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5.5 Fractions 311 developed

by Zeev Ben-Hayyim
5.5 Fractions 311 developed for expressing fractions: the ordinal number ( from 1/ 3 up) in its feminine form. In TH, the words mp* w, etc., have two meanings. That system may be reflected in SH in the noun rebit, and it is employed analogically in the SH numeral esatrrvn as well, but SH is characterized by its own way of distin­guishing between the feminine ordinal number and the fraction. Thus, one does not find in SP the plene spellings mzr& n, etc., with a  preceding the η in the fractional form of the numeral. That omission reflects the pronunciation pre­served even now. 5.5.2 The different development of nxna and mxna merits discussion. The form messd is derived from * mehsä, while in n^ nn, the π did not come into contact with the x. It is not impossible that the form without gemination n^ n exerted influence on the form nxna. 5.5.3 The form silsdt is like a TH segholate noun with the addition of rr-. The Aramaic form mbn ( Syriac xnVin) and the Arabic cJJ, too, which represent 1/ 3, are  segholate nouns. TH preserves the forms Φο and nybyr as personal names ( 1 Chr 7: 36ff.), and their original meaning may be  third ( child). The type represented in TH by yan, yan, and ran is not used for these numbers in SH; SP consistently reads myan and, in place of tfan, mm. The forms vrbw and yan are unknown in SH. While the form vwbw ( Ex 15: 4) is translated by ST as nxn^ n ( third) and the pronounciation sellso would be appropriate as the pronuncia­tion of an ordinal numeral, a true numeral in this pattern does not exist. 5.5.4 Were it not for the pronunciation  ämos, it would be possible to view the written form as built on the model of M H ywn 1/ 9 and w y 1/ 10 ( whence in Jewish Aramaic nxwy, p w y ) , with the second radical geminated. Indeed, we find in the Mishna w y alongside mTwy and nwya. The pronunciation of mm follows the passive participle pattern, and in SH Tiwy, too ( see 5.6), may be understood as belonging to this pattern. The pattern of the passive participle expresses multiples in Jewish traditions of Hebrew ( jron, ya* ra, wVira), but in the Samaritan tradition, the form mm in Gn 47: 26 means 1/ 5. The opposite of this is noted below ( 5.6.1) regarding yiaw. It may be, however, that the rela­tionship of SH mm to TH wan is like that of laa to  tiaa as treated in my  Observations, 18. Note: SA mm ( e. g., Gn 47: 24), however, is a fraction, like ywn above. Remember that mm* 1/ 5 is indirectly attested in M H in the interpreta­tion of otfam ( Ex 13: 18; SP o^ am) ntzranamx ( Mekhilta de R. Yismael, ed. Horowitz- Rabin, 77). It is worthwhile noting that in Hebrew the same pattern may express a fraction and multiplication, as through addition of Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index

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5.5 Fractions 311 developed for expressing fractions: the ordinal number ( from 1/ 3 up) in its feminine form. In TH, the words mp* w, etc., have two meanings. That system may be reflected in SH in the noun re'bit, and it is employed analogically in the SH numeral esatrrvn as well, but SH is characterized by its own way of distin­guishing between the feminine ordinal number and the fraction. Thus, one does not find in SP the plene spellings mzr& n, etc., with a ' preceding the η in the fractional form of the numeral. That omission reflects the pronunciation pre­served even now. 5.5.2 The different development of nxna and mxna merits discussion. The form messd is derived from * mehsä, while in n^ nn, the π did not come into contact with the x. It is not impossible that the form without gemination n^ n exerted influence on the form n'xna. 5.5.3 The form silsdt is like a TH segholate noun with the addition of rr-. The Aramaic form mbn ( Syriac xnVin) and the Arabic cJJ, too, which represent 1/ 3, are \\" segholate\\" nouns. TH preserves the forms Φο and nybyr as personal names ( 1 Chr 7: 36ff.), and their original meaning may be \\" third ( child).\\" The type represented in TH by yan, ya'n, and ran is not used for these numbers in SH; SP consistently reads myan and, in place of tfa'n, mm. The forms vrbw and yan are unknown in SH. While the form vwbw ( Ex 15: 4) is translated by ST as nxn^ n (\\" third\\") and the pronounciation sellso would be appropriate as the pronuncia­tion of an ordinal numeral, a true numeral in this pattern does not exist. 5.5.4 Were it not for the pronunciation ' ämos, it would be possible to view the written form as built on the model of M H ywn 1/ 9 and w y 1/ 10 ( whence in Jewish Aramaic nxwy, p w y ) , with the second radical geminated. Indeed, we find in the Mishna w y alongside mTwy and nwya. The pronunciation of mm follows the passive participle pattern, and in SH Tiwy, too ( see 5.6), may be understood as belonging to this pattern. The pattern of the passive participle expresses multiples in Jewish traditions of Hebrew ( jron, ya* ra, wVira), but in the Samaritan tradition, the form mm in Gn 47: 26 means 1/ 5. The opposite of this is noted below ( 5.6.1) regarding yiaw. It may be, however, that the rela­tionship of SH mm to TH wan is like that of laa to \\" tiaa\\" as treated in my \\" Observations,\\" 18. Note: SA mm ( e. g., Gn 47: 24), however, is a fraction, like ywn above. Remember that mm* 1/ 5 is indirectly attested in M H in the interpreta­tion of o'tfam ( Ex 13: 18; SP o^ am) ntzranamx ( Mekhilta de R. Yism'ael, ed. Horowitz- Rabin, 77). It is worthwhile noting that in Hebrew the same pattern may express a fraction and multiplication, as through addition of << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index
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