The phonetics of Modern Hebrew rhotics

Evan Gary Cohen, Lior Laks, Carmen Savu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper investigates manner variation of Israeli Hebrew rhotics with respect to two factors: prosodic position and speaker gender. An acoustic experimental study shows that although the Hebrew rhotic phoneme tends to be a dorsal approximant, it is significantly more likely to undergo fortition in onset position. This fortition is a result of target overshoot, the rhotic subsequently being produced with a greater degree of constriction than that which would have resulted in an approximant, subsequently surfacing as a stop, a fricative, a tap or a trill. Furthermore, in onset position, feMale speakers show more variation and produce fewer approximants than Male speakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-48
Number of pages21
JournalBrill's Journal of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Allophony
  • Hebrew
  • Onset fortition
  • Rhotic


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