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Shlomo akh Keefo,

I was looking over the Syriac lessons on your website, and have a few questions about Maronite pronunciation which may be of interest to other peshitta.org forum users too.

1. Vowels.
Could you be more precise on how you actually pronounce the vowels? For example, the English letter ???A??? can represent the sound of ???a??? in ???father,??? or the ???a??? in ???about,??? or the ???a??? in ???at,??? or the ???a??? in ???cake,??? as well a several other distinct sounds. While I realize that English equivalents can only be approximate, something like the following would be very helpful:

??? zqopo = the ???oa??? in ???coal.???
??? ???soso = the ???oo??? in ???moon.???
??? Hvoso = the ???i??? in ???machine.???

I am especially interested in how you pronounce pthoHo and rvoSo.

Also, how do you pronounce the unwritten schwa sound? Is it a single sound like in most grammar books, or multiple semi-vowels like in Hebrew?

2. Vocalized Consonants.
On page 6 of lesson 2 you transliterate the sounds of gomal + rvoSo as ???gue??? and gomal + HvoSo as ???guee.??? Does the ???u??? represent a glide sound, or something else?

3. What About Diphthongs?
For example, in lesson 4 page 1 you transliterate ???heavens as??? shma-yo. Isn???t pthoHo + yud pronounced something like ???eye,??? making ???heavens??? shmeye-yo? Most grammars list a number of diphthongs for western Syriac. What diphthongs does the Maronite Tradition use?

4. Consonant Doubling.
In eastern Syriac, the vowels pthaHa and zlama psheeqa borrow the following consonant, and always form closed syllables. Do any of the Maronite vowels act like this, or can all of them stand in an open syllable?

5. Stress.
Many Assyrians say there are no fixed rules for determining the stressed syllable in multi-syllable words. Some grammars say that the stress should be on the next to the last syllable, except for some two syllable words. What about in the Maronite pronunciation?

6. Cluster Mutations.
In addition to the sound changes in the six ???soft??? or aspirated consonants, some eastern Aramaic grammars give letter clusters which cause pronunciation changes in the leading consonant. For example, here are some of the sound clusters Alan Aldawood gives on his Assyrian Aramaic Language website:

??? zayn + vowel + kof or quwf + vowel makes zayn sound like semkath,
??? semkath + vowel + beyth or gomal + vowel makes semkath sound like zayn,
??? semkath + vowel + pe makes semkath sound like Sode.

Does Maronite Syriac have similar sound changes?

7. Alternate Maronite Pronunciation?
In the mid 1990???s I had a chance to talk to a retired Maronite priest, the late Father Joseph Joseph. He told me that there were different ???accents??? among the Maronites, in both Arabic and Syriac, depending on what region of Lebanon the speaker came from. He further said, if I understood correctly, that he pronounced zqopo like the ???a??? in ???raw.??? This pronunciation is also testified to in Robinson???s Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar where it is specifically stated to be a Maronite pronunciation. John Healey???s First Studies in Syriac also uses this pronunciation. Do you know anything about this pronunciation? If so, how does this affect the pronunciation of pthoHo?

John Marucci
shlom lokh oh John,

For the first four lessons I'm keep it extremly simple, by avoiding any of the complex sound changes, and using the original sounds of the letters in accordance with Aramaic, by that I mean, Maronites usually pronounce the "p" as "ph" all the time, but I stuck with "p", because using the "ph" all the time is due to bad habits. As for changing the "k" to "kh" when appropriate, and the other consonants of "bgdkpt" that will be presented in Lesson 5. So the first four lessons are a simplistic apporach, but lesson 5 will introduce assimilation, mhaghyono, qushoyo & rukokho (just the sounds, and not the rules), etc...
The Maronites don't pronounce the "p", "v", "dh", and "th" (except in some rare instances) <- Due to bad habits, but originally they did pronounce them. And if you go back far enough they use to pronounce the zqoPHo as "a", and not "o".

AramaicScribe Wrote:Shlomo akh Keefo,

I was looking over the Syriac lessons on your website, and have a few questions about Maronite pronunciation which may be of interest to other peshitta.org forum users too.

1. Vowels.
Could you be more precise on how you actually pronounce the vowels? For example, the English letter ???A??? can represent the sound of ???a??? in ???father,??? or the ???a??? in ???about,??? or the ???a??? in ???at,??? or the ???a??? in ???cake,??? as well a several other distinct sounds. While I realize that English equivalents can only be approximate, something like the following would be very helpful:

??? zqopo = the ???oa??? in ???coal.???
??? ???soso = the ???oo??? in ???moon.???
??? Hvoso = the ???i??? in ???machine.???

