Hebrew language/Talk

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Hi, I (uriyan) wrote the majority of the latest (as of October 3rd 2001) edition of this article. But it still needs some work since I am far from being a language scholar. Also, could anyone explain to me why it was necessary to insert the old article fragments? They're already included (in modified form) in other section (particularly /Introduction and History and /Phonology).


I was wondering that myself. My guess is that you didn't have a /Talk explaining what you did, and where you moved the old text, and people here are a bit paranoid about new people coming in and excising major portions of text.


Well, I was just wondering whether someone with more knowledge than me could take a look at my article (and also delete the redunant parts - I'm not sure whether it is ethical to replace someone else's texts with my own, if there isn't a complete consensus).


Well, I made some changes to the /Phonology pages in order to be more consistent with the IPA and to improve my phrasing.


Very nice to have Unicode letters on the /Phonology pages now. A question: What about the arrangement of the consonants in the chart? It would be nice to use the standard IPA layout as shown in [1] so that we can compare languages. The IPA handbook by Cambridge University Press does this for many languages. -- Hannes Hirzel


I'll see what I can do; however due to my not being a language scholar, any help (links, suggestions) will be appreciated. --Uriyan


I'd like to clean up the main page (Hebrew language), since most of the information is redunant anyway. If there are any other (contradicting) opinions, please state them here. --Uriyan

Just go ahead and clean it up, and people'll correct you if they don't like it. --AV

Ok, I finished the modifications. I've been considering to add a poem (a translation from Leah Goldberg), but I'm afraid its copyrighted. Any ideas about the Israeli copyright law? --Uriyan

Nice editing, but I don't like the new first paragraph: it fails to mention that Hebrew is a resurrected Semitic language, a continuation of Biblical/Talmudic Hebrew, and not just some Semitic language that sprung into existence in the 20th century. I think mentioning its roots in the very first paragraph is important.
Leah Goldberg is a no-no, sorry, you'll have to receive explicit permit from copyright holders as well as the translator to be able to publish it. BTW, if you're interested in publishing Hebrew poetry on the Web, you might like http://www.benyehuda.org , a promising project that a friend of mine is trying to get on its feet. --AV
Well, to an extent Hebrew is a new language (Bibleical Hebrew being quite distinct in its vocabulary, grammar, idiomatic constructions etc.). However, I'll try to represent the fact that the Hebrew that we know now is a revived ancient language. --Uriyan.

Someone should add somewhere either here or under Hebrew alphabet a link to mater lectionis, and also some discussion of what dagesh lene are -- something i've always wanted to know. -- Simon J Kissane

By mater lectionis, do you mean the letters alef and waw inserted to lengthen vowels? It is described in /Phonology. I don't quite understand what you'd meant by dagesh lene. Dgeshim in general are also described in /Phonology as "emphases", but perhaps you mean something else. --Uriyan.
Uriyan, dagesh lene is the dagesh that changes the sound in bet, kaf, etc. Dagesh forte is the one that's supposed to double the consonant (in gimel, etc.) but does nothing in modern Hebrew. Mater lectionis are all consonant letters that are used for something else other than describing consonants: e.g. vav/yod for vowels, heh at the end of the word, etc.
SJK, these topics really belong to something like Biblical Hebrew, they don't lend themselves very well to an article on Modern Hebrew. Maybe we should create something like Biblical Hebrew, or better yet History of Hebrew or maybe even History of Hebrew orthography, the possibilities are endless ;) --AV
Ah, well, these topics are covered in /Phonology, though I've translated "dagesh lene" ("dagesh xazaq") as "light emphasis" and "dagesh fortis" ("dagesh xalash") as "heavy emphasis". I am not accustomed to using Latin terms for describing Hebrew phonology in English. I'll change /Phonology to include them, though. --Uriyan
Right. Also, I think it incorrect to claim that ph/p is the only remaining case among consonants changed by dagesh that's still incapable of creating a minimal pair. I think it doesn't qualify either - not due to merging, but due to the fact that /ph/ became possible at the beginning of a word in modern Hebrew: cf. festival, fashla, etc. --AV
Good point, I've changed the phrasing (note however "fashla" and "festival" are not words with Hebrew roots). --Uriyan