LIOR 05: Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages

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Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages

De Lacy O'Leary, D.D.

Already in the eleventh Century A.D. the Rabbi Jehuda Hayyug (Abu Zakaria Yahya) began to apply the methods of the Arabic grammarians to Hebrew and thus unconsciously laid the foundation of the comparative philology of the Semitic languages. It was already known that a close relationship existed between Aramaic and Hebrew, but it was commonly supposed that Aramaic was a corruption from Hebrew. Theological prepossessions inclined the Jews to regard Hebrew as the parent, not only of Aramaic and Arabic, but of all other languages as well, and this opinion was generally adopted by Christian writers also. Even this view, however, admitted that a much closer relationship existed between Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic, than between Hebrew and any other language; and to this closely related group a fourth member, Ethiopic, was added in the seventeenth Century, the name Ethiopic being used by Europeans to designate Ge'ez, the ancient classical language of Abyssinia. The decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions in the nineteenth Century added Babylonian-Assyrian as a fifth member (adopted from the introduction of 1928 edition).

Contents: I. The Semitic Languages (The Semitic Group, Babylonia and Assyria, Canaan, Aramaic, Arabic (Hijaz dialect, Nejd, Iraq, Syria and Palestine, Egypt, North Afriea, Malta, Hadramaut, Oman, Southern Arabic), Abyssinian. II. The Consonant sounds. III. Temporary Modifications of Consonants. IV. The Vowels. V. Temporary Modifications of Vowel Sounds. VI. Temporory Syllabic Changes. VII. The Personal Pronoun. VIII. Demonstrative Pronouns. IX. Relative and Interrogative Pronouns. X. The Noun. XI. The Verb. XII. The particles.

This re-edition has been published as no. 05 in the LINCOM Orientalia (LIOR) series (originally published 1928, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., author's affiliation: Lecturer in Aramaic, Bristol University).

ISBN 9783895862410. LINCOM Orientalia 05. 298pp. 2010.

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