Position of Upper Taamei Mikrah

gohebrew's picture

I am creating a set of OpenType fonts for professionally typesetting Biblical Hebrew.

Unlike previous generations of computer-based typeface software, placement of upper taamei mikrah (or taamei mikrah positioned above the Hebrew aleph-beis characters) is no longer determined by the user of the left-to-right typesetting program. Even is cold-type, hot-type, or even computer-based film-type, placement was determined by the operator annd/or the typesetting program. The actual typeface was passive, and did not determine the exact positioning of the various diacritic markings, such as the nikkud, the taamim (trop), the meteg, or the shva-nah, etc.

However, in the newest generation of Biblical Hebrew typesetting, the operator/typesetter and/or the typesetting program does not determine the placement of the diacritic markings. The actual well-crafted OpenType Biblical Hebrew font determines the placement of the diacritic markings.

Since that is the case, I seek to know if there is a rule or wisdom governing the correct positioning of the placement of upper taamei mikrah.

I have noticed in pre-computer age Biblical Hebrew books of the Hebrew Bible, the placement of upper taamei mikrah were often determined by where they would fit best. In most post-computer age Biblical Hebrew books of the Hebrew Bible, many recent books have made the placement of upper taamei mikrah on the far left hand side of Hebrew aleph-beis characters, in order to allow certain symbols to be placed above the Hebrew aleph-beis characters in the center.

It seems then that there are no hard rules or wisdom governing the correct positioning of the placement of upper taamei mikrah. Or, the earlier typesetters or typeface creators/programmers simply were unaware of any hard rules or wisdom governing the correct positioning of the placement of upper taamei mikrah.

Does anybody know if there are rules or wisdom governing the correct positioning of the placement of upper taamei mikrah? Pease share them with me, or inform me of the contacts with the appropriate scholars who do know.

Similar, I am interested in the various rules for shva-nah, shva-nach, komatz katan, komatz gadol, hataf komatz katan, hataf komatz gadol, and any other grammaticalrules governing Hebrew.

david h's picture

> Can you find an example, and then look it up in Shay LeMorah, and see whether...

And how do you like your coffee — with sugar and cream? Anything else? cake? :^)

gohebrew's picture

David,

No sugar. Cholov Yisroel non-fat milk. How about chocolate chip cookies, sugar-free please? I must watch my weight.

Boy, not just a great type designer, but a mensch too!

But can he make coffee?

david h's picture

> Does this occur on reverse? A shvah-nahs to become transformed into shvah-nach?

Of course. For example, a shuruq could change that ( the shuruq is a long vowel!!!, but then the shuruq is not a long vowel, but a short vowel!!!)

gohebrew's picture

Let's get back to: 1) the three graphic symbols for a shvah-nah (hei, not chet), 2) the komatz katan, with an extra long (downwards) center vertical stroke, or the 3) the hataf-komatz katan, with an extra long (downwards) center vertical stroke (sse Shay LeMorah publications, as I only found Rabbi Winefield indicating the rarely used hataf-komatz katan (I think the Koren Bible by Israeli type designer Mr. Eliyahu Koren a"h)).

You said these three symbols can not be handled in a "smart" OpenType Biblical Hebrew font, similar to the furtive patach in John Hudson's SBL-Hebrew, because there are simply too many occurances of shvah-nah to do this.

I disagree. Why?

Like the rule of furtive patach, the rule of its replacement can be simply programmed, so too these three grammatical-based graphic substitutions would be replacement rule-based, and not have a gigantic exception table, as you assume.

Can an exception rule for shvah-nah be defined, like the furtive patach?

You think not. John thinks not. I think yes. We "frummies" like to be different.

About hataf-kometz katan, an exception table for every reference in Tanach could be constructed, but I think an exception rule could be defined, and even for the komatz katan.

The really great advantage of this besides the automatic feature which requires no input from the user, but all Unicode Biblical text would appear with the shvah-nah etc. graphic symbols, even if they don't exist as Unicode data in the text files.

Because of this great advantage, it is clearly worth the effort. As the Mishnah promises out of the ordinary success, "yagata, matzata, taamin", one who exerts much effort discovers "where there is a will, there IS a way".

david h's picture

> Let’s get back to:

Why? :) Anything new?

> 1) the three graphic symbols for a shvah-nah (hei, not chet)

Ayin not hei; nun + he is not a nice word (slang).

> Shay LeMorah publications, as I only found Rabbi Winefield

Do you have any samples? would you mind to post a sample (or two) — something from Psalms, Judges, Jeremiah.

> similar to the furtive patach
> Like the rule of furtive patach, the rule of its replacement can be simply programmed
> Can an exception rule for shvah-nah be defined, like the furtive patach?

