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About the 'Unreliability' of the Vocalization of Western Targum-Manuscripts

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image of Aramaic Studies

The main argument for the unreliability of the Tiberian vocalization in Targum manuscripts of western origin is the inconsistency with which the vocalization signs are applied. The author argues that in certain manuscripts this inconsistency is the result of a non-Tiberian vocalization system which uses the Tiberian vocalization signs, the so-called Palestino-Tiberian vocalization system. A passage from an Ashkenazic Targumic manuscript with Palestino-Tiberian vocalization is examined and its 'inconsistencies' are explained in light of similar vocalizations in manuscripts of Rabbinic Hebrew. The author suggests that manuscripts with Palestino-Tiberian vocalization may reflect the pronunciation tradition of Palestinian Aramaic of Late Antiquity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Hebrew Language, Tel-Aviv University


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