Friday, June 17, 2011

New Book on Jewish Babylonian Aramaic

Just in time for Father's Day (hint), Eisenbrauns has released a new book on the grammar of Babylonian Aramaic. I really should be reading more Aramaic (as should all of you), so don't miss this one!
This book is the first wide-ranging study of the grammar of the Babylonian Aramaic used in the Talmud and post-Talmudic Babylonian literature (henceforth: Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic) to be published in English in a century. The book takes as its starting point the long-recognized problem of the corrupt nature of the later textual witnesses of Babylonian Rabbinic literature and seeks both to establish criteria for the identification of accurate textual witnesses and describe the grammar of Rabbinic Babylonian Aramaic. The book is both programmatic and descriptive: it lays the foundations for future research into the dialect while clarifying numerous points of grammar, many of which have not been discussed systematically in the available scholarly literature.


  1. Thanks for the plug! Sorry I can't help you with the Father's day present, though :)


  2. I agree. We should all be reading more Aramaic (especially rabbinic Aramaic!)

  3. Delighted to see this book from one of the few real successors to Jonas Greenfield's legacy. Morgenstern, like Jonas, has both a full-spectrum engagement in the grammar of all premodern Aramaic dialects and a great sense of humor. I have fond memories of him from Greenfield and Stone's Sifrut Aramit Hitzonit me-yam ha-melakh team-taught class at Hebrew U.

    More specifically I have fond memories of Jonas opening and reading his mail while Stone talked. But also of Morgenstern being the best-prepared in a truly formidable room of people!

    But back to Jonas opening his mail: our students with their smartphones did not invent this dismaying practice!