Talk:Hebrew language/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

More on the emergence of modern Hebrew

Could somebody please elaborate on the emergence of modern Hebrew? I assume there were very few native speakers. How did it happen that millions speak the language now? How did it happen that many persons lay to rest their mother language and switched to Hebrew? Thanks.


read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliezer_Ben-Yehuda —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.110.219.188 (talk) 22:36, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

More useful dictionary links

How about links to English-Hebrew dictionaries which render the Hebrew words in Roman letters? Unless one knows the Hebrew alphabet, the existing links are useless. Tmangray 18:20, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Here is an English-Hebrew dictionary which has transliterations (Hebrew words in Roman letters) for many words and also has an option for viewing Hebrew words without having Hebrew fonts installed: http://www.dictionary.co.il . None of the dictionaries in the External Links have this option. Would this be a good addition to the list of External Links? Samjordan1968 (talk) 17:42, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Respected Schools that teach Hebrew

A list of respected school teaching ancient Hebrew:

(Please help in filling out this list.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.38.211.144 (talk) 22:38, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Bar-llan

http://www1.biu.ac.il/

sources?

I keep trying to add the standard books about the history of Hebrew (ISBN 0521556341, ISBN 0814736904, etc.) and someone or some 'bot keeps removing them. Why?

The first couple of paragraphs could use some citations as well- perhaps just one per paragraph even if it all came from the same place. Bots should be illegal. Swatpig 00:23, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Wexler and Zuckermann

i deleted this text:

Wexler[1] claims that modern Hebrew is not a Semitic language at all, but a dialect of "Judaeo-Sorbian". On his argument, the underlying structure of the language is Slavic, "re-lexified" to absorb much of the vocabulary and inflexional system of Hebrew, in the same way as a creole. Ghilad Zuckermann[2] takes an intermediate view: "Israeli" is a separate language from Hebrew, and has a basically European syntax, but should be regarded as a hybrid between the Hebrew and European models. The identity of the European substrate/adstrate has varied: in the time of the Mandate and the early state, the principal contributors were Yiddish and modern standard German, while today it is American English.

this is linguistic nonsense, especially the bit about "judeo-sorbian". neither of these are even close to being mainstream linguistic views or appear in any journal. references from personal websites are not credible sources.

Benwing 07:37, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Well done. --HIZKIAH (User • Talk) 11:58, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

You can call it what you like, but just because you don't agree with (or don't understand) Paul Wexler does not give you the right to censor his opinion. And he is not a personal web site. --Redaktor 00:04, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

massive relexification/decreolization is not a generally accepted linguistic theory. we don't need to include every fringy idea just because someone said it. Benwing 06:55, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Calling a particular theory a fringy idea is POV --Redaktor 09:44, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
no it isn't. how else to distinguish between mainstream and non-mainstream views? do we need to publish every theory out there, regardless of how little support it has? but i'm fine with your latest edits. your language "not accepted by most linguists" is exactly what i meant by "fringy". Benwing 07:49, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The mentions of Wexler and Zuckermann were there to raise the question of Europeanization, rather than to advocate their views, and the original paragraph made it clear that they were in a minority (and Zuckermann is less extreme than Wexler). Both are bona fide linguistic scholars: Wexler is cited with respect by Saenz-Badillos and Zuckermann's essay flags a forthcoming book: it is not a question of some lone unscientific crank with a website.

The point is not whether their theories are "true" or "false": they agree with everyone else on questions of verifiable fact, and the issue is one of characterization. All agree that both the vocabulary and the nuts and bolts of accidence are derived from classical Hebrew. The point being made is that a speaker of modern Hebrew sounds less like a native speaker of a live Semitic language such as Arabic than like a foreigner trying to translate into such a language out of a European language, so that you can "hear" the German, Yiddish, English or Polish through it. Whether that affects the "Semitic" categorization of the language is not a question of fact but of point of view. In the same way, no one would deny that French is a Romance language, but there is a strong argument for saying that structurally it is not so much an organic derivative of Vulgar Latin as a creole in which Latin is calqued on Celtic.

I'm clearly not going to win on this; but perhaps we can restore the mention of Zuckermann when his book comes out. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 10:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

this is fine with me. mostly what i object to are people who do not have a linguistic background inserting ideas that seem interesting to them in an attempt to give them more credence. i don't know what your background is, but i'm a linguistics grad student, and among most linguists that i know, creolization theories of latin, arabic and the like have a very bad reputation, and they would not agree with your claim that there "is a strong argument" for Latin being a creole. to the extent that linguistics is a science, is is *NOT* just a "point of view" whether a language is a creole; the term "creole" implies a specific sort of historical development, and to argue for such a development you have to present specific evidence showing that this is true. the reason why creolization theories have such a bad reputation is that most of the people making these assertions (e.g. Versteegh for Arabic) have presented limited and often questionable evidence that anything like creolization ever actually happened, and seem to be basing their theories mostly on romantic notions of how things must have proceeded when speakers of different languages came together. Benwing 02:13, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I never said Latin was a creole. I said that the evolution of French showed a slight analogy to one. Similarly with Hebrew.
My way of explaining it would be this. The first generation, Ben Yehuda and Co, devised a highly prescriptive and grammatical model for modern Hebrew, based on Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew as far as possible. This was then learnt, imperfectly, by mother-tongue German and Yiddish speakers, so that their Hebrew often gave the impression of a word-for-word translation rather than showing any real feeling for the language. These modes of speech then got "stuck", and were imitated by their children, and thus became standard in the speech of later generations of mother-tongue Hebrew speakers. In short, I think Wexler and Zuckermann grotesquely exaggerate, but their work is useful in highlighting some features of modern Hebrew that are usually overlooked. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 10:31, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Good explanation, though it's more complicated: people were writing books and newspapers in Hebrew in Europe for hundreds of years before the period we're talking about, and their use of the language influenced the way it was later spoken. But why mention German speakers? They were negligible in number and influence. The vast majority of early 20th-century Hebrew speakers were native speakers of Yiddish, and of the rest a lot more were speakers of Russian or Polish than of German. Immigrants from Germany were notorious in Israel for not learning to speak Hebrew no matter how long they had been there (though of course many did). Herzl, a German speaker, never learned Hebrew. According to the Hebrew Wikipedia, when the Jews in Germany organized to build a technical school in Haifa, they appointed as the director of the project Shmaryahu Levin, who was born in Minsk, Russia! Were there any prominent Hebrew writers who were native German speakers? Could it be that German creeps in here because Yiddish doesn't seem like a separate, real language?
sorry, i misspoke; i meant to say "romance languages" rather than latin. in a situation like french (or english after the danish invasions or whatever) you had a case where a lot of people learned the language as adults, and as a result the language went through significant modification. "creole" is more than this; the creolization-decreolization theories suggest that the language went through a period where it became radically simplified, and then at a later point the original features of the language were partly reincorporated. it's undeniable that such a process is possible, because it's been observed ... but it's the kind of non-occam's-razor theory that requires a lot of evidence to support. hebrew is certainly a special case, since there were *no* native speakers at a certain point. i read some of zuckermann's writings on his web site, and they're interesting but he doesn't present much hard evidence, at least that i can see. i'd really like to see someone do the work of digging up old recordings and such to figure out what *really* happened.
unfortunately this kind of scientific linguistics really went out of fashion as a result of chomsky, and so when zuckermann makes mostly philosophical rather than scientific arguments, he's just doing what he's been trained to do. at least the pendulum is finally starting to swing the other way, as people have discovered that chomsky-style linguistics is next to useless if you actually want to apply it to anything; documentary, typological and computational linguists, for example, ignore it completely and make much more use of markov networks (famously shot down by a chomsky paper in the 50's and not seen again in linguistics till the late 80's) and of alternative grammar theories such as hpsg, lfg, etc. – the "bad guys" according to mit, but the only guys who are well-defined.
What is the relevance of that comment? Zuckermann's and Wexler's issues, about history and who spoke what when, have nothing to do with Chomsky's and others' ways of modeling grammatical structures.
anyway, i see that zuckermann's has gotten all over the blogspace, so i wouldn't be averse to you adding him back, as long as you clearly indicate that he and wexler represent decidedly-nonstream views. (the problem before was that it read more like "well, the old stogies said XXX but a new guy wexler established this new consensus and zuckermann established an intermediate position so now we've got three basic camps on the issue".) Benwing 06:45, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Now done. I hope you think the current version an improvement. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 10:17, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Every person who speaks basic Hebrew, basic Arabic and basic English will tell you that it is nonsense. The cited article is clearly a part of the Palestinian propaganda that tries showing that the Jews have nothing to do in the middle east. 99.135.92.223 (talk) 19:47, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Ask about it, in English, on the Hebrew Wikipedia Help-deskEddau (talk) 19:51, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Wexler is a credible scholar who has put his views and research into book form at academic presses. This makes him far more credible than the blogosphere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.213.96.171 (talk) 04:08, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

do we need to publish every theory out there, regardless of how little support it has? - Yes. As long as it is published. Let not paradigms hold you in tunnelvision. Accept all. Mallerd (talk) 20:33, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

