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Grammatical Gender in the Early Modern Hasidic Hebrew Tale

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 54, 2013
pp. 133-165 | 10.1353/hbr.2013.0010



This paper offers the first analysis of grammatical gender in nineteenth and early twentieth century Hasidic Hebrew hagiographic tales. Hasidic Hebrew grammatical gender is noteworthy because it exhibits conspicuous differences from that of other historical forms of Hebrew, including non-standard noun and pronoun gender as well as widespread noun-adjective and subject-verb gender discord. While these phenomena initially appear highly erratic, examination suggests that in most cases the seemingly inconsistent usages are actually governed by relatively regular patterns, many of them phonetic. These trends underscore the need to re-evaluate Hasidic Hebrew as an independent linguistic system with its own grammatical conventions.

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