Showing posts with label grammar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grammar. Show all posts

Monday, March 15, 2010

Taf

ת

There are tons of tafs in מגילת רות, the scroll of Ruth. Of course it is a grammatical letter and so more common. The first thing to note about this last letter is how it substitutes for a ה when forming a construct. The root of that word above is מגלה, used for example in Psalm 40:7

בִּמְגִלַּת־סֵפֶר כָּתוּב עָלָי

In the scroll of the book it is written of me
מגלה is not a particularly common word (but a related word did occur this past Sunday morning in the lesson from Joshua 5:9,
הַיֹּום גַּלֹּותִי אֶת־חֶרְפַּת מִצְרַיִם מֵעֲלֵיכֶם 
today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you
hence the name Gilgal. (Who says etymology is unimportant - roll-scroll to you!) Note here too that the reproach has been modified from absolute to construct, from חרפה to חֶרְפַּת

This replacement occurs when adding an object pronoun to a feminine ending for a verb - how about this example from Ruth 2:13?
כִּי נִחַמְתָּנִי
for you have comforted me
This taf is a normal part of the second person qal perfect suffix. The additional nun helps identify the remainder of the suffix as a first person object pronoun.

A third suffix in which ת plays a part is the feminine plural (vav-taf or holem/taf ot).  ת is also common in the role of prefix. Remember that א gives us a signal as a first person singular imperfect, ת is a signal as a second or third person singular or plural imperfect. 

The whole of verse 13 illustrates all five of these uses
  וַתֹּאמֶר
אֶמְצָא-חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אֲדֹנִי
כִּי נִחַמְתָּנִי
וְכִי דִבַּרְתָּ עַל-לֵב שִׁפְחָתֶךָ
וְאָנֹכִי לֹא אֶהְיֶה כְּאַחַת שִׁפְחֹתֶיךָ
and she said,
taf prefix signals the third person imperfect (preterite)
let me find favor in your eyes my Lord
for you have comforted me
taf is the second person singular suffix (masculine in this case) qal perfect as is the first taf in the next line
for you have spoken to the heart of your handmaid
שפחה became שִׁפְחָתֶ forming construct from absolute
and I myself am not one or your handmaids
the holem-taf represents the feminine plural - in this case there is no vav with the taf to illustrate as a reading helper.

If we back up a bit to Ruth 1:8, we find another grammatical role for taf in the ending תֶם- for second person plural qal perfect. As noted previously, (Ruth - Vol 7 in The Anchor Bible by Edward Campbell, 1975) this masculine pattern may be a dual. The feminine תֶן is not found in Ruth (at least I could not see one).
כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
Taf does have a number of words where it plays a part in the root. Even some of these like בַּיִת (house) may be derived from a verb in this case בָּנָה in this case ending in ה. As a final letter, it is third in מות, death, though is this a real tri-literal root or is the vav a meter here? The latter, I think.


But this exercise of reading Ruth letter by letter is now declared complete even though it could go on forever!
Time to tend another vineyard. I think I will retranslate the Song - in fact I think I will look at all the megillot and put these into my new/old peculiar Poetry and Flowers blog. I notice that this Sufficiency blog now has a backup larger than 4M so I think I will blog elsewhere. Look for me at the links and please do update your aggretors and stay in touch. Just look at all the grammatical letters here: 8 of 14, > 50%. Can you read this verse?
כַּרְמִי שֶׁלִּי לֹא נָטָרְתִּי

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sin /Shin

ש
In contrast to samech, shin and sin are very common, but the grammatical use of shin is comparatively rare. Do we perceive its grammatical usage in Ruth? It is the weakest player on the first 11. It's curious that S in English is a common indicator of possessive and plural, but shin in Hebrew plays only one role as prefix though with several glosses - also, and 'that' which seems at first to be an abbreviation of the relative pronoun asher (very common in later Rabbinic writings - note the frequency here). BDB (p 979) thinks is is an original demonstrative particle. It qualifies for the first team - and it's a better fit than tet as the candidate to fill out the split of the alefbet in two equal halves that Saadya suggested.

Shin as a relative particle does not occur in Ruth but does in several Psalms and other parts of the wisdom literature. E.g. Psalm 122:3-4

יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַבְּנוּיָה כְּעִיר שֶׁחֻבְּרָה־לָּהּ יַחְדָּו
שֶׁשָּׁם עָלוּ שְׁבָטִים שִׁבְטֵי־יָהּ עֵדוּת לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהֹדֹות לְשֵׁם יְהוָה
Jerusalem is built as a city which is coupled - belonging to her of his unity
that there the tribes go up, testimony to Israel to give thanks to the name of  יְהוָה

I don't know what to make of the pronouns in that verse. How would you translate it? My Hebrew Latin concordance treats the word at the end of verse 3 almost as a synonym of יחד. For יחד yachad it gives: unitio, coniunctio, unitim, coniunctim (strange endings!). For יַחְדָּו  yachadav it gives: coniunctim, una; simul, eodem tempore; pariter, pari modo; cuncti.

No one seems to translate the pronoun following the pual verb חבר which may be glossed among these: to unite, join, bind together, be joined, be coupled, be in league, heap up, have fellowship with, be compact, be a charmer - or your preference.

There is also a short word yod-shin comprised of the first team letters that might qualify as a grammatical use pointer. Yesh יֵשׁ - 'there is' is the opposite of 'ain אֵין - 'there is not'. I think I would include both as grammatical particles. Ruth 1:12, and 3:12 gives us instances of the former:
יֶשׁ־לִי תִקְוָה
there is to me hope
וְגַם יֵשׁ גֹּאֵל קָרֹוב מִמֶּנִּי
but surely there is a redeemer closer than I

One more post to go on Taf - itself a grammatical letter of considerable interest and importance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Resh

ר
Resh is common.It is not grammatical. If it is part of the word, it is part of the root. While it occurs frequently in Ruth, it is the first letter of only a few words, Ruth, famine, see, empty, wash, Ram. Curious, eh?

So if you see that you are empty and hungry, wash and anoint yourself...
אִם רֵיקָם וְרָעֵבָה תִּרְאֶה רָחַצְתְּ וָסַכְתְּ

(that is still all feminine singular - should the adjectives agree with the subject of the verb (you singular feminine)? Empty appears to be indeclinable. Hungry can take a feminine ending e.g. Psalm 107:9, נֶפֶשׁ רְעֵבָה).

