Historical overview of Modern Hebrew

Yael Reshef*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The chapter starts by outlining the timeline of the language known as "Hebrew" from ancient times since the 2nd millennium BCE and Biblical times via the period of exile when the language existed in a state of diglossia for nearly two millennia, serving mainly for ritual and religious purposes, and up to its transformation into a modern means of literary and journalistic expression in late 18th century Europe, and its revival as a means of everyday communication, both spoken and written, in late 19th century and early 20th century 'Eretz Yisrael' (the land of Israel) or Palestine. The chapter delineates the impact of classical strata on Modern Hebrew and traces processes of modernization and standardization involved in its contemporary evolution.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationUsage-Based Studies in Modern Hebrew Background, Morpho-lexicon, and Syntax
EditorsRuth A. Berman
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262066
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Language Companion Series
ISSN (Print)0165-7763

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Benjamins Publishing Company.


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