Can anyone give me examples in the Talmud of Aramaic words that have a kamatz Katan under them that are clearly pronounced like "oh"?

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  • 2
    "that are clearly pronounced" By whom? Most people who read Gemara don't even attempt to use proper Aramaic grammar. – Double AA Jan 4 '17 at 12:12
  • Does Aramaic even have kamatz katan? Wikipedia doesn't indicate any written vowels, so how would anyone identify a kamatz katan as opposed to a cholam? (I'm probably displaying my ignorance of Aramaic here.) – msh210 Jan 4 '17 at 14:16
  • I recommend that you generalize this question asking if Aramaic has a Kamatz kattan. I have my own bias, granted. I say Kaddish, and I wonder if the word olma and olmaya should be pronounced with a kamatz kattan. I feel that it does, because in Hebrew, the word olmei has a kamatz katan. These Aramaic words are closely related to the Hebrew ones, but, perhaps, Aramaic has different rules. – DanF Jan 4 '17 at 15:33
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    I seem to recall Simanim marking the first kamatz of כרסון (Daniel 7:9) as a kamatz katan but I have to check. No idea why I remember that word in particular. Also, some of the קדם's and קדמוהי's have a chataf kamatz, which is always katan (and marked as such in Simanim), while the ones that have a regular kamatz are marked as rachav. I think there's a Minchat Shai on the topic somewhere. – Heshy Jan 4 '17 at 17:30
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    @DoubleAA The Aramaic of the Torah is different than the Talmudic Aramaic so it's not very useful... – Gabriel Jan 4 '17 at 22:42

It is worthwhile noting that there is no uniform vocalization tradition for the Talmud. The original forms have been substantially corrupted over the centuries. It is well known that only the Yemenites have a claim to authenticity in their tradition, but even that system is not without its flaws (Morag 1988).

Bar-Asher Segal (2013:47) writes: "the reflex of Proto-Semitic /u/ in closed unstressed syllables is usually written with either sureq or qibbus, as in אֻחְרִינָה and טוּפְרֵיה; but qames is found occasionally (cf. Hebrew), as in חָכְמתֵיה [sic]"

Sokoloff reiterates the dangers of hasty vocalization in his Babylonian Aramaic Dictionary. He describes how he establishes careful vocalization of the "probable pronunciation of the word in the Geonic period" from a variety of sources (2002:22). We find that his dictionary lists some examples where qamas qatan is swapped with a holem like חָכְמְתָא and חוֹכְמְתָא. Elsewhere it is swapped with shureq: צוּרְכָה & צָרְכָה or קוּרְבָּנָה & קָרְבָּנָה.

Thus it seems that a qamas qatan had the a quality of a holem (as in modern Sephardi pronunciation) or shureq (like the pre-Sephardi Palestinian pronunciation).

Bar-Asher Segal 2013: Introduction to the Grammar of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic.

Morag 1988: ארמית במסורת תימן: לשון התלמוד הבבלי: מבוא, תורת ההגה ותצורת-הפועל

Sokoloff 2002: A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic of the Talmudic and Geonic Periods

  • do you have a link to the morag article? thanks – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jan 8 '17 at 3:36
  • @MoriDowidhYa3aqov It's a book: books.google.co.il/books/about/… – Argon Jan 8 '17 at 3:42
  • do you have the book? – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jan 8 '17 at 3:48
  • @MoriDowidhYa3aqov No. I looked through it. – Argon Jan 8 '17 at 3:56
  • ok. i thought you might have in pdf form. i see you mention other books as well as answers to other questions. if you have pdfs to those books id gladly take them. thanks – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jan 8 '17 at 3:57

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