Item description for A Grammar of the Ugaritic Language (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik) by Daniel Sivan...
Ugaritic, discovered in 1929, is a North-West Semitic language, documented on clay tablets (about 1250 texts) and dated from the period between the 14th and the 12th centuries B.C.E. The documents are of various types: literary, administrative, lexicological. Numerous Ugaritic tablets contain portions of a poetic cycle pertaining to the Ugaritic pantheon, but there are also administrative documents that shed light on the organization of Ugarit, thus contributing greatly to our understanding of the history and culture of the biblical and North-West Semitic world. This important reference work, a revised and translated edition of the author's Hebrew publication (Beer Sheva, 1993), deals with the phonology, morphology and syntax of Ugaritic. The book contains also an appendix with text selections.
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Reviews - What do customers think about A Grammar of the Ugaritic Language (Handbook of Oriental Studies/Handbuch Der Orientalistik)?
When they said "reference work", they meant it. Dec 28, 1998
The book seems to be for people who already know Ugaritic and just want a comprehensive reference, assyriologist types who already know several semitic languages and just want to be able to formulate opinions about Ugaritic, etc. The book is NOT suitable for someone who just wants to use it to learn the language. Normally, I am not afraid to use reference books as text books as I am used to making my own lesson plans and the like, but this book does not even have a glossary. The texts in the back are provided in Latin transliteration, so there is no way to familiarize one's self with the cuneiform alphabet other than completely self devised excercises or aquiring cuneiform texts from other (probably comparably expensive) sources. The book is a fantastic reference, however, and makes wonderful efforts to make Ugaritic useful to scholars of Biblical Hebrew, showing how Ugaritic has possibly shed light on a number of Biblical passages and constructions. As a reference, the book is excellent, but there is no glossary of linguistic terms, so if you do not know what a voiceless aspirated labio-dental fricative phoneme or a jussive or cohortative is, you may need a dictionary. Most terms will be familiar to those who have studied Biblical Hebrew though. Overall, the work is for scholars and quite a good treatment of the language, but even a scholar will havbe dificulty relying on this book to learn the language. Excellent reference work. Nothing more. As a reference, I would give 4 stars, but lack of thought about how they could make the book more suitable for a wider variety of uses (a glossary of Ugaritic vocabulary and more involvement with the cuneiform) forced me to knock it down a star.