Interchanges of pataḥ [a] and ḥiriq [i] in closed unaccentuated syllables are prevalent in biblical Hebrew, especially in the Tiberian tradition. They are generally described as resulting from a vowel change [a] > [i] in certain phonological environments (attenuation). After examining the evidence in the various linguistic traditions of Hebrew in comparison to the Semitic languages, we conclude that the prevailing description is inaccurate. Where the [i] vowel occurs in all the traditions of Hebrew, it should be considered either proto-Semitic or proto-Hebrew. In the Tiberian tradition ḥiriq replaces pataḥ almost exclusively when the following syllable has an [a] vowel (dissimilation). Other rare cases are interpreted individually.
|Translated title of the contribution||Interchanges of Pataḥ and Ḥiriq and the Attenuation Law|
|Number of pages||32|
|Journal||לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה|
|State||Published - 1995|