Jewish grammarians who worked on the Hebrew text of the OT between about the 6th and 10th cents. ad. They strove to preserve a biblical text free from accretion, alteration, or corruption by providing marginal notes and instructions for copyists. They also introduced vowel points and accents to show how the words should be pronounced at a time when Hebrew had ceased to be a living language. The text which derives from their work is known as the ‘Massoretic text’.