Person markers in Spoken Spontaneous Israeli Hebrew
A systematic description and analysis
This book presents the person marking system of Spoken Spontaneous Israeli Hebrew (SSIH). It provides a systematic (morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and prosodic) analysis of the category of person and person markers in SSIH and describes their morphological structure, their phonological shape, the changes they exhibit with respect to previous layers of Hebrew, and their syntactic behavior. It also examines the speakers’ choices of person markers in changing contexts, and sets up an allomorphic system of person markers. This study also discusses the theoretical question whether SSIH is a ʻpro-drop’ or a ʻpro-add’ language.
The system of person markers that is represented in this research is based on findings from a corpus of SSIH that was designed specifically for this research project. The corpus includes recordings of authentic and spontaneous Israeli speech as used by 20 native speakers and their conversation partners.
This study lays out the actual person marker system in SSIH as it arises from this corpus, and it describes some crucial typological changes in comparison to the previous phases of Hebrew. That is, there are three paradigms of person markers in SSIH (rather than the two described for previous phases of Hebrew), and there is a tri-gender rather than a two-gender person marker system.
The research described in this book throws light on the grammatical and syntactic system of person markers in SSIH and is another step towards describing the complete grammatical system of SSIH.