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Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography

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The orthography of a language is the set of rules of how to write correctly in the language. The term is derived from Greek ορθο ortho- ("correct") and γραφος graphos ("that writes") and, in today's sense, includes spelling and punctuation. Orthography is distinct from typography.

An example of an orthographic rule for English is:

A vowel that is not preceded immediately by another vowel, and that is followed by an "E" at the end of the word, without any other vowels between that vowel and the "E", may represent the "long" sound of the vowel. (This is the pronunciation rule "final E makes the vowel long" restated as a spelling rule.) (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Why Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography?

This book introduces the student to the textual study of the Hebrew Bible—to help such a student "perceive the work of the numberless and nameless scribes torn between tradition and fashion in their restrained attempts to update the orthography of Scripture." Sixteen essays serve as the bridge from older methods for the study of orthography to newer ones, using the computer to analyze large bodies of text.

More information on Hebrew resources can be found in the Product Guide on Hebrew Texts and Tools.

Resource Experts
  • Preface
  • Sigla
  • 1. The Evolution of Hebrew Orthography - David Noel Freedman
  • 2. A Tutorial on Method: A Guide for the Statistically Perplexed - A. Dean Forbes
  • 3. Review: MT Spelling and Statistics - Francis I. Andersen and A. Dean Forbes
  • 4. The Spelling of Suffixes - Francis I. Andersen
  • 5. The Spelling of O and E - Francis I. Andersen
  • 6. Archaic, Standard, and Late Spelling - Francis I. Andersen
  • 7. Aleph as a Vowel Letter in Old Aramaic
  • 8. Choice of Statistical Methods - A. Dean Forbes
  • 9. Spelling in Parallel Passages - Francis I. Andersen and A. Dean Forbes
  • 10. The Seriation of Portions - A. Dean Forbes
  • 11. The Spelling of the Aramaic Portion of the Tell Fekherye Bilingual - Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman
  • 12. The Spelling of Samaria Papyrus 1 - David Noel Freedman and Francis I. Andersen
  • 13. Another Look at 4QSam - Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman
  • 14. The Orthography of 4QTestimonia - Francis I. Andersen and David Noel Freedman
  • 15. The Orthography of D62 - Francis I. Andersen
  • Appendix
  • References
It indeed makes for interesting reading.

—Gary A. Rendsburg, Cornell University in Journal of Biblical Literature (113/2, 1994)

Everything you could possibly want to know about the orthography of biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. And more. Users of this volume may find particular pleasure and enlightenment in its concluding appendix ('What Did the Scribes Count?'), wherein the verse, word, and number counts of the Masoretes and others are freshly examined to great effect.

—Leonard J. Greenspoon, Oxford Centre in Religious Studies Review (Vol. 19, No. 4, Oct. 1993)

  • Title: Studies in Hebrew and Aramaic Orthography
  • Authors: David Noel Freedman, A. Dean Forbes, and Francis I. Andersen
  • Publisher: Eisenbrauns
  • Publication Date: 1992
  • Pages: 328


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  1. Kay Joe Petzold
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Save on Back to School resources!


Digital list price: $38.99
Regular price: $30.99
Save $9.30 (30%)