[b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin and accent

Read, James C K0434995 at kingston.ac.uk
Mon Oct 31 07:32:43 EST 2005

I think it's unrealistic to assume that the ancient cultures were so 
linguistically aware that they felt the need invent a writing system 
that accomodated for vowel changes through time.
Much more convincing is the assertion that the consonants stood for 
both consonants and vowels as the vowels were altogether predictable.

-----Original Message-----
From: b-hebrew-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org on behalf of Yishmor Y
Sent: Mon 10/31/2005 1:46 AM
To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Ayin and Ghayin and accent
Dave Washburn wrote:
    > [...] have lived in Montana, Indiana,
    > Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and now Idaho,
    > and I have never heard the plural
    > pronounced as you describe it in any
    > of those places.

Karl Randolph wrote:
    > I took some courses in journalism, and
    > those professors told me that the
    > MidWest pronunciation is the best, the
    > one preferred for TV and radio announcers.

What is being referred to is variously referred to as the "Midwest 
Accent", "Standard Midwestern", as well as the "General American" 
accent. It is originally mostly limited to the region around Iowa, 
particularly East Nebraska, Iowa, and North West Illinois. Essentially, 
the speakers of this region are perceived by most people in the United 
States as "not having an accent" and because of this, this accent is 
adopted by many in the American television and radio news industries as 
well as actors. Tom Brokaw is often given as an example.

Karl Randolph writes:
    > This is getting off topic, but it is
    > illustrative: if we disagree so much
    > as simple and common as the
    > pronunciation of "women" [...] how
    > can we claim [...] that we can know
    > exactly how ancient people pronounced
    > their languages?

I'm not sure that we can be sure about the vowels. Vowels are far too 
variable (and a possible reason why the vowels were ommitted in some of 
these alphabets). The consonants, however, seem more constant <bg> and I 
think that much we can narrow them down to some high degree of confidence.

yismor busi

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