Already in the eleventh Century A.D. the Rabbi Jehuda Hayyug (Abu Zakaria
Yahya) began to apply the methods of the Arabic grammarians to Hebrew and
thus unconsciously laid the foundation of the comparative philology of the
Semitic languages. It was already known that a close relationship existed
between Aramaic and Hebrew, but it was commonly supposed that Aramaic
was a corruption from Hebrew. Theological prepossessions inclined the Jews
to regard Hebrew as the parent, not only of Aramaic and Arabic, but of all
other languages as well, and this opinion was generally adopted by Christian
writers also. Even this view, however, admitted that a much closer
relationship existed between Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic, than between
Hebrew and any other language; and to this closely related group a fourth
member, Ethiopic, was added in the seventeenth Century, the name Ethiopic
being used by Europeans to designate Ge'ez, the ancient classical language
of Abyssinia. The decipherment of the cuneiform inscriptions in the
nineteenth Century added Babylonian-Assyrian as a fifth member (adopted
from the introduction of 1928 edition).
I. The Semitic Languages (The Semitic Group, Babylonia and Assyria,
Canaan, Aramaic, Arabic (Hijaz dialect, Nejd, Iraq, Syria and Palestine,
Egypt, North Afriea, Malta, Hadramaut, Oman, Southern Arabic), Abyssinian.
II. The Consonant sounds.
III. Temporary Modifications of Consonants.
IV. The Vowels.
V. Temporary Modifications of Vowel Sounds.
VI. Temporory Syllabic Changes.
VII. The Personal Pronoun.
VIII. Demonstrative Pronouns.
IX. Relative and Interrogative Pronouns.
X. The Noun.
XI. The Verb.
XII. The particles.
This re-edition has been published as no. 05 in the LINCOM Orientalia (LIOR)
series (originally published 1928, London,author's affiliation: Lecturer in
Aramaic, Bristol University).
ISBN 9783895862410. LINCOM Orientalia 05. 298pp. 2010.