[b-hebrew] final alef
leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Sat Aug 18 17:23:48 EDT 2007
I tend to agree - the aleph is there because it was meant to be pronounced
as a gluttal stop (not as a "silent letter"). From both the Bible and
especially inscriptions, it would seem that the mater lectionis that was
used for the final "O" (once these entered Hebrew orthography) was actually
he (as preserved in names such as "Shiloh" and "Shelomoh"). Also, what's the
relationship between l) (lamed aleph) and l)w (lamed aleph waw)? Is the
former an abbreviation of the latter? Or was l) spelt with an aleph to
distinguish it from its homonym lw (lamed waw) - "for/to him"?
As long as Uri brought modern Hebrew into the discussion, an interesting
fact: in modern Hebrew, when one wishes to emphasize a word in speach, one
will often say the word and then add "im ---- rabbatti!" - "with a
big ----!" - the "---" being the initial letter of the emphasized word.
There's no question in my mind that this expression was taken directly from
European languages, probably from English, as in "No with a capital N!".
However, in the case of the word "no", the common expression is "Lo im aleph
rabbatti!", emphasizing the second letter in the word, that distinguishes l)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Uri Hurwitz" <uhurwitz at yahoo.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2007 8:48 PM
Subject: [b-hebrew] final alef
> 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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