SHVA or, in
It is transliterated as "e", "ĕ", "ə", "'" (apostrophe ), or
nothing. Note that usage of "ə" for shva is questionable:
transliterating modern Hebrew
A shva sign in combination with the vowel diacritics patáẖ , segól and kamáts katán produces a "ẖatáf": a diacritic for a "tnuʿá ẖatufá" (a "fleeting" or "furtive" vowel).
* 1 Pronunciation in modern Hebrew
* 2 Traditional classification
* 3 T\'nua hatufa
* 3.1 Comparison table
* 4 Unicode encoding * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 Bibliography * 8 References
PRONUNCIATION IN MODERN HEBREW
In Modern Hebrew, a shva is pronounced /e/ under the following conditions:
CONDITION FOR /E/ PRONUNCIATION OF SHVA IN ISRAELI HEBREW EXAMPLES EXAMPLES FOR SILENT SHVA (SINCE CONDITION DOES NOT APPLY)
IN HEBREW IPA TRANSLATION IN HEBREW IPA TRANSLATION
1. When under the first of two letters, both representing the same consonant or consonants with identical place and manner of articulation : שָׁכְחוּ /ʃaχEˈχu/ they forgot מָכְרוּ /maχˈru/ they sold
שָׁדַדְתְּ /ʃaˈdadEt/ you (f.) robbed שָׁלַלְתְּ /ʃaˈlalt/ you (feminine) negated
מְנִיָּה /mEniˈja/ counting בְּנִיָּה /bniˈja/ building
תְּמָרִים /tmaˈrim/ dates
4. When under the first letter of a word, if this letter represents one of the prefix -morphemes
* ב (/be/) = amongst others "in", * ו (/ve/) = "and", * כ (/ke/) = amongst others "as" or "approximately", * ל (/le/) = amongst others "to", dative marker and verb prefix in infinitive , * ת (/te/) as future tense verb prefix:
בְּרֵיחָהּ /bErejˈχa/ in her scent בְּרֵיכָה /brejˈχa/ pool
בְּחִישָׁה /bEχiˈʃa/ in sensing בְּחִישָׁה /bχiˈʃa/ stirring
וְרוֹדִים /vEroˈdim/ and (they) tyrannize וְרוּדִים /vruˈdim/ pink (m.p.)
כְּרָזָה /kEraˈza/ as a thin person כְּרָזָה /kraˈza/ poster
לְפָּרִיז /lEpaˈriz/ to Paris
תְּבַלּוּ /tEvaˈlu/ you (m. p.) will have a good time תְּבַלּוּל /tvaˈlul/ cataract
5. (In non standard language usage) if one of the morphemes mentioned above ( ב /be/, ו /ve/, כ /ke/, ל /le/ or ת /te/) or one of the morphemes מ /mi/ ("from") or ש /ʃe/ ("that") is added as a prefix to a word, which without this prefix begins with a letter marked with a shva pronounced /e/ under the above conditions, this shva will retain its /e/-pronunciation also with the prefix: מִצְּעָדִים /mitsEaˈdim/ from steps מִצְּמָדִים /mitsmaˈdim/ from pairs
מִצְעָדִים /mitsʔaˈdim/ parades
מִרְוָחִים /mirEvaˈχim/ from blanks מִרְוָחִים /mirvaˈχim/ intervals
standard: מֵרְוָחִים –/merEvaˈχim/
לְאֲרָיוֹ ת וְלְנְמֵרִים יֵשׁ פַּרְוָה /learaˈjot vElEnEmerim…/ Lions and tigers have fur
standard: וְלִנְמֵרִים /…velinmeˈrim…/
וְכְּיְלָדִים שִׂחַקְנוּ בַּחוּץ /vEkEjElaˈdim…/ And as children we played outside
standard: וְכִילָדִים – /veχilaˈdim…/
6. (Usually – see Counterexamples ) when under a medial letter, before whose pronunciation a consonant was pronounced: אִשְׁפְּזוּ /iʃpEˈzu/ they hospitalized אִישׁ פְּזוּ ר דַּעַת /iʃ pzur ˈda.at/ an absentminded man
*^ One exception to rule 2 seems to be מְלַא י /mlaj/ "inventory"; the absence of a vowel after the מ (/m/) might be attributable to the high sonority of the subsequent liquid ל (/l/), however compare with מְלִי ת (/mEˈlit/, not /*mlit/) "filling (in cuisine)". According to the "New User-Friendly Hebrew-English Dictionary" (Arie Comey, Naomi Tsur ; Achiasaf, 2006), the word word מְלַא י is pronounced with an /e/: .
