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Re: CHAT: (no subject)

From:Leo Caesius <leo_caesius@...>
Date:Tuesday, August 22, 2000, 16:38
Steg Belsky wrote:
"From what i can remember from the _Encyclopedia Judaica_
article on "Pronounciations of Hebrew" (an amazing resource for this
stuff!) the only groups that pronounce vav as /w/ (either always or
allophonically) also use a /w/ (or a continuum of /w/ /B/ /b/) for
instances of bet."
    I was going to point out that this is characteristic of the Jews of
Kurdistan (Geoffrey Khan just wrote an excellent, highly expensive book on
one of their dialects).  For example, the Aramaic word for "milk" in
Kurdistan is pronounced "halwa" (Heb. helebh).  The same is apparently true
for their pronunciations of Hebrew.
    I made xeroxes of the sacred texts of the Kai-fung Jews (published in a
facsimile edition by some Presbyterians in Shanghai); interestingly enough,
words like herebh "sword" and helebh "milk" frequently become confused, such
that one will appear for the other and vice versa.  This is, no doubt, due
to the Kai-fung Jews' own pronunciation of Hebrew (I wish someone had
bothered to preserve that before the obsolescence of that community!).

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