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Benjamin D. Suchard

Published On


Page Range

pp. 171-190

Print Length

19 pages

Phonological Adaptation and the Biblical Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew Reflexes of *i and *u

Benjamin Suchard treats the phenomenon of irregular reflexes of the vowels *i and *u in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic from a novel perspective of ‘phonological adaptation’, whereby speakers of one language adapted borrowed forms to their own phonology. This process is known to be irregular. The author makes an innovative suggestion that in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic, respectively, the irregular reflexes of the vowels *i and *u are due to the phonological adaptation of pre-Tiberian Hebrew to Aramaic phonology and of Biblical Hebrew to Palestinian Greek phonology. Such a process sheds light on general developments in the reading traditions and linguistic realities of Palestine of late antiquity.


Benjamin D. Suchard