This book contains a comprehensive grammatical description of Mehri, an unwritten Semitic language spoken in the Dhofar region of Oman, along with a corpus of more than one hundred texts. Topics in phonology, all aspects of morphology, and a variety of syntactic features are covered. The texts, presented with extensive commentary, were collected by the late T.M. Johnstone. Some are published here for the first time, while the rest have been newly edited and translated, based on the original manuscripts. Semitists, linguists, and anyone interested in the folklore of southern Arabia will find much valuable data and analysis in this volume, which is the most detailed grammatical study of a Modern South Arabian language yet published.
Aaron D. Rubin, Ph.D. (2004) Harvard University, is Professor of Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Jewish Studies, and Linguistics at Penn State University. He has published widely on the Semitic languages, including numerous books and articles. His grammar of Jibbali appeared in 2014 (Brill).
"To conclude, this book is undoubtedly a very important work for MSAL and Semitic studies as a whole."
- Fabio Gasparini, Orientalische Literaturzeitung, Vol. 114, Iss. 6, 2019, pp. 463-466
Preface Acknowledgements List of Texts Abbreviations and Symbols Text Citation A Note on Transcription and Translation
1 Introduction 1.1 Previous Scholarship on Mehri and MSA 1.2 Dialects of Mehri 1.3 The Position of Mehri within MSA 1.4 The Position of MSA in Semitic 1.5 Johnstone’s Mehri Texts 1.6 Johnstone’s Audio Material 1.7 This Grammar
13 Some Syntactic Features 13.1 Copular (Non-Verbal) Sentences 13.2 Negation 13.3 Expressing ‘have’ 13.4 Conditionals 13.5 Subordination 13.6 Interrogative Clauses
14 Johnstone’s Texts from Ali Musallam
Appendix A: Texts 54 and 65 with Morpheme Glossing Appendix B: Texts 54 and 65 in Arabic Script Appendix C: Supplement to Johnstone’s Mehri Lexicon Appendix D: Additions and Corrections to The Jibbali Language of Oman: Grammar and Texts Bibliography Index of Passages Index of Select Mehri Words
All those interested in the languages and peoples of southern Arabia, those working in comparative Semitics, and even general linguists. The texts should also be of interest to folklorists and anthropologists.