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On 4 July, Outo Otus wrote:

> Hi, I posted a message a little while ago about the Hebrew glottal stop,
> but I would like to know more. When exactly is the glottal stop realized
in
> modern Hebrew? I believe it isn't pronounced / realized at the start of
> words, as it is only used as a placeholder for vowels, and there is no
> distinction between words beginning and not beginning with it. In what
> environments should it be pronounced, if it is at all?

    AFAIK, glottal stop, in modern Israeli Hebrew, is represented
in orthography by the letter "aleph". When aleph is found in word-initial
position, IME, the glottal stop is usually pronounced.
    But I'm not so sure that an English speaker would notice the
difference, given that (IIRC) English words which are perceived by
naive native speakers as beginning with a vowel,  usually actually begin
with a glottal stop! (There are probably dialects to the contrary,
but I can't, offhand,  think of any.)
    I notice the difference, in Hebrew, when I treat cases of voice
problems casued by chronic clenching of the vocal cords.
It's like a glottal stop with a vengeance! At one point in the therapy,
the client is taught to produce words which begin with aleph
without an initial glottal stop. It sounds quite different from the
way the word is usually pronounced by most people!
    Normally, aleph in the middle of words is not pronounced
with a glottal stop. In fact, it's not usually pronounced at all.
Nevertheless, sometimes, for emphasis, if it is in syllable-initial
position, it _can_ be pronounced with a glottal stop.
    For example, normally, the words for "a salt (sailor)" and
"angel" are both pronounced as something on the order of [malax].
The "salt" contains no aleph, while the "angel" has one after
the / l /. I have heard people, emphsizing that they were talking
about heavenly matters, not boats, pronounce the word
[mal'ax] with the aleph fully realized as a glottal stop.
    At the ends of words, in Israeli Hebrew AFAIK, the aleph is not
pronounced.


> I have also seen it
> placed in awkward places, such as between consonants, would it be
> pronounced in this position?

Could you give an example?

> Also, when is ayin
> realized a glottal stop? Or is this simply ignored?

    Ayin is a whole different sound for those who pronounce it.
For those who don't, AFAIK it's usually pronounced the same
as aleph. (See above.)
    In voice therapy, as mentioned above, I must usually also
teach the clients, who pronounce ayin exactly like aleph,
to remove the glottal stop from words
beginning with ayin. Same as with aleph.

    While I'm at it, I'd like to comment on something that
Steg wrote on 30 June. (Sorry for the delay.)
    Regarding the name / noaH /, Steg wrote that he could see
an Israeli pronounce it as / no?aH /.
    For native speakers, I'd have to disagree.
It _could_  be true for Israelis
for whom Hebrew is not their native lang, especially those
whose L1 is English. This is because, as I wrote above,
English phonological rules (AFAIK) do not permit a syllable
to start with a vowel: all vowels in syllable-initial position
must be preceeded by a glottal stop. Israeli Hebrew is under
no such constraint. Since there is no aleph in the name of
the man with the ark, I don't think that any Israeli who is a
native Hebrew speaker would feel any need for a glottal stop
in the word!
    Similarly, the pronunciation / nowaH / with / w /.
Israeli Hebrew vowels are not diphthongized with [w]
and [j]  as are English vowels. In Israeli Hebrew,
/ o / = [o] and not [ow]. Thus, / noaH / is perfectly possible,
whereas */ nowaH / is probably a result of using English
phonological rules with Hebrew words.
    Also, the pharyngeal [H] would most likely be fronted
to a velar position, at least. (Ashkenazim don't pronounce
pharyngeals, and the Sephardim/Mizrachim who copy them
also usually don't pronounce them, IME.)


Dan Sulani
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likehsna rtem zuv tikuhnuh auag inuvuz vaka'a.

A word is an awesome thing.