We begin with Ruth 1:1
וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ
famine in the land,

And we have empty twice, once in Ruth 1:21 and once in Ruth 3:17
רֵיקָם אֶל-חֲמוֹתֵךְ
empty to your mother-in-law
Wash is in Ruth 3:3
וְרָחַצְתְּ וָסַכְתְּ
so wash yourself and anoint yourself
פרק spells chapter - three of our most recent letters. And resh occurs many times as second and third letter of a root. So land / earth אָרֶץ above. And שאר bereft (also Ruth 1:5), אשר, the relative pronoun (anagram of bereft), עֶשֶׂר ten (also Ruth 4:2), said (frequent and part of the backbone of the story) e.g. וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי and Naomi said. Resh has a sad sound - so bitter קְרֶאןָ לִי מָרָא call me Mara, and after אחר. Resh and Dalet are easily confused, especially at lower point sizes. (Test yourself with the lower point sizes on this word.)


But resh is also in the blessing of Ruth 2:4, the origin of our liturgical greetings - how well can you read this without translation? After many grammar and reading lessons, I can do it. My hit rate for a random scriptural passage is about 50% after 3 years. I mean, about half the words I will have to look up - and I still need to stop and read and think. There is no auto-recognition yet.

וְהִנֵּה-בֹעַז בָּא מִבֵּית לֶחֶם
וַיֹּאמֶר לַקּוֹצְרִים
יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם
וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ
יְבָרֶכְךָ יְהוָה

Monday, March 8, 2010

Qof

ק

Qof, the second part of minding my p's and q's will take us back over the gleaning - so we won't repeat everything we have covered with tet, a letter that gave more pleasure than expected. We also encountered harvest and reaper in the study of tsade. I have repeated a phrase or two just for eyeball practice. Thinking about sound, it seems really necessary to be able to distinguish with the ear many similar sounding guttural letters: chet, kaf, qof and their interactions with the many sibilants and dentals.

Ruth 1:6-7 - one might almost call qof a letter of hope. It occurs in the movement of the word to rise and in the visit of Hashem to his people and in the place prepared for us

וַתָּקָם הִיא וְכַלֹּתֶיהָ
and she arose, she and her daughters in law
...
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
that יְהוָה had visited his people

(place also in Ruth 3:4, 4:10)
וַתֵּצֵא מִן-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה-שָּׁמָּה
and she emerged from the place where she was

Ruth 1:9, bracket closed in Ruth 1:14 - it occurs in the kiss and in the call
וַתִּשַּׁק לָהֶן
וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה
and she kissed them
and they lifted up their voice and wept

Ruth 1:12 and in old age it is not absent even when expressly negated
כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ
כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ-לִי תִקְוָה
for I am too old to have a husband
for had I said there is hope for me

Ruth 1:14 (stay close also in Ruth 2:8, 21, 23) - see where else you find it - stay close.
וַתִּשֶּׂנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד
וַתִּשַּׁק עָרְפָּה לַחֲמוֹתָהּ
וְרוּת דָּבְקָה בָּהּ
and they lifted up their voice and wept further
and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law
but Ruth stayed close to her

Ruth 1:17 - it is not even absent from burial
וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר
and there I am buried

Ruth 1:20 - and in the call of a lament, Hashem does not ignore it
אַל-תִּקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי
קְרֶאןָ לִי מָרָא
do not call me Naomi
call me Mara

Ruth 1:21, (also for empty, Ruth 3:17). It embraces emptiness
אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי
וְרֵיקָם הֱשִׁיבַנִי יְהוָה
לָמָּה תִקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי
I myself full went away
and empty יְהוָה has returned me
why call me Naomi

Ruth 1:22 and speaks to us of gleaning, harvest,
בִּתְחִלַּת קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים
at the beginning of the barley harvest
Ruth 2:3 and chance itself
וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתָּבוֹא וַתְּלַקֵּט
 בַּשָּׂדֶה אַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצְרִים
וַיִּקֶר מִקְרֶהָ
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה לְבֹעַז
and she went and she came and she gleaned
in the field after the reapers
and she happened to happen
on the part of the field of Boaz


Ruth 2:14 - Its end is feast
 וַיִּצְבָּט-לָהּ קָלִי וַתֹּאכַל
and he heaped her parched grain and she ate


Ruth 2:20 (also Ruth 3:12) - it is in those that are near
קָרוֹב לָנוּ הָאִישׁ
near to us is the man

Ruth 3:1 (also for rest Ruth 3:18) and in rest
בִּתִּי הֲלֹא אֲבַקֶּשׁ-לָךְ מָנוֹחַ
my daughter do I not seek for you rest

Ruth 3:13-14 - and it will be in the morning
 וְהָיָה בַבֹּקֶר
and it will be in the morning

Its sound continues in chapter 4 with several new words as if this is a sound that goes with new things in the completing of the story. Ruth 4:2 (got / took also in Ruth 4:13, 16). It is in the purchase of our body with the field.
וַיִּקַּח עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי הָעִיר
and he got ten men of the elders of the city
Ruth 4:3
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר לְאָחִינוּ לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ
the portion of the field of our brother Elimelek
Ruth 4:4 - This use of buy (here and in Ruth 4:5, 8, 9, 10) is of interest in considering the potential allegory of redemption and harvest in this story.Is this story an allegory of hope?
לֵאמֹר קְנֵה נֶגֶד הַיֹּשְׁבִים
to say will you buy before those sitting here

Ruth 4:16 - the last new word containing qof, unique in Ruth here, is the sound of a mother embracing her child.
וַתִּקַּח נָעֳמִי אֶת-הַיֶּלֶד
 וַתְּשִׁתֵהוּ בְחֵיקָהּ
and Naomi got the child
and set him in her lap

The last qof comes with the hope invested in the Beloved king
Ruth 4:17
וַתִּקְרֶאנָה לוֹ הַשְּׁכֵנוֹת שֵׁם לֵאמֹר
יֻלַּד-בֵּן לְנָעֳמִי
וַתִּקְרֶאנָה שְׁמוֹ עוֹבֵד
הוּא אֲבִי-יִשַׁי אֲבִי דָוִד
and the women neighbours called him a name saying
a son is born to Naomi
and they called his name Obed.
He is the father of Jesse the father of David

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tsade

ץ צ
Words ending with tsade are not uncommon. Land or earth is present with us even as a 'borrowed' word in English in the phrase 'eretz Israel'. This letter has a formative potential in the sound of the story. It is repeated in some significant words. The anticipation of the 'ts' is in chapter 1, but it is the major sound of chapter 2 and after the first few verses of chapter 3 it ceases till the mention of Perez in chapter 4. I have not heard this in any reading I have heard but I am convinced it should be there. The reading at Mechon-Mamre is a little too monochromatic for my taste. Maybe some day I will record it in Hebrew. (but not for a while I assure you)

Here is the trailing 'ts' in the first verse, Ruth 1:1. I will leave the greening of the grammatical letters to you.

וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ
and there was a famine in the land.
Again in Ruth 1:7,
לָשׁוּב אֶל-אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה
to return to the land of Judah
and twice more in Ruth 2:10 - a related form
וַתִּשְׁתַּחוּ אָרְצָה
and bowed down to the earth
and Ruth 2:11
וְאֶרֶץ מוֹלַדְתֵּךְ
the land of your birth
Ruth 2:15 has another unique word - dipping in vinegar. This story lends itself to allegory. Do you think it will be revealed to me? Maybe I am old enough now not to consume the knowledge foolishly.
וְטָבַלְתְּ פִּתֵּךְ בַּחֹמֶץ
and dip your piece in the vinegar

Ruth 3:13 has the letter again in an allegorically significant word. When we get back to real story, we will hear it.
וְאִם-לֹא יַחְפֹּץ לְגָאֳלֵךְ
and if he is not pleased to redeem you

also 3 times in the proper name פָּרֶץ

There is only one word beginning with tsade in Ruth
Ruth 2:9
הֲלוֹא צִוִּיתִי אֶת-הַנְּעָרִים לְבִלְתִּי נָגְעֵךְ
have I not commanded the lads not to touch you
Ruth 2:15
וַיְצַו בֹּעַז אֶת-נְעָרָיו לֵאמֹר
and Boaz commanded his lads

Used again in Ruth 3:6 
אֲשֶׁר-צִוַּתָּה חֲמוֹתָהּ
as her mother-in-law commanded

There are a number of words that contain the sound, some of them key repetitions or concepts in the tale.
Ruth 1:7, 1:13, 2:18, 2:22 come out
וַתֵּצֵא מִן-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה-שָּׁמָּה
and she came out from the place where she was
Ruth 1:9, 2:2, 2:10, 2:13 find
וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה
may you find rest
Ruth 1:18 (once only, also the last letter of this root, אָמֵץ)
וַתֵּרֶא כִּי-מִתְאַמֶּצֶת הִיא
and she saw that she was determined
Ruth 1:22, 2:21, 2:23 harvest
בִּתְחִלַּת קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים
at the beginning of the harvest of barley
Ruth 2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14 reapers - as with gleaning, Ruth has more of these in one place than any other book.
בַּשָּׂדֶה אַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצְרִים
in the field after the reapers
Ruth 2:5, 6 standing - a better gloss is called for
הַנִּצָּב עַל-הַקּוֹצְרִים
standing by the reapers
Ruth 2:9 thirst
וְצָמִת וְהָלַכְתְּ אֶל-הַכֵּלִים
and you thirst, and you go to the vessels
Ruth 2:14 beside and heaped - this is a key part of the story too - Boaz is smitten
וַתֵּשֶׁב מִצַּד הַקֹּצְרִים
 וַיִּצְבָּט-לָהּ קָלִי וַתֹּאכַל
and she herself sat beside the reapers
and he heaped her parched grain and she ate
Ruth 2:16 bundles
תָּשֹׁלּוּ לָהּ מִן-הַצְּבָתִים
draw out for her from the bundles
Ruth 3:3 wash
וְרָחַצְתְּ וָסַכְתְּ
so wash yourself and anoint yourself
Ruth 3:7 another preposition
וַיָּבֹא לִשְׁכַּב בִּקְצֵה הָעֲרֵמָה
and he came to lie down at the end of a heap
Ruth 3:8 and another preposition
וַיְהִי בַּחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה
and it was the middle of the night

Then the sound stops till we find it in proper names in the middle and at the end.
פֶּרֶץ הוֹלִיד אֶת-חֶצְרוֹן
Perez bore Hetsron

Monday, March 1, 2010

Peh

ף פ
Find the peh's. I am beginning to wonder how useful this exercise is - but it will get my eyes working again after two weeks without looking at Hebrew. And I had better mind my peh's and qof's for I am so prone to error and incompleteness.  פ occurs somewhat rarely in the book of Ruth - about 42 times. We find it in the word for chapter, פרק and in the book or Ruth in some proper names: like אֶפְרָתִים Ephratites, עָרְפָּה Orpah and  פֶּרֶץ Perez. It begins our tale with its characteristic burst of air.(I had always thought it was an odd looking letter - an upside down G. No wonder I sometimes pick up a piece of paper with Hebrew text on it upside down.)

וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים
Now there was in the days of the judgment of the judges,

The word for family has two shared letters with the word for judgment. Worse than searching by etymology is my searching for relationships between words by letters alone!
מִּשְׁפַּחַת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ
from the family of Elimelek

This word for family (?) also occurs as handmaid in the phrase 'your handmaid' (Ruth 2:13), שִׁפְחָתֶךָ- more to investigate. Why are these two words seemingly related as to root?

Peh is the first letter of a few words in Ruth - like visit,
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
that יְהוָה had visited his people
and separate
כִּי הַמָּוֶת יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ
for only death will separate me from you
and work
יְשַׁלֵּם יְהוָה פָּעֳלֵךְ
יְהוָה make full your work
and face
וַתִּפֹּל עַל-פָּנֶיהָ
And she fell on her face
(It's not Linus tripping on his blanket.)
and piece
 וְטָבַלְתְּ פִּתֵּךְ בַּחֹמֶץ
and dip your piece in the vinegar
For peh soffit, this letter at the end (סוף - hence soffit) of a word, we find a few also
כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי וְכֹה יוֹסִיף
this יְהוָה do to me and more
קְנֵה-לָךְ וַיִּשְׁלֹף נַעֲלוֹ
buy for yourself and he removed his sandal

Here are a pair of words identically spelled with reference to consonants but quite separate in their usage. The first (where) includes the word 'here', also used twice in Ruth 4:1-2. Where and here seem similarly related in English!
אֵיפֹה לִקַּטְתְּ הַיּוֹם וְאָנָה עָשִׂית
where did you glean today and where work

וַיְהִי כְּאֵיפָה שְׂעֹרִים
and there was about an ephah of barley
And there is a pairing of wings and spread - once relating to how Ruth has come to shelter under the wings of the Lord and once relating her invitation to Boaz.
וּפָרַשְׂתָּ כְנָפֶךָ עַל-אֲמָתְךָ
so spread your wings over your maidservant

נֶפֶשׁ is a common word with a peh but occurs only once in Ruth - in reference to the child Obed restoring the life of Naomi..

