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Q&A

Why is the word here "HaNofelet" and not "HaNofalet" when there's a grammatical pause?

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When reading this section of Amos on Saturday, something struck me about this verse (Amos 9:11):

:בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא אָקִ֛ים אֶת־סֻכַּ֥ת דָּוִ֖יד הַנֹּפֶ֑לֶת וְגָדַרְתִּ֣י אֶת־פִּרְצֵיהֶ֗ן וַהֲרִֽסֹתָיו֙ אָקִ֔ים וּבְנִיתִ֖יהָ כִּימֵ֥י עוֹלָֽם׃

Specifically, the word "הַנֹּפֶ֑לֶת" (including the cantillation mark). Usually, when there's a word that generally has a segol ("eh" sound), if that segol is under an etnachta - that cantillation mark, which grammatically indicates a pause - that segol turns into a kamats ("ah" sound). With the segol, this word is read out loud as "HaNofelet"; with a kamats, I'd read it as "HaNofalet".

In fact, on the holiday of Sukkot, we say a version of this verse in the Grace After Meals, which includes the word in the "HaNofalet" version, which is another reason this jumped out at me.

Why doesn't the grammatical pause (the etnachta) here cause the usual effect of turning the segol into a kamats?

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2 comments

This question ought to be in Judaism. In my Grace etc it is with a komets and so are other words. But you pronounce the same. Not every word changes like teven doesnt change to toven. And Grace etc may not be correct interested‭ 16 days ago

Sometimes questions fit more than one community. We see that with Math/Physics sometimes, for example. This question could be asked either here or on Judaism. Here it will attract linguistics-based answers; there it would attract religion-based ones. Both are valid approaches. Monica Cellio‭ 10 days ago

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