So the furtive patach is an automatic feature "which requires no input from the user"?
If yes (no input from the user) would you mind to show us how? you have here 6 words; would you mind to add the furtive patach?

gohebrew's picture

David,

>> > 1) the three graphic symbols for a shvah-nah (hei, not chet)

> Ayin not hei; nun + he is not a nice word (slang).

Ayin not hei. Silly was I; I translated the nah sound to conclude with a hei, without thinking about the Hebrew spelling.

Nah, of course, ends with an ayin, for the word nah means 'transentory' or 'moving' or 'traveling'.

> So the furtive patach is an automatic feature “which requires no input from the user”?

Yes, but the data must be Unicode, and only 5 OpenType Hebrew fonts feature them. The rule was programmed through a group effort.

I can post three samples, as there are three different graphic symbols, from three different publishers respectively.

> If yes (no input from the user) would you mind to show us how?

I can post three examples, with a hei, chet, and ayin.

> you have here 6 words; would you mind to add the furtive patach?

These six words do not feature the need for a furtive patach.

As I understand it, a furtive patach can only appear under a
hei, chet, and ayin, when one of them appears at the end of a word, if the previous letter and nikud was a certain kind. I am unsure what that is.

The Koren Bible from the great Israeli type designer and grammaratarian Mr. Eliyahu Koren a"h featured the furtive patach in his Bible. So did JPS. Also, Christian publishers use it as well. Others do not, and not in the early 1800's as well. I was told that the furtive patach is discussed in books of the Rishonim, the very early post-Talmudic Jewish sages.

As I said, I can post three examples, with a hei, chet, and ayin.

david h's picture

> I can post three samples, as there are three different graphic symbols, from three different publishers respectively.

I'm talking about SBL Hebrew and furtive patach; would you mind to show us with these six words?

BTW, If you're not sure how do you know that "These six words do not feature the need for a furtive patach"?

gohebrew's picture

> I’m talking about SBL Hebrew and furtive patach; would you mind to show us with these six words?

It seems you believe that there is a rule for furtive patach to position the patach under the character on the right EVEN for situations where the patach is in the miuddle of the word.

The way I understand, the furtive patach is ONLY when the patach occurs on te last letter of the word.

Maybe, I'm wrong. Maybe, you refer to a diffewrent rule. Let's flip... :)

> BTW, If you’re not sure how do you know that “These six words do not feature the need for a furtive patach”?

I don't know for sure, of course.

I'll check though, as I have all the Unicode data for the Tanach.

gohebrew's picture

According to the way I understand it, a furtive patach is alternative form of the regular patach, but only moved over towards the extreme right.

Usually, a patach is a nikkud vowel symbol which is pronounced AFTER the consonant, i.e. the Hebrew letter positioned above the nikkud vowel symbol.

However, in the case of the furtive patach, this nikkud vowel symbol which is pronounced BEFORE the consonant, i.e. the Hebrew letter positioned above the nikkud vowel symbol.

Here is an example:

FrankReuhl GH (OpenType)

gohebrew's picture

Normally, the patach is a nikkud symbol, representing a "ah" sound following after a consonant, as in this example:

Here, there are three letters (constanants) - nuhn, chet, and tav - and two vowels - two patachs. After each of the first two letters are the two vovels. It is pronounced: nah-chat. As usually, the vowel is pronounced after the letter.

n+ah and ch+a+t

However, in the case of the furtive patach, the vowel is pronounced BEFORE the leter.

ah-ch

gohebrew's picture

How does a carefully crafted OpenType Biblical font, like FrankReuhl GH (OT) from GoHebrew treat a patach?

Normally, the user would key in or import the desired data. Then, the kerning for the patach would need to adjusted, so that the patach would appear on the extreme right side.

Using FrankReuhl GH (OT), the process is automatic. The user does not need to kern the patach to the right, nor he or she does not even have to know when to apply the rule of furtive patach or not.

Here is an example of a word without a furtive patach (right), and one with it (left).

david h's picture

Circles & circles :)

You're saying that you want an automatic feature like the furtive patach — SBL Hebrew: "Whether the typesetter or user knows this Hebrew grammar rule of not, the furtive patach automatically appears of the condition arises."

I don't understand what's the big deal with my sample — these six words; Just add the furtive patach since "whether the typesetter or user knows this Hebrew grammar rule of not, the furtive patach automatically appears of the condition arises"; "which requires no input from the user". To say it again?

> Using FrankReuhl GH (OT), the process is automatic. The user does not need to kern the patach to the right, nor he or she does not even have to know when to apply the rule of furtive patach or not.

Great. Use these 6 words. And if you don't mind I have more words.

> The Koren Bible from the great Israeli type designer and grammaratarian Mr. Eliyahu Koren a”h featured the furtive patach in his Bible.

Eli Koren was a type designer. A graphic designer. A typographer. From where the "grammaratarian" came from?
He worked with Abraham Haberman, Daniel Goldschmidt & Meir Medan.
Medan , for example, was the grammar expert, linguist expert (BTW, his son is a well known figure: Rabbi Yaakov Medan).