German and Yiddish

Someone asked why I believed that German, as opposed to Yiddish, was a significant influence on modern Hebrew, given that so few of the early settlers were German speakers (and many of these did not learn Hebrew). This is largely a matter of impression: especially in the case of academic Hebrew, I can often "hear" the German through it; I may also be biased by the fact that I used to live in Haifa! I think the reason is that, even for the Yiddish-speakers, German was the important academic language, in which a lot of the scholarship about Hebrew and Wissenschaft des Judentums was written; and the tendency of the Haskalah was to bring Yiddish closer to standard German. It's true that in many respects (such as the occasional use of min by older speakers to mean "about") the influence of the two languages is indistinguishable, as they use identical constructions and would be calqued into Hebrew in the same way. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:07, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

More on Zuckermann

I am interested in Zuckermann and was indeed the person who first inserted the mention of him into this article. However, the account of his views is now far too long, as it is twice as long as the account of Wexler and the mainstream put together. I also notice that the article about him has been deleted as non-notable (I personally regret this, but it was after full discussion). Isn't it enough to say that he believes "Israeli" to be a hybrid because of the linguistic background of its founders, and then give links to sites and articles where his view is explained in full? --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 11:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

That section was too long indeed. However, Zuckermann's view is worthy of mentioning. His articles are published and cited in peer-reviewed journals. I agree to shortening that piece a bit but not removing Zuckermann's view completely.--Xevorim (talk) 11:54, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Aryan myth and Hebrew language

Romantic scholars further contributed to the Aryan myth. Identifying commonalities among Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and other European languages, Friedrich Schlegel fashioned a misguided linguistic theory that Sanskrit was the shared ancestral language of India and Europe and claimed that this heritage gave the two a foundational unity of thought and worldview. In a similar vein, Max Muller drew from the Rig Veda and other Sanskrit texts then available to derive a linguistic ideal of the Aryan as the founder of European languages, dismissing Jews and the Hebrew language as cut off from European development. For Voltaire, Schlegel, Muller, and other European scholars who contributed to the Aryan fantasy, Jews, along with the Hebrew language, became categorized as "not Aryan," the paramount exemplar of an Aristotelian "not A." Thus, as Figueira astutely observes, mythologizing the Aryan was the culminating move in mythologizing the Jews for European history. Jews became classified as a discarded but necessary Other, against whom the self-striving to live up to the Aryan ideal was defined. Figueira emphasizes that Muller, who figured significantly in popularizing rhe Aryan myth beyond academic circles, strove to distance himself from the racialization of Aryan mythology, but his attempts came too late. Aryan idealization intersected and merged wirh racial theories then spreading throughout Europe, with disastrous consequences for European Jews. Friedrich Nietzsche's contribution to the Aryan myth stands apart in this history. This is in part because, according to Figueira, he used as his principal source a copy of the Laws of Manu, which he was told and erroneously believed ro be the oldest sourcebook of the Aryan world. Like others before him, Nietzsche posited an ancestral Aryan ideal, but he went further than they did to champion the creation of a master race. Still, unlike the explicit anti-Jewish strains of earlier contributors to Aryan mythology, Nietzsche wanted to include Jews in the breeding initiatives that would produce his Ubermensch. Although he charged certain aspects of Jewish history and practice with contributing to cultural degeneracy in the West, Nietzsche admired much about the Jewish people of his day and stood staunchly against German Anti-Semitism.--HIZKIAH (User • Talk) 11:40, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

number of speakers

In the lead of the article it says that Hebrew is spoken by over seven million people, but then on the side bar it lists the number of speakers as around 15 million. So technically the first sentence is true, but there's an obvious discrepancy. Joshdboz 20:25, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I would guesstimate that the number of fluent Hebrew speakers is considerably less than 15 million. The population of Israel is about 7 million, almost everybody there speaks Hebrew to some extent or another, Jew, Arab or foreign worker. (Excluding immigrants who never got a grip on the language). If you include the population of Israelis living abroad (primarily in North America) and their children born outside Israel and raised speaking Hebrew, that's maybe another million or so. Then--I would guess of the approximately 10 million non-Israeli Jews living in the Diaspora, a generous estimate would be that maybe only a tenth of those are fluent in modern conversational Hebrew, those would be graduates of Zionist Israel-centric day schools in countries such as the US (which despite having the largest Jewish population has proportionately fewer Jewish Hebrew speakers than other countries with large Jewish populations). Most of the Jews in countries such as Argentina, France and Mexico, have at the decent basic Hebrew conversational skills as a result of local Jewish educational systems that stress acquiring Hebrew. Then, there are very many Orthodox Jews who are comfortable reading the liturgy and sacred texts in Hebrew, and maybe have high reading comprehension skills in Hebrew, but who are not not able to speak modern Israeli ivrit (and often have no desire to do so). These types may be found in large Jewish population centers such as the New York City metropolitan area or Antwerp. So, a few hundred thousand are in that category. Then, maybe there are a few thousand non-Jews worldwide who learn the language out of curiosity, academic interest etc. ... and have gained conversational ability, but all in all, I would say the number of speakers worldwide is between 9 and 10 million at most and not 15 million.
I would agree completely on this guesstimate. But as is done for other languages, we should list separately the total number of speakers and the 'first language' speakers, which in the case of Hebrew probably would be closer to 4,5 - 5 million, as the among the 7,2 million Israeli citizen, less than 5,5 million are Jewish; the rest being 'Arab Israelis' who usually speak Arab. Not even all the Jewish Israeli population speaks Hebrew as first language, there is a significant Russian population which has immigrated in the last 10 years, they do not speak Hebrew as their mother tongue. There are more Russian newspapers in Israel than Hebrew.... Outside Israel, almost nobody speaks Hebrew as first language. So we should put, maybe: Speakers: First language: 4,5-5 million. Total: 9-10 million (which is already a high estimate). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.103.225.214 (talk) 23:38, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

When I first saw "15 million" speakers I thought, no way. Upon further consideration, I wonder. Through the late sixties, more people left Israel than moved there. While many of them were immigrants who never really learned Hebrew well, many of them were 'veteran' Israelis, who moved back to the US or Europe. So, maybe 10 or even 11 million isn't so off.~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kimwell (talkcontribs) 03:37, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

The early estimation is not correct. Non-Jews who live in Israel are estimated as 20% of the Israeli population. A large group of them is the group of non-Jews who immigrated to Israel with a Jewish family member and they may speak Hebrew very well. Out of Israel, Hebrew is spoken by as a foreign language also by Palestinians in the Palestinian authority and by Bedouin in Sinai.

I suggest not giving a one number estimation to the number of Hebrew speakers. You cannot estimate it properly. Eddau (talk) 20:16, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Long-winded, confusing, inaccurate article.

It's not clear to me how this article earned the accolade of 'good article'. A lot of microanalyzing, but unfortunately fails to deliver the big picture. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 205.68.95.65 (talk) 23:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC).

Mexico

What about Mexico? it should be listed in the Considerably Minorities List like Panama or Uruguay for example. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 88.16.159.13 (talk) 21:48, 12 May 2007 (UTC).

Liturgical use of Hebrew

I noticed the article lists only four types of liturgical Hebrew. There are more, and Galitzianer Hebrew is the most commonly used pronunciation among Ashkenazim, not what is commonly called Ashkenazi Hebrew. (Going by number of people affiliated with groups that use it in synagogue.) Also, to say Ashkenazi Hebrew was influenced by Yiddish is very simplistic and overlooks the fact that there are 3 or more dialects of Yiddish, and 3 or more pronunciations of Hebrew used by ashkenazim. In the case of SOuthern Yiddish, their Yiddish was "corrupted" by their Hebrew pronunciation, making it far more unintelligable to German speakers than Litvishik Yiddish. Then ther is Dutch Hebrew which pronounces the aying as a NG. Basejumper 18:58, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Quite right. But these are all sub-variants of Ashkenazi Hebrew, and should be noted in that article, rather than in this one which is necessarily brief. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:00, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Southern-Yiddish-speakers' Hebrew didn't change their Yiddish; sound changes internal to their Yiddish applied equally to the Hebrew words they pronounced. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.49.74.185 (talk) 20:11, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Two separate articles?

