For those who pronounce a דגש חזק as a double letter (e.g. הַמֶּלֶךְ as הַמְמֶלֶךְ but with a שוא נח on the first מ''ם), how should a דגש חזק at the beginning of a word be pronounced (e.g. הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא; לְמַעְלָה רֹּאשׁ; etc.)?

  • 1
    הושיעה נא is particularly hard this week with the lulav, you want it in one place for עה and somewhere else for נא, but the nun is part of both syllables.
    – Heshy
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 10:35
  • 2
    I don't understand what's confusing you. You geminate the letter the same way
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 11:30
  • @DoubleAA How? Do you say הושיען נא and למעלר ראש? Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 12:11
  • Approximately .
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 9, 2017 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


According to Yeivin, the value of the conjunctive dagesh is uncertain. When it follows a short vowel, it could naturally behave as a strong dagesh. However, when conjunctive dagesh follows a consonant (e.g. Josh. 5:14 according to Ben Naftali; מִשְׁכָּנֹ֥ות לֹּא־לֹֽו in Hab. 1:6 or עַל־רִ֥יב לֹּֽא־לֹֽו in Prov. 26:1; Gen. 24:36 וַיִּתֶּן־לֹּ֖ו) or a long vowel it is harder to argue that it has a geminatory ability. Based on this, he believes that the conjunctive dagesh does not close the previous syllable (Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah, pp. 295-296).

Some texts with Babylonian vocalization write dehiq/ate merahiq as a dot between two words, and not as a regular dagesh (ג) (Kahle Masoreten des Ostens, p. 13). Moreover, the conjunctive dagesh is sometimes marked by Ben Naftali where Ben Asher marks a paseq (Yeivin p. 303).

Still, the Karaite Arabaic transcriptions, which are known to correspond to the Tiberian pronunciation well, show a shadda (gemination marker) on some instances of dehiq/ate merahiq. Moreover, the Secunda of the Hexapla has μεββεσε for מַה־בֶּ֥צַע (Ps. 30:10). Generally, pronunciation traditions that preserve consonant gemination geminate the conjunctive dagesh.

  • ויתן לו doesn't have a Dagesh in most manuscripts. Is that a complete list or a partial list, and if the former why say eg? Also there are 4 times in Tanakh we have both Lo words adjacent to each other with connective accentuation and the first always gets an exceptional Dagesh. It seems far more reasonable to posit a special meaning to the Dagesh in that Lamed related to distinguishing between those two similar words than to reject the whole notion of gemenated conjunctive Dagesh because of those two examples where the Lo-Lo happens to follow a consonant.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 16:15
  • @DoubleAA The list I gave is not exhaustive. See also Judg 13:18 וַיֹּ֤אמֶר לּוֹ֙, Gen 38:16 מַה־תִּתֶּן־לִּ֔י. It is true that this dagesh was likely to distinguish meaning. But the quality of the dagesh in these cases too are not obvious prima facie. There is an apparent tendency to have these extra dageshim in a lamed, but it is not clear that we should reject these cases altogether, especially in light of the other factors.
    – Argon
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 20:56
  • Both those additional examples are also only in L.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 16, 2018 at 20:59
  • Would you put וידע אונן כי לֹּא לו יהיה הזרע in the same category as the ones with a consonant before them, since כי has a tevir?
    – Heshy
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 13:21
  • @Heshy I would consider it similar, since the dagesh in the לו לא examples are evidently a meant to distinguish the homophonous words, and he dagesh appears irrespective of the environment. In your example, כי has a long vowel, so it would still pose a problem if indeed the dagesh is supposed to close the previous syllable.
    – Argon
    Commented May 3, 2018 at 15:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .