שב בבקשה/ שבי בבקשה

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Konstantinos, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
    Imperative to a man: שב בבקשה, sev vevakasa, sit please.

    Imperative to a woman: שבי בבקשה, svi bevakasa, sit please.

    Am I right?
     
  2. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Shev and Shvi (or Shevi)
    Bevakasha
     
  3. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    In Modern Hebrew, "בבקשה" starts with a b-sound in both cases.
     
  4. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    As notes above, you must be careful with s vs. sh - I know it's not simple for a native Greek.
     
  5. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
  6. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Yes, it's common for Greek speakers to have trouble distinguishing "s" and "sh". The difference is in where the tongue is: "s" is pronounced with the tip of the tongue touching the roof of the mouth near or touching the teeth, while "sh" is pronounced with the flat top of the tongue touching the back of the alveolar ridge close to the palate.
     
  7. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
    Now, it is the first time I understand and I can say with my tongue both cases. Thank you Drink... But to tell you the truth, I have not understood the difference between ш and щ in Russian... This is similar with s and sh?
     
  8. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Russian is complicated because it has four of these sounds: с, сь, ш, щ. The "с" is exactly the same as English "s", and "щ" is the closest to English "sh" (but not exactly the same); "сь" is like "s" but with the tongue much flatter, and "ш" is pronounced with the tip of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge.
     
  9. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
  10. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Another thing, "sh" is pronounced with round lips by native English speakers, like in the vowel "u". This is to make it sound more different to "s", as it elongates the vocal tract.
     
  11. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I'm not sure if I agree with that. I don't notice any difference in my lips between "s" and "sh"; the lips simply follow the rounding of the next or previous vowel. Compare "she" with "see" and "shoe" with "soon".
     
  12. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    It's what they teach in Phonetics classes, and in my experience it has at least some truth. Soon will have a rounded s because of the following round vowel. She has more rounding than see, even if not as much as shoe and soon.

    I assume it is a feature of US English, but I'm less sure if it is a feature of all languages with both of these sounds as separate phonemes. I also don't know how "native" you are in English and Russian. If you are equally native in both from birth, then I can't argue against your personal judgement.
     
  13. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I also tried "shun" and "sun", "shower" and "sour", etc. My lips are the same between each pair.

    No one speaks any language literally from birth. I was born and raised in the US. Russian was my first language (from when I was about a year old I guess) and was my only until I started preschool at age 3. By the time I was 5 (and probably well before that), my English was as good as that of anyone else my age.
     
  14. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Fair enough.

    This isn't something I've invented, here are some links:

    Wiki:
    "In various languages, including English and French, it may have simultaneous lip rounding, i.e. [ʃʷ], although this is usually not transcribed."
    http://www.lipreading.org/lipreading-alphabet-middle-consonant
    http://www.fact-index.com/l/li/lip_rounding.html
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...q=lip rounding postalveolar fricative&f=false
     
  15. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I'm not accusing you of making it up; I'm just disagreeing. It could be that I'm not noticing it because I am forcing myself to pronounce these words rather than saying them naturally, it could be that it's just too slight for me to notice, it could be something that varies regionally, or the people who make this claim could be plain wrong. Who knows.
     
  16. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
    Russian has 37 distinct consonant sounds: http://masterrussian.com/aa081201a.shtml

    What about Hebrew? And how can I learn to pronounce distinct consonant sounds of any language? Only with speaking experience?
     
  17. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    I don't particularly like counting consonant sounds, since there are various issues you can come across in deciding whether something counts as one sound or two.

    The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters (all of them are consonants). One of these letters, the shin/sin (ש), actually represents two different consonants. Historically, each of these consonants was pronounced distinctly, but the sin was pronounced the same as the samech (ס), and if you go too far back in time, the situation gets even more complicated and less certain, so I won't bother you with it. Six of the letters (בגדכפת) had two variants, plosive and fricative, but represent the same etymological consonant, but in Modern Hebrew, three of these (גדת) lost their alternations. Also in Modern Hebrew, other consonants merged as well, except for some Sephardi speakers: א=ע,‎ ב=ו,‎ ח=כ,‎ ט=ת,‎ כּ=ק. There were also additional sounds introduced or reintroduced recently through other languages: ג',‎ וו/ו',‎ ז',‎ צ'. This leaves the count for most speakers of Modern Israeli Hebrew at 24. I will also note that now א/ע and ה are on the verge of completely disappearing and becoming silent, which would lower the count to 21.
     
  18. Konstantinos

    Konstantinos Senior Member

    Athens, Greece
    Greek - Athens
    Very interesting... Thank you... And explain to me something else that I wonder. Hebrew was a disappeared language for many centuries. Without any saved audio record, how can we know the pronunciation of this language?
     
  19. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It stopped being an everyday spoken language, but it was preserved as a liturgical language by Jews all over the world.
     
  20. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    You describe the /s/ as apical (as e.g. in Iberian Spanish or Dutch) rather than as laminal (tip of the tongue touches the lower teeth and the sound producing constriction is formed between the blade of the tongue and the alveolar ridge). This strikes me as odd, certainly in English, but also in my understanding of modern Israeli Hebrew. In fact, the apical /s/ is relatively uncommon among language that phonemically distinguish between /s/ and /ʃ/. E.g., in Iberian Spanish, the apical /s/ developed only after the disappearance of /ʃ/ and in German, the apical /s/ merged either with the laminal /s/ or with /ʃ/, depending on position in the word, after the development of the /ʃ/ phoneme.
     
  21. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    You're right. If I were being a bit more technical, I would have said the "top of the tongue near the tip", rather than just the "tip".
     
  22. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Thank you, my world is in order again.:)

    It is actually part of the problem why it is difficult for Greeks to distinguish the sounds because the apical /s/ in quite common in Greek and the distinction between /s/ and /ʃ/ is difficult to maintain, if the /s/ is pronounced apically.
     

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