Should there logically be two separate articles - one on Ancient Hebrew and one on Modern? Obviously Modern Hebrew is related to Ancient, but it's not the same language.--Jack Upland 19:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I thought they were the same language, i.e. Ancient Hebrew words are the same in modern Hebrew but more modern words have been added. If you are a native Hebrew speaker, can't you read the Torah and understand it without having a modern translation? I always thought it was like Ancient vs. modern Greek. Same language, with just a more limited vocabulary. Is this not the case? I agree with the person before, old English which was way way different than modern English today and they are the same article. Ancient Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are the same I see no difference with them. They use the same grammar, punctuation, etc. The only difference is that Modern Hebrew has more vocabulary to fit modern times, that is it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elleng (talkcontribs) 15:15, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Ancient Greek and Modern Greek do point to separate articles.
To quote Ghilad Zuckermann[1], "The reason Israelis can be expected to understand the book of Isaiah – albeit with difficulties – is surely because they study the Old Testament at school for eleven years, rather than because it is familiar to them from their daily conversation. Furthermore, Israelis read the bible as if it were Israeli and often therefore misunderstand it." —Preceding unsigned comment added by JWB (talkcontribs) 23:41, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Very true: if one read the Song of Songs in modern Hebrew one would think that the woman was declaring undying love for her uncle, rejoicing that the autumn has passed (so it is now midwinter!) and begging to be comforted with potatoes. But that is only the same sort of misunderstanding as when modern English people read Chaucer (for example, in Chaucer "girl" means a young person of either sex.)

Nevertheless, the differences between Biblical and modern Hebrew are nothing like those between Ancient and Modern Greek. Modern Greek has lost a great deal of the ancient inflectional system, and many very basic words are different (enas instead of eis for "one", ine instead of esti for "is"): the differences are almost as great as between Latin and Italian, or Sanskrit and Hindi. Absolutely nothing like that has happened in modern Hebrew, which was a conscious revival of the ancient language, albeit with many vocabulary items and turns of phrase borrowed from European languages. The different views on the characterisation of modern Hebrew (including Wexler and Zuckermann) are fairly set out in this article: splitting the article would be to concede that theirs is the only correct view and that the question is no longer open for discussion. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:41, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

In fact there is not just one, but three separate articles already: Biblical Hebrew language, Mishnaic Hebrew language, Medieval Hebrew; and Template:Jewish languages lists this article (Hebrew language) as Modern (Hebrew). And I doubt the creators of these were saying that Wexler and Zuckermann are correct.
Most of the other sections of this article also have subarticles. If this article gets too long, some detail can be pushed out into the subarticles. --JWB 10:08, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
No one is saying that there shouldn't be a subarticle on modern Hebrew, incorporating and expanding what this article has to say on the subject, in the same way as the articles on Mishnaic Hebrew etc.: in fact this might be a good idea. What I am objecting to is the proposal to split this article into two, removing everything related to modern Hebrew into a separate article on the ground that it is a different language. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 16:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
For Greek, there is an overall survey article Greek language as well as the Ancient and Modern articles.
I think making Modern Hebrew a subarticle instead of a redirect and maintaining a summary in Hebrew languages would satisfy everyone, and allow more space for expansion of material on Modern Hebrew. --JWB 20:24, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
I meant to say Hebrew language. It turns out there is actually a separate Hebrew languages which may or may not deserve to be a separate article. --JWB 20:28, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
Hebrew languages is a different question: it is there to include Edomite, Moabite etc. It is like the difference between "Latin" and "Italic languages". It certainly should remain as a separate article, though it could be renamed something like "Southern Canaanite languages". The subarticle suggestion is fine: let's go for it. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 09:05, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
This page needs to stay as it is though. Epson291 06:02, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
Wait Wait Wait, Ancient Hebrew and Modern Hebrew are totally different. I speak ancient hebrew and there are huge grammatical differences. you can somewhat understand ancient hebrew if you speak modern but it is not like Greek and Ancient Greek.

I agree on the split, because it confuses people who are not familiar with the Hebrew language case in Israel. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 08:18, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Other side

I heard that Hebrew means from the other side, other side referring to the other side of the Euphrates. But I don't understand from which side one must look, the mediterranean side or the Iranian side if you will. Can someone help me? Mallerd 16:46, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, in which language? the Hebrew word for hebrew, Ivrit,does not mean from the other side in hebrew. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.107.53.54 (talk) 16:27, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

The Hebrew name for Hebrew, "Ivrit", is derived from "Ivrim" (the Hebrew word for "Israelites") meaning simply "the language of the Israelites". Neither word means "side". However, both of these words are constructed from the root consonants ע (/ʕ/,), ב (/v/) and ר (/r/). This means that they may be etymologically related to words such as /ever/ ("side"), /ma'avar/ ("passage"), /avar/ ("to pass", v.i. or "to go over"), /he'evir/ ("to pass", v.t.) and others. As far as I remember, it is traditionally said that the Israelites' name "Ivrim" was given to them because they entered the promised land of Israel by crossing, e.i. passing over the Jordan River. Dan Pelleg (talk) 15:50, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your explanation :) it is a shame that I can't remember where I've heard it :( I'll put it in wiktionary :) Mallerd (talk) 18:33, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh my god, it turns out that it was wiktionary itself that confused me. It was not euphrate, but jordan river,

referring to the Ibri people, known in the Middle East for their place of origin relative to the major culture of the time, they were called Ibri meaning the people from over on the other side of the Jordan river

So, who gave the Ibri people their name? Mallerd (talk) 18:41, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Good question! Who gave the Swedes or the Japanese or any people their names? Dan Pelleg (talk) 09:02, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Are you mocking me? If you look at the meaning of the word Ibri it is clear that it is an exonym, I've asked around about this and it is presumed that it were either the Phoenicians who called them that way because they already lived there or immigrants from the other side of the river who came to live with the Ibri people in a later period when the Ibri had already settled there and referred to them as Ibri. Mallerd (talk) 15:27, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Ibri is an exonym. But it also probably referred to a larger group than just the Israelites: hence the laws about a "Hebrew slave" (who, being from an associated group, was treated more favourably than a "Canaanite slave"). Similarly in Roman law "Latins" was a wider category than "Romans", and was used specifically for related Italian peoples who had some but not all of the privileges of citizenship. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:14, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Mallerd, I didn’t intend to mock you at all! Sorry if it came over like that. It didn’t occur to me that one could possibly trace back the inventor of a name of a language or a people. I wouldn’t rely though on the word’s original meaning being identical to it’s modern ones. It could have had some other related meaning or a completely different one, or even have originated from a language from a different family. For instance: The bible claims that Moses’ name’s etymology is like that of the Hebrew word “masha” [ma'ʃa], “to withdraw out of water”, but many modern scholars believe its origin is ancient Egyptian, which isn’t even Semitic. Dan Pelleg (talk) 00:54, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

"Hebrew" (עברית) in Hebrew DOES mean "from the other side" (מעבר). Other side referring to the other side of the Euphrates. This was the language Abraham brought with him when he immigrated from the other side of the Euphrates to Hevron. Moreover, if you remember Joseph story, when Joseph was a slave, his lady master referred to him as "that Hebrew slave" (העבד העברי הזה).

If you have any question about Hebrew, ask it in English on the Hebrew Wikipedia's Help desk.99.135.92.223 (talk) 23:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks Sirmy, are you suggesting that Ibri could be a term devised by their sovereigns? Many sources about etymology go no further back than Hebrew language (they do say that the Ibri people crossed the Jordan river and not the Euphrates, so perhaps the sovereigns are the Phoenicians, like Stephen G. Brown said). I accept your apology, Dan Pelleg. I am certainly aware of the possibility that a name or any other word for that matter has only the meaning it has today. It is useful however, if you are reading old texts, which I do. see this entry I created, nowadays it is much broader: economy. I still think it's strange that the Ibri people used an exonym to identify themselves. Anonymous contributor, it is certain now that Hebrew does mean "from the other side", my question was who gave the Hebrews their name. Mallerd (talk) 14:39, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Eth

The word eth should be discussed.

It is said to denote the accusative of the sentence. However, Gesenius (or his editor) in one of his lexicons says on page XCII, he had previously supposed it to be a sign of the accusative, but now thinks it had the significance of 'self' and could be translated in Greek as 'autos'. "The Theological Word Book of the Old Testament" (1980) Harris et al. Moody p83 says 'More important than indicating the accusative the function of 'et is to emphasize the word to which it is attached'.

Equating 'autos' and 'eth seems to be what some manuscipts of Mark 10:7 did in translating the passage from Genesis where 'et is used before 'faher' and 'mother'; some manuscipts have 'autos' in both places.

To go back to Gesenius; he says (pXCII) the word was preserved in the language of common life (and it would be harder to imagine that this is a sign of the accusative; but easy to imagine each speaker adding subjective value to something by emphasising it).

