On the Vicissitudes of Word Stress in Modern Hebrew

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The pragmatic functions performed by penultimate word stress in casual Hebrew speech are considered, as this usage marks a deviation from the normative, predominantly word-final, stress pattern of modern Hebrew whose institutionalization can be traced to both socio-cultural and ideological factors in the process of language revival. In adult speech non-normative penultimate stress functions as a pragmatic particle, especially in the use of personal and place names. In such contexts this usage signals informality and friendliness, or frames the utterances as playful. In children's discourse, the linguistic distribution of the penultimate stress mechanism is much greater and its main additional function is to demarcate the domain of the peer-group culture as such.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
JournalAnthropological Linguistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986


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