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I am really no expert in Hebrew grammar and I know there are many variants of same word. In particular I think there is no tradition for the puntuaction of the Mishnah.

However in my siddur (Panzieri, Italian rite) I noticed that שירי הדם, in the Mishnah of "Eizehu meqoman shel zevachim" is spelled שִׁיְּירֵי, while in all the other siddurim I have seen so far it is שְׁיָרֵי. What puzzles me in the version of the Panzieri is the "sheva + yud" form that I have not thought to be possible. Can I assume that the form Panzieri is incorrect or is it an admissible variant?

In order to prevent rendering issues I write here the two forms in full:
Panzieri = shin with hirik - yud with dagesh and sheva - yud without puntuaction - resh with tzere - yud without puntuaction
Regular = shin with sheva - yud with qamatz - resh with tzere - yud without puntuaction

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A yod with a dagesh and a sh'va after a chirik is possible. It appears in Ester 9:27 (first word). So that answers your question about complete impossibility. That said, I don't know whether it's the correct vowelization of שירי.

As for the yod without punctuation after the sh'va, such a yod is often added in unvoweled text to indicate that the preceding yod is voweled (has a sh'va, as opposed to being a mater lectionis). I haven't seen it in voweled text[1], but suspect that that's why it's present above; I suspect, too, that it's an error caused by someone's copying the extra yod from an unvoweled copy.


[1] Not necessarily true. Tanach has many examples of letters not pronounced at all: these appear unvoweled. One example according to many is the second sin in Yisachar. It may well be that a yod appears sometimes (as in your example of שִׁיְּירֵי) in Tanach like that, though I don't know of any. (To be honest, I know very little on the topic of these unpronounced letters.) But this is irrelevant, in that this is a m'sorah issue in Tanach and shouldn't carry over to words in Mishna (that are not copied from Tanach).

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  • Thanks for your answer! But, still, my problem is the yod without punctuation after the sheva – Ralph Mar 29 '13 at 16:33
  • @Ralph, I've edited the answer to include what little I know about that. I had misunderstood the question as asking about the yod with sh'va rather than as asking about the sh'va after the yod. – msh210 Mar 29 '13 at 17:03
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In the Nussach Ariza"l Siddurim (per Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, first Chabad Rebbe) it has one Yud and the Nikkud is Shee-ray and so it is in the Pirkei Avos Perek 1 Mishna 2 Shimon Hatzadik Hoyo Mee-shee-ray... (check your Siddur by Pirkei Avos).

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  • Do you mean that there's a chirik under the shin and nothing under the yod immediately following? If so, that's odd, as that word means "songs of" (as in "habocher b'shire zimra"). – msh210 Apr 4 '13 at 3:50
  • There is nothing under the Yud, but like in other languages Hebrew also has words that have more than one meaning to them. (In a similar vein the word Mimenu could mean 'from us' or 'from him'.) – Meir Zirkind Apr 4 '13 at 4:03
  • This is the same in the Machzor Polin MiKol HaShonoh. – Joshua Pearl Jun 4 '15 at 14:36
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Codex Kauffman A50, widely considered to be the best representative of the Western-type Mishnah, has שִׁירֵי.

MS Kauffman

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R' Yaakov Emden has it in his siddur as שִׁיְרֵי (so nearly the same as in your siddur, but without the second yud and without the dagesh in the first one). In his commentary further down the page he notes that this is the more typical usage in Chazalic literature, but that שִׁיּוּרֵי would be an acceptable alternative.

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According to the Azor Eliyahu siddur, the old Askinazi sidurrim mostly have she-rai (chirik on the shin and no vowelizaion on the yud), the Siddur Rashash (from the time of the Maharsha and Bach) has sheyirai (like in the OP, without the double yud), and the Vayiater Yitzchok changed the vowelization to shiyarei (with a kamatz). So there is no reason to assume the Panzieri siddur has a mistake.

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