A reference in the index to the Babylonian Talmud, claims that a certain Rabbi was very couragous in saying he didn't know what the word meant. The Babylonian Talmud / translated into English with notes, glossary, and indices, under the editorship of I. Epstein. Publisher London : Soncino Press, [1961] Please see index under eth for the quotation of the brave rabi. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.181.251.66 (talk) 15:20, 1 October 2007 (UTC) 203.10.59.12 00:59, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Etymologically, I am sure that it is the same as Arabic aya(t), which means "sign" or "proof" (also represented by Hebrew ot; and et followed by a pronominal suffix does indeed become ot-). In Arabic the word (or its masculine equivalent, ayy-, "which") is used both to add emphasis and, sometimes, to bolster up an accusative. Literally, it would mean something like "the whichness of", and thus "the self of", i.e. "that very one".
The rabbis, however, confused it with the other et, meaning "with", hence Aquila's translation of the first verse of Genesis as sun tois ouranois kai sun te ge (with the heavens and with the earth). Thus they sometimes interpreted it as a word of extension, connoting "the thing expressed, and something else unspecified".
It now survives only as the sign of a definite accusative, and Ben Gurion and others took the view that the word was so confusing that it ought to be eliminated. There is a modern howler "yesh li et ha-sefer" for "I have the book", where "yesh li" is treated as a translation of "I have", so as to take the accusative, even though grammatically "the book" is the subject of the sentence (as if in Latin you said Est mihi librum instead of Est mihi liber).
This is all very technical, and should go in a specialised article on Hebrew grammar or particles, rather than in the main Hebrew language article. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) 08:58, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

165.228.160.56 07:47, 15 September 2007 (UTC) In 'Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament scriptures/ translated with additions and corrections from te author's thesaurus and other works by Samuel Prideaux Tregelles', London, Bagster, 1846 p XCII Gesennius or his editor, says, (I think):

"In the Arabic these answer to ,,, ayat(?) ... used reflectively 'I have beaten myself'..." and (this must be Tragelles) this is more probable than that which I lately supposed that et, ot ... are i.q. 'a sign', which however is the opinion of Ewald ...

My own motive is that 'et' is placed before many things (including nominatives) and if it is emphatic it implies value. For example Cain uses it of himself, Daniel uses it of the trouble Israel has received. If we can see value in these things: 'It's all good'. But I am a novice.

In consulting "An introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax" by Bruce K Waltke and M O'Connor, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake Indiana, 1990 pp177-178; there is the following passage: "...(1) ...sign of the accusative ... (2) More recent grammarians regard it as a marker of emphasis used most often which definite nouns in the accusative role. The apparent occurrences with the nominative are most problematic ... AM Wilson late in the nineteenth century concluded from his exhaustive study of all the occurrences of the debated particle that it had an intensive or reflexive force in some of its occurences. Many grammarians have followed his lead. (reference lists studies of 1955, 1964, 1964, 1973, 1965, 1909, 1976.) On such a view, eth is a weakened emphatic particle corresponding to the English pronoun 'self' ... It resembles Greek 'autos' and latin 'ipse' both sometimes used for emphasis, and like them it can be omitted from the text, without obscuring the grammar. This explanation of the particle's meaning harmonizes well with the facts that the particle is used in Michnaic Hebrew as a demonstrative and is found almost exclusively with determinate nouns."

(I am not a student of this college) 165.228.114.24 01:01, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

To do with the etemology of the word, Gesennius' Lexicon is available on-line at the 'Blue Letter Bible' and he makes a note at the end of strong's number 834 asher in which he says d and t are often used in demonstratives, wometimes with an added first vowel. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for 'aher (Strong's 0834)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2007. < http:// cf.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? Strongs=H834&Version=KJV >


165.228.114.24 03:22, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Good Article status being reassessed.

This article does not seem to meet the good article criteria at this time, specifically criteria 2 (b) seems to be lacking. Many parts of this article have unverifiable statements which are not supported by inline citations where they seem to need them. Please see comments at good article reassessment if you would like to improve this article. --Jayron32|talk|contribs 04:03, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

The article has now been delisted, although there may not be much to do to meet the criteria, in which case the article can be renominated. The GAR discussion is linked from the article history template above. Geometry guy 21:04, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Why can't I add my link?

I want to ad the link www.JewStrong.org but it was removed. I do not understand how this is not relevant to an article about Hebrew...it contains many many more sources that can help with ones research. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jbabrams2 (talkcontribs) 23:07, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

You didn't add a link to a page about the Hebrew language. You added a link to a site that appears to be a list of links to other sites about Jews and Judaism, not about the Hebrew language. If you would like to add an external link to this article, please limit yourself to links to pages specifically about the Hebrew language, the subject of this article. Thank you. – Malik Shabazz (Talk | contribs) 23:18, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Section 2.1

There is definatly something wrong with this section heading (grammatically) but I'm not sure what to change it to. Prior to it's current title, 'Similar to an the adopted Semitic, Canaanite dialect', it was called 'Canaanite dialect' and before that it was known as 'Hebrew as a distinct Canaanite dialect'. What should it changed to? —Preceding unsigned comment added by RMFan1 (talkcontribs) 18:06, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

It should remain the same. Since the origin of Hebrew is debated. No one can truly prove that Hebrew was a Canaanite dialect. Some it from: - Aramiac. - Akkadian/Sumerian. - Arabic. According to the Biblical view, it came from older Hebrew, and was the first tongue thus Akkadian/Sumerian were dialects of Hebrew.

We as profession scholars sometimes forget to say netural, when speaking secularally of history, and that we only state the fact, not things that just assumed by most scholars even.

Phoenicans originally spoke a Hamitic (Afro). Here one reference says:

Canaanite Language. Although the Bible record clearly shows the Canaanites to be Hamitic, the majority of reference works speak of them as of Semitic origin. This classification is based on the evidence of a Semitic language spoken by the Canaanites. The evidence most frequently appealed to is the large number of texts found at Ras Shamra (Ugarit) written in a Semitic language or dialect and considered to date from as far back as the 14th century B.C.E. However, Ugarit apparently did not come within the Biblical boundaries of Canaan. An article by A. F. Rainey in The Biblical Archaeologist (1965, p. 105) states that on ethnic, political, and, probably, linguistic bases “it is now clearly a misnomer to call Ugarit a ‘Canaanite’ city.” He gives further evidence to show that “Ugarit and the land of Canaan were separate and distinct political entities.” Hence, these tablets provide no clear rule by which to determine the language of the Canaanites.

Many of the Amarna Tablets found in Egypt do proceed from cities in Canaan proper, and these tablets, predating the Israelite conquest, are written mainly in cuneiform Babylonian, a Semitic language. This, however, was the diplomatic language of the entire Middle East at that time, so that it was used even when writing to the Egyptian court. Thus, it is of considerable interest to note the statement in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (edited by G. A. Buttrick, 1962, Vol. 1, p. 495) that “the Amarna Letters contain evidence for the opinion that non-Semitic ethnic elements settled in Palestine and Syria at a rather early date, for a number of these letters show a remarkable influence of non-Semitic tongues.” (Italics ours.) The facts are that there is still uncertainty as to the original language spoken by the first inhabitants of Canaan.

It is true, however, that the Bible account itself appears to show that Abraham and his descendants were able to converse with the people of Canaan without the need of an interpreter, and it may also be noted that, while some place-names of a non-Semitic type were used, most of the towns and cities captured by the Israelites already bore Semitic names. Still, Philistine kings in Abraham’s time and also, evidently, David’s time, were called “Abimelech” (Ge 20:2; 21:32; Ps 34:Sup), a thoroughly Semitic name (or title), whereas it is nowhere contended that the Philistines were a Semitic race. So, it would appear that the Canaanite tribes, over a period of some centuries from the time of the confusion of tongues at Babel (Ge 11:8, 9), apparently changed over to a Semitic tongue from their original Hamitic language. This may have been because of their close association with the Aramaic-speaking peoples of Syria, as a result of Mesopotamian domination for a period of time, or for other reasons not now apparent. Such a change would be no greater than that of other ancient nations, such as the ancient Persians, who, though of Indo-European (Japhetic) stock, later adopted the Semitic Aramaean language and writing.

“The language of Canaan” referred to at Isaiah 19:18 would by then (eighth century B.C.E.) be the Hebrew language, the principal language of the land. --

  • Many Aramiac speaking people of Syria area and also in the levant.
  • Aramiac was the diplomatic language/linga franca.
  • Also remembering that the powerful neighbouring:
  • Edomites
  • Moabites
  • Ammonites
  • Midianites
  • Zimranites
  • Jokshanites
  • Medanites
  • Ishbakites
  • Shuahites
  • spoke a dialects of Hebrew.
  • Ishmaelites, & non-Ishmealite Arabs spoke Arabic, some probably also spoke Hebrew and Egyptian.
  • Hebrew and Arabic would be proably good to know business languages, which very close to the near by Aramiac.
  • Canaanites were people usually connected to trade, logically the second languages would been a must.


This is simply without basis. In the Bible, the name 'Hebrew' does not appear as a name for the language. The term 'Yehudith' is applied to the language in Isaiah 36, because it was the language spoken in the Judean kingdom at the time, as distinct from Aramaic, which the common people could not understand at that time. The term 'Language of Canaan' is used in Isaiah 19:18 for Hebrew in the context of a prophecy, which transcends space and time, and in specific reference to the 'Land of Judah'. The fact that the terms 'Canaan' and 'Canaanites' were no longer current in the days of Isaiah, coupled with the fact that the term 'Yehudith' is not used in this instance, indicates that the terminology 'Language of Canaan' was regarded as the standard name for the language.
The assertion that Hebrew was the language spoken by all of humanity before the Tower of Babel is without basis, and cannot be supported by evidence, Biblical or extra-Biblical. The statement that Akkadian and Sumerian are derived from Hebrew is simply false. The compendium of evidence, both Biblical and extra-Biblical, seems to suggest that this language was adopted by the Hebrews upon their arrival in Canaan, as it was the Lingua Franca spoken in Canaan by various nations and tribes, including Canaanites, Israelites, Philistines, and others.
Jacob Davidson —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.156.147.157 (talk) 16:15, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Hebrew and Arabic

I can understand Hebrew without education .. Hebrew are like Arabic language ...--89.138.198.96 (talk) 04:50, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanx for ur valuable insight!Xevorim (talk) 18:42, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Hebrew language#Indicating stress

There's a logical flaw in this paragraph: "For example, the word ochlah, her food, is written in the same way as āchěla, she ate, but meteg on the first syllable shows that āchěla is intended" and then "These signs are used, if at all, only in texts with niqqud" – if "meteg" is only used with niqqud, then according to this explanation there's obviously no need for it at all, since the niqqud makes the pronunciation of each word unequivocal. Dan Pelleg (talk) 23:50, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

No. If the word were written with niqqud, but meteg did not exist, either pronunciation would be possible, as one could read either kamatz katan-sheva nahh or kamatz gadol-sheva na'. The meteg makes it clear that it is the latter. The paragraph then goes on to state that, since meteg is only there to show you how to pronounce the niqqud, there will never be a text with meteg but without niqqud. Clearer now? --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:08, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Off topic, but worth noting: I have never heard the word ochlah being used as "her food". The inflection is theoretically correct, but it just isn't used in that way. Rather, it would probably be understood as "her eater" or even "(going to) eat her"... (: If you want to say "her food", you can use "mezonah" or simply "ha'ochel shela". --87.68.144.37 (talk) 17:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Role of intonation, tone, or pitch in asking a question

I think the main article could be improved if there were a sentence or two describing how questions are framed in the Hebrew language. Is the whole sentence uttered at a different tone or pitch, or is it just the last word that is said differently? Does tone, pitch, or intonation have a role in uttering a question whose answer is yes/no, or is there a particle of some kind for that sort of thing?198.177.27.15 (talk) 01:12, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

You should emphasize certian syllable, called syllable stress. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.38.211.144 (talk) 01:35, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Does a louder syllable change the entire sentence into a question? Or, if not louder, then maybe with a rising tone, as in English? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 10:28, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Mainly a rising tone on the last syllable but sometimes also additional changes to the melody along the whole sentence — But only in non standard utterances of yes-no questions is this the only marker, in standard yes-no questions and other questions the sentence begins with an interrogative word (or an interrogative noun phrase). Dan 12:20, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Death of Hebrew?

Did Hebrew really cease to be spoken as a native language? I have never understood if this is the case. Aaker (talk) 21:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

No not really, it more of an adapted language then revived reconstructed. It use allot for and rabbiac rituals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.38.144.241 (talk) 20:39, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the "Dead Language" issue needs to be addressed in this article. It is a common myth that Hebrew was/is a "Dead Language": [Hebrew and "Dead Language"]. In some cases this myth is almost to the level of anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish propaganda. Is Shakespearean English "dead English"? If not, then even biblical Hebrew (and yes, biblical Hebrew for the modern Israeli is no more difficult than Shakespearean English for the modern English speaker) is not a dead language. Hebrew was constantly written in and developed over the last 2000 years, before the State of Israel. Maybe not spoken, but does that make it a one-time "dead language"?Jimhoward72 (talk) 11:56, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

There’s no doubt that culturally Hebrew has been continuously alive (in liturgy, secular literature, commerce etc.). However, in cognitive and generative linguistics, Natural languages used by people who acquired them through first language acquisition are distinguished from languages which are only learned secondarily, i.e. for which at a given time there are no native speakers, like Latin today or constructed languages like Interlingua; there is equally no doubt that for centuries Hebrew ceased to be such a language (i.e. it was no longer used by native speakers). Among other things, this makes modern Hebrew a fascinating subject for linguists. Personally I fail to see how this fact could be relevant for anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli arguments, but if it is used this way this issue too should be addressed in Wikipedia. Dan 12:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Consonant inventory flawed?

As far as I know(and I'm a native speaker) there is no uvular trill in standard hebrew (except foreign speakers who mispronounce the uvular fricative). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.130.19.24 (talk) 13:58, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


small corrections regarding the "spoken in " list

1. Newcastle (presumably upon Tyne, UK) is not a country in any accpetable sense of the word.

2. I highly doubt the assumption that Hebrew is at all spoken in Mongolia. I vow to drink one gallon of cooking oil if there are more than 20 hebrew speakers in the entire country.

To whoever wrote that: what you've written can only be decribed as non sensical. Just as if someone would write that Tibetan is "spoken" in Israel based on the fact that about 20 college students study it every year in college


(AND THAT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE. IT DOESN'T COUNT ! )

Monkey dog2088 (talk) 18:27, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Reference desk questions help

I asked some fairly basic Hebrew questions on the Wikipedia language reference desk on July 20, and most of the questions are still unanswered. Could someone please help? I would really appreciate it! :) —Lowellian (reply) 08:23, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Verb stem?

I have a redlinked term, hifil. This is a "verb stem" or something, right? Along with pi'el, nifil, nifal, etc. Can anyone clarify? It is different from "binyan" and "shoresh," isn't it? Kaisershatner (talk) 19:31, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, found it at Hebrew grammar. Kaisershatner (talk) 19:53, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Did hebrew become extinct?

While many scholars hold that the term “Hebrew” in references regarding the first century should be instead read “Aramaic,” there is good reason to believe that the term actually applies to the Hebrew language. And the evidence has been staring them in the face.

- 1. Religious jews around the world have always used Hebrew for liturgical purposes.

- 2. The Torah texts, were read in Hebrew.

- 3. The Religious Samaritans have always used Hebrew. They were estimated to be over 1 million in population at the common era.

- 4. The gospel of Matthew it said written in Hebrew. The Apostle Paul, read, and spoke Hebrew Acts 21:40; 22:2; 26:14, .

- 5. The scriptures, separate Hebrew from Aramiac. As one reference source says, Since the Hebrew Scriptures earlier distinguished between Aramaic (Syrian) and “the Jews’ language” (2Ki 18:26) and since the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, considering this passage of the Bible, speaks of “Aramaic” and “Hebrew” as distinct tongues (Jewish Antiquities, X, 8 [i, 2]), there seems to be no reason for the writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures to have said “Hebrew” if they meant Aramaic or Syrian.

- 6. According to bible when Jesus died, the sign post was written in Hebrew, (koine) Greek, and Latin.

- 7. The patterns of Mishnaic Hebrew Quoting another reference: If anything, it is more likely that the Jews became a bilingual people, but with Hebrew prevailing as the preferred tongue. As Dr. Chomsky says of the Mishnaic Hebrew: “This language bears all the earmarks of a typical vernacular employed by peasants, merchants and artisans. . . . On the basis of the available evidence it seems fair to conclude that the Jews were generally conversant, during the period of the Second Commonwealth, especially its latter part, with both languages [Hebrew and Aramaic]. Sometimes they used one, sometimes another.”—Hebrew: The Eternal Language, 1969, pp. 207, 210.

- 8. The strongest evidence, however, favoring the view that Hebrew continued as a living language down into the first century of the Common Era is found in the references to the Hebrew language in the Christian Greek Scriptures. (Joh 5:2; 19:13, 17, 20; 20:16; Re 9:11; 16:16) —Preceding unsigned


- 9. The works of Flavius Josephus were origninally written in Hebrew.

comment added by 72.38.144.241 (talk) 20:48, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Where on earth is your evidence that Josephus wrote in Hebrew? It is absolutely plainly an apologetic work designed to present Judaism sympathetically to Greeks and Romans. You may be thinking of the medieval "Yosippon", which is an apocryphal romance combining bits of Josephus with the Alexander romance; but to say that that antedates the Greek text of Josephus would be as ridiculous as saying that the midrashic "Sefer ha-Yashar" antedates the Bible. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 11:52, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Niqqud

I think the names of the Hebrew niqqud should be properly transliterated. I mean if you look at the Hebrew language page, Patāḥ is transcribed patach and on the Niqqud page transcribed patakh. Ṣēreh צירה is transcribed tsere and tzeire...etc. This needs to be fixed.--Xevorim (talk) 13:50, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Note that Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) deprecates the use of diacritics, in article names, and also in in-line article main text (see "General in-line rules").
Use of ISO 259 transliteration (páṯaḥ, ṣērē, etc), with its heavy use of diacritics, is therefore not encouraged. Jheald (talk) 15:49, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

That's why I haven't changed them. But you'll notice that even on the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew) page the names are transcribed differently. And by the way, use of transliteration would be more accurate, less confusing and not as heavily diacriticized (so to speak) as you show it to be.--Xevorim (talk) 21:48, 4 September 2008 (UTC)

Spoken in Mongolia?