I am especially interested in how you pronounce pthoHo and rvoSo.

Also, how do you pronounce the unwritten schwa sound? Is it a single sound like in most grammar books, or multiple semi-vowels like in Hebrew?

Before I give the way that I pronounce the vowels, there are people who pronounce their vowels half way, and as such have no long or short, and others will pronounce the vowels with long, short, and half way. Some of the vowels can be pronounced in different ways depending on where they show up in the word, and that is only picked up when it's learnt from someone who speaks the language. (I was thinking of changing the transliteration to reflect some of these special pronunciations.)

pTHoHo (or as the Maronite call it PHtoHo):
malko <- I would pronounce the "a" as in "father".

zqoPHo (originally this was pronounced as "a" in "about"):
malko <- I would pronounce the "o" as in "oscar".

rVoSo (or as the Maronite call it rboSo):
m??n <- I would pronounce the "??" here as in "ken". In reality I should have written it as "m??n" if I was following french conventions. | This is the normal sound through out the word, expect at termination.
malk?? <- I would pronounce the "??" here as in "effort". Only at emphatic termination of the word.
b??th <- I would pronounce the "??" here as in "train" -> the "??" would pronounced as "ai". | This sound occurs when you have a consonant with a rvoso vowel followed by a yudh.
qoy??m <- I would pronounce the "??" here as "ken". Here the word is "q,a,m", by tradition if an Olaph is in the word, and not the first Olaph of the word, then the Olaph becomes a Yudh.

HVoSo (or as the Maronite call it HboSo):
-shleeho <- I would pronounce the "ee" as in "feet" | HVoSo + Yudh is pronounced as "ee" in "feet".
-qadeesho <- Some would pronounce the "ee" as "i" in "bring".
-ee'o <- If you have a "yudh" + HVoSo, then you get "ee" as in feet, but not "yee".

'SoSo:
-shoobho <- I would pronounce "oo" as "u" in "put".
-phoomo <- I would pronounce "oo" as "oo" in "doom".

Here's the trditional Maronite way of learning vowels:
PHtoHo <- as in abrohom
zqoPHo <- as in odom
rboSo <- as in ??SHa'yo
HboSo <- as in eeleeyo
'SoSo <- as in ooreeya

We don't pronounce the SHwa, but there are rules for it which indicate where it should be located in a word, and as such cause clustering. It has no Syriac symbol, but some people who transliterate it will write it out as a superscripted reversed "e". And it is called the little vowell or half-vowel.

Ex: SHmayo -> SH-ma-yo (The SHwa is located in front of the "SH")
If we apply geminiation -> SH-may-yo
Maronites don't use gemination (but they did in the past), but the rules are still taught. One distinctive feature of how the Maronites teach it is, in words like aKHi the "KH" is not geminated, where as in Eastern Aramaic they will geminate it, like the word aKH-KHeel.

AramaicScribe Wrote:2. Vocalized Consonants.
On page 6 of lesson 2 you transliterate the sounds of gomal + rvoSo as ???gue??? and gomal + HvoSo as ???guee.??? Does the ???u??? represent a glide sound, or something else?

I was attempting to cause people to pronounce "gee" as the first "g" in "garbage", instead of "g" as in "George".
Since in the word "guest" the "gu" gave that sound, I thought it would be a way of forcing people to pronounce the "g" as in "got".

AramaicScribe Wrote:3. What About Diphthongs?
For example, in lesson 4 page 1 you transliterate ???heavens as??? shma-yo. Isn???t pthoHo + yud pronounced something like ???eye,??? making ???heavens??? shmeye-yo? Most grammars list a number of diphthongs for western Syriac. What diphthongs does the Maronite Tradition use?

Here are the basic rules of Diphtongues:
When at the end of a syllable and you have a "w" or "y", then you get a diphtongue, with the exception of 'SoSo and HvoSo.

Consonant + pTHoHo + waw -> aw | ex: talmiDaw
Consonant + rvoSo + yudh + waw -> ??w | ex: ??vn??w
Consonant + HvoSo + yudh + waw -> eew | ex: armeew
Consonant + pTHoHo + yudh -> ay | ex: ??THayt
Consonant + zqoPHo + yudh -> oy | ex: hoy
Consonant + 'SoSo + waw + yudh -> ooy | ex: avuy

AramaicScribe Wrote:4. Consonant Doubling.
In eastern Syriac, the vowels pthaHa and zlama psheeqa borrow the following consonant, and always form closed syllables. Do any of the Maronite vowels act like this, or can all of them stand in an open syllable?

