Discipline: Humanities

Topic: Language


History of the Hebrew Language


This 11-volume series surveys various phases in the development of the Hebrew language spanning about 3,200 years, since its beginnings in the second millennium BC to the contemporary language spoken today. Each volume was written by an expert on the language of the specific period.


The Biblical Period: These four volumes deal with Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew. They discuss various linguistic aspects: lexical, morphological and syntactic.

Volume 1: Introduction (Menachem Zvi Kadari, 2003, 170 pp., cat. # 10440-1)

Volume 2: Biblical language (Rivka Yarkoni, 2003, 171 pp., cat. # 10440-2)

Volume 3: Hebrew of the second Temple period (Elisha Qimron, 2003, 243 pp., cat. # 10440-3)

Volume 4: Language of the Sages (Shimon Sharvit, 2003, 275 pp., cat. # 10440-4)

The Medieval Period: These four volumes survey a period of about seventeen centuries during which the Hebrew language served only for literary and liturgical purposes, and was not used for everyday communication.

Volume 1: Language of Hebrew liturgical hymns (Joseph Yahalom, 2003, 183 pp., cat. # 10441-1)

Volume 2: Language of the translators (Gad Ben-Ami Zarfati, 2003, 215 pp., cat. # 10441-2)

Volume 3: Language of the Hebrew poetry of Spain (Ephraim Chazan, 2003, 188 pp., cat. # 10441-3)

Volume 4: Rabbinic Hebrew (Zvi Betzer, 2001, 181 pp., cat. # 10441-4)

The Modern Period: These three volumes survey the unique process of "revival" of an ancient language that had not been used for everyday communication for seventeen centuries. Various aspects of its adaptation to modern society are discussed in detail, including its relations and deviations from the ancient phases. It covers the period of the last 100 years.

Volume 1: The revival of Hebrew (Maya Agmon-Fruchtman, Immanuel Allon, 1994, 194 pp., cat. # 10442-1)

Volume 2: Contemporary Hebrew (Ora R. Schwarzwald, 1994, 242 pp., cat. # 10442-2)

Volume 3: Hebrew in written communication (Yitzhak Shlesinger, 1994, 192 pp., cat. # 10442-3)

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