YODH

י

VOICED PALATAL UNROUNDED SEMI-VOWEL [j]

Tiberian Hebrew yodh is pronounced like English "y".

[j]

י

Hidayat al-Qari

So, the total number of places of articulation are six, five primary and one secondary. The middle of the tongue is the place of articulation of five letters, namely גיכרק.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.6)
Hidayat al-Qari

Know that when you pronounce (the word) שִׁין, you pronounce three letters from three different places of articulation, the shin from the teeth, the yod from the middle of the tongue, in its wide part, and the nun from the extremity of the tongue and the flesh of the teeth.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.8)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

יְסוֹד

[jaˈsoːoð]

אֵלַי

[ʔeːˈlaːaj]

אֲרָיוֹת

[ʔaʀ̟ɔːˈjoːoθ]

יוֹם

[ˈjoːom]

GEMINATED VOICED PALATAL STOP [ɟɟ]

Yodh with dagesh (i.e., doubled/geminated yodh) is not just held for a longer duration than yodh without dagesh, but it is also pronounced stronger. When you pronounce regular yodh, you let the air continue to flow just like when pronouncing English "y". However, when you pronounced yodh with dagesh, you need to stop the airflow almost as if you were pronouncing "g". This is actually a very important pronunciation difference to observe, since it occurs so frequently in the 3M vayyiqtol verbal forms.

[ɟɟ]

יּ

Commentary on Sefer Yesira

As for jīm, it is in between gimel and yod. This is why the Tiberians pronounce it [i.e. jīm] when (reading) yod with dagesh.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH I.1.10)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

חַיִּ֔ים

[ħaɟˈɟiːim]

יָּלָ֣ה

[ʔaɟɟɔːˈlɔː]

וַיַּשְׁמֵ֣ד

[vaɟɟaʃˈmeːeð]

וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב

[vaɟɟiχˈtʰoːov]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.1.10.

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