Hebrew Language

Hebrew Language


Hebrew language, term for a North (West) Semitic language (Semitic languages).

Closely related to Ugaritic, Phoenician and Moabite, and also closely related to Aramaic. In Egyptian and Babylonian texts from the 15th – 13th centuries Century BC Words from the language of Palestine, which are documented in BC, suggest that this was already similar to Hebrew. That part of the ancestors of Israel who had resided in Palestine for a long time certainly used the language of Canaan, which became the general language of the Israelites after the conquest. It is not certain which language they used before (but it is definitely a Semitic one); Nor is it known whether elements of that language are found in Hebrew.

According to localtimezone, the most important monuments of Old Hebrew (or Biblical Hebrew) are (apart from a few Aramaic parts) the books of the Old Testament. Biblical Hebrew is divided into three periods: 1) early poetry (in the Pentateuch and Debora song, around 1250–1000 BC) in a northern dialect; 2) the classical language (1000-538 BC), probably originated in Jerusalem through a mixture of northern and Judean dialect, with developed forms for prose, sophisticated speech and poetry (for these two periods, however, much later time approaches are also represented); 3) Late Hebrew (538 BC to about 50 AD) in Chronicle, Preacher, etc. as well as in the book of Sirach and in the Qumran scrolls (Qumran).

Since the 5th century BC In BC, ancient Hebrew was increasingly pushed back as a spoken language by the Aramaic state language of the Achaemenid Empire. In Judea, Hebrew lived on more strongly as a spoken language, at least until the 3rd century AD; it was also cultivated in the temple cult and as a school language (for dealing with the Bible). Middle Hebrew came into being around the birth of Christ(or Mixed-Near Hebrew), which found its expression in the literature of the Talmud, Midrash and Pijut poems and which continued to exist when Hebrew was no longer a spoken language (around 200 AD). Thousands of new words were created in the religious Pijut poetry (200–1100). Mixed-Near Hebrew differs from Biblical Hebrew in vocabulary (Hebrew words are often given a new meaning, numerous foreign words, especially from Latin and Greek, are adopted) and grammar (e.g. a simpler genitive structure and a simplified verbal system: only now are the tenses clearly distinguishable in terms of the forms; in syntax, for example, relative clauses are often used).

Biblical Hebrew began to be used again as a literary language around 900, for example in Spain (900–1200) and Italy (1200–1800), while in France (800–1400), England (1100 to the end of the 13th century), Germany (900–1200) and Germany (900–1200) –1850) and Eastern Europe (1200–1939) remained the mixed-Near Hebrew basis of popular religious literature. In the fields of philosophy and science, Arabic was also used between 800 and 1200; In 1150–1400, however, numerous works in Provence and Italy were translated into Hebrew, creating a scientific terminology in the Hebrew language. In Italy (since 1500), in the Netherlands (since 1600) and especially in Berlin (since 1750), Hebrew literature emerged in a European design language and with a modern theme.

Since the Enlightenment, starting in Germany, Old (Biblical) Hebrew has been used again as a literary language. Through its amalgamation with the Mixed Near Hebrew (Mendele Moicher Sforim; around 1880) the New Hebrew (Iwrit) was created, which is based on the grammar and vocabulary of all previous periods, but also has numerous (including lexical) innovations. In addition, there is a strong influence of the European languages ​​on the syntax (especially in the newspaper language). a. through the influence of Arabic (primarily in word formation and pronunciation). In the course of the Zionist movement, Hebrew became a spoken language again (Ben Yehuda). The “Academy of the Hebrew Language” has existed since 1953 as the successor organization to the language committee founded in 1890. New Hebrew is spoken as the national language in Israel by around 5 million people.

The pronunciation of the Hebrew language shows three main types, Yemeni, Ashkenazi, and Sephardic. The main differences between the pronunciation traditions are: Ashkenazi and Yemeni pronunciation prefer the stress on the penultimate syllable, while Sephardic stresses the last syllable. Semitic gutturals and emphatic sounds are not pronounced in Ashkenazi, but they are in traditional Sephardic and Yemeni pronunciation. Here, the Ashkenazi tradition has prevailed widely in Israel. In Ashkenazi, o replaces the long a, Yemeni makes a more precise distinction between the individual vowels – e.g. B. between two different a and e – as the Sephardic, which determines the Israeli vocalization.

Hebrew Language