Sheva, custom marks...

david h's picture

Sheva, custom marks... and other issues:

1.Geulah:
"Regarding the dagesh in the gimmel of geula, you might be right. Although you know, most dagesh is missing in modern Hebrew with nikkud, except for the beit, kaf, peh, and taf. The dagesh in other letters is merely grammatical."

I don't understand the last part. About the first part: not just right, let's see what your Rebbe said:

Unless, of course, you don't agree with the Rebbe.

gohebrew's picture

John,

> Anyone have a 1917 JPS Tanakh at hand?

I think that my mother has one. I'll look for it in some box. You mean a gimmel with a dagesh right? Not just a gimmel?

You do mean "if the gimel is omitted in the 1917 printed text" really "if the dagesh in the gimmel is omitted in the 1917 printed text"?

Or, maybe, you are referring to the shuruk (the vov with a dot on its left side)?

gohebrew's picture

It appears to me that if anyone claims that his or her pronunciation is important and meaningful, such as the recital of a prayer, then that pronunciation should be correct.

If I mispronounce anything in speaking to another person, out of neglect or laziness, and the response is similar or worst, should I be surprized?

It seems that knowledge of kamatz katan, hataf kamatz katan, meteg, shva-na etc. is important to correct pronunciation.

It seems Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist etc. should teach their adherents these Hebrew grammar rules, and Hebrew type designers should include the glyphs for kamatz katan, hataf kamatz katan, meteg, and shva-na, in their fonts.

To do so, the Unicode Consortium should support usage of all these glyphs. Hence, not only should kamatz katan and meteg be supported, but hataf kamatz katan, and shva-na, should be allocated Unicode values as well.

Since we find multiple publishers using hataf kamatz katan, and shva-na, the Unicode Consortium has no reason to object to supporting them properly.

gohebrew's picture

My Unicode text has it with a vov (shuruk) too.

gohebrew's picture

The shva-na in the popular Talmudic section, "Pirkei Avot", "Chapters of Our Fathers", studied each year by over a million people.

Michel Boyer's picture

> The Mechom Mamre online Tanakh is based on the JPS 1917 edition.

I took the text from This Tanakh which they say to be "לפי הכתר וכתבי היד הקרובים לו"; my understanding is that this is coming from The Aleppo Codex. Here is a grab from the online digitization of the codex corresponding to Ruth 4:7. The last word leaves no possible ambiguity.

gohebrew's picture

Michel,

Thank you for this sample, and the link to the Aleppo Codex.

Are there similar links to other versions of the Tanach text, where one can view it in its entirety online?

Excuse my ignorance, but can you list the different versions, ages, and minor textual differences of the various Tanach texts?

Which one are the Dead Sea Scrolls most similar to?

I was told that no scholar has documented the differences comprehensively. Is this true?

Do each of these versions exist as Unicode texts? If they do, then to create a comprehensive chart of differences should be rather simple. Is this not true?

William Berkson's picture

Israel, your quote is not from Avot proper, but rather a passage from Sanhedrin (90a), which in turn is referring to Isaiah 60:21, where your example of the shva na is from. This passage is traditionally read before studying a chapter of Avot.

I am really baffled by where you are going with these examples, and why you are asking about what Biblical grammar books say about them. Why don't you just read the books?

By the way if I'm not mistaken a chataf kamatz is always pronounced as a kamatz katan, ie as 'o' rather than 'a' in Israeli pronunciation.

John, the changes from ancient pronunciation are not only in vowels, but also consonants. If I remember rightly scholars say that without the dagesh the 'beged kefet' letters all had soft sounds. IIRC the soft gimel had the sound of g in George, the soft dalet the 'th' in 'the' and the tav the 'th' in 'thin'. Also the ayin had the 'ng' sound, rather than being just a glottal stop, like aleph. Apparently Yemeni Jews still pronounce the soft tav with a 'th' (the askenasi uses an 's'), and Iraqis pronounce still pronounce the ayin as 'ng'.

