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Introduction to the Grammar of Hebrew Poetry in Byzantine Palestine


This book investigates the interaction between grammatical norms and poetic technique on the basis of a corpus selected from the oeuvre of the payyetan Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir. As a basis for this investigation, a descriptive/comparative analysis of the Qillirian dialect is offered. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 1-59333-348-X
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 3,2006
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 564
ISBN: 1-59333-348-X
$155.00
$93.00

This work is concerned with investigating a corpus of several thousand lines of poetry, selected from the oeuvre of Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir, a liturgical poet (payyetan) whose period of activity dates to the early seventh century CE. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The aim of this portion is (1) to provide a structural description of the most salient/individuating features of the Qillirian dialect, and (2) to compare the morphological and syntactic data thus gathered with analogous phenomena in Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic Hebrew, thereby establishing the position of the Qillirian dialect within the developmental trajectory of Hebrew in Roman/Byzantine Palestine. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar (e.g., the influence of rhyme on morphology). This portion seeks to integrate a formal analysis of Qillirian poetics into a linguistic evaluation of the Qillirian dialect vis-à-vis its Palestinian contemporaries (including Aramaic and Greek) and antecedents. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated, both as a linguistic and an aesthetic object.

Michael Rand is a recent graduate of the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University (2003), and currently serves as a fellow of the Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry at the Jewish Theological Seminary. His main field of interest is Hebrew philology, in particular the interaction of grammar and poetics in Classical piyyut. Within a wider perspective, he is especially concerned with the evolution of Hebrew poetry, both as a self-contained literary/linguistic phenomenon, as well as in its interaction with other Semitic traditions (e.g., Aramaic, Arabic).

This work is concerned with investigating a corpus of several thousand lines of poetry, selected from the oeuvre of Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir, a liturgical poet (payyetan) whose period of activity dates to the early seventh century CE. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The aim of this portion is (1) to provide a structural description of the most salient/individuating features of the Qillirian dialect, and (2) to compare the morphological and syntactic data thus gathered with analogous phenomena in Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic Hebrew, thereby establishing the position of the Qillirian dialect within the developmental trajectory of Hebrew in Roman/Byzantine Palestine. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar (e.g., the influence of rhyme on morphology). This portion seeks to integrate a formal analysis of Qillirian poetics into a linguistic evaluation of the Qillirian dialect vis-à-vis its Palestinian contemporaries (including Aramaic and Greek) and antecedents. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated, both as a linguistic and an aesthetic object.

Michael Rand is a recent graduate of the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University (2003), and currently serves as a fellow of the Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry at the Jewish Theological Seminary. His main field of interest is Hebrew philology, in particular the interaction of grammar and poetics in Classical piyyut. Within a wider perspective, he is especially concerned with the evolution of Hebrew poetry, both as a self-contained literary/linguistic phenomenon, as well as in its interaction with other Semitic traditions (e.g., Aramaic, Arabic).

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Contributor Biography

Michael Rand

Michael Rand is a graduate of the Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University (2003). He has worked for the Historical Hebrew Dictionary Project of the Academy of the Hebrew Language (2007-2013), and currently holds the position of Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies of the University of Cambridge. His main field of expertise is Classical Hebrew piyyut, together with the manuscripts of the Cairo Genizah in which it is copied. Within a wider perspective, he is especially interested in the evolution of Hebrew poetry, both as a self-contained literary/linguistic phenomenon, as well as in its interaction with other Semitic traditions (e.g., Aramaic, Arabic).

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