Journal or Book Title
Nu / NÅ : A Family of Discourse Markers Across the Languages of Europe and Beyond
Hebrew nu is a non-referential item borrowed into the language in the early days of revival of spoken Hebrew, as is the case for many discourse markers (Schiffrin 1987) in language contact situations (e. g., Brody 1987; Maschler 1988, 1994,2000; Salmons 1990; Matras 1998). Even-Shoshan’s dictionary (2003) classifies it as an interjection and provides the information that nu was “imported from the European languages”, which could be understood as mainly Russian (nu),Yiddish (nu), and possibly Polish (no). Even-Shoshan provides the meanings 'efo (‘therefore’), hava (‘let us’), uvxen (‘well then’) – all words of rather high register. To these meanings, another dictionary (Avneyon 1998) adds a colloquial use: milat zeruz (‘an urging word’) and provides the example: nu kvar, bo! hasha'a me'uxeret! (‘nu already, come! It’s late!’).
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Maschler, Yael and Dori-Hacohen, Gonen, "Hebrew nu: Grammaticization of a borrowed particle from synchronic and diachronic perspectives" (2016). Nu / NÅ : A Family of Discourse Markers Across the Languages of Europe and Beyond. 94.
Retrieved from https://scholarworks.umass.edu/communication_faculty_pubs/94