[b-hebrew] phonetic writing, was Initial "Beged Kefet" consonants always have a...
kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Oct 21 10:56:34 EDT 2005
Except in the rare cases where the non-native speaker is
able to learn and speak a foreign language like a native
speaker, his spelling, if he writes phonetically, will reflect
his wrong pronunciation and not the correct pronunciation
of the native speaker.
A humorous example from the last century was the
"Katzenjammer Kids" cartoon's spellings of the immigrant
Now we have gotten onto a tangent in discussing Greek
pronunciation, but we find that it had a few similar
sounding vowels, epsilon, eta and iota, along with
diphthongs like EI which I suspect originally was
pronounced similar to "e'ee" which has no similar
diphthong in English. When spoken quickly, sloppily or
accented like a "furriner" as a monophthong, it would
sound either more like an eta or iota depending on which
part of the diphthong was emphasized, hence its
"misspellings" as eta or iota. Later the foreign accents
became mainstreamed by the Byzantine empire, which
would affect the pronunciations also in Greece itself.
Now getting back to Hebrew, did Biblical Hebrew have
diphthongs? I know that Tiberian Hebrew had at least
one, but did Biblical Hebrew? How would we know? Is it
possible that the Aleph originally was a symbol indicating
a diphthong? We know that it had phonemic difference
from Eyin, which was a full glottal stop at least.
Karl W. Randolph.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Riley" <klriley at alphalink.com.au>
> ... I would have
> thought that non-native speakers would provide good evidence as they are
> less likely to know the spelling conventions.
> Kevin Riley
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