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ARTICLE XXX. SECONDE PARTIE du: Projet d' une
nouvelle Grammaire pour apprendre l'Hebreu & les anciennes Langues sans Points. Par Mr.-MAS CLEF Chanoine d'Amiens. Cette seconde Partie contient l’Explication de la nouvelle Methode.
That is, THE SECOND PÅRT of a Project of
a New Grammar to learn Hebrew and the Ancient Languages Pithout Points. This Second Parte contains an Explication of the New Method.
I Have given an Extract of the Firft Part of this
« Translation of the Second Part. This Discourse is “ so clear, that it may easily be understood; even
by those who have no Skill in Hebropo".
All the Difficulties of reading Hebrew may be reduced to Two... First to know how each Letter of the Alphabet' ought to be pronounced ; and then how. Syllables and Words are formed. We pronounce each Letter, as one may see in the following Table.
The Figure of Its Name, or
Alepha, short. 1. Bech
b, never pronounced
like the Consonant v.
i, always a Vowel. Chaph - ch, as' is pronounced
k, or q, 'tis the Greek
I admit Six Vowels, as the Ancients did , Viz. un'io When two or more Vowels meet together, I pronounce each of them feparately, in such a manner that they never make up a Diphthong
nounced, and :
If this way of pronouncing the Hebrew Letters does very much differ from the Pronunciation of the Mafforets, it comes nearer that of the Ancients. 'Tis true, I might have come nearer it Atill; but my Rules would have been liable to fome Exceptions, which I designed to avoid : And I thought I could do it safely, since I have made it appear, on the one side, that 'cis impossible to know how 'Hebreton was anciently pronounced, and, on the other, that the Thing is of no use.
I proceed to the second Difficulty, which concerns the Forination of Syllables and Words. Whereupon I must observe, That it were an easy thing to read Hebrew Syllables' and Words, if the Hebrewos had expressed in writing all the Vowels, which they pro
inade Part of Syllables and Words, as 'ris practised in Greek, Latin and French,
and generally in all the European Languages that are d known to us. But they had a 'different Custom:
'Tis true they sometimes inserted the Vowels, even in the middle of a Word; but they generally omirted them, at least these Four, "978. Nay;, they have a great Number of Words, of two, three, of four Syllables, that are only made up of Consonants. Ie being therefore impossible to forin any Syllable, and consequently any Word, without a Vowel, the Diffi. culty lies in knowing, first, in what Place a Vowel ought to be inserted ; and secondly, what Vowels ought to be underfood.
1 As for what concerns the first Head, I shalt only lay down one Rule; and it will be sufficient. When ever two Consonants' neer together in one and the fame Word, a Vowel ought to be understood be. tween them. For Example, in this Word, Vowel ought to be understood between they and the 5. In this Word yha, d'Vowel ought to be un
' and S, Again, I shall lay down but one Rule for the fez cond Head. Between two Consonants, the arti! ficial Vowel of the first Consonant ought to be un
derstood. I call an artificial Vowel of a Consonant, that which follows that Consonant, and forms a found with it in its artificial Denomination.
The artificial Denomination of 3 is beth, of ghimel, ofy daleth.
The Vowel, that follows 3 in its Artificial Denomination is e; and therefore e is the Artificial Vowel of ).
The Vowel, that follows 3 in its Artificial Deno: mination is in and therefore i is the Artificial Vowel of l. The Vowel, that follows 7 in its Artificial Denomination, is a ; and therefore a is the Artificial Vowel of g; and fo with the rest.
Wherefore in order to know what Vowel ought to be understood after a Consonant, one needs, only know the Name of thar Consonant. The first Vowel of that Name is that very Vowel, that must be understood after a Consonait, that is immediately ats tended with another Consonant in one and the same Word. For Instànce. - In the Word 249, according to the first Rule, a Vowel ought to be understood after the 9, another after the , and a third after w; and, according to the second Rule, an e ought to be under ftood after the , an a after the S, and an i after the Thus that Word ought to be read Phelafith. In this Word Obni, according to the first Rule, a Vowel muft be understood after - the , another af. ter the 9, none after the 5, because there is one; And, according to the second Rule, i must be un derstood after the 1, and a after the 7: And therefore that Word ought to be read ghidalim. Those two Rules may be reduced to one. Whenever two Consonants meet together in the same Word, the Artificial Vowel of the first Consonant ought to be understood between those two Consonants. This fingle Rule is fufficient to read Hebrem without Points with more Certainty and Conveniency (the two Qualifications which Cappel desired) than by the usual Method. This I shall fhew, when I have given an Ex
ample of the new Way of reading Hebrero, to render the use of it more easy. I read the beginning of the first Chapter of Genesis thus.
Berassith bera Aleim ath eslimim, ouath carets ; ou carets eithe theou ou becu, oueslich al pheni thecum : Ouroue Aleim merepheth, al pheni emim : Ouiamer Aleim iei aour ouiei aour. Quira Aleim ath cacur chi toub ouibedal Aleim bin caour oubin cessich : Ouikoura, Aleim laour ioum, ou lefich koura lile. Ouiei areb, ouiei bekour iem aed.
I affirm, that this Way of Pointing, that is, of reading and pronouncing Hebrew, is more certain and convenient than that of the Mafforets
First, it is more certain. I call that Pointing cer. tain, which represents the Original such as it is, so that there is no Reason to suspect any. Alteration in the Sense. . But the Pointing of the Mafforets is not certain. We cannot be sure that it represents the Original such as it is. That Pointing determines the Sense of the Words; and one may very well doubt whether that Sense be the best ; nay, 'cis agreed now that the contrary does frequently appear.
What is still more observable, is, that this Imperfection being inseparable from that Method, never be mended. It were in vain to say, If the Mafforets have pointed so, let us point otherwise, bur ftill according to their Principles : , For if any one undertakes to do it, since he is not infallible, the fame Objection that is raised against the Majorets, may be raised against him; and one may very well doubt whether he does not put a wrong Sense upon the Words of the Scripture by his Pronun-ciation.
The fame cannot be said of the new Method of Pointing and Pronouncing Hebrew. It represents the Hebrew Text in its Original Purity ; and the Sense is not altered by any Human Invention