Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Edited by: Geoffrey Khan
Associate editors: Shmuel Bolozky, Steven Fassberg, Gary A. Rendsburg, Aaron D. Rubin, Ora R. Schwarzwald, Tamar Zewi

The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online features advanced search options, as well as extensive cross-references and full-text search functionality using the Hebrew character set. With over 850 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.

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Taboos

(829 words)

Author(s): Muchnik, Malka
Hebrew, like other languages, has linguistic taboos that originate in strong socio-cultural prohibitions or beliefs. The avoidance of certain words and expressions may also be motivated by personal idiosyncrasies. Taboo words are generally related to religion, body parts, excretion, sex, illness, and death. These forbidden terms are replaced by more positive and pleasant words, euphemisms; there are also dysphemisms, i.e., obloquies which are used to denominate undesirable things, such as שיקוץ šiquṣ, תועבה toʿeva, גועל נפש goʿal nefeš, all of them meaning ‘abomination’.…

Technical Terminology: Modern Hebrew

(4,164 words)

Author(s): Akoun, Nathalie
“We confront today a growing deluge of terms which require Hebrew alternatives”. These words were written by Prof. Shlomo Naʾeh, Chairman of the Academy of the Hebrew Language’s Central Committee on Terminology (Academy 2009:31). Globalization, together with technological development, especially in the field of communications, have engendered a tremendous influx of foreign words into the language of all strata of society. The Academy of the Hebrew Language has done much to reduce the number of foreign words in use. It set up numerous specialized professio…

Temporal Adverbial Expressions: Modern Hebrew

(777 words)

Author(s): Boneh, Nora
Temporal adverbial expressions have been classified in various ways, depending on which of the Reichenbachian temporal intervals they modify: event time (E), the time of the described event/state, or reference time (R), the time which the statement is about (Tense: Modern Hebrew) (Reichenbach 1947; Hornstein 1990; Klein 1994). Temporal adverbial expressions modifying R are referred to as positional adverbs if they refer to points in time and as frame adverbs if they refer to intervals (Bonomi 1995). They can be deictic, e.g., עכשיו ʿaxšav ‘now’, היום ha-yom ‘today’, מחר max̱ar ‘tomo…

Temporal Clause: Biblical Hebrew

(1,505 words)

Author(s): Niccacci, Alviero
In Biblical Hebrew (BH), the temporal clause takes many different forms. First, the temporal clause can either (a) follow the main clause or (b) precede it. The first possibility, i.e., (a) main clause + temporal clause, follows the usual word order in BH, while the second possibility, i.e., (b) temporal clause + main clause, differs from it and is represented by a variety of different constructions. Among these latter are cases where the temporal clause is introduced by ‏וַיְהִי wa-yhī or ‏וְהָיָה wə-hå̄yå̄. Second, the temporal specification in question can take the form of…

Temporal Clause: Rabbinic Hebrew

(1,553 words)

Author(s): Morgenstern, Matthew
Rabbinic Hebrew employs a wide range of prepositions and conjunctions to express temporal relations between different events (a detailed study of temporal clauses in the Mishna may be found in Azar 1995:113–123). Since much of the rabbinic corpus deals with hypothetical legal situations, temporal clauses often indicate relative rather than absolute time. Furthermore, the close interconnection between temporal and causal expressions often makes it difficult to distinguish between temporal and result clauses (Result Clause: Rabb…

Temporal Clauses: Modern Hebrew

(531 words)

Subordinate clauses which specify the main clause’s time frame are typically introduced in Modern Hebrew by such conjunctions as -כש kše- and its more literary equivalent כאשר kaʾašer ‘when’, -לפני ש lifne še- ‘before’, -אחרי ש ʾax̱are še- ‘after’, כל עוד kol ʿod ‘as long as’ and so forth (for a more comprehensive list of conjunctions see Glinert 1989:341–342), for example: כשהם ראו אותנו הם פרצו בצחוק kše-hem raʾu ʾotanu hem parṣu bi-ṣx̱oq ‘when they saw us they burst in laughter’; אל תלכו לפני שכולם יגיעו ʾal telxu lifne še-kulam yagiʿu ‘don’t go before everybody arrives’. A subordinate …

