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Origins of Yiddish Dialects$
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Alexander Beider

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198739319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198739319.001.0001

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The Hebrew Component

The Hebrew Component

(p.231) 3 The Hebrew Component
Origins of Yiddish Dialects

Alexander Beider

Oxford University Press

Based on several dozen basic phonological and lexical features, this chapter provides a comparative analysis of the Hebrew-Aramaic component of early Ashkenazic sources and modern Yiddish dialects. The role of Hebrew was significantly more important than that of Aramaic. The transmission of Hebrew was both textual and oral. Numerous elements were inherited from the pre-Ashkenazic period. The unity of the Hebrew component of Yiddish is beyond doubt. It was to a large extent already achieved by 1600. Before the seventeenth century, several major differences existed in Hebrew pronunciation between Jewish authors from western (Bney hes) and eastern (Bney khes) provinces. Both these groups contributed to modern dialects. The former provided numerous elements. The latter provided several basic norms. The Hebrew component has a Palestinian basis though it looks as if it were derived from the Tiberian system. Actually, its stressed vocalism developed under the influence of the German component.

Keywords:   Hebrew pronunciation, comparative analysis, early Yiddish texts, pronunciation of Hebrew, systems of Hebrew pointing

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