Adverbial—u In Semitic -- By: Edward J. Young

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 13:2 (May 1951)
Article: Adverbial—u In Semitic
Author: Edward J. Young


Adverbial—u In Semitic

Edward J. Young

TWO Hebrew adverbs, פִּתְאֹם and שִׁלְשֹׂם are characterized by their ending םֹ—. Different explanations of this ending have been offered. As an interesting curiosity we may note that Joh. Simon listed פִּחְאֹם with a group of other words ending in -m, believing that in each case the -m had an intensive significance.1 Some of the words so listed were דָּרוֹם ,אָמְנָם and even עוֹלָם and שָׁלוֹם. As to שִׁלְשֹׂם he suggested that it was compounded of שָׁלוֹשׁ and יוֹם. This same suggestion had evidently been made also by Gesenius,2 although Roediger notes that the word is of the form פִּתְאֹם. As to פִּתְאֹם Gesenius suggests that it is written for פִּתְעֹם, the ע having changed into א, and that it is from פָּתַע and the adverbial ending םֹ—.3

In the second edition of Gesenius-Kautzsch-Cowley פִּתְאֹם is treated as an adverb formed from a substantive by the addition of the formative syllable םֹ—, and the o is thought to be probably obscured from an original â.4 At the same time the possibility is admitted that the word may be a noun used adverbially. What is of interest for our present purpose is this suggestion that the o really represents a shift from original â, since this word is discussed in connection with adverbs formed with the suffix ָם—, and the impression is given that both these suffixes ָם— and םֹ— contain an a vowel. If this were actually the case, it would be very interesting to consider why in the adverbial suffix the a should appear both as ָם— and also as םֹ—, and this question is largely left unconsidered in the grammars.

According to Bauer and Leander both פִּתְאֹם and שׁ...

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