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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Case and Mood Endings in Semitic Languages: Myth or Reality?
Edzard, Lutz, Manuel Sartori and Philippe Cassuto, editors

Weisbaden: Harrassowitz, 2018 pp. 218. $79.00

Series Information
Abhandlungen fŁr die Kunde des Morgenlandes, 113

Description: [Most chapters written in French.] In the context of Arabic and Semitic, it is only natural to treat case and mood under one umbrella: Arab grammarians ingenuously devised the same terms for the independent case and the independent mood on the one hand, and for the dependent case and the dependent mood, respectively. Still, the main focus of these proceedings lies on case in Semitic and Afroasiatic, wherever relevant. Thereby, taking up controversial data, issues, arguments and discussion is indispensable. The volume contains contributions covering data mainly from Akkadian, Hebrew, Arabic, Ethio-Semitic, Berber, and selected Cushitic and Omotic languages. One paper investigates the diachronic development of case and the mimation in Akkadian, another discusses a number of accepted as well as a number of controversial residues of case in Biblical Hebrew and proposes suggestions of reanalysis in this context. A critical reading of chapter 17 of al-Zaggagi's 'Idah is offered as well as a summary and further development of recent discussion on the scenario of case in historical varieties of Arabic. The discussion about "The Case for Proto-Semitic and Proto-Arabic Case" is followed up. Furthermore, the intricacies of delimitating the concepts of case and state in Berber are discussed as well as the meaningfulness of applying the opposition "nominative" vs. "absolutive," which is widely acknowledged to be valid in a broader Afroasiatic perspective, to Semitic. The final paper rounds up the volume with some more general deliberations on the verbal system in Semitic, thereby proposing a four-stage model. Contributors include Philippe Cassuto, Salem Chaker, Lutz Edzard, Amandine Idasiak, Pierre Larcher, Jonathan Owens, Victor Porkhomovsky, and Manuel Sartori.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Ancient Near East, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Philology, Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Northwest Semitic, Sumerian, Syriac, Ugaritic, Arabic, Hittite

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Review by H. H. Hardy II
Published 7/9/2020
Citation: H. H. Hardy II, review of Lutz Edzard, Manuel Sartori, and Philippe Cassuto, eds., Case and Mood Endings in Semitic Languages: Myth or Reality?, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

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