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א (Hebrew letter alef)
In Modern Israeli Hebrew, א (’), “‘alef’”) represents either a glottal stop (IPA: /ʔ/), or has no pronunciation besides that of the vowel attached to it. The pronunciation varies from group to group.
א (’), “‘alef’”)—along with the other gutteral letters, ע (ʿ), “‘ayin’”), ר (r), “‘resh’”), ה (h), “‘he’”), and ח (ḥ), “‘hḥêṯ’”)—cannot receive a dagesh (the dot in בּ (b), “‘bet’”), which can appears in most other Hebrew letters), although there are rare examples where the Masoretes added a dagesh to it.
א (’), “‘alef’”) is sometimes used to denote a vowel (usually IPA: /a/) in words of Aramaic and Arabic origin, in foreign names, and in some other borrowed words.
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