[b-hebrew] shewa in imperative

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 11:35:30 EDT 2005

VadimCherny <VadimCherny at mail.ru> wrote:
> I hear the same in Arabic and English, so believe Hebrew imperatives are 
> emphatic of neutral verbs. Try pronouncing catav is command, get c'tav or 
> c'tov. 

You are deliberately using non representative examples.  Various 
commands in Modern Hebrew begin with the normal future form: Taq$iv!  
Also, Piels are an example of non shwa imperatives: $alem ax$av!  
Finally, Hiphils are another good examples: Haq$ev! (Military speak for 
"Attention!")  The only reason why pronouncing katav as an imperative
forces the schwa, is that this is the imperative form in hebrew.  Just like
you wouldn't say "Rode!" for a command when you mean "Ride!" in English.
In Modern Hebrew though, the future is more often used for real commands.
Thus, in Modern Hebrew, you would probably hear "Tixtov!" instead.

Yitzhak Sapir

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