I know what is furtive patach. I'm glad to see that you're trying, but I hope that you're going to write a grammar book, or teach it.

gohebrew's picture

A shvah-nauh is a special form of the nikkud vovel shvah.

A shvah is simply two dots, one on top of another, positioned under the letter, like most nikkud vowels. The shvah symbol is for a full stop and only a slight or short pronunciation of the sound associated with the constanant poitioned above it.

A shvah-nauh has the very same graphic form as the shvah. However, another graphic symbol appears, positioned above the Hebrew letter constanant in the center.

Here is a sample of two kinds of geraphic symbols to indicate a shah-nauh. There are two kinds of graphic symbols, because two major publishers identify it differently.

Some publishers depict a shvah-nauygh using a straight horizontal line, based upon the identical graphic of one of the upper taamei mikra.

This approach has two short-comings:
1) The reader can confuse the shvah-nauh with one of the taamei mikra;
2) This graphic symbol looks strange positioned above the narrow width chareacters.

The second approach avoids these problems by using the graphic symbol of a small zero-width or floating asterisk.

A third graphic symbol is from Shai Lemorah publishers, which places a circle around the floating asterisk, so it should not be confused with an ordinary asterisk, or to draw stronger attention to itself.

gohebrew's picture

David,

> I don’t understand what’s the big deal with my sample — these six words; Just add the furtive patach since “whether the typesetter or user knows this Hebrew grammar rule of not, the furtive patach automatically appears of the condition arises”; “which requires no input from the user”. To say it again?

The automatic furtive patach in SBL-Hebrew, FrankReuhl GH (OT), FrankReuhl-Bold GH (OT), Henri (named for the great Israeli type designer Mr. Henri Friedlander a"h of the Hadasa Printing Scool, creator of the Hadasa typeface - Henri is an approved rendition of Hadasa)) GH (OT), Henri-Bold GH (OT) etc. only works correctly when a rule for the furtive patach apples. If the rule oes not apply, this, David, is why it can not appears in the words that you presented.

gohebrew's picture

> Great. Use these 6 words. And if you don’t mind I have more words

But these don't require a furtive patach.

david h's picture

> But these don’t require a furtive patach.

What do you care? if this is an automatic feature, "nor he or she does not even have to know when to apply the rule of furtive patach or not"; let the font to do it, the font knows, right?

Your sample -- nishmati -- is from where? which book, verse?

gohebrew's picture

David,

> Eli Koren was a type designer. A graphic designer. A typographer. From where the “grammaratarian” came from?
He worked with Abraham Haberman, Daniel Goldschmidt & Meir Medan.
Medan , for example, was the grammar expert, linguist expert (BTW, his son is a well known figure: Rabbi Yaakov Medan).

I thought like you too.

Koreen Publishing was purchased by another firm. In addition to creating a special typeface only for their Bible (based upon drawings of Ashkenazic sources), contravercial rules for Hebrew grammar were introduced as well. This was attributed to Mr. Koren. You say differently. I think you're right, and they're mistaken, confusing the name of the company with the details of contraversy maker.

david h's picture

> contravercial rules for Hebrew grammar were introduced as well. This was attributed to Mr. Koren. You say differently...

I'm sorry but I didn't say that. And I didn't say what Eli Koren knew or didn't. And I don't know about "contravercial rules...."

What about my last post?

gohebrew's picture

David,

I see you and I define our terms differently.

To you, an "automatic furtive furtive patach" means that the user can automatically hit a button called "automatic" and the the ptach (which usually be placed in the centers on the level of most other nikkud, will move over to the extreme right.

To me, and as OpenType treats it, automatic means the default, whenever the situation and context are such that the rules of a furtive patach apply.

So, the default when the rules don't apply is an ordinaery patach, and the default when the rules do apply is a furtive patach to appear instead of the ordinary.

This is called "automatic subsitution".

What you desire is to override the default.

Here are some examples of what you want:

gohebrew's picture

David,

What you should understand, though, is that the examples in the way you desire are not correct. Its like having the word, "cat" and pronouncing it wrong, like "act".

gohebrew's picture

Returning to the original subject, I seek to create a set of OpenType Hebrew fonts using the substitution and replacement features in a creative way.

Once the grammatical rule for shvah-nauh, komatz katan, and hataf-komatz katan can be simply defined, so the context of when either one occurs is defined, then the substitution/replacement will occur, with a one-for-one, or two-for-one glyph replacement (as in the case of shvah-nauh.

