[b-hebrew] Gotthelf Bergstrasser

cmeadows3 at verizon.net cmeadows3 at verizon.net
Sun Jun 25 16:03:44 EDT 2006


I bought this book last year.  Basically is it what it says it is.  It gives some specimens of script form semitic languages, including Aramaic, Hebrew, Hebrew with Babylonian vowel pointing, Arabic, Ethiopic, Akkadian, Ugaritic and perhaps a few others.  It is organized into chapters, one for each language.  The text is given, sometimes with phonetic pronunciation.  There is some commentary made to the peculiarities of the given language and its similarities and differences when compared to other semitic languages.  It is an interesting book - but I must admnit I don't use it much.  It is written for a reader with significant linguistic knowledge.  I found John Kaltner's "Beyond Babel" to be of similar scope but easier to read - but Kaltner does not give the nice "text specimens" in original script that Bergstrasser does.

Charles Meadows
Asst Professor
Marshall University

>From: Chris and Nel <wattswestmaas at eircom.net>
>Date: Fri Jun 23 15:18:05 CDT 2006
>To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
>Subject: [b-hebrew] Gotthelf Bergstrasser

>Hallo Members of the board,  I'm back again (though my absence was 
>undoubtedly appreciated since I am known for constantly asking questions and 
>never being able to give answers) Now I am looking for some insider 
>information about a book which I am sure most of you have on your 
>Introduction to the Semitic Languages
>Text Specimens and Grammatical Sketches
>by Gotthelf BergstrasserPaperback 276 pages (June 1995)
>Translated by Peter T. Daniels ISBN: 093146417X
>My question is simple, is this book full of linguistic science and detailed 
>grammatical analysis - which is then very much a no-go area for me.  Or 
>could it be well beneficial to someone at an elementary level who wants to 
>familiarise himeself but not TOO deeply bogged down in masses of case ending 
>variations and phoneme replacements in a complex array of different semitic 
>dialects?  I understand that it is comparative semitic languages through 
>charts and sketches (further information i can not find) and the only review 
>I could find was that only people with certain linguistic knowledge would 
>appreciate Gotthelf's analysis?!?!?.  Yet I am eager to find out more about 
>the Minaean scripts and the "proto-semitic" scripts, and northwest semitics 
>in general.  Unfortunately the web can only take me so far since I do not 
>have access to all those university archives and papers written by so many. 
>Looking at wadi el hol and serabet el Khadim all day is the best that I can 
>find along with some phonecian (although I prefer to name it educated 
>So any advice would be appreciated since this book is very expensive in 
>England and you can not even buy it in Ireland.
>Thanking you
>Chris Watts
>b-hebrew mailing list
>b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org

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