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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 comment threads

It might help to say where you saw it vocalised this way. It is common to appear the other way (the o... (1 comment)
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