Does anyone know the contextual rules for shvah-nauh, komatz katan, and hataf-komatz kata, i.e. when they happen, and in what context?

david h's picture

> What you should understand, though, is that the examples in the way you desire are not correct.

huh? what is my way? I just asked you to add it.
So, your sample are fine? with the right furtive patach even "these don’t require a furtive patach", as you think/said before?

david h's picture

> To you, an “automatic furtive furtive patach” means that the user can automatically

That is why the right term is diacritic positioning, and not an automatic feature!!! ("nor he or she does not even have to know when to apply the rule of furtive patach or not." !?!?)

But that was a nice experience.

First, was the issue of the shava na. Now this is the furtive patach.

> These six words do not feature the need for a furtive patach.

Here's the 4th word — Koren Bible (1st,2nd,3rd -- without; the rest with furtive patach):

As Bill said : Avot also says that the wise person when he doesn’t know says, “I don’t know.”

Good luck.

gohebrew's picture

David,

> And I don’t know about “contravercial rules....”

In Israel, two Jewish Tanach standards are popular, besides the kinds of editions traditionally used in the US.

In Israel, the Mizrachi or Modern Orthodox, and very modern Israelis, prefer the Koren edition, which besides following certain modern grammar rules, caters too to Christian readers because of certain linguistic issues that they prefwer, and to modern Israelis as well because either prayer added or modifyed to acknowledge the State of Israel or the well-being of the soldiers of the IDF (in the siddur).

Many heredi (ultra-0rthodox) Israelis prefer rather the more traditional Breuer's edition, which do not have these non-traditional features.

Koren, though he himself was strictly Orthodox, his views on Hebrew grammar were a sythasis of his own logic, modern rules, and Jewish tradition. For this reason, he was strongly rejected by tradition enthusiasts.

There is a cute story about him that occurred on Friday afternoon. As the Sabbath ame closer, Koren would gather up the printed work sheets to proof-read from the other Jewish workers. He wanted that they would not mark their corrections on the printed work sheets at home on the Sabbath, when writing was prohibited for Jews. He knew the workers were not Sabbath observant, and want his bible not to have any remote association with the violation of the Sabbath.

gohebrew's picture

David,

> Here’s the 4th word...

So you mean, under the LAST letter, which is blank in your example, let a furtive patach appear in that empty space.

That's what you mean.

Avot says: "David, try to be clearer." :)

gohebrew's picture

David,

> What about my last post?

Is everything clear now?

gohebrew's picture

It seems that your understanding of how a furtive patach is formed in certain OpenType Biblical Hebrew fonts, such as SBL-Hebrew, FrankReuhl GH, and others, is different that my understanding.

According to my understanding, a similar approach can be made for shvah-nauh, komatz katan, and hataf-komatz katan.

If it can, knowledge of these rules will increase.

My conclusion is that although you are clearly a talented type designer, a very knowledgeable reseacher, but you do not know advanced OpenType for Biblical Hebrew well, or even less than well.

This reminds me of an event which occurred about 15 years ago when I received an instruction from the late seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe to include the notations and novellae Torah of his predecessors and his own on the very front pages of a new proposed edition of the Talmud I proposed to create.

The chief librarian of the central Lubavitch library, one of the greatest libraries of Judaica in the world, refused to believe any such thing existed, and was dreamed up by the Rebbe as a result of his stoke.

When I persisted to uncover these materials, he ridiculed me. I ridiculed him back, for lacking in belief that such a thing existed without his brilliant knowledge.

One day, he called me up at my office and just got to the point, without any introduction or niceties. "I believe nothing exists, and call you an ignoramus. You believe something exists, and call me an deven bigger fool. Well, I hope you're right!"

gohebrew's picture

Here are two examples of a situation use of the furtive patach. In the above example, in the Hebrew word for Joshua, highlighted in yellow, the OpenType feature of automatic contextual diacritic placement of the furtive patach is turned on. In the below example, in the Hebrew word for Joshua, highlighted in yellow, the OpenType feature of automatic contextual diacritic placement of the furtive patach is turned off.

david h's picture

> My conclusion is that... you do not know advanced OpenType for Biblical Hebrew well, or even less than well.

Do you know the story (Talmud, Shabbat 31a) about Hillel, Shammai, the guy and the whole "teach me the entire Torah while I am standing on one leg" ?

Do you know what Hillel told that guy, or why he could not do that: You need to treat others the way you want to be treated.

My conclusion is that: if you don't want to be here by yourself, posting to yourself — treat others the way you want to be treated. And think before posting!!!

à propos OpenType. Before lecturing about advanced OpenType for Biblical Hebrew, At least fix the most basic & simple OT feature: the marks collide with each other!!!

> In Israel, two Jewish Tanach standards are popular, besides the kinds of editions traditionally used in the US

No need to tell me that. I was born there; lived there till I moved to the US; And I know every story & gossip!!!

gohebrew's picture

David,

I am sorry that you were offended by my comment. Keeping this in mind, I will try to think before I speak to you, or to anyone.

