the peculiar nature of the Hebrew, the example and pattern of the older Syrian punctuation.
[7i] 4. To complete the historical vocalization of the consonantal text a phonetic system was devised, so exact as to show all vowel-changes occasioned by lengthening of words, by the tone, by gutturals, &c., which in other languages are seldom indicated in writing. The pronunciation followed is in the main that of the Palestinian Jews of about the sixth century A.D., as observed in the solemn reading of the sacred writings in synagogue and school, but based on a much older tradition. That the real pronunciation of early Hebrew is consistently preserved by this tradition, has recently been seriously questioned on good grounds, especially in view of the transcription of proper names in the LXX. Nevertheless in many cases, internal reasons, as well as the analogy of the kindred languages, testify in a high degree to the faithfulness of the tradition. At the same recension of the text, or soon after, the various other signs for reading (§§11–14, 16) were added, and the accents (§15).
- See Geiger, ‘Massorah bei d. Syrern,’ in ZDMG. 1873, p. 148 ff.; J. P. Martin, Hist. de la ponctuation ou de la Massore chez les Syriens, Par. 1875; E. Nestle, in ZDMG. 1876, p. 525 ff.; Weingarten, Die syr. Massora nach Bar Hebraeus, Halle, 1887.