The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues with other people, some of whom are rabbis with considerable clout in the Orthodox community, and so I have some ideas, including some opinions already partially formed, but there are still issues that remain to be solved, if that's the right word to use. So I'm throwing out a series of closely related questions to the community to discuss:
Why are there differing traditions in the pronunciation of Hebrew? Is one more correct than another? If they are all equally valid, ie, if they all developed along a reasonable pattern over the course of history, as many languages do, does it matter if you decide to pray using a different Hebrew pronunciation than you were taught, or should you stick with the tradition of your home and/or teacher(s)? (On that point, is preference given to the tradition of one's family or one's teacher(s), if they differ?)
Furthermore, if your family has no tradition of Hebrew pronunciation (ie, you converted, or you grew up in a home that did not practice/pray), should you do due diligence to figure out what is the "most correct" tradition, or should you go with the tradition of a friend or a teacher you've met? Or should you try to find out what tradition your family might have had if they had practiced over the past couple of generations (ie, if your family over the past couple of centuries lived in Morrocco, they would have had a different tradition than if they had lived in Lithuania)?
A lot of broad issues, I know. What do you think?