the TS;DR version is:
1st person singular is אני therfore the suffix shell be י for a single thing and יי for several things.
1st person plural is אנו therfore the suffix shell be נו for a single thing and ינו for several things.
2nd person singular masc is אתה therfore the suffix shell be ךfor a single thing and יך for several things.
2nd person plutal masc is אתם therfore the suffix shell be כם for a single thing and יך for several things.
2nd person singular fem is את therfore the suffix shell be ך for a single thing and ייך for several things.
2nd person plural fem is אתן therfore the suffix shell be כן for a single thing and יכן for several things.
3rd person singular masc is הוא therfore the suffix shell be ו for a single thing and יו for several things.
3rd person plural masc is הם therfore the suffix shell be ם for a single thing and יהם for several things.
3rd person singular fen is היא therfore the suffix shell be ה for a single thing and יהן for several things.
note this: when writing without niqqud, we're using mater lectionisa to represent the different pronunciation (mainly use ו (represents "o" or "u") and י (represents "i", "y") and יי (represents "aiy" or "eiy")). the sylabole "eiy" is very common with 2nd and 3rd prsons. when using niqqud we write it with a single י, but as we want to make it clirafy that it is a fem and not masc, we're using יי when we write without niqqus. I'll write with niqqud but as if it's without niqqud (more yuds)
single something in my possesion gets י as a suffix - אבא שלי becomes אבי [a-vi] and my room - החדר שלי - becomes חדרי [khad-ri], my blanket (השמיכה שלי) becomes שְׂמִיכָתִי [smi-kha-ti] etc.
several things in my possesion gets יי as a suffix; my books (הספרים שלי) becomes ספריי [sfa-raiy], my ancestors (האבות שלי) are אבותיי [a'vo-taiy] and my rooms (החדרים שלי) becomes חדריי [kha-da-raiy] etc.
something in plural 1st person possesion gets נו (singular) or ינו (plutal). our father (אבא שֶׁלָּנוּ) becommes אָבִינוּ [avi-nu], our ancestors (האבות שֶׁלָּנוּ) becomes אָבוֹתֵינוּ [avo-teiy-nu]. our room (החדר שֶׁלָּנוּ) becomes חָדְרְנוּ [khad-re-nu], our rooms (החדרים שֶׁלָּנוּ) becomes חַדְרֵינוּ [kha-da-reiy-nu]. our blanket (השמיכה שֶׁלָּנוּ) becomes שְׂמִיכָתֵנוּ [smi-kha-te-nu], our blankets (השמיכות שֶׁלָּנוּ) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֵינוּ [smi-kho-teiy-nu].
a single something in singular 2nd person possesion gets ך (for masc subject) or as a תך (for fem subject) suffix (for masc it is "kha" or "t-kha" and for fem it is "e'kh" or "te'-kh"): masc-your father (אבא שֶׁלְּךָ) becomes אָבִיךָ [a-vi-kha], fem-your father (אבא שֶׁלָּךְ) becomes אָבִיךְ [a-vikh]. masc-your room (החדר שֶׁלְּךָ) becomes חַדְרֵךָ [khad-re-kha], and fem-your room (החדר שֶׁלָּךְ) becomes חַדְרֵךְ [khad-rekh], masc-your blanket (השמיכה שֶׁלְּךָ) becomes שְׂמִיכַתְךָ [smi-khat-kha] and fem-your blanket (השמיכה שֶׁלָּךְ) becomes שְׂמִיכַתֵךְ [smi-kha-tekh].
several things in singular 2nd person possesion gets יך (for masc subjects) or תיך (for fem subjects) suffix (for masc it is "eiy-kha" or "teiy-kha" and for fem it is "aiy-kh" or "taiy-kh"): masc-your ancestors (האבות שֶׁלְּךָ) becomes אָבוֹתֶיךְ [a-vo-teh-kha, the "teh" is something between "teh" and "teiy", that is going to be the same in the following], fem-your ancestors (האבות שֶׁלָּךְ) becomes אָבוֹתַייךְ [a-vo-ta-iykh]. masc-your blankets (השמיכות שֶׁלְּךָ) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֶיךָ [smi-kho-teh-kha], fem-your blankets (השמיכות שֶׁלָּךְ) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתָייךְ [smi-kho-ta-iykh].
a single something in plural 2nd person possesion gets כם (masc person) and כן (fem person): masc-their father (אבא שֶלָכֶם) becomes אָבִיכֶם [a-vi-khem], fem-their father (אבא שֶלָכֶן) becomes אָבִיכֶן [a-vi-khen], masc-their room (החדר שֶלָכֶם) becomes חַדְרְכֶם [khad-re-khem], fem-their room (החדר שֶלָכֶן) becomes חַדְרְכֶן [khad-re-khen], masc-their blankets (השמיכה שֶלָכֶם) becomes שְׂמִיכָתְכֶם [smi-khat-khem], fem-their blankets (השמיכה שֶלָכֶן) becomes שְׂמִיכָתְכֶן [smi-khat-khen].
