User talk:Yaron Livne

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Nomination of ISO_259-3 for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article ISO_259-3 is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/ISO_259-3 until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MisterGoodTime (talkcontribs) 20:51, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Hebrew language[edit]

I have undone your changes to this article, because they make it ununderstandable. According to Wikipedia guidelines, we should not try to represent the symbols, if there are accepted spellings for words. Debresser (talk) 19:45, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Of course, but are there accepted spellings for all these words? Some appear different in each Wikipedia article, and within this article itself there is no persistence or defined guideline in the writing of Hebrew words, sometimes there are weird things like "mé" that I don't know who decided on it, or other signs that try to represent more than just the different "symbols", sometimes the "dagesh" and the different letters are written, like "niqqud", while most of the times they aren't. Sometimes the words aren't written according to some accepted spelling but to some random way of transcribing, therefore at least in these cases I didn't make anything worse. I also corrected some errors regardless. But besides, the ISO standard I used to write Hebrew words in Latin letters does not aim to just represent the "symbols", it is designed to allow any dialect or accent of Hebrew to be derived automatically from it by simple reading rules, just like any other language has, and for anyone who doesn't know the reading rules of a certain system, the text wouldn't be immediately phonetically understandable. It is meant to deliver the same words written in Hebrew script, only in Latin script. So at least when there are terms that are given as the Latin "transliteration" of the terms written just next to them in Hebrew letters, it makes sense to give the same information to the non-Hebrew-script readers. It more than makes sense to use it in an article that in fact talks about not just one dialect of Hebrew - if we were to talk about some other ancient language that has died, we wouldn't have any modern dialect of which we can use its spelling rules to describe terms and words from thousands of years ago, so especially when many words are just transcribed by some random and not "accepted" attempt to transcribe phonetically today's pronunciation, we shouldn't want to choose it over a system that can deliver much more. The word עבר is in fact /a'var/ only in today's Hebrew, it wasn't necessarily this way in the time that is actually discussed here! Why would we choose to give the Modern Israeli Hebrew phonetic transcription? Especially when there aren't set rules about how to perform this transcription even when it is appropriate to do so (Mostly agreement on the sound /x/ and such).Ly362 (talk) 02:22, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I am sorry, but your edits are close to vandalism. There are accepted ways of writing. Agreed, that some might write Tosefta, others Tosephtah, but you are way out. Sorry, but I have to stop you here. Look around and see for yourself. Debresser (talk) 08:01, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Please be aware that in fact of your persistencey in ruining the Hebrew spelling of a lot of articles, I have seen fit to post about you on the Administrators Noticeboard. Debresser (talk) 08:06, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

You should pause your editing (in some cases edit warring) and discuss your edits on WP:ANI. Continuing your unilateral changes may be considered disruption and could lead to blocking. Toddst1 (talk) 09:01, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
I have reverted all your latest edits, till such time as you can show consensus agreeing with you. So far, all other editors have expressed their amasement at your edits, to say the least. Debresser (talk) 16:49, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

hold your horses![edit]

Yaron, the edits you are making are controversial and far-reaching. I share your sentiment that Hebrew transliteration on Wikipedia is really inconsistent, but we have to reach agreement before deciding on a standard. Many features of the ISO system seem very dubious to me - for example, not notating schwa at all is very questionable in Modern Hebrew (for reasons which I don't have time to explain right now but which I can elaborate on if you want me to). Mo-Al (talk) 05:01, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I only changed those that were really messy anyway, so what is the difference? I didn't ruin anything. I only gave you some examples to see. Whatever, change them back if you really want them the way they were, if you had seen at all what they were. And about "scwha", this is exactly the point, the pronunciation of the "scwha" in any dialect can be automatically retrieved by simple phonological rules, and the ones of modern Hebrew are noted in the ISO document, although of course that depends on what is included in modern, cause even today there are several ways to read the same thing, that's the advantage giving the common structure of the word.Ly362 (talk) 05:17, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that it's not directly retrievable. Compare בריכה and בריחה. In modern Hebrew one is /brejχa/ and one is /berejχa/. However in your transcription both would be spelled starting with the letters "br...". How is that directly retrievable? Mo-Al (talk) 08:03, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
What? You mean "escape" /bri'χa/ ? Ah! Took me some moments, you meant "in her smell", you separate them at least with a hyphen b-reiḥa. Ok, I haven't brought the versions without errors yet, but generally, just check the link which is on the Wikipedia article about ISO259.Ly362 (talk) 08:27, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, my mistake. More useful examples would be: how do you notate Modern Hebrew words like הופ /hop/, מבסוט /mabsut/, חנון /χnun/ and make it clear they aren't pronounced */hof/, */mavsut/, */χenun/? Also, how do you distinguish between Biblical Hebrew /ʕ, ɣ/, like in the words עזרה /ʕezraː/ and עזה /ɣazaː/? And how do you notate vowel length in archaic Hebrew? Mo-Al (talk) 08:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Alright, well, first of all, let me just confess that I'm not an expert, I do however keep in touch with the person who is responsible for this ISO standard, and that can help, but, I can say that what I suggested is at least the direction of being based on that standard, and yes there might be private cases that need to be though of, and no matter what, any converting method would be much more uniform and understood than for example articles about English, where you don't mix the discussion with "how do we make clear that this or that are pronounced a certain way", since the orthography is set. In fact you don't ask that question about חנון in Hebrew letters either, since it's set, so our position is only profited since we get to pick a spelling method in Latin letters on a clean slate. הופ is the obvious example which I've always though of too, I can only suggest my preference and it is to write ṗ , I assume you understood that pp wouldn't help in this case and that's why you ask? About the other Arabic origin slang words, well, I guess for מבסוט I would consider either bb or ḅ, the latter is only my own suggestion again and not part of the ISO officialy, and I'm not sure exactly what to do with חנון, there are many other examples that I could bring, but in any case these examples are relatively minor against the whole idea and the abilities that the standard does give, so we can try to figure out what to do with those separately, if those kind of modern words really happen to be talked about, and if we realize that in a way we're dealing here with a luxury of being able to choose to give more information than the original orthography gives, just because that one is not Latin, so it would anyway be better than nothing, and I think it is favorable to base ourselves on an international standard like this one, that was made exactly for this purpose (As opposed to for example the academy's decision for road signs that doesn't even clearly states there is a difference between ח and ה). Ly362 (talk) 09:36, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and what? There are two types of ע in Biblical Hebrew? Are you sure? And about vowel length in archaic Hebrew, what do you mean exactly archaic I wonder, but the point is that the vowel lengths in difference dialects of Hebrew are (almost always) all allophonic, they are phonetic realizations of the same five vowels according to their position in the word or in the sentence or the part of speech - verbs etc... Ly362 (talk) 09:42, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
  1. Well this just validates my point that the ISO standard doesn't work well for newer words in modern Hebrew.
  2. Yes, Biblical Hebrew did distinguish a couple of consonants that weren't indicated orthographically. Evidence for this comes from the Septuagint and the Hexapla. I can give you sources if you want, but it's definitely agreed upon by most, if not all, Hebraicists. The same holds for /χ, ħ/.
  3. Well it may have been predictable if you know the part of speech (or in linguistic terms it's morphophonologically conditioned), but that doesn't mean it's phonemic. I remember that there are minimal pairs for /a, aː/, though I'd have to look them up. So that means your transcription doesn't work for Tiberian Hebrew unless you give the part of speech for each word. And in a pronunciation like Ashkenazi Hebrew it would be extremely cumbersome to figure out which of your <a>s were pronounced /a/ and which /ɔ/. Mo-Al (talk) 17:04, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Let's continue it on one place where everyone can see, on the naming convention talk, I'll answer there. Ly362 (talk) 00:40, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, see Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(Hebrew)#Problems_with_ISO_transliteration. Mo-Al (talk) 04:08, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

