Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Edited by: Geoffrey Khan
Associate editors: Shmuel Bolozky, Steven Fassberg, Gary A. Rendsburg, Aaron D. Rubin, Ora R. Schwarzwald, Tamar Zewi

The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online features advanced search options, as well as extensive cross-references and full-text search functionality using the Hebrew character set. With over 850 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.

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Canaanite and Hebrew

(2,697 words)

Author(s): Hasselbach, Rebecca
As is well known, Hebrew belongs to the Canaanite branch of the Northwest Semitic (NWS) subgroup of Semitic, which also includes Ugaritic and Aramaic (Huehnergard 1991:284). In the Bible, Hebrew is once referred to as שְׂפַ֣ת כְּנַ֔עַן śəp̄at kənaʿan ‘the language of Canaan’ (Isa. 19.18), although the more commonly found term is יְהוּדִית yəhūḏīṯ ‘Judahite’ (2 Kgs 18.26, 28; 2 Chron. 32.18; Neh. 13.24; Isa. 36.11). …

Canaanite Shift

(465 words)

Author(s): Huehnergard, John
The ‘Canaanite Shift’ is the change of Proto-Semitic to ō, as in Proto-Semitic *salām- > Biblical Hebrew שָׁלוֹם šå̄lōm ‘peace’; * ṯalāṯ- > שָׁלֹשׁ šå̄lōš ‘three’; * kātib- > כֹּתֵב kōṯēb ‘writer (masculine singular participle)’, etc. The feature is also found in other dialects of Canaanite, such as Phoenician, and is thus one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Canaanite group of languages. The shift is attested already in Egyptian transcri…

Case: Modern Hebrew

(2,968 words)

Author(s): Botwinik, Irena
Case has been defined as a system of marking the relationship between nouns (or pronouns) and other heads/words in the syntactic structure, indicating their grammatical function in a sentence or phrase. For example, a noun or pronoun may play the role of subject (‘ I/He kicked the ball’), of direct object (‘John kicked me/him’), or of a possessor in a nominal phrase (‘ my/his ball’). 1. Introduction In traditional grammar, the notion ‘case’ is viewed primarily as a morphological phenomenon (referred to as ‘morphological case’), whereby nouns or pronouns change …

Case: Vestiges of Case Inflections

(792 words)

Author(s): Vern, Robyn C.
Case inflection is the marking of nominal forms to indicate their syntactic position in the sentence. In Biblical and Modern Hebrew, the syntactic function of nouns is indicated by word order, context, and case-specific grammatical forms. These forms include the nota accusativi, which marks the definite direct object of the verb; prepositions, which mark the indefinite object of the verb; construct…

Category Shifts

(464 words)

Author(s): Trommer, Pnina
In Modern Hebrew (both written and spoken) words of a given grammatical category may come to exhibit the morpho-syntactic behavior and meaning of another grammatical category. This shift from one part of speech to another is one of the most characteristic features giving Modern Hebrew its dynamic, living image, in contrast to past phases of the language. Some examples: Adjective > interjection: גדול gadol! ‘great!’ (cf. gadol ‘big’). Adjective > adverb: לחיות חכם lix̱yot x̱axam ‘to live wisely’ (cf. x̱axam ‘wise’). Adjective > noun: כל היפים והיפות היו במסיבה kol ha-yafim ve-ha-yafot hayu ba-mesiba ‘all the ‘beautiful people’ were at the party’ (cf. yafim ‘beautiful [mpl], yafot ‘beautiful [fpl]’). Adjective > intensifier: אני צמא נורא ʾani ṣame nora ‘I am very thirsty’ (cf. nora ‘terrible’). Noun > intensifier: הוא עייף מות hu ʿayef mavet ‘he is very tired’ (cf. mavet ‘death’). Noun > interjection: יופי yofi! ‘great!’ (cf. yofi ‘beauty’). Numeral > interjection: עשר ʿeśer! ‘great!’ (cf. ʿeśer ‘ten’). Numeral > adjective: המסיבה היתה עשר ha-mesiba hayta ʿeśer ‘the party was great’ (cf. ʿeśer ‘ten’). Infinitive > intensifier: מדויק להפליא meduyaq le hafli ‘really precise’ (cf. le hafli ‘to amaze’). Pronoun > intensifier: כזאת יפה ka-zot yafa! ‘so beautiful!’ (cf. ka-zot ‘such’). Question word > intensifier: איך היא יפה ʾex hi yafa ‘she is so beautiful!’ (cf. ʾex ‘how’). Question word > subordinator: תבואי מתי שתרצי tavoʾi matay še-tirṣi ‘come whenever yo…

Causal Constructions

(4,575 words)

Author(s): Bliboim, Rivka
Causal adverbials provide the reason for an action, an event, or a situation. Such an adverbial may consist of a word, a phrase, or a clause. In this entry we present the typical causal conjunctions used in Hebrew causal adverbials, whether words, phrases, or clauses. A typical simple sentence with a clausal adverbial is לא יצאנו לטיול בגלל הגשם lo yaṣanu la-ṭiyul biglal ha-gešem ‘we did not go for a walk because of the rain’; the following is an example of a complex sentence with a causal subordinate clause: מכיוון שירד גשם לא יצאנו לטיול mi-kevan še-yarad gešem lo yaṣanu la…

Causative Verb: Biblical Hebrew

(781 words)

Author(s): Castaldi, Maria Rita
1. Causative construction and causal event According to Comrie (1989:165–166) and Song (2001:256–259), the causative constructions describe a complex event where a participant ( causer) causes an action or a state involving another participant ( causee). A causative construction is characterized by an increase in valency of the original verb, due to the introduction of the causer (Valency). Causative constructions can be classified into three major types: morphological causatives, periphrastic causatives, and lexical causatives. Morphological causatives are formed by …

Causative Verb: Modern Hebrew

(651 words)

Author(s): Bar-Aba, Esther Borochovsky | Trommer, Pnina
Most Hebrew causative verbs mentioned in traditional grammars (e.g., GKC 144; Bergsträsser 1918:483), and later in modern treatments (e.g., Blau 1972:144; Aronson Berman 1978:86; Glinert 1989:465) are in hifʿil (האכיל heʾexil ‘feed’), with a minority in piʿel (שימח simax̱ ‘bring joy’). The causation in these binyanim involves an event in which one object causes another to perform an act or be in a state. The acts or states in question are usually represented by verbs in qal and a minority by verbs in nifʿal. Such an association is made possible by a certain morpho-semantic reg…

C (Cain as personal name - Czech Republic Prague synagogues)

(5,515 words)

Cain, as personal name Names of People: Biblical Hebrew Cain, Horst Polynesian Languages, Hebrew Loanwords in Cairo Codex of the Prophets Masora, Tiberian Cairo Damascus (CD) see Damuscus Document Cairo Genizah  Arabic vocabulary lists in Arabic Bible Translations  Bible fragments in Manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible in the Middle Ages   in Arabic Arabic Bible Translations   with Babylonian accentuation Exceptive Construction, Vocalization, Babylonian   transcription into Arabic Transcription into Arabic Script: Medieval Muslim Sources  Book of Ben Sira manuscripts in…