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El-Attar, Badia Aly Fahmy (1982) Two Syriac masoretic signs : Nagoda and Metappeyana. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Nagoda and Metappeyana are lines inserted in Syriac biblical manuscripts, among the Easterners (or Nestorians); Nagoda appears above words and Metappeyana below or on the line between words. The confinement of these lines to biblical texts suggests that they were designed to ensure proper enunciation in public reading. Chapter 1 presents the treatment of these lines by classical Syriac authorities - Elias of Tirhan, Joseph bar Malkon, John bar Zocbi, Bar Hebraeus, and two anonymous treatises. The Syriac texts are presented with English translation and critical notes, and a comparative table follows. While some agreement exists regarding the role of Metappeyana (said to appear before words beginning with vowelled consonant, after construct nouns and certain particles), these authorities' prescriptions for Nagoda show bewildering variety. Chapter 2 summarises the findings of modern writers (notably Ewald, Martin, Duval, Merx and archibishop David). While Ewald based himself on biblical manuscripts alone, the others relied in varying degrees on biblical texts and Syriac classical works together, and all reached different results. In Chapter 3, the text of Genesis in Add. 12138 has been analysed in itself with certain references to Syrian grammarians. Metappeyana appears to join successive words, and to cancel the word stress on the former word. Nagoda appears to indicate a special intonation, showing the inter-relations of words and clauses within the verse. The common notion that Nagoya and Metappeyana are straightforward opposites and therefore incompatible is rejected. Chapter 4 surveys the use of the lines in other manuscripts. While manuscripts vary in their precise usage, partly in accordance with varying tastes, the basic functions inferred in Chapter 3 still appear applicable. While the Syrian grammarians' views on Metappeyana seem more or less accurate, their treatment of Nagoda has been largely vitiated by the illusion that it is simply the opposite of Metappeyana.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:03

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