[b-hebrew] Aramaic

Trevor Peterson abuian at access4less.net
Sat Mar 12 15:36:51 EST 2005

cmeadows3 at verizon.net wrote:
> Greetings,
> Anyone here familiar with David Marcus' grammar or the volume on "Galilean Aramaic" by Caspar Levias?  Perhaps the Bergstrasser and Brockelmann give a good overview of Aramaic?

Are you talking about Bergstrasser's Introduction to the Semitic 
Languages? It's good, but obviously not as thorough as you'd get from a 
book-length grammar.
> I feel pretty confident with Hebrew and I'm mostly concerned with the biblical era (non-Syriac) Aramaic.  It seems that most of the available grammar just concentrate on the small portions of Aramaic in the bible and ignore the DSS, Targums, and other important writings.

There seems to be some confusion here. (Maybe it's on my part.) You ask 
about Brockelmann (his grammar of Syriac, I assume), then you say that 
you're not interested in Syriac. You're interested in the biblical era, 
which you clarify by saying "non-Syriac," but Galilean Aramaic would be 
roughly the same era as Syriac. You also reference the Targums, which is 
a bit vague, since the Targums span a rather wide period of time, 
overlapping quite a bit with Syriac. I would classify BA as a type of 
Standard Literary Aramaic, which also includes Qumran material and the 
Targums of Onqelos and Yonatan. Bauer & Leander is the only real 
reference grammar on BA, and that's about as good as it gets for SLA in 
general. There are some good articles you could read to fill in some of 
the gaps. Also, I wouldn't completely discount studying the later 
dialects. Since they tend to have the largest bulk of evidence, they 
provide a lot of useful comparisons. That's actually a lot of the reason 
that I didn't restrict the Aramaic list (already referenced by Peter) to 
any subset of Aramaic.

Trevor Peterson

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