There are some rarer leftovers after this gleaning of words: Ruth 3:8
וַיֶּחֱרַד הָאִישׁ וַיִּלָּפֵת
and the man was afraid and turned himself
and Ruth 3:18
עַד אֲשֶׁר תֵּדְעִין אֵיךְ יִפֹּל דָּבָר
until you know how a thing will fall out
and Ruth 2:7
וְאָסַפְתִּי בָעֳמָרִים אַחֲרֵי הַקּוֹצְרִים
and gather among the sheaves after the reapers
Foolishly I found myself wondering if סוף and אסף were related (!) in that the soffit gathers the top of a wall to the roof as the wall and roof come to their respective ends. Lettrymology gone wild.
And there are a few more peh's: הַמִּטְפַּחַת - the cloak in Ruth 3:15
פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי - the coincidence in Ruth 4:1,
פֶּן - lest in Ruth 4:6
and לְפָנִים - before, in Ruth 4:7
and one final curious pair - Ruth 1:16 אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי do not force me and 
Ruth 2:22 וְלֹא יִפְגְּעוּ-בָךְ that none force you

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Samech

ס
Samech is rare. The letter occurs only nine times in Ruth. Three of those are in the word חֶסֶד - kindness among other things, and one in a related root, חָסָה take refuge, or shelter, or trust.. E.g. Ruth 1:8

יעשה יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד
may יְהוָה deal with you kindly
In Ruth 1:17, we have the word יָסַף for adding
כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לִי וְכֹה יוֹסִיף
this יְהוָה deal with me and more
Ruth 2:7 - gather אָסַף, seems very close to adding
וְאָסַפְתִּי בָעֳמָרִים אַחֲרֵי הַקּוֹצְרִים
and gather among the sheaves after the reapers
Ruth 2:12 (mysteriously connected to 3:9 by the word כנף). I doubt this is a structural accident.
אֲשֶׁר-בָּאת לַחֲסוֹת תַּחַת-כְּנָפָיו
to whom you came to take refuge under his wings
Ruth 2:20 - kindness again
אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָזַב חַסְדּוֹ
who has not left off his kindness
Ruth 3:3 - anoint, a relatively rare word and not the usual one for anointing or anointed which are related to מָשַׁח. Some people distrust etymology but I find it fascinating. How does language work and how did it begin? This word סוך has three homonyms that I see when scanning BDB meaning come to an end, cease, and hedge or fence, and reeds. These last two meanings seem related to סָכַךְ from which we get the feast of tabernacles חַג הַסֻּכֹּות (Leviticus 23:34).
וְרָחַצְתְּ וָסַכְתְּ
so wash yourself and anoint yourself
Ruth 3:10 - kindness again
הֵיטַבְתְּ חַסְדֵּךְ
you have made good your kindness
Ruth 4:1 - two instances of 'turn aside', a word that is also spelled with a שׂ and can mean apostatize.
וַיֹּאמֶר סוּרָה שְׁבָה-פֹּה
 פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי
וַיָּסַר וַיֵּשֵׁב
and he said turn aside sit here -
what a coincidence!
and he turned aside and sat down

Ayin


ע
Ayin, in contrast to Samech, is not rare. The ancients liked this guttural. Naomi נָעֳמִי and Boaz בֹּעַז both have ayin in their name. Also Orpah  עָרְפָּה. It also begins some common prepositions and words.If one was to include ayin in the grammatical team, it would be a strong player and bring in the heavy usage of the two character prepositions, עַל and עִם

Many verses repeat in these exercises - it is a reading game. If one actually reads all these posts here and on Bob's Log - (click the links to the letter by letter series on the sidebars) - one will begin to recognize both form and word in Hebrew. There is no substitute for repetition - it builds ze little grey cell connections. (Actually some of those cells might be green.)

Distinguish the differing words in the following verses. There are enough examples to learn all sorts of pronomial and personal suffixes.

Ruth 1:6
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
that יְהוָה had visited his people
Ruth 1:7 It's curious, don't you think, that people and 'with' are homonyms as far as consonants go. In this case, the differing pronunciation must have been critical - unless they derive from a similar experience - since one's people are those with whom one lives.
וּשְׁתֵּי כַלּוֹתֶיהָ עִמָּהּ
and her two daughters-in-law with her
Ruth 1:8 - the preposition עִמָּד is listed with עִם - as if a synonym - BDB p 767 -
יעשה יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד
כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
may יְהוָה deal with you kindly
as you have dealt with those who died and with me
This עִם is a very complex word. The definitions listed in Latin are simul, preterea, cum, contra, apud, prope; in domo, corpore, animo alic.; inter; ex vicinia, e domo, e potestate, ex animo. Oh if only I had learned Latin better! BDB lists with, against (with combative verb), towards, resemblance, of time = as long as, of locality, beside, close to, and many more. Nice example of the use of עִמָּד in Job 9:35.
אַֽדַבְּרָה וְלֹא אִירָאֶנּוּ כִּי לֹא־כֵן אָנֹכִי עִמָּדִי
I would speak and I would not fear him for not so am I with myself

BDB P 768 as if alone and in one's own consciousness whether of knowledge or memory or purpose.

Ruth 1:13-14 - here a pair of temporal words - until and further that look as if they might be related depending on the role of the vav. (BDB p 728-29 treats them together also).
הֲלָהֵן תְּשַׂבֵּרְנָה עַד אֲשֶׁר יִגְדָּלוּ
As if you could wait till such had grown?

וַתִּשֶּׂנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד
and they lifted up their voice and wept further
Ruth 1:15-16 - her, your, and mine - these and Ruth 1:6 give four of the possessive pronouns as they attach to a noun
אֶל-עַמָּהּ וְאֶל-אֱלֹהֶיהָ
to her people and to her God

עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי
your people my people
Ruth 1:19 - another common noun,עִיר, city, and here and Ruth 2:7, another common preposition עַל with a host of meanings that seem to overlap somewhat with אֶל, used above.
וַתֵּהֹם כָּל-הָעִיר עֲלֵיהֶן
that all the city was excited concerning them
Ruth 2:7
וַיַּעַן הַנַּעַר הַנִּצָּב עַל-הַקּוֹצְרִים וַיֹּאמַר
and the lad standing by the reapers answered and he said

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nun

ן נ

On words beginning with nun, like na`ar and na`arah - see lads and lasses

Grammatically, nun is used in the second person feminine plurals
e.g. Ruth 1:7

וַתֵּלַכְנָה בַדֶּרֶךְ
and they (i.e. the women) went on their way

and Ruth 1:8
לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ
Go - return - each to the house of her mother
and Ruth 1:9
וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה
and they lifted up their voice and wept
In Ruth 2:13 we have the object pronoun with the verb in a form that will receive it - the mem changing to a taf and followed by a nun so the yod can be attached.
כִּי נִחַמְתָּנִי
for you have comforted me

