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Contracted words in Hebrew

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 16:43:09 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A0183AFA8@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
I asked a colleague who teaches Hebrew in our Oriental and African Languages department here about the issue of contracted words in Hebrew, with reference to the use of diacritics.  She said the idea that these could be described as contractions was
"a very strange idea.  Diacritics represent vowels.  When we choose not to include them, this is a matter of orthographic preference, but the pronunciation
does not change a bit-- we just know what vowel to put in for the correct pronunciation of the word.  In other words, if my word is yéled, with the two
"e" representing vowels (diacritics in Hebrew), without diacritics it will look like yld, but I will still pronounce it as yéled, that is, no contraction
has taken place (not even, technically, space wise, as the diacritics appear above or below the consonant letters, and their removal does not change the
physical length of the word).  So unless I do not understand the idea, it is incorrect.?
Perhaps I asked her the wrong question-- did anyone have something else in mind in discussing contractions in Hebrew?

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Received on Thursday, 6 May 2004 17:43:28 UTC

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