Introduction to Hebrew Linguistics (Inleiding Hebreeuwse Taalkunde) UvA,

Introduction to Hebrew Linguistics (Inleiding Hebreeuwse Taalkunde) UvA,

Introduction to Hebrew Linguistics (Inleiding Hebreeuwse Taalkunde) UvA, Week 1, February 3, 2011 Tams Bir Contact info Tams Bir [email protected] http://home.medewerker.uva.nl/t.s.biro/ Course material (slides, readings, etc.): http://www.birot.hu/courses.php http://www.birot.hu/courses/2011-introhb/

(username, passwd) Do the anonymous test. 2 Course program: Block 1: history of the Hebrew language Week 1: Introduction. Goals of the course. Why (Hebrew) linguistics? Different approaches to language. A general overview of the course. Four main periods of the Hebrew language. Week 2: The Afro-Asiatic and the Semitic context, including an introduction to comparative and historical linguistics. Week 3: NW-Semitic, Tell-Amarna, Proto-Hebrew. History of the alphabetic writing systems. Epigraphy and inscriptions from the first Temple period. Week 4: Biblical Hebrew (pre-classic, classic, post-exilic). The postbiblical period and Qumran. Samaritan Hebrew. Week 5: Rabbinic Hebrew (Mishna, Talmud, midrashim). Aramaic: a quick overview and its role in the history of Hebrew. Week 6: Medieval Hebrew: piyyutim, codices, commentaries. Code

switching, pidgin and creole languages. The Judeo-languages. Week 7: Haskala, the revival of the Hebrew language, the Israeli (Hebrew) language. 3 Course program: Block 2: descriptive and historical linguistics Week 8: Diachronic vs. synchronic linguistics. Description vs. explanation. Ways of explanation. Phonology 1: vowels. Week 9: Phonology 2: consonants, stress, phonological processes. Week 10: Morphology 1: nominal morphology; pronouns and verbal suffixes. Week 11: Morphology 2: verbal morphology; denominal verbs. Week 12: Syntax; semantics; lexicon. Week 13: Socio-linguistics: language contact, borrowing, foreign influences; language planning. Is Hebrew a Semitic language? Week 14: Summary. Questions and discussion. If time permits: psycho-linguistics, computational linguistics.

4 Requirements Weekly assignments: 20% 12 assignments, best 10 counts. 2 p (good) / 1 p (not really) / 0 p (unacceptable) Deadline: Wednesday noon (12:00) Email to: [email protected] Also accepted in Dutch. Take-home exam during middle semester break: 30% Final exam (during the exam period): 50% Slides, readings, assignments.

5 Readings Available from http://www.birot.hu/courses/2011-introhb/. Block 1: Chaim Rabin: A Short History of the Hebrew Language (1973) Block 2: Patrick R. Bennett: Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual (Eisenbrauns, 1998) Sometimes weekly assignments based on articles. You need it for course Intro to general linguistics: R. Appel et al (eds): Taal en Taalwetenschap. 6 Lets get started: Intro to linguistics (cf. your other course) Rabin: A Short

History1973:5. Points to note: - approach history phonology, morphology, syntax vocabulary writing, spelling language of sources language contacts history of the people history of the discipline Why doing Hebrew linguistics? (Key figures + those whose name must be remembered for other reasons, too.) Middle Ages: Hebrew linguistics under influence of Arabic lingstcs

Saadiah Gaon (882-942): Tafsiir (Bible translation and commentary), Agron (dictionary), Kutuub al-Lughah (grammar). Menahem ibn Saruk (cca. 910-cca. 970): Mahberet (dictionary). Some Bible commentators: Abraham ibn-Ezra, David Kimhi, etc. Renaissance: Elia Levita (1469-1549): both Hebrew and Yiddish. Christian Hebraists: most known is Johannes Reuchlin (1455-1522) Modern period: theologian H.F.W. Gesenius (1786-1842), rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808-1888). Wissenschaft des Judentums. Contemporary linguistics: many general linguists have worked on Hebrew, too. E.g., Noam Chomskys MA thesis. Noam Chomskys father, William Chomsky worked on Hebrew grammar and medieval Hebrew grammarians. 8 Why interested in linguistics?

