[b-hebrew] Re: variant pronunciation

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Apr 23 04:01:00 EDT 2004


The answer to your question is included in your question: the reason you did not hear the th sound in Hebrew is because German, hence Yiddisch, hence the Ashkenazic pronunciation, does not have the th sound. Modern Israeli Hebrew, having been developed by Yiddisch speaking Jews, with only a couple of exceptions is limited to the phonemes available in Yiddisch even though they selected Sephardi pronunciation as the one to use.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dora Smith" <villandra at austin.rr.com>

> I took 3/4 of first year Biblical Hebrew with a Near Eastern archeologist
> who was a Conservative Jew - and I attended synagogue for several years and
> learned prayers, hymns - and never ONCE heard or said the th sound.   And
> many of those people pronounce in Azhkenazic Hebrew - which sounds terrible
> and also drives me crazy.   "AdonOI"?    Yipe!    Hebrew teacher traced the
> history of the word "Ishah" for us on the board, beginning with Akkadian
> cuneiform - so I strongly doubt that d or t are often pronoucned th and
> noone told me!
> Whatever the explanation for dalet and tau morphing into th is, can you guys
> please provide an explanation that makes sense in light of competent people
> and entire temples full of them not ever pronouncing it that way?
> Yours,
> Dora Smith
> Austin, Texas
> villandra at austin.rr.com
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