Hebrew

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A language of Israel

Alternate Names
Israeli, Ivrit
Population

4,380,000 in Israel (Dekel 2014). Spoken by all Israelis as L1 or L2. Some who use it as L1 now in Israel learned it as L2 originally. Total users in all countries: 4,822,400.

Location

Widespread.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1922, Palestine Order in Council, Article 82, 10 October).

Dialects

Standard Hebrew (Europeanized Hebrew, General Israeli), Oriental Hebrew (Arabized Hebrew, Yemenite Hebrew). An amalgamation of different Hebrew strata plus intrinsic linguistic evolution; not a direct offspring from Biblical or other varieties of Ancient Hebrew.

Typology

SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; gender (masculine/feminine); definite article prefixed to noun; verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject; tense; comparatives; 22 consonants, 5 vowels, 4 diphthongs; non-tonal.

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1599–1877. Agency: Hebrew Language Academy.
Writing

Braille script [Brai]. Hebrew script [Hebr], primary usage.

Other Comments

Jewish.