Aristotle and philosophers of language since: - Philosophical questions: what is meaning (of a sentence, of a word)? - Tool for other fields of philosophy: rhetoric, poetics, aesthetics (Late antiquity and) Middle Ages (and since): - Philology: tool to decipher the meaning/message of (old and/or holly) texts (Late 18th) and 19th century: language as a historical phenomenon - Historical linguistics (tool for history: history of language history of people) Early 20th century: language a sign; language as a social phenomenon - Structuralism (uncover structure of language), semiotics (study of signs) Since 1957 (Noam Chomsky): language as a biological phenomenon - Generative linguistics; the cognitive turn: information processing in the brain. (Contemporary developments: balancing between different approaches.) 9

Why interested in linguistics? Tool for: philosophy exegesis: religious or literary history sociology semiotics biology, psychology, brain science language technology language teaching

Aim in itself: understand language as a system expressing thought changing in time of signs (socially agreed) reflecting social facts implemented in the brain encoding information learned/acquired without effort

10 Why interested in linguistics? Prescriptive approach: to know what is correct. Descriptive approach: to know what is there. Stages: - Describe the facts: synchrony vs. diachrony Then: - Explain the facts (why? for instance, create models) - or interpret the facts - or make use of the fact (in another discipline or in real application) 11 Answering Whys in linguistics Given a (linguistic) observation: why is it so? Because it has developed so: historical explanations.

Because this is how it is encoded in the brain: cognitive explanations. Because this is how it can fulfill its (social) function(s): functional explanations. Because this is how the child can learn it. By coincidence: Quite often the best answer, dont be afraid of it! 12 Fields of linguistcs Core fields Levels of the linguistics structure: (Phonetics) -------------------------------------

Phonology Morphology Syntax Semantics ------------------------------------- Lexicon/vocabulary Pragmatics, discourse Peripheral fields: Connected to external disciplines, or at least research methods: Phonetics (biology, physics) Psycholinguistics Neurolinguistics, clinical linguistics

Computational linguistics, language technology Sociolinguistics, dialectology 13 (Etymology) Two dimensions: synchrony (one state) vs. diachrony (change) 1500 BCE 500 BCE 200 CE 1200 CE 1948

2011 Phonology (vowels, consonants) Morphology (nouns, verbs) Syntax and semantics Lexicon (affixes, words, multi-word expressions) Literature, available sources Socio-historical context (contact with others) 14 Two dimensions: synchrony (one state) vs. diachrony (change) 1500 BCE 500 BCE 200 CE

1200 CE 1948 2011 Phonology (vowels, consonants) Morphology (nouns, verbs) Syntax and semantics Lexicon (affixes, words, multi-word expressions) Literature, available sources Socio-historical context (contact with others) 15 Two dimensions: synchrony (one state) vs. diachrony (change) 1500 BCE

500 BCE 200 CE 1200 CE 1948 2011 Phonology (vowels, consonants) Morphology (nouns, verbs) Syntax and semantics Lexicon (affixes, words, multi-word expressions) Literature, available sources Socio-historical context (contact with others) 16

Two dimensions: synchrony (one state) vs. diachrony (change) 1500 BCE 500 BCE 200 CE 1200 CE 1948 2011 Phonology (vowels, consonants) Morphology (nouns, verbs) Syntax and semantics Lexicon (affixes, words, multi-word expressions) Literature, available sources

Socio-historical context (contact with others) 17 Hebrew: prehistory and four periods 0. Proto-Semitic, proto-NW-Semitic proto-Canaanite, proto-Hebrew 1. Biblical Hebrew Pre-classical BH, classical BH, post-exilic BH; Qumran Masoretic Hebrew = Tiberian Hebrew 2. Mishnaic/Rabbinic Hebrew 3. Medieval Hebrew dead or alive? 4. Modern Hebrew, Israeli Hebrew (Israeli language) Haskala, language revival, contemporary IH 18

