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Transcription into Arabic Script: Modern Period

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Yaʿakov, Doron
In modern times the transcription of Hebrew words into Arabic characters is used mainly in the Arab press, in order to refer to Hebrew place names and personal names, and also in road signs, street names, and the like in Israel. The Arab press uses various transcription methods, which will not be discussed in the present entry. Here we will describe the official transcription of the State of Israel, as used in official maps and signposts. In the year 2000 the Center for the Mapping of Israel (the government body responsible for mapping the country) published a booklet w…

Construct State and Possessive Constructions: Rabbinic Hebrew

(2,220 words)

Author(s): Yaʿakov, Doron
Rabbinic Hebrew possesses a number of ways to express the possessive relation. Most of the structures used for this purpose can be found already in Biblical Hebrew, but in Rabbinic Hebrew some become more common. In Rabbinic as in Biblical Hebrew a common possessive structure is a direct juxtaposition of the phrase’s components (‘construct’, סמיכות semixut). Diachronically the first element of this construction (the dependent form or nomen regens) loses its stress and therefore may undergo certain phonetic changes, for example שְׂדֵֿה יָרָק śede yaraq ‘vegetable field’ (Mishna K…

Yemen, Pronunciation Traditions

(6,715 words)

Author(s): Yaʿakov, Doron
Jews settled in Yemen in very early times; there was certainly a Jewish presence there no later than the Talmudic period. Yemenite Jews, like all other Jewish communities, possessed a reading tradition of Hebrew texts (in addition to a tradition of reading Judeo-Aramaic). This tradition (henceforth YT) passed from one generation to the next and took shape in the course of the intermediate period of Hebrew, from the time it ceased functioning as a spoken language until its revival in the 20th cen…