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Languages of the Ancient Near East Series (5 vols.)
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Overview

The Languages of the Ancient Near East Series provides students and scholars alike with resources for studying the Hittite language, Akkadian, and Old Babylonian. These volumes include descriptions of grammar, textual examples, explanations of linguistic development, and practice exercises. This collection is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in ancient languages and their history.

With Logos Bible Software, this collection is completely searchable, making the text more powerful and easier to access for scholarly work and personal study. The Logos version integrates seamlessly into your digital library, so your dictionaries and other reference tools are only ever a click away.

Key Features

  • Analyzes the Hittite language, Akkadian, and Old Babylonian
  • Reconstructs the prehistory of Akkadian and describes its verbal system
  • Discusses various verbal and conditional forms of Old Babylonian

Individual Titles

A Grammar of the Hittite Language, Part 1: Reference Grammar

  • Authors: Harry A. Hoffner Jr. and H. Craig Melchert
  • Series: Languages of the Ancient Near East
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 490

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Hoffner and Melchert’s long-awaited work is sure to become both the standard reference grammar and the main teaching tool for the Hittite language. This volume includes a thorough description of Hittite grammar, grounded in an abundance of textual examples. Moreover, the authors take into account a vast array of studies on all aspects of the Hittite language. In the five decades since the publication of the second edition of Johannes Friedrich’s Hethitisches Elementarbuch, our knowledge of Hittite grammar has become more detailed and nuanced, thanks especially to the new texts available and the growing body of secondary literature. This first volume in the Languages of the Ancient Near East series fills a serious gap and will be a comprehensive reference for decades to come.

This new Hittite grammar and accompanying teaching volume have long been awaited and fully live up to expectations. Not only are the authors outstanding scholars of the language, but they have taken great care to present the grammar accurately and clearly and to organize the teaching volume well . . . This work is likely to be the standard Hittite grammar for a considerable time to come.

—Philomen Probert, lecturer in classical philology and linguistics, University of Oxford

. . . This grammar is a work of tremendous importance that greatly enhances our knowledge of the Hittite language. Particularly the treatment of syntax and the meaning and usage of particles and adverbs is a big step forward. We therefore can only wholeheartedly thank the authors for sharing with the general public their vast knowledge and insights into the sometimes dark caverns of Hittite grammar, which thanks to this book have become appreciably brighter.

—Alwin Kloekhorst, lecturer, Leiden University

Harry A. Hoffner Jr. is professor of Hittitology and codirector of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Laws of the Hittites.

H. Craig Melchert received a PhD in linguistics from Harvard University and is currently a professor of linguistics and the A. Richard Diebold Professor of Indoeuropean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written several scholarly articles on ancient languages, as well as A Dictionary of the Lycian Language.

A Grammar of the Hittite Language, Part 2: Tutorial

  • Authors: Harry A. Hoffner Jr. and H. Craig Melchert
  • Series: Languages of the Ancient Near East
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 81

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume is a companion to Hoffner and Melchert’s Grammar of the Hittite Language. It consists of a series of graded lessons with illustrative sentences for students to translate. This tutorial corresponds to the reference grammar and provides extensive notes on every chapter.

Harry A. Hoffner Jr. is professor of Hittitology and codirector of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The Laws of the Hittites.

H. Craig Melchert received a PhD in linguistics from Harvard University and is currently a professor of linguistics and the A. Richard Diebold Professor of Indoeuropean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has written several scholarly articles on ancient languages, as well as A Dictionary of the Lycian Language.

The Akkadian Verb and Its Semitic Background

  • Author: N. J. C. Kouwenberg
  • Series: Languages of the Ancient Near East
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 688

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this magnum opus, N. J. C. Kouwenberg presents a thorough, modern analysis of the Akkadian verbal system, taking into account all the currently available evidence for the language during the course of the long period of its attestation. The book achieves this goal through two strategies: by describing the Akkadian verbal system as comprehensively as the data permits, and by reconstructing its prehistory on the basis of internal evidence, comparison with cognate languages, and typological evidence. Akkadian has one of the longest documented histories of any language, with over two thousand years of data available. During the course of this history, numerous developments took place, illustrating how languages change over time.

