For closed one-syllable Hebrew words that take only a patach or kamatz (יָ֥ד, עַ֖ל, רַ֛ק, etc.), is there any rhyme or reason as to which ones can only take one and which the other, or is it just something to be memorized?

Note: I am excluding verbs (בָא֮), and am not asking about shifts in vowelization in the same word from kamatz to patach (due, e.g., to construct form) or from patach to kamatz (due, e.g., to pausal form).

  • Isn’t this the same rule as multisyllabic nouns - i.e., if they take an esnachta/sof passuk the patach switches to a kamatz?
    – DonielF
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 1:31
  • Are you asking because you pronounce the two vowels differently and that could invalidate a Torah reading if you're not careful so you want some mnemonic assistance? Also, I hope my edit is what you intended. I was a bit confused.
    – WAF
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 3:58
  • 2
    DonielF, I explicitly said that was not my question.
    – user432944
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 11:29
  • 1
    הנה משמני הארץ יהיה מושבך ומטל השמים מעל
    – Heshy
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 15:50
  • 1
    Here are nouns with patakh: עם, שר, הר, פר, כף, בת and adjectives with qamas: חם, תם and adverbs: אז, שם. There are several reasons to explain these forms. For example: forms deriving from originally qal (short vowel) nouns take a qamas, and ones coming from qall (or qatl, with assimilation) (short vowels) tend to have patakh (but before ם we usually have qamas).
    – Argon
    Commented Oct 17, 2019 at 23:30


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