How to get this resolved[edit]

Firstly, I appreciate your patience and am glad that you're willing to deliberate for so long over this issue. I hope that once we come to a resolution we can collaborate on some articles on Hebrew, which I think we both agree need serious work.

Anyway, I see a couple of options, but I'm not yet skilled enough at Wikipedia to know which would be wisest. We could ask at the village pump (policy) or village pump (proposals). We could get editor assistance, but since this is a somewhat technical topic I'm not sure we could find someone in the position to comment. Another option would be a request for comment, but the request for comment page recommends that for technical issues it's best to ask at the WikiProject page, in this case WikiProject languages. We could list the issue at Wikipedia:Third opinion. It might also make sense to ask for mediation. It looks like arbitration isn't supposed to be used before mediation. Anyway, I really have no idea which of these is most appropriate. Maybe we should ask another editor. Mo-Al (talk) 05:08, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate your patience too, I feel like I could have done a better and more focused job explaining myself. I am interested in this subject since I think it gives the very sense of instinctive understanding of what is talked about, and it could change the quality of these articles and others even in many years from now. I'd be glad to collaborate on articles on Hebrew, although beyond the orthography/spelling/conversion issue, I am not officially an expert (well, nor on the orthography issue) and I actually don't know if there ARE experts here anyway.
As for the options, well, you say you are not skilled enough on Wikipedia, lol I was counting on you. But anyway, I'm don't think you're right about it being a technical issue, at least depends what we're talking about. If we are talking about whether or not there should be a uniform Latin orthography (Just like English or any other language) for Hebrew on Wikipedia (grammar or at all), then I think this is a concrete issue of guideline or style or what not, and I don't think it is off the topic of the naming convention page, or at least it has to do with those other general pages about Wikipedia, and we need to agree on the need for such a system, and on the issue of needing for it to be more or less uniform for all dialects. Choosing what standard to use, also, still there. If we are talking about the specific rules of the standard and how to implement it then yes, I guess that is a technical issue. Ly362 (talk) 05:28, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Well I'm confused as to whether the naming convention page is appropriate for samples of Hebrew in linguistics articles, or just for names of articles, and people and places mentioned in articles. But I guess it's the closest thing, so I'll put a request for comment on its talk page. Mo-Al (talk) 05:35, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Hm.. and I wonder if it is possible that only I caused that separation to be noticed. Ly362 (talk) 05:38, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean? Mo-Al (talk) 05:41, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Was there a difference between the two before I made the title "at least in grammar related"...? Ly362 (talk) 05:42, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah. Well Wikipedia:Naming conventions isn't clear on this. Mo-Al (talk) 05:45, 1 September 2009 (UTC)


Which ISO is this? Koakhtzvigad (talk) 14:04, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

ISO 259-3. A phonemic conversion for all dialects and periods of Hebrew, so that there is no need to separate the biblical realization of the word from the modern Israeli realization of the word, it is all the same and it is as simple as can be, so it fits especially in this case, it's the same Hebrew word no matter in what kind of Hebrew. In this case also the name was written weirdly all over the article, so I figured there wasn't any reason not to correct it, especially since in other articles such words appear anyway in a manner close to the way I wrote it, even if it doesn't specify that it is any kind of ISO. But I guess that's already a whole discussion of its own, about the inconsistency of the Romanization of Hebrew throughout the different articles here. Ly362 (talk) 18:11, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I will need use of pre-ISO orthography in at least one article in future, so please don't correct it Koakhtzvigad (talk) 22:41, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't quite understand what you meant. Can you rephrase that? Ly362 (talk) 22:58, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

למה הוספת עמודת עברית?[edit]

אני מדבר על זה. יש שם עמודת עברית תנכית ועמודת עברית מודרנית, מה זה בדיוק ה"סתם" עברית שהוספת? TFighterPilot (talk) 17:53, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

