The work is useful primarily to Hebraists and students of the Bible, but also to comparativists working with Semito- Hamitic languages and more generally with language in prehistory.
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A. Murtonen, