[b-hebrew] yhwh pronunciation

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Wed Jul 20 19:14:23 EDT 2005


Peter noted that:
 I note that the English pronunciation 
Jehovah is similar, consisting of four nominal consonants but in fact 
only three pronounced consonants - because final h is silent in English 
as normally in Hebrew.


I think the silent pronunciation of the final H is more due to our 
inability to pronounce it than anything else, while the parallel is a 
good one. Also notable is the italian pronunciation of Geova, which 
completely drops the also the first h as there is no h sound in the 
italian alphabet and all but the florentines have great difficulty in 
learning how to make a h sound (I'm an English teacher (for my sins)).
Also of interest is the Spanish Jeova, where the J is pronounced as a 
guttural similar to khet and the v is pronounced in a way not dissimilar 
to an english 'b' for an overall pronunciation of xeoba. I think these 
examples go to show the limitations of transliterations and attempts of 
foreign cultures to pronounce foreign words. And therefore help us to 
understand why we see forms like 'iaoua' and 'iabo' in Greek transliterations.
As also the Greek alphabet had difficulty in translating a spirant he
mid-word. Also, research suggests that the pronunciation of waw has 
shifted several times from 'w' to 'v' and vice-versa through the ages.
The 'b' sound is a plosive version of 'v' with almost exactly the same 
mouth movements. I feel that this explains why we see the 'b' in the 
'iabo' transliteration which could be present as an indication of either 
the period it was written in or by the dialect of those who wrote it. In 
much a similar way that the Spanish pronounce the same letter 'v' as a 
near English 'v' or a near English 'b' depending on the word that it is in.

I don't know if all that was followable or made any sense to anyone except 
to me!?!?

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