זה מראה שבסך הכל זאת אותה שפה ואלה אותן מילים בשני הדיאלקטים/תקופות. הרי, מזה הדברים המוזרים שכתובים שם בעברית תנכית כביכול? זה סתם לפי ניקוד טברייני שהוא גם משתנה בין מופעים שונים של אותן מילים במקרא עצמו ובהתאם למקום במשפט. זה תעתיק מלאכותי שמייצג את האלופונים השונים בהגייה הטברנית, ולא באמת את הפונמות שדוברו אז בעברית קלאסית, אלה היו דווקא פשוטים כמו שכתבתי. התעתיק הוא לפי ISO259-3 שנועד בדיוק לזה. Ly362 (talk) 20:51, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
Mutar liktob po b ʕibrit? Ly362 (talk) 20:52, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
מה שלא יהיה, איך שזה עכשיו זה ממש לא הגיוני. זה נראה כמו בדיחה שמתחילה ב"אשכנזי, טריפולטאי ויהודי". TFighterPilot (talk) 21:21, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
חח, אז איך אחרת? כי לדעתי כדאי (גם במקומות אחרים) להציג את המידע יותר נכון, ולא כמו שעכשיו שטעים את האנשים לחשוב שהניקוד הטברייני (הלא אחיד בכלל) מייצג באמת את העברית של אז. Ly362 (talk) 21:25, 8 February 2011 (UTC)
אם אתה שואל אותי, בעיקרון שתי העמודות האחרות של העברית הן מיותרות, כי אפשר להסיק ממה שאני כתבתי בתעתיק המיוחד, את כל סוגי העברית. אבל אם רוצים בכל זאת לתת את ההגייה של דיאלקטים/תקופות מסוימות אז אפשר, אבל צריך לעשות את זה נכון, אבל במקרה הזה, למעשה העמודה של עברית תנכית מיותרת, כי מה שאני כתבתי זה הנכון. Ly362 (talk) 21:31, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


Hi Yaron Livne! Please don't edit-war on the article Karmiel. If you would like to make a change that other people oppose, please use the talk page. —Ynhockey (Talk) 23:10, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Follow-up: Sorry, I did not realize you were Ly362. Please see my reply on the talk page. —Ynhockey (Talk) 23:14, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Wait, now I'm confused, where am I known as Ly362? Ly362 (talk) 00:02, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, no, where am I known as Yaron Livne, wow, I think I somehow made a mess I wasn't aware of. Ly362 (talk) 00:03, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi again, I have noticed that you have been adding IPA transliterations to lead sections of articles. Please don't—they have been painstakingly removed in the past. However, if you think it's important to have them in general, I won't oppose—please use the new infobox IPA field that I just created. If you do that though, it is very important to go through as many articles as possible and add the new infobox value, because very few people know or understand IPA, therefore no one else is likely to do this work in the future. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:54, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Eh, I meant ISO259. Changing the field now. I think this underlines the problem here though—if an Israeli with a high-level knowledge of Hebrew such as myself has no idea what these symbols mean, what use will most people find? I think this concern should be addressed. —Ynhockey (Talk) 12:58, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Hi, well, depends where, in some places I simply changed words to this system because they weren't close to any other standard whatsoever, and it seemed to not bother anyone. Yet in others, I guess where you are referring to, there are sections there where you have things like "standard", then "Tiberian", or something else. Do the symbols there mean something to anyone? I don't think so. And what I wanted to show is exactly what I referred to in the past, that we can have a better simplified system for spelling words that are really the same word in Hebrew, but in "English", suddenly they get divided to "biblical", "Tiberian", "modern", "oriented", which is ridiculous. But ok, I'm going to look into what is this infobox thing. Ly362 (talk) 22:40, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I've added ISO 259-3 to a lot of Israeli municipalities. But where else does this new field that you've created applies? In what kind of infoboxes? Ly362 (talk) 02:15, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
1) The field applies only to municipality infoboxes. I can create it for others, but there doesn't seem to be any point. Especially in the global city infoboxes.
2) About Tiberian, Biblical, etc.: I don't think that should exist at all. In fact, an attempt by the user Gilgamesh to introduce these to all articles was blocked by several editors including myself. The current cases are mainly there for historical reasons, as they were included by some editor(s) as early as 2003/2004 and on Wikipedia when there's a disagreement and no consensus we try to retain the original version. If enough people agree to the removal of the Tiberian and other strange variants, we can go ahead and remove them!
Ynhockey (Talk) 22:33, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, but then how do you Romanize all those ancient Hebrew names? By giving their deficient Spanglish non-oriented Israeli transcription? It makes no sense, if (non-oriented) Israeli Hebrew hadn't existed you wouldn't have thought to use something like that to present those Classical names. Trying to give their Classical transcription would actually result more or less in ISO 259-3 spelling. Ly362 (talk) 23:42, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, and about 1 - Yes, global cities that have no name in Hebrew that's something else, although I don't exactly understand how this works, and I also don't see in the infobox pages where did you add this ISO field. Also see what I wrote in Hebrew name template talk, cause where there IS a point is exactly where you have ancient Hebrew names, that in Hebrew and in Hebrew letters they are known to be the same names no matter when they are from, and it should remain such in Latin letters as well. Ly362 (talk) 00:22, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I apologize for the late reply. In any case, I think you misunderstand why we have these transliterations. The reason is to get as many English-speakers as possible to understand approximately how to pronounce the word, while at the same time staying as true as possible to the written word (being a transliteration, not a transcription). We have little use for a system that people won't understand, even if it's more technically accurate. Also it's extremely important that such a system doesn't use diacritics or other strange marks, because we need it to be searchable. I also don't see what Spanlish has to do with it; a lot of thought went into the guidelines at WP:NC and WP:HE and (almost) nothing there is random.
But is it equal to other languages? Do you want the English-speakers to understand approximately how to pronounce the word, in the same manner that you would like them to understand a French or a Vietnamese word? And what is searchable? How do you search for Czech words or French words in English Wikipedia usually? And Spanlish because it tries to be English, only with Spanish vowels, and you don't even differentiate between ח and ה, but the more important question is how do you Romanize, be it transliteration or transcription, Classical Hebrew names and words? Do you use the sounds of the new non-oriented Hebrew as a basis? "v" for both ancient /b/ and /w/ sound? "'" for both /ʕ/ and /ʔ/? What is the system for those things that their existence was significant long before the modern pronunciation/dialect of Hebrew came to the world, and as I agree myself does continue the same language. Ly362 (talk) 20:34, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
About the templates, I don't really understand your concern. —Ynhockey (Talk) 16:29, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean. That's exactly where the chosen system should appear. Ly362 (talk) 20:45, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

