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Re: About Hebrew pronunciation

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Sunday, May 30, 2004, 17:43
On May 30, 2004, at 5:31 PM, Outo Otus wrote:
> I'm talking about Modern Hebrew, the one which is spoken in Israel > today. > Do sephardic speakers keep the pharyngeal consonants? I have also > noticed > there is a trend regularly to omit glottal stops (at least in the > ashkenazic pronunciation), does this happen with the sephardic > pronunciation? > I also read somewhere that in casual / fast speech 'ayin ( voiced > pharyngeal) is omitted. Can anyone verify this? > Thanks.
Dan will probably come in with some better descriptions based on his more experience, but here's what i've found: 'Sephardic' speakers generally keep |hhet| and |`ayin|, while |tet| and |quf| are pronounced the same as their non-emphatic counterparts |tav| and |kaf|, |tzadi| being pronounced the Ashkenazic way, as a /ts)/ (non-emphatic) affricate. I think everyone omits glottal stops a lot of the time. I don't know about the elision of |`ayin| in general, but i can say that in my own speech sometimes it drops out, but that could just be because i'm a non-native speaker and have only been pronouncing |`ayin| for a few years. Modern Israeli Hebrew is a sort of pidginized dialect that takes the generally 'easier' pronunciations from the accents that pre-existed it: --- Sephardic vowels, since there are less of them --- Ashkenazic consonants, since there are less of them (except for |tav|, where it's always [t] like in many Sephardic accents) Of course, today many Israelis *do* pronounce |hhet| and |`ayin|. In many communities, while spoken Hebrew is pronounced in Israeli Creolized Accent, prayers, chanting of scriptures, etc. are pronounced in the ancestral accent of the community. Differences between ancestral Ashkenazic and Sephardic/Mizrahhic accents: Ashkenazic (and Yemenite) accents generally have more variety of vowels, distinguishing between /O a e E i o u @/, while Sephardic/Mizrahhic accents generally only have /a e i o u/. Of the original 6 BGDKP"T letters with stop and fricative allophones, Ashkenazic accents generally preserved more: [b v , k x , p f , t s], while Sephardic/Mizrahhic accents generally didn't preserve [t s] - and sometimes even less, for instance Syrians don't destinguish between 'hard' and 'soft' /b/. Yemenites preserved differences in pronunciation between all six. Non-Ashkenazic accents preserved the doubly-articulated 'emphatic' qualities of /k> t> s>/, usually pharyngealized like in Arabic, but if i remember correctly Georgian-speaking Jews pronounce them glottalized. Since Yemenite accents preserve the most distinctions, they're generally seen as the most 'original' or accurate, although they aren't - for instance, pronouncing the hard allophone of /g/ as [dZ] (instead of *[g]) is almost certainly an independent Arabic-influenced development, and not a holdover from Classical Tiberian Hebrew. -Stephen (Steg) "the sun standing still in giv`on, and the moon in ayalon valley, dreaming of this place on the day we'll stop fighting and begin breathing... happiness and smile, love and perfection two nations' emancipation from slavery to freedom... the sun will stand still between `aza and rafiahh the moon will glow white on the peak of hhermon flowers in the barrel..." ~ 'prahhim baqaneh' (flowers in the barrel) by subliminal


Dan Sulani <dansulani@...>
Dan Sulani <dansulani@...>