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Substrate Sources and Internal Evolution of Prescriptively Unwarranted Comitative Complements in Modern Hebrew

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image of Journal of Jewish Languages

Modern Hebrew usage of the preposition עִם ʿim‘with’ displays syntactic and semantic features which are either non-existent or extremely rare in Classical Hebrew, among which are the instrumental and the possessive. These new features correspond to universal tendencies in language evolution and seem to have prevailed in several substrate languages of Modern Hebrew, including Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish. Until recently, they had characterized mostly colloquial Hebrew, whereas written Hebrew had conformed to Classical Hebrew. In recent years, however, social change has brought about the integration of colloquial Hebrew and written Hebrew, which has led to a decrease in the latter’s resemblance to Classical Hebrew. Normative linguists have been speaking out against the phenomenon of “misplaced ʿim.” This article is a brief account of some Hebrew ‘with’ structures, considered typologically through diachronic analysis and synchronic description of the socially-stirred interplay between colloquial and standard written Hebrew.

Affiliations: 1: Achva Academic College Arugot Israel


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