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Title: Segolate  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hebrew language, Modern Hebrew grammar, Samaritan vocalization, Ktiv menuqad, Tag (Hebrew writing)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Segolates are words in the Hebrew language whose end is of the form CVCVC, where the penultimate vowel receives syllable stress. Such words are called "segolates" because the final unstressed vowel is typically (but not always) segol. These words evolved from older Canaanite and Semitic words that ended with two consonants; indeed, when a suffix (other than an absolute plural) is added to a segolate, the original form (or something similar) reappears (cf. kéleḇ "dog" vs. kalbī "my dog").


*Ancient Tiberian Stem Meaning
*ʼarṥ אֶרֶץ/אָרֶץ ʼéreṣ/ʼāreṣ אַרְצ- ʼarṣ- earth; land
*ʼurn אֹרֶן ʼōren אָרְנ- ʼorn- pine tree
*baʻl בַּעַל/בָּעַל báʻal/bāʻal בַּעֲל- baʻăl- husband
*zarʻ זֶרַע/זָרַע zéraʻ/zāraʻ זַרְע- zarʻ- seed
*yayn יַיִן/יָיִן yáyin/yāyin יֵינ- yên- wine
*milḥ מֶלַח mélaḥ מַלְח- malḥ- salt
*milk מֶלֶך méleḵ מַלְכּ- malk- king
*kalb כֶּלֶב/כָּלֶב kéleḇ/kāleḇ כַּלְבּ- kalb- dog
*laḥy לֶחִי/לְחִי ləḥî/léḥî לֶחֱי- leḥĕy- cheek; tool jaw
*ʻIbr עֵבֶר ʻĒḇer עִבְר- ʻIḇr- Eber
*ʻayn עַיִן/עָיִן ʻáyin/ʻāyin עֵינ- ʻên- eye
*ṣidq צֶדֶק ṣéḏeq צִדְק- ṣiḏq- righteousness

The ancient forms like *CawC (such as šawr "bull") almost universally evolved to non-segolate CôC (שׁוֹר šôr), though there are exceptions, such as מָוֶת māweṯ.

Classical Arabic still preserves forms similar to the reconstructed Ancient Hebrew forms, e.g. ʼarḍ "earth", kalb "dog", ʻayn "eye", ṣidq "sincerity". (Some modern dialects insert an epenthetic vowel between the final two consonants, similar to what happened in Hebrew.

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