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?
> >
> >
> But that simply is not TRUE. That's why I wrote to correct you. It is
> NOT the case that texts other than the Tanakh are not pointed. Have YOU
> looked at recent editions of the Mishnah? I can scan you a

for babies

> fully-pointed one. Have YOU looked at ANY prayer-book printed in the
> last ~500 years? Even the non-Biblical prayers are fully pointed. Have

for babies

And the Masoretes would be scandalized.

> YOU so much as looked at the Hebrew translation of The Lord of the
> Rings? Every poem (*poem*, mind you) in that book is completely
> pointed, every dot and dash. Just like I said. Have YOU read ANY
> Modern Hebrew poetry? Go get a book of (the recently deceased) Naomi
> Shemer's poetry, or Yehuda Amichai, or go father back and look at Hayim
> Nachman Bialik's. They're all pointed very very carefully.

Will the Penguin (or maybe Pelican) bilingual anthology of Modern Hebrew
Poetry do? Unpointed.

> >>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
> >interpretation.
> >
> >
> But they are pointed. Go get hold of any decent prayer-book: they're
> pointed up down and backwards (and a good thing, too, because they'd be

Some tiny selection of piyyutim are printed in prayer books, and they're
pointed for babies.

> almost unreadable otherwise: the words are pretty obscure). It's quite
> possible

It's quite certain

> that the pointing was added later and not by the original
> authors, but that isn't the point.

Of course it is. The editors imposed a particular interpretation of the
many possible ones intended by the poets.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...