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This book combines in-depth grammatical analysis with dialectology and typology. It presents important features of Jewish Neo-Aramaic from Dohok (Iraqi Kurdistan), a previously undocumented dialect that is now on the verge of extinction. The first Neo-Aramaic grammar to offer data glossing, this book is accessible for and highly relevant to Semitists, language typologists and historical linguists. It focuses especially on phonology, verbal morphosyntax and syntax. The monograph also highlights features that characterise the wider lišana deni dialect group, which is the most widespread Jewish Neo-Aramaic today. The book leverages the staggering microvariation persisting within North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic to reconstruct the grammaticalisation of some key Neo-Aramaic constructions. It also includes a text sample of prime historiographic value (Jews of Iraq during the Second World War).
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Haim Blanc’s Communal Dialects in Baghdad is one of the most influential works ever written on the on the linguistic diachrony of vernacular Arabic. Based on original fieldwork conducted during the years 1957–1962, this book portaits the extensive regional continuum of modern spoken Arabic stretching across parts of Mesopotamia and N. Syria, evinced by the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian speech communities in Baghdad.
Typos and other mistakes have been corrected in this reprint, which is accompanied by an Editorial Preamble by Alexander Borg and a Foreword by Paul Wexler, and contains references to the original page numbers.
A Minority South Ryukyuan Language of the Miyako Islands
Spoken on Kurima, a miniscule island in the Miyakojima municipality in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, Kurima-Miyako is a South Ryukyuan topolect, a regional variant of the Miyako language. With most fluent speakers aged 80 or older and the island’s depopulation progressing, the topolect of Kurima faces imminent extinction, a reflection of a common pattern in the Ryukyus, whereupon the vernaculars of small islands and isolated remote areas have been facing multifold minorization for decades on the part of the dominant variety/varieties of the area (Shimoji and Hirara in the case of Kurima), Okinawan, and standard Japanese. Responding to the urgent task of producing a comprehensive description while it still has native speakers, the present volume is the first ever attempt at a systemic presentation of the Kurima topolect in any language. It also uses comparative evidence from Ryukyuan and Mainland Japonic languages to provide new proto-language reconstructions and offer insights into the history of Japonic languages.
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At the intersection of Jewish studies and linguistic research, the essays assembled in this book approach the topic of the languages of Sephardic Jews from different perspectives, spanning chronologically from the Middle Ages to the present day. Drawing on diverse sources – from medical glossaries to inquisition archives, from rabbinic responsa to recordings of today's speakers – the scholars collaborating on this project have endeavoured to reconstruct fragments of a complex and elusive linguistic reality, which over the centuries has been shaped by the historical experience of its speakers. An innovative collection of rigorously conducted synchronic and diachronic studies that contributes to expanding our knowledge and opening new perspectives on crucial issues, such as the effects of contact on the linguistic structures, the possibility of a norm for polycentric languages, the relationship between the lexicon of a language and the vitality of its speech community.