By the way, I suspect Hebrew would sound more beautiful if all the soft sounds were restored. Both Mandarin Chinese and French--to me the most beautiful sounding of languages--have no hard sounds (t, k, etc) at the end of syllables. They are also both 'court' languages, whose pronunciation was I believe deliberately refined. Perhaps the same thing happened with ancient Hebrew, as letters at the end drop the dagesh, and so the sounds are soft--not fully closing the mouth and sharply cutting the sound, as in the English "stop".

gohebrew's picture

William,

>your quote is not from Avot proper, but rather a passage from Sanhedrin (90a), which in turn is referring to Isaiah 60:21, where your example of the shva na is from. This passage is traditionally read before studying a chapter of Avot.

I am aware that this is not from Avot proper. Nevertheless, I decided to begin citing examples of shva-na etc. from Avot, I would use this Biblical verse, as many people associate this with Avot, as you explain.

Michel Boyer's picture

Israel,

I am no scholar of Hebrew; I once had projects related to natural language processing but I have not worked in that field for more than 10 years, though we have a strong research group in that field in my department, the RALI (Université de Montréal). I am not qualified to tell you what is available and what is not.

I found some online resources here. If I just look at the various versions available on the mechon mamre site, the Cantillated Tanakh is utf-8 encoded but is is made of about 930 different files. Other versions on their site are so encoded that I could find no way to produce a utf-8 text out of them. I have found no plain text utf-8 versions that are almost ready to compare.

Michel

gohebrew's picture

William,

> I am really baffled by where you are going with these examples,

The purpose of citing these samples is two-fold.

First, it is incumbant upon the Unicode Consortium to include the shva-na, hataf kamatz gadol, and the meteg used in nikkud texts (which may have a slightly different form than the meteg used in the Bible) as Unicode values in the next version of Unicode. I believe by posting the extensive use of them will influence the decision of the Unicode Consortium.

Second, I am a professional expert Hebrew typesetter. There are three other people that I am aware of that are also professional expert Hebrew typesetters. However, their knowledge of Hebrew grammar is poor. By posting these samples, I believe that they will be able to professionally typeset important Hebrew texts with these correct markings. As a result, future generations of readers of these texts will be knowledgeable much more than the sorry state we are in today.

> and why you are asking about what Biblical grammar books say about them?

I am trying to increase my knowledge of Hebrew grammar in order to program these Hebrew grammar rules into a large set of "smart" OpenType Hebrew fonts.

> Why don’t you just read the books?

I am currently studying the book on Hebrew grammar by Mr. Seow which you recommended, and on Biblical Hebrew Grammar by Prof. Chomsky based upon Rabbi David Kimhi's understanding.

John Hudson recommended two other books in particular by Joshua Jacobson, which I have, and another one, which I will have soon.

gohebrew's picture

William,

> By the way if I’m not mistaken a chataf kamatz is always pronounced as a kamatz katan, ie as ’o’ rather than ’a’ in Israeli pronunciation.

First, are we both speaking of a 'hataf kamatz katan"? Not an ordinary "hataf kamatz".

William Berkson's picture

I don't think there is such a thing as a hataf kamatz katan.

The wikipedia article niqqud doesn't mention it, nor does Seow's grammar. But both of these, as well as my "Ben Yehudah's Pocket English-Hebrew Hebrew-English Dictionary" say that the hataf kamatz is pronounced the same as the kamatz katan. However, in the Wikipedia article they say that 'Tiberian' pronunciation has a short 'o' for the hataf kamatz. I don't know what that's about, but in any case there is no 'hataf kamatz katan.'

I suspect that the the texts you show are simply making the kamatz larger in the hataf kamatz to remind people that it is pronounced like a kamatz katan. But it's always pronounced that way, at least according to the Israeli system.