**^ Exceptions to rule 6 include פְּסַנְתְּרָן (/psantˈran/, not */psantEˈran/ – "pianist"), אַנְגְּלִי ת (/aŋˈɡlit/, not */aŋɡEˈlit/ – "English"), נַשְׁפְּרִיץ (/naʃˈprit͡s/, not */naʃpEˈrit͡s/ – "we will sprinkle"), several inflections of quinqueliteral roots – e.g.: סִנְכְּרֵן (/sinˈkren/, not */sinkEˈren/ – "he synchronized"); חִנְטְרֵשׁ (/χinˈtreʃ/, not */χintEˈreʃ/ – "he did stupid things"); הִתְפְלַרְטֵט (/hitflarˈtet/, not */hitfElartet/ – "he had a flirt") – as well as other, more recent loanwords , e.g. מַנְטְרַ ה (/ˈmantra/, not */mantEra/ – "mantra").
In earlier forms of Hebrew, shva na and nach were phonologically and
phonetically distinguishable, but the two variants resulting from
In traditional Hebrew grammar, shvas are in most cases classified as either "shva na" (Heb. שוו א נע) or as "shva naḥ" (Heb. שוו א נח); in a few cases as "shva meraḥef" (Heb. שווא מרחף), and when discussing Tiberian pronunciation (ca. from the 8th until the 15th century) some shvas are classified as "shva ga'ya" (Heb. שוו א געיה).
A shva is categorized according to several attributes of its
grammatical context. The three categories of shva relevant to standard
* Does the shva supersede a vowel or no vowel in the word's non inflected form? * Is the preceding letter pointed with a "short" or a "long" niqqud-variant? * Is the following letter, when בג״ד כפ״ ת , pointed with a dagesh qal or not? * Is the letter which is pointed with shva assigned to the preceding or to the following syllable ?
To help illustrate the first criterion (existence or non-existence of a vowel in the word's non inflected form), the "location" of the shva, i.e., the place within the word where the lack of vowel is indicated by it, is marked within the phonemic transcription with an orange linguistic zero : Ø; if existing, the corresponding vowel in the basic (non inflected) form of the example is also marked in orange.
TYPE OF SHVA
NON INFLECTED FORM OF EXAMPLE
supersedes in non inflected form: preceding letter's niqqud : following letter with / without dagesh qal : assigned to syllable :
na עֵרְבוֹנוֹת /erØvoˈnot/ (deposits) עֵרָבוֹן /eraˈvon/ (deposit) עֵ—רְבוֹ—נוֹת vowel long without following
naḥ עֶלְבּוֹנוֹת /elØboˈnot/ (insults) עֶלְבּוֹן /elØˈbon/ (insult) עֶלְ—בּוֹ—נוֹת no vowel short with preceding
meraḥef יֶאֶרְכוּ /je.erØˈχu/ (they will last) יֶאֱרַךְ /je.eˈraχ/ (it will last) יֶ—אֶרְ—כוּ vowel short without preceding
In most cases, traditional Hebrew grammar considers shva na, or the mobile shva, to be an entity that supersedes a vowel that exists in the basic form of a word but not after this word underwent inflection or declension . Additionally, any shva marked under an initial letter is classified shva na.
Merely identifying a given shva as being a "shva na" offers no
indication as to its pronunciation in Modern Hebrew; it is however
relevant to the application of standard niqqud , e.g.: a בג״ד
ת letter following a letter marked with a shva na may not be
marked with a dagesh qal (
Academy of the Hebrew Language
A shva na can be identified as such by means of the following criteria:
* when marked under the first letter of a word, as in מְרַחֵף, לְפָנָי, and שְׁמַע, * when marked under the first of two identical letters, * when it's the second of two shvas marked under two consecutive letters (except when marked under the last letter of a word), as in רַעְמְסֵס (Exo. 12:37) and וישְׁמְעו (Gen. 3:8), * when the letter before the one under which it is marked is marked with a "long" niqqud-variant, , such as the long vowel of either yod or ḥiríq, as in יְחִֽידְֿךָ (Gen. 22:2) (yeḥīdhəkha), or the long vowel of waw or ḥolam, as in the words הוֹלְכִֿים, יוֹדְֿעִים and מוֹכְֿרִים (hōləkhīm, yōdəʻīm and mōkhərīm) and שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים (Deut. 16:18), "shōfəṭīm wa-shōṭərīm." * when marked under a letter with a dagesh ḥazaq (historically an indicator of gemination ), as מִפְּנֵיכֶם (Lev. 18:24) and מִקְּדָֿשׁ (Exo. 15:17). :31
For a more detailed account, see
Traditional Hebrew grammar defines shva naḥ, or shva quiescens, as indicating the absence of a vowel. In Modern Hebrew, some shvas classified as shva naḥ are nonetheless pronounced /e/ (e.g. the shva under the second dalet in the word שָׁדַדְתְּ – /ʃaˈdadet/ – "you (f.) robbed"; see table above ).
