Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

squee100
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Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby squee100 » 2020-03-03, 1:09

https://www.jstor.org/stable/24371315?seq=1

Sheva seems to have a lot of different realizations. [e], [ i ], and [ʌ] are mentioned in the article linked above, but other articles also mention [a], [o], and [ u ]. I know that's only six different realizations, but it still seems like a lot when comparing the Persian-speaking tradition to other traditions. I don't know Hebrew well enough to determine whether or not there is an implication that anyone says e.g. [eħiel] rather than [iħiel] for יְחִיאֵל. I also don't know what to make of other unusual consonant and vowel pronunciations such as [aqudeʃ] for הַקּוֹדֶשׁ, [kuven] for כֹּהֵן, and [ʁudere] for קְדֵרָה (note the pronunciation of the kamats). Would I need to describe all of these sounds when discussing the Persian-speaking tradition, or are there any I wouldn't need to describe?

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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-03, 4:28

squee100 wrote:I also don't know what to make of other unusual consonant and vowel pronunciations such as [aqudeʃ] for הַקּוֹדֶשׁ, [kuven] for כֹּהֵן, and [ʁudere] for קְדֵרָה (note the pronunciation of the kamats).

If it helps, in Persian words ending with a silent, orthographical he (the Arabic letter ه, equivalent to Hebrew ה and often serving the same grammatical function, eg. feminine ending), the letter is generally pronounced as [e]. So for example, the Persian word for synagogue is کنیسه [kæni:se]. If it were written in Hebrew it'd be spelled כניסה. That explains the vowel at the end of קְדֵרָה . The pronunciation of ק as [ʁ] also follows from Persian, where the equivalent letter (ق) is pronounced as [ʁ] (though there are other realizations as well).

Would I need to describe all of these sounds when discussing the Persian-speaking tradition, or are there any I wouldn't need to describe?

No idea. What exactly are you doing? Writing an article about variations in Hebrew pronunciation?
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby squee100 » 2020-03-04, 12:19

eskandar wrote:No idea. What exactly are you doing? Writing an article about variations in Hebrew pronunciation?

Yes. I'm creating a chart like the one in Encyclopaedia Judaica, Vol. 16, pp. 556–557.

I'm still confused about [ʌ]. That doesn't match any dialect of Persian I'm aware of. Is it marginal and optional?

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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-05, 5:57

squee100 wrote:I'm still confused about [ʌ]. That doesn't match any dialect of Persian I'm aware of. Is it marginal and optional?

I don't know, but I agree that it doesn't match any dialect of Persian I know of, either.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby Drink » 2020-03-09, 12:44

Not sure if this is connected or not, but take the example of the Persian prefix be- that forms imperative verbs (among other forms). In standard Persian it's always pronounced be-, for example, bero, begir. But in colloquial Persian, it goes through vowel harmony to become like the following vowel, for example, boro, bigir.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-09, 17:41

Drink wrote:Not sure if this is connected or not, but take the example of the Persian prefix be- that forms imperative verbs (among other forms). In standard Persian it's always pronounced be-, for example, bero, begir. But in colloquial Persian, it goes through vowel harmony to become like the following vowel, for example, boro, bigir.

This only happens in colloquial Persian (I assume we're talking about Tehrani Persian) when the following vowel is [o] as in bero > boro, bekon > bokon. Begir remains begir (there's no *bigir) and bekan remains bekan, etc.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby Drink » 2020-03-11, 6:54

eskandar wrote:This only happens in colloquial Persian (I assume we're talking about Tehrani Persian) when the following vowel is [o] as in bero > boro, bekon > bokon. Begir remains begir (there's no *bigir) and bekan remains bekan, etc.

My understanding is it differs by dialect/sociolect. I did not make up bigir.

And yes, I did mention that it's colloquial. But believe it or not the Jews spoke colloquial Persian too and it may have influenced their Hebrew. Often colloquial features are much older and deeply ingrained into the language than people think.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-12, 0:06

Drink wrote:My understanding is it differs by dialect/sociolect. I did not make up bigir.

What dialect has bigir? I'm fairly certain it's not present in any sociolect of Tehrani. But I don't doubt that it could exist in some other dialect.

And yes, I did mention that it's colloquial. But believe it or not the Jews spoke colloquial Persian too and it may have influenced their Hebrew. Often colloquial features are much older and deeply ingrained into the language than people think.

I understand that and wasn't doubting it. My post above was about the impact of colloquial Persian on the Hebrew pronunciation of Iranian Jews.

Maybe I worded my statement poorly; what I meant to communicate is that "this only happens in (colloquial) Persian when the following vowel is [o]" - that is, emphasis on "when" and not on "colloquial."
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-13, 2:32

I stand corrected! I should have consulted the academic literature and not just relied on Sprachgefühl! The example you gave of bigir is indeed attested for. The source it cites is a dissertation published in 1980, which specifies that this kind of vowel harmony is a "lower class" phenomenon in Tehrani. I have had exposure to the speech of poor and working class Tehranis, but I wonder if I just never noticed this (or never encountered it) - or if it's something that has changed over the last 40 years. Much has changed in class structure, culture, and language since the revolution, so maybe it's something that's being wiped out by more prestigious pronunciations. That's the case with pronunciations associated with lower class populations in the US - for example, non-rhoticity has been disappearing from New York City and South Boston accents since the 1960s as it's been associated with lower class speech varieties...
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby squee100 » 2020-03-14, 14:53

Okay. Do either of you suspect that (if you don't know if) Persian-speaking Jews write e.g. שֻׁלוֹם, יִחִיאֵל instead of שְׁלוֹם, יְחִיאֵל (cf. how Yemenites write פַּרֵק instead of פֶּרֶק http://www.mitaiman.com/78332/%D7%90%D7 ... 7%9E%D7%9F)?

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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby eskandar » 2020-03-15, 1:09

No idea.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby Drink » 2020-03-17, 7:45

squee100 wrote:Okay. Do either of you suspect that (if you don't know if) Persian-speaking Jews write e.g. שֻׁלוֹם, יִחִיאֵל instead of שְׁלוֹם, יְחִיאֵל (cf. how Yemenites write פַּרֵק instead of פֶּרֶק http://www.mitaiman.com/78332/%D7%90%D7 ... 7%9E%D7%9F)?

They probably don't. The Yemenites are a relatively unique group in terms of how they've oreserved their tradition, so I wouldn't base your expectations off of them.
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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby squee100 » 2020-03-18, 16:29

Judeo-Persian does have such spellings as שולום, if that's indicative of anything (it probably isn't).

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Re: Vowels and some consonants in the Persian-speaking tradition

Postby n8an » 2020-03-19, 4:01

I'm interested in this topic. I've never heard the traditional Persian-Jewish tradition of Hebrew. I know exactly how older Persian Jews speak Hebrew with an Iranian accent; I'm guessing it's somewhat similar, but not exactly?


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