[b-hebrew] final alef
uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Fri Aug 17 13:48:07 EDT 2007
Well, it depends how far back one wishes to go in time when the consonantal spelling started. The assumption that those who put down an Aleph indicated something they heard is defintely tenable.
Let's take as an example the Heb. 'he' or 'she', "Hu)" "Hy)", in both cases the Alephs are silent. Now, the Arabic for these is"hua" and "hiya" , in both cases there is a final wovel; vestiges of this ancient pronounciation is represented in the biblical Alephs.
It may be interesting to note that in modern Heb. speech the Aleph in the negation "LO"
is of course silent. However when this is used emphatically as "No!" the Aleph often becomes a gluttal stop, and can be heard as such, though native speakers are hardly aware of it. How about this, Yigal?
Uri Hurwitz At present Wilmington, VT
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