segholate component inside a word

zaw

Senior Member
Arabic
Hi

There are segholate nouns, but what about a part of a word, which part behaves like a segholate noun? Does that happen too? I think כֻּתֹּנֶת is one such word because when you add a pronoun it becomes כֻּתָּנְתִּי.

Toda raba
 
  • radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Yes it does, and in the case of כֻּתֹּנֶת, we have the segholate feminine ending. Note that there is often alternation between a segholate and a non-segholate form of the same word, e.g., the fem. sg. participle יֹשְׁבָה/יֹשֶׁ֫בֶת, or nouns of the form מִלְחָמָה that have a segholate construct like מִלְחֶ֫מֶת.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    It happens whenever you have qVtl (where V stands for any short vowel) inside a word, so long as qVtl is not followed by a vowel. Thus,

    kitubt > כְּתֹבֶת 'tattoo'

    but

    ḥanukkat > חֲנֻכָּה ' dedication'
     
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    JAN SHAR

    Senior Member
    pashto
    That explains why כֻּתֹּנֶת turns into כֻּתָּנְתִּי, which is the pronominal form. But why does כֻּתֹּנֶת turn into כְּתֹנֶת־‎ in the construct form?
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    It happens whenever you have qVtl (where V stands for any short vowel) inside a word, so long as qVtl is not followed by a vowel. Thus,

    kitubt > כְּתֹבֶת 'tattoo' but ḥanukkat > חֲנֻכָּה ' dedication'

    Note that the cluster must comprise two distinct consonants (and not geminated),
    so ḥanukkat would not qualify even if the cluster were not followed by a vowel.

    But why does כֻּתֹּנֶת turn into כְּתֹנֶת־‎ in the construct form?

    The original form of this word was something like /kutunt/, which led two by-forms in the absolute, כְּתֹנֶת and כֻּתֹּנֶת, in order to satisfy the phonotactic constraints of Hebrew, dealing with the short vowel in an open syllable either by reducing that vowel or by geminating the following consonant. The construct form כְּתֹנֶת is based on the latter.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Explanations like this always puzzle me. Mainly: what was so important about the short u in this word that it so absolutely "needed" to be preserved by doubling the consonant, when so many other words didn't need this treatment and just lost the vowel quality? This explanation makes sense when the "u" plays an important semantic function, as in passive verbs and quTl- segolates and such, but it makes no sense for just ordinary nouns like this one.

    A simpler way of looking at it is that the form כְּתֹנֶת is just an irregular elision of כֻּתֹּנֶת, not unlike that of words like זכרון.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Explanations like this always puzzle me. Mainly: what was so important about the short u in this word that it so absolutely "needed" to be preserved by doubling the consonant, when so many other words didn't need this treatment and just lost the vowel quality? This explanation makes sense when the "u" plays an important semantic function, as in passive verbs and quTl- segolates and such, but it makes no sense for just ordinary nouns like this one.

    A simpler way of looking at it is that the form כְּתֹנֶת is just an irregular elision of כֻּתֹּנֶת, not unlike that of words like זכרון.
    כֻּתֹּנֶת would therefore be an example of what they call "spontaneous gemination". Another example is the non-masculine singular form of קָטֹן, namely feminine קְטַנָּה‎, masculine plural קְטַנִּים‎, feminine plural קְטַנּוֹת‎.
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Explanations like this always puzzle me. Mainly: what was so important about the short u in this word that it so absolutely "needed" to be preserved by doubling the consonant, when so many other words didn't need this treatment and just lost the vowel quality?

    The historic short vowels were all prone to be reduced or deleted, but my impression—I am open to correction here—is that, of the three vowels, u suffered the least therein. At any rate, my contention is not that the vowel so absolutely needed to be preserved that the following consonant was geminated, but rather, that this was a possibility, and by no means the only one, since כְּתֹנֶת and כֻּתֹּנֶת are both attested, so the standard strategy of vowel reduction was indeed also employed.

    A simpler way of looking at it is that the form כְּתֹנֶת is just an irregular elision of כֻּתֹּנֶת, not unlike that of words like זכרון.

    Things are not completely clear here, but my understanding is that the gemination in כֻּתֹּנֶת is secondary, and that the word seems originally to have had a form something like /kutunt/. Perhaps this is an example of the so-called spontaneous gemination, as Ali Smith suggests.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Do we have external evidence to postulate an original *kutunt- as opposed to *kuttunt-?

    Anyway, my point was that when people say the gemination is in order to preserve the quality of the vowel, they are talking about cases where the vowel quality is meaningful. For example, in the passive qal in the suffix conjugation *luqaH- > luqqaH the vowel quality is a key component for indicating passivity, so it needed to be preserved, bringing about gemination. This explanation makes no sense for כתנת because the vowel quality is not necessary for anything.

    When people talk about the u vowel being more likely to be preserved, they are talking about something else entirely: cases such as קֳדָשִׁים, where quality is preserved despite the lack of gemination. So that's also not relevant to כתנת.

    Spontaneous gemination cannot be ruled out, but anything that's described as "spontaneous" really means nothing other than "we have failed so far to determine why it happened". Which is fine, because not everything from the past can be known. But it's still important to recognize that lack of knowledge is not the same as spontaneity.
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Do we have external evidence to postulate an original *kutunt- as opposed to *kuttunt-?

