Wednesday, September 05, 2007

zOchreinu lechaim?

In the previous post, I cited Magen Avraham. The part I did not discuss stated that kasveinu and zachreinu are with a chataf kametz, apparently citing the Levush:
זכרנו כתבנו בחטף קמ"ץ, בזכרנו לא יאמר לחיים טובי' רק לחיים עד וכתו' לחיים טובים כל וכו' (לבוש
Now, the vowel on the next letter in both cases is a sheva, so he could not mean a chataf kametz as in modern terminology, for that would form two shevas in a row in the beginning of a word. Rather, the designation is to what we call kametz katon, which is a reduced cholam, as to opposed to the usual kametz gadol. (Thus zoch... as opposed to zach.)

I guess this is because "remember us for life" is present tense, so the apparent kametz is reduced from the cholam of zocheir due to shift of stress. (Help requested on this syntactic and phonological analysis.)

The thing is, I checked my Siddur Shilo and they have a horizontal line over the chaf of zachreinu. Thus, they claim it should be pronounced zachereinu. They have similar notation for chathemeinu and katheveinu in Avinu Malkeinu. But, since a kametz katan is a short syllable, we should not expect a sheva na in the next letter. They would thus seem to be reading it as a kametz gadol.

I have not checked what Artscroll does here. Is there an alternative grammatical analysis? Does the Polish pronunciation actually make a distinction between the long and short kametz?

Update: I checked Artscroll and they do it right, with no sheva na.


Anonymous said...

The reason shilo has a shva na is because it follows the rules of Solomon Hanau, who has many more shva na than the mainstream opinion.

One of his rules is that whenever a word's primary form has a shva under a particular letter, and in a derivative form that shva changes to a vowel due to the next letter also having shva, then that shva is a shva na.

Zochreinu comes from z'chor (which by the way is imperative, not present tense). So the zayin in this form would have a shva. But the shva can't stay in the zayin of zochreinu, as the chaf already has a shva. So the zayin gets a kamatz, changed from the shva. (It's still katan, though.) Therefore the shva following it is na.

Other examples of this are "malchei" (from m'lachim), "lifnei" (the lamed prefix usually has a shva), "l'ov'do" (from laavod) and a host of others.

Yehudha said...

The horizontal line is called siman raphe. It does not mean the shewa is na`. It has more than one purose but the main one is showing that the letter is a rapha. (Usually used for beghedh kepheth letters and the letter he or aleph when they are not pronounced.)

In some Italian siddurim the raphe is kept for the single purpose of showing that a shewa is nah.
It seems the siddur Shilo uses it for the same purpose.

joshwaxman said...

Yes, I am aware that in some instances, the horizontal line is a siman raphe. And I have seen plenty of manuscripts that have this, for this particular purpose.

However, I do not believe that Siddur Shiloh uses this symbol for this purpose. Because in many, many cases where beged kefet is in fact raphe, they use no horizontal line. They only use it in cases of sheva na and sheva merachef.

Meanwhile, they use the exact same symbol in many, many cases where it is clearly not raphe. For example, where there is a dagesh chazak in the word. Just opening up my Siddur Shiloh at random, to page 93 and reading from the top:

in "kerav" there is no horizontal line over the vet.
in haddevekim, there is a horizonal line over the daled, which has a dagesh chazak in it and a sheva below it, but no horizonal line over the next letter, which it a vet with a tzeirei under it.
In eloheichem, there is no horzonal line over the khaf.
In kullechem, there is a horizontal line over the lamed with a dagesh in it and a sheva na under it, but no horizontal line over the next letter, a khaf with a segol under it.

They only ever have the horizontal line over letters with shevas under it.

So while that symbol in other texts has this function, I do not believe that this is how siddur Shiloh is using it, but rather, as a mark of the sheva they feel should be pronounced na.

I would guess that Shmuel, in the preceding comment, is correct.

Kol Tuv,

Yehudha said...

I stand corrected. But I've never seen siman raphe used in this way. It's very confusing when people start using symbols in ways contrary to the original purpose.

joshwaxman said...

True. It is confusing. I'm used to it, because Siddur Shiloh was my first siddur -- and what we received in kindergarten for our siddur party. But I've seen some siddurim that use an upside-down segol over the word to convey this. And others that modify the sheva, making it larger.

Kol Tuv,

Yehudha said...

I think the best way might be the way the Yemenies do it, based on the Babylonian system; they don't write the shewa nah at all, so every shewa you see is na`. But this causes problems in some occasions. (if you have a yodh with a shewa nah, and the previous letter has a hiriq haser, it might look like it's just a hiriq male)


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