DAL (DALET)

ד

VOICED POST-DENTAL STOP [d]

VOICED POST-DENTAL FRICATIVE [ð]

OR

Dal with dagesh is pronounced similarly to English "d", except the tip of the tongue is placed behind the teeth on the gums instead of on the teeth themselves. Dal with rafe, which typically occurs after vowels, is pronounced with the tip of the tongue in the same place (i.e., on the gums behind the teeth), but with an allowance of air to pass through to make a fricative sound. For those familiar with Arabic, it is pronounced like the letter āl ).

[d]

דּ

דֿ

[ð]

Hidayat al-Qari

From the third place of articulation are heard five letters, namely דטלנת. This is the extremity of the tongue in combination with the flesh of the teeth. If you press gently, you hear from it דֿ and תֿ rafe. If you press with force, you hear from it דּ and תּ with dagesh. This differs from the second place of articulation, which is divided into two places (when the letters are pronounced) with dagesh and rafe respectively, namely the (back) third of the tongue and its middle. Dalet and tav are not like that, rather their place of articulation does not change, whether they have dagesh or rafe. Dagesh denotes pressing with force and rafe (pressing) lightly.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.7)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

עֵד

[ˈʕeːeð]

מִדְבָּר

[miðˈbɔːɔʀ̟]

עַבְדִּי

[ʕavˈdiː]

דָּבָר

[dɔːˈvɔːɔʀ̟]

EMPHATIC VOICED POST-DENTAL FRICATIVE [ðˁ]

In the environment of other emphatic sounds—at least in two such words—אַפַּדְנ֔וֹ 'his palace' (Dan. 11.45) and וַֽיַּדְרְכ֤וּ 'and they bent' (Jer. 9.2)—the post-vocalic fricative דֿ [ð] tended to undergo pharyngealization/emphaticization and came to be pronounced as an emphatic like Arabic ظ ḏ̣āˀ. Pronounce this sound just like dal rafe but with the "root" of the tongue retracted and greater pressure/tension exerted in the pronunciation.

[ðˁ]

דֿ

Commentary on Sefer Yeṣira - Dunash ibn Tamim 

The Arabs have sounds that the Hebrews do not have, namely the ḍād of קצ̇יב (qaḍīb) and the ḏạ̄ʾ of עט̇ים (ʿaḏị̄m). The meaning of qaḍīb is ‘rod’ or ‘sceptre’. It is written with ṣade with a dot above it. It is a distinct sound, which resembles dalet rafe. The meaning of ʿaḏ̣īm is ‘huge’. It is written with ṭet with a dot above it. It is a distinct sound, which resembles dalet rafe. … Our master Yiṣḥaq, the son of our master Shlomo, of blessed memory, (i.e. Isaac Israeli) used to say that in the language of the Hebrews among the Tiberians there were (the sounds of) ḏ̣āʾ and ḍād and he used to read ויטע אהלי אפט̇נו (Dan. 11.45, L: וְיִטַּע֙ אָהֳלֶ֣י אַפַּדְנ֔וֹ ‘He will pitch the tents of his palace’), in which he used to pronounce ḏ̣āʾ although dalet was written. He used to read ויצ̇רכו את לשונם (Jer. 9.2, L [BHS]: וַֽיַּדְרְכ֤וּ אֶת־לְשׁוֹנָם֙ ‘they bent their tongue’), in which he pronounced ḍād, although dalet was written. The reason for all this was that he was an expert in the reading of the Tiberians.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH I.1.4)
al-Kitab al-Kafi - Abu al-Faraj

Indeed, in Arabic there are letters that are pronounced with sounds that are not found in Hebrew, such as jīm, ḍād and others. Some teachers, however, when reading אָהֳלֶ֣י אַפַּדְנ֔וֹ ‘the tents of his palace’ (Dan. 11.45) and אֹ֤דֶם פִּטְדָה֙ ‘sardius, topaz’ (Exod. 28.17) pronounce the dalet in them like Arabic ḍād or ẓāʾ and these words sound like אַפַּצְ̇נוֹ and פִּטְצָ̇ה. This, however, does not increase the number of letters, since the dalet has the same form, although the reading of it differs.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.7)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

פִּטְדָה֙

[pitˁˈðˁɔː]

וַֽיַּדְרְכ֤וּ

[vaɟɟɑðˁrˁɑˈχuː]

אַפַּדְנ֔וֹ

[ʔapˁɑðˁˈnoː]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.1.4.

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