I partially covered it before in regards to gemination.

if you have two consonant, each having a vowel, then you'll cause the doubling on the second consonant assuming the first consonant has one of the following vowells: pTHoHo, or short 'SoSo, or rvoSo.
With the following exceptions:
-You can't double a spirintized letter of "bgdkpt"

And there are other rules, if you want I can try to go further in the grammar book and give you the complete rules.

AramaicScribe Wrote:5. Stress.
Many Assyrians say there are no fixed rules for determining the stressed syllable in multi-syllable words. Some grammars say that the stress should be on the next to the last syllable, except for some two syllable words. What about in the Maronite pronunciation?

Stress the last syllable when it's closed, before last when the last is openned.

AramaicScribe Wrote:6. Cluster Mutations.
In addition to the sound changes in the six ???soft??? or aspirated consonants, some eastern Aramaic grammars give letter clusters which cause pronunciation changes in the leading consonant. For example, here are some of the sound clusters Alan Aldawood gives on his Assyrian Aramaic Language website:

??? zayn + vowel + kof or quwf + vowel makes zayn sound like semkath,
??? semkath + vowel + beyth or gomal + vowel makes semkath sound like zayn,
??? semkath + vowel + pe makes semkath sound like Sode.

Does Maronite Syriac have similar sound changes?

-Olaph auxiliaire (used to simplify pronounciation in some cases):
You add a Olaph + pTHoHo in front of a word that has one or two initial non-vowelled consonant.
(Altough I've never used this rule, I think that I might start to use if I find it is helpfull).

-Yudh + HvoSo or Olaph + yudh + Hvoso -> give the "ee" sound as in "feet".

-if you have a non-vowelled consonant followed by an olaph with a vowell, then that olaph will give its vowel to the consonant, and olaph becomes quiet.
ex: sono -> original: s,zqoPHo,nun,olaph,zqoPHo,olaph -> becomes: s,zqoPHo,nun,zqoPHo,olaph,olaph

-if you have non-vowelled consonant followed by a yudh, then that consonant gets the HvoSo vowel.
Ex: yl??D -> eel??D

-Same thing as above applys if you have a waw.
Ex: Hadwto -> HadooTHo

-If you have an olaph + a vowel, and there's a consonant + a vowel before it, then the olaph becomes a yudh.
Ex: yo?? -> yoy??

-If you have an olaph + a vowel, and a waw without a vowel before it, then the vowel of the olaph goes to the waw. This is only used by the Maronites.
Ex: SHuolo -> SHoowolo

-If you have a h?? which has a 'ayn before it, then the 'ayn is pronounced as ??.
Ex: '??had -> ??had

-if you have an initial h??, then it becomes ??.
Ex: h??nun -> ??nun

-The following consonant d,z,s,S,t assimilate. That's if you have any of these consonsnt next to each other, and the first one is vowelless, then the first consonant is assimilated by the second.
Ex: ??tdKHar -> ??dKHar

-If you have d, t, T followed by a t of the feminine or the pronoun of the second personne, then they're not pronounced.
Ex: 'vad -> 'vat | ',b,d,t <- consonant of that word.

-If you have "z" followed by a "KH" or "TH", then the "z" is pronounced as "s". (Not in common use)
Ex: dazKHaryo -> dasKHaryo

-If you have "s" followed by "d", then the "d" is pronounced as "z". (Not in common use)
Ex: H??sdo -> H??zdo

-If you have "g" or "q" followed by "TH", then "g" and "q" are pronounced as "KH".
Ex: rayugtono -> rayuKHtono

-If you have two non-vowelled consonant next to each other, then the first consonant receives an auxillary rvoSo vowel, or in front of "r,a,h,H,'" a pTHoHo.

AramaicScribe Wrote:7. Alternate Maronite Pronunciation?
In the mid 1990???s I had a chance to talk to a retired Maronite priest, the late Father Joseph Joseph. He told me that there were different ???accents??? among the Maronites, in both Arabic and Syriac, depending on what region of Lebanon the speaker came from. He further said, if I understood correctly, that he pronounced zqopo like the ???a??? in ???raw.??? This pronunciation is also testified to in Robinson???s Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar where it is specifically stated to be a Maronite pronunciation. John Healey???s First Studies in Syriac also uses this pronunciation. Do you know anything about this pronunciation? If so, how does this affect the pronunciation of pthoHo?

