Friday, March 10, 2006

Foundations for Syriac Lexicography I

A. Dean Forbes and David G.K. Taylor, eds, have just brought out the volume Foundations for Syriac Lexicography I: Colloquia of the International Syriac Language Project (Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2005). It contains much that is of interest to Syriasts and lexicographers with contibutors such as Terry Falla, Alison Salvesen, George Kiraz, Dean Forbes, Janet Dyk, Andreas Juckel and Sebastian Brock. Perhaps I may be forgiven for drawing attention to my own contribution, which is probably the one most relevant to textual criticism. It is: 'On Matching Syriac Words with Their Greek Vorlage' (pp. 157-166). Andreas Juckel, Syriac expert at the INTF in Münster, writes on 'Should the Harklean Version Be Included in a Future Lexicon of the Syriac New Testament' (pp. 167-194), which, despite the title, also includes material of text-critical interest.


  1. Could you post the table of contents?

  2. PJ,

    I got your work "Syriac Translation Technique & the textual criticism of the Greek Gospels" from the library today. It looks like an excellent read. I intend to spend a great deal of time with it in the next three weeks. I was running over the Syriac alphabet in my mind as I was walking today in the park. Had a little thunder storm blow through and will probably post some more storm photos to my blog later this evening. I am kicking myself for giving away my only book on Syriac to a scholar friend who actually knows the language. Not much chance of borrowing it from him since he is eleven time zones away.

    Looking forward to digesting translation and syntax issues in your book. I was a translation and syntax junkie before I started working in biblical languages.


  3. Michael, I'm sorry I won't get to look at my copy for over a week now (off to Münster). More details including chapter contents, but not titles, are on:

    Clay, as a temporary grammar of Syriac you might use:

    Of course, it does not teach Akkadian.

  4. PJ,

    I would like to applaud your discussion of patterns of participant reference in "Syriac Translation Technique" specifically concerning the name of Jesus in the Peshitta where a pronoun is found in NA27.

    Not only do different languages have different patterns of participant reference, but different authors who work in the same language often show a wide range of employment of anaphora. I would expect Luke to employ anaphora more frequently than John. Why ? Someone else can answer that :-)

    The employment of pronominal reference for participants is directly related to textual cohesion. Since the famous work by Halliday and Hasen (Cohesion in English 1976) this has become a major top of study in text linguistics and discourse analysis.

    In the past I have made a several attempts to start discussions about patterns of pronominal reference and cohesion in forums dedicated to textual criticism of the bible. It was greeted with about as much enthusiasm as a favorable treatment of David Irving at Hebrew University. :-)))

    So I am pleased to now to have discovered a text critical scholar, who is actually willing to apply principles of text linguistics to textual criticism.


    BTW, the terms discourse analysis and text linguistics are used differently in North America than in Europe causing lots of confusion "What are we talking about?" Since Discourse Analysis over here often has to do exclusively with spoken language I tend to avoid using that term.