For the first time after D. H. Müller’s pioneering studies of the 1900s, a large body of folklore texts in Soqotri becomes available to the Semitological scholarship. The language is spoken by ca. 100.000 people inhabiting the island Soqotra (Gulf of Aden, Yemen). Soqotri is among the most archaic Semitic languages spoken today, whereas the oral literature of the islanders is a mine of deeply original motifs and plots. Texts appear in transcription, English and Arabic translations, and an Arabic-based native script. Philological annotations deal with grammatical, lexical and literary features, as well as realia. The Glossary accumulates all words attested in the volume. The Plates provide a glimpse into the fascinating landscapes of the island and the traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants.
Vitaly Naumkin, Ph.D. (1972), Dr. Sc. (1981) is the director of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has published books and articles on the Arab and Islamic world in ancient and modern times. Fieldwork researcher on Soqotra since 1974.
Leonid Kogan, Ph.D. (2001), is the head of the Ancient Near Eastern department of the Institute for Oriental and Classical studies, Russian State University for the Humanities. His publications deal with comparative Semitic grammar and etymology. Fieldwork researcher on Soqotra since 2010.
Isa Gumaan al-Daarhi, a primary school teacher in his native tribal area Daarho.
Ahmed Isa al-Daarhi, a bachelor in English, the Soqotra branch of the University of Hadramawt
Dmitry Cherkashin is a lecturer in Classical Arabic in the Institute for Oriental and Classical studies, Russian State University for the Humanities. Fieldwork researcher on Soqotra since 2010.
Maria Bulakh, Ph.D. (2005), is a lecturer in Ethiopian languages in the Institute for Oriental and Classical studies, Russian State University for the Humanities. She has published numerous articles on grammar and lexicon of Geez, modern Ethiopian languages and Semitic in general.
Ekaterina Vizirova is a lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern languages in the Institute for Oriental and Classical studies, Russian State University for the Humanities. Fieldwork researcher on Soqotra since 2012.
We have here a magnificent book, a masterpiece of linguistic and cultural research, devoted to one of the lesser-known living Semitic languages. - Antoine Lonnet in: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung 2017.
All interested in descriptive and comparative Semitic linguistics, Modern South Arabian studies, Middle Eastern oral literature,and the sociolinguistic landscape of Yemen.