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Yiddish spelling

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Friday, January 7, 2000, 13:12
At 14:47 -0500 6.1.2000, Steg Belsky wrote:

> When my parents named me, they spelled the _hersh_ part with a 3ayin, >representing Yiddish /e/, instead of a yud, for /i/. Not that it really >matters, since Americans usually pronounce Hersh/Hirsh/Hirsch just like >"heard" with a /S/ instead of /d/, so the exact vowel doesn't matter.
What is the normal spelling of Yiddish /e/ anyway? If i understand my source correctly -- which is far from certain -- it should be Ayen, but then it transcribes Tsvey Yudn as E with a grave accent, rather than as EY, which suggests that it too should be pronounced /e/ in some contexts, or is the idea that some dialects realize /ey/ as [E:]? BTW it beats me why /ay/ is written asPaseh Tsvey Yudn, and not as Alef Yud, since even tho some dialects do merge /ay/ and /ey/ the standardizers did obviously prefer keeping them distinct -- they seem to have introduced a good deal of innovations anyway. Similarly if /o/ were written as Alef Yud one could dispense with diacritics altogether (or almost; the dagesh sign would still be necessary.) Finally one wonders why/if nobody has hit on the idea to vocalize modern hebrew Yiddish-style... (Says I who vainly have invented vowel-letters for Perso-Arabic: Waw with two vertical dots above for /o/, Waw for /u/, Ye with two vertical dots below for /i/, Ye with two vertical dots above for /e/, and He with one dot below for final /&/, plus Fe or Waw with three dots above for /v/. Medial /&/ will thus remain unwritten for the most part, but that's not really all that impractical.) /BP B.Philip Jonsson <mailto: bpj@...> <mailto: melroch@...> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__ Anant' avanaute quettalmar! \ \ __ ____ ____ _____________ ___ __ __ __ / / \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / / / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / / / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Melarocco\_ // /__/ // /__/ / /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine__ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\ I neer Pityancalimeo\ \_____/ /ar/ /_atar Mercasso naan ~~~~~~~~~Cuinondil~~~\_______/~~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~ || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda cuivie aiya! || "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)