Skip to content

Cantillation and accents

If you conduct an analysis of cantillation marks, there are a few caveats.

Here is a list from several issues encountered by Robert Voogdgeert, Cody Kingham, James Cuénod and others.

Paseq in trailer

The paseq (׀, unicode 05C0) mostly acts as punctuation, but may steer the interpretation of an accent in the preceding word.

The paseq is always part of the trailer feature, while the preceding accent is part of the g_word feature.

legarmeh

The munach may combine with the paseq and is then called a legarmeh. See Deut 5:12:

legarmeh1 legarmeh2

For more cases, consult this list on wikipedia or a reference work on cantillation accents.

The upshot is: Do not overlook the paseqs in the trailer feature when interpreting accents.

Queries

A query that finds potential legarmehs is

1
2
3
word
  g_word~74
  trailer~05

which finds 1348 examples. However, not all of them count as a legarmeh. A much narrower query looks for munachs immediately preceding their paseq, i.e. without intervening (non-silent) consonants:

word g_word~74[^JWBGDZXVKkLMmNnS<PpYyQR#CFT]*$ trailer~05

This gives only 254 results.

The rules have a semantic component, so it is not straightforward to find the "true" cases in an algorithmic way.