Wednesday, June 19, 2019

A Geniza Torah fragment with nonstandard Tiberian vocalization

GENIZA FRAGMENT OF THE MONTH (APRIL 2019): Standard Tiberian Pronunciation in a Non-Standard Form: T-S AS 64.206 (Estara J. Arrant).
To summarise, we have a grouping of features in T-S AS 64.206 which together demonstrate that while the scribe used pataḥ, shewa, and ḥatef pataḥ in unique ways, he took measures to ensure that they did not lead to confusion with regards to the silent shewa and quiescent letters. Therefore, the text was mainly still pronounced according to the rigours of the ST tradition. This represents a tidy compromise between the scribe's individualistic use of particular signs and the accepted Tiberian pronunciation of the text. This unique document reminds us that non-standard placement of vowel signs does not always result in a non-standard reading of the text.
Past posts noting Cairo Geniza Fragments of the Month in the Cambridge University Library's Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit are here and links.

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