From a halachik perspective, what are the correct ways to pronounce the ג (gimel)? Are there variant traditions? Is there an academic/linguistic opinion on how it was most likely pronounced from the time of the giving of the Torah to the writing of the Talmud? How old are the 2 variant pronunciations of the gimel (with and without a dagesh)? What are the earliest references to this distinction? Is there any halachik significance to pronouncing it one way over the other? Is it just considered a hiddur (beautification of the commandment)?

  • Please include in this and any similar questions what you seek beyond the wikipedia page of the letter in question. – Double AA Jun 1 '15 at 4:22
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    Why did you stop at gimmel? ;) – intuit Jun 1 '15 at 20:52
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    g and gh are accepted by linguists. although j is how teimonim from sanaa pronounce it. j and gh, and although the j goes back to the babylonian captivity if not older, it is still not the way linguists say it is said to be pronounced. in arabic it is j and gh as well but the egpytians and adenites and some other group pronounce it as g and gh. vocaroo.com/i/s1yok1WxXHai here is my arabic pronunciation of the letters and here is the hebrew vocaroo.com/i/s1qIdB0rP4Yg – MoriDowidhYa3aqov Jun 1 '15 at 23:35
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    Linguists agree that ג was [g] historically. Under Aramaic influence, ungeminated ג preceded by a vowel became [ɣ]. The latter sound was lost (or perhaps never gained) by some pronunciation traditions. Some Yemenite dialects adopted [d͡ʒ] for גּ from the local Arabic dialect. – Argon Aug 11 '17 at 2:41

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