I can't avoid the word for 'giving'. It is a very commonly used verb with nun in both the first and third position of the radical. It occurs 8 times in Ruth: Ruth 1:6, 1:9, 2:18, 3:17, 4:7, 11, 12, 13. Can you find the word in the following?
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
לָתֵת לָהֶם לָחֶם
----
יִתֵּן יְהוָה לָכֶם וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה
אִשָּׁה בֵּית אִישָׁהּ
----
וַתּוֹצֵא וַתִּתֶּן-לָהּ
 אֵת אֲשֶׁר-הוֹתִרָה מִשָּׂבְעָהּ
----
וַתֹּאמֶר שֵׁשׁ-הַשְּׂעֹרִים
 הָאֵלֶּה נָתַן לִי
----
שָׁלַף אִישׁ נַעֲלוֹ וְנָתַן לְרֵעֵהוּ
וְזֹאת הַתְּעוּדָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
----
יִתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת-הָאִשָּׁה הַבָּאָה אֶל-בֵּיתֶךָ
----
אֲשֶׁר יִתֵּן יְהוָה לְךָ מִן-הַנַּעֲרָה הַזֹּאת
----
וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה לָהּ הֵרָיוֹן וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן

If I translate them, it will be too easy - right?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mem

ם מ
Mem doesn't have pages in BDB about itself - it's מן that does and the preposition when it clings on to a word loses its nun most of the time. This losing of letters cannot be ignored any more. Vav and yod appear and disappear as helpers of reading in full and defective spellings and 'nun' and 'he' appear and disappear if they are part of the root. Will we find examples? Just consider, if I were to look for nun - it wouldn't be there - so how will I find it? I am sure the weak consonants will appear when we need them.

Some things that we do with our gums, lips, teeth and throat are common to all tongues. I bet there is stuff on the web somewhere about sibilants (sounds like s), gutturals (from the throat), dentals (from the teeth), and labials (from the lips) and a bunch of other special terminology. How do the Hebrew letters stand in this area?

These are distracting question so I have pushed my meandering answer to the bottom of the post. Continuing with Ruth ...

Mem as a leading letter meaning 'from' is common

וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה
לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מוֹאָב
and a man went from the house of bread (Bethlehem) of Judah
to stay in the fields of Moab
also מִשְּׂדֵי from the fields - frequently repeated. and in Ruth 1:7 we have the full word (used 4 more times in the story)
וַתֵּצֵא מִן-הַמָּקוֹם
and she emerged from the place
I don't want to pass over Ruth 1:9. 'Find' is just mem as part of the root, but 'rest' appears to be a noun derived by the addition of a mem prefix from נוּחַ 'to rest'. This extended form of the word with a final 'he' is of significance in that it is used for the resting place for the ark of the covenant in Psalm 132 and for the name. (Is this also marriage related?)
 וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה
may you find rest
Ruth 1:12 looks like an idiom - having and getting wife or husband will turn out to be significant  - see this recent post by Kurk Gayle which poses some questions.
זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ
for I am too old to have a husband
Ruth 1:13 has what I thought was a comparative usage (also 3:12) but BDB notes this as a 'because of' usage rather than the usual 'from = separate from or out of' usage.
כִּי-מַר-לִי מְאֹד מִכֶּם
for bitterness to me is greater because of you

Ruth 2:1 (similar to 3:2) has an mem prefix to the word know יָדַע thus forming the noun acquaintance.
וּלְנָעֳמִי מוֹדָע לְאִישָׁהּ
Now for Naomi there was an acquaintance of her husband
Ruth 2:3 contains three mems - one with an apparently repeated root in two forms - again a noun derived from the verb, and the second a preposition but also preceding another derived noun again using mem.
וַיִּקֶר מִקְרֶהָ
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה לְבֹעַז
אֲשֶׁר מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ
and she happened to happen
on the part of the field of Boaz
who was of the family of Elimelek
Ruth 2:7 gives us the preposition used with a temporal conjunction
וַתָּבוֹא וַתַּעֲמוֹד
 מֵאָז הַבֹּקֶר וְעַד-עַתָּה
and she came and she remained
from then - the morning and until now
Ruth 2:8 gives us the preposition used with a demonstrative pronoun
וְגַם לֹא תַעֲבוּרִי מִזֶּה
 and also do not pass beyond this one
In Ruth 2:14 we have again the fully spelled out preposition - one wonders, why spell it out sometimes and sometimes not?
 וְאָכַלְתְּ מִן-הַלֶּחֶם
and eat of the bread
In Ruth 2:20, the preposition precedes a participle
קָרוֹב לָנוּ הָאִישׁ מִגֹּאֲלֵנוּ הוּא
near to us is the man and he our redeemer

Ruth 3:4 (sim 3:7, 3:8, 3:14) This word in the plural is again derived from the verb or even the singular noun together with a mem. (In this form only used in Ruth and once in Daniel 10:6)
 וּבָאת וְגִלִּית מַרְגְּלֹתָיו
 and you come and uncover his feet
Ruth 3:10 we might say 'from beginning to end'. I leave it in the awkward state.
 הָאַחֲרוֹן מִן-הָרִאשׁוֹן
the end from the beginning
Ruth 3:12 - an unambigous comparative - but why two mems? My eldest son as a child could not say 'milk'. Repeated training produced mmmmm-nilk. M and N are by no means completely easy. I suspect nun has run from min and made mim because a second nun was needed for the pronoun affix. But I couldn't find a seconder for this conjecture. (Putnam did teach me a new word - nunnation - the disappearance of the nun. That could be a Poirot mystery.)
וְגַם יֵשׁ גֹּאֵל קָרוֹב מִמֶּנִּי
and moreover there is a redeemer closer than I

Addendum - letters and their sound classifications

This summary from Gesesius will save me some thinking - notice the distribution of the first 11 - the green grammatical group. I have a theory that they are 'easier' to pronounce and they make pronunciation of other letters easier especially when things need to be elided (like 'a' and 'an' in English).
(a) Gutturals   א ה ע ח
(b) Palatals ג כ‍ ק
(c) Dentals ד ט ת
(d) Labials ב פ
(e) Sibilants

ז שׁ שׂ ס צ‍
(f) Sonants

ו י | ר ל | נ‍ מ‎‎‎


א - guttural like a glottal stop in English - light
ב - must be a labial
ג - palatal - I can feel the palate 'g'
ד - dental
ה - guttural - light
ו - sonant - never seen this word before and neither has my dictionary! Sounds like it is missing a con as prefix. I think I know it as a voiced consonant. Most of the others are unvoiced except zayin, dalet, and gimel.
ז - sibilant
ח - guttural - heavy duty
ט - dental like its brother taf
י - sonant
כ - palatal (guttural?)
ל - sonant - the middle pair
מ - sonant - the last pair
נ - sonant - the last pair
ס - sibilant
ע - guttural - heavy
פ - labial (fricative?)
צ - sibilant
ק - palatal (guttural?)
ר - sonant - the middle pair - like the gutturals never takes a dagesh
ש - sibilant - ambiguous pronunciation without the diacritical mark
ת - dental

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lamed

ל
Today's lesson is brought to us by the letter ל from the scroll of Ruth מגילת רות

This is another letter with several roles. Let us look at the examples to see the roles. A good place to start is with a phrase we saw in several earlier posts

לָתֵת לָהֶם לָחֶם
to give them bread
Five letters of the 9 in this phrase are playing grammatical roles. In English we always begin an infinitive with 'to'. While this is not the rule in Hebrew it also often happens as it does in the case of the first word, the infinitive of נתן, a word in which 2 of the three letters of the root disappear in this form! (I will postpone this discussion of missing letters till we get to נ.) Like English, the preposition ל can be used the way we use 'to'. In the second word, although often left as understood, we could have said 'to them' as seems to be the case in Hebrew. So this verb appears to require an indirect object with a preposition. Does that verb even appear without one? Or say with an attached object pronoun?

