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This paper focuses on the linguistic criteria that distinguish Hebrew words from foreign ones in modern Hebrew. Three major criteria play a principal role in determining the differences between the words: phonological, syllabic, or morphological. The phonological criterion involves foreign consonants and allophonic structure, violation of constraints on Hebrew consonant clusters, and violation of Hebrew stress patterns. The syllabic structure depends on word length and deviation from syllabic Hebrew word structure. The morphological criterion is the most complicated one and involves word class, violation of Hebrew stress patterns in inflection and derivation, the ending -a'ot, and orphanhood, which refers to the isolation of a form within the morphological Hebrew system.
Some aspects of the generalizations have been described previously by Weiman. Changes that occurred in modern Hebrew since 1950, as well as certain inaccuracies in Weiman's analysis, may account for some of the differences in his analysis from the one presented here. This paper not only focuses on all of the factors involved in modern Hebrew loan words, but it can account for the distinction between loan and Hebrew elements.
Although the discussion is linguistically oriented, it bears on psychological reality as well. A first attempt at showing that the linguistic criteria supply the necessary means for determining the perception of foreignness will be conducted.