Journal Article

Personal Names in Hebrew and Arabic: Modern Trends Compared to the Past

Judith Rosenhouse

in Journal of Semitic Studies

Published on behalf of University of Manchester

Volume 47, issue 1, pages 97-114
Published in print January 2002 | ISSN: 0022-4480
Published online January 2002 | e-ISSN: 1477-8556 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jss/47.1.97
Personal Names in Hebrew and Arabic: Modern Trends Compared to the Past

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  • Middle Eastern History
  • Middle Eastern Languages
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Personal names are part of any language and obey most of its general rules, whether phonological, morphological, syntactic, orthographical or semantic.

The paper considers similarities and differences between names in Hebrew and Arabic as a specific lexical group within their vocabularies. We note briefly the importance of personal names for the study of these languages, and survey older and more recent names from phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic aspects. The standpoint of this comparative study is basically lexicological and sociolinguistic.

Three main points are discussed, the first two of which occur only in Hebrew: 1. The stress on the name's penultimate syllable which contrasts the usual stress pattern. 2. Gender indication of the name (masculine vs. feminine). 3. Innovations in the names inventory. Both Arabic and Hebrew tend to innovate names, but due to the speakers' different cultural and social structures, the results in each language differ in several respects.

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Subjects: Middle Eastern History ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Literary Studies - World ; Biblical Studies

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