By Holger Gzella
Aramaic is a continuing thread working throughout the quite a few civilizations of the close to East, historic and glossy, from a thousand BCE to the current, and has been the language of small principalities, global empires, and a good proportion of the Jewish-Christian culture. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic historical past as a continuing evolution from its beginnings to the arrival 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 ancient study and with considerable realization 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 old framework.
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Extra resources for A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Handbook of Oriental Studies, Volume 111)
46 Some salient developments will be discussed more systematically in the following Section. Together, this part of the present volume can be seen as a prolegomenon to a still unwritten comprehensive historical grammar of Aramaic down to the spread of Islam, with a focus on the early period. ). 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.
Arabic ʾanta. M. Al-Jallad kindly points out to me). e. 3 below). The earlier etymological spelling hʾ for the masculine and feminine third-person singular forms points to an original final glottal stop, which nonetheless disappeared already during the early Old Aramaic period. On forms in /-m/, which are used in the sense of ‘the same’ or ‘the above-mentioned’ in Achaemenid Official Aramaic, see now Naveh – Shaked 2012: 208–209. 2 for a brief discussion). As in other Semitic languages, nouns and adjectives basically belong to a series of fixed templates of abstract, mostly consonantal, roots with different vowel sequences and partly also pre- and affixes.
2011. 3 below). At the same time, the gap between the philologicalhistorical investigation of the older varieties and descriptive-linguistic research on modern Aramaic has widened: the former bears greater resemblance to the text-based study of other ancient languages that focuses on individual details, whereas the latter connects more closely with the systematic analysis of other unwritten far-away idioms. A survey of the ground covered thus far suggests that future research on Aramaic will increasingly address more specific and comparative issues that feature less prominently in the time-honoured framework of philological grammars.
A Cultural History of Aramaic: From the Beginnings to the Advent of Islam (Handbook of Oriental Studies, Volume 111) by Holger Gzella