[b-hebrew] final alef

Petr Tomasek tomasek at etf.cuni.cz
Sat Aug 18 03:29:52 EDT 2007

On Fri, Aug 17, 2007 at 10:48:07AM -0700, Uri Hurwitz wrote:
>   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?

But isn't this possibly an influence of arabic? The written arabic
has regularly forms like "badaʾtu", or even hamza at the end of a word...

BTW, one will find more such irregularities in the modern hebrew,
e.g. a geminated "f" (and not "p") in יפה ("jaffē").

>   Uri Hurwitz                                        At present  Wilmington, VT

Petr Tomasek <http://www.etf.cuni.cz/~tomasek>
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