Two consonants are not allowed to stand together at the beginning of a word,; hence vowels are frequently inserted or prefixed, e.g.
The consonants are for the most part reproduced pretty distinctly, but not the vowels as yet in an equal degree."
In order to avoid the uncertainty arising from the lack of vowels to distinguish forms consisting of the same consonants (for the vowel-points were not yet invented), the aramaising use of the reflexive conjugations (Hithpa`el, Nithpa`el) for the internal passives (Pu'al, Hoph`al) became common; particles were used to express the genitive and other relations, and in general there was an endeavour to avoid the obscurities of a purely consonantal writing.
In view of all this, the first requisite for a critical treatment of the text of the Old Testament is to consider the consonants by themselves, to treat every vowel-consonant as possibly not original, and the existing divisions of the text into words as original only in those cases where they yield a sense better than any other possible division (or, at least, as good).
The only consonants are k,1, m, n and p, which with the gently aspirated h, the five vowels, and the vocalic w, make up all the letters in use.