Original Hebrew

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by OCH, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    When it comes to schooling or just general knowledge in Israel, are Israelis aware of the ORIGINAL sounds of the Hebrew alphabet? Are they aware of the merged letters, Canaanite shift, etc.?

    Examples: Malk- > Melekh; Tawṯab> Tuṯab> Toshav;

    Śady > Sadeh

    Thank You
    :)
     
  2. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Are Israelis aware of the "original" forms? Not really. Some "original" (that is: older) forms are taught in school only to the level that that are needed to understand existing forms, and then are forgotten almost immediately :(. For example, the old form malk (king) for melekh may be learnt to explain why the plural construct state is malkey (pronounced malkhey, for other reasons).

    Sound merging, vowel change ("the Canaanite shift" etc.), and similar ancient or rather recent phenomena are not part of the Israeli general knowledge.

    In practice, for modern Hebrew speakers Hebrew starts with the Bible, not earlier. Most Israelis possess a considerable Arabic and Aramaic vocabulary so hypothetically could (or should) have noticed systematic changed between the languages. Well... they don't, except of some apparent shifts, mostly by comparison of modern Hebrew and modern Arabic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  3. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    There's no such a thing as original Hebrew and what you speak of can probably not even be called Hebrew.
     
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    support tfgihter.
    malk was never part of hebrew.
    you could call it semi-semi-hebrew.
     
  5. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Thanks, origumi. I've always noticed how the original pronunciation of Hebrew words are preserved in its plural, so I got excited when I read about it, lol. I have a friend from Israel and she explained to me how she was aware of some of the letter's original sounds, such as "Tsade" originally being pronounced as an emphatic S NOT "Tz/ Ts". I was just unsure if she knew from research or if Israelis are taught that in school. So thanks again for answering :)

    Moderator note: Discussion of the History of the pronunciation of צ can be found here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2012
  6. David S Senior Member

    Richmond, VA, USA
    English - US
    I feel like asking an Israeli to know about how t --> sh is a lot like asking English speakers about the Great Vowel Shift: They wouldn't know about it unless they've studied phonology or historical linguistics.

    But perhaps Israelis are aware that tet and tav, kaf and qof, chaf and chet, ayin and aleph, were pronounced differently? I hear that only some Mizrachi Hebrew speakers preserve these distinctions.
     
  7. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Well, hardly anyone preserves the original Qof and Tet (Qaf is rarely pronounced as it "should" by most Arabs as well). As for the distinction between Ayin and Alef, it's something every kid, regardless of where his grandparents were born, knows about.
     
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    we are aware that it was pronounced differently.
     
  9. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    In addition, all children learn that correct khet is the Yemenite one, like Arabic ح. The only problem - this is not necessarily correct, at least for most locations and periods of Hebrew.
     
  10. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    It's not the same as asking English speakers about the Great Vowel Shift (which I, as an English speaker, happen to know about as well as the originals to all of the languages I speak). It's not like there are dialects in English where the word "food"is spelled and pronounced differently depending on the region. Sure, we [English speakers] have people pronounce certain words differently but that usually because of accent. Plus, our dictionaries tell us the origin and so forth (unlike Hebrew dictionaries). Besides, English is made up of tons of different languages unlike Hebrew.
     
  11. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    objection! whale in australia is pronounced like while, and many others.
     
  12. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    You keep mentioning "original" languages - what's that? Hebrew has been evolving for more than 3000 years (with several different periods and styles), earlier it was Canaanite, even earlier proto-Aramaic-Canaanite (a funny synthetic name), etc., back to cavemen "hoo hoo kee kee". Which of them is genuine Hebrew? Which English is original? Shakespeare? Chaucer? Caedmon?

    Regarding the ancient sounds: as the biblical Hebrew sounds are mostly known, leaving some degree of freedom yet known in general, sounds you mentioned are either pre-biblical or marginal in biblical time or at least not the mainstream Judean Hebrew which is most likely the main contributor to modern Hebrew. This means that they were spoken 3000 or 3500 years ago or earlier. Now, can the pre-biblical language be regarded as Hebrew? Depending on whom you ask, I guess that most scholars will name it Canaanite, and with good reason: Phoenician of 1200 BC is likely to have been practically identical to Hebrew (maybe as spoken in the north), Moabite of 800 BC is attested to be extremely similar to Hebrew of the time (maybe as spoken in the south, Judea). Therefore if we go a little back in time it's safe to agree on one Cannanite language or dialects family, not necessarily divided by the later ethnicity of Ammonites, Edomite, Israelites, Moabites, Phoenicians, etc.