The preposition occurs frequently and is most often translated by 'to' in English. So in Ruth 1:7
לָשׁוּב אֶל-אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה 
to return to the land of Judah
and in Ruth 1:8
לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ
 Go - return - each to the house of her mother
and in Ruth 1:9
יִתֵּן יְהוָה לָכֶם וּמְצֶאןָ מְנוּחָה  
may יְהוָה give to you and may you find rest
and in Ruth 1:10
וַתֹּאמַרְנָה-לָּהּ
כִּי-אִתָּךְ נָשׁוּב לְעַמֵּךְ
 
and they said to her
for with you we will return to your people

and so on.

Well - doesn't it just mean 'to' then. Not so fast. BDB lists more than 25 differing uses. We are just on the surface. We have two uses: with the verb - but infinitives don't require a preposition, so it is not exactly like English, and with nouns and pronouns. The correspondence between English and Hebrew verbs and their use of prepositions is varied. Sometimes it seems that Hebrew requires the preposition and English doesn't and sometimes it is the other way around. Lots of examples below for reading practice.

Ruth 1:12 and a similar use of לְאִישׁ in Ruth 1:13
זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ
כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ-לִי תִקְוָה
גַּם הָיִיתִי הַלַּיְלָה לְאִישׁ
for I am too old to have a husband
for had I said there is hope for me
even if there was tonight a husband

Ruth 1:20 has the use of the preposition where we omit it in English and a separate preposition I have translated as 'to' also
וַתֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶן
אַל-תִּקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי
קְרֶאןָ לִי מָרָא
כִּי-הֵמַר שַׁדַּי לִי מְאֹד
and she said to them
do not call me Naomi
call me Mara
for bitter is the Sufficient to me - greatly so

Ruth 2:1 has two more examples which I would render 'for' or 'of' in a awkward moment. 'Of' is a common usage particularly in the headings of the psalms.
וּלְנָעֳמִי מוֹדָע לְאִישָׁהּ
Now for Naomi there was an acquaintance of her husband

Ruth 2:14 has one attached to a time word
 לְעֵת הָאֹכֶל גֹּשִׁי הֲלֹם
at the time of eating draw near here

Ruth 2:20
בָּרוּךְ הוּא לַיהוָה
Blessed be he from יהוָה

Ruth 4:3 has an interesting pair
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר לְאָחִינוּ לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ
the portion of the field of our brother Elimelek

Ruth 4:6. These examples make me ask why the second verb does not take a pronoun as object directly. There's a feel for the language here that I don't yet have. One exercise that might be useful is to list all the various ways one might say the same thing.
 וַיֹּאמֶר הַגֹּאֵל לֹא אוּכַל לִגְאָל- לִי
and the redeemer said I cannot redeem her

Ruth 4:13 almost at the end of the whole story
וַיִּקַּח בֹּעַז אֶת-רוּת וַתְּהִי-לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה
 וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ
וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה לָהּ הֵרָיוֹן וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן
So Boaz got Ruth and she became his wife
and he came to her
and יְהוָה gave her conception and she bore a son

Ruth 4:16 a final example - I think there is no correspondence between the preposition and 'his'. It just came out that way!
וַתִּקַּח נָעֳמִי אֶת-הַיֶּלֶד
 וַתְּשִׁתֵהוּ בְחֵיקָהּ
וַתְּהִי-לוֹ לְאֹמֶנֶת
and Naomi got the child
and set him in her lap
and became for him his support

Note 1: Henceforth no more transcription. (There are transcriptions in the previous posts in this series from dalet to kaf. ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ. And there are transcriptions in the series on Psalm 119 א ב ג ד ה ו ז ח ט י כ ל מ). John Hobbins even wants to wean us from נְקֻדּוֹת the nikkudot, all those little dots and dashes, but I am not going there yet. Maybe after I have visited Israel in the fall but I doubt it even then - you can generally hum and haw between letters and beats but the diacritics help me see some patterns that are otherwise invisible (like most of that piel conjugation).

Note 2: I will continue to put my translations close to the Hebrew. That's the state I am in at the moment with respect to understanding. Reading is easier than a year ago, but memory is lagging. I don't want to trouble my readers with more difficulty than I can manage.

Begin soapbox. By the way, I might be wrong. Where I remember an acknowledgment, I will note it. If I forget you, shout. Hitherto note also - I am a devoted servant of the Beloved whose Name is blessed and who makes me happy in the midst of trouble. Happy as written in Psalm 1:1 and Proverbs 8:34, confident as noted in Psalm 91:15. There is no arguing this even if I fall away into depression and skepticism. Therefore I am not first a scholar, if indeed I will ever be one. I study the Bible but I am not first doing Biblical Studies because I am not disinterested. Professionals, squirm if you must. I have been trained in recognizing my errors and I know how to leave things incomplete but do not hesitate to correct me. I like interaction and I don't get much of it. It may be that the Bible in the hands of amateurs is like loaded weapons in the hands of children, but perhaps that is the nub of our problem. I make no apology to those who are objective and distanced from text or life. I don't see either as an option. End soapbox.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kaf

ך כ
Kaf occurs frequently in its prefix and suffix roles. In its final form, besides being the last letter of some common words like king מלך and way דרך and walk הלך, it is the ubiquitous second person singular personal pronoun suffix.