NW Semitic[edit]

I would like to only have one column for Hebrew in the NW Semitic article. Are you okay with that? Having Hebrew dominate the page would not be fair, as Ugaritic and Aramaic are just as important from a linguistic standpoint. I propose just using Biblical Hebrew, as it is probably the best for representing the consonant shift. Mo-Al (talk) 21:30, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I think that would be good, but then again depends how it is represented. But besides, the whole table is not that great. Ly362 (talk) 23:03, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Btw, regarding the male and haser spellings, Biblical Hebrew did in fact originally have long vowels -- male spellings are generally only used for long vowels, though not consistently. Mo-Al (talk) 03:02, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

What do you mean by long vowels? Are we talking about the five vowels system or something earlier? Other than i e a o u, was there anything else after the Canaanian shift? In any case, since the beginning of what is normally called Hebrew, only these five vowels are phonemic. You will not find a minimal pair with the only difference being a long /o/ versus a short one, as far as I know. Ly362 (talk) 03:21, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Depends what period you're talking about, but that's generally not true. For example, compare יָד and כַּף. Both are the same part of speech, but they have different vowels. Without getting into too much detail, the first comes from *yad-u, where the /a/ became lengthened since it was in an open syllable, while the second comes from *kapp-u, where the /a/ remained short. Mo-Al (talk) 03:29, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, then go ahead and mark them, but in any case it isn't phonemic in Hebrew, or there aren't no minimal pairs. Ly362 (talk) 04:03, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
First, minimals pairs aren't needed for phonemicity. For instance, in English there are no minimals pairs contrasting /h/ and /ŋ/, but everyone agrees that they are seperate phonemes. However, minimal pairs actually do exist, e.g. יָד /jaːd/ "hand (absolute)" vs. יַד /jad/ "hand (construct)". If you want them to be in the same grammatical state, I can give you some near-pairs, e.g. עֵץ /ʕeːsʼ/ versus חֵץ /ħesʼ/. (You can tell the vowel length because of the plurals: עֵצִים /ʕeːsʼiːm/ versus חִצִּים /ħisʼːiːm/) Mo-Al (talk) 04:56, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the principle, not about the examples though. I didn't understand the example with יד, obviously it was allophonic. The second example, well, basically there is a gemination in חץ - xeçç /ħesʼsʼ/, what you can tell because of the plurals is the gemination and not the vowel length. So, I'm not sure at what point they stopped pronouncing geminations at the end of words, but cross dialectical even within Classical Hebrew, there is a gemination and that's the difference between many couples of words. Ly362 (talk) 05:32, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The only difference between the two yad's is in the vowel, so that's the definition of a minimal pair. You could say that morphophonemically they are the same, but phonemically they are different. As for gemination, do you have any evidence that there were dialects that preserved it word-finally? I have never seen that claim before. Mo-Al (talk) 05:40, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The difference in vowel is in Tiberian vocalization/niqqud. It wasn't in Classical Hebrew. In Classical Hebrew they were the same word, but that's obvious, why would they be two different words?? As for gemination it is clear and known that at least originally there was gemination and it was lost but you can see it in the conjugations. I don't know at what point it was lost and if it is within what is considered Hebrew, but it is still quite obvious where it all came from. I hope we are on the same page btw, you do know that the Tiberian niqqud system was invented by people who wanted to preserve their knowledge about how to pronounce the holy book when the language was already dead, right? It isn't really a living dialect. They didn't know that these were all obvious allophones. Ly362 (talk) 07:49, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding what an allophone is. If two words like יַד and יָד differ only in one segment (in this case the vowel), that demonstrates the segment's phonemicity. Why is it "obvious" these were originally the same word? Mo-Al (talk) 20:51, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh, didn't see this one. I'm still just learning Wikipedia. Well, I don't misunderstand, I accept that in the Tiberian system, these are not allophones. If you think only within the scope of this Tiberian system, indeed. I meant that they took the Classical allophones and turned them into "phonemes" if you can call them this way, since they weren't really pronounced by native speakers of a living language. They are obviously the same word originally. Just originally. Ly362 (talk) 00:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
The Tiberian system continues a distinction that existed when Hebrew was spoken; see the evidence from the Secunda below. Mo-Al (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Do you think that ילדה = "girl (absolute)" and ילדת = "girl (construct)" are the same word? The Biblical consonantal text, written when Hebrew was still living, distinguishes pairs like these. This proves that final /t/ shifted ONLY in the absolute. This is exactly the same kind of alternation. Mo-Al (talk) 20:54, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
So depends at what point. Obviously. In Classical Hebrew it was already differentiated, right? But it was (and have been since) morphophonemic. As you said yourself, yalda(t) is in the Biblical consonantal text, written when it was living. The niqqud of yad only came much later, so yes, they are two different "words", in Tiberian. Ly362 (talk) 00:14, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Let me also point out that the word ים /jaːm/ has a qamatz both in absolute and construct forms. Thus the pairs יָד-יַד versus יָם-יָם makes it hard to dismiss vowel length here as just "allophony". Mo-Al (talk) 05:47, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in the Tiberian system. Ly362 (talk) 07:49, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, wait, guess what, ים has a gemination too, I don't know why I thought it didn't. Yamm, Yammim, יַמִּים. Ly362 (talk) 09:12, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I should say that it's funny to write /ja:m/ and such, as if it was really pronounced. There isn't really any vowel length here, only different niqqud signs, that eventually were also pronounced for example by Ashkenazi Jews, as different vowels, with different qualities. Ly362 (talk) 13:09, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
But anyway, that's all in the Tiberian system, and it has many irregularities and a world of its own. It's quite obvious there wasn't one vowel in Classical Hebrew that changed in conjugation but not in construct, and another that always changed, and another that never changed, and there would be more kinds as well. That would have made way more than five or even six vowels. Ly362 (talk) 13:22, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Be careful! It is even more surprising that ים has a long vowel given the gemination! חץ has a short vowel while ים has a long vowel, and both have gemination, so you are incapable of explaining that. Mo-Al (talk) 17:26, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
I know, it is indeed more "surprising" that it has a "long" vowel in base and in construct (not in conjugation though), and it is one of those irregularities of the Tiberian niqqud system. I'm sure they didn't come from whole different living-Hebrew phonemes, that would make no sense. Even if they did, which ones are they? But also don't compare it with /e/, that would add more vowels to our mess. Ly362 (talk) 00:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
There was a morphologically conditioned vowel shift. This occurred independently of vowel quality, so /a/ and /e/ are indeed comparable. Mo-Al (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
But /a/ words with gemination getting a "long" vowel, doesn't mean that /e/ words should get one too. Ly362 (talk) 02:54, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I will explain this in more detail below. Mo-Al (talk) 04:09, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Also, there is good historical evidence that the vowels were pronounced with different lengths at one point, if not any more. The Septuagint (in Hebrew names) and the Secunda use < ε > and < ο > for short /e, o/ and < η > and < ω > for long /e:/ and /o:/. Just by accident it happened that the Greek alphabet had no letter for /a:/, but if it did short /a/ and long /a:/ would presumably be differentiated too. It seems that these differences had already disappeared by the time of the Masorites, otherwise they, being as precise as they were, would have notated it. Mo-Al (talk) 17:26, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, then I'm guessing that what the Greeks did was similar to what the Tiberian naqqdanim did, they recorded all the allophones they could hear in their non-Hebrew ears. I don't think there were so many vowel phonemes in Classical Hebrew. I haven't seen such a claim anywhere anyway, have you? Ly362 (talk) 00:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have. See below. Mo-Al (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the general scholarly concensus (see for instance Blau 2010) is that Tiberian Hebrew had at the very least seven vowels. Many languages of the world have similar systems; a seven-vowel system of /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/ is actually quite common. (a few examples: Galician_language Sango language, Yoruba language) Mo-Al (talk) 17:31, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
Of course there are many languages with more, we are writing in one now. I was of course referring only to Hebrew. Yes, in the Tiberian Hebrew there are seven vowels, and from that in Ashkenazi Hebrew as well, as a diglossia language. The vowels in the Tiberian system are obviously based even if not perfectly on the allophones of the living language from before. But anyway, ok, I don't know, but if you can find anywhere that there were more vowels in the living Classical Hebrew itself... Ly362 (talk) 00:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I can, see below. Mo-Al (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
By the way, the Septuagint transcribes long and short /o/ differently. (short: omicron; long: omega). Mo-Al (talk) 03:30, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Okay, let me present some direct proof:

