Segol

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For the Torah cantillation mark, see Segol (trope).
Segol
ֶ
IPA ɛ or
Transliteration e
English example bed
Similar sound zeire
Example
שֶׁל
The word for of in Hebrew, shel. The three dots is a segol.
Other Niqqud
Shva · Hiriq · Zeire · Segol · Patach · Kamatz · Holam · Dagesh · Mappiq · Shuruk · Kubutz · Rafe · Sin/Shin Dot

Segol (Hebrew: סֶגּוֹל   IPA: [seˈɡol]) is a Hebrew niqqud vowel sign that is represented by three dots forming an upside down equilateral triangle "ֶ". As such, it resembles an upside down therefore sign (a because sign) underneath a letter. In modern Hebrew, it indicates the phoneme /e/ which is similar to "e" in the English word sound in sell and is transliterated as an e.

In Modern Hebrew, a segol makes the same sound as a zeire, as does the Hataf Segol (Hebrew: חֲטַף סֶגּוֹל   IPA: [χaˈtaf seˈɡol], "Reduced Segol"). The reduced (or hataf) niqqud exist for segol, patach, and kamatz which contain a shva next to it.

Pronunciation[edit]

The following table contains the pronunciation and transliteration of the different segols in reconstructed historical forms and dialects using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The transcription in IPA is above and the transliteration is below.

The letters Bet "ב" and Het "ח" used in this table are only for demonstration. Any letter can be used.

Symbol Name Pronunciation
Israeli Ashkenazi Sephardi Yemenite Tiberian Reconstructed
Mishnaic Biblical
בֶ Segol []  ?  ?  ? [ɛ, ɛː]  ?  ?
בֶי, בֶה, בֶא Segol Male []  ?  ?  ? [ɛː]  ?  ?
חֱ Hataf Segol []  ?  ?  ? [ɛ̆]  ?  ?

In addition, a letter with a segol or zeire with a succeeding yud often makes the "ei" (also spelled "ey") sound such as in they or tape.

Vowel Length comparison[edit]

By adding two vertical dots (sh'va) the vowel is made very short. However, these vowels lengths are not manifested in Modern Hebrew.

Vowel comparison table
Vowel Length IPA Transliteration English
example
Long Short Very Short
ֵ ֶ ֱ [] e temp
Zeire Segol Reduced Segol

Unicode encoding[edit]

Glyph Unicode Name
ֶ U+05B6 SEGOL
ֱ U+05B1 HATEF SEGOL

See also[edit]