SEGHOL

אֶ

SHORT FRONT OPEN-MID UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɛ]

In unstressed closed syllables, or when accompanied by the shewa/ḥatef sign, Tiberian Hebrew seghol is normally pronounced as a short ɛ-vowel, lower in the mouth than ṣere.

[ɛ]

אֶ

אֱ

Hidayat al-Qari

The fourth place of articulation is the place of articulation of segol, which is the sides of the mouth, and its movement is upon the lower surface of the mouth.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.2.15.4)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

וַיְבָ֧רֶךְ

[vaˑjˈvɔːʀɛχ]

הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה֙

[hammɛmʃɔːlɔː]

הַחֹֽשֶׁךְ

[haːħoːʃεχ]

דֶּ֣רֶךְ

[ˈdɛːʀ̟ɛχ]

LONG FRONT OPEN-MID UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɛː]

In stressed and/or open syllables, seghol is pronounced as a long vowel [ɛː].

[ɛː]

אֶ

(in open or stressed syllable)

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.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.S.4.2)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

מֶ֣לֶךְ

[ˈmɛːlɛχ]

הַקָּנֶה֮

[haq̟q̟ɔːˈnɛː]

יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה

[jaːʕaˈsεː]

דֶּ֣רֶךְ

[ˈdɛːʀ̟ɛχ]

EXTRA LONG FRONT OPEN-MID UNROUNDED VOWEL [ɛːɛ]

In a final stressed closed syllable, seghol is pronounced as an extra long vowel [ɛːɛ].

[ɛːɛ]

אֶ

(in stressed closed syllable)

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.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.S.4.2)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

בַּרְזֶ֔ל

[baʀ̟ˈzɛːɛl]

תִּדְּפֶ֥נּוּ

[tʰiddaˈfɛːɛnnuː]

אֲשֶׁר֙

[ʔaʃɛːɛʀ̟]

לָכֶ֜ם

[lɔːˈχɛːɛm]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.2.

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