Can an artificial language...

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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby Talib » Fri 03 Jul 2009 9:14 pm

The Germanic, Slavic etc. influences on Hebrew don't make it Indo-European any more than the French and Latin influences on English make it a Romance language.
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby dtp883 » Fri 03 Jul 2009 11:50 pm

I'm not Jewish; I don't know about linguoboy though, even so, I knew pretty much all of what linguoboy said. Actually, I have many Jewish friends who don't know the alphabet let alone the current state of Modern Hebrew in Israel.

Most Jews of the diaspora spoke IE based languages. (Ladino, Yiddish, etc) That's why many scholars contend that although modern Hebrew's morphology is absolutely Semitic and is heavily influenced by biblical and Misnaic Hebrew, its syntax is very similar to Indo-European languages. But again, what do i know?

I may be wrong, but IE languages have a wide range of Syntax VSO, SOV, and SVO all found in IE languages. Besides many Jews didn't speak IE languages but Arabic. I think contact with IE languages change the pronunciation more than anything, especially with letters like resh, tet, and khet. IMO.
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby linguoboy » Sat 04 Jul 2009 2:59 am

formiko wrote:You have a lot of information on Hebrew. Are you Jewish?

Not as far as I know.

From what I know as a non-Modern Hebrew speaker is that Hebrew now is more of a IE language than a Semitic language. Modern Hebrew was revived after it hadn't been spoken as a daily vernacular for more than 1000 years. Most Jews of the diaspora spoke IE based languages. (Ladino, Yiddish, etc) That's why many scholars contend that although modern Hebrew's morphology is absolutely Semitic and is heavily influenced by biblical and Misnaic Hebrew, its syntax is very similar to Indo-European languages. But again, what do i know?

Whether something is an Indo-European language or not is, as Talib points out, a question of genetic relationship, not convergence in syntax. Many scholars do consider Western Europe a linguistic area or Sprachbund and many of those who do use Whorf's term "Standard Average European" or SAE to refer to the core set of features, but I've heard Hebrew referred to as "an SAE language with Semitic vocabulary" only from a few and half-jokingly, because that doesn't really wash. For every SAE feature it has (such as absolute tense) there are at least two (e.g. periphrastic perfect, periphrastic passive) that it lacks. It has more in common with Celtic languages, which are decidedly not SAE, than with any languages of Central Europe.
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby ILuvEire » Sat 04 Jul 2009 3:37 am

Quick little Hebrew question, then I'll dart out of this thread: does Hebrew use a broken plural like Arabic? Because the broken plural sucks, and it will put me off Hebrew for all time.
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Sat 04 Jul 2009 3:41 am

Yes, נשים as the plural for אִשָׁה is one example.
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby ILuvEire » Sat 04 Jul 2009 3:48 am

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:Yes, נשים as the plural for אִשָׁה is one example.

Okay, thanks. Hebrew is definitely off my list. :P
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby linguoboy » Sat 04 Jul 2009 4:26 am

ILuvEire wrote:Quick little Hebrew question, then I'll dart out of this thread: does Hebrew use a broken plural like Arabic? Because the broken plural sucks, and it will put me off Hebrew for all time.

Broken plurals are an Arabic/South Semitic feature. AFAIK, they are completely absent from Hebrew. Hebrew does have ablaut in plural formation, but this is the result of stress shifts associated with the sound plural suffixes.

Yes, נשים as the plural for אִשָׁה is one example.

How can this be a broken plural? It has a sound plural ending (albeit not the expected one based on the singular gender).
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby ILuvEire » Sat 04 Jul 2009 4:29 am

Oh, okay, so the internal ablaut is the exception, and not the rule?
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby Aeetlrcreejl » Sat 04 Jul 2009 4:47 am

I'm confused now. Why is the נ in the plural and not the singular?
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Re: Can an artificial language...

Postby linguoboy » Sat 04 Jul 2009 7:29 am

Aeetlrcreejl wrote:I'm confused now. Why is the נ in the plural and not the singular?

Phonological change. The original Semitic root is אנש. When the stressed feminine suffix -āh (originally *-atu) is added, it causes the medial vowel to drop out so there's nothing between /š/ and the preceding /n/, which then assimilates to it, i.e. *`anaš-atu > *`anšāh (lenition, syncope, and apocope) > *`inšāh (Barth's law) > `i:ššāh (assimilation and pretonic lengthening). The plural form must've had a different stress pattern which prevented this from happening. Instead, it was the short initial syllable which got dropped.

ILuvEire wrote:Oh, okay, so the internal ablaut is the exception, and not the rule?

The usual way in which this manifests is reduction of the initial syllable. For instance, /da'var/ "word" to /dva'rim/ "words". There are some more complex examples like /'melex/ "king" > /məla'khim/, but (a) they're not especially common and (b) if this is enough to scare you away from Hebrew then, whatever you do, don't look at the verbs!
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