pronominal form of כסא

risotto

New Member
English - US
Hi,

The word "throne" is כסא kissee. Why does it become כסאי kis'i and כסאו kis'o when a pronoun is attached? Is there a rule for it?

Thanks a lot
 
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    I think the pronominal forms of כִּסֵּא 'throne' are actually

    כִּסֵּאִי 'my throne'
    כִּסֵּאוֹ 'his throne'

    I see no reason for the צֵירֵי‎ to change into a שווא, but I may be wrong.
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    The word "throne" is כסא kissee. Why does it become כסאי kis'i and כסאו kis'o when a pronoun is attached? Is there a rule for it?
    I don't think there's a good answer. It's a loanword from Sumerian (maybe through Akkadian/Aramaic) with a unique look. The Academia of Hebrew Language commented in the past:

    מן התנ"ך עולה שהצירי במילה כִּסֵּא נחטף (הופך לשווא) כשנוספת הברה למילה. למשל: כִּסְּאוֹ ׁ(בתנ"ך בלי דגש), וכך גם כִּסְּאוֹת ("כִּי שָׁמָּה יָשְׁבוּ כִסְאוֹת לְמִשְׁפָּט כִּסְאוֹת לְבֵית דָּוִד" (תהלים קכב, ה – גם כאן ללא דגש).

    בכתבי היד של המשנה נמצאות צורה בקמץ בסמ"ך: כִּסָאוֹת. נראה שבתקופה זו נתפסה הסיומת ־אוֹת של המילה הזאת כאילו היא סיומת הרבים הארוכה -ָאוֹת, המוכרת ממילה כמו מרחצָאוֹת, דוגמָאוֹת).
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Actually, I think it's pretty simple. The tzere is reduced to shva, as is perfectly typical of a tzere in this position. And the dagesh is dropped similarly to how it's dropped in other such words, like מסעי (construct state). Everything is perfectly regular here, regardless of the origin of the word.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Drink: Thank you. Could you give me another example of צירי reducing to שווא in a pretonic rather than propretonic position though?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It is very common for tzere to be reduced in pretonic position. I haven't been able to come up with a perfect rule that predicts all the cases, but I would say that when preceded by a heavy syllable (i.e. a non-reducible open vowel, or a closed syllable), the tzere is (almost?) always reduced.

    Examples: Active participles of qal, pi'el, and hitpa'el. The qittel adjective pattern (like עִוֵּר and פִּקֵּחַ). The word צפרדע. Etc. Etc. Etc.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Someone just told me the rule: a short i goes to a שווא rather than to a צירי in pretonic position when the propretonic syllable can't be changed, either because it (the propretonic syllable) is a closed syllable or is historically long.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Ah, that's the same thing I just said, just with other words. I guess I wasn't far off.

    It still leaves the (more historically relevant) question of why in words like זרוע there is a shva instead of tzere, when the original vowel was likely a short i.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    :)

    All this leaves just one question: why is the שווא in כִּסְאִי/כִּסְאוֹ a שווא נח but the one in אוֹיְבִים‎ 'enemies' (singular: אוֹיֵב) a שווא נע? I mean, the same rule is at work, right?
     

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    JAN SHAR

    Member
    pashto
    Ali Smith: You claim that a short i goes to a שווא rather than to a צירי in pretonic position when the propretonic syllable can't be changed, either because it (the propretonic syllable) is a closed syllable or is historically long.
    Where is the short "i" in this word?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Ali Smith: You claim that a short i goes to a שווא rather than to a צירי in pretonic position when the propretonic syllable can't be changed, either because it (the propretonic syllable) is a closed syllable or is historically long.
    Where is the short "i" in this word?
    A historical short i. If you're talking about כסא kissē, then historically it was (and perhaps only hypothetically) kissi’. If you're talking about אויב ’ōyēv, then historically it was ’āyib.
     
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