A fascinating lesson is taught among the Chassidim (it may also exist among other groups as well) that G-d placed two objects to filter speech between the tongue and the ears:
1) teeth; and
2) lips.

If we say something we might regret, we can clamp down the teeth, or if its later than that, we can close the lips to keep the words in.

Regarding your graphic example of the holam ne'e'lam belonging to the lamed, and appearing above the right side of the top of the following letter.

In this case, the following letter is the shin, which has its own dot on the top right. Two dots can not occupy the same space.

In tradition Hebrew typography, one dot was ommitted, leaving one single dot to share two tasks: one task being a holan ne'e'lam for the lamed, and the second task to indicate that the shin is in deed a shin, and not a sihn.

In some forms of modern typograpgy, using the PC-based TAG typesetting software, one dot can not be elemanated, leaving two dots almost besides each other, overlapping or colliding.

In my mind, this is unacceptable. The reader sees something unusual, unlike traditional books, and the collision is ugly. Although two separate dots is in deed more correct, I think it's prefered to follow the logic of traditional typesetters (which I chose); or perhaps, it's better to create a CPOS substitution where the collision is avoided, or a dedicated ligature.

What do you think, David?

gohebrew's picture

David,

Here are samples in FrankReuhl GH, an advanced OpenType font, with the SBL-Hebrew-like furtive patach for the chet, dotted hei, and ayin, when a patach occurs at the end of a word.

Notice, the ayin changes its shape whether there's a nikkud under it or not.

A dotted hei at the end of a word indicates an indirect pronoun in a feminine form, and not an ordinary dagesh. Is the hei under it indicative of "towards" or "to", it pertains to something else?

gohebrew's picture

Notice, the ayin changes its shape whether there’s a nikkud under it or not.

from Henri GH (named after the late Mr. Henri Friedlander a"h, Israeli designer of the popular Hadasa typeface)

gohebrew's picture

Another example from Merubaat GH, featuring both the folded ayin, and the folded lamed, based upon the Talmud typeface from the famous Romm family printing press of Vilna, Lithuania:

William Berkson's picture

A question from the kibbitzer.

From what I see on the wikipedia article niqqud, it seems like the patach is always pronounced before a final consonant ayin, chet, and hey with a dagesh in it.

If this is a rule without exceptions, what is the point of representing the patach differently in these situations? I can see the point of distinguishing the shva na and shva nach in the middle of words, as the rules are complicated, and hard to remember. But here it's simple and without exceptions, so I don't get the advantage of a different visual representation.

gohebrew's picture

Williuam,

> If this is a rule without exceptions, what is the point of representing the patach differently in these situations? I can see the point of distinguishing the shva na and shva nach in the middle of words, as the rules are complicated, and hard to remember. But here it’s simple and without exceptions, so I don’t get the advantage of a different visual representation.

I think this is a very good and valid question.

I have seen the furtive patach in the Koren Bible, Chumash learning books from Feldhein Publishers, and I am told it's in the JTS Bible and Chistian Hebrew Bibles.

It is not in traditional Jewish Bibles, ArtScroll bible books, nor those from other recent-day Jewish publishers, including the Shay LeMorah publishing house of Rabbi Weinfield, who is careful to add the shvah-nagh, komatz katan, and hataf komatz katan.

Logically, it is not necessary, so you're right. But it is helpful to us forgetful readers (we're growing in numbers).

david h's picture

> From what I see on the wikipedia article niqqud, it seems like the patach is always pronounced before a final consonant ayin, chet, and hey with a dagesh in it.

Bill,

The part about furtive patach/patach isn't so accurate. See my post (3.Aug.2008):
"The Rule:
Furtive patach is an a vowel that is added to the 3 gutturals: het, he & ayin only when it’s preceded by a vowel other than a — you don’t want to apply the rule to any word-final het, he & ayin."

That is why, Israel, no furtive patach here:

The Aleppo Codex shows clearly furtive patach. And there are couple of 'rules' that we don't follow now days. The Leningrad Codex is identical to AC. The Cairo Ms. of the Prophets #22 is identical to AC, but the furtive patach is a little bit more to the right.
(However, there is a controversy about furtive patach and pashta. But this is a different story.)

Bibles with or without furtive patach to the right (not the whole list, of course):
Adi — since day one, with furtive patach to the right (Dotan was the editor only around the 1970s)
Breuer (1989) — without; but Jerusalem Crown with furtive patach to the right.
Snaith, Ginsburg, Cassuto & Hartom — without.

So, there's no right or wrong. But, as I said, you don’t want to apply the rule to any word-final het, he & ayin!

gohebrew's picture

I've searched and I haven't found yet. My teacher would simply say that I REALLY didn't yet search adequately.

The shvah-nagh must also follow such a rule: that under these conditions, these letters and these vowels, the symbol for shah-nagh is added above the letter that has a shvah-nagh under it.