This book will be of great interest for students of the Akkadian language and of the literature that exists in that language. It is also a resource for students of general linguistics who are interested in the study of how languages are shaped and how they change over the course of a long history.

There are good reasons to believe that [Kouwenberg’s] volume . . . will deservedly become the standard descriptive and historical grammar of Akkadian for several generations to come. Kouwenberg’s treatment of the Akkadian verb so often and so fruitfully encroaches upon neighboring domains of grammar that the cumulative value of his study goes far beyond the verbal system alone. All in all, while some aspects of Akkadian phonology, morphology (pronouns and nouns), and syntax (simple and complex sentences) still have to await a similarly comprehensive treatment, one may confidently conclude that about two-thirds (if not three-quarters) of the difficult task of creating a new fundamental grammar of the Akkadian language has been carried out—and in a truly admirable way.

—L. Kogan

N. J. C. Kouwenberg is the author of Gemination in the Akkadian Verb.

Most Probably: Epistemic Modality in Old Babylonian

  • Author: Nathan Wasserman
  • Series: Languages of the Ancient Near East
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 259

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The system that any language uses to express evaluations, judgments, estimations, and imaginary situations tends to be complicated and poorly understood. This has certainly been the case, historically, for Akkadian. In this study, Nathan Wasserman presents the fruit of 15 years of study of the epistemic modal system of Old Babylonian, which represents one of the best-documented periods of the Akkadian language.

As Wasserman notes, the interplay of philology, linguistics, and psychology that is involved in understanding any modal system makes coming to conclusions a difficult enterprise. And though many questions remain unanswered, in this clearly organized monograph he guides the reader through a study of each modal word and its etymology, syntax, and usage, on the basis of an examination of the Old Babylonian examples that have been published. He thus arrives at a general view of epistemic modality in Old Babylonian.

Most Probably: Epistemic Modality in Old Babylonians is a work that will add significantly to your understanding of the Old Babylonian language and the interpretation of texts. It will become the benchmark for further study of verbal modality in Akkadian and other Semitic languages.

The author’s deep linguistic approach reveals itself in the theoretical excurses, where he explains the function of the Old Babylonian system of epistemic modality and its particular elements through generalized theory. The typological parallels from various modern languages, including English, French, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and Hindi, are noteworthy . . . One cannot avoid mentioning the wonderfully lively style of the book, which is (almost paradoxically) very simple, scientific, and yet at the same time almost literary. Wasserman’s monograph is highly recommended to all who are interested in Akkadian and Semitic linguistics, as well as those interested in studies of modality in general.

—Ilya Khait, University of Leipzig

Nathan Wasserman is the author of several scholarly articles and the books Style and Form in Old Babylonian Literary Texts and “The Swallows Awoke Me”: Old Babylonian Love Poetry.

Conditional Structures in Mesopotamian Old Babylonian

  • Author: Eran Cohen
  • Series: Languages of the Ancient Near East
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 208

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This monograph addresses the issue of conditional structures in Old Babylonian from a linguistic point of view. The genres that form the corpus for the study are letters, law collections, and omens. Cohen discusses the linguistic nature of each genre and the relation of its nature to its formal function. Conditionals often express modality (the supposition, or the potential factor) but they actually interface with many linguistic subsystems: clause-combining strategies, interclausal relations (for instance, the syntactic relationship between protasis and apodosis), syntactic patterns, syntactic units above clause levels (the essence of Old Babylonian macro-syntax), tense-related issues, the fundamental opposition between specific and generic, and more. All of the conditional patterns are provided with a syntactic characterization, so that the peculiarity of each conditional sequence is differentiated from all other potential sequences.

Additionally, language experts will find a detailed discussion of the values of verbal and other predicative forms in the various conditional structures occurring in the corpus. The differences between superficially similar conditional patterns are stated and explained, and the functions of the conditional patterns are described. Many traditionally difficult points are treated and given suitable solutions. Each chapter includes linguistic glosses and general discussions that will give linguistic typologists a framework for understanding the conditional system of Old Babylonian.

Eran Cohen teaches Semitic linguistics at the Hebrew University. He is the author of The Modal System of Old Babylonian and The Syntax of Neo-Aramaic: The Jewish Dialect of Zakho.

Product Details

  • Title: Languages of the Ancient Near East Series
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Volumes: 5
  • Pages: 1,726