I know that in Ashkenazi pronunciation, which I assume you use, all of them are 'o', and there are no distinctions in pronunciation between the kamatz vs the kamatz katan or hataf kamatz.

Michel Boyer's picture

Here are the Papers formally submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.

Of special interest for the qamats qatan is N2821: Clarification on the name QAMATS QATAN by Michael Everson and Mark Shoulson.

If you search for the word "Hebrew" in the above list of papers you will find other interesting documents.

Michel

Michel Boyer's picture

Here are the [...]

Correction: it is obviously only a selection of papers.

david h's picture

#1 -- Ginsburg
#2 -- Koren
#3 -- Snaith
#4 -- Adi (Dotan edition)
#5 -- Sinai
#6 -- Jerusalem Crown/Breuer

david h's picture

$1 million ;^) if you know what is this dagesh called? :^)

gohebrew's picture

Give my million to tzedaka. :)

Wait, wait, gimme a chance! (I love challenge games)

Excuse my ignorance:

is a dagesh in a taf related to its position in a word, like the regular dagesh in a gimmel at the beginning of a word,

or a strong dagesh (chazak) in a gimmel in the middle of a word after a letter with a nikkud vowel,

or is it intrinsically part of a word's meaning such as a peh hapoel, ayin hapoel, or lamed hapoel, one of the three parts of a word's root.

Gimme a hint. Is it in Kimchi's book?

John Hudson's picture

Israel: You do mean “if the gimel is omitted in the 1917 printed text” really “if the dagesh in the gimmel is omitted in the 1917 printed text”?

I mean the gimel itself. I was responding to Michel's posts noting the discrepancy in different editions in Ruth 4:7.

Michel's follow-up message showing the scan of the Aleppo Codex indicates that the gimel is missing in this source, while the variety of print editions I have based on the Codex Leningradensis indicate that it is present in that source. So we have a discrepancy between the Aleppo and Leningrad codices.

david h's picture

John,

gimel or vav?

gohebrew's picture

David,

Have you ever seen in any literature about Hebrew grammar mention about a "hataf kamatz katan", or seen a sample of "hataf kamatz katan" in any other book besides a Shay Lemorah publication?

William suggests that Rabbi Shmuel Winefeld made it up, because there is no Wikipedia article about it yet, nor does Mr. Eliezer Ben Yehuda doesn't mention it in his “Ben Yehudah’s Pocket English-Hebrew Hebrew-English Dictionary”.

If you placed Rabbi Shmuel Winefeld on one side of the scale, and then you placed Mr. Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, upon the other side of the scale, who pray tell would outweigh the other?

Are the writings of the Rishonim available to read in the original, I assume, Hebrew? I am sure JTS has them to review and make photo-copies. Do you know their names and authors? I'm talking about Rabbi David Kimchi's sources.

gohebrew's picture

Michel or John or David of...,

Does this word, tahara, appear anywhere in the Bible?

gohebrew's picture

David,

What is hataf to another vowel, such as kamatz, patach, or segol?

If we understand how a hataf modifies a kamatz, patach, or segol, then we can understand how a hataf affects a kamatz katan.

Perhaps, we need to also understand how a kamatz is different from a kamatz katan.

gohebrew's picture

tahara in Hebrew = טהרה

david h's picture

Israel,

>Does this word, tahara, appear anywhere in the Bible?
> tahara in Hebrew = טהרה

Yes, of course. See, for example, Leviticus 12:4,5

gohebrew's picture

David,

Do you have a concordance in software, a Bible in your memory, or magic fingers?

david h's picture

Israel,

And if I'm going to say memory — are you going to believe? :) No, I don't have software and alike (the rest of your questions — let me eat something first :) )

gohebrew's picture

Actually, in Leviticus 12:4,5,6, and 8, the word טהרה appears five times.

