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Dikduk question- eschem and itchem

Rabbi Ari ShvatAdar II 4, 5774
310
Question
Question in dikduk: The word "itchem" (with you) is very similar to the word "eschem". Why does the taf in "itchem" have a dagesh and the taf in "eschem" not have a dagesh? What is the difference between these 2 words? In both cases the taf is preceded by a tenua ketana and the taf is followed by the exact same letters.
Answer
Shalom Abe, Thank you for your very interesting question. My friend Dr. Yosef Peretz explained that the root of the word itchem is: אנ"ת (an”t), or others opine: אנ"ה (ana). There’s a rule called the “dagesh mashlim” where the dagesh takes the place of the nun which falls as a result of the difficult pronunciation. Just like מנכיר (mankir= to know someone) becomes מכיר (makir with a dagesh in the kaf to replace the fallen nun), so too אנתה (anta) becomes אתה (ata with a dagesh in the tav). Accordingly, what should be אנכתם (intchem) becomes אתכם (itchem with a dagesh in the tav). This is different from the word אתכם (etchem), where the root is just 2 letters: א"ת (at) like the Aramaic ית (yt) where there is no falling nun to demand the dagesh. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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