Tense: Biblical Hebrew

(2,367 words)

Author(s): Hatav, Galia
Tense is an inflectional category whose basic role is to locate the ‘event-time’ (i.e., the time at which the event occurs or the state obtains) with respect to the ‘speech-time’ (the time at which the sentence is uttered), such that the present-, past-, and future-tense locate the event-time at a point earlier than, equal to, or later than the speech-time, respectively. While this analysis of tense in absolute terms accounts for most simple sentences, it has been shown to be inadequate for tenses in subordinate clauses, which do not necessarily locate th…

Tense: Modern Hebrew

(4,962 words)

Author(s): Boneh, Nora
1. Introduction The term tense is used in two different manners in the linguistics literature, either to denote a morphological category of the verbal system, or to denote the semantic content of this category. In what follows, when referring to the values of the morphological category, small caps will be used (past, present, future); when referring to the semantic category, a capital letter will appear (Past, Present, Future). In this entry, the semantic characterization of tense will be couched in the tradition of Reichenbach (1947) and his followers, mainly H…

Tense: Rabbinic Hebrew

(1,409 words)

Author(s): Gregor Geiger
The post-biblical Hebrew tense system, i.e., the way ‘tense’ is expressed grammatically by verbal forms, was subject to an extensive reorganization, influenced to a certain degree by Aramaic or possibly by other vernaculars, such as Greek. On the one hand, some forms or constructions common in Biblical Hebrew developed new usages or fell out of use except in quotations or in sentences influenced by biblical texts. On the other hand, some entirely new constructions developed. The following biblical verbal forms ceased to be used in Rabbinic Hebrew: wayyiqṭol; ‘converted’ wə-qaṭal (ex…
Date: 2014-10-01

Tense: Rabbinic Hebrew

(1,412 words)

Author(s): Geiger, Gregor
The post-biblical Hebrew tense system, i.e., the way ‘tense’ is expressed grammatically by verbal forms, was subject to an extensive reorganization, influenced to a certain degree by Aramaic or possibly by other vernaculars, such as Greek. On the one hand, some forms or constructions common in Biblical Hebrew developed new usages or fell out of use except in quotations or in sentences influenced by biblical texts. On the other hand, some entirely new constructions developed. The following biblical verbal forms ceased to be used in Rabbinic Hebrew: wayyiqṭol; ‘converted’ wə-qaṭal (ex…

Tetragrammaton

(2,562 words)

Author(s): Suriano, Matthew J.
From the Greek τετραγράμματον (‘of four letters’), Tetragrammaton is the technical term used for the four-letter personal name of the God of Israel, which, according to common practice, ceased being pronounced aloud in antiquity. The original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton is a matter of speculation. The orthography of the proper noun is consistently represented by the four consonantal letters יהוה yhwh with an occasional two-letter form יָהּ yå̄h (see, e.g., Exod. 15.2; cf. Isa. 26.4; note also יהו yhw in the Aramaic letters from Elephantine). As an onomastic compone…

Text Linguistics: Biblical Hebrew

(3,538 words)

Author(s): Talstra, Eep
1. Textlinguistics and the Hebrew Bible The texts contained in the Hebrew Bible are literary compositions that have been handed down to the modern reader over a long period be means of textual production and transmission, so that they have to be analyzed as linguistic products resulting from more than one context of linguistic communication. To read (decode) a text in Biblical Hebrew one needs three sets of knowledge: linguistic knowledge (grammar and lexicon), insight into processes of human cognitio…

Text Linguistics: Modern Hebrew

(3,382 words)

Author(s): Nir, Bracha
In their seminal introductory text, de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) provide an extensive overview of major issues in what they term ‘text linguistics’ as dealing with linguistic structure beyond the boundaries of the sentence, focusing on analysis of extended discourse, and covering studies that range from investigations of stylistics and literature to different genres and registers (written and spoken). Historically, the fields termed ‘text linguistics’ and ‘discourse analysis’ were treated a…