However, both your examples have the very same nikud sequence: kamatz, shevah, kamatz, end with no nikud.

I have two questions then.

1) Do we have ever two identically spelled words, with identical nikud, but not: kamatz, shevah, kamatz, end with no nikud.

2) Are any of these nikud: first kamatz, shevah, last kamatz, distinguished here from ordinary, such as one kamatz being gadol, and one kamatz being katan; the exception of course being the shvah, which is nach is one word, and na is the other?

gohebrew's picture

Btw, is the verb with the shvah-nach, or shvah-na?

david h's picture

> But this you did not explain.

Read it again.Carefully.
And each sample/word/verse is chosen carefully! There is always a *catch*

> TEVEL = Tav Bet Lamed
> Mileil = Tevel Asur min Ha'tora
> Milera = World

What is 'Tevel Asur min Ha'tora'? -- verse,book?

gohebrew's picture

'Tevel Asur min Ha'tora' is from the Talmud. I believe it's a mishnaic teaching.

Both words are spelled the same, with the same nikud. But there is no shva etc. I believe though their root letters differ.

david h's picture

> 'Tevel Asur min Ha'tora' is from the Talmud. I believe it's a mishnaic teaching.

I'm talking about the Bible...

Typograph's picture

One is "Tevel Ve'yoshvei Ba'
The othe Tevel Like Chadash (new) Asur min Ha'Torah

Typograph's picture

I Am just pointing out that there meny words with the same nikud or leters with different meanings

Typograph's picture

GoHebrew:
Here is a good link to an old book called MASLUL
maybe it will help you understand some stuff

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=7124&st=&pgnum=1&hilite=

gohebrew's picture

If 'Tevel Asur min Ha'tora' has a Biblical source, it is merely an 'asmachta' - a verse which alludes to this prohibition.

A prohibition that has the severity of a Biblical command often does not have an actual verse associated with it. Rather, when our sages obm debated the matter's status, ie. a Biblical injunction, or a less severe Rabbinical ordinance, one sage may have suggested that the matter can be linked to a particular verse. This linkage is called an "asmachta".

"Asmachta" is Aramaic, but comes from the Hebrew word, 'somach', which means 'rests upon'. This is said in our daily prayers: "[G-d is our] somach noflim". So, too, this rule about tevel rests upon this verse.

But like every asmachta, the purpose of the verse is not in order to teach this matter, but merely to allude to it, and remind us of its Biblical status.

david h's picture

> Tevel Like Chadash (new) Asur min Ha'Torah

Are you talking about חדש אסור מן התורה? the whole prohibition to eat grain... Omer...
which is based on Leviticus 23:14 --
ולחם וקלי וכרמל לא תאכלו עד עצם היום הזה, עד הביאכם את קרבן אלהיכם, חקת עולם לדרתיכם בכל משבתיכם

And Seder Zeraim, Berakot 7:1? -- then tevel is with tet, not tav

gohebrew's picture

A tenuah is a single letter with a nikkud. But it is the kind of nikud which makes the tenuah either a tenuah chazakah or a tenuah kalah.

According to R' Zalman Henna,
1) a kamatz gedol
2) a chirik gedol
3) a tzeirey (there is no tzeirey gedol or katan)
4) a shuruk gedol
5) a cholam (there is no cholam gedol or katan)
is defined as a tenuah chazakah.

And:
1) a patach (there is no patach gedol or katan)
2) a chirik katan
3) a segol (there is no segol gedol or katan)
4) a shuruk katan
5) a kamatz chataf (is this a kamatz katan?)
is defined as a tenuah ketanah.

Note:
Is a kamatz chataf a kamatz katan? Prof. Dotan asked regarding the symbol for a kamatz katan, "Is this a kamatz chataf?"

Eli brought a different delineation:
1) a kamatz gedol
2) a tzeirey - malay and chaser (with or without a yud following it)
3) a chirik (only a malay --with a yud following it-- is gedol)
4) a kubutz (in the middle of a word -- note: Chabad calls this a shuruk anywhere in the word)
5) a cholam (there is no gedol or katan)
is defined as a tenuah chazakah.
1) a kamatz katan
2) a segol
3) a chirik chaser (without a yud following it)
4) patach
5) shuruk (note: Chabad calls this a shuruk anywhere in the word)
is defined as a tenuah katanah.

First, who Eli is your list attributed to?

Why is there a difference?

There are only one definition different between them:
R' Zalman Henna:
1) a tzeiey chaser (without a yud following it) is tenuah chazakah

Is this why R' Zalman Henna assigns more shvahs to be a shvah-na?

What is the relationship between a tenuah chazakah, a tenuah katanah, a shvah-na, and shvah-nach?

What is the relationship between a tenuah chazakah, a tenuah katanah, a kamatz chazak, and kamatz katan?

What is the relationship between a tenuah chazakah, a tenuah katanah, a dagesh chazak, and dagesh kal?

Earlier, Eli you cited situations where a kamatz gadol/katan or dagesh chazak/kal caused a shvah to be na or nach? Can this be determined by the kind of tenuah which precedes it, or does it define the exceptions to the rule?

(David, I getting to your part 1, whhh!)

david h's picture

Israel,

You are chasing your own tail.

> I have acquired many books...

such as?

gohebrew's picture

David,

>> You are chasing your own tail.

Please explain.

Isn't there any book that explains there terms?

>> such as?

