[b-hebrew] Learning Ugaritic

Reinhard G. Lehmann lehmann at uni-mainz.de
Tue May 22 15:25:24 EDT 2007


learning Ugaritic is really helpful if you have a generative knowledge 
of Hebrew, i.e. if you are aware of its pre-masoretic morphology. 
Without that, learning Ugaritic can be really frustrating because you 
always are itching for vowels, which are not there.

Using Ugaritic for hebrew studies is useful but deserves caution, 
because there is no direct link between them. Phoenician, though one of 
the worst known semitic languages at all, is more close and more 
important to Biblical, or Ancient Hebrew.

In my Ugaritic class at Mainz University, we use:
1. Josef Tropper, Ugaritisch. KurzgefassteGrammatik mit ?bungstexten und 
Glossar, Münster 2002 (ELO 1)
2. Josef Tropper, Ugaritische Grammatik, Münster 2000 (AOAT 273)

The short Tropper book is very useful because it is an extract from 
Tropper's main 2000 reference grammar of about thousand pages, which is 
a research grammar appropriate for advanced courses and for research. If 
ever there are any questions left open in the short textbook, it is easy 
to skip into the big one because almost the paragraphing is the same or 
at least similar.

Although Tropper's big grammar is not easy to use, it can be said that  
is the most up to date Ugaritic grammar you can get, and for most 
difficult passages you find an explanation or translation in it. The 
registers are exhausting!

A terrible big 'review' of the big Tropper grammar by Pardee you can 
download from

For reference, also do not miss mark Smith's wonderful bibliography:

Having the two Troppers, Pardee, and Smith together, you will miss 
nothing that is really important.

Reinhard G. Lehmann

Josef Tropper,
> Message: 1
> Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 17:45:44 -0700
> From: "particle wave" <particle.wave at gmail.com>
> Subject: [b-hebrew] Learning Ugaritic
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Message-ID:
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> Greetings all,
> First, since I'm fairly new to the list, a little bit of introduction.
> I grew up a moderately religious Jew and while I studied the Tanakh
> and Talmud in their Hebrew and Aramaic forms, respectively, I was
> never really taught anything about the grammar of Biblical Hebrew or
> Talmudic Aramaic. I did learn Modern Hebrew grammar, though it took a
> semester and a half of Classical Arabic in college to make the Hebrew
> grammar gel (thank you Arabic pronunciations of ayin, tet and qof).
> My interest in semitic linguistics started when I spent a semester
> simultaneously taking classes on Modern Hebrew Grammar, Classical
> Arabic and some text study of both the Talmud and some Dead Sea
> Scrolls material. This interest has been largely dormant for the last
> dozen plus years but was recently rekindled by a debate with a friend
> over Ashkenazi Hebrew pronunciation that led to binge-reading on
> linguistics in general. I'm now looking at applying to school to
> formally study linguistics with a focus on Semitic languages.
> So, in the meantime, I'm taking a stab at Ugaritic. I just got my copy
> of Segert's book and have been digging in.  My Hebrew is pretty much
> shot at this point (though more use of it will bring a lot back pretty
> quickly) and what little Arabic and Aramaic I learned in school is
> long gone now. I'm meeting later this week with a friend who's a
> speech pathologist to walk through the phonology as described in the
> book. I'm wondering what other resources people on the list might be
> able to recommend. I've poked around on the net a bit and found an
> online course at the Quartz Hill School of Theology
> [http://www.theology.edu/ugraintr.htm] but it doesn't seem to add much
> other than lists of words to memorize and some reading comprehension
> tests. These both seem like good ideas and I'll use them but I'm
> wondering what other books and resources people might recommend.
> Thanks,
>      Amir Rosenblatt
>      Seattle, WA

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