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Hebrew and Semitic questions

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 23:38
Not too long ago, I found something I've been searching for years. A whole
wealth of info on general Semitic and specific Hebrew linguistics. Most of my
questions have already been answered, except one:

How do pausal forms work in Hebrew? Also, what are construct forms and how are
they expressed in the different Semitic languages (I only know Arabic)?

Also, I've finally finished vowel phonology in Tech. The proto-language had
three vowels, each with two allophones resulting from various types of ablaut: i
~ e, @ ~ a, u ~ o. The first vowel in each pair, the higher ones, are the basic
form; the second or lower vowels are the ablauted ones.

When vowels are followed by a consonant before another consonant, a word-final
consonant, or a geminated consonant, the vowel becomes long and also takes on
properties of that following consonant:

Vh, V? > V: (long oral vowel)
Vn, Vm > V~ (nasal vowel)
VX\., V?\ > V_?\ (pharyngealized vowel)
Vy > fronted vowel: ay > [{:], oy > [2:], uy > [y:]
Vw > backed or rounded vowel: aw > [Q:], ew > [7:], iw > [M:]
Vr > rhoticized vowel (@r > [@`:])

This is probably not an exhaustive list. I still haven't gotten to stress or

I'll apparently have an even larger consonant inventory than I thought, if
consonants have geminate (fortis) vs. non-geminate (lenis) distinction, which
becomes pharyngealization, or the "emphasis" of Arabic, Tiberian Hebrew, Modern
Aramaic and the Berber languages.


Fredrik Ekman <ekman@...>Ancient Tongue of the Wise article, now available