several things in plurar 2nd person possesion gets יכם (masc person) and יכן (fem person) suffix: masc-their fathers (האבות שֶלָכֶם) becomes אָבוֹתֵיכֶם [a-vo-teh-khem], fem-their fathers (האבות שֶלָכֶן) becomes אָבוֹתֵיכֶן [a-vo-teiy-khen] (in these case, their fathers is the same as their ancestors). masc-their rooms (החדרים שֶלָכֶם) becomes חַדְרֵיכֶם [khad-reh-khem], fem-their rooms (החדרים שֶלָכֶן) becomes חַדְרֵיכֶן [khad-reiy-khen]. masc-their blankets (השמיכות שֶלָכֶם) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֵיכֶם [smi-kho-teh-khem], fem-their blankets (השמיכות שֶלָכֶן) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֵיכֶן [smi-kho-teiy-khen],
a single something in singular 3rd masc-person possesion gets ו or תו suffix and in several exceptions יו suffix. his father (אבא שֶׁלּוֹ) becommes אָבִיוֹ [a-viv], his mother (אמא שֶׁלּוֹ) becomes אִמּוֹ [i'-mo], his blanket (השמיכה שֶׁלּוֹ) becomes שְׂמִיכָתוֹ [smi-kha-to].
a single something in singular 3rd fem-person possesion gets ה or תה suffix and in several. her father (אבא שֶׁלּה) becommes אָבִיה [a-vi-ha], her mother (אמא שֶׁלּה) becomes אִמּה [i'-ma], her blanket (השמיכה שֶׁלּה) becomes שְׂמִיכָתה [smi-kha-ta].
several things in singular 3rd person possesion gets יהם (masc person) and יהן (fem person) suffix: masc-their fathers (האבות שֶלָהֶם) becomes אָבוֹתֵיהֶם [a-vo-teh-hem], fem-their fathers (האבות שֶלָהֶן) becomes אָבוֹתֵיהֶן [a-vo-teiy-hen] (in these case, their fathers is the same as their ancestors). masc-their rooms (החדרים שֶלָהֶם) becomes חַדְרֵיהֶם [khad-reh-hem], fem-their rooms (החדרים שֶלָהֶן) becomes חַדְרֵיהֶן [khad-reiy-hen]. masc-their blankets (השמיכות שֶלָהֶם) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֵיהֶם [smi-kho-teh-hem], fem-their blankets (השמיכות שֶלָהֶן) becomes שְׂמִיכוֹתֵיהֶן [smi-kho-teiy-hen],
Thank you for the time you spent in explaining all this. I just have a couple questions:
If נו– is for a single thing belonging to us and ינו– is for more than one thing belonging to us, then why does "our father" (ּ אָבִינו ) have the י instead of being spelledּ אָבִנו ?
Also, you said: "2nd person plural masc is אתם therefore the suffix shall be כם for a single thing and יך for several things." But, wouldn't it be יכם– for several things?
And it looks like you have 3rd person singular fem and 3rd person plural fem combined together: "3rd person singular fem is היא therfore the suffix shall be ה for a single thing and יהן for several things." So, for singular feminine possession of several things it would be יה– right? And then plural fem possession of a single thing would be ן– and several things would be יהן– like you said.
In the two paragraphs beginning "a single something in plural 2nd person possession" and "several things in plural 2nd person possession", you then say "their" throughout when it should be "your", right?
I'm confused as to why "his father" is אָבִיו instead of אָבּוֹ ...is that what you meant: the יו– suffix is an exception to the rule when possessing a single something? Because isn't יו– usually used to show singular 3rd masc possession of several things, like מִצְוֹתָיו (his commandments)?
Lastly, in your final paragraph beginning "several things in singular 3rd person possession" the examples you give are actually in plural 3rd person, correct? And it looks like you don't actually give any examples of several things possessed by singular 3rd, nor for single things possessed by plural 3rd...
Thanks again! If I've misunderstood something, please correct me.
Well, the biliteral nouns of kinship אָב father, אָח brother and חָם husband's father, and additionally פֶּה mouth, have an irregular -i- before the suffixes, maybe a remnant of the lost Genitive case, which had been a long vowel for these four nouns here in earlier stages of the languages and was so preserved.
