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כתבינו לחיים. The tav has a (seemingly) short vowel to close the first vowel, which sefardim pronounce as the short "kot". There is no meteg before the sh'va of the tav. Why is the bet written without a dagesh kal?

Note: This is unrelated to the discussion on how to pronounce a vet (some sefardim say "b" even without a dagesh). Even so, here it appears without a dagesh.

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In Hebrew, if the simple form of a word contains soft letters, those same letters remain soft in other forms, regardless of the laws of Dagesh Kal. For example, regarding כתבינו, the simple form is כֹּתב, ending with a soft ב. Therefore, when the word is changed into a more complex form, the ב remains soft, even though there's a vowelless consonant directly before it.

This rule is always applicable. For example, the word בְּכׇל has a soft כ. Thus, the word וּבְכׇל (with an added vav before it) retains that soft כ, even though it's directly preceded by a silent shva.

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  • לַאֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב - Tehillim 132:5. Exception?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 12 at 18:35
  • @RabbiKaii What part seems like an exception? Commented May 14 at 22:39
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    Compare Tehillim 78:25 אַ֭בִּירִים, Eicha 1:15 אַבִּירַ֤י etc
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented May 14 at 22:45
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    A few things cause this. 1) In your first quote, the Patach is replaced with a Khataf-Patach, which is basically Patach but super short. All the Khattaf vowels (including Shva Na) cause the following letter to lose its dagesh. 2) The second quote has a Dagesh khazzaq, not a Dagesh qal. My answer refers to the latter. 3) While words in Hebrew cannot "regain" a dagesh, they can certainly lose one. Commented May 14 at 23:00
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    @RabbiKaii Although, the word מלכי does seem exceptional. מלכי is not just מלך with a י at the end, because the vowels are changed. Thus my answer shouldn't apply to it, and the כ should have a dagesh. Commented May 15 at 1:33

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