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Syriac: ܓܪܒܐ


Senior Member

In the word ܓܪܒܐ the b is spirantized when it means leprosy but not spirantized when it means leper. Why? In both cases it has a non-vowel before it. If there is no vowel, there should be no spirantization either. Right?

Toda raba
  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    And where in the Syriac vocalization is the schwa represented? Both are spelled identically: ܓܰܪܒܳܐ


    Senior Member
    French (France)
    gareb-ā ‘leprous (fem.)’ > Syr. garbā, but garab-ā ‘leprosy’ > Syr. garḇhā. It is because in open syllables /e/ was elided earlier than /a/.

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    I just read that when ܓܪܒܐ has a spirantized b, its base (i.e. its reconstructed Proto-Semitic form) is qatal, whereas when the b is not spirantized, its base is qatl.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Cognate with Arabic جرب?
    Indeed. You can see the Syriac, Arabic and Akkadian cognates of the Hebrew word in the Hebrew Wiktionary.
    מן המקרא. מקביל לאכדית: garābu - להצטרע, וכן סורית: ܓܲܪܒ݂ܵܐ (גַרְבָא). ערבית: جَرِبَ (גַ'רִבַּ) - מכוסה בפצעים. חוקרים משערים שבפרוטו שמית היה שורש garab שממנו הסתעפו מילים אלה.
    גרב - ויקימילון