    Well, I don't have first-hand familiarity with the evidence, but Meyer, in his Hebräische Grammatik §58.22, asserts that the gemination is secondary in כֻּתֹּנֶת, citing Akkadian kitinnum and perhaps Ugaritic ktnt, alongside Ugaritic ktn, Arabic kutnun and Ionic κιθών.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    That doesn't look like great evidence.

    Ugaritic doesn't tell us anything as gemination is not written in the orthography.

    I am not finding Arabic kutn-, meanwhile I do find both katn- and kattān- in Lane's lexicon. Also, there is quT(u)n-, but the empahtic consonants confound the comparison.

    Akkadian doesn't always make gemination clear, but we also see an outlying geminated -nn-, which kind of confounds the whole comparison.

    As for Ionian, I'm not sure to what extent we expect gemination in Greek words to correspond to Semitic words.

    I am also finding that Aramaic had two words KTN- and KTWN-, and the vocalized varieties of the language seem to point to a geminated -tt- in both words.

    As an aside, I think the word "secondary" is not the right word here regardless. "Secondary" means that it's a byproduct of another feature. But what other feature? I've already ruled out "preserving the vowel quality" as a motivation for a "secondary" feature. Therefore, the question isn't whether it's primary or secondary, but whether it is original or a developement, and in the latter case, when did it develop? And additionally, is the ungeminated form a retention or a new loss of gemination?
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    As an aside, I think the word "secondary" is not the right word here regardless. "Secondary" means that it's a byproduct of another feature. But what other feature? I've already ruled out "preserving the vowel quality" as a motivation for a "secondary" feature.

    Sorry, ‘secondary’ is my word, but that is how I understood Meyer (i.e., in line with your definition). Just to be fair, though, I should quote him verbatim:

    §58.22: כֻּתֹּנֶת «Leibrock» ... mit sekundärem Dageš forte. Ein Stamm, der in sämtlichen sem. Idiomen bis in die Gegenwart verbreitet ist; vgl. akkad. kitinnum und vielleicht ugar. ktnt «Leibrõcke», außerdem ugar. ktn, arab. kutnun «Baumwolle» unt jonisch κιθών «Hemd».
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Oh so Meyer himself called it secondary. I wonder what exactly he meant by it.

    PS: I like the German word for cotton: tree-wool.
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    Oh so Meyer himself called it secondary. I wonder what exactly he meant by it.

    Well... I can't be sure, but, just reading through the grammar, I get the impression that Meyer meant by secondary more-or-less how you defined it, viz. that it’s a by-product of another feature. What he attributes the secondary gemination to in כֻּתֹּנֶת, though, is not clear.
     

    Aleppan

    Member
    Arabic
    The most common place where a segolate component occurs inside a word is the feminine singular active participle from qal. For example, אומרת. Right?
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Historically, the base of the active verbal adj. (act. part.) Qal f.s. abs. is /qātil/ + /at/. Now, if it were /qātil/ + /t/, it would indeed yield a word containing a segholate component, namely /qātilt/. However, this should result in אוֹמֵרֶת‎, not אוֹמֶרֶת‎ (note the vowel in the second syllable). So, no, אוֹמֶרֶת‎ does not contain a segholate component, because the vowel in the second syllable is a סגול, not a צרי.
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Historically, the base of the active verbal adj. (act. part.) Qal f.s. abs. is /qātil/ + /at/. Now, if it were /qātil/ + /t/, it would indeed yield a word containing a segholate component, namely /qātilt/. However, this should result in אוֹמֵרֶת‎, not אוֹמֶרֶת‎ (note the vowel in the second syllable). So, no, אוֹמֶרֶת‎ does not contain a segholate component, because the vowel in the second syllable is a סגול, not a צרי.
    Are you saying that a word is NOT segolate because is DOES HAVE a segol?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Historically, the base of the active verbal adj. (act. part.) Qal f.s. abs. is /qātil/ + /at/. Now, if it were /qātil/ + /t/, it would indeed yield a word containing a segholate component, namely /qātilt/. However, this should result in אוֹמֵרֶת‎, not אוֹמֶרֶת‎ (note the vowel in the second syllable). So, no, אוֹמֶרֶת‎ does not contain a segholate component, because the vowel in the second syllable is a סגול, not a צרי.
    How does that mean it is not a segolate? Of course it is a segolate. Not sure how the vowel change affects its status as a segolate.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Okay, okay, it might be a segholate, but why doesn't it have a צרי under the מ? Shouldn't it look like סֵ֫פֶר?
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It seems it shifted to qōtalt- pretty early on, and before final clusters became "segolates". This is why with a suffix, the vowel is always patach.

    However, do note that many qitl- nouns have a segol instead of tzere, though this is unrelated to the situation of the feminine participles.
     

    S1234

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Here's another example of a word where you'd expect tserey but get segol instead: עַוֶּרֶת meaning blindness.

    ”עַוֶּרֶת אוֹ שָׁבוּר אוֹ חָרוּץ אוֹ יַבֶּלֶת אוֹ גָרָב אוֹ יַלֶּפֶת לֹא תַקְרִיבוּ אֵלֶּה לַה' וְאִשֶּׁה לֹא תִתְּנוּ מֵהֶם עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לַיהוה.“ (ויקרא כב, פסוק כב)

    It is of the form qittilt.
     
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