Three times it's spelled as in the Long Blessing After Eating Kinds of Special Fruit, Cake, or Wine, with a "hataf kamatz katan" (twice with a hei and dagesh, and once with only an ordinary hei with a makef or rafe over it).

One time it's spelled with a hataf patach, and preceded with a vov and shva, and the other time it's spelled with a tzay-ray under the first hei, and preceded with a vov and shva.

gohebrew's picture

David,

> memory — are you going to believe? :)(... — let me eat something first :) )

I grew up as a kid with an ordinary memory. I didn't remember where I put the keys a half hour ago. I couldn't recall my cousin's name, and I just saw him a few months before.

But after I became a Chassidic Jew in my early twenties, I was advised to compose a monthly report to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, which I concluded by asking for his blessing to succeed in learning Torah.

The blessing was fulfilled as I gained a remarkable memory too, like you, for success in learning is aided by a great memory.

Anyway, I fasted earlier, and am hungry now. Anyone want some cheesecake? :)

david h's picture

Israel,

I don't think that Bill is wrong. A hataf kamats is also a kamats katan, an "o" (in short: the kamats was an "a" -- e.g. katal + an "u" --e.g. kul -> kol. when the pronunciation was an "a" or an "o" (kamats hatof/hataf kamats )? your origin, area.

Short history: back.... the old days the kamats katan was tsere; also kamats katan with two dots was tsere. kamats — kamats gadol or wide; patah — patah gadol; segol — patah katan.

> If you placed Rabbi Shmuel Winefeld on one side of the scale, and then you placed Mr. Eliezer Ben Yehuda

like World Wrestling? :)

gohebrew's picture

Well. I'm kinda worried. Rabbi Winefeld is a skinny old man, and they say that Eliezer Ben Yehuda was really fat. All those felafels, pita, and techina! :)

===

I hear your view and read your historical precedences. But Winefeld published in his books both a "kamatz katan" and a "hataf kamatz katan", too. So, in his mind, "hataf kamatz katan" must serve a different purpose.

He must have something in mind. Plus, knowing his mentality as a heredi scholarly rabbi, he must have a strong source in the writings of early Rishonim to hold his view and publicize it. Plus, did you see the list of endorsees he has for his works? Eliezer would hide under his couch (if he could fit) and hide out of shame. :)

William Berkson's picture

Did Rabbi Winefeld distinguish between a "hataf kamatz" and a "hataf kamatz katan"?

I suspect that he is just calling a "hataf kamatz" by a different name, to make clear that its pronunciation is like a kamatz katan.

david h's picture

Israel,

> seen a sample of “hataf kamatz katan” in any other book besides a Shay Lemorah publication?

Yes, I have something with hataf kamats + sheva na; I'll look later on.

Well, when I told you that every hataf is sheva na...what did you say? 'I don't care' :)

gohebrew's picture

David,

> what did you say? ’I don’t care’

I care about everything, even the price of tea in China. After, some poor British bloke might be in Shangtea, and can't afford his afternoon tea. :)

> I have something with hataf kamats + sheva na

I would like to present a scan of what you have, and a scan of a Shay LeMorah sample to the Unicode consortium, so that Unicode values will be added for these two glyphs. Then, in the future these two symbols can be inserted into Unicode Hebrew data files of Tanach and other texts.

===

William,

> Did Rabbi Winefeld distinguish between a “hataf kamatz” and a “hataf kamatz katan”?

Yes, in different books Rabbi Winefeld published texts that had both “hataf kamatz” and “hataf kamatz katan” and "shva-na" graphic symbols. He did this intentionally. He invested money into a custom-made TrueType font that included these glyphs as separate entities.

Your explanation does not address this possibility.

My guess is if we sort through early writings from the early Rishonim about the nuances of Hebrew grammar, we will find a discussion of this aspect of Hebrew speech. If so, it becomes just as valid and significant as "zei a mensch", the importance of maintaining a Jewish standard. One aspect is behavioral, and another is verbal.

gohebrew's picture

Shabbos is coming. Before I wish everyone "Shabbat Shalom", allow me to relate a remark or two that I heard from a Lubavitcher rabbi at a distant Chabad House that I attended.

