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REVIEWS687 Recherches lexico-sémantiques, I. Montréal: Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal. Petöfi, Janos. 1977. Alle Wege führen zum Lexicon. Akten der 2. Salzburger Frühlingstagung für Linguistik, ed. by Gabereil Drachman, 413-27. Tübingen: Narr. Rey, Alain. 1983. La lexicographie française: Retrospective et perspectives. Le dictionnaire , ed. by Bernard Al & Jaap Spa (Lexique, 2), 11-24. Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille. Scammell, Michael. 1984. Solzhenitsyn. London: Hutchinson. Scerba, Lev. 1940. Opyt obScej teorii leksikografii. Izvestija Akademii Nauk SSSR, Otdelenie literatury i jazyka, 89-117. Wierzbicka, Anna. 1976. Review of Apresjan 1974. International Review of Slavic Linguistics 1:1.141-63. ------. 1983a. Skirts and trousers: Lexicography and conceptual analysis. Wiener SIawistischer Almanach 11.229-55. ------. 1983b. Semantics and lexicography: Some comments on the Warlpiri dictionary project. Australian Aboriginal lexicography, ed. by Peter Austin (Papers in Australian linguistics, 15; Pacific linguistics, A-66), 135-44. Canberra: ANU. ------. 1984. Cups and mugs: Lexicography and conceptual analysis. Australian Journal of Linguistics 4.205-55. ------. 1985. Lexicography and conceptual analysis. Ann Arbor: Karoma. [Received 20 December 1985.] A history of the Hebrew language. By E. Y. Kutscher. Jerusalem: Magnes Press; Leiden: Brill, 1982. Pp. xxx, 306. Reviewed by Paul Wexler, Tel-Aviv University A systematic and comprehensive description of the 3000-year external history of Hebrew would fill a vacuum in the literature. Such a study would be expected to interest not only students of Hebrew, but also students of Jewish languages, the histories of which are closely intertwined with that of Hebrew. Linguists not specializing in Hebrew, as well as non-linguists, would also be likely to find interest in such a book, given the massive impact of Hebrew on countless languages through the medium of the Old Testament, and the fact that Hebrew is the only language to have regained a spoken function after almost two millennia of uniquely literary and liturgical functions. Unfortunately , Kutscher's book will prove disappointing to all these potential readers. K, a noted specialist in Hebrew and Aramaic, began work on this book several years prior to his death in 1971; it is unlikely that he would have sanctioned the present publication. The editor must bear responsibility for the plethora of typographical errors, incomprehensible passages, unidentified quotations , and poor organization; e.g. the discussion of He. yôvel (Eng. jubilee) is divided between pp. 113 and 232. Instead of systematic documentation and analysis, the reader is treated to anecdotes, skeletal presentation of major topics , and sparse references—often not up to date, and varying in precision.1 Neither the curious novice nor the professional linguist will appreciate statements such as 'it is 1 There is no mention of modern transformational studies of Hebrew, e.g. Berman 1978. 688LANGUAGE, VOLUME 62, NUMBER 3 (1986) nearly impossible to describe ... [h, Î] to a European who has never heard them pronounced by Oriental Jews or by Arabic speakers'; or 'emphatics are pronounced with a special emphasis' (8); or 'y [is] a kind of soft [g]' (285). The reader is often left in the dark; thus 'yayin "wine" came from Asia Minor' (52)—as if no etymologies had ever been proposed.2 On the positive side, K is to be congratulated for emphasizing the importance of the Jewish languages for the history of Hebrew (a topic usually neglected in the literature),3 though he fails to state explicitly that these languages preserve original colloquial norms lost in written Hebrew. Thus the majority ofJewish languages use aloan translation ofHe. bêt tfilläh (lit. 'house ofprayer') for 'synagogue', vs. written He. bet kneset (lit. 'house of gathering'; cf. Wexler 1981). K also ignores the fact that many Hebrew expressions and norms found in the Jewish languages are not continued in Israeli He., e.g. Eastern Yiddish nadn etc. 'dowry' 0, but that it 'remained in eastern parts of German-speaking territories' (20; see also 153).6 But much of 'Eastern' Germany was Slavic-speaking through the 12th century if not longer, and the eventual restoration of He. etymologicalhinYiddishprobablyresultedfromthe impactofthe indigenousJudeo-Slaviccommunities. Consider also K's claim that, 'after the Jews moved eastward [in Europe after the 12th century], the Slavic component was added (though it...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 687-690
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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