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The Dispersion

A History of the Word Diaspora

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Stéphane Dufoix

Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

In The Dispersion, Stéphane Dufoix skillfully traces how the word “diaspora”, first coined in the third century BCE, has, over the past three decades, developed into a contemporary concept often considered to be ideally suited to grasping the complexities of our current world. Spanning two millennia, from the Septuagint to the emergence of Zionism, from early Christianity to the Moravians, from slavery to the defence of the Black cause, from its first scholarly uses to academic ubiquity, from the early negative connotations of the term to its contemporary apotheosis, Stéphane Dufoix explores the historical socio-semantics of a word that, perhaps paradoxically, has entered the vernacular while remaining poorly understood.

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Edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović

The volume presents a selection of research projects in Digital Humanities applied to the “Biblical Studies” in the widest sense and context, including Early Jewish and Christian studies, hence the title “Ancient Worlds”. Taken as a whole, the volume explores the emergent Digital Culture at the beginning of the 21st century. It also offers many examples which attest to a change of paradigm in the textual scholarship of “Ancient Worlds”: categories are reshaped; textuality is (re-) investigated according to its relationships with orality and visualization; methods, approaches and practices are no longer a fixed conglomeration but are mobilized according to their contexts and newly available digital tools.

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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.

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.

Edited by Outi Bat-El

The joint enterprise between research in theoretical linguistics and the acquisition of phonology and morphology is the focus of this volume, which provides fresh data from Hebrew, evaluates old issues and addresses new ones. The volume includes articles on segmental phonology (vowel harmony and consonant harmony), prosodic phonology (the prosodic word, onsets and codas), and phonological errors in spelling. It attempts to bridge the gap between phonology and morphology with articles on the development of filler syllables and the effect of phonology on the development of verb inflection. It also addresses morphology, as well as the development of morphological specification and the assignment of gender in L2 Hebrew. The data are drawn from typically and atypically developing children, using longitudinal and cross-sectional experimental methods.

Illuminating Moses

A History of Reception from Exodus to the Renaissance

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Edited by Jane Beal

In Illuminating Moses: A History of Reception, readers discover the roles of Moses from the Exodus to the Renaissance--law-giver, prophet, writer--and their impact on Jewish and Christian cultures as seen in the Hebrew Bible, Patristic writings, Catholic liturgy, Jewish philosophy and midrashim, Anglo-Saxon literature, Scholastics and Thomas Aquinas, Middle English literature, and the Renaissance.
Contributors are Jane Beal, Robert D. Miller II, Tawny Holm, Christopher A. Hall, Luciana Cuppo-Csaki, Haim Kreisel, Rachel S. Mikva, Devorah Schoenfeld, Gernot Wieland, Deborah Goodwin, Franklin T. Harkins, Gail Ivy Berlin, and Brett Foster.

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Edited by Claire Clivaz, Andrew Gregory and David Hamidović

Ancient texts, once written by hand on parchment and papyrus, are now increasingly discoverable online in newly digitized editions, and their readers now work online as well as in traditional libraries. So what does this mean for how scholars may now engage with these texts, and for how the disciplines of biblical, Jewish and Christian studies might develop? These are the questions that contributors to this volume address. Subjects discussed include textual criticism, palaeography, philology, the nature of ancient monotheism, and how new tools and resources such as blogs, wikis, databases and digital publications may transform the ways in which contemporary scholars engage with historical sources. Contributors attest to the emergence of a conscious recognition of something new in the way that we may now study ancient writings, and the possibilities that this new awareness raises.

Edited by Geoffrey Khan, Shmuel Bolozky, Steven E. Fassberg, Gary A. Rendsburg, Aaron D. Rubin, Ora R. Schwarzwald and Tamar Zewi

The Hebrew language has one of the longest attested histories of any of the world’s languages, with records of its use from antiquity until modern times. Although it ceased to be a spoken language by the 2nd century C.E., Hebrew continued to be used and to develop in the form of a literary and liturgical language until its revival as a vernacular in the 20th century.
In a four volume set, complete with index, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of all aspects of the history and study of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day. The encyclopedia contains overview articles that provide a readable synopsis of current knowledge of the major periods and varieties of the Hebrew language as well as thematically-organized entries which provide further information on individual topics, such as the Hebrew of various sources (texts, manuscripts, inscriptions, reading traditions), major grammatical features (phonology, morphology, and syntax), lexicon, script and paleography, theoretical linguistic approaches, and so forth. With over 950 entries and approximately 400 contributing scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics is the authoritative reference work for students and researchers in the fields of Hebrew linguistics, general linguistics, Biblical studies, Hebrew and Jewish literature, and related fields.

The online version of the EHLL can be found here.