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David J. Fuller

Habakkuk is unique amongst the prophetic corpus for its interchange between YHWH and the prophet. Many open research questions exist regarding the identities of the antagonists throughout and the relationships amongst the different sections of the book. A Discourse Analysis of Habakkuk, David J. Fuller develops a model for discourse analysis of Biblical Hebrew within the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics. The analytical procedure is carried out on each pericope of the book separately, and then the respective results are compared in order to determine how the successive speeches function as responses to each other, and to better understand changes in the perspectives of the various speakers throughout.

Atlas of the Arabic Dialects of Galilee (Israel)

With Some Data for Adjacent Areas


Peter Behnstedt and Aharon Geva Kleinberger

This atlas is based on large-scale fieldwork conducted in Galilee in the mid-nineties of last century. Galilee is the area with the highest percentage of arabophones in Israel and displays a rather complex dialectal situation. The reshuffling of large parts of the population after 1948 led to a considerable degree of dialectal diversity in many places. Moreover, many points of investigation show, besides the notorious Bedouin-sedentary dichotomy, a significant sociolinguistic variation with respect to age, sex, and denomination.The atlas contains seventy-three phonetic and phonologial maps, in addition to eighty morphological and thirty-eight lexical maps.Ten maps deal with the classification of the dialects.The atlas is of interest to semitists, dialectologists and variationists.

The Development of the Biblical Hebrew vowels

Including a Concise Historical Morphology


Benjamin Suchard

The development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels investigates the sound changes affecting the Proto-Northwest-Semitic vocalic phonemes and their reflexes in Tiberian Biblical Hebrew. Contrary to many previous approaches, Benjamin Suchard shows that these developments can all be described as phonetically regular sound laws. This confirms that despite its unique transmission history, Hebrew behaves like other languages in this regard. Many Hebrew sound changes have traditionally been explained as reflecting non-phonetic conditioning. These include the Canaanite Shift of *ā to *ō, tonic and pre-tonic lengthening, diphthong contraction, Philippi’s Law, the Law of Attenuation, and the apocope of short, unstressed vowels. By reconsidering reconstructions and re-evaluating phonetic conditions, this work shows how the Biblical Hebrew forms regularly derive from their Proto-Northwest-Semitic precursors.


Ahmad Al-Jallad and Karolina Jaworska

This is the first comprehensive dictionary of the Safaitic inscriptions, comprising more than 1400 lemmata and 1500 lexical items. The dictionary includes a lengthy introduction to the inscriptions as well an outline of various aspects of the Safaitic writing tradition.

Hadas Yeverechyahu


The paper presents consonant co-occurrence restrictions in Hebrew, focusing on the influence of the similarity factor. A lexical analysis of Hebrew verbs reveals tendency to avoid similar, close consonants, by showing a highly significant correlation (p<0.0001) between co-occurrence of C1-C2 sequences in the lexicon and similarity factors (based on Frisch et al.’s 2004 model for similarity, adjusted to Hebrew). In other words, the more two consonants are similar to each other, the smaller their chances are to co-occur as C1-C2 in a Hebrew verb. In addition, a major role of place of articulation is observed, such that consonants that share major place of articulation are less likely to co-occur. However, the highly significant correlation between co-occurrences and similarity factors suggests that not only major place of articulation affects the restrictions; otherwise we would wrongly predict no effect in non-homorganic pairs.

Noam Faust


Modern Hebrew is written with the traditional Hebrew orthography, which contains several symbols that refer to guttural sounds. However, the pronunciations corresponding to these symbols in Modern Hebrew are not phonetically guttural. This paper is an exhaustive survey of these realizations. It shows that in many cases, there are reasons to think that even though no sound is produced, there is an underlying segment in the position of the historical guttural, and this segment behaves in a predictable manner. That said, alongside this general pattern, there are some effects related to historical gutturals that must be regarded as morpheme-specific, as well as some idiosyncrasies of the different original gutturals.

Evan-Gary Cohen


The phonology of loanwords often differs from the phonology of native words in various aspects. These differences are evident in the prosodic structure and even the segmental inventory. The differences between the loanword and native phonology, however, are not necessarily stable, and it is often the case that what originated as phonological structures in loanwords which were illicit in the native vocabulary eventually overrode the native norm, bringing about diachronic change to the phonology of the native words. Hebrew is no exception in this respect. The stress system of loanwords differs from that of native words, with the latter’s system undergoing changes inter alia due to the effect of loanwords (e.g. ante-penultimate stress, immobile stress patterns). The licit syllable structure inventory of native Hebrew words has been expanded to include loaned structures (e.g. complex codas, triconsonantal structures), and the phonemic inventory of Hebrew now includes several consonants originating in loanwords (e.g. ʒ and d͡ʒ).

Roey J. Gafter


This paper surveys current research on the sociophonetics of Modern Hebrew, meaning the research of phonetic variation in Hebrew speech that is socially conditioned, or interpreted as socially meaningful. The paper discusses recent methodological and theoretical advances in sociophonetic research on production and perception, and illustrates how these have been implemented in Hebrew and influenced our understanding of Hebrew sociolinguistics. It further highlights a number of key sociolinguistic variables that have received the most attention in quantitative research on segmental variation: the pharyngeal segments (ħ) and (ʕ), the Hebrew rhotic (r), the glottal fricative (h), and the diphthong (ej). The paper concludes with a discussion of future directions and additional variables of interest which have the potential to advance the growing field of Hebrew sociophonetics.

Modern Hebrew stress

Phonology and phonetics

Outi Bat-El, Evan-Gary Cohen and Vered Silber-Varod


The paper provides a comprehensive description of the phonology and phonetics of Hebrew stress. The distribution of the stress patterns draws a categorial distinction between verbs and nouns, and enhances the typologically uncommon disparity between the most common pattern (final stress) and the default pattern (penultimate stress). As the acoustic studies reveal, the main cue for Hebrew stress is duration, though the duration contrast is eliminated between a phrase final unstressed syllable and the preceding stressed syllable. A second important result of the acoustic studies is that there is no evidence for secondary stress.

Noam Faust, Evan-Gary Cohen and Outi Bat-El