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Modern Hebrew še- and Judeo-Spanish ke- ( que-) in Independent Modal Constructions

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Modality in Modern Hebrew is expressed in different ways. This article concentrates on one special construction consisting of an independent clause introduced by the particle šefollowed by a future tense verb, which expresses a variety of modal meanings: desires, wishes, prohibitions, volitions, curses, commands, etc. This means of expressing modality is very common in spoken Modern Hebrew, and can be found in various literary genres. As for its origins, although several suggestions have been proposed, we argue that spoken Judeo-Spanish (the substrate language of the first users of spoken Modern Hebrew in Israel), rather than Yiddish or Russian, is the initial contributor to this widely used construction.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages, Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan Israel ; 2: Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages, Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan Israel


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