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Micro-corpus codification in the Hebrew Revival


Moshe Nahir


In this paper, the author discusses the lexical codification work carried out in the Modern Hebrew Revival period. The development of Modern Hebrew may be viewed as consisting of three periods, in each of which at least one language planning "goal" has been sought. The first of these periods is that of "Language Revival" (1890-1914) in which the revival of that language in Palestine took place. At the beginning of its revival the Hebrew lexicon was so gravely inadequate for modern life—lacking words for concepts such as "tomato", "serious", and "newspaper"—that some leaders questioned the capacity of the language to be restored. Therefore, much corpus planning had to be done to fill that vast lexical gap. This aspect of the Revival was achieved through the cumulative efforts of educators, writers, translators, etc., as well as countless language-conscious individuals. This was carried out in various ways, retrieving old words and roots, creating new words from old words and roots, combining existing words, filling in pattern with root "fillers", borrowing words and roots, etc. All this arduous, seemingly endless campaign eventually paid off, and Hebrew is now a modern language, standardized and "normalized" in every respect.
How to Cite: Nahir, M., 2003. Micro-corpus codification in the Hebrew Revival. Digithum, (5), p.None. DOI:
Published on 01 Apr 2003.


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