A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
This linguistic study is concerned with the role of the emphasizing
particle la- (known as lām al-ta'kīd) in the grammatical traditions of
Classical Arabic, as well as with the question of the historical
relationship connecting this particle to a set of elements in several other
Semitic languages showing comparable forms and functions. Although these
particles have hitherto seemed to defy a coherent reconstruction, the very
complexity of the data to which they attest proves to provide a key to
their interpretation. They represent a critical first step in the refining
of our understanding of the history of the Semitic sonorant phonemes.