A point, or later an oblique stroke, serves as the sign of abridgement in old MSS. and editions, e.g. ישׂ׳ for יִשְׂרָאֵל, פ׳ for פְּלֹנִי , ד׳ for דָּבָר , וגו׳ for וְגוֹמַר et complens, i.e. and so on. Also in the middle of what is apparently a word, such strokes indicate that it is an abbreviation or a vox memorialis (cf. e.g. §15d תא״ם). Two such strokes are employed, from §41d onward, to mark the different classes of weak verbs.—Note also יְיָ or יָי (also ה׳) for יְהֹוָה.
[5n] 5. Peculiarities in the tradition of the O.T. text, which are already mentioned in the Talmud, are—(1) The 15 puncta extraordinaria, about which the tradition (from Siphri on Nu 910 onwards) differs considerably, even as to their number; on particular consonants, Gn 165, 189, 1933.35, Nu 910; or on whole words, Gn 334, 3712, Nu 339, 2130, 2915, Dt 2928, 2 S 1920, Is 449, Ez 4120, 4622, ψ 2713, —all no doubt critical marks; cf. Strack, Prolegomena Critica, p. 88 ff.; L. Blau, Masoretische Untersuchungen, Strassburg, 1891, p. 6 ff., and Einleitung in die hl. Schrift, Budapest, 1894; Königsberger, Jüd. Lit.-Blatt, 1891, nos. 29–31, and Aus Masorah u. Talmudkritik, Berlin, 1892, p. 6 ff.; Mayer-Lambert, REJ. 30 (1895), no. 59; and especially Ginsburg, Introd., p. 318 ff.; also on the ten points found in the Pentateuch, see Butin (Baltimore, 1906), who considers that they are as old as the Christian era and probably mark a letter, &c., to be deleted. (2) The literae majusculae (e.g. ב Gn 11, ו Lv 1142 as the middle consonant of the Pentateuch, י Nu 1417), and minusculae (e.g. ה Gn 24). (3) The literae suspensae (Ginsburg, Introd., p. 334 ff.) נ Ju 1830 (which points to the reading משֶׁה for מְנַשֶּׁה, ע ψ 8014 (the middle of the Psalms) and Jb 3813.15. (4) The ‘mutilated’ Wāw in שלום Nu 2512, and ק Ex 3225 (בקמיהם), and Nu 72 (הפקודים). (5) Mêm clausum in לםרבה Is 96, and Mêm apertum in המ פרוצים Neh 213. (6) Nûn inversum before Nu 1035, and after ver. 36, as also before ψ 10723–28 and 40; according to Ginsburg, Introd., p. 341 ff., a sort of bracket to indicate that the verses are out of place; cf. Krauss, ZAW. 1902, p. 57 ff., who regards the inverted Nûns as an imitation of the Greek obelus.
P. Haupt, ‘Die Semit. Sprachlaute u. ihre Umschrift,’ in Beiträge zur Assyriologie u. vergleich. semit. Sprachwissenschaft, by Delitzsch and Haupt, i, Lpz. 1889, 249 ff.; E. Sievers, Metrische Studien, i, Lpz. 1901, p. 14 ff.
[6a] 1. An accurate knowledge of the original phonetic value of each consonant is of the greatest importance, since very many grammatical peculiarities and changes (§18 ff.) only become intelligible from the nature and pronunciation of the sounds. This knowledge is obtained partly from the pronunciation of the kindred dialects, especially the still living Arabic, partly by observing the affinity and interchange
- According to Blau, Studien zum althebr. Buchwesen, Strassburg, 1902, p. 167, properly a large ע, called telûyā because suspended between the two halves of the Psalter, and then incorrectly taken for a littera suspensa.