Someone pointed me to the following unusual verse (Malakhi 1:6):

בֵּ֛ן יְכַבֵּ֥ד אָ֖ב וְעֶ֣בֶד אֲדֹנָ֑יו וְאִם־אָ֣ב אָ֣נִי אַיֵּ֣ה כְבוֹדִ֡י וְאִם־אֲדוֹנִ֣ים אָנִי֩ אַיֵּ֨ה מֽוֹרָאִ֜י אָמַ֣ר ׀ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת לָכֶם֙ הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ בּוֹזֵ֣י שְׁמִ֔י וַֽאֲמַרְתֶּ֕ם בַּמֶּ֥ה בָזִ֖ינוּ אֶת־שְׁמֶֽךָ׃

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master; if then I be a father, where is My honour? and if I be a master, where is My fear? saith Hashem of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise My name. And ye say: 'Wherein have we despised Thy name?'

Here both instances of אני have a pausal form, that is, they are vowelised with a kamatz despite the munach and the telisha ketana, both conjunctive signs. Does it happen because the verse is too long, and there are no more minor disjunctives? I couldn't find a masoretic note or a Minchat Shai listing similar cases, so I was also wondering if you knew other examples where a word in a pausal form had a conjunctive sign?


2 Answers 2


According to the article Exegesis and Pausal Forms with Non-Pausal Accents in the Hebrew Bible by Dr James D. Price, there are a few such examples. He lists:

He seems to have missed some examples with אָני (and maybe more): I see Mal 1:6 (אָנִי֩), Psalms 6:3 (אָ֥נִי), and Psalms 119:125 (עַבְדְּךָ־אָ֥נִי).

As Double AA suggested in the comments, Est 4:8 could be explained by assuming that שושָן is the absolute form and שושַן is the semikhut form. There isn't enough data in Tanakh to make a determination either way, but dictionaries (BDB, HALOT) go for שושַן as the non-pausal absolute/semikhut form and שושָן as the pausal form, whence this anomalous pausal form here.

He says that "each apparently mark[s] rhetorical emphasis". He points out that the Sam 2:3:34 example ידֶך is parallel in the same verse to the pausal form ורגליֶך on a disjunctive accent, giving credence (in my opinion) to his "rhetorical emphasis" theory. Also in this example, I believe that ידך could have been a munaḥ legarmeih, so it's not that there aren't any disjunctives left.

* He also lists Psalms 106:28 and Prov 7:22, but I'm not sure what he's referring to (perhaps there are typos in the references).

  • 1
    Est 4:8 seems better explained by lack of semichut than an anomalous pausal form.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 14:04
  • @DoubleAA You think the absolute form is שושָן and the semikhut form is שושַן? That's believable, but for whatever reason not what the dictionaries have (maybe based on other Semitic parallels, or based on the common noun שושן?).
    – magicker72
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 14:36
  • There's only ~15 examples in tanakh so it's hard to prove anything. Like באר שָׁבע or יהצה. Seems unlikely to me that every שושן without הבירה warrants a pausal form coincidentally, even on relatively minor disjunctions.
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 14:39

The pronoun was originally stressed אָ֣נִי (see Suchard, The Development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels pg. 198ff.); this isn't the only archaic form in Malachi.

  • And it had a pataḥ, according to Suchard, so you're still seeing pausal lengthening in Malachi.
    – magicker72
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 3:21

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