His 10 year old daughter served a steaming bowl of chicken soup with a puffy matzah ball one Friday night. The rabbi eyed how I delighted slupping it up. He commented, "If the discussions of Judaism don't bring a Jew closer to practicing Judaism, the chicken soup on Friday night will."

In Rochester, NY, the Chabad House had a small but very popular "Beginner's Service" each Saturday morning. Many members of the large nearby Reform temple snuck away from the weekly services to join the Chabad House 'minyan' just before its conclusion, to participate in the "hot" kiddush. While the Reform members were munching on some warm delicious kugel, the rabbi remarked: "Some people become more observant because of seeing Chassidic joy, some people become more observant because of learning profound ideas in Judaism, but others become more observant because of warm kugel!"

My kugel is calling. :)

Shabbat Shalom!

gohebrew's picture

David,

I found another application of the hataf kamatz katan.

In the Zemirot, close to a million Jews sing every Shabbat (which is in the 'Niggunim of Lubavitch', that close to a quarter million Lubavitchers sing every Friday night after eating Gefiltte Fish and before eating Chicken Soup), reprinted in dozens of prayerbooks and Sabbath booklets, by Kehot, ArtScroll, Feldheim, and others, the following appears:

gohebrew's picture

The following are postings from various books or booklets from the Shay Lemora publishing house of Jerusalem, Israel. Shay Lemora is a small Hebrew publishers, with books distributed worldwide. Its owner is Rabbi Shmuel Yehuda Weinfeld, an eldery great scholar, the likes of which only appear every few generations. He is familiar with the bulk of traditional Jewish literature since the Bible and before.

Note the circle with a small asterisk to indicate a shva na.
Note also the kamatz katan, or elongated kamatz.

Note the circle with a small asterisk to indicate a shva na.

Note the circle with a small asterisk to indicate a shva na.
Note also the kamatz katan, or elongated kamatz.

gohebrew's picture

Here are examples from three other very large Jewish publishers, 1) Kehot (the official Lubavitch publishing house - with the widest circulation in the world), 2) ArScroll (the largest private Jewish publisher in the world, due to their enormous popularity in the United States, Canada, England and other English speaking countries, and 3) Otzar Sifrei Lubavitch (the unofficial Lubavitch publishing house - with a large market of English books and translations - their prayerbooks appeared with Kehot logo, and are currently subject to court-ordered injunction).

Note the small asterisk to indicate a shva na in the Lubavitch publications, and the short vertical line in the ArtScroll books. The symbol for a shva na is more widely used than a kamatz katan, as the meaning of some words is actually changed by the presence of a shva na. A kamatz katan only affects pronunciation.

Note the Hebrew message describing the appearance of an asterisk to indicate a shva na.

david h's picture

Israel,

> Note the Hebrew message describing the appearance of an asterisk to indicate a shva na.

Note the year: 1978; see the same siddur that was published in 2002:

gohebrew's picture

The two look-alike pages of the Kehot praterbook by two different publishers.

On the left hand side is the official edition from Kehot, reprinted hundreds of times since the mid-sixties. A newly typeset edition has been produce, one from New York, and one from Israel. Each is different is terms of the graphical appearance (typeface, page layout and design), editorial addmendments, such as notations, instructions, grammar marks,etc.

On the right hand side is the non-official (some say bootleg and illegal) from Otzar Sifrei Lubavitch, but with a Kehot logo. It is the most like the original of the three new versions. But it was intentionally made to like the old edition, but featured inferior commercial fonts and poor "matching" page layout. The publisher is now closed, and out of business.

gohebrew's picture

David,

Your posting is from Kehot of Israel.