    Do you expect modern language speakers to recognize sounds lost 3200 or 3500 years ago (some of them only 2000 years ago), to be reconstructed only by 18th-20th century linguists? This doesn't seem a reasonable expectation. Do Australians speak or know anythings about PIE? How many well educated English speakers you know can understand (or even read) the following:
    And this is only 1000 years ago.
     
  13. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Lol, due to accent.
     
  14. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Many of the well educated speakers I know do, to be honest. We even joke around using the older pronunciations. My entire point, as I've said before, is how European influence on the Hebrew language has nearly morphed the Hebrew language into a Western one. And again, as I've said before, most of the evidence of it's ORIGINAL sound is available in the plural of nouns.
     
  15. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    This has nothing to do with European influence. The stuff you described in your original post have perished from Hebrew long before Jews arrived in Europe.
     
  16. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    ok, hebrew is a western language. whats your point here? and there is no original language, as it evolves. hebrew is the same in its structure as it was 3000 years ago.
     
  17. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Okay, I see. I guess you guys have done years upon years of research to come to this conclusion and the other linguists and scholars before you just made everything up. Thanks ;)
     
  18. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    European influence morphed Hebrew? I doubt. Modern Hebrew follows the biblical language in many aspects. This is a result of the special history that Hebrew experienced in the last 2500 years. There are differences of course, yet most of them have nothing to do with Europe. The one foreign language that affected Hebrew most of all is Aramaic.

    European influence may be found in scarce ancient words (to be disputed if really European) like tauros = שור. Later the Persian, Greek and Latin had their part due to political circumstances, then Romance languages followed by German (Yiddish) and in recent time many scientific and technological terms along with English (and some French, German, Russian, other) like anywhere else on the planet. The influence is mainly on vocabulary and maybe the pronunciation of certain consonants (see a thread about צ in EHL). The traces of Yiddish (Judeo-German) and some Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) are apparent yet limited. One recent Europeism I can suggest is word order in some cases (e. .g יפה מאוד becomes מאוד יפה) but this is insignificant.

    Israeli high-school students can read most of the bible fluently, where the hard parts were most likely a challenge for later-bible period readers as well. Same about the Mishnah except of many technical terms. Does it "sound" the same? Apparently not. But most vowels loss and consonant mergers / shifts are either pre-European or under non-European influence (such as Arabic).

    Some linguists do say that Modern Hebrew is very far from the older layers and that diaspora languages, mainly Yiddish, have an important role. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghil'ad_Zuckermann for example. But this is the minority, and as far as I understand Zuckermann himself propones these claims mostly as a gimmick.

    Who? Where?
     
  19. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Look up on Blau.
     
  20. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Besides, you already answered my question earlier and now this entire thing as turned into something else but whatever.
     
  21. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Actually I did research the subject for several years now and currently taking a course on it in Tel Aviv university.
     
  22. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Interesting. So have I. Now can you say "Tel Aviv" the right way?
     
  23. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Blau said it about Hebrew and Arabic in the same level. For example
    http://books.google.co.il/books?id=...QWz3PTJDQ&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Please ask our neighbors on the Arabic forum (and the mainstream of Arabic linguists) what they think about it. Hebrew is the same here.
     
  24. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
  25. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    The point is simple: modern (and biblical) Hebrew is far from the proto-Hebrew or proto-Canaanite language, and yet is not Europeanized or about to be so. There are traces of ancient periods, there is some European influence, but these are not too significant.
     
  26. OCH New Member

    English - US/ Spanish
    Okay. Whatever you say ;)
     
  27. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    I'm an Aussie and I certainly don't pronounce it like that.

    I pronounce it almost the same as wail.
     
  28. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Which is different from weyl, isn't it?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2012
  29. Abu Rashid

    Abu Rashid Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Australian English
    It's certainly nothing like while.
     

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