In the "spoken in" list several countries are listed. Sure some individuals may speak Hebrew in these countries and many others, but I do not understand why they are listed. Only Israel should be in that list. What do others think? (SebastianGS (talk) 14:50, 13 September 2008 (UTC))

I agree. The list is absurd. Only countries that have Hebrew as the official language should be listed.--Xevorim (talk) 18:03, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Add Palestine? אנציקלופדיה חופשית לשימוש המזמינה את ציבור הגולשים להשתתף בכתיבתה.--86.25.55.33 (talk) 17:10, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I believe it's hardly spoken in Palestine. Dan 05:50, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
It is understood and somewhat spoken by many of the lower classes of the Palestinians, who worked or currently working in Israel and Israeli settlements in the WB. TFighterPilot (talk) 21:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Audio media examples of spoken Hebrew

Providing an example of what spoken Hebrew sounds like would be a good addition to this page, or possibly the Hebrew phonology page (though I think Hebrew_language may be a better spot). It would give visitors a quick way to sample the "flavor" of the language. I have some nice liturgical examples of Hebrew chanting from a Rabbi that might be appropriate, though I need to obtain permission before I can post them. Assuming I (or others) have audio files of spoken Hebrew to contribute, are there any suggestions regarding where to link to them from (page and section)? SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 23:38, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

How about in the Liturgical use section? SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 19:43, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Done. I obtained permission from the Cantor who performed the work to have it contributed into the public domain. So it's in Wikimedia Commons. It's a nice, short, familiar piece of Hebrew which I think serves as a fitting example. I also added the audio clip to the cantillation page, which had a bunch of external links to recordings, but nothing within WC or WP. SteveChervitzTrutane (talk) 09:11, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

If We are talking about the same clip, which I am relatively sure we are, I question the usefulness of this clip. With all due respect, this speaker has an extremely thick american accent when speaking the piece. If the piece were spoken by someone who worked harder to approximate the original phonology, or even by a native modern hebrew speaker, it would be a better example. Foreign languages spoken with an american accent just sounds like jibberish no matter from what language. I'm sure that the recording fit its original purpose, but as an example of the spoken language I just don't think it works. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.212.110.120 (talk) 02:02, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

I recently bought an instructional CD with Modern Hebrew in it. Now, while I am greatly pleased with my purchase, I have detected a difference that seems noteworthy to mention here. The 'r' sound that is represented by the Resh character, is not the same standard 'r' as is characterized by most people who speak Standard Northern English in the United States. In other words, the Hebrew 'r' is probably not the same as the American retroflex 'r' but in certain places sounds like a uvular or velar R in final places in some German words. Whatever kind of sound resh represents, it is a different kind of liquid than I am usually familiar with. The main article could be improved if this were pointed out. The main article currently omits any discussion at all about the 'R' sound. (Or did I miss it?) Also, I was wondering if the R sound has changed in the last couple thousand years. Is it the same, or is it different? Are there any sound shifts that account for this? 08:44, 30 December 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dexter Nextnumber (talkcontribs)
The consonant chart in the article shows that Hebrew has the ʁ sound, a voiced uvular approximant. Contrary to your understanding, there is no such thing as a "standard 'r'". It happens that among different language communities in Europe there have been shifts over the years among the North American "r", the uvular "r" found, for example, in French, and the flapped and trill "r" sounds found in, for example, Spanish, while all these sounds continue to be spelled "r", leading to your sense that these sounds are related, and that the one you use yourself is the "standard" one, but it doesn't work that way. —Largo Plazo (talk) 11:28, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Contrary to your contrariness, the English spoken in the Northern states of the USA has a standard for the letter R, and it happens to be retroflex in nature. But am I to understand it is okay to use the uvular R when speaking Hebrew? I just went to the link on Hebrew phonology, and was wondering what parts in Israel tend to use the Ashkenazi R, and which use the uvular or velar R? Is there a map that would alert me to which towns use one R as opposed to the other? Or is the Hebrew spoken in Israel largely homogenous, preferring the uvular or velar R? Is the tongue ever drawn back far enough to sound like a Frisian R? (Please don't pepper your commentary with Unicodes because some of us don't accept those codes as a standard.) Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 06:36, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
There is some discussion in Hebrew phonology though it could use more historical detail. Uvular r talks about the history of this sound replacing other R sounds in European languages and Hebrew. --JWB (talk) 19:37, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Most native speakers use the uvular fricative, allophonically sometimes a uvular approximant or rarely a uvular trill. The distribution of the alveolar trill / tap vs. the uvular variants is determined sociolectically, not geographically. The few native speakers who use alveolar variants are usually of an Arab speaking descent. JWB's link is also informative on this matter. Dan 09:05, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
You didn't refer to an "r" that is standard in the US. You referred to a standard "r", unqualified, and then gave the US as an example of a place where it's used. I was addressing the misconception that that implied.
As for "Unicodes", Unicode doesn't define these symbols, any more than it defines "a", "b", and "c". All it does is provide a convention for representing them. The symbols are IPA symbols. As for whether or not you "accept" them, if someone is trying to communicate phonetic information to you, and you know that these are the symbols he's using, then you know what sounds he's referring to. Acceptance doesn't come into it. Familiarity does, of course. Do you mean to say that you aren't familiar with them? Even if you aren't, the chart shows explicitly the nature of the sound as uvular and approximant, and more information can be found in the article on the sound at ʁ. —Largo Plazo (talk) 12:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Don't change BC-AD/BCE-CE markers

MOS says not to change the prefix styles, so please don't whoever changed them.--Ipatrol (talk) 19:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

It is incorrect to say that Hebrew has 'strongs roots in Chaldean and Biblical Aramaic'.

These are Aramaic languages which are very closely related to Hebrew, as cognate Northwest Semitic languages, but nevertheless are not the primary sources of Hebrew. Hebrew, referred to in the Bible as the 'Language of Canaan', is linguistically classified in the Canaanite language category, not the Aramaic one.
Jacob Davidson —Preceding unsigned comment added by 141.156.147.157 (talk) 07:47, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


Displacement from Aramaic

I propose this part of the article be removed and replaced with something in line with Hebrew. For one, the fringe views about the Gospels having a Hebrew Origin, are not mainstream, and secondly is this an article about Hebrew or about Aramaic? Consider revision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dannyza1981 (talkcontribs) 15:31, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Number of Hebrew Speakers

I made a change in the box under the "Total speakers" section. It said "7 million in Israel; 195,375 in the United States" and then cited a US Census Bureau table. I changed it to say: "7 million in Israel; 200,000 (approx.) in the United States for whom is primary language in home." But even this number is wrong. The table it cites is the "Ability to Speak English by Language Spoken at Home: 2000." Rather than defining the total number of Hebrew speakers in the US, it is codifying English speakers by their "mama loshon" i.e. the language spoken in the home. That is quite a difference. For example, I speak Hebrew, a language that was not spoken in my home, and would not have been counted in this reading of the statistics. Additionally, I changed "195,375" to "200,000 (approx.)" because it's a rather imprecise comparison to the "7 million" Hebrew speakers in Israel in the line above it. --Batya7 (talk) 23:03, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