In all but a small number of cases, a shva not conforming to the
criteria listed above is classified shva naḥ. This offers no
conclusive indication as to its pronunciation in Modern Hebrew; it is
however relevant to the application of standard niqqud , e.g.: a
ת letter following a letter marked with a shva nacḥ
must be marked with a dagesh qal (
Academy of the Hebrew Language
The classification of a shva as "shva meraḥef" is relevant to the application of standard niqqud , e.g.: a בג״ד כפ״ ת letter following a letter marked with a shva meraḥef should not be marked with a dagesh qal , although the vowel preceding this letter could be represented by the "short" niqqud-variant for that vowel. This reflects sometimes, but not always, pronunciation in Modern Hebrew, e.g. מַלְכֵ י ("kings of") is commonly pronounced in accordance with the standard form, /malˈχej/ (with no dagesh qal in the letter kaf ), whereas כַּלְבֵ י ("dogs of"), whose standard pronunciation is /kalˈvej/, is commonly pronounced /kalˈbej/ (as if there were a dagesh qal in the letter bet ). In standard syllabification , the letter under which a shva meraḥef is marked is grouped with the preceding syllable.
The word /vənā'šūḇā/ in Ekhah (Lamentations) 5:21. The ga'ja in the word (marked in red) renders the shva stressed. In the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardic tradition, the pronunciation is .
Within niqqud , vowel diacritics are sorted into three groups: "big",
"small" and "fleeting" or "furtive" ("T'nuot g'dolot" –
"גדולות", "T'nuot k'tanot" – "קטנות" and "T'nuot
chatufot" "חטופות"), sometimes also referred to as "long",
"short" and "very short" or "ultrashort". This grouping might have
correlated to different vowel lengths in earlier forms of Hebrew (see
The vowel diacritics classified as "chatufot" ("fleeting") all share the common feature of being a digraph of a "small vowel" diacritic ( Patach , Segol or Kamatz Katan ) plus a shva sign. Similarly, their names are derived from the respective "small vowel" diacritic's name plus the adjunct "chataf": "chataf patach", "chataf segol" and "chataf kamatz".
As with a shva na, standard (prescribed ) syllabification determines that letters pointed with a "fleeting vowel" diacritic be considered part of the subsequent syllable , even if in modern Hebrew pronunciation this diacritic represents a full-fledged syllable, thus e.g. the phonologically trisyllabic word "הֶעֱמִיד" ("he placed upright"), pronounced /he.eˈmid/, should standardly be syllabified into only two syllables, "הֶ—עֱמִיד" ("he'emid").
NAME SYMBOL ISRAELI HEBREW
IPA TRANSLITERATION English approximate
Reduced Segol ("ẖatáf segól")
Reduced Patach ("ẖatáf patáẖ")
Reduced Kamatz ("ẖatáf kamáts")
Reduced Hiriq ("ẖatáf ẖiríq") – not in current use, appears rarely in the Aleppo Codex
VOWEL COMPARISON TABLE
LONG SHORT VERY SHORT PHONEMIC PHONETIC
סָ סַ סֲ /a/
a spA see open central unrounded vowel
סֵ סֶ סֱ /e/
e tEmp see mid front unrounded vowel
סוֹ סָ סֳ /o/
o cOne see mid back rounded vowel
סוּ סֻ n/a /u/
סִי סִ /i/
NOTE I: By adding two vertical dots (shva) ְ the vowel is made very short.
NOTE II: The short o and long a have the same niqqud.
NOTE III: The short o is usually promoted to a long o in Israeli writing for the sake of disambiguation
NOTE IV: The short u is usually promoted to a long u in Israeli writing for the sake of disambiguation
GLYPH UNICODE NAME
ְ U+05B0 HEBREW POINT SHEVA
ֱ U+05B1 HEBREW POINT HATAF SEGOL
ֲ U+05B2 HEBREW POINT HATAF PATAH
ֳ U+05B3 HEBREW POINT HATAF QAMATS
As of 2016, a separate Unicode symbol for the sheva na has been proposed but not implemented.
↑^ Long and short niqqud-variants represent identical spoken vowels in Modern Hebrew; the orthographic distinction is, however, still observed in standard spelling.
* Gesenius\' Hebrew Grammar, §10
* ^ A B C D
* t * e
* Biblical (northern dialect ) * Mishnaic * Medieval * Modern
* Ashkenazi * Sephardi * Italian * Mizrahi (Syrian ) * Yemenite * Samaritan * Tiberian (extinct) * Palestinian (extinct) * Babylonian (extinct)
* Rashi * Braille * Ashuri * Cursive * Crowning * Paleo-Hebrew
* Tiberian * Babylonian * Palestinian * Samaritan