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Hebrew, etc.

From:Dan Sulani <dnsulani@...>
Date:Wednesday, August 23, 2000, 14:03
On 22 Aug, Chollie wrote:

>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,
>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!).
Just one small quibble: the root het-lamed-vet/bet can mean either "milk" or "animal fat" depending upon the vowels. "Milk" in Hebrew has the qamats, which in Israeli pronounciation is /a/ and in Ashkenazic pronounciation is AFAIK /O/, but to use /e/ turns the milk into animal fat. ( Not a good idea if you're on a diet! -) ) But this, of course, doesn't really affect the points you made, which were very interesting. Dan Sulani -------------------------------------------------------------------- likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a. A word is an awesome thing.