English rendition of Leshon Hakodesh

I amended it from "holy language" to "language of holiness" with the comment that the latter is more accurate. Redaktor reverted my translation, commenting "literal translation is not the most accurate". Conceding that "language of holiness" may be lacking, I tried again with "language of the sacred". Although it's relatively trivial, there is a distinction between "holy language" and "language of the holy". The former implies that the language itself is holy; the latter implies that the language is used in/of holy works. The Hebrew is unambiguous about this distinction: "holy language" would be "halashon hakadosh", with two or no definite articles, but not with just one, and with different vowelization of k-d-sh. This is too small a point to get into an edit war over, so if my change gets reverted, I do not think I shall bother changing it back, but I wanted to set forth the evidence. JudahH (talk) 07:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Davidson's Hebrew Grammar says that "Hebrew has not greatly developed the adjective", and therefore prefers forms like "hill of holiness", even though "holy hill" is grammatically possible. Even today, we distinguish "limmudei kodesh" (religious subjects) from "limmudei chol" (secular subjects). The nearest English equivalent would be "the sacred tongue". --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 09:07, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
That's an interesting point, but with all due respect to Davidson, I don't think that "Hebrew has not greatly developed the adjective" is a very good basis for glossing over different forms and tossing them into one category. Both Davidson's and your examples are disputable: a mountain of holiness is a location associated with holy matters (sacrificial offerings, say); limmudei kodesh are studies of holy matters, and leshon hakodesh is a tongue (as you say) associated with holy matters. In all three of these instances, the construct form seems the most appropriate--as opposed to instances like an offering or a Nazirite, both of which are holy (sanctified, consecrated) themselves. JudahH (talk) 14:46, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
We have a rule on Wikipedia, that if a well know translation of a term - or a well know way of writing a term - is available, we should prefer it. So I'll be the second to revert you. Debresser (talk) 19:52, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Hebrew smikhut has some semantic functions different than that of English "of", thus a correct translation is one preserving the meaning, not the syntactic construction. Insisting on always using "of", you'd end up with complete absurdities: "ginát noy" (גִּנַּת נוֹי) → *"garden of decoration" instead of "decorative garden", "gvinát kóteǧ" (גְּבִינַת קוֹטֶג׳) *"cheese of a cottage" instead of "cottage cheese", "bney shaná" (בְּנֵי שָׁנָה) → *"sons of a year" instead of "one-year-olds", "shlóshet hamusketérim" (שלושת המוסקטרים) → *"the three of the musketeers" instead of "the three musketeers", "dvar ma" (דְּבַר מָה) → *"a thing of what" instead of "something", "bekaléy kalút" (בְּקַלֵּי קַלּוּת)→ *"in easies of easiness" instead of "very easily". Dan 22:37, 28 June 2009 (UTC) — (Had to add this one:) "ugát yom hulédet" (עוּגַת יוֹם הֻלֶּדֶת) → *"cake of a day of birth" instead of "birthday cake". Dan 22:49, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion, English "of" is a very close semantic equivalent of Hebrew semikhut. In most of your examples, "of" would work: "garden of beauty" (or "garden of decorativeness" if you like), "Cheese of cottage", I concede, wouldn't work, but that is a loan-word from English, so it's a bit unusual. "Males of one year" would be a better translation than "sons of a year" as "ben" does not have to mean "son". "Threesome of musketeers" is perfectly fine (as שלושת is really not a cardinal number anyway). "Dvar ma" could be translated as "a matter of any sort", etc.
Of course I agree that such literal translations are often not the most idiomatic way of expressing a concept in English. In this case, though, I think that the literal translation has a slight difference in connotation than the looser version, in English as well as Hebrew, and I contend that the translation "Language of the Sacred" does a better job of preserving the meaning than "Holy Language". All that said, I am not going to revert it again, as it seems that the majority of editors are against the change, and the point is not important enough to be stubborn about. User:JudahH —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.115.129.128 (talk) 16:30, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
(Not trying to persuade you, just maybe inform you:) Semantically, the somekh in smikhut (the second word in the construct state) sometimes functions as an adjective, Hebrew has this alternative in its Grammar and it sometimes makes use of it (not because it must, but because it can) where English, which lacks this grammatical construct, must do with plain old adjectives. Just a few more examples: "sherutéy yi'úts" (שֵׁרוּתֵי יִעוּץ) in English isn't *"services of advice" but "advisory services"; "anshéy miktsóa" (אַנְשֵׁי־מִקְצוֹעַ) isn't *"people of a profession" but "professional people", i.e., "professionals"; "yaldéy índigo" (יַלְדֵי אִינְדִּיגוֹ) isn't *"children of indigo" but "indigo children" etc. etc.. The fact that awkward translations with "of" are grammatically permissible doesn't make them correct. Dan 23:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Section on importance of Hebrew according to religion

I added a new subsection Hebrew_language#Religious_point_of_view, about the importance of Hebrew according to the Jewish religion.

So far this section contains only 2 statements (and their sources). One about Hebrew being the language of creation, and one that Hebrew was the language before the dispersion.

This subsection surely can be developed into a fullfledged section. I as well will add some more information soon. Debresser (talk) 18:40, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

"ʕivrit" ?

What's the final decision? I'm talking about the very beginning of the article. In the table on the right it says Iraqis say /ʕibrit/ or something with /b/. But regardless, in what system is this "ʕ" if not IPA or the ISO259-3 with some of my own additions? No one undid my "ʕibrit" till someone only changed it to "ʕivrit". It's neither to here nor to there. This is an article about Hebrew throughout the generations isn't it? What does Hebrew naming convention says about such a case? Whatever that would be, something needs to be done with what comes right after that, which is just weird. The modern word "Hebrew" maybe comes from "ivri" (is this modern Israeli Hebrew transcription?), that maybe just maybe comes from the word "`avar" (where did the ` suddenly came from?).Ly362 (talk) 04:33, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Yaron, please restrict the discussion of a revision of transcribing Hebrew in Wikipedia to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Hebrew). Having multiple discussions spread out on several pages won't do. Dan 20:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I know, I agree, but here I thought of it as just one example that doesn't follow the convention anymore.Ly362 (talk) 01:00, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Vandalism

Someone is repeatedly editing this page to contain derogatory terms in replacement for 'Hebrew' and 'Jewish' and so on. I recommend we either ban them, or block their IP or something, but I'm unsure of how to go about doing this and cannot figure out how to report such things. Hopefully this discussion entry will get the ball rolling... --Pyry (talk) 15:28, 27 September 2009 (UTC)


They can easily change their IP. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.219.224.238 (talk) 15:42, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

protection has been requested @ Wikipedia:Requests for page protection Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 15:51, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Number of Speakers Needs Reference

I replaced the unsourced "7 million" speakers in Israel with a referenced number from Ethnologue "4,850,000 (1998)". This number needs a referenced source. The population of Israel is not a reliable source for the number of native speakers of Hebrew since not all Israelis speak Hebrew natively. (Taivo (talk) 04:53, 23 December 2009 (UTC))

History of the word for 'six' (that is, shesh)

It's hard for me to miss the obvious similarity between the Hebrew shesh and the Latin sex - both meaning "six". Is this just a fortuitous coincidence? Or does it represent one language family having dominance (perhaps economic dominance) over the other, causing one to borrow the word from the other? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 00:08, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't have to be economic dominance it could be taboo-avoidance, and then borrowing somebody else's word for six (in this instance, Latin's sex, to avoid the taboo. Has anyone done any research connecting shesh with similar words? There's also something peculiar about the number of syllables involved. Shesh is the only monosyllabic number word (well, monosyllabic in the feminine gender, right?). Although shtayim *can* be monosyllabic, wasn't it originally disyllabic? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 06:59, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

6 and 7 are more prone to borrowing than 1-5 or 10, and are believed to be borrowed between IE, AA and other language families. Unfortunately I don't remember where I saw this so don't have a reference. --JWB (talk) 07:29, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I am inclined to see several similarities between Latin's septem and Arabic's '"sittah", and if 7 chickens were in a basket, and 6 ducks in another, I am not too sure the buyer and seller would think the differences all that important. Sometimes striking a bargain is far better than quibbling over what is six, or seven. Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 01:04, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
If it comes to that, "Septem" and "seven" are both actually rather nearer to Hebrew "sheva", Arabic "sab'a", which does mean seven: the final "ayin" in that root is rendered as a nasal in some pronunciations. Number borrowing does occur: Hungarian "tiz" (ten) and "száz" (a hundred) are clearly Indo-European borrowings, though Hungarian is not otherwise an Indo-European language. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 10:18, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
Is it deeply meaningful that in English, "seven" is the only disyllabic word for the numbers from 1 to 10? —Largo Plazo (talk) 12:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Shesh/sex is coincidence, unless there was a link in very ancient times indeed. Latin "sex" is clearly cognate to the corresponding words in all the other Indo-European languages, back to Avestic, Vedic and Sanskrit. Hebrew "shesh" corresponds to Arabic "sittah" (sh in Hebrew can represent either s or th in Arabic). So there is no question of borrowing between Hebrew and Latin in historical times. Whether there is an ultimate link between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Semitic, as in the "Nostratic" hypothesis, is another question.
Simply producing lists of somewhat similar words with similar meanings is not sufficient to show the real relationships between languages: see Pseudoscientific language comparison. --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 10:57, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. And I suppose the past tense of the Latin verb eo (go, travel), that is, ivi is not connected with the Hebrew ivrit? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 00:55, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
The v in ivi is simply part of the perfect tense suffix, and not of the root, which is simply "i". The "v" in ivri is etymologically a b; and as the root is triliteral you can't just ignore the "r". No connection whatever I'm afraid! --Sir Myles na Gopaleen (the da) (talk) 10:18, 5 January 2010 (UTC)
"Six" in PIE is reconstructed as *kswekʲs, *ksekʲs, *(s)wekʲs, *sekʲs, and *wekʲs. It's possibly from *gʲhes-r- 'hand' + *heug- 'increase' > *gʲhs-wekʲs > *kswekʲs, or "hand-overgrowing". That kind of derivation and compounding in numbers for 'six' is not at all uncommon around the world. No need for an Afroasiatic connection. Most scholars consider the Proto-Kartvelian *ekʃw- 'six' to be a borrowing from PIE. "Seven" in PIE is firmly reconstructed as *septm and Proto-Semitic *ʃab'(at) isn't usually considered helpful, especially since PIE would have been spoken in Ukraine and P-S in northeastern Africa (next to the rest of Afro-Asiatic). (Taivo (talk) 11:12, 5 January 2010 (UTC))
I'm no linguist but have often wondered about the similarities between the names of numbers in various languages. I theorise that it occurs for two reasons. 1. Because of frequent use, short names are preferred and there is a limited number of suitable sounds; 2. because of trade between various peoples where a clear understanding of numbers by both parties is essential. The item being traded, by comparison, may be represented only by a sample. John C Kay (talk) 01:39, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Contrasting Latin ceu with Hebrew ke-

I think the main article would be improved if someone described the difference between the Hebrew conjunction ke- ("as") and the Classical Latin emphatic conjunction ceu ("just as" or "exactly as").

