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Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal – How many grammars does Jewish Babylonian Aramaic have?
How many grammars does Jewish Babylonian Aramaic have?
Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal
Monday, April 3, 2023 at 3:00pm, Kaplan Hall 365
In this lecture, we will explore how languages evolve through linguistic diversity, aiming to shed light on the intricate relationship between language, its evolution, and its transmission through historical texts. Drawing on the principles of sociolinguistics, we will examine how speakers and writers of a language navigate between competing grammars. We will also explore the intricate process of ancient text transmission through scribes and copyists who acted as language agents with their own competing grammars.
Focusing on the Babylonian Talmud, we will demonstrate the linguistic richness and challenges encountered in studying the dialect of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. The lecture will highlight the methods and tools used by linguists to reconstruct the original grammars of the text, as well as trace the grammar of copyists from the Middle Ages. By doing so, we will show how classic philological questions can be answered using linguistic tools.
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