Introduction to the Semitic Languages: Text Specimens and Grammatical Sketches
Gotthelf Bergstrasser (1886-1933) was one of the great Semitic linguists and philologists. This small volume encapsulates his learning, and every page yields concise statements of remarkable insight. He intended the book for elementary classes in Semitic linguistics, but only one familiar with the material can begin to appreciate the achievement in these brief chapters.
A translation seemed called for for several reasons: It is generally agreed that Bergstrasser's "Einfuhrung" has not been superseded, and is unlikely to be. In more than half a century, no similar work has appeared either a chrestomathy or a succinct characterization of each of the major Semitic languages that can be used in an introductory class in Semitic linguistics.
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