Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

Get access Subject: Language and Linguistics
Edited by: Geoffrey Khan
Associate editors: Shmuel Bolozky, Steven Fassberg, Gary A. Rendsburg, Aaron D. Rubin, Ora R. Schwarzwald, Tamar Zewi

The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online features advanced search options, as well as extensive cross-references and full-text search functionality using the Hebrew character set. With over 850 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics Online is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.

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Afroasiatic and Hebrew: Linguistic Features

(2,317 words)

Author(s): Voigt, Rainer
For the reconstruction of Afroasiatic (also called Semitohamitic, Hamitosemitic), it is necessary to draw primarily on those languages whose morphologies show archaic traits, e.g., Akkadian for Semitic, the Berber varieties, and Beja (Biɖhâwyêt) for Cushitic. In the main it is the verbal morphology that has undergone the fewest changes over the millennia. The characteristic traits of Afroasiatic verbal morphology—which are also preserved in Hebrew—are the prefix conjugations (§2, below) and the …


(493 words)

Author(s): Oren, Mikhal
In general terms, the agent is defined as the entity performing a given action, as opposed to the Patient, the entity affected by it. In active constructions (Voice) the agent occupies the position of Subject, while in passive clauses it is usually omitted, but may be expressed by an adjunct phrase, e.g., הטכנאי תיקן את המחשב ha-ṭexnay tiqen ʾet ha-max̱šev ‘the technician repaired the computer’ vs. ‏הטכנאי) המחשב תוקן (על ידי ha-max̱šev tuqan (ʿal yede ha-ṭexnay) ‘the computer was repaired (by the technician)’. Experiencers of cognitive processes, e.g., as in שמחנו לראות אתכם śamax̱nu l…


(2,195 words)

Author(s): Breuer, Yochanan
Shmuel Yosef Agnon is thought by many to have been the most important Hebrew writer in modern times. He was the first Israeli, and the only Hebrew author, who has so far been awarded the Nobel Prize. Most of the writers of his generation have been forgotten, but Agnon continues to attract growing interest to this day. More studies have been published on his writings than on any other Hebrew writer (Laor 2010). His language is unique and differs greatly from the common usage of his generation. Hi…

Agreement: Biblical Hebrew

(4,789 words)

Author(s): Levi, Yaakov
The term ‘agreement’ (or ‘congruence’) indicates syntactic correspondence of words in gender, number, person and determination. Generally in Hebrew, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns agree, depending on whether they are masculine or feminine, singular or plural. Thus, in אָמַ֞ר הַמֶּ֤לֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל֙ ʾå̄mar ham-mɛlɛḵ hag-gå̄ḏōl ‘said the great king’ (2 Kgs 18.19) all forms, i.e., the verb אָמַ֞ר ʾå̄mar ‘said’ and the adjective הַגָּדוֹל֙ hag-gå̄ḏōl ‘great’ agree with הַמֶּלֶךְ ham-mɛlɛḵ ‘the king’, the verb in terms of person (3rd), gender (m), and number (s), the a…

Agreement: Modern Hebrew

(2,707 words)

Author(s): Melnik, Nurit
1. Agreement Agreement is a type of relationship between two linguistic elements. An oft-cited definition is that of Steele (1978:610): “The term agreement commonly refers to some systematic covariance between a semantic or formal property of one element and a formal property of another”. An alternative characterization views agreement as an asymmetric relationship where one element, the controller (also source or trigger), determines the agreement features of another, the target, within a particular syntactic domain. In Modern Hebrew (MH) agreement is controlled by no…

Agreement: Rabbinic Hebrew

(1,489 words)

Author(s): Shivtiel, Avihai
Though the morphological marking of person, gender, and number in Rabbinic Hebrew largely complies with the norms of the biblical grammatical system, Rabbinic Hebrew sometimes deviates from the conventions of Biblical Hebrew with respect to agreement. 1. Pronouns and Pronominal Suffixes The biblical personal pronouns, pronominal suffixes, and verbal prefixes and suffixes (with the exception of the feminine plural in the imperfect and the imperative, which were amalgamated with the masculine plural) are generally used in Rabbinic Hebrew…
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