[b-hebrew] Past tense with gutterals

Isaac Fried if at math.bu.edu
Fri Jun 6 00:58:42 EDT 2008

I have never heard native Hebrew speakers confound NATA( with NAT(-AH, but I 
admit that it may depend on the circles one moves in, or otherwise the bus 
line one takes to work.

Israelis do not pronounce the shwa "na" because there is no such thing in 
Hebrew. It is an oximoronic invention [aided by a terminological 
misunderstanding of what the metaphoric NA( means?] for justifying the 
E-E-E-ing of the language, and it appears to me that it is being purged now, 
as a phonetic phenomenon, from the school teachings. Unfortunately they do 
often stammer E-E-E out of place as a result of lack of education for crisp 

They make no distinction between patah and qamets since there is no evidence 
that these signs were introduced for phonetic distinction.
Isaac Fried, Boston University

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