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Ancient Languages

  Language Reference: Texts, Grammars, Lexicons, Studies
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A Grammar of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts

The Verb in the Amarna Letters from Canaan

A Grammar of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts by James P. Allen

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A Grammar of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts is designed as a six-volume study of the earliest comprehensive corpus of ancient Egyptian texts, inscribed in the pyramids of five pharaohs of the Old Kingdom (ca. 2325–2150 BC) and several of their queens. The first volume, devoted to the earliest corpus, that of Unis, is based on a database that allows for detailed analysis of the orthography of the texts and every aspect of their grammar; it includes a complete hieroglyphic lexicon of the texts and a consecutive transcription an . . . (more)

The Verb in the Amarna Letters from Canaan by Krzysztof J. Baranowski

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The Amarna letters from Canaan offer us a unique glimpse of the historical and linguistic panorama of the Levant in the middle of the fourteenth century BCE. Their evidence regarding verbs is crucial for the historical and comparative study of the Semitic languages. Proper evaluation of this evidence requires an understanding of its scribal origin and nature. For this reason, The Verb in the Amarna Letters from Canaan addresses the historical circumstances in which the linguistic code of the letters was born and the unique charac . . . (more)

A Handbook of Biblical Hebrew

The Tale of the Poor Man of Nippur

A Handbook of Biblical Hebrew Edited by W. Randall Garr and Steven E. Fassberg

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Biblical Hebrew is studied worldwide by university students, seminarians, and the educated public. It is also studied, almost universally, through a single prism—that of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition, which is the best attested and most widely available tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Thanks in large part to its endorsement by Maimonides, it also became the most prestigious vocalization tradition in the Middle Ages. For most, Biblical Hebrew is synonymous with Tiberian Biblical Hebrew.

There are, however, other vocalization tra . . . (more)

The Tale of the Poor Man of Nippur by Baruch Ottervanger

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The Poor Man of Nippur is a short tale of 160 lines, telling how a poor man wronged by the governor of his city, Nippur, cunningly takes revenge on his abuser and wrongdoer. The story is told in a sympathetic and humorous way, making it captivating and entertaining reading even by modern standards, and it is of exceptional literary value in the context of Ancient Mesopotamia, where similar humorous or satirical compositions are rare. The tale evidently enjoyed great popularity in ancient times, as indicated by the fact that its m . . . (more)

Babel und Bibel 9
The Relative Clause in Biblical Hebrew
Language Change in the Wake of Empire

Babel und Bibel 9

Edited by Leonid Kogan and Natalia V. Koslova

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This is the ninth volume of Babel und Bibel, an annual of ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, and Semitic studies. The principal goal of the annual is to reveal the inherent relationship between Assyriology, Semitics, and biblical studies—a relationship that our predecessors comprehended and fruitfully explored but that is often neglected today. The title Babel und Bibel is intended to point to the possibility of fruitful collaboration among the three disciplines, in an effort to explore the various civilizations of . . . (more)

The Relative Clause in Biblical Hebrew

by Robert D. Holmstedt

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This book is the result of 15 years of research on the ancient Hebrew relative clause as well as the effective application of modern linguistic approaches to an ancient language corpus. Though the ostensible topic is the relative clause, including a full discussion of the various relative words used to introduce Hebrew relative clauses and a detailed presentation of the relevant comparative Semitic data, this work also carefully navigates the challenges of analyzing a “dead” language and offers a methodological road map for the analysis . . . (more)

Language Change in the Wake of Empire

by Aaron Michael Butts

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It is well documented that one of the primary catalysts of intense language contact is the expansion of empire. This is true not only of recent history, but it is equally applicable to the more remote past. An exemplary case (or better: cases) of this involves Aramaic. Due to the expansions of empires, Aramaic has throughout its long history been in contact with a variety of languages, including Akkadian, Greek, Arabic, and various dialects of Iranian. This books focuses on one particular episode in the long history of Aramaic language  . . . (more)