[b-hebrew] Multiple pronunciations for vocalic shewa

Dr Raoul Comninos capechurch at gmail.com
Thu Aug 23 09:55:04 EDT 2007

I noted with interest in Muraoka (p. 51) that Massoretic grammarians
laid down three rules for pronouncing vocal shewa. a) a full vowel
before gutturals similar to that of the gutterals concerned b) /i/
before yod and c) /a/ elsewhere. I wondered how far today this
practice is still observed among scholars of ancient Hebrew today, and
how if at all these rules play in modern Hebrew. I have not seen any
Hebrew grammar recommend multiple pronunciations of shewa and in most
cases the recommendation is to say a short 'a' as in 'careen'. This
too is at odds with modern Hebrew pronunciation of shewa which sounds
to me more like the 'e' in better than like the 'a' in careen.

Dr Raoul Comninos
93 Wagenaar Street
Monte Vista
South Africa
capechurch at gmail.com
Fax: (086) 6544615

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