PATAH

אַ

SHORT FRONT OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL [a]

OR

SHORT BACK OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɑ]

In unstressed closed syllables, or when accompanied by the shewa/ḥatef sign, Tiberian Hebrew pataḥ is normally pronounced as a short a-vowel in the front of the mouth. In the environment of pharyngealized consonants (i.e., טצ and emphatic "heavy" ר), pataḥ was realized with a back allophone [ɑ]. In other words, when pataḥ is preceded or followed by טצ or "heavy" ר, pronounce it further back in the mouth.

[a]

אַ

אֲ

[ɑ]

אַ

אֲ

(by טצר)

Hidayat al-Qari

The third place of articulation is the place of articulation of pataḥ, which is the surface of the tongue at the bottom (of the mouth).

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.2.15.3)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

חֲטָאָ֣ה

ɑtˁɔːˈʔɔː]

זַרְעוֹ

[zɑrˁˈʕoː]

אֲדָמָֽה

aðɔːˈmɔː]

מַבְדִּ֔יל

[mavˈdiːil]

LONG FRONT OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL []

OR

LONG BACK OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɑː]

In all stressed and/or open syllables, pataḥ is pronounced as a long vowel []. In the environment of pharyngealized consonants (i.e., טצ and emphatic "heavy" ר), pataḥ in stressed and/or open syllables was realized with a long back allophone [ɑː].

[aː]

אַ

(in open or stressed syllable)

[ɑː]

אַ

(in open or stressed syllable; by טצר)

Hidayat al-Qari

The total number of vowels is seven: אֹ ,אִ ,אֵ ,אֶ ,אַ ,אָ and אֻ. From within these seven vowels the letters ו ,ה ,א, and י are pronounced. From qameṣ, pataḥ and segol ʾalef and he are pronounced, as in עַמֶּיךָ ,עֲבָדֶיךָ and קָשֶׁה. If the he (in קָשֶׁה) were elided, the segol (by itself) would indicate its existence, just as the qameṣ in עַמְּךָ ,שִׁמְךָ and עֲבָדֶיךָ indicates the existence of ʾalef or he in full orthography. Likewise שָׁמַר and זָכַר —the pataḥ indicates the existence of ʾalef.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.S.4.2)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

צַ֖יִד

[ˈsˁɑːjið]

טַ֣עַם

[ˈtˁɑːʕam]

הַה֗וּא

[hˈhuː]

לַעֲשֽׂוֹת

[lʕaˈsoːoθ]

EXTRA LONG FRONT OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL [aːa]

OR

EXTRA LONG BACK OPEN UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɑːɑ]

In a stressed closed syllable, pataḥ is pronounced as an extra long vowel [aːa]. In the environment of pharyngealized consonants (i.e., טצ and emphatic "heavy" ר), pataḥ in final stressed closed syllables was realized with a long back allophone [ɑː].

[aːa]

אַ

(in stressed closed syllable)

[ɑːɑ]

אַ

(in stressed closed syllables, by טצר)

Hidayat al-Qari

The total number of vowels is seven: אֹ ,אִ ,אֵ ,אֶ ,אַ ,אָ and אֻ. From within these seven vowels the letters ו ,ה ,א, and י are pronounced. From qameṣ, pataḥ and segol ʾalef and he are pronounced, as in עַמֶּיךָ ,עֲבָדֶיךָ and קָשֶׁה. If the he (in קָשֶׁה) were elided, the segol (by itself) would indicate its existence, just as the qameṣ in עַמְּךָ ,שִׁמְךָ and עֲבָדֶיךָ indicates the existence of ʾalef or he in full orthography. Likewise שָׁמַר and זָכַר —the pataḥ indicates the existence of ʾalef.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.S.4.2)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

הַמְעַט֙

[hamˈʕɑːɑtˁ]

וְרָחַ֤ץ

[vaʀ̟ɔːħɑːɑ]

וַיַּ֥רְא

[vaɟˈɟaːaʀ̟]

חָשַׂ֖כְתָּ

[ħɔːˈsaːaχtʰɔː]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.1.6.

©2020 by TiberianHebrew.com.