Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
> Peter T. Daniels wrote:
> >Hebrew has moved a bit away from the prototypical abjad, first by
> >adopting matres from Aramaic, and later by occasionally using a vowel
> >point from the sacred script used only for Tanakh. That doesn't suddenly
> >make it stop being an abjad; it makes it a less prototypical abjad.
> >
> >
> I don't know that the vowel-points were of "the sacred script used only
> for Tanakh." Certainly the vowel-points were invented to codify and
> record the vowels so that the Tanakh reading could be recorded, but the
> points were a more general invention, fit for any use of Hebrew. There
> are old grammars, conjugations of words not necessarily in the Tanakh,
> etc, all dealing with and using the points. It's sort of like saying
> that the Latin alphabet "borrowed" moveable-type printing, which was
> originally used only for printing the Bible.

Texts other than Tanakh are not pointed (unless they're children's
editions). Have you looked in the Mishnah, the Qabbalistic texts, etc.?
Rabbinic correspondence from the past millennium?

> And it isn't just "occasionally"; Hebrew poetry is and has been
> regularly *completely* pointed, every dagesh (light and heavy), every
> shewa, every patah and qamats. Hebrew prosodic analysis (among other
> things) requires it.

If piyyutim were pointed, they would be a lot less difficult to
interpret. Also, I suspect, much less susceptible of multiple

> The accents/cantillations are a better example of "used only for the
> Tanakh." I've seen occasional examples of the cantillations applied to
> other things, sometimes even more than isolated stuff (which would
> include the Haftarah blessings in many prayer-books, which are often
> accented because people usually chant them that way so they blend in
> with the reading better); there was an edition of the Talmud that had
> accents in the Mishna! (not fully accented, just a few here and there).
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...