Modern Hebrew

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7 Scopus citations


Although Modern Hebrew has existed as a spoken all-purpose language from the end of the 19 th century, its real beginnings date from the mid 18 th century when individuals started to write correspondence and secular literature in the language. Modern Hebrew is similar to biblical and rabbinical Hebrew in many respects, but it has undergone many changes due to the nature of its revival. This description will focus on the following areas: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon and semantics. Modern Hebrew has less consonants and vowels than biblical Hebrew, but a few consonants have been added as a result of foreign influence, thus changing the phonemic structure of the language. The stress patterns are the same as biblical Hebrew except for non integrated words. Morphology is based on that of the classical periods, but there is a strong tendency towards linear and analytical word formation and inflection. Phrasal structure follows that of biblical Hebrew, but sentence structure follows rabbinical Hebrew with some foreign influence. The frequently used lexicon is similar to that used in earlier classical periods but many innovations and borrowings were also introduced into the language. Semantic changes are also noticeable. The changes can be attributed to either internal natural processes or external foreign influences. Despite these many changes, Hebrew has kept the same linguistic structure, and thus remains a Semitic language.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Semitic Languages
Subtitle of host publicationAn International Handbook
PublisherDe Gruyter Mouton
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783110251586
ISBN (Print)9783110186130
StatePublished - 23 Dec 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston.


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