Ruth 1:15 has many examples of ך
here it is twice as the second person singular pronoun as object of the verb

וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִך
 vàto)mer rvut )àl-tipg`y-by l`azbék lashvub mé)àxarayik 
and Ruth said, do not force me to leave you, to turn back from following you
and in the next example it is as the last letter of the root ילך - the first occurrence is second person singular feminine, the second occurrence first person singular (both imperfect). The final form appears in the second instance since the word ends there. The non-final form appears in the first instance because of the feminine suffix that is part of the imperfect. (Note also the first letter of the common conjunction, ki, indicating cause or reason or just a particular form of coordination.)
כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין
ky )el-)asher télky )élék vubà)asher talyny )alyn
for wherever you go I will go and in whatever you stop over I stop over
and in these two statements, it is the possessive second person singular pronoun 
עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי
`àmék `àmy  vé)lohàyik )elohay 
your people my people your God my God
I have not colored green all the grammatical letters above - I wonder how quickly recognition will become automatic.

Now to look at the prefix Kaf in Ruth, here are some of its uses. The first is in Ruth 1:4
וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם כְּעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים
 vàyéshbvu sham k`ser shanym
and they lived there about 10 years
Usually I think of the prefixed kaf as the word 'like' or 'as' but as with all prepositions, it refuses to stay in one box.
יעשה יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד
כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
y`aseh yy `imakem xsed
 )asher `asytem `im-hàmétym v`imady
may יְהוָה deal with you with mercy
as you have dealt with those who died and with me
In its role as 'as' it is perilously close to the separate conjunction ki, also used in Ruth of course and very common - about 27 times in this story alone, as common as the use of  'for' in English. In the above verse, unmarked, there is another use of kaf as a grammatical letter - the first letter of the suffix כֶם meaning you plural masculine or in this case the possible dual feminine. - Let's wait for mem and nun before pursuing this lead. I don't want to make things up without examples.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yod

י
When I highlight yod in the book of Ruth, I get a mass of colour in every verse. Tet occurs a very few times in comparison.Yod is as frequent as vav but where vav begins only one root, itself, yod is the first letter of many roots.

I wonder how many verses we need to explore to get a representative sample of the functions of yod. I have picked one - Ruth 4:4 - let's see where it takes us. I have retained the transcription - just don't depend on it - cover it if you need it and learn to read the block letters. How many yods? How many functions of yod?


English
Hebrew
Transcription
1
and I myself had said
I will disclose in your ear to say
וַאֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי
אֶגְלֶה אָזְנְךָ לֵאמֹר
        và)any )amàrty )egleh )aznka  lé)mor
2
will you buy before those sitting here
קְנֵה נֶגֶד הַיֹּשְׁבִים
        qnéh neged hàyoshbym
3
and before these elders of my people
וְנֶגֶד זִקְנֵי עַמִּי
vneged ziqnéy `àmy
4
if you will redeem, redeem
and if he will not redeem,
אִם-תִּגְאַל גְּאָל
 וְאִם-לֹא יִגְאַל
)im-tig)àl g)al v)im-lo) yig)àl
5
tell me and I will know
הַגִּידָה לִּי וְאֵדְעָה
hàgydah ly v)éd`ah
6
for there is none except you to redeem
כִּי אֵין זוּלָתְךָ לִגְאוֹל
ky )éyn zvulatka lig)vol
7
and I myself after you
וְאָנֹכִי אַחֲרֶיךָ
        v)anoky )àxareyka
8
and he said I myself will redeem
וַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי אֶגְאָל
vàyo)mer )anoky )eg)al
In line 1 we have a yod that is part of אֲנִי the standalone first person singular pronoun. The long form of this pronoun אָנֹכִי appears twice more (lines 7 and 8). I am wondering if, in this context of the meeting at the gate, this word has legal connotations.

In line 1 still there is a yod as the first person suffix of the qal perfect. In line two, those sitting here - or the inhabitants יֹּשְׁבִים from ישב shows the masculine plural (in which yod takes part) and the use of yod as an opening consonant. (Note its very own dagesh also.) In line 3 the two trailing yods of זִקְנֵי עַמִּי have different functions. The one on עַמִּי is a first person possessive pronoun. The other one (find it) is an abbreviated masculine plural which is often shortened or implied in a construct relationship - when two nouns are 'joined' to each other in succession.

In line 4 we have the function of yod in יִגְאַל as the third person singular masculine of the prefix conjugation, the imperfect.

Then in line 5 we have two new functions of yod - whew. The first is its appearance in the conjugation of נגד. This is in the word הַגִּידָה, the hiphil imperative. What's this - grammatical letters inserting themselves into the middle of a word! Perhaps this is an instance of a mater lectionis, a reader's helper.  I can't find the form in Lambdin - but I do see some yods in some of the paradigms and they look like vowels. The second use of yod in this line is its attachment to the preposition לִּי as if he might have said 'say so to me'.

I had conniptions for a moment that tet was going to steal a place on the grammatical team - but I don't think so. But it is not a typo on page 277 of Putnam's online grammar. [Note that ט tet sometimes does replace ת taf after metathesis in the hithpael of verbs whose first letter is the sibilant צ tsade. This is the only case I have found of a true secondment of a letter from team 2 to team 1.] Again I have not found mention of this in other grammars that I have to hand.

In line 5 also, there is a missing yod, for as the first character of a root, it sometimes disappears in the imperfect (ידע is the root of אֵדְעָה). This is a subordinate clause and could be rendered 'so that I may know'.

In line 6 the two yods are just parts of the word - both acting as vowels really.  In line 7, the yod appears to soften the link between the preposition and the pronoun. Line 8 has one yod as part of the preterite (imperfect with vav in the story line).

It seems that one verse was all we needed for this representative sample of the functions of yod. With 14 yods, 15 if you count the missing one, (check my counting), we have yod as a consonant, as a vowel, as a person pronoun, as the ending of the first person imperfect of the verb, as the masculine plural (with mem but also without) and as a smoothing of the sound between a preposition and its pronoun.

Tet - don't leave me out

ט

Why a second 't' in the middle of the letters? This I do not know. Why are there three s's and ts to boot? If there were not then the division into two groups of 11 would not work! There would be fewer letters to form the second team. Samech, Tet, Tsade sidelined! How unfair. This turned out to be a much longer post than I anticipated. The highlighted word is significant in Biblical teaching.

In Ruth there are almost more ט letters in the numbering system (9, 15, 16, 19 all have tet as part of the symbol)  than there are in the text! But there are a few words - two stand out in particular: טוֹב + יָטַב five times and לָקַט to glean - which gets 10 hits in chapter 2 of Ruth out of of 37 in the Bible. Gleaning and harvest must be a theme of chapter 2 in this book. It sounds as if the story-teller is stressing the gleaning.

So here is the grammar of ט in Ruth. From it we see several forms of the verb, לָקַט. Let us first green the letters that form the affixes.