Evidence from the Secunda (written when Hebrew was most likely still spoken) shows that vowel length was phonemic. For instance, Janssens (1982) writes: "In this period e and e: had a distinguishing function, so they were two phonemes. The same is true for o, o:..." (p. 55) He goes on to explain that one example of this difference is found in the forms qaTTel versus qaTTe:l, where the first is an imperative and the second an infinitive absolute. For instance, the Secunda has ουβαρεχ u:barek = וברך versus φαλητ pale:t = פלט. Mo-Al (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Alright, let me first say, that what I cared about is that there wouldn't be confusions between Tiberian and Classical Hebrew, I have the impression that it happens here in Wikipedia and elsewhere. So the important thing is to not assume that the vowels of Tiberian were the vowels of the Classical Hebrew (I saw your nice change in Biblical Hebrew#Vowels). Besides that, I'm not an expert, and it's not like I'm suggesting you what to do (and anyway this table is a bit limited, but so are the articles about Ugaritic and what not), but I wonder about this proof you brought. I hope I understood what the second word means, but if it has a different function in the sentence than the first then it is normal that it would have a different allophone, that's how it was in all other cases in Hebrew, as it is also reflected in the Tiberian, for example, verbs appear as if they are unstressed, etc. And I didn't see minimal pairs. Even if it isn't needed for phonemacity, that would be more weighted and significant. Basically there isn't any weight to it as far as I know, I mean, there were only five vowels with which you could change the meaning of a word. That is, ok, maybe at some point the geminations in the ends were gone and different vowels in the end were the difference etc, so you could say there were five morphophonemic vowels, but then maybe we are dealing with specific regional or periodical dialects and not "Biblical/Classical Hebrew" as a whole. And that actually connects to the whole limitedness of this table and the other articles on the subject, cause actually Ugaritic is really Hebrew/Canaanian in an early form, and not a third language/group. Even if it weren't, you could choose to compare it to some very old Hebrew/Canaanian and not Biblical/Classcal Hebrew, and then you'd have something even closer to "Ugaritic" and proto-Semitic, six vowels and what not. Choosing Biblical Hebrew is just one option really, although understandable. Ly362 (talk) 02:37, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I have a few issues to address:
  1. This is not allophony. This is morphology. The Secunda contrasts φαλητ versus (hypothetical) φαλετ, so this proves that e and e: were separate phonemes.
  2. If you claim there are dialects that support your claim, please provide evidence.
  3. Ugaritic is most certainly not a variety of Hebrew.

