A diachronic and synchronic account of the verb morphology and phonology of Aramaic, a subfamily of Semitic, from its appearance in history early in the first millennium BCE until approximately the second millennium CE. This book offers a diachronic and synchronic account of the verb morphology and phonology of Aramaic from its initial appearance early in the first millennium B.C.E. until the second millennium C.E. Aramaic, a subfamily of Semitic, is closely related to Hebrew and the other Canaanite languages; together, the two subfamilies of Aramaic and Canaanite constitute the northwest branch of the Semitic phylum. In this study, Joseph L. Malone focuses on thirteen dialects of Aramaic, chosen from a candidate list of approximately twice that number. The specific varieties of Aramaic examined here are chosen to provide an optimal chronological and geographical range. In a similar vein, the finite verb serves as the subject of this study, based on the assumption that a thorough treatment of the verb will asymptomatically involve most of the patterns and processes that hold for the grammar as a whole. The tools of this study are drawn from standard generative linguistics, though care is taken to explicate these in more traditional terms where it is deemed necessary. This book is essential reading for linguists who study the Semitic language families, and in particular those interested in Northwest Semitic languages.
Joseph L. Malone is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at Barnard College and Columbia University. In addition to many articles and essays, he is the author of Tiberian Hebrew Phonology, also published by Eisenbrauns.