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Re: Adding New Words

From:Dan Sulani <dansulani@...>
Date:Wednesday, May 31, 2006, 15:01
Re: Adding New Words

On 30 May, Thomas Leigh wrote:

>My one quibble with Modern Hebrew is that horrible, extra-scrapey [G] for >/r/, >when a nice alveolar tap would have made the language gorgeous.
MEA CULPA! I'm responsible for some of that! Sorry! ;-) As a speech-language-pathologist, over the years I have treated many, many kids who had problems pronouncing /r/, including quite a few who, when they came to me, had no form of /r/ whatsoever. Now the alveolar /r/ _is_ alive and well in modern Hebrew, but it has the reputation of being "highbrow" Hebrew. Thus, it is spoken by a small minority of (albeit prestigious) speakers. The "horrible, extra-scrapey [G]" is considered "vulgar" and is thus merrily embraced by the masses! :-) Decisions! Decisions! What to teach? Unless there are good reasons to the contrary, I have tended, over the years, to teach the kids the [G] form. (And anyhow, all the grammar books classify /r/ as a _gutteral_ sound! IIRC, that also includes the grammars written _before_ the rise of modern Hebrew! It's quite possible that the alveolar form acquired its prestige from the European Hebrew speakers that Thomas referred to in his post.) Anyhow, FWIW, I just wanted to say that I, personally, don't find gutteral /r/ all that scrapey in fluent everyday speech. Just like the alveolar version, it tends to be produced very quickly and easily, with little effort. Now, there is a tradition of clowning where part of the humor is exaggeration of speech patterns; and they just _love_ to make the /r/ in a very extra-scrapey, extremely irritating way! :-) But then again, maybe, as a therapist, I'm too involved with "growing the trees" and am unable to see the whole forest. ;-) Dan Sulani ------------------------------------------------------------------ likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.