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I was wondering if there is any definitive research on whether or not the W in Peshitta Syriac is pronounced as a "W" or as a "V". Those who teach biblical Hebrew seem to believe that in Hebrew, it is "V" and not "W".
Shlama Jerry,

As far as I know, waw is/was pronounced like a "w" (but a soft beth was a "v"). Most think that the same holds true for Biblical Hebrew.

Let me ask you this: for those who teach that Biblical Hebrew had vav, do they pronounce the letter qof (??) like a "k" or like the Syriac qoph ([font="Estrangelo (V1.1)"]q[/font])? If they pronounce it like "k," then they're probably using the Modern Israeli Hebrew pronunciation (which, I think, is based off the languages that diaspora Jews spoke in Europe like German/Yiddish and Russian, which don't have "w" or "q" sounds).
Thanks for the reply, Karl. For biblical Hebrew, they used this:

Bet, "v" as in "cave"
Bet-dagesh, "b" as in "bat"
Vav, "v" as in "vine"
Kaph, "ch" as in "Bach"
Kaph-dagesh, "k" as in "keep"
Qoph, "k" as in "keep"

Is the Syriac Qoph considered to be different than "k"? Like maybe just slightly softer, inbetween the "k" and "ch"?
Shlama,

Syriac Qoph corresponds to Arabic Qaf. It is a sound further back in the throat than Kaph.

//Lars
Jerry Wrote:Thanks for the reply, Karl. For biblical Hebrew, they used this:

Bet, "v" as in "cave"
Bet-dagesh, "b" as in "bat"
Vav, "v" as in "vine"
Kaph, "ch" as in "Bach"
Kaph-dagesh, "k" as in "keep"
Qoph, "k" as in "keep"

I bet they also say taw/"tav" (??) and Teth (??) are the same sound too, huh? <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Big Grin" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->

Jerry Wrote:Is the Syriac Qoph considered to be different than "k"? Like maybe just slightly softer, inbetween the "k" and "ch"?

Lars is right, kaph ("k") is different from qoph ("q"). The "k" sound is just like the English sound, but "q" is pronounced further back in the mouth. It's not really "slightly softer" (if you ask most people, they would even say it's "harsher") nor is it in between a "k" and "ch" (either phonetically or anatomically). Here's a rough picture of where "k" and "q" are articulated in the mouth (the red lines point to where the back of the tongue makes contact):

[Image: 86824386.png]

Basically, in "q," your tongue touches the ball thing hanging off the back of the roof of your mouth (your "uvula") so that it gets squished between your tongue and the roof of your mouth (trust me, I've tried it in the mirror before <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->).

You can hear the distinction here (if you can play .OGG files):
  • A "k" sound: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Voiceless_velar_plosive.ogg">http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... losive.ogg</a><!-- m -->
  • A "q" sound: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/19/Voiceless_uvular_plosive.ogg">http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... losive.ogg</a><!-- m -->