The OpenType feature would do a contextual replacement of one shvah under such conditions, for two glyphs: an ordinary shvah and a graphic symbol for a shvah-nagh.

The same with , and again for hataf-komatz katan.

David, is this so much to ask for?

david h's picture

> I’ve searched and I haven’t found yet.
> David, is this so much to ask for?

Israel,

You're looking for what? what is so much to ask for?

gohebrew's picture

Shvah-nauh
==========
The shvah-nauh must also follow such a rule: that under these conditions, these letters and these vowels, the symbol for shah-nauh is added above the letter that has a shvah-nagh under it.

The OpenType feature would do a contextual replacement of one shvah under such conditions, for two glyphs: an ordinary shvah and a graphic symbol for a shvah-nauh.

Komatz Katan
=============
The same with komatz katan.

Hataf-Komatz Katan
==================
The same with hataf-komatz katan.

david h's picture

Ahh, I see.

> the symbol for shah-nauh is added above the letter that has a shvah-nagh under it.

This is an editorial decision. This isn't part of the nikud & cantillation system.

Furtive Patach is a little bit more simple since we know that there are 3 gutturals. But shva is a little bit more complicated. There's no one rule. There's a chain reaction!!!

In order to talk or to know what is shav na (and nach) we need to know about syllabic stress -- mille'el & millera'; open & closed syllables; dagesh kal & hazak. And more, of course.

There are things more complicated. For example, shva -- na or nach -- is affected by retracted accent. In order to understand what is retracted accent you (not you in person) have to know the grammar of the cantillation!!!

See the example: the shva under the letter dalet is na (nun, ayin)!!!
but when we read or study the whole verse we are about to discover that the shva is nach!!! why? since of the the retracted accent.

William Berkson's picture

David, thanks. I haven't been following the thread in detail, so I missed your clear rule, above.

As a middle level student of Hebrew, the most frustrating part for me when it comes to pronunciation is where the accent goes, as dictionaries don't seem to indicate this. And as far as the the shva in the middle of the word, there seem to be no end of rules as to whether it is a shva na or shva nach! So it would helpful to us non-native speakers to have this indicated. My own rule of thumb is just treat everything as a schva nach if I possibly can, and if not then it's a shva na, and I pronounce it.

gohebrew's picture

I confess that much of what you say is like Greek to me, as they say.

You seem to understand what you are talking about (unlike my earlier incorrect conclusion).

In summary, you seem to suggest that the word with a shva (na or nach) is very complex. It is not only affected by the kind of letter ansd nikkud which preceded it, but that previous letter and nikkud is also affected by that which precedes them as well. Hence, it's a chain reaction...

Nevertheless, there must be a clearly defined logic (aren't I obstinant? :) ). Even if the OpenType font has two or more consecutive contextual replacements for single shva-na because of the repeated conditions, then so be it. (So, the font is a few k bigger, and a second slower to process.)

Similarly, I am certain that the same procedures can be done for komatz katan and for hataf komatz katan.

If I am successful, I believe that learning and using these rules will become more common, and widespread.

What I found very fascinating in your recent and some of your earlier posts in a description of how one taam can predict the identity of the next one. I want to learn more about this in depth.

Likewise, the Talmud describes how Rabbi Akiva taught the meaning of the taggim (the ornaments on certain letters in a Torah scroll). I want very much to understand this well, as there must be a direct relationship between particular taggim over certain letters, and particular taamin over these same letters as well.

Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with this in detail?

david h's picture

> And as far as the the shva in the middle of the word, there seem to be no end of rules as to whether it is a shva na or shva nach! So it would helpful to us non-native speakers to have this indicated

Bill,
I hear you. I think it's safe to say than even native speakers face the same problem. Once they're done with the final exam...that's it (much like trigonometry — now this is Chainise to me). When you're around the subject almost 24/7 for many years — this is like second nature (even as a student I was a private tutor — students + high school students).
And don't forget the shva merahef (hovering, hovers between voiced & silent shva) :^)
I think this is the responsibility of the publisher and/or the editor "to have this indicated."

>Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with this in detail?

Israel,
With what? taggim?

gohebrew's picture

>> Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with this in detail?

> Israel,
> With what? taggim?

Allow me to rephrase: Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with defining the rules of
a) shva-na in detail,
b) komatz katan,
c) hataf komatz katan ?

I know that there are different sets of rules for shva-na, but most Orthodox publishers follow only one set of rules. I am only interested in that one.

William,

Many nativwe speakers do not make any pronunciation difference between shva-na and shva-nach, as David mentioned. But two wrongs don't make a right, as they say. I really think that they don't even know there is a difference.

Only some Orthodox readers are careful to make a distiction, but many are aware that there is a difference.

Most Orthodox publishers print either an asterisk or a short horizontal line above the letter, to indicate that the shvah below the letter is in deed a shvah-na.

