[b-hebrew] About Dagesh's

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 01:18:21 EDT 2008

On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 8:41 PM, Yakov Hadash wrote:

> But I do think that Hebrew pronunciation probably evolved according to
> what was "easy" for people to say, obvious example -- hith-sader
> becoming his-tader. Or like English, in which "nice to see you"
> becoming "ni-sea." Think about it, when was the last time you heard
> anyone say any of the "o"s in that phrase?
> (I'm a cantorial student at JTS, I studied Latin American and African
> ethnomusicology at the U of Pitt, and I sing Jewish, classical and
> blues music.)

Dear Yakov,

Vadim has his own theory and I'm not sure he himself knows what post-
tonic means.  I do not believe there is any way to reconcile his theory
with modern scholarship into the Tiberian system.  As a Cantorial
student, I suppose you'll have to deal with some two separate issues:
1) Modern pronunciation of the Tiberian tradition
2) The Tiberian system itself as explained by the Tiberians

Israel Yeivin, An Introduction to the Tiberian Masorah, ed. and
trans. E.J. Revell (This is a translation of the first edition, with
supplements by Revell according to the state of scholarship in
1980, but there is now a new second Hebrew edition that dates
from 2003)

and also the following articles by Geoffrey Khan:

'Tiberian Hebrew phonology', in A. S. Kaye (ed.), Phonologies of Asia
and Africa, Eisenbrauns, 1997, 85-102.
'The Tiberian pronunciation tradition of Biblical Hebrew' Zeitschrift
für AltHebraistik IX (1996), 1-23
(The above is basically the same as 'Tiberian Hebrew Phonology',
although it complements it in some ways).
'The pronunciation of resh in the Tiberian tradition of Biblical Hebrew',
Hebrew Union College Annual LXVI (1995), 67-80.

The following are more involved articles:
'Vowel length and syllable structure in the Tiberian tradition of Biblical
Hebrew' Journal of Semitic Studies XXXII/1 (1987), 23-82.
'The syllabic nature of Tiberian Hebrew vocalization' in A. S. Kaye
ed., Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau I, Wiesbaden , 1991,

These last couple of articles are very involved and took me several
readings through just to understand them.

If you can read modern Hebrew, I may have additional suggestions.

Yitzhak Sapir

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list