[b-hebrew] CV syllables, was music in Hebrew

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Fri Jan 27 12:21:11 EST 2006


On 27/01/2006 14:15, Herman Meester wrote:

> ...
>
>And the fact that our European languages are not reported to have an
>`ayin doesn't mean certain Semitic languages don't. The `ayin was not
>pronounced anymore by the Masoretes by the way, it was "replaced" with
>an /a/ sound, hence רוח is written with a "patach furtivum",
>pronounced [rua], not *ruach.
>  
>

Possibly, but it is more probable that the furtive patah was inserted at 
a time when `ayin and het were pronounced as proper pharyngeals. For it 
is well known that pronunciation of a pharyngeal consonant, by 
withdrawing the tongue root, lowers the centre of the tongue and so 
changes a close vowel (i,e,u) into an open one, more of an a sound. At a 
later stage some speakers dropped the `ayin and started to pronounce the 
het differently. But the furtuve patah is evidence of the original 
pronunciation.

>...
>
>Even Dutch offers a parallel to Hebrew. In Hebrew, *malk(u) ~> *malk
>~> melekh. In Dutch, the word /melk/ (=Engl. milk) has led to the
>pronounciation [mèluk] (not written this way, only pronounced).
>Exactly the same thing. In several Arabic dialects, the "segolates"
>develop the same thing: a word like /dars/ is often pronounced
>[dárus].
>
>  
>
In some regional varieties of British English (not the glottal loving 
ones you described so well) "film" is pronounced like "fill 'em".

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/




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