ו (vav/waw) - Pronunciation

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hadronic

Senior Member
French - France
I didn't say that you said that modern Hebrew was wrong.
In the same way that I'm not saying that other pronunciations are wrong. They all have their validity, for their time and space. That said, it's easy to also come up with a monster : a *combination* of pronunciations that never existed at a given point of the space and the time. But it's up to you to invent it : Modern Hebrew didn't do any different...
 
  • Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    I didn't say that you said that modern Hebrew was wrong.
    In the same way that I'm not saying that other pronunciations are wrong. They all have their validity, for their time and space. That said, it's easy to also come up with a monster : a *combination* of pronunciations that never existed at a given point of the space and the time. But it's up to you to invent it : Modern Hebrew didn't do any different...
    You mean that I can invent a new Hebrew version which might be recognised in the world one day (or not)? Joking :D. Anyhow, many thanks for your help and clarification :).
     

    ralphzak

    New Member
    English
    I read in this thread

    ו (vav/waw) - Pronunciation

    Drink wrote
    "
    Take for example the words אביב (aviv, "spring") and אביו (aviv, "his father"). Today, these words are pronounced exactly the same, but at some point historically, "spring" was pronounced "aviv", while "his father" was pronounced "aviw". The question is then whether these two words were pronounced the same way in Mishnaic Hebrew. The confusion I was referring to is when someone writes a vav when the word should have a bet, or when someone writes a bet when the word should have a vav. There is evidence that such confusion existed in Mishnaic Hebrew, proving that some people already pronounced words like "his father" and "spring" the same way.
    "

    I'd be interested to see references for this..

    Thanks
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    An example given sometimes is from בבלי ראש השנה:
    אמר רבי אלעזר לא התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי אלא ביבנה בלבד
    where יבנה is spelled יוונה in the Kaufmann Manuscript which is regarded as accurate because in several words it contains alternative spelling typical to older times.

    Other examples from Mishnaic / Gemaraic Hebrew (מבוא לנוסח המשנה-חלק שני - אפשטיין, עמודים 1223 והלאה) are:
    * אביר - אויר (as in אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב I think)
    * אבז - אווז
    * בילן - ווילון
    * גביל - גוויל
    * הבאי - הואי
    * המחובר - המחוור
    * צבר - סואר
    * מובאת - מוות
    * מובל - מוול
    * כבינתי - כוינתי
    * ענבה - ענוה
    * שבה - שוה

    I'm not sure to which period each example is attributed.
     
    Last edited:

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Also, contrary to what I said before, it is actually not clearly whether both vet and vav were pronounced "v" or whether they were both pronounced "w".

    The latter, for example, is the case in Modern Aramaic dialects (e.g. כתבא came to be pronounced kthawa/ktawa/ksawa/klawa, and spelled כתאוא in the short-lived Jewish literary variant of Northeastern Neo-Aramaic attested in the 18th century).
     

    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Also, contrary to what I said before, it is actually not clearly whether both vet and vav were pronounced "v" or whether they were both pronounced "w".

    The latter, for example, is the case in Modern Aramaic dialects (e.g. כתבא came to be pronounced kthawa/ktawa/ksawa/klawa, and spelled כתאוא in the short-lived Jewish literary variant of Northeastern Neo-Aramaic attested in the 18th century).
    This eventual "b" to "w" shift is attested in Neo-Aramaic (e.g. the Turoyo dialect), centuries after Mishnaic Hebrew, hundreds of kilometers away, so how robust would it be to assume it may have already been presented in the Mishnah?

    A concise description of these consonant shifts: Aramaic in its Historical and Linguistic Setting, O. Jastrow, 2008, specifically page 4 figure 6.
     
    Last edited:

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    This eventual "b" to "w" shift is attested in Neo-Aramaic (e.g. the Turoyo dialect), centuries after Mishnaic Hebrew, hundreds of kilometers away, so how robust would it be to assume it may have already been presented in the Mishnah?
    It's a evidence of the possibility, not evidence that it was definitely that way. As I said, we know the בֿ and ו were pronounced the same. Since ו was originally pronounced "w", it's reasonable to assume they were both pronounced "w" in Mishnaic Hebrew, and since ו today in many communities is pronounced "v", it's also reasonable that they might have both been pronounced "v" in Mishnaic Hebrew. We don't know.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Starting in Mishnaic Hebrew, the letters vav and yud were frequently doubled to emphasize that they are a consonant and not a vowel.

    For example, in Mishnaic Hebrew, the plural of שור šōr is שוורים šəwārīm, and the plural of עיר ʿīr is עיירות ʿăyārōṯ. Both these words can alternatively be spelled with just one vav or yud.

    So likewise, the name יונה/יוונה yawne can be spelled with either one or two vavs.
     
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