[b-hebrew] Modern Hebrew pronunciation

David Steinberg david.l.steinberg at rogers.com
Wed Apr 28 08:13:10 EDT 2010

Ryan Clan wrote

    Modern Hebrew pronunciation of these letters is certainly a
    *practical*option, and there is a lot to be said for a practical,
    working solutionthat lets you move on. It was this pragmatism mixed
    with the juggernautof Modern Hebrew as a spoken language today, that
    has made me think thatMH is indeed at work influencing and
    pressuring the way we pronounce andteach biblical Hebrew. I can't
    otherwise account for the differences inpronunciation taught of not
    only the inseparable preposition, but alsowith the vowels, the
    begadkephat letters, and the "waw." Or is it just ahappy coincidence
    that the more recent grammarians teach a pronunciationthat conforms
    so readily to modern Hebrew? Or perhaps some majordiscovery of
    ancient pronunciation accounts for the trend? If ModernHebrew is not
    at work here, then what is?

The problem of using pronunciations that developed thousnds of years after biblical texts were written is particularly important when dealing with poetry and wordplay - see http://www.houseofdavid.ca/anc_heb.htm . 

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