I don't think the Rabbinic Assembly (the Convervative prayerbook), the Reform, or JTS, make this distinction. I don't believe the Chistians (Southern Baptists and Catholics) do this as well. I may be wrong though.

I guess the only way to pronounce Hebrew correctly is to become Orthodox. :)

gohebrew's picture

>> Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with this in detail?

> Israel,
> With what? taggim?

Allow me to rephrase: Are you familiar with specific books or scholars that deal with defining the rules of
a) shva-na in detail,
b) komatz katan,
c) hataf komatz katan ?

I know that there are different sets of rules for shva-na, but most Orthodox publishers follow only one set of rules. I am only interested in that one.

William,

Many nativwe speakers do not make any pronunciation difference between shva-na and shva-nach, as David mentioned. But two wrongs don't make a right, as they say. I really think that they don't even know there is a difference.

Only some Orthodox readers are careful to make a distiction, but many are aware that there is a difference.

Most Orthodox publishers print either an asterisk or a short horizontal line above the letter, to indicate that the shvah below the letter is in deed a shvah-na.

I don't think the Rabbinic Assembly (the Convervative prayerbook), the Reform, or JTS, make this distinction. I don't believe the Chistians (Southern Baptists and Catholics) do this as well. I may be wrong though.

I guess the only way to pronounce Hebrew correctly is to become Orthodox. :)

david h's picture

> I know that there are different sets of rules for shva-na, but most Orthodox publishers follow only one set of rules. I am only interested in that one.

Israel,

I think that you are missing something. This is an editorial decision. Maybe contact the publisher, talk to the editor. Since you mentioned "Convervative prayerbook, the Reform, Orthodox...."

In other words, we have different halakhic points of view!!! Maybe find a Rabbi, or couple of them and talk to them.
To illustrate my point: The word Katonti (Gen. 32:11) is punctuated with geresh — Breuer, Adi, BHS (red arrow, Adi); and revi'a — Koren bible, Mikraot Gedolot (blue arrow, Koren)

Who's right? Who's wrong? The answer is we have different halakhic points of view. The same thing with shva, kamats etc etc. One School says this is kamats katan, the other one says — no.
Unless, your plan is to have: FrankRuhl Reform, FrankRuhl Orthodox, FrankRuhl Convervative, etc. etc.

True, we have rules. But sometimes we need to understand not just the rules. See the next example:

1. First word: you see the hiriq (blue; kaf), and shva (red; lamed)? The shva is na.
2. Second word: you see the hiriq and shva? The shva is nach.


Why is that? Read/study Norzi — remember my list? :^)

Do you want to know a little bit more about furtive patach? Read/study Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra.

gohebrew's picture

David,

Israel said: >> I know that there are different sets of rules for shva-na, but most Orthodox publishers follow only one set of rules. I am only interested in that one.

David said: >> Israel,

I think that you are missing something. This is an editorial decision. Maybe contact the publisher, talk to the editor. Since you mentioned “Convervative prayerbook, the Reform, Orthodox....” ...Unless, your plan is to have: FrankRuhl Reform, FrankRuhl Orthodox, FrankRuhl Convervative, etc. etc.

My response:

As a Lubavitch chassidic Jew, called an Orthodox baal teshuva, and raised in a Reform Judaism home, and having worked professionally for various Conservative Judaism entities to produce a semi-Conservative kind of Orthodox-like siddur or prayerbook, I can confidentally state that there is no such thing as "FrankRuhl Reform, FrankRuhl Orthodox, FrankRuhl Convervative, etc. etc. " It does not exist.

When it comes to the graphic symbol for shvah-nah and its usage, or komatz katan, or hataf-komatz katan, there are only different halachic views.

In the Conservative siddur, they do not exist, although the traditional nusach formulated by the Anshei Knesset Hagedola and latter great sages is maintained albeit with some minor changes.

Among the Reform, this exists even less and less and less etc. etc., and things like shvah-nah, komatz katan, or hataf-komatz katan certain do not exist at all. I doubt if most Reform rabbis even know these very words! Sorry, William, but I said most, like 98%.

My intention is make a FrankRuhl, David, Koren, Hadasa etc. that have automatic features for shvah-nah, komatz katan, or hataf-komatz katan, like SBL-Hebrew has for the furtive patach. That's my goal.

I think it's dobable; you did not, but are reconsidering...

You know Hebrew grammar well, much more that I do (but I know OpenType more than you (I'm not talking in FontLab), so you must realize it is in deed possible, since we are dealing with defineable rules. That's what grammar is all about.

I believe if it's done and used by all schools and appears in Hebrew nikkud books, then the next generation will understand it well, and pronounce Hebrew correctly.

>> This is an editorial decision.

I agree that there are different views in Halacha.

But I also disagree, because only one view is used by most publishers (except for Eliyahu Koren a"h regarding some issues - and his view is rejected by the majority).

