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Conjunctions: Modern Hebrew

(2,425 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
This entry describes coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions assign equal rank to the conjoined elements, while subordinating conjunctions assign unequal rank. Coordination in Modern Hebrew is usually marked by the conjunctions -ו ve- ‘and’, או ʾo ‘or’, אבל ʾaval ‘but’, אלא ʾela ‘but (rather)’, or a synonym of these. Subordination is usually marked by the conjunctions -ש še-, כי ki, or אם ʾim. As is normal for a Subject-Verb-Object language, all such conjunctions precede the element they are conjoining. 1. -ו ve- ‘and’ Interpretation. The pragmati…

Ashkenazi Hebrew

(3,293 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
This entry deals with the linguistics and sociolinguistics of Ashkenazi Hebrew, as written in the medieval and modern Ashkenazi cultural sphere of Northern Europe and the Americas. The entry is written in the past tense, as Ashkenazi Hebrew has virtually been superseded as a productive variety by Israeli Hebrew, which, though displaying many continuities with Ashkenazi practice, is viewed by ­speakers and scholars alike as a distinct variety (Ashkenazi Pronunciation Tradition: Modern). By Ashkenazi Hebrew we mean in principle distinctively Ashkenazi varieties or repertoire…

Ultra-Orthodox Jews: in the Diaspora

(1,281 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
1. Introduction Ultra-Orthodox Jews or Haredim (from Rabbinic Hebrew חרדים x̱aredim ‘zealous [mpl]’) espouse a stringently traditionalistic lifestyle and philosophy (Glinert and Shilhav 1991). Since the fragmentation of Judaism in the 19th century, Jews identifying with Haredi traditionalism have emerged as a socio-geographically distinct group. Members of this group, to which currently at least ten percent (and rising) of Jews in the Diaspora and Israel belong, speak English, Hebrew, Yiddish, or French (…

Religion and Language

(3,794 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
Hebrew has been closely bound up with religion, primarily Judaism, and to some degree Christianity, both in terms of beliefs about Hebrew and human language and in terms of verbal and religious praxis. This association has taken a wide variety of forms. Both religions have generally recognized a hierarchy of prophetic, inspired, and religiously oriented Hebrew texts. However, prophetic and inspired texts are commonly re-contextualized in religious and even non-religious activities (e.g., worship…

Comparative Clause: Modern Hebrew

(512 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
Equative constructions can be scalar or non-scalar (Glinert 1989a:101, 218, 343–348). Scalar equative clauses in Modern Hebrew are single-marked in the positive, using a clause or phrase introduced by כמו kmo ‘like, as’ or, with a full clause, also by the more formal כפי k-fi: הוא גבוה כמו אמו hu gavoah kmo ʾimo ‘He’s [as] tall as his mother’, גבוה כמו/כפי שחשבתי gavoah kmo/k-fi še-x̱ašavti ‘[as] tall as I thought’. In the negative they may be double-marked, with the determiner כל-כך kol-kax or כזה ka-ze ‘so’ in addition to כמו kmo, e.g., זה לא זול כל-כך כמו שחשבתי ze lo zol kol-kax kmo še-x…

Elative: Modern Hebrew

(947 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
Modern Hebrew uses a range of comparative and superlative clauses and phrases to express differentiation (Glinert 1989:212–221). 1. Scalar comparatives Differential comparison by degree or amount typically employs the degree words or quantifiers יותר yoter ‘more’ and פחות pax̱ot ‘less’: אכלתי יותר מהר ʾaxalti yoter maher ‘I ate more quickly’, אכלתי יותר דג ʾaxalti yoter dag ‘I ate more fish’. As degree words they may be postposed, depending on the class of head word and the stylistic level: אכלתי מהר יותר ʾaxalti maher yoter ‘I ate more quickly’. An adverbial complement may fo…

Negation: Modern Hebrew

(2,608 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
1. Sentence Negation Sentence negation in Modern Hebrew is syntactic, chiefly using one of three negators, אל ʾal, לא lo and אין ʾen. (a) For negative 2nd person commands, the canonical form is the particle אל ʾal with the bare future tense, e.g., אל תזוז ʾal tazuz ‘don’t move’; the imperative form is not available in the negative. Formal style also uses אל ʾal in 1st and 3rd person commands, e.g., אל נשכח ʾal niškax̱ ‘let us not forget’. (b) In most other contexts, the particle לא lo is used, e.g., in statements and questions, e.g., אתה לא תזוז ʾata lo tazuz ‘you won’t move’, ?אתה לא זז ʾata lo zaz? ‘y…

Ashkenazi Pronunciation Tradition: Modern

(4,110 words)

Author(s): Glinert, Lewis
From the High Middle Ages down to World War II, the Ashkenazic Jewish diaspora used a distinctively Ashkenazic set of pronunciations for reading, reciting, singing, and citing Hebrew texts. These pronunciations are a major element of what may be termed Ashkenazic Hebrew, a dialect of Hebrew which also embraces the evolving grammar, semantics, lexis, and so on of the many genres of Hebrew prose formerly produced by Ashkenazic Jews. In some erudite registers, there was constant language switching …