Non-Hebrew grammar on Modern Hebrew

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Jeraru, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Jeraru Member

    España, español y catalán
    Hello. I'm almost totally ignorant about any variety of Hebrew language but I have read that a minority of linguists consider that the structure of Modern Hebrew is based on the one of Slavic, Yiddish and of other European languages. Could anyone tell me a few examples and counter-examples of this theory?
  2. origumi Senior Member

  3. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    There are a few grammatical forms that were borrowed from non Semitic languages (see this thread) but other than that these theories are completely baseless.
  4. David S Senior Member

    Richmond, VA, USA
    English - US
    While I strongly disagree that Hebrew is Indo-European, it's possible that European languages affected the syntax.

    I find it intriguing that the word for "to be/have" in Hebrew and Russian (להיות and byt') are almost identical in the way they function grammatically: they both disappear in the present tense except for when they are used to mean "have", in which case there are two forms that do not conjugate, one for positive and one for negative (יש/אין לי vs. u menya yest/ n'et). In other verb tenses, they do conjugate completely, both when they mean "to be", and when they mean "have". When the two words mean "to have", the object possessed becomes the subject and the possessor a dative object. I wonder if this is a coincidence, or whether Russian influenced Modern Hebrew, assuming this construction was different in Biblical / Mishnaic Hebrew.
  5. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    It wasn't different in biblical Hebrew.

    Here's from genesis 33 9: "וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו, יֶשׁ-לִי רָב; אָחִי, יְהִי לְךָ אֲשֶׁר-לָךְ."

    Here's from Book of Lamentations 1 2 "בָּכוֹ תִבְכֶּה בַּלַּיְלָה, וְדִמְעָתָהּ עַל לֶחֱיָהּ--אֵין-לָהּ מְנַחֵם, מִכָּל-אֹהֲבֶיהָ: כָּל-רֵעֶיהָ בָּגְדוּ בָהּ, הָיוּ לָהּ לְאֹיְבִים."
  6. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Simply coincidental, as are all of the many other features that languages from different families share.
  7. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    I agree, coincidental, but that doesn't stop me from saying יש in Hebrew, which I'm used to saying, when I mean to say есть in Russian, which I use far less often! Most of the time, people understand because the two words sound so much alike and my Russian accent isn't perfect anyhow.
  8. Jeraru Member

    España, español y catalán
    Thank you all for the answers.

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