In Tiberian Hebrew, Shva Na and Hataf Patach were both pronounced like Hataf Patach. (I will be discussing Shva Na, not Shva Nach, in this question.)

However, in other dialects, Shva was pronounced like a quick short “uh”, and there were no written Hataf vowels.

Which came first? Did Shva merge with Hataf Patach in Proto-Tiberian Hebrew, or did it separate from Hataf-Patach in other dialects?

If the former: Tiberian manuscripts often replace Shva with Hataf Patach. For example, under gutterals, a Shva is always replaced with a Hataf Patach. Is this simply because they want to indicate that the Shva is pronounced, or because the original vowel would have been changed to a Hataf Patach? (If the latter, that question isn't applicable).

That’s only one example. There are others. Can we know which cases of Hataf-Patach were originally a neutral Shva Na, or if there was originally such a difference at all?

(This information is important because modern Hebrew and the only totally vocalized ancient manuscripts of Biblical Hebrew use Tiberian vocalization.)


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