History of the Hebrew Language

HEBREW 5105: History of the Hebrew Language

Genealogical and typological relations within the Semitic family; a survey of Biblical, Mishnaic, and Modern Hebrew.  Prereq: 1103 (104), or permission or instructor. Not open to students with credit for 611.  Cross-listed in Jewish Studies.

A study of the panorama of the entire history of the Hebrew language, from the earliest biblical texts, through Classical and Late Classical Biblical Hebrew, Qumran Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, Medieval Hebrew, early modern Hebrew and standard modern Hebrew. Taught in English. In this course, students read a variety of examples of Hebrew from many different periods, and discuss the development of the language based on the forms found in the texts. A comprehensive introduction is given before the texts are read. The class also reads some examples of Phoenician texts and extra-biblical contemporary texts to highlight the nature of the language as a member of the Semitic family. The unity of the language over time is stressed, and the development of new vocabulary is investigated. The issue of Hebrew as a "dead" language is addressed, and the period of the revival is subjected to linguistic scrutiny.
Credit Hours