In the Beginning : A Short History of the Hebrew Language

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In the Beginning : A Short History of the Hebrew Language

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 263 p.
  • 言語 ENG
  • 商品コード 9780814736906
  • DDC分類 296

Full Description


Decodes the long history of Hebrew and its influential place as the ancestor of many modern written languagesHebrew as a language is just over 3,000 years old, and the story of its alphabet is unique among the languages of the world. Hebrew set the stage for almost every modern alphabet, and was arguably the first written language simple enough for everyone, not just scribes, to learn, making it possible to make a written record available to the masses for the first time.Written language has existed for so many years-since around 3500 BCE-that most of us take it for granted. But as Hoffman reveals in this entertaining and informative work, even the idea that speech can be divided into units called "words" and that these words can be represented with marks on a page, had to be discovered. As Hoffman points out, almost every modern system of writing descends from Hebrew; by studying the history of this language, we can learn a good deal about how we express ourselves today.Hoffman follows and decodes the adventure that is the history of Hebrew, illuminating how the written record has survived, the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient translations, and attempts to determine how the language actually sounded. He places these developments into a historical context, and shows their continuing impact on the modern world.This sweeping history traces Hebrew's development as one of the first languages to make use of vowels. Hoffman also covers the dramatic story of the rebirth of Hebrew as a modern, spoken language.Packed with lively information about language and linguistics and history, In the Beginning is essential reading for both newcomers and scholars interested in learning more about Hebrew and languages in general.

Table of Contents

        List of Tables                             xi
List of Figures xiii
Acknowledgments xv
I Getting Started
Introduction 3 (4)
Rules of the Game 7 (8)
Three Theories of the World 7 (1)
Two Theories of Language 8 (2)
Loose Ends 10 (5)
Transliterations 10 (1)
Other Matters of Notation 10 (5)
II Antiquity
Writing 15 (24)
A Difficult Task 15 (2)
Non-alphabetic Writing 17 (6)
Logographs 17 (2)
Syllabic Writing 19 (1)
Consonantal Writing 20 (3)
The First Hebrew Alphabetic Writing 23 (5)
Adding Vowels 23 (1)
The Old Script and the New Script 24 (1)
How It Worked 25 (1)
Why Did It Take So Long? 26 (2)
How Do We Know? 28 (11)
The Question 28 (1)
The Answers 28 (7)
Summary 35 (4)
Magic Letters and the Name of God 39 (10)
Magic Letters 39 (5)
Setting the Stage 39 (1)
The Magic H 40 (4)
The Name of God 44 (5)
The Masoretes 49 (32)
Why We Care 49 (1)
The Masoretic Groups 50 (17)
Tiberias 52 (9)
Babylonia 61 (4)
The Land of Israel 65 (1)
Other Systems 66 (1)
What Were the Masoretes Doing? 67 (9)
What Did the Masoretes Try to Do? 68 (2)
What Did the Masoretes Really Do? 70 (6)
Conclusions 76 (1)
How Do We Know? 76 (5)
The Leningrad Codex 76 (2)
The Aleppo Codex 78 (1)
Other Manuscripts 78 (1)
Descriptions of the Manuscripts 79 (2)
Pronunciation 81 (40)
Methods 81 (9)
Comparison with Modern Hebrew 82 (1)
Comparison with Masoretic Hebrew 82 (3)
Comparison with Other Semitic Languages 85 (1)
Comparison with Ancient Greek 85 (1)
Transliterations 86 (4)
The Septuagint and Hebrew 90 (12)
A First Example 91 (3)
General Patterns 94 (5)
Doubled Letters 99 (2)
Summary 101 (1)
Origen's Hexapla and Hebrew 102 (14)
What Is the Hexapla? 102 (2)
A First Example 104 (1)
Some More Background 105 (1)
General Patterns 106 (7)
What Is the Secunda Columna? 113 (3)
Summary 116 (1)
Conclusions 116 (5)
III Moving On
The Dead Sea Scrolls 121 (28)
Background 121 (14)
How Did We Get Them? 122 (7)
Are They Real? 129 (1)
What Are the Dead Sea Scrolls? 130 (4)
Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? 134 (1)
What Do We Learn from the Dead Sea 135 (14)
Scrolls?
The Hebrew of the DSS 136 (5)
The Content of the DSS 141 (6)
The Big Picture 147 (2)
Dialects in the Bible 149 (16)
Late Biblical Hebrew 150 (7)
Overview 150 (1)
Vowel Letters 150 (3)
Grammar 153 (1)
Caveats 154 (3)
The Nature of the Evidence 157 (1)
External Evidence 158 (3)
Pre-Exilic Hebrew 158 (2)
Post-Exilic Hebrew 160 (1)
Ramifications 161 (4)
Ancient Texts 162 (1)
Ancient Texts from Different Sources 162 (3)
Post-Biblical Hebrew 165 (22)
Background 165 (7)
Aramaic 166 (6)
Greek 172 (1)
Rabbinic Hebrew 172 (8)
Where Do We See Rabbinic Hebrew? 173 (2)
On Variety 175 (1)
The Nature of Rabbinic Hebrew 176 (4)
Conclusions 180 (1)
Non-Spoken Hebrew 180 (7)
IV Now
Modern Hebrew 187 (24)
The Fire of Love for Hebrew 187 (3)
Periods of Modern Hebrew 190 (4)
Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew 191 (1)
Early Israeli Hebrew 191 (2)
Current Israeli Hebrew 193 (1)
Ben-Yehuda's Hebrew 194 (6)
Pronunciation 194 (2)
Vocabulary 196 (1)
Grammar 197 (2)
Spelling 199 (1)
Early Israeli Hebrew 200 (2)
Pronunciation 200 (1)
Vocabulary 200 (2)
Grammar 202 (1)
Spelling 202 (1)
Current Israeli Hebrew 202 (9)
Pronunciation 203 (2)
Vocabulary 205 (2)
Grammar 207 (1)
Spelling 208 (3)
Keep Your Voice from Weeping 211 (6)
V Appendices
A More about the Rules of the Game 217 (12)
Three Theories of the World 217 (6)
The Dumb-Luck Theory 217 (1)
The God Theory 218 (1)
The Science Theory 219 (4)
Two Theories of Language 223 (6)
Prescriptive Linguistics 223 (2)
Descriptive Linguistics 225 (4)
B Further Reading 229 (16)
General 230 (1)
Rules 231 (1)
Writing 232 (3)
Magic Letters and the Name of God 235 (1)
Masoretes 236 (1)
Pronunciation 237 (2)
The Dead Sea Scrolls 239 (3)
Dialects in the Bible 242 (1)
Post-Biblical Hebrew 242 (1)
Modern Hebrew 243 (2)
Bibliography 245 (6)
Index 251 (12)
About the Author 263