Aleph and Ayin

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at
Fri Dec 21 14:05:04 EST 2001

I am not aware that Aleph is ever phonetically (gutterally) equal to 
an Ayin, even if it is at the end of a word.


Matt Miller here:
I have induced from my studies that the original difference between the
two Hebrew silent consonants, aleph and ayin, is as follows:
1. They are both lacking a plosive sonal value.
2. Ayin acts only as a glottla stop, while aleph acts either as a glottal
stop or a quiescent consonant. Usually when aleph begins a word it is the
former, and when it ends a word it is the latter. Ayin may never be
3. When both aleph and ayin act as glottal stops, their phonetic value is

Is this reasonable? Could someone with more experience offer insight?
Thanks. Matt Miller

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list