Yes there are different accents in Lebanon. What we speak in Lebanon is Arabised Syriac which has different accents from area to area. Due to Arabization we are getting closer to Arabic with every generation.

The Syriac is constant through out Lebanon, and is classical (the same as found in the Peshitta).

Some people like to pronounce Syriac titles in the way before the zqoPHo became "o", that's they'll pronounce it as zqaPHa.

Hope This Helps!

poosh bashlomo,
keefa-moroon
shlomy lokh oh keefa,

Thank you for the detailed response to my questions. It will take me a while to assimilate all this.

I was also wondering, are there more volumes in the New Method Syriac Reader series, and are there any plans to translate the Arabic portions into English?

John Marucci
lo m??d??m habr!

AramaicScribe Wrote:I was also wondering, are there more volumes in the New Method Syriac Reader series, and are there any plans to translate the Arabic portions into English?

Actually there are more books in the serie, but I haven't scanned them yet because they use a Serto font which is hard for beginners to comprehend.
I was planning to create an English lexicon which would follow the same pattern as that found in the books.

aloho nbar??kh lokh oh,
keefa-moroon
Shlomy lokh oh keefa,

I've had a chance to start working through your pronunciation instructions, and I???m afraid you???ve lost me with your statement, ???We don't pronounce the SHwa.??? If you don???t pronounce the schwa, and you don???t use gemination, then how do you pronounce words with consonant clusters without a written vowel, that don't fit into one of the categories you listed under cluster mutation? I'll illustrate my confusion with the Peal verb conjugation for ktab. Where I have placed a question mark is where I would think a vowel sound is required to pronounce the word. How would you break the words into syllables, and pronounce them?

??? A = olaf
??? ' = the stressed syllable.

Past Singular:
3m. k?-tab'
3f. k??t-bat'
2m. k?-ta-b?t'
2f. k?-ta-b?t(y)'
1c. k??t-b??t'

Past Plural:
3m. k?-tab(w)' ??? k?-ta-bu(w)n'
3f. k?-tab(y)' ??? k?-ta-bi(y)n'
2m. k?-tab-tun'
2f. k?-tab-t??(y)n'
1c. k?-tab(n)' ??? k?-tab-nan'

Future Singular:
3m. n??k-tuwb'
3f. t??k-tuwb(y)'
2m. t??k-tuwb'
2f. t??k-t?-bi(y)n'
1c. A??k-tuwb'

Future Plural:
3m. n??k-t?-bu(w)n'
3f. n??k-t?-bon'
2m. t??k-t?-bu(w)n'
2f. t??k-t?-bon'
1c. n??k-tu(w)b'

John Marucci
Breekh yawmo oh John,

AramaicScribe Wrote:How would you break the words into syllables, and pronounce them?

??? A = olaf
??? ' = the stressed syllable.

I'll do my best! :)

-One rule in forming syllables is that the number of vowels is equal to the number syllables.

-If you have two non vowelled consonants, then the first letter belongs to the first syllable, and the second belongs to the second syllable.

-At the end of a word you can pronounce up to two non-vowelled consonant only.

-We use auxiliere vowels to make pronounciation easier.

-If you have two non-vowelled consonant at the beginning of a word, then you get a vowell on the first consonant (either auxiliere or primitive-> e or a).
Ex: bryo-to -> b??ryo-to

-If you have three consonant non-vowelled consonant, then you get an auxiliere or primitive vowel on the second consonant.
Ex:m??tqtlo -> m??t-qat-lo

AramaicScribe Wrote:Past Singular:
3m. k?-tab'
3f. k??t-bat'
2m. k?-ta-b?t'
2f. k?-ta-b?t(y)'
1c. k??t-b??t'

3m. k?-tab' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab
2m. k?-ta-b?t' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab??t
2f. k?-ta-b?t(y)' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab??t

AramaicScribe Wrote:Past Plural:
3m. k?-tab(w)' ??? k?-ta-bu(w)n'
3f. k?-tab(y)' ??? k?-ta-bi(y)n'
2m. k?-tab-tun'
2f. k?-tab-t??(y)n'
1c. k?-tab(n)' ??? k?-tab-nan'

3m. k?-tab(w)' ??? k?-ta-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab, Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-bun
3f. k?-tab(y)' ??? k?-ta-bi(y)n' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab, Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-bin
2m. k?-tab-tun' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-tun
2f. k?-tab-t??(y)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-tain
1c. k?-tab(n)' ??? k?-tab-nan' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-b??n, Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-nan

As a side example with SHwa -> k?-tab-t??(y)n' <- The SHwa appears in front of k, and of b, thus we notice that the "t" in front of the "k" becomes "th", and the "b" becomes a "v"
-> kTHavtain

Another a side example with SHwa -> k?-tab(n)' <- The SHwa does the same thing as before -> kTHaV??n. If that "??" had been part of the actual vowels, and not an auxiliere vowel, then it would be kTHab??n.

