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Guttural Consonants: Pre-Masoretic
(2,931 words)

The guttural consonants in the Semitic languages are the two laryngeals /ʾ/ (plosive; glottal stop) and /h/ (fricative), and the two pharyngeals /ḥ/ (voiceless fricative) and /ʿ/ (voiced fricative). Hebrew inherited all four of them, as א ʾ, ה h, ח , and ע ʿ, respectively. A common feature of the gutturals is their tendency to weaken and lose their consonantal sound. The existence of laryngeals in Hittite and their absence from other Indo-European languages indicate that this tendency is not peculiar to Semitic languages, but is rather a…

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Mor, Uri, “Guttural Consonants: Pre-Masoretic”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 24 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000831>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423



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