Mo-Al (talk) 05:18, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand where is the proof for the phonemicity, are there words that has the same function in the sentence but have different vowels? Anyway, I don't know about specific dialects and what not, and I was just talking hypothetically anyway. But I think even here in the sources cited in different articles you can find such things, as well as claims that Ugaritic is more Canaanian than anything else (I don't know if Ugaritic is a variety of "Hebrew", that depends what Hebrew is. If it is only a southern dialect of Canaanian, then of course not). And I have to look more into this and find out things, but I think that a lot of knowledge that already exists hasn't gotten to Wikipedia yet.
Words don't need to have the same function to prove phonemicity. That's morphophonology, not phonology. Mo-Al (talk) 05:35, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
They do have to have the same function if you want to prove ONLY by that that they were different phonemes. Ly362 (talk) 06:37, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
No, they don't. Read the definition of phoneme. Mo-Al (talk) 15:15, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
I know what a phoneme is, but how do you prove they were phonemes? If it is ONLY by that, it has to have the same function. That's what I'm saying. Ly362 (talk) 15:36, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
A minimal pair does not require the two words to have the same function. For example "hat" and "had" are a minimal pair for /t d/, even though the first is a noun and the second a verb. Mo-Al (talk) 15:49, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
True, but if all verbs in English had had only /d/ and never /t/, and all nouns had only /t/ and never /d/, then /t/ and /d/ would have been allophones. Ly362 (talk) 15:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
That's not true. An allophone can only use phonetic information, not morphological (part-of-speech) information. What you are describing is morphophonological alternation.
The definition of "phoneme" is "the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances". That means that if the alternation between /d/ and /t/ indicates whether a word is a noun or a verb, then the difference between /t/ and /d/ indicates meaning, so it is phonemic. I can explain this further or give you more evidence, but I will just tell you that you are misusing the words "phoneme" and "allophone". Mo-Al (talk) 18:08, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
If /t/ and /d/ were to be what indicated whether a word is a noun or a verb then you'd be right, but if a word being a verb were to cause it to have only /d/, then it would be an allophone, we don't know what causes it to be phonemic, you said yourself that minimal pairs don't prove. And of course what would be with other letters besides /t d/? In Tiberian Hebrew words that normally should have had qamaç, have pattaḥ in past and future verbs, although sometimes the present/medium word is the same, and then it has a qamaç. נִפְתַּח vs נִפְתָּח. Do you clame they came from two different phonemes? Ly362 (talk) 01:00, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
No, if being a verb caused the word to have /d/, it would be phonemic. A phoneme is a unit of sound that can change the meaning of a word. Mo-Al (talk) 01:59, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
No, it isn't a phoneme if the speakers don't perceive it as a phoneme. it's very likely that they stressed the verbs differently in the sentence, and weren't aware of the different sound produced because of this (As you know maybe, the whole sentence in the Bible for example, has one main stress, so all the words are stressed in one way, and only the last one is stressed differently, a different syllable has the stress and the whole word appears differently than normally, as it had been in a much older form of the language, hepseq (/hef'sek/) form). Imagine that you don't notice it but when you say a verb now in your language, you make a sound which is a bit different than the sound of the same phoneme in other words, and I come and tell you this is a different sound. Now see what you're accusing them of : } Ly362 (talk) 02:55, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
There are some key flaws in your argument:
Any phonemic distinction in a language may have multiple phonetic correlates. For instance, in English word stress is generally accompanied by both higher pitch and higher volume. As another example, the "third tone" of Mandarin is produced both with a falling-rising pitch and often a glottalized phonation. Determining which correlate of a segment is primary is nontrivial.
Now the pair, say, φαλητ and φαλετ, are different words and thus have some phonemic difference. I argued that the phonemic difference is vowel length. You argued that it is sentential stress which determines which word is which, and that vowel length is a secondary correlate of such stress.
The main issue here is that a priori the only difference we see is vowel length; why postulate another correlate of the phonemic difference for which there is no evidence to try to explain the only correlate which is attested? In addition, scholars disagree with you, saying that the vowel length distinction was created because of the forms of the words in proto-Semitic (I can elaborate if you like). Even if this were not true, you have no basis for claiming that stress was primary and vowel length secondary -- we have no recordings of speakers to analyze. Finally, this does not explain the pair עץ חץ, where even if the vowel length may be morphologically conditioned, it is certainly phonemic. Mo-Al (talk) 04:16, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I didn't talk about proto-Semitic, but that was anyway an example for something else. But anyway it doesn't matter, I agreed that at least at some point it's possible that the vowel "lengths" (doesn't matter if it's length or quality or whatever) were phonemic. But then you are choosing a specific dialect and not necessarily "Biblical Hebrew". As a whole, Biblical Hebrew, and Hebrew in general as one language since the beginning, has five vowels. But as you wish. Do you know which vowel "šaloš" had (at some point)? Do you know what vowel חץ had? Ly362 (talk) 06:28, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
How do you know that Biblical Hebrew generally had five vowels? Please provide a source, for everything that I have read disagrees with you. Mo-Al (talk) 15:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Was it the only semitic language with more than six vowels (beside that former diphthongs)? How many vowels were there according to what you've read? Which vowel does חץ have, and which does שלוש have? Ly362 (talk) 17:10, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm happy to answer, but first I would like to know what source you are using. Mo-Al (talk) 20:22, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
No particular source, I was just saying what I know so far, also from Wikipedia, and thinking logically. And I don't exactly contradict what you say anyway. Ly362 (talk) 05:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, when I said that Hebrew in general has five vowels, I meant that if you talk about the language as one since the beginning till now, it's obvious that you have five vowels and you have geminations, etc, and that's how you create the different words, I don't know what particular source to give, but it's quite accepted, and also ISO 259-3 Romanization is based on that, because of this fact. So maybe I can give you this link then:$taqqputah.doc . And I think that it is true also if you talk about Biblical Hebrew as one language from the beginning, and that's why I don't know if it makes sense to write "long" vowels and such and no geminations when you come to compare "Ugaritic" to Biblical Hebrew, but besides that I don't say that in a particular dialects those five weren't morphophonemic. Ly362 (talk) 05:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
