Leshono Suryoyo: First Studies in Syriac

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Gorgias Press LLC, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 220 pages
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This is an introductory grammar for those wishing to learn to read Classical Syriac, one of the major literary dialects of Aramaic (the language of Christ), and the language of one of the main groups of Middle Eastern churches (especially the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East [sometimes called "the Nestorian Church"] and its counterpart, the Chaldaean Church, which is in communion with Rome). These churches have their homelands mainly in Syria, Turkey and Iraq, but there are large diaspora communities of Syriac-language Christians scattered around the world (especially in Europe and the United States). Syriac was used by the main theological and historical writers of this tradition from the first centuries of the Christian era (authors like Ephrem the Syrian, Philoxenus of Mabbogh, Thomas of Marga and Barhebraeus). It is also used in worship. This introduction to Syriac, unlike many other older grammars, assumes no knowledge of other Semitic languages and is entirely based on real sentences taken from original Syriac sources. It is divided into four parts: (i) fourteen chapters of grammatical study based on actual sentences and leading in each chapter to grammatical summaries and translation exercises; (ii) full lists of verbal forms; (iii) ten more substantial extracts from original Syriac texts, with full grammatical analysis; (iv) a glossary of all the words which occur in the book. The book is suitable for independent study without a teacher, though it will be of most value to students learning Syriac within the context of a University or College course with teacher. It aims to enable the student to read all types of Syriac texts (with the help of a dictionary). Acompact disc featuring recorded readings of all texts is also included to aid students through the tumultuous task of pronunciation. The CD contains recordings in West and East Syriac, as well as chanting of a text from Ephrem. The recordings feature Eugene Aydin and George Kiraz (for West Syriac) and Daniel Benjamin (for East Syriac).

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Vowels and Other Signs
Simple Perfect and Participle Forms
ܐ ܘܗ and Composite Tenses
Simple Imperfect and Imperative Uses
Derived Stems of the Verb
Other Important Verb Forms
Peculiarities in Verbs Containing Guttural Letters
Peculiarities in Verbs Beginning with and
Object Pronouns Attached to Verbs Adverbs
Numerals Dates Days
Table of Scripts and Vowel Signs

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

John Healey (Ph.D., University of London) is Professor of Semitic Studies in the University of Manchester (U.K.). His many research publications include books and articles on various dialects of Aramaic, especially on Nabataean Aramaic (inscriptions from Jordan and Saudi Arabia) and on Syriac (originally the Aramaic dialect of Edessa in southern Turkey). He has also published a book on the early history of the alphabet. His teaching is mostly concerned with Aramaic and Syriac and the religious history of the Middle East.

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