Davidson. a great scholar - lousy writer.
Non-Jewish scholars from over 100 years ago. In Arabic, Israelis say: "חרה". :)
A few from R' Zalman Henna (at www.hebrewbooks.com, you search and download pdfs for free, coutesy of the huge research library of Chabad).
I got Maslul there. He has others.

Do I look at the fonts or read the books.

gohebrew's picture

read 'these', not 'there'

note:
Maslul is not from R' Zalman Henna.
R' Zalman Henna's books are logically organized and well written. This is a sign that he mastered the subject.

david h's picture

> Please explain.

Israel,

Are you moving forward or in circles?

For example, we are saying that (grammatically) there are 10 different kinds of ga'yot (Bible); you're saying 'I want to mark it' (like the sheva na etc etc -- your Biblical font).
Why do you want to mark it? which one?
See the sample -- 2 ga'yot (meteg) + 3 shevas:

and the same thing with other issues...

gohebrew's picture

David, Eli,

Among the many things which I don't understand, these are things which I don't understand here.

1. The term 'gayot', which from the context, seem to refer to the different forms of meteg (ie. how they are used.

Clarification:

Marking up Hebrew text with additional symbols/glyphs for additional forms of nikkud and dagesh.

Why?

By doing so, distinctions between the shvah-na and shvah-nach, the kamatz katan and the kamatz gadol, can be made accurately in Volt, even though these distinctions are not present as Unicode values in the text.

For example, if a string of ordinary vocalized text contains:
a) hirik and meteg, and the next vowel is a shva, then the Volt algorithm can determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach;
b) patach, meteg, peh mudgash, and the next vowel is a shva, then the Volt algorithm can determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach.

But if this string of ordinary vocalized text has no additional mark-ups, then no Volt algorithm can determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach, based upon context alone.

So, the mark-ups enable the string of ordinary vocalized text to contain grammatical rules via the mark-ups, in the form of additional symbols/glyphs (for additional forms of nikkud and dagesh). As a result, the Volt algorithm can then determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach, based upon the new context alone.

Is this clear?

gohebrew's picture

Question:

If a tenuah gadolah or a tenuah katanah is merely defined by different nikkud, why not just attribute a nikud which causes a tenuah gadolah, a 'nikud chazak', or a nikud which causes a tenuah katanah, a 'nikud kal'?

Does a tenuah have an additional quality unique and unto itself?

R' Zalman Henna, in his book, "Yesod HaNikud - Foundation of the Nikud", places "Hebrew Letters - Grammar of the Hebrew Letters" before "Tenuahs - Grammar of the Tenuahs". Are the Hebrew Letters of greater significances that the Tenuahs?

Typograph's picture

Every thing is clear,
only one problem, volt cannot deternine how to insert Metagim automaticly.

>a) hirik and meteg, and the next vowel is a shva, then the Volt algorithm can determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach;

A Hiriq with a meteg and without a meteg are both sheva nach
(Except some cases like רצפת in Megilat ester that the sheva is Na)

> b) patach, meteg, peh mudgash, and the next vowel is a shva, then the Volt algorithm can determine whether its a shvah-na or shvah-nach.

Also a Patah with a meteg and with out are Sheva Nach

Teamim determine more than meteg
Like a taam mamaid ontop of a tenua gedola, makes the following sheva to nach

Typograph's picture

> R' Zalman Henna, in his book, "Yesod HaNikud - Foundation of the Nikud", places "Hebrew Letters - Grammar of the Hebrew Letters" before "Tenuahs - Grammar of the Tenuahs". Are the Hebrew Letters of greater significances that the Tenuahs?

The nature of the sounds of whole words make tenuot not letters.

gohebrew's picture

So, a tenuah is a sound: a combination of a letter/consonant and a nikud/vowel.

The combination is chazak or kal, depending upon the nikud.

1. Does a tenuah being chazak or kal then determine if the following shvah or kamatz is na or nach, katan or gadol?

2. Does a tenuah being chazak or kal then determine if the following dagesh is chazak or kal?

gohebrew's picture

>> The nature of the sounds of whole words make tenuot not letters.

Words!

So, why is R' Zalman Henna or you defining particular nikud as tenuah chazakah or tenuah kalah, if a tenuah's status as either a tenuah chazakah or tenuah kalah from an entire word, which is made up of multiple letters and nikud combinations?

If a word has only one nikud that is chazak, does the entire word become a tenuah chazakah? Do we need more than one nikud that is chazak?

gohebrew's picture

R' Zalman Henna quotes Ibn Ezra, Maimonides etc., which seems to imply that his words of Hebrew grammar are reflected in mainstream Torah literature as well. He also quotes the Radak and R' Eliyahu Bachur to imply that his thoughts are consistent with their teachings.

Much kabbalistic literature associates the meaning of our prayers to the kind of nikud used in those words of prayers, and are called, "kavanot"; this is recorded at length in the original Siddur of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liady (not Tehillat Hashem).

R' Zalman Henna seems to imply in Shar HaTenuah (ch. 2) that the very form of the Hebrew letters are related to the sounds they produce.

Hence, we see again here the Divine connection between the Hebrew letters and their significance and meaning.

gohebrew's picture

>> only one problem, volt cannot deternine how to insert Metagim automatically.

Marking and/or inserting need metags is my last priority.

First, I haven't seen even a word explain the kinds and conditions of the meteg, although your statements are raising red flags.

Jewish Books's picture

Jewish Books http://www.mysefer.com has also got a great collection. I really liked your post and will be a regular visitor.

gohebrew's picture

OK, back on track, after only a few years.

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