And you can see for yourself, that if you take into account all the genimations, that is, the geminations that you can obviously see in the conjugations of words, even if they don't appear in the base form, then the vowels you can make different words with, are only five. That is, again, cross-dialect wise. In what is considered to be Hebrew (well, I think Canaanian in general). Although, that makes me wonder about the process of the six proto-semitic vowel phonemes becoming five Hebrew vowel phonemes. I have to find out more about that. Ly362 (talk) 05:35, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
First and foremost, be aware that changes to Wikipedia articles should be sourced, rather than original research. Anyway, let me address your points:
  1. Semitic languages have a variety of vowel systems, all developed from the original proto-Semitic system /a i u a: i: u:/. It is thought that the Hebrew system was influenced by Aramaic, whose vowel system changed considerably over time (for instance, Classical Syriac has /a ɛ e i ɑ o u/). Maltese has /ɐ ɛ ɪ ɔ ʊ ɐː ɛː ɪː iː ɔː ʊː/. Amharic has /a e i ə ɨ o u/. Some dialects of Chaha have /a ɛ e i ɐ ɨ o u/ plus long and nasalized vowels.
  2. According to Jenssens, the vowel system of Biblical Hebrew when the Secunda (Greek transcription) was written was /a a: e e: i: o o: u u: ə/. According to Blau and Jenssens, this evolved into the Tiberian system /a ɛ e i ɔ o u ə/, where vowel length had recently become allophonic, but could still be reconstructed. Thus the words עץ and חץ were pronounced something like /ʕeːsʼ ħesʼ/ in the Greek transcriptions and /ʕesʼ ħesʼ/ in Tiberian Hebrew. I say that vowel length could still be reconstructed because /a:/ had shifted to /ɔ/ (qamatz) in the Tiberian tradition, and thus, for instance, a word like /ja:d/ 'hand' became /jɔd/, while /jad/ 'hand (construct)' became /jad/, thus showing which mishkalim previously had long vowels and which short.
  3. I can describe how the proto-Semitic vowels evolved into Hebrew in detail, but I would rather do it in the Biblical Hebrew article than here. I recommend you take a look at one of the books I am using yourself, since you obviously are quite interested in the topic.
  4. I would recommend not to call something "obvious" if many people strongly disagree with you.
  5. I will read the article you posted and get back to you. My Hebrew reading is a little slow, so hold tight.Mo-Al (talk) 05:39, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Well about 5, I don't mean to waste your time, and I'm not sure he is trying to prove there that there are five vowels, rather it is discussed there as if it's obvious and that's why I gave it as an example. It's about the inner structure of the word and its rendering in the conversion system ISO 259-3. Ly362 (talk) 05:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Don't worry, I'm interested, and given that it's from the Technion I'm sure it's worth reading. However I suspect that this is mainly applicable to Modern Hebrew, which really does have a five-vowel system. Mo-Al (talk) 05:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Good, because I'm also interested that you see things about ISO 259-3, although in these files there are many weird encoding problems. It's by Prof ʕuzzi ʔornan, and I actually should ask him again what is going on with all those problematic files online, including the ISO document. And no, it's exactly about Hebrew as a whole and not too much about Modern Hebrew. Ly362 (talk) 06:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I will keep an open mind. However for practical purposes I don't think such a standard would be too useful for Modern Hebrew. For a Modern Hebrew speaker to know to write חץ as xeçç with two ç's but עץ as ʕeç with one, or however you write them, would require more linguistic knowledge than most people have. This would make it impossible for anyone but historical linguists to add Romanizations to any article which includes a Hebrew word. Mo-Al (talk) 06:46, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
On that I can give an answer in two plains. One plain is using it daily in Modern Hebrew. But the other plain, is if we're talking about articles in Wikipedia, then if you are talking about names or words in Hebrew that are biblical or from any other dialect other than today's, then in the first place you should know what the name was regardless of the Modern Hebrew pronunciation of it! There is no reason to choose to transcribe it according to somebody's today's pronunciation, just because this language has been revived and has a dialect of it spoken today mostly in Israel, and this is the only one today. Well, it's not just one. Of course there's oriented and so on. Ly362 (talk) 07:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I think you are unlikely to get Israelis to change their street signs any time soon. Regarding Biblical names, I don't see a good reason to jump through hoops to try to combine classic and modern pronunciations into one standard, when neither Israelis nor historical linguists will be able to read what you have written. The whole point of transliteration is to enable someone who doesn't already know the pronunciation to learn it. But to understand the ISO standard one must already know quite a lot about Hebrew phonology, in which case one would probably be able to figure out the pronunciation without transcription anyway. I don't really see the point. Mo-Al (talk) 07:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
"The whole point of transliteration is to enable someone who doesn't already know the pronunciation to learn it"? No, it isn't, Transliteration (Or any other Romanization or any other conversion) is simply to write a language in a specific script that people can more or less recognize the letters, and so that it fits in the rest of the text, just like any other orthography of a language that natively is written in this script. No transliteration and no orthography is used as a pronunciation guide, and in no language can you know how to pronounce the words without learning the reading rules. Ly362 (talk) 07:23, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Of course you need rules, the question is how familiar they are to the reader. Israelis are already used to transliteration, but most have probably never encountered the ISO system before. Mo-Al (talk) 17:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
For the purposes of Classical Hebrew, there are also issues. For instance, those studying Hebrew phonology would like a system where /ja:d/ and /jad/ are distinguished rather than both being written as the perhaps morphophonologically underlying <yad>.
But you can derive these differences FROM the ISO 259-3 system, either automatically normally, or with several quite small irregulars lists, and that's why the system is good, but! the purpose of a Romanization system is to fulfill several issues, so you need to choose what's important, and as you will agree I think seeing what you said yourself, adding those things as well will complicate it even more, so just like with any other orthography, for other needs, like those you mentioned you should use other systems separately if you need, only that in this case you will also not need it, if you take into account the small irregulars lists. Ly362 (talk) 07:16, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Do you honestly think most people would go to the trouble needed to be able to use this system? Seems like more trouble than it's worth. There are already more practical standards; who would yours help?Mo-Al (talk) 17:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
