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. 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 Bît and Ba.) Sin is pronounced Shin. Consonants with dagesh are pronounced geminate. Stress is commonly penultimate rather than ultimate.
|I ||anáki |
|you (male) ||átta |
|you (female) ||átti (note the final yod) |
|he ||û |
|she ||î |
|we ||anánu |
|you (male, plural) ||attímma |
|you (female, plural) ||éttên |
|they (male) ||ímma |
|they (female) ||ínna |
This: masc. ze, fem. zéot, pl. ílla.
That: alaz (written with a he at the beginning).
Who, which: éšar.
Who? = mi. What? = ma.
When suffixes are added, ê and ô in the last syllable may become î and û: bôr "pit" > búrôt "pits". Note also af "anger" > éppa "her anger".
Segolates behave more or less as in other Hebrew varieties: beţen "stomach" > báţnek "your stomach", kesef "silver" > kesfánu "our silver", dérek > dirkakimma "your (m. pl.) road" but áreş "earth" > árşak "your earth".
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: énnar / ánnar = "the youth"; ellêm = "the meat"; a'émur = "the donkey".
Regular plural suffixes are -êm masc., -ôt fem: eyyamêm "the days", elamôt "dreams"
Dual is sometimes -ayem (šenatayem "two years"), usually -êm like the plural (yédêm "hands".)
| ||perfect ||imperfect |
|I ||-ti ||e- |
|you (male) ||-ta ||ti- |
|you (female) ||-ti ||? |
|he ||- ||yi- |
|she ||-a ||ti- |
|we ||? ||ne- |
|you (plural) ||-tímma ||te- -un |
|you (female, plural) ||-tên ||? |
|they (male) ||-u ||yi- -u |
|they (female) ||? ||ti- -inna |
"in, using", pronounced:
- b- before a vowel (or, therefore, a former guttural): b-érbi = "with a sword"; b-íštu "with his wife".
- ba- before a bilabial consonant: bá-bêt "in a house", ba-mádbar "in a wilderness"
- ev- before other consonant: ev-lila "in a night", ev-dévar "with the thing".
- ba-/be- before the definite article ("the"): barrášet "in the beginning"; béyyôm "in the day".
"as, like", pronounced:
- ka without the article: ka-demútu "in his likeness"
- ke with the article: ké-yyôm "like the day".
- l- before a vowel: l-ávi "to my father", l-évad "to the slave"
- el-, al- before a consonant: al-béni "to the children (of)"
- le- before l: le-léket "to go"
- l- before the article: lammúad "at the appointed time"; la-şé'on "to the flock"
- w- before consonants: wal-Šárra "and to Sarah"
- u- before vowels: u-yeššeg "and he caught up".
- al: towards
- elfáni: before
- bêd-u: for him
- elqérôt: against
- balêd-i: except me
- u: or
- em: if, when
- avel: but
- la: not
- kâ: also
- afu: also
- ín-ak: you are not
- ífa (ípa): where?
- méti: when
- fâ: here
- šémma: there
- mittét: under
- Umellel Elâ'e yet kel milleyya aalen elmimar.
- Ana Šema Eluek deppiqtek men ara Mişrem mibbet awadem.
- La ya'i lak ela'en uranem al eppi.
- La tewed lak efsel ukel demu debšumeyya millel wedbaraa millera wedbameyya millera laraa.
- La tisgad lon ula tešememminon ala anaki Šema elaak el qana fuqed ob awaan al banem wel telitaem wel rewi'a'em elsenai.
- Wabed esed lalafem elra'emi welnateri fiqqudi.
- J. Rosenberg, Lehrbuch der samaritanischen Sprache und Literatur, A. Hartleben's Verlag: Wien, Pest, Leipzig.