The paper examines three normative details in Hebrew from three perspectives – normative, linguistic, and sociolinguistic: (a) באם ‘if’ instead of normative אם; (b) בכדי ‘for, in order’ instead of normative כדי; (c) -נקט ב ‘take (measures, stand, etc.)’ instead of normative נקט (את). The first two are documented, from the seventeenth century onwards, in various genres of written Hebrew, both literary (e.g. Mendele Mokher Sfarim) and non-literary (e.g. the responsa literature and municipal posters). The third, originally a Babylonian Aramaic verb, is documented very sparsely from the sixteenth century onwards and becomes more widespread in late-nineteenth-century nonliterary genres, presumably as a result of analogy to the Hebrew verb אחז ‘seize’. All three are condemned as mistakes in the prescriptive literature of the 1950s and 1960s – but not anteriorly – and in the accompanying normativist discourse. The study of these three seemingly unequivocal cases reveals two conduits that facilitated the infiltration of nonclassical elements into Modern Hebrew: formal nonliterary genres and popular satiric literature. It also suggests that, during the 1950s, following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, the Hebrew prescriptive discourse became nationalistic and necessitated a reevaluation of the inherited Hebrew inventory. From this new perspective, nonclassical elements such as the three discussed here were considered undesirable.
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה|
|State||Published - 2016|