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Tiberian Hebrew Pausal Forms; a radical re-evaluation of Tiberian Hebrew (morpho)phonology as it pertains to the phenomenon of

"...Because pause cannot generally be viewed as a natural reflexof clause-final stressing or lengthing processes, and because it doesnot apply in a phonologically consistent manner, it must necessarilyrepresent a higher-level, quasi-grammatical phenomenon - one that wasmemorized as part of the reading tradition. This one simple pointessentially sums up the entire thrust of my dissertation. My aim in writing, though, has not been simply to cover thisone little-studied area of Hebrew phonology. I hope this work willalso will bring out that Tiberian Hebrew is quite different, on boththe (morpho)phonemic and phonetic levels, from how most scholarstypically conceive it. It is a fixed, liturgical dialect that showsmany queer phenomena, particularly in the ways its pronunciation washanded down from generation to generation. Although most Jews in theNear East were probably speaking a syllable-timed language by the endof first millennium (Arabic), the Tiberian liturgical dialect stillclung for a time to the older, quality-based system. This is the formin which the traditional "Masoretic" text is handed down to us. Thisis how it is also transcribed by contemporary Arabic speakers (soKhan). We will have little hope of understanding the dialect thatunderlies this text until these facts are recognized and the corpus isremoved from the late medieval "Qimhian" grammatical sphere in whichvirtually all modern textbooks and grammars have evolved."

Author(s):  Goerwitz, Richard
Format:  Book