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The Segment Level

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyzes the šurūḥ of Genesis, Esther, and the Passover Haggadah, scanning selected examples through the segmental level. It emphasizes Judeo-Arabic orthography and phonetics/phonology and the connection between them. Judeo-Arabic orthography ought to be considered cautiously when reconstructing phonetic and phonological structure. When the orthography, however, is supported by additional evidence, phonetic and phonological features can be established with greater certainty. Many of the examples presented here are connected to the Hebraized orthography, where Hebrew influenced Judeo-Arabic orthography in the late periods of the religiolect. The Hebrew influence on the orthography reflects a tendency toward literal translation, because the Judeo-Arabic Hebraized orthography is closely associated with the Hebrew sacred texts. The features discussed here also connected to spoken Egyptian Judeo-Arabic elements.

Keywords: šurūḥ; Esther; Genesis; Hebrew sacred texts; Judeo-Arabic orthography; Passover Haggadah; phonetics; segmental level



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