Loanword phonology in Modern Hebrew

Evan Gary Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phonology of loanwords often differs from the phonology of native words in various aspects. These differences are evident in the prosodic structure and even the segmental inventory. The differences between the loanword and native phonology, however, are not necessarily stable, and it is often the case that what originated as phonological structures in loanwords which were illicit in the native vocabulary eventually overrode the native norm, bringing about diachronic change to the phonology of the native words. Hebrew is no exception in this respect. The stress system of loanwords differs from that of native words, with the latter's system undergoing changes inter alia due to the effect of loanwords (e.g. ante-penultimate stress, immobile stress patterns). The licit syllable structure inventory of native Hebrew words has been expanded to include loaned structures (e.g. complex codas, triconsonantal structures), and the phonemic inventory of Hebrew now includes several consonants originating in loanwords (e.g. and d).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-200
Number of pages19
JournalBrill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Loanwords - Modern Hebrew


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