Theoretical issues in Modern Hebrew phonology

Author: Itsik Pariente
LOT Number: 599
ISBN: 978-94-6093-384-4
Pages: 158
Year: 2021
1st promotor: prof. dr. P.P.G. Boersma
2nd promotor: dr. S.R. Hamann
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This dissertation is a collection of four papers that deal with several issues in the phonology of Modern Hebrew (MH). The first two papers, which form chapters 2 and 3, deal with the effects of the pharyngeal consonants in MH. MH consists of only two dialects: General Modern Hebrew (GMH), which is the standard dialect (also known as “Modern Koiné” (Yaeger-Dror 1988)), and Sephardic Modern Hebrew (SMH) (also known as “Mizrahi Hebrew” (Yaeger-Dror 1988) or “Oriental Hebrew” (Blanc 1968)). The two dialects differ only in their consonant inventories; SMH has retained the historical pharyngeal consonants (IPA: ћ and ʕ), while GMH has collapsed them with non-pharyngeals (ћ → x and ʕ → ʔ/a/Ø). Chapter 2 deals with non-lexical vowels that are triggered by the pharyngeal consonant, while chapter 3 deals with the effects of the pharyngeal consonant on adjacent vowels. Chapter 4 deals with the synchronic influence of historical pharyngeals in GMH. In this chapter it is argued that in GMH, historical ʕ emerges as a low vowel [a] and ћ as [ax]. The fifth chapter deals with stress syncope and epenthesis in MH. A full analysis of stress and syncope is given, followed by a description of cases in which syncope creates an illicit three-consonant cluster that is broken by epenthesis: tixtóv-i → tixteví. It is argued that this seemingly serial interaction between phonological processes can be adequately analyzed within a parallel model of phonology, i.e. the non-derivational version of Optimality Theory.

This dissertation is a collection of four papers that deal with several issues in the phonology of Modern Hebrew (MH). The first two papers, which form chapters 2 and 3, deal with the effects of the pharyngeal consonants in MH. MH consists of only two dialects: General Modern Hebrew (GMH), which is the standard dialect (also known as “Modern Koiné” (Yaeger-Dror 1988)), and Sephardic Modern Hebrew (SMH) (also known as “Mizrahi Hebrew” (Yaeger-Dror 1988) or “Oriental Hebrew” (Blanc 1968)). The two dialects differ only in their consonant inventories; SMH has retained the historical pharyngeal consonants (IPA: ћ and ʕ), while GMH has collapsed them with non-pharyngeals (ћ → x and ʕ → ʔ/a/Ø). Chapter 2 deals with non-lexical vowels that are triggered by the pharyngeal consonant, while chapter 3 deals with the effects of the pharyngeal consonant on adjacent vowels. Chapter 4 deals with the synchronic influence of historical pharyngeals in GMH. In this chapter it is argued that in GMH, historical ʕ emerges as a low vowel [a] and ћ as [ax]. The fifth chapter deals with stress syncope and epenthesis in MH. A full analysis of stress and syncope is given, followed by a description of cases in which syncope creates an illicit three-consonant cluster that is broken by epenthesis: tixtóv-i → tixteví. It is argued that this seemingly serial interaction between phonological processes can be adequately analyzed within a parallel model of phonology, i.e. the non-derivational version of Optimality Theory.

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