Other languages Aramaic Ancient Aramaic, Imperial Aramaic Eastern and Western middle Aramaic(s) Talmud (and some midrashim); Zohar; liturgy Judeo-languages J-Aramaic (from Biblical Arm. to Jewish modern Arm.) Judeo-Greek (from Hellenistic Greek to Yevanit) Judeo-Arabic Yiddish Judesmo/Ladino/Judeo-Spanish

and many other 19 Comparing languages: Contacts or no contacts? That is the question. Comparative linguistics: genetic or typological. Historical linguistics (since 19 cent.): Similarity due to common ancestor. Search for genetic relations. Language typology (20 cent.): Language universals + some variations = language types. Similarity due to belonging to the same type. Search for universals. Areal linguistics (20 cent.): Similarity due to geographic closeness and language contact. E.g. Balkan Sprachbund, or Baltic languages. th th th

20 Comparing languages: Contacts or no contacts? This is the question Similarity between to languages can be due to: Common ancestor (Proto-Semitic *shalaam > Hebr. shaloom ~ Arabic salaam) Language contact, areal and cultural factors (borrowings: Hebr. ~ Engl. sack; Hebr. ~ Eng. television) Language universals: [t] sound in both Hebrew and Dutch. Language typology: 2 genders in both Hebrew and French. Chance: suffix i to derive adjective from geographic noun in both Hebrew and Hungarian: Hebr. ~ Hung. izraeli Israeli. NB: observe conventional notations: [t], ~, example meaning, *, >. 21

Sources of linguistics (Prescriptive linguistics: the Academy) Data: whatever the native speaker says. L1 vs. L2. Adult vs. child. Observation vs. controlled experiments. What about past languages?

Written documents only. No tape rec. No chance to ask. Written style often differs from oral style. Copyists errors. Universals of Homo sapiens also apply to older languages. Comparison with related languages (e.g. Hebrew vs. Arabic). Internal reconstruction: irregularities explained by regular form in past? 22 Sources of Hebrew linguistics We are lucky: really lots of data, from 3 millennia! But, can we trust our sources? Hebrew Bible written during almost a millennium. Memorized + copied. Linguistically copy-edited? BH, RH: almost exclusively medieval manuscripts. Masoretes (8-10th century CE), the Ben-Asher and BenNaphtali families: Tiberian Hebrew. How reliable were they? Different traditions: Palestinian and Babylonian masoretes. Septuagint and other Greek translations. Samaritans. Various pronunciations world-wide nowadays. Spelling errors is mss. 23

Questions in Hebrew linguistics What can we reconstruct regarding past stages of the Hebrew language? Do written sources reflect the spoken language? Does the existence of a corpus (whose language is normative) influence spoken language? Does the language change differently when it is used only as L2? (Medieval Greek, Latin, Hebrew) When was Hebrew used as L1? What other languages were used by Jews? Diglossia, bilingualism and code switching. 24 Code switching: What language(s) are they speaking? Football: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=wwvbJSnf_AE

Parashat ha-shavua: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ZnTUGoEmhhA Munkatcher rebbe: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=ucL9pM0G7wU Rosh hashana: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=J2vNRJ2HZ3g What is in Hebrew? What sounds like Hebrew? Similarities and differences between the speakers? 25 For next week: Read: Chaim Rabin: A Short History of the Hebrew Language (1973), pp. 5-24. (Available from http://www.birot.hu/courses/2011-introhb/.) Warnings:

- Written in 1973: not state-of-the-art in 2011. - Slight ideological biases: religious, national. Question: have you observed such a bias? 26 Assignment for next week Invite a Semitic speaker for a drink! Arabic (classical? Moroccan? Egyptian? else?), or else. Make fieldwork: collect information on that language. Then, contrast it to Hebrew: similarities, differences. Vocabulary: most frequent words, numbers, pronouns... Sounds. (Not the same as letters!) Writing system.

Morphology: Gender and number of nouns, adjectives. Past and future tense of verbs. Are there prefixes or suffixes? If yes, what are they? Are there binyanim? And many more things... 27 Assignment for next week Invite a Semitic speaker for a drink! Sociolinguistic background: Which languages does (s)he speak in everyday life? Which language is used in what context? Are there different emotions associated with different languages? Summary in an email by Wednesday noon: [email protected] Subject: Assignment 1. (At most 1 page. Preferably no attachment.) Can be done in small groups, but separate emails. 28 See you next week!

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