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Tchernichovski's Israeli accentuation / עיון במבטאו הישראלי של טשרניחובסקי

אליעזר כגן and E. Kagan
Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies / דברי הקונגרס העולמי למדעי היהדות
Vol. ד‎, VOLUME II / כרך ב‎ (תשכ"ה / 1965), pp. 69-70
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23528120
Page Count: 2
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Abstract

Tchernichovski favoured the Ashkenazic pronunciation and until 1933 he believed that it should continue. In that year he wrote three poems. One of them, 'My Land, my Motherland', uses the Israeli masculine accentuation. Thus it forms the transition to the new pronunciation. By the time Tchernichovski adopted the Israeli system of stress, Shlonski had been observing a set of rules for the use of the spoken language in prosody. In his first transitional poem Tchernichovski did not completely adapt himself to the new demands of the living pronunciation. He often uses the regressive accent (נסוג אחור), the choriamb is found in place of the diamb, and there is no consistency in using the shewa at the beginning of the word. The digressions are unconscious usages of his long Ashkenazic past. Does any evolution take place in his Israeli phonetics? An examination of the poem 'Sitting at the window in a hut' composed towards the end of 1939, shows some improvement: 5 defects in a poem of 35 lines as against 22 correct uses of the shewa na'. Some defects are not typical of the transitional poets, especially in the accentuation of the words. We even find an accent on a ḥaṭaf, which was no longer used in the Ashkenazic pronunciation. We still find formal stressing, that is a stress on 'light' words in the verse instead of on 'heavy' ones preceding or following them. 'The Ballads of Worms', written 3 years later, show a further improvement, although we still find mistakes. The stressing of words is properly done, but the use of the choriamb is comparatively frequent and too laboured to be considered a merit; Tchernichovski often uses the spondee instead of the iamb, which slows the rythm while stressing meaning. Hebrew poetry in the Diaspora was rich in its diversity of strophe and metre. Israeli poetry suffers by contrast. In spite of the difficulties of transition, Tchernichovski did not neglect the various patterns of verse. In 59 poems there are 25 different forms of rhyme and metre. No Israeli poet can rival him in that respect.

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