Difference between ד and דּ ?

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by akhooha, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    What is the difference between ד and דּ ?
    Is the little dot /ּ/ a vowel marking or is it changing the sound of the daleth in some other way?

    Thank you.
  2. origumi Senior Member

    In modern Hebrew they are identical, the sound is like "d".

    In certain past periods the two had slightly different sounds, if you're interested in Biblical Hebrew this can be elaborated.
  3. Tararam Senior Member

    In Modern Hebrew it doesn't really make a phonological difference, the "ד" is pronounced as a strong "d" (like in "donkey", "donor").

    If you're interested in knowing what it is, it's quite a large subject that's called a "dagesh".
    In brief (utterly briefly) this dot can be a "dagesh kal", in which case the "ד" sounds like a strong "d" ("donkey", "donor"), or a "dagesh "hazak", in which case it sounds like a strong "d" but elongated like a double consonant (as the word "meanness" in English.)
    When a "ד" doesn't have a "dagesh" at all, it sounds like a soft "th" in: "the", "then", "they".

    The same thing applies to the letter "ת" (only with a stronger "th" like in: "think", "thin"), which is why you called the letter "ד" daleth.
  4. arielipi Senior Member

    בגד כפת
    are (supposed to) changing with a dot in them
  5. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you arielipi, tararam, and origumi.
    With your explanations and with help from Wikipedia (now that I know what terms to look for) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dagesh and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begadkefat) I think I have a fairly good understanding of it now. It seems that a dagesh will change a fricative into a plosive (at least in Biblical Hebrew) so that:
    בגדכפת = /veɣaðχefaθ/
    בּגּדּכּפּתּ = /begadkepat/
    (correct me if I'm wrong)
    Thanks again to all of you.
  6. origumi Senior Member

    Generally speaking - what you wrote is correct. Remember though two things when mentioning "Biblical Hebrew":

    * The exact sounds are unknown. They are reconstructed by comparison to later Hebrew, other Semitic languages, transcription to Greek (Septuagint), etc.
    * The bgdkpt rules could have developed during the 2nd temple period (starting 5th or 4th century BC). The situation during 1st temple (10th-6th century BC) is unclear.
  7. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Thank you, origumi, for the additional information...
  8. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    This is a very controversial question, but one view (in my opinion the most likely one) is that the softening of post-vocalic b, g, d, k, p, t to /β, γ, δ, x, f, θ/ took place in Aramaic around the beginning of the Christian era, and was then copied in the reading pronunciation of Hebrew (which at that time was not longer a spoken language). At the time when Hebrew was a living language these consonants were always hard.
  9. origumi Senior Member

    The Septuagint transcripts letter כ kaf to Greek chi, for example the name ascha (עסכה, עכסה) becomes ᾿Ασχὰν (the "ν" is of accusative, Joshua 16 and more). LXX is usually dated to 3rd century BC. So the process may have started several centuries earlier than the Christian era.
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    As I said, this is all open to discussion. You do know that in the 3rd century BCE the Greek chi was still /kh/, not /x/.
  11. origumi Senior Member

    Yet the example hints that כ k had two different sounds, rendered to Greek kappa and chi.
  12. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    I don't follow you. You quoted only one example: ᾿Ασχὰν.
  13. origumi Senior Member

    Uh sorry. Ασχὰν עַכְסָה compared to names like Κίτιοι כִּתִּים. But then it seems that many כּ are transscripted to χ (vs. κ) so my argument is weak.

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