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Colin Toffelmire

In A Discourse and Register Analysis of the Prophetic Book of Joel, Colin M. Toffelmire presents a thorough analysis of the text of Joel from the perspective of Systemic Functional Linguistics. While traditional explorations of Joel generally engage the book from an historical or literary perspective, here Toffelmire examines syntactic and semantic patterning in the book, and builds from there toward a description of the linguistic register and context of situation that these linguistic patterns suggest. This work also showcases the usefulness of discourse analysis grounded in Systemic Functional Linguistics for the analysis of ancient texts.

Holocaust Impiety in Jewish American Literature

Memory, Identity, (Post-)Postmodernism

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Joost Krijnen

The Holocaust is often said to be unrepresentable. Yet since the 1990s, a new generation of Jewish American writers have been returning to this history again and again, insisting on engaging with it in highly playful, comic, and “impious” ways. Focusing on the fiction of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander, this book suggests that this literature cannot simply be dismissed as insensitive or improper. It argues that these Jewish American authors engage with the Holocaust in ways that renew and ensure its significance for contemporary generations. These ways, moreover, are intricately connected to efforts of finding new means of expressing Jewish American identity, and of moving beyond the increasingly apparent problems of postmodernism.

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Edited by Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin

This Handbook of Jewish Languages is an introduction to the many languages used by Jews throughout history, including Yiddish, Judezmo (Ladino) , and Jewish varieties of Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Berber, English, French, Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Iranian, Italian, Latin American Spanish, Malayalam, Occitan (Provençal), Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Syriac, Turkic (Karaim and Krymchak), Turkish, and more. Chapters include historical and linguistic descriptions of each language, an overview of primary and secondary literature, and comprehensive bibliographies to aid further research. Many chapters also contain sample texts and images. This book is an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in Jewish languages, and will also be very useful for historical linguists, dialectologists, and scholars and students of minority or endangered languages.

This book is also available as paperback version.

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Edited by Edit Doron

Language Contact and the Development of Modern Hebrew is a first rigorous attempt by scholars of Hebrew to evaluate the syntactic impact of the various languages with which Modern Hebrew was in contact during its formative years. Twenty-four different innovative syntactic constructions of Modern Hebrew are analysed, and shown to originate in previous stages of Hebrew, which, since the third century CE, solely functioned as a scholarly and liturgical language. The syntactic changes in the constructions are traced to the native languages of the first Modern Hebrew learners, and later to further reanalysis by the first generation of native speakers.
The contents of this volume was also published as a special double issue of Journal of Jewish Languages, 3: 1-2 (2015).

Contributors are: Vera Agranovsky, Chanan Ariel, Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal, Miri Bar-Ziv, Isaac Bleaman, Nora Boneh, Edit Doron, Keren Dubnov, Itamar Francez, Roey Gafter, Ophira Gamliel, Yehudit Henshke, Uri Horesh, Olga Kagan, Samir Khalaily, Irit Meir, Yishai Neuman, Abed al-Rahman Mar'i, Malka Rappaport Hovav, Yael Reshef, Aynat Rubinstein, Ora Schwarzwald, Nimrod Shatil, Sigal Shlomo, Ivy Sichel, Moshe Taube, Avigail Tsirkin-Sadan, Shira Wigderson, and Yael Ziv.

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Bernard Spolsky

Until quite recently, the term Diaspora (usually with the capital) meant the dispersion of the Jews in many parts of the world. Now, it is recognized that many other groups have built communities distant from their homeland, such as Overseas Chinese, South Asians, Romani, Armenians, Syrian and Palestinian Arabs. To explore the effect of exile of language repertoires, the article traces the sociolinguistic development of the many Jewish Diasporas, starting with the community exiled to Babylon, and following through exiles in Muslim and Christian countries in the Middle Ages and later. It presents the changes that occurred linguistically after Jews were granted full citizenship. It then goes into details about the phenomenon and problem of the Jewish return to the homeland, the revitalization and revernacularization of the Hebrew that had been a sacred and literary language, and the rediasporization that accounts for the cases of maintenance of Diaspora varieties.

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Edited by Sidnie White Crawford and Cecilia Wassen

The Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran and the Concept of a Library presents twelve articles by renowned experts in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Qumran studies. These articles explore from various angles the question of whether or not the collection of manuscripts found in the eleven caves in the vicinity of Khirbet Qumran can be characterized as a “library,” and, if so, what the relation of that library is to the ruins of Qumran and the group of Jews that inhabited them. The essays fall into the following categories: the collection as a whole, subcollections within the overall corpus, and the implications of identifying the Qumran collection as a library.

Hebrew of the Late Second Temple Period

Proceedings of a Sixth International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira

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Edited by Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar and Pierre van Hecke

The Hebrew of the Late Second Temple Period is directly attested in the Scrolls from Qumran and other manuscripts discovered in the Judaean Desert. Indirectly, it is also found in some manuscripts copied in later times, which still preserve linguistic elements of the Hebrew from the period in which the texts were authored. Often referred to as the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls or Qumran Hebrew, and positioned chronologically between Biblical Hebrew and Mishnaic Hebrew, its nature remains disputed. Some essays in this volume deal with linguistic and philological problems of this Late Second Temple Period Hebrew. Other papers discuss the nature and linguistic profile of the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Verbal System of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Qumran Hebrew Texts

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Ken M. Penner

In The Verbal System of the Dead Sea Scrolls Ken M. Penner determines whether Qumran Hebrew finite verbs are primarily temporal, aspectual, or modal.
Standard grammars claim Hebrew was aspect-prominent in the Bible, and tense-prominent in the Mishnah. But the semantic value of the verb forms in the intervening period in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were written has remained controversial.
Penner answers the question of Qumran Hebrew verb form semantics using an empirical method: a database calculating the correlation between each form and each function, establishing that the ancient author’s selection of verb form is determined not by aspect, but by tense or modality. Penner then applies these findings to controversial interpretations of three Qumran texts.

Devorah Dimant and Donald Parry

Dead Sea Scrolls Handbook presents Hebrew and Aramaic transcriptions of approximately 450 non-biblical texts from Qumran, arranged according to the sequential number of the composition and the Qumran Cave. Thus, the texts are arranged as follows: 1Q14, 1QpHab, 1Q15, 1Q16, 1Q17, and so forth. This arrangement provides straightforward access to the texts in a single volume and facilitates usage of the Handbook. The Handbook’s texts, derived from the works of competent and accomplished Qumran scholars, represent significant contributions to Qumran studies.

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John Emerton

Edited by Graham Davies and Robert Patterson Gordon

John Emerton was Regius Professor of Hebrew at Cambridge University from 1968 to 1995 and is a former Editor of Vetus Testamentum and its Supplements (1975-97). His work is characterised by profound learning and rigorous argument. He published detailed articles on a wide range of subjects, not only on the Hebrew language but also on Biblical texts, Semitic philology and epigraphy, Pentateuchal criticism and other central issues in Biblical scholarship, and biographical essays on some modern scholars. The forty-eight essays in this volume have been selected to provide both an overview of Emerton’s influential work in all these fields and easier access to some items which are no longer readily available.