BTW, thank you for detailing the examples with important explanations. I choose not to discuss it here, because my point from the very beginning is only to incorporate the majority view in an automatic manner in a carefully crafted OpenType font.

The discussion of these points should be in another thread.

gohebrew's picture

David,

On second thought, your examples perhaps provide a key, and do pertain a great deal to this thread.

>> 1. First word: you see the hiriq (blue; kaf), and shva (red; lamed)? The shva is na.
2. Second word: you see the hiriq and shva? The shva is nach.

You're right, it isn't the chirik which is the determining factor, rather the preceding letter joined with a chirik.

I am certain that there is never the same set of a particular letter with a particular nikkud before a letter with a shvah, and sometimes it's shvah-nah and sometimes shvah-nach. (If you can find such a situation, then that means you need two preceding letters with two kinds of nikkud to determine if the third letter with a shvah is in deed a shvah-nah, or a shvah-nach - I don't know if OpenType could programmed in that way easily, but in a different way, it could be address - but it may not be even necessary.)

Once we figure out a list of letters with nikkud which cause cetain letters with shah which follow to be either shavah-nah or shvah-nach, a table or replacement can be created.

You know examples very well, and I see patterns very well.

(Similarly, regarding komatz katan and hataf-komatz katan.)

Either you discover the grammatical rule, or you "reinvent the wheel" so to speak, and "reverse engineer" it.

Do you agree?

William Berkson's picture

Israel, I have materials put out by different publishers; I try to learn from them all--orthodox, conservative, reform. The Metsudah Siddur and the ArtScroll Pirkei Avos Treasury that I have treat the shva na differently. The Metsudah adds a segol above the letter which has a shva to indicate a shva na. The ArtScroll puts a horizontal line above the letter.

Now that I notice this, thanks to this discussion, I appreciate it. But I do find the way they do it typographically questionable. It seems to me a somewhat larger two dots, or maybe a light third dot make more sense, though I haven't seen it tried so I don't know.

I don't see a distinctive kamatz katan in either book. If I remember rightly the Conservative Siddur, Sim Shalom, has this, in the form of a larger kamatz.

Israel, it really astonishes me that you don't seem to know or care--I don't know which--that your comments about Reform rabbis are lashon hara. Your claim that 98% of Reform rabbis don't even know what a kamatz katan is, is also absurd and false.

gohebrew's picture

William,

>> The Metsudah Siddur and the ArtScroll Pirkei Avos Treasury that I have treat the shva na differently. The Metsudah adds a segol above the letter which has a shva to indicate a shva na. The ArtScroll puts a horizontal line above the letter.

These two are Orthodox. I never saw a graphic symbol for a shvah-nah any where else, except Kehot (Lubavitch) Publication Society (a small floating asterisk), Shay Lemorah (Rabbi Winefeld of Jerusalem) (a little larger asterisk surround with a circle - very logical way to draw the reader's attention), and some small private Israeli Sephardic publishers).

Komatz katan is distinguished by both Orthodox (Kehot and I think ArtScroll do not), Conservative, and secular publishers.

I have seen Hataf komatz katan only in Shay Lemorah. I think only Rabbi Winefield knows its rule. :)

> you don’t seem to ... care ... [about] lashon hara.

Of course, I care. Like Tefillin is a mitzvah, so too not speaking lashon hora is also a mitzvah. In fact, lashon hora was a major factor for me to adobt the Chassidic lifestyle after being raised as a Reform Jew.

It is not lason hora to say someone knows something or not. I am reporting on his behavior, as "so-in-so complain about Agri, and he eats non-kosher - what a hypocrite!" This constitutes lashon hora if it is not common knowledge of the person's disregard for kosher laws. For example, many non-Orthodox Jews adhere to kosher laws. Therefore, we must assume that this person does not violate them.

Most very well educated people lack familiarity about shvah-nah (as you see that really only David knows what's flying here) etc. Hence, likely, most Reform rabbis do not know this either. I might be wrong. But I grew up Reform, interacted with many Reform rabbis, and can confidentally declare that the knowledge of these rules are very likely lacking by the over-whelming majority.

Sad to say, most Reform rabbis know much more about contemporary politics and social trends than Torah teachings and the meaning behind our traditions.

Today, Reform Judaism is much more like a social club than a religion. Many years ago, Reform Judaism, like its name implies, was a reaction against Orthodoxy and ancient traditions. Very few Reform Jews even know or care about those issues.

We even have seen recently that the trend is to accept a very simple conversion process, because the rate of intermarriage is the norm now. Plus, more Jews abandon Reform Judaism than enter into it, and the so-called converts are making up a larger percentage of Reform.

Even the previous president of Reform cried on television when he reported the statistic that within 50 years there will no longer be a Jewish componant to Reform.

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