Is there a connection between these words, or is it just coincidental? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 02:54, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Coincidence. It's not hard at all to find random matches between any two languages when just one consonant and one vowel are involved. (Taivo (talk) 04:35, 2 January 2010 (UTC))
Well, I am glad you pointed this out. I was on the verge of accepting the proposition that Latin borrowed the conjunction from the Hebrew. And I am also glad you mentioned that, if only because there are probably lots of people that have already noted this similarity, just as they note the similarity between Latin sex and Hebrew shesh (but in Latin, sex is indeclinable). In contrast, the Hebrew shesh admits to a special masculine gender marker affix. Anyway, this coincidence between ceu and ke appears to be more than a single instance of a mere sharing of a consonant + vowel. It also involves duplication of a grammatical feature as well. Or does the Hebrew conjunction require some special kind of word order too? Is ke perhaps a subordinating conjunction?
The main article says:
"Hebrew uses a number of one-letter prefixes that are added to words for various purposes."
but I think the article could be improved if it just went ahead and told us the exact number of one-letter prefixes that are added to words. Is there a reason why it would be inaccurate or misleading to say the exact number? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 06:47, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Hebrew Writing

The section on "Hebrew Writing" was very weak. There is a reference to the better, more detailed article already so the weak detail here was unnecessary. For example, the section on pronunciation was very poor. Whose pronunciation? There are at least half a dozen different pronunciations for the letters of Old Hebrew (which went extinct as a spoken language long ago). If the Modern Hebrew pronunciation was meant, then the notes "Israelis call it X" were totally unnecessary since they are the only native speakers and it's their alphabet (they can call the letters "Alfred" and "Bob" if they want and they will always be right). The half-baked description of Hebrew orthography was not as useful as the reference to the other article. (Taivo (talk) 17:58, 11 January 2010 (UTC))

The writing system is not only the alphabet. Especially in Hebrew that its vowels are not a part of the alphabet. The writing system is also the writing rolls, the punctuation and more. Please put back the material you deleted. Thank you.Eddau (talk) 23:30, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
No. It is all described in much better detailed and much more thoroughly at the article on Hebrew alphabet (look at it). The stuff that was here was poorly written and wrong in certain respects because it was so simplistically written. (Taivo (talk) 00:34, 12 January 2010 (UTC))
Taivo is correct. It wasn't clear because the title "Hebrew alphabet" is—unfortunately—a misnomer, since the article covers the entire writing system, not just the alef-bet. —Largo Plazo (talk) 00:36, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes it is more than that. The reading system section cannot contain only the history of the consonant fonts.Eddau (talk) 02:00, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand what you just wrote, because the first sentence looks as though you thought you were responding to somebody who had, "The Hebrew writing system is no more than the alphabet", and no one here said any such thing. I have no idea what you mean by the second sentence. What "reading system section" are you talking about, and what fonts are you talking about? The article Hebrew alphabet (for which I've created the redirect Hebrew writing) covers much, much more than just the alphabet, and it covers it much better than the material that you have now restored twice. There is no need to have that much material on the subject in this article because it is covered in the other one. —Largo Plazo (talk) 02:06, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
Forget the other article. The section called the writing system on this article talks only about the history of the signs of the Hebrew consonants. Reading and writing is much more than recognizing the shapes of the consonants. It is out of the question not to write here anything about the values, the punctuation, the direction of writing and reading and so on. It is out of the question. Eddau (talk) 05:42, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
We will not forget the other article because that is the article about Hebrew writing, not this one. This is an encyclopedia, that means that this article does not stand alone. The other article discusses the Hebrew writing system in great detail. This one only hints at what is in the other place and directs the reader there for more detail. If you want to add a sentence about vowel points, then by all means do so. But the disorganized, poorly written, and misleading paragraphs that were here before are not appropriate. (Taivo (talk) 07:17, 12 January 2010 (UTC))
We shouldn't forget the other article! There is a preference on Wikipedia not to let articles go on forever and ever, and to subdivide them into separate articles on subtopics, leaving only summary information in the main article. Please take a look at Wikipedia:Summary style. As Taivo said, feel free to add some summary information about the vowels and matres lectionis if you like. But because of the other article, there is no need for more than a summary here. —Largo Plazo (talk) 12:22, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
There should be a summary, but before my comments there was no summaryEddau (talk) 14:00, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Tri-literal roots? (speaking vs. writing)

I am having some trouble with the part of the main page that mentions triliteral roots. Maybe it's "true" for people writing Hebrew in the Hebrew script. It may even seem self-evident to speakers of the language who view the language purely from the position of the writing system that is most frequently associated with it. But to me, this appears to be an illusion of the writing system, and not necessarily a feature that is part of the spoken language.

Hebrew, like other Semitic languages, uses a templatic morphological system where the consonants only are the roots. The vowel templates are applied in predictable places interspersed with the consonants to provide derivational and inflectional functions. A similar system of templatic morphology is also found in the Wakashan languages. If you look at Lincoln and Rath's North Wakashan Comparative Root List, for example, you'll see something that would be instantly recognizable to any Semiticist--roots composed of consonants only which are inflected by means of vocalic templates. This is a language family without a written tradition, so the "illusion of the writing system" isn't applicable. (Taivo (talk) 06:44, 15 May 2010 (UTC))
Taivo only mentions the Semitic languages and Wakashan as having a templatic morphology.
Other languages in the alleged Afro-Asiatic group are not mentioned.
I dare say that this is an ad-hominem argument, but then Taivo claims to have "scientific" standing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.177.254.83 (talk) 14:01, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to look up the definition of "ad hominem". An ad hominem argument is one that is directed at a person, not a topic. I said absolutely nothing about the person in my comment. I didn't mention the other Afro-Asiatic languages (there's no "alleged" about it) because linguistic arguments are always more valid when one deals with two unrelated and geographically distant languages rather than just presenting a litany of languages from a single genetic source. (Taivo (talk) 15:26, 15 May 2010 (UTC))

It's a trivial point of Semitic grammar, best discussed at triliteral, and at Proto-Semitic. I think Modern Hebrew grammar has significantly moved away from Classical Hebrew, due to the influence of the large (overwhelming) number of speakers with Indo-European first languages. This is why we need a clear distinction of Classical Hebrew grammar from Modern Hebrew grammar, which this article so far mostly fails to make. --dab (𒁳) 14:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm also for this distinction, but this entire discussion is irrelevant, because in Wikipedia it doesn't matter what I, Taivo or dab think about Modern Hebrew grammar or the "trueness" of triliteral roots in it, it only matters what reliable sources state. The article should provide a balanced account of the different views ("triliteral roots in Modern Hebrew" – yes or no), stating reliable sources. Dan 00:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
About the influence of Indo-European languages on Modern Hebrew, I recommend reading these sources.[3] [4] Those who only know Modern Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew note the big difference between them in terms of grammar, but if you look at Mishnaic Hebrew, for example, you see how close it is to modern Hebrew (and how far from Biblical Hebrew) in terms of grammar, which suggests most of the differences between Biblical and Modern Hebrew happened before modern era, before the "revival" and before the influence of the first languages of the first Modern Hebrew speakers; Another important point is that since the 1950s, about half of Modern Hebrew speakers were of Mizrahi origin, and their first tongue was also semitic (Most of them - Arabic, and some of them - Neo Aramaic). So influence of other semitic languages is also important. Ben Gershon - בן גרשון (Talk) 15:35, 14 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by בן גרשון (talkcontribs)
  1. ^ Wexler, Paul, The Schizoid Nature of Modern Hebrew: A Slavic Language in Search of a Semitic Past: 1990.
  2. ^ Zuckermann, Mosaic or mosaic? – The Genesis of the Israeli Language
  3. ^ גולדנברג, גדעון. העברית כלשון שמית חיה. בתוך: הלשון העברית בהתפתחותה ובהתחדשותה, האקדמיה הלאומית למדעים תשנ"ו, עמ' 190-148
  4. ^ בן-חיים, זאב. לשון עתיקה במציאות החדשה, במלחמתה של לשון, ירושלים תשנ"ב
I recommend also this source: The Emergence of Spoken Israeli Hebrew by Shlomo Izre'el. Dan 10:54, 15 December 2010 (UTC)