A Prototype Theory of Rhyme: Evidence from Hebrew

Dorit Ravid, David Hanauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study is to describe and lest a prototype theory of rhyme in adult Speakers of Hebrew. The prototype theory of categorization offers a model for describing the underlying structure of the category of rhyme. Within the prototype theory of rhyme proposed here, centrality to the prototype is determinedby the following Rhyme Centrality Principle: (RCP); Maximal resemblance in a minimally contrasting pair. This model was tested in the framework of Hebrew, a morphologically rieh language with a variety of sources of rhymes. 30 native Hebrew-speaking subjects were asked to grade 4 lists of word pairs on a scale of 1-15 according to the quality of the rhyme. The design of the test was partially based on Hrushovski's (1971) literary study of rhyming methods in Hebrew poetryt extended to include a number of morphophonological classes that frequently occur in Hebrew songs and verse. The results show significant agreement among the subjects on ranking of the word-pair sets, and provide support for the existence of a category of rhyme with more and less prototypical members.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-106
Number of pages28
JournalCognitive Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998


  • morphology
  • optimality
  • phonology
  • rhyme
  • rototypelperiphery


Dive into the research topics of 'A Prototype Theory of Rhyme: Evidence from Hebrew'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this