Wednesday, May 09, 2007

SBL Link re Hebrew pointing

Best summary yet - and helps support my ignoring the cellophane implied by Lambdin's book (good though it is).


Philip said...

Sounds interesting, but somehow the thought of not mastering the vowels would really impoverish the language for me. It gives me a feeling for the texture. De-emphasising the vowels would also limit our ability to dialogue with Jews, wouldn't it?

Bob MacDonald said...

Thanks for the comment, Philip. I think that dialogue with speakers of Hebrew or those steeped in the Talmudic tradition can be enabled with or without vowel points. In particular, modern Hebrew does not point the text - see e.g. any newspaper. The feeling for texture may not be so well enabled if we allow for only one 'tradition', namely the one that has superceded all others in the last 700 years (and only in that period.) Imagine only one version (aurally) of English and how you might point the acceptable pronunciation!
aee lurn eengleesh frowm eh boook,
or oi larn inglish frimme buk.
Mind you -
'i lrn )nglsh frm ' bk
- works using mater lectiones to point the glottal stops.

I am still too early in my aural learning to be sure of anything in the way of pronunciation - fortunately, I am getting some practice once a week at the Synagogue.