My two postings are the original and the Otzar edition. The original was pasted together from many older prayerbooks to avoid copyright infringement; hence, it features many many different versions of the traditional "siddur" typeface. The Otzar was made to be its clone, like Windows is a clone of Macintosh (which is a clone of Xerox, which is a clone of John Warnock's brain...).

I will try to locate the missing Kehot of New York version, newly typeset. The director thinks no one knows what a shva-na is, and reduced the size of the asterisk to very very very small. (The Rebbe never liked Yossi as head of Kehot - I never said that.)

John, if we don't do something, people will speak of dinasaurs and shva-nas in the same breath. Can't Unicode spare a few code values?

"Yes, Nancy, the shva-na walked the earth over two billion years ago. It descended from a wild boar, or ape, or something...uh, uh...wild cow. Yeah, that's it. Phhh, now that's kosher."

Were there cows billion of years ago?

gohebrew's picture

Moadim lesimcha!

A standard prayer said at the conclusion of the "Havdala" הבדלה ceremony is "vtayn lecha" ותן לך , which contains various verses.

Many shva-na marks appears about different words, which have a shva.

Here is one example:

David,

It occurred to me. Is every appearance of [et] habr'cha then contain a shvana? If yes, does every similarly structured word that begins in this way "habr'xxx" also have a shvana? If yes, does every similar kind of sequence (eg. ha-letters_like_beit_followed by letters_like_reish&hei) have a shvana?

gohebrew's picture

David,

Similar to the above question, I've seen consistantly that every time the sequence "kol" כָל chaf-kamatz-lamed appear, regardless of the preposition, the kamatz is always a kamatz ktan.

Is this accurate?

If so, one simply can search this sequence chaf-kamatz-lamed-space or khaf-kamatz-lamed-space and replace it with chaf-kamatz_katan-lamed-space or khaf-kamatz_katan-lamed-space, or just build this GSUB directive into the "smart" OpenType Hebew font. Right?

gohebrew's picture

John,

Currently, there is no Unicode value for shvana. So, when I add these glyphs to data files using InDesign ME, a different Unicode value is actually added instead.

So, later, after the Unicode Consortium adds a shvana to the Hebrew section of values, I will have to search and replace these additions which I made to the data files, and also repeat this glyph in the font, once with the original fake Unicode value, and again with the new true Unicode value. Right?

gohebrew's picture

Here are two examples of two identically constructed Hebrew words, located in two different locations in Scriptures, with a shvana symbol over a shva.

If we identify similar structures of Hebrew words, with similar patterns of nikkud vowels, will they too have a shvana above the shva?

For example, most Hebrew words contain three root-letters. Each root-letter belongs to different group of letter types. Then, there are other types of letters in a Hebrew word, such as prepositions (such as the beit, lamed, and mem), or "modifiers", which alter the over all meaning of the word.

If a shvana occurs over a type of root-letter with a shva under it, with two other types of root-letters with identical nikkud vowels, then will the shvana also occur over a type of root-letter with a shva under it too?

And if the same prepositions or modifiers occur in or around them, then do the shvana also occur?

gohebrew's picture

Here are four examples of similar kinds of words with a shvana, from Biblical and Mishnaic sources.

There are a few kinds of patterns here.

First, the first of the three letter roots is a gimmel with a dagesh, following a preposition of a hei.

Does every occurance of a gimmel with a dagesh in the first of the three letter roots, following a preposition, have a shvana too?

david h's picture

Israel,

The example is from Deut 28:8, not 24:8.

1. kol is kamtas katan; also Word/Letters -- Makkef -- Kol -- Makkef -- Word/Letters; Kol -- Makkef -- Word/Letters --- the kol is kamtas katan

2. sheva na: in general bet, kaf, lamed, he + patah = sheva na. but you need to remember that there're exciptional + traditions; and of course teaamim.

BTW, see the classic example: shay la'morah (no sheva na); kehot (with sheva na) -- Deut 6

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