AramaicScribe Wrote:Future Singular:
3m. n??k-tuwb'
3f. t??k-tuwb(y)'
2m. t??k-tuwb'
2f. t??k-t?-bi(y)n'
1c. A??k-tuwb'

2f. t??k-t?-bi(y)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbin

AramaicScribe Wrote:Future Plural:
3m. n??k-t?-bu(w)n'
3f. n??k-t?-bon'
2m. t??k-t?-bu(w)n'
2f. t??k-t?-bon'
1c. n??k-tu(w)b'

3m. n??k-t?-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> n??k??-tbun
3f. n??k-t?-bon' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> n??k??-tbon
2m. t??k-t?-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbun
2f. t??k-t?-bon' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbon

poosh bashlomo,
keefa-moroon
P.S. Sorry for the lateness of my reply!
shlomo oh Paul,

Are the two set of pronunciation rule posts that I posted similar to Eastern Style, or are some of them not applicable?

poosh bashlomo,
keefa-moroon

abudar2000 Wrote:Breekh yawmo oh John,

AramaicScribe Wrote:How would you break the words into syllables, and pronounce them?

??? A = olaf
??? ' = the stressed syllable.

I'll do my best! :)

-One rule in forming syllables is that the number of vowels is equal to the number syllables.

-If you have two non vowelled consonants, then the first letter belongs to the first syllable, and the second belongs to the second syllable.

-At the end of a word you can pronounce up to two non-vowelled consonant only.

-We use auxiliere vowels to make pronounciation easier.

-If you have two non-vowelled consonant at the beginning of a word, then you get a vowell on the first consonant (either auxiliere or primitive-> e or a).
Ex: bryo-to -> b??ryo-to

-If you have three consonant non-vowelled consonant, then you get an auxiliere or primitive vowel on the second consonant.
Ex:m??tqtlo -> m??t-qat-lo

AramaicScribe Wrote:Past Singular:
3m. k?-tab'
3f. k??t-bat'
2m. k?-ta-b?t'
2f. k?-ta-b?t(y)'
1c. k??t-b??t'

3m. k?-tab' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab
2m. k?-ta-b?t' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab??t
2f. k?-ta-b?t(y)' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab??t

AramaicScribe Wrote:Past Plural:
3m. k?-tab(w)' ??? k?-ta-bu(w)n'
3f. k?-tab(y)' ??? k?-ta-bi(y)n'
2m. k?-tab-tun'
2f. k?-tab-t??(y)n'
1c. k?-tab(n)' ??? k?-tab-nan'

3m. k?-tab(w)' ??? k?-ta-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab, Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-bun
3f. k?-tab(y)' ??? k?-ta-bi(y)n' <- Pronounced as one cluster -> ktab, Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-bin
2m. k?-tab-tun' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-tun
2f. k?-tab-t??(y)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-tain
1c. k?-tab(n)' ??? k?-tab-nan' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> kta-b??n, Pronounced as two clusters -> ktab-nan

As a side example with SHwa -> k?-tab-t??(y)n' <- The SHwa appears in front of k, and of b, thus we notice that the "t" in front of the "k" becomes "th", and the "b" becomes a "v"
-> kTHavtain

Another a side example with SHwa -> k?-tab(n)' <- The SHwa does the same thing as before -> kTHaV??n. If that "??" had been part of the actual vowels, and not an auxiliere vowel, then it would be kTHab??n.

AramaicScribe Wrote:Future Singular:
3m. n??k-tuwb'
3f. t??k-tuwb(y)'
2m. t??k-tuwb'
2f. t??k-t?-bi(y)n'
1c. A??k-tuwb'

2f. t??k-t?-bi(y)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbin

AramaicScribe Wrote:Future Plural:
3m. n??k-t?-bu(w)n'
3f. n??k-t?-bon'
2m. t??k-t?-bu(w)n'
2f. t??k-t?-bon'
1c. n??k-tu(w)b'

3m. n??k-t?-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> n??k??-tbun
3f. n??k-t?-bon' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> n??k??-tbon
2m. t??k-t?-bu(w)n' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbun
2f. t??k-t?-bon' <- Pronounced as two clusters -> t??k??-tbon

poosh bashlomo,
keefa-moroon
P.S. Sorry for the lateness of my reply!
Shlama Akhi Abudar,

Some things are notably different in the Eastern (i.e., the pronunciation of the Aleph and Peh, the softening of certain letters (like Beth "w" and Tau "th") and especially the vocalization of the Shwa.) Otherwise, they are very close.

