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Encyclopedia > Samaritan Hebrew

The Samaritan Hebrew language is a descendant of Biblical Hebrew as pronounced and written by the Samaritans.

Contents

Writing

It is written in the Samaritan alphabet, a direct descendant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (itself a variation on the Phoenician alphabet), whereas all other varieties of Hebrew are written in the later Hebrew alphabet, a variation on the Aramaic alphabet.


Pronunciation

The Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew differs in several respects from most others. The laryngeals aleph, ayin, he, and heth have all disappeared. Beth and Waw can each be pronounced as either b or w (in fact, the letters' names are pronounced Bt and Ba.) Sin is pronounced Shin. Consonants with dagesh are pronounced geminate. Stress is commonly penultimate rather than ultimate.


Grammar

Pronouns

Personal

I anki
you (male) tta
you (female) tti (note the final yod)
he
she
we annu
you (male, plural) attmma
you (female, plural) ttn
they (male) mma
they (female) nna

Demonstrative

This: masc. ze, fem. zot, pl. lla.


That: alaz (written with a he at the beginning).


Relative

Who, which: šar.


Interrogative

Who? = mi. What? = ma.


Noun

When suffixes are added, and in the last syllable may become and : br "pit" > brt "pits". Note also af "anger" > ppa "her anger".


Segolates behave more or less as in other Hebrew varieties: beţen "stomach" > bţnek "your stomach", kesef "silver" > kesfnu "our silver", drek > dirkakimma "your (m. pl.) road" but reş "earth" > rşak "your earth".


Article

The definite article is a- or e-, and causes gemination of the following consonant, unless it is a guttural; it is written with a he, but as usual, the h is silent. Thus, for example: nnar / nnar = "the youth"; ellm = "the meat"; a'mur = "the donkey".


Number

Regular plural suffixes are -m masc., -t fem: eyyamm "the days", elamt "dreams"


Dual is sometimes -ayem (šenatayem "two years"), usually -m like the plural (ydm "hands".)


Verbs

Suffixes are:

perfect imperfect
I -ti e-
you (male) -ta ti-
you (female) -ti ?
he - yi-
she -a ti-
we ? ne-
you (plural) -tmma te- -un
you (female, plural) -tn ?
they (male) -u yi- -u
they (female) ? ti- -inna

Particles

Prepositions

"in, using", pronounced:

  • b- before a vowel (or, therefore, a former guttural): b-rbi = "with a sword"; b-štu "with his wife".
  • ba- before a bilabial consonant: b-bt "in a house", ba-mdbar "in a wilderness"
  • ev- before other consonant: ev-lila "in a night", ev-dvar "with the thing".
  • ba-/be- before the definite article ("the"): barršet "in the beginning"; byym "in the day".

"as, like", pronounced:

  • ka without the article: ka-demtu "in his likeness"
  • ke with the article: k-yym "like the day".

"to" pronounced:

  • l- before a vowel: l-vi "to my father", l-vad "to the slave"
  • el-, al- before a consonant: al-bni "to the children (of)"
  • le- before l: le-lket "to go"
  • l- before the article: lammad "at the appointed time"; la-ş'on "to the flock"

"and" pronounced:

  • w- before consonants: wal-Šrra "and to Sarah"
  • u- before vowels: u-yeššeg "and he caught up".

Other prepositions:

  • al: towards
  • elfni: before
  • bd-u: for him
  • elqrt: against
  • bald-i: except me

Conjunctions

  • u: or
  • em: if, when
  • avel: but

Adverbs

  • la: not
  • k: also
  • afu: also
  • n-ak: you are not
  • fa (pa): where?
  • mti: when
  • f: here
  • šmma: there
  • mittt: under

Sample

Exodus XX.1-6:

  1. Umellel El'e yet kel milleyya aalen elmimar.
  2. Ana Šema Eluek deppiqtek men ara Mişrem mibbet awadem.
  3. La ya'i lak ela'en uranem al eppi.
  4. La tewed lak efsel ukel demu debšumeyya millel wedbaraa millera wedbameyya millera laraa.
  5. La tisgad lon ula tešememminon ala anaki Šema elaak el qana fuqed ob awaan al banem wel telitaem wel rewi'a'em elsenai.
  6. Wabed esed lalafem elra'emi welnateri fiqqudi.

Source

  • J. Rosenberg, Lehrbuch der samaritanischen Sprache und Literatur, A. Hartleben's Verlag: Wien, Pest, Leipzig.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Samaritan Hebrew language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (461 words)
The Samaritan Hebrew language is a descendant of Biblical Hebrew as pronounced and written by the Samaritans.
It is written in the Samaritan alphabet, a direct descendant of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (itself a variation on the Phoenician alphabet), whereas all other varieties of Hebrew are written in the later Hebrew alphabet, a variation on the Aramaic alphabet.
The Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew differs in several respects from most others.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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