Well, yes. In Biblical Hebrew חוֹתֵן was the word for the wife's father, but Rabbinical literature stopped making a distinction between the relatives of the husband and the wife (cf. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּשְׂרָפִין, הַבָּא עַל אִשָּׁה וּבִתָּהּ ... וְאֵם חֲמוֹתוֹ San 9.1 The following are burnt: he who has sexual relations with a woman and her daughter,: ... and his father-in-law's mother., using חָמוֹת instead of חוֹתֶ֫נֶת), so the two words ended as synonyms in Modern Hebrew too.
There's no such thing as האבא because in Aramaic the definite article is at the end of the noun, אבא, so adding ה would be redundant. Since one of the building blocks of the fusion language we call modern Hebrew is rabbinic Hebrew, the sages of the Palestinian Talmud and the Bavli knew that one does not pile up definite articles. Addendum: I had been wondering if it is common to say האבא. In a post elsewhere I refer to a wiki that finds the form problematic because "כי אז זה יוצר יידוע כפול, גם של הארמית וגם של העברית"
Well, the usual process is that an Aramaic word, for example the masculine noun מֵימַר speech, was loaned in its determined state with the suffixed article, i.e. מימרא, to be then reinterpreted as a feminine noun מֵימְרָה saying, which can carry an additional Hebraic morphological article הַמֵּימְרָה, as the Aramaic article is totally obscured (compare Arabic loans like الجبر al-jabr the algebra) . For obvious reasons this femininization was blocked for a word like אַ֫בָּא, but I think the form #האבא is frowned upon (although being quite usual), because אַ֫בָּא is treated as a proper noun, an appelative determined in itself, not because the Aramaic article is really still felt. The writing habits of the חז״ל, being fluent in Aramaic, are of course a different issue.
Now let me add some helpful notes from the third Sematic language; Arabic. By mentioning that the four words אב, אח, חם, פו are froming a rule in Hebrew, I realised it is related to a rule in Arabic named "The five names" which are exactly the four above in Hebrew ab, akh, ho, fo and the fifth is tho which is the root (i think as it has the same usage) in Hebrew used in זה &זאת. So i will take father as example: The root is "ab" like Hebrew not aba like Aramic. Arabic still have a Sematic characteristic to add suffix that mark the part of the word in a sentence. This characteristic is from mother Sematic language lost in Hebrew as i see while studying, and i don't know if it is still there or lost in Aramic. But it was there in Akkadian the oldest Sematic language. Any how it is like this: כלב is kalb in Arabic When it is the subject it is kalbu (note the u it is called רפע( When it is object it is kalba ( note a and it is called נשב( After a preposition it is kalbi (note i and it is called גר)
Now with ab:
It will be abu(n), aba(n), abi(n)
For some reason i don't know why Hebrew choose to only adopt the גר from abi
So the poossessive in גר form in Arabic will be:
Abi = my father (in all cases)
Abika= your (masc) father
Abike= your (fem) father Abina= our father Abihe= his father Abiha= her father Abihm= their (masc) father Abihn= their (fem) father And we still have a case for two in Arabic but it is not related to Hebrew so it won't help. I must note my father is always abi no matter רפע, נשב or גר And in Arabic we simply use plural things form to express possession, so: Aba'= fathers Aba'i= my fathers Aba'ina= our fathers Aba'ihm= their fathers Etc
Any other word but אב, אח, חם, פו, זו will only have i for my: Kalbi= my dog Kalbak= your dog Kalbna= our dog Kalbahm= thier dog Kalbahn, etc
I hope this is hellful to explain how Hebrew works in this rule for pssession by comparing to a sister language.
I'm not sure if it is completly incorrect to say אבותינו or אמותינו in this case, but it is definitely not used in this context (those words aren't commonly used, but when they are it is in the context of forefathers (אבותינו - a-vo-tey-nu) and foremathers (אמותינו - i-mo-tei-nu))
Interesting that we have here a case where the forms with synthetic and analytic possessives have a different meaning: אֲבוֹתֵ֫ינוּ הָיוּ צַיָּדִים־לַקָּטִים our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, but הָאָבוֹת שֶׁלָּ֫נוּ הָיוּ חֲבֵרִים, נָכוֹן? our fathers were friends, weren't they?
The three nouns אָב father, אָח brother and פֶּה mouth are irregular, they infix an -i- before the suffixes, which is always written plene. אֵב sprout may have the form אִבֵּ֫נוּ. Older forms of the Canaanite languages had declension, as can be seen in Ugaritic and early Phoenician, three cases (Nominative yáwmu, Genitive yáwmi, Accusative yáwma יוֹם day), but short final vowels got lost. On the other hand father had long vowels in its construct and suffixed declension (ʾabū ʾabī ʾabā), so that you can still see the stem אָבִי־ in these cases.