|Title:||Samuel David Luzzatto: Prolegomena to a Grammar of the Hebrew Language|
First published in 1836, Prolegomeni ad una grammatica ragionata della lingua ebraica is perhaps the most important grammatical work of the influential Italian scholar, Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865). Never reprinted and never before fully translated, this long-inaccessible work has become almost unknown. This book, which was intended to serve as an introduction to a comprehensive grammar of Hebrew, treats the history of Hebrew in a variety of ways. Luzzatto begins with a history of Hebrew scholarship, from Talmudic times through the early nineteenth century, including both Jewish and Christian grammarians. Following this wide-ranging survey, which has yet to be superseded, is a brief history of the Hebrew language itself, from its origins to its later manifestations. The remainder of the book is comprised of chapters on various linguistic phenomena of both Hebrew and Aramaic. Among the subjects treated are the nature of the Hebrew and Aramaic vowels (including Syriac), the development of the pointing tradition, and an important treatment of the accentual system. In each of its various chapters, the book is replete with information and innovative insight that is still valuable to the modern scholar. Moreover, in addition to the translation and copious annotations, the translator has added an appendix containing biographical sketches of the roughly 275 Hebrew scholars mentioned by Luzzatto. The book will be of great use to anyone interested in the Hebrew language and its fascinating history.Reviews
"The translator, Aaron D. Rubin, is to be commended for this enterprise, which is an important contribution to the history of Hebrew grammar in two ways: (1) through Luzzatto's enormous erudition we get a rich overview of the scholars who preceded him, from the earliest Puntatori down to his own time; and (2) Luzzatto had a few things to say on the matter himself that, even if outdated, are still worth listening to. This rare work can now reach the larger audience it deserves."--Arian Verheij, University of Amsterdam
"A fascinating and comprehensive overview of the history of rabbinical interest in the Hebrew language."--J. Middlemas, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 31.5 (2007).
Table of Contents
- Translator's Preface
- Samuel David Luzzato
- Previous Translations of the Prolegomeni
- The Present Translation
- Author's Preface
- The Origins and Progression of the Grammar of the Hebrew Language
- History of the Hebrew Language
- Fundamental Laws of the Grammatical Formation of Words
- Article I.
- Article II.
- Article III.
- Appendix I.
- Appendix II.
- Appendix III.
- Appendix IV.
- Appendix V.
- Appendix VI.
- Biographical Appendix