Hebrew is a living, vivid and dynamic language, with deep roots and a long and unique history. The department aims to equip its students with a thorough and wide-ranging theoretical and methodical basis for the study of language. Hebrew is studied and examined in the department from a variety of perspectives: the study of the sounds of the language (phonetics and phonology), the study of the structure of words (morphology), the study of phrases and clauses (syntax), the study of meaning in language (semantics), as well as discourse analysis and pragmatics, focusing on the study of spoken Hebrew grammar and interaction and on the study of language use in context.
Our students also become acquainted with various historical stages of Hebrew: Biblical, Rabbinic, Medieval, and Contemporary Hebrew. The historical perspective is further expanded in courses focusing on other Semitic languages and on the place of Hebrew within the Semitic language family. In addition, some courses take a multi-disciplinary approach to Hebrew, studying it as a basic communication tool which interfaces with other fields such as language and society, language and communication, language and psychology, language and law.
The graduate studies (MA) constitute a natural continuation of the undergraduate studies. They aim to widen and deepen the knowledge and understanding of the study of the Hebrew Language: the various historical periods of Hebrew, the Semitic languages, the versatility and variability of Contemporary Hebrew, general linguistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis with a special emphasis on the study of spoken Hebrew grammar and interaction. Our graduate studies aim at strengthening students’ use of research methods employed in Hebrew philology and linguistics, in order to train them to become independent scholars in those fields, and as a basis for instruction in high school.