אֵלְכָה-נָּא הַשָּׂדֶה וַאֲלַקֳּטָה בַשִּׁבֳּלִים
)élkah-na) hàsadeh  và)alàqa+ah bàshibalym
let me go please to the field and glean grain
Here we have a subordinate use of the imperfect - וַאֲלַקֳּטָה In English this might be rendered with "in order that I may glean" or "and glean" or "so I can glean" or "to glean" and probably even the literal "and I will glean" though this one depends on recognizing and as a conditional pronoun (which it can be in some languages). Is it frequent that the imperfect is used in this way?
וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתָּבוֹא וַתְּלַקֵּט
)élkah-na) hàsadeh  và)alàqa+ah bàshibalym
and she went and she came and she gleaned
This reminds me of Caesar's veni, vidi, vinci - we have three first person imperfect verbs in a row connected by vav - each one preterite or 'converted' to the perfect. Each one is a completed part of the story.
וַתֹּאמֶר אֲלַקֳּטָה-נָּא וְאָסַפְתִּי בָעֳמָרִים אַחֲרֵי הַקּוֹצְרִים
vàto)mer )alàqa+ah-na) v)asàpty ba`amarym )àxaréy hàqvocrym
and she said, please let me glean and gather among the sheaves after the reapers
Now we have the same word as in the first example this time in reported rather than direct speech. The reporting has a feel of accuracy to it because of the repetition of 'please' and the following usage of vav introducing a subordinate clause. In my reading, she is already gleaning from permission granted by the lad. Boaz will confirm his decision and the implied delegated authority within the social reality of the time. (That reality is noted in the blessing and response - if the Lord is with them, surely they too can make good decisions.)
אַל-תֵּלְכִי לִלְקֹט בְּשָׂדֶה אַחֵר
 )àl-télky lilqo+ bsadeh )àxér
do not go to glean in the field of another
Here again two consecutive verbs, the second as infinitive with a preceding preposition. The nature of this commandment is to confirm security. This will take some more pondering. The opening אַל-תֵּלְכִי is not an imperative but has the force of a strong invitation. Its context is elaborated on in the next verse - which we must leave until it is time for the story. (Aren't you impressed? I am actually reading this letter by letter before telling the story! Usually I act first and think later.)
וְטָבַלְתְּ פִּתֵּךְ בַּחֹמֶץ
 v+abàlt piték bàxomec
and dip your piece in the vinegar
I mustn't leave this one out - what will be the significance of the shared meal. This is a good restaurant. Hot bread and dip at the meal. A second person feminine ending of the qal perfect - but preceded by the vav, a subordinate aspect yielding a present or future continuing action rather than a past event.
וַתָּקָם לְלַקֵּט וַיְצַו בֹּעַז אֶת-נְעָרָיו לֵאמֹר גַּם בֵּין הָעֳמָרִים תְּלַקֵּט
vàtaqam llàqé+ vàycàv bo`àz )et-n`arayv lé)mor  gàm béyn ha`amarym tlàqé+
and she arose to glean and Boaz commanded his lads even between the sheaves let her glean
Back to gleaning - she arose - 3rd person feminine singular imperfect - preterite - the story continues. The glean following לְלַקֵּט is again infinitive with the preposition (though prepositions are not always used with the infinitive as they are in English). And Boaz commands his lads to make her job easy. The final glean in this phrase is taken as jussive - third person 'imperative'.
תָּשֹׁלּוּ לָהּ מִן-הַצְּבָתִים וַעֲזַבְתֶּם וְלִקְּטָה
tasholvu lah min-hàcbatym và`azàbtem vliq+ah
draw out for her from the bundles and leave and she will glean
Again we have two consecutive verbs at the end of the sentence, the second of which is the desired subordinate consequence of the action commanded by the first. It would be rendered "in order that she may glean".
וַתְּלַקֵּט בַּשָּׂדֶה עַד-הָעָרֶב וַתַּחְבֹּט אֵת אֲשֶׁר-לִקֵּטָה
vàtlàqé+ bàsadeh `àd-ha`areb vàtàxbo+ )ét )asher-liqé+ah
and she gleaned in the field till evening and she beat out what she gleaned
The story continues - third person feminine preterite at the beginning of the sentence and third person feminine perfect at the end. (OK it's piel - but I can't tell the difference between piel and qal.)
וַתֵּרֶא חֲמוֹתָהּ אֵת אֲשֶׁר-לִקֵּטָה
 vàtére) xamvotah )ét )asher-liqé+ah
and her mother-in-law saw what she gleaned
The piel is repeated for her mother in law.
 אֵיפֹה לִקַּטְתְּ הַיּוֹם וְאָנָה עָשִׂית
)éypoh liqà+t hàyvom v)anah `asyt
where did you glean today and where work
 Two instances of the second person singular qal - the taf suffix form without the following 'a' vowel.
וַתִּדְבַּק בְּנַעֲרוֹת בֹּעַז לְלַקֵּט עַד-כְּלוֹת קְצִיר-הַשְּׂעֹרִים וּקְצִיר הַחִטִּים
vàto)mer na`amy )el-rvut kàlatah +vob bity ky téc)y `im-nà`arvotayv  vlo) yipg`vu-bak bsadeh )àxér
so she stayed close with the lasses of Boaz to glean to the completion of the barley harvest and the wheat harvest
There a ט in the wheat too. And here are the uses of good. I will leave these for exercises in colouring and analysis. Copy the Hebrew by hand on paper and colour the letters of the grammar team. Which are verbs, which implied verbless single word clauses, which just an adverb.

טוֹב בִּתִּי כִּי תֵצְאִי עִם-נַעֲרוֹתָיו
+vob bity ky téc)y `im-nà`arvotayv
good my daughter to go out with his lasses

בִּתִּי הֲלֹא אֲבַקֶּשׁ-לָךְ מָנוֹחַ אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב-לָךְ
bity halo) )abàqesh-lak manvoàx )asher yy+àb-lak
my daughter do I not seek for you rest that it may be good for you

וַיֹּאמֶר בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ לַיהוָה בִּתִּי הֵיטַבְתְּ חַסְדֵּךְ
vàyo)mer brvukah )àt là-yy bity héy+àbt xàsdék
and he said you are blessed of יהוָה my daughter you have made good your mercy

אִם-יִגְאָלֵךְ טוֹב יִגְאָל
 )im-yig)alék +vob yig)al
if he will redeem, good, let him redeem

 כִּי כַלָּתֵךְ אֲשֶׁר-אֲהֵבַתֶךְ יְלָדַתּוּ אֲשֶׁר-הִיא טוֹבָה לָךְ מִשִּׁבְעָה בָּנִים
for your daughter-in-law who loves you and bore him is better to you than seven sons
Are those transcriptions useful? I am almost getting to the point where I can read them, but I hate reading transcriptions because I am never quite sure what they are putting in or leaving out in terms of sound. Besides you have to read forwards and backwards at the same time to understand them in relation to the Hebrew letters!