Talk:Mater lectionis

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Etymology and pronunciation[edit]

Can we get an etymology and pronunciation with this article. Would be very helpful. Also - I am unclear as to whether the system is historical or current. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 04:54, 4 October 2005

Supplied translation of the Latin. The English-language pronunciation of "Mater Lectionis" can be variable. The system is currently used, but it's no longer the ONLY method of indicating vowels (as it was before the invention of the diacritic "points"). However, it's still the most frequently used method for writing vowels in Hebrew and Arabic. AnonMoos 16:25, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

The etymology of the words themselves is useful, but has anyone got references with its history of usage? Was the term actually used by romans? Was there a previous term it replaced? Josephholsten (talk) 15:12, 16 August 2017 (UTC)

Examples, "מלא millō"[edit]

Where is מלא ever vocalized millō? It's typically male, although it is occasionally mlō. In any case, מלא is not an example of א as "mostly ā." This example should be deleted. -- חנינא — Preceding undated comment added 00:17, 30 August 2006

"Middle Kingdom"?[edit]

What is "middle kingdom" supposed to mean in the article? It sure doesn't mean the Egyptian middle kingdom (which is the most common meaning of the phrase "Middle Kingdom" in English). AnonMoos 16:25, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the most common meaning of the phrase "Middle Kingdom" in English is China, but I'm pretty sure that the article is not referring to China either. —Lowellian (reply) 00:30, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, in a scholarly ancient near east context, the most common meaning is the Egyptian middle kingdom... AnonMoos (talk) 02:36, 6 February 2009 (UTC)


is the letter "y" in english considered a Mater lectionis given it's usage as an effective vowel in words like sky? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

The concept is only related to Abjad scripts. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 19:20, 21 October 2011 (UTC)


At the section Usage in Hebrew, I see the character ǣ used for י, but, what does it stand for? Is it meant to transcribe /ei/? --Mahmudmasri (talk) 19:14, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

I assume it's meant to be a transcription of segol-yod, as in אבותיך "your fathers, ancestors", which in fact probably was not pronounced ǣ... AnonMoos (talk) 22:39, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Short vowels[edit]

"In some words in Hebrew there is a choice of whether to use a mater lectionis or not, and in modern printed texts matres lectionis are sometimes used even for short vowels, which is considered to be grammatically incorrect,"

I think this needs further explanation. As far as I know, in Modern Hebrew vowel length is not phonemic. Presumably, "short vowel" here refers to biblical/classical phonology, and the modern spelling is still based on it. But it's not clear. Rcaetano (talk) 05:30, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

It's used for vowels which would be short in classical/historical terms, particularly in the Pu'al and Hoph'al (Huf'al) verb stems, where the u/o vowel marks passive. The modern spelling actually uses a ו (waw/vav) letter in cases where it wouldn't have ordinarily been used in Biblical spelling. Not sure about "grammatically incorrect", though -- it's fine as modern (not Biblical) Hebrew... AnonMoos (talk) 06:18, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Another example is in the name of the Likud party -- it would be spelled לכוד in traditional/classicizing orthography, since the "k" consonant was originally doubled, but ליכוד in full modern orthography. Wikipedia article is Ktiv hasar niqqud, but I'm not sure how helpful it is... AnonMoos (talk) 06:26, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

Construct- and absolute-state[edit]

These terms should be explained (or have links to explanations). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:57, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I linked to the Construct state article (but not sure how much good it will do people who don't have any direct experience with relevant languages)... AnonMoos (talk) 03:52, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

use of the article "a" with a plural noun[edit]

This comment is based upon this ("02:18, 31 July 2015‎") version of the article.

In the Hebrew sub-section of (the "History" section of) the article, the sentence that begins "Around the 9th century CE, it was decided [...]" ends with a part that says -- with one (parenthesized) portion elided --

[...] so a supplemental vowel pointing systems (niqqud) [...] joined matres lectionis as part of the Hebrew writing system.

I think this should be changed. [IMHO], either [a] the plural noun "systems" should be changed to the singular, by deleting the suffix "s", or else -- if for some reason it must remain plural -- then [b] the article "a" does not belong in that phrase.

Personally I think that it is likely that the original intent was: to say [or, write] that only one "vowel pointing system" -- (namely, niqqud) -- "joined matres lectionis [...]". (See [a].) (right?)

I plan to update the article accordingly. (But this explanation might not fit in an edit comment). --Mike Schwartz (talk) 21:11, 11 September 2015 (UTC)

Either the singular or plural could be used (there were multiple variant systems), but there was certainly an inconsistency. AnonMoos (talk) 08:48, 20 May 2016 (UTC)