The same people that want to preserve Hebrew as one uniformly readable language when they think about it in Hebrew script. If you developed two or more different Romanizations for the different dialects of Hebrew you would maybe even unwillingly disconnect them from each other. One wouldn't know to read the bible if they only learned to read common Israeli. Ly362 (talk) 00:07, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I would rather not get into a large argument about the system, but in truth it does not seem to be widely-used, and I would recommend against using it for articles which will be read by non-specialist who will not be able to interpret it. Mo-Al (talk) 06:51, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, you wrote this one while I was writing one of the responses earlier (I'm still getting used to Wiki), but, it's still relevant, what would you use then, to write ancient Hebrew names? Ly362 (talk) 07:18, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I recommend doing like the article Gershom, which starts out with "Gershom (Hebrew: גֵּרְשֹׁם, Modern Gershom Tiberian Gēršōm ; "a sojourner there"; Latin: Gersam)".Mo-Al (talk) 17:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
How is this any better? This is only Tiberian Hebrew, and there are lots! of difficult not widely understood signs, don't you think? Where is the original Classical name? Ly362 (talk) 21:07, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
There is no agreed-upon "original Classical" pronunciation. Mo-Al (talk) 21:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Then the Tiberian and the modern non-oriented are not the best choice, are they? And there isn't one original Classical pronunciation but there is a clear common structure for what you would consider the same language, and with ISO 259-3 you can provide that structure and not commit to any single pronunciation or dialect. Ly362 (talk) 00:07, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
In the text of the article itself, I would use either the Modern or the Classical system, depending on the topic. Mo-Al (talk) 17:56, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
About 4, Which "obvious" are you referring to? Ly362 (talk) 07:28, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
You wrote: "it's obvious that you have five vowels". Mo-Al (talk) 17:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I said that if you take the geminations into account you have five different vowels. Ly362 (talk) 21:07, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I know. People disagree with you. Mo-Al (talk) 21:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Hm... I wonder what are the claims here. Ly362 (talk) 00:07, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
About 2, when was the Secunda realy made, and can you really say that in "Biblical Hebrew" throughout, these were the vowel phonemes? I have the feeling that it's relatively late. Also I wonder if you have interesting explanations about the Palestinian system and the Sepharadi Hebrew pronunciation of the vowels (on which the Modern Hebrew vowels are supposedly based). Ly362 (talk) 07:52, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Okay, here's the deal. By the time of the Secunda short /a i u/ lengthened in some positions, while /a: i: u:/ remained long (sometimes with changes in vowel quality). As such vowel length had been phonemic throughout the history of Hebrew up to that point. By the Tiberian time vowel length had become allophonic, basically because /e, o/ and /e:, o:/ merged, and /a:/ became /ɔ:/, and at this point short /i u/ and long /i: u:/ were in complementary distribution (this is attested, for example, by Rabbi Joseph Qimhi of the 12th century). Thus vowel length became allophonic sometime between the Secunda and the Masoretes. This is a pretty long period of time (about a millenium), and I don't know if it can be placed with any more accuracy. However it does seem that for a large fraction, perhaps even the majority, of the life of Hebrew, vowel length was phonemic. Indeed, Hebrew may have died out as a spoken language before vowel length became allophonic. Mo-Al (talk) 17:54, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If I understand what you wrote, you are saying that by the time of the Secunda there were six vowels, right? What about the geminations then? But after that, you are saying that /i u/ became allophonic with /i: u:/ if I understand correctly. But aren't you skipping the step where generally /i/ become /e/ and /u/ becomes /o/? And I don't understand how they can become allophonic after the language died, what do you see in the Tiberian system then? Allophones or not? Ly362 (talk) 21:07, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'm reading it in Biblical Hebrew article. Ly362 (talk) 21:19, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
This is funny. All the differences you have been talking about, are between words that are actually the same word, such as yad vs yad that happens to construct. Am I wrong? Ly362 (talk) 21:37, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Depends what you count. There are close minimal pairs like עץ חץ, there are true minimal pairs like פַּלֵּט פַּלֵּט where the part-of-speech is different, and there are true minimal pairs like יַד יָד where the grammatical state are different. Mo-Al (talk) 21:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Then I am not wrong. I don't mean to judge it before it's done (regarding Biblical Hebrew article and so on), but if it is to remain this way, it is really funny and misleading. It misleads the reader to think that there were dramatic changes from the system of five vowels, or if you want, the six vowels (and two diphthongs, ok). That there were complete different vowels that created complete different words. Even if technically describing it this way is accurate for certain dialects and periods in the history of Hebrew. The true nature of the language should be noted and the genimations as part of it. And it isn't the "phonology" of "Biblical Hebrew". It is some part of it, and not the early one. And regarding NW Semitic, maybe it is even less what you want to compare Ugaritic to, correct me if I'm wrong. Ly362 (talk) 23:57, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I think you are minimizing the magnitude of the problem, but see what I say below. Mo-Al (talk) 04:20, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
The Palestinian system and the Tiberian are in absolute terms pretty similar. This is why the Tiberian niqqud can be read with Sephardi pronuciation (which is indeed similar to the old Palestinian pronunciation). An important difference is that the shift /a:/ to /ɔ:/ did not occur, which is why Sfaradim have qamatz gadol and qatan (which by the Tiberians were both pronounced /ɔ/). In any case, I think it is also likely that the Palestinian tradition did not have phonemic vowel length. Mo-Al (talk) 17:54, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Then what does the Palestinian describe? Where did they take these five vowels from? Ly362 (talk) 21:07, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I am currently working on the Biblical Hebrew article, which describes this. It's still incomplete but I am working on getting it finished. Mo-Al (talk) 21:59, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Listen, I don't feel like this discussion is being productive. Just be aware that many scholars have reached their own conclusions about these issues, and you must be informed about them before making far-reaching changes involving Wikipedia policy. Mo-Al (talk) 21:58, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

True, yet we should be bold, Wikipedia says so too. And I'm not saying this is the case here, but in general we should also sometimes be bold enough and be the child that shouts the king is naked. Ly362 (talk) 23:57, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Listen, if this is important to you you should discuss this at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Hebrew). You are entitled to your opinion, even though I disagree with you, but Hebrew transcription is chaotic enough as it is, and I think you can agree that Wikipedia should at least have a consistent policy. Mo-Al (talk) 04:20, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I was just talking generally now. Ly362 (talk) 15:19, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

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