Remarks on syllabic structure and metrical structure in Biblical Hebrew


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Article
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Authors
Khan, Geoffrey 
Abstract

In the Middle Ages Biblical Hebrew was transmitted in a variety of oral reading traditions, which became textualized in systems of vocalization signs. The two most important oral traditions were the Tiberian and the Babylonian, which were represented by different vocalization sign systems. These two oral traditions had their origins in ancient Palestine. Although closely related, they exhibit several differences. These include differences in syllable and metrical structure. This paper examines how the syllable and metrical structure of the two traditions reflected by the medieval vocalization sign systems should be reconstructed. The Tiberian tradition exhibits an on ‘onset typology’ of syllabification, where word-internal /CCC/ clusters are syllabified /C.CC/ and word-initial clusters are syllabified within the onset /CC /. The Babylonian tradition exhibits a right-to-left computation of syllables resulting in a ‘coda typology,’ whereby the second consonant of a word-internal sequence /CCC/ is syllabified as a coda, viz. /CC.C/, and word-initial clusters are syllabified C.C, with the first consonant extra-syllabic.

Description
Keywords
47 Language, Communication and Culture, 4704 Linguistics
Journal Title
Brill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
1876-6633
1877-6930
Volume Title
12
Publisher
Brill
Rights
All rights reserved