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Hebrew - Segholate nouns

These are a class of two-syllable nouns showing the following characteristics:

  1. In the singular, they are always accented on the first syllable, which will be of a, e or o class, eg. mâveth, ’ôhel.
  2. The second syllable normally takes segol, but may be patach if the 2nd or 3rd consonant is a guttural, eg melekh, na‘ar.
  3. Plurals (where these exist) fall into a number of well-defined groups:

    Starting withMasculineFeminine
    Non-guttural 1st vowel -> e
    2nd vowel -> â
    Add -îym
    eg. beqârîym
    1st vowel -> e
    2nd vowel -> â
    Add -ôwth
    eg. nephâshôwth
    Guttural 1st vowel -> a
    2nd vowel -> â
    Add -îym
    eg. ‘abâdîym
    1st vowel -> a
    2nd vowel -> â
    Add -ôwth
    eg. ’arâshôwth
  4. Dual endings change the first vowel to a or â, the second to e, and add -ayim, eg qarenayim.
  5. Some segholates have a singlar form but no plural, eg da‘th (knowledge), keçeph (silver).
Language formalities