See http://www.assyrianlanguage.com for the best treatment of Eastern pronunciation <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->
Shlomo akhy keefa-moroon,

The concept of auxiliere vowels is new to me, and still confusing. Here is what I think I understand:

1. The auxiliere vowels are ???a,??? pthoHo, and ???e,??? rVoSo.

2. The auxiliere vowels are used to pronounce two or more clusters of consonants without a written vowel.

3. When an initial consonant requires an auxiliere vowel there are two methods employed. One pretends there is an invisible olaf + a in front of the initial consonant, making a closed initial syllable. Ktab would be pronounced as if it were written Aaktab. The other method would place the auxiliere vowel after the initial consonant, so ktab would be pronounced ketab, or katab.

4. From the way you have clustered the ktab inflections, I would guess that consonants vocalized with auxiliere vowels aren???t usually considered to be independent syllables.

Assuming any of the above is correct, I have the following questions:

1. Is there any way of predicting which auxiliere vowel will be used in a particular circumstance?

2. Is there an initial olaf + rVoSo auxiliere vowel?

3. Since you have given two different ways an auxiliere vowel can be applied to an initial consonant, Olaph auxiliaire and bryo-to = b??ryo-to, how do you know which method to use?

John Marucci
shlomo oh John,

AramaicScribe Wrote:The concept of auxiliere vowels is new to me, and still confusing. Here is what I think I understand:

1. The auxiliere vowels are ???a,??? pthoHo, and ???e,??? rVoSo.

2. The auxiliere vowels are used to pronounce two or more clusters of consonants without a written vowel.

3. When an initial consonant requires an auxiliere vowel there are two methods employed. One pretends there is an invisible olaf + a in front of the initial consonant, making a closed initial syllable. Ktab would be pronounced as if it were written Aaktab. The other method would place the auxiliere vowel after the initial consonant, so ktab would be pronounced ketab, or katab.

4. From the way you have clustered the ktab inflections, I would guess that consonants vocalized with auxiliere vowels aren???t usually considered to be independent syllables.

Assuming any of the above is correct, I have the following questions:

AramaicScribe Wrote:1. Is there any way of predicting which auxiliere vowel will be used in a particular circumstance?
The axiliere vowel rvoSo is to be used at all times, except when the second non-vowelled consonant is "l, h, H, ' ", then it's a pTHoHo.

These auxiliere vowels aren't written down, but are just pronounced as part of reading.

AramaicScribe Wrote:2. Is there an initial olaf + rVoSo auxiliere vowel?
In front of foreign words that have "shin" or "semkath".

3. Since you have given two different ways an auxiliere vowel can be applied to an initial consonant, Olaph auxiliaire and bryo-to = b??ryo-to, how do you know which method to use?
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In case of "b??ryo-to" it has shown up in the Dictionary, and everyone writes it like that, since I've never used this rule I suspect that that is case with alot of them, and that people are just using the auxiliere vowels for two or three consonant, without the initial olaph+vowel combination. Probably the only place you might see this is in poetry or hymn, but I'm not sure I'll have to ask my old Syriac teacher.

Alot of time you apply these auxiliere voewls, or anything else that is not written down, the words are usually pronounced according to the way previous generation have used them, or in what makes it easier for people to pronounce. There is another rule when we place a line above the first consonant of a two non-vowelled consonat , then we don't apply auxiliere vowels, because it doesn't make the pronounciation easier.
Ex: mSHamlyo -> mSHam-lyo
Notice, no auxiliere vowels. Why they decided to this, it all goes back to tradition.

poosh bashlomo,
keefa-moroon
Shlomo akhy keefa-moroon

Thank you for all the information. Your pronunciation suggestions will be helpful for all who need to read western vowelled Syriac.


John Marucci
lo m??d??m habr!

keefa-moroon

AramaicScribe Wrote:Shlomo akhy keefa-moroon

Thank you for all the information. Your pronunciation suggestions will be helpful for all who need to read western vowelled Syriac.


John Marucci