Facets of Hebrew and Semitic linguistics

Fall 2013, LING 214/614 and JDST 215/675, Yale University
Lecturer: Tamás Biró
Online Course Information

Course description




Handout 1: August 29.

Handout 2: September 3. Slides in ppt or pdf formats.

Handout 3: September 10.

A note on Reconstructing a family tree.

Handout 4: September 12. Slides in ppt or pdf formats.

Handout 5: September 17.

Handout 6: September 24. Slides in ppt or pdf formats.

Home work assigned on October 3rd.

Handout 7: October 10.

Hebrew verbal paradigms (October 15).

Handout 8: October 22. with a table of the realizations of Hebrew graphemes in traditional pronunciations.

Midterm take-home exam (due on October 31).

Handout 9: November 5.



(Most of them are password protected.)

Patrick R. Bennett: Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual. Eisenbrauns, 1998.
Pages 1 – 18: Cover pages, intro and Part 1.
Pages 19 – 33: Parts 2 and 3.
Pages 34 – 55: Parts 4 and 5.
Pages 56 – 67, 119 – 126: Parts 6, 7, Conclusion and Biblography.
Pages 68 – 93: Paradigms A and B.
Pages 94 – 126: Paradigms C and Bibliography.
Pages 127 – 129: Wordlist A.
Pages 130 – 142: Wordlist B.
Pages 232 – 249: Wordlist G/H/I. Also in original A3 format.

Robert Hetzron: Two principles of genetic reconstruction. Lingua 38.2 (1976): 89-108.
Link to publisher (freely available from Yale domain) or local copy.

Sabatino Moscati (ed.). An Introduction to the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages: Phonology and Morphology.
Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1964 (and later printings).
A useful (even if not up-to-date!) summary of the Semitic languages on pp. 1-21 (password protected download).
The whole book is an important reference work for anyone interested in Semitic linguistics.

John Huehnergard: 'Introduction'. In: John Kaltner and Steven L. McKenzie (eds.):
Beyond Babel: A Handbook for Biblical Hebrew and Related Languages. SBL 2002. Pp. 1-18.
The whole book is highly recommended to those specializing on Biblical studies or antiquities.
Download (passwd protected; page numbers missing – sorry for it).

Chaim Rabin: A Short History of the Hebrew Language. Orot publication, 1973.
Internet edition, 2005. Local copy (passwd protected).

Robert Hetzron, Alan S. Kaye, Paul Newman (and others) on Afroasiatic languages,
in: Bernard Comrie (ed.). The Major Languages of South Asia, The Middle East and Africa. Routledge: London, 1987.
Local copy (passwd protected).

Thomas O. Lambdin: Introduction to Biblical Hebrew. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1971. Introduction (pp. xiii-xiv).

Steiner, Richard C: On the Dating of Hebrew Sound Changes (Ḫ> Ḥ and Ġ>˓) and Greek Translations (2 Esdras and Judith). Journal of Biblical Literature (2005): 229-267. Download.

Articles from the Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd Edition): Alphabet, Hebrew,   Hebrew Language,   Jewish Languages,   Pronunciations of Hebrew.

Asher, Moshe Bar: Mishnaic Hebrew: An Introductory Survey. Hebrew Studies (1999): 115-151. Download.

Benor, Sarah Bunin: Towards a New Understanding of Jewish Language in the Twenty-First Century. Religion Compass 2.6 (2008): 1062-1080. Download.

Joseph Shimron (ed.): Language Processing and Acquisition in Languages of Semitic, Root-based, Morphology. John Benjamins: Amsterdam, 2002.
   Front matters: Download.
   Joseph Shimron: Semitic languages: Are they really root-based? (Chapter 1). Download.
   Shmuel Bolozky: The ‘roots’ of denominative Hebrew verbs (Chapter 7). Download.

Benjamin Harshav: Essay on Multilingualism. In: Marvin Herzog et al. (eds.), Eydes. Tübingen: Niemeyer, 2008. Download.

Safran, William: Language and nation-building in Israel: Hebrew and its rivals. Nations and Nationalism 11.1 (2005): 43-63. Download.

Henshke, Yehudit: The Contribution of the Hebrew Component in Judeo-Languages to the Revival of Spoken Hebrew. Revue des Études Juives 172.1-2 (2013): 169-187. Download.

Zuckermann, Ghilad: “Abba, why was Professor Higgins trying to teach Eliza to speak like our cleaning lady?”: Mizrahim, Ashkenazim, Prescriptivism and the Real Sounds of the Israeli Language. Australian Journal of Jewish Studies 19 (2005): 210-31. Download.
Zuckermann, Ghilad: A New Vision for “Israeli Hebrew”: Theoretical and Practical Implications of Analysing Israel’s Main Language as a Semi-Engineered Semito-European Hybrid Language. Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 5.1: 57-71.

More to come gradually...



On the RAM Tanakh (Modern Hebrew translation of the Hebrew Bible):
local copies of the JPost article of Ghilad Zuckermann and Shira Leibowitz Schmid.

TDS IPA console (for typing phonetic characters).

Tyndale Archive of Biblical Studies: classic dictionaries online.

Jewish Languages Research Website.