By Holger Gzella
Aramaic is a continuing thread operating in the course of the numerous civilizations of the close to East, historical and smooth, from one thousand BCE to the current, and has been the language of small principalities, international empires, and a good percentage of the Jewish-Christian culture. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic background as a continuing evolution from its beginnings to the appearance of Islam. For the 1st time the person levels of the language, their socio-historical underpinnings, and the textual resources are mentioned comprehensively in gentle of the most recent linguistic and historic study and with plentiful recognition to scribal traditions, multilingualism, and language as a marker of cultural self-awareness. Many new observations on Aramaic are thereby built-in right into a coherent ancient framework.
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Extra info for A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Handbook of Oriental Studies, Volume 111)
They are all illustrated by examples from the primary sources themselves that can compensate for the more abstract and purposefully generic presentation here. 1 above) and does not offer any consistent historical reconstruction. 24 chapter 1 traditions (as in vocalized medieval manuscripts), and comparative Semitic data (especially from closely-related languages). They represent abstractions, that is, the “pure” sounds, and should not be confused with the actual pronunciation of the language. Nonetheless, they breathe life into the consonantal skeleton of the script and help distinguish forms that appear identical due to the imperfections of the writing system.
Such as Hebrew, Phoenician, and the small-corpus idioms from Transjordan (Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite). Together with Ugaritic, a regional dialect spoken in a Late Bronze Age city-state on the Syrian coast and attested by many documentary as well as literary texts of local production, Aramaic and Canaanite are now widely considered to constitute three distinct branches of yet another parent, traditionally termed “Northwest Semitic” since the 36 See Huehnergard – Rubin 2011 (especially 264–267) for a balanced and up-to-date account.
Initial /n/, and /l/ in lqḥ ‘to take’, assimilates to the following consonant, and the imperative is formed on a biradical basis (/qaḥ/). 3 below on the “imperfect”). Some roots with a base vowel other than */i/ have sound “imperfect” forms that preserve initial /y/, such as yyṭb ‘it pleases’ (Ezra 7:18). Original rootinitial */w/, which had merged with initial /y/ in the whole of Northwest Semitic, was preserved in C-stem forms. Verbs with a long second radical (“geminate roots”) lengthen the first instead of the second root consonant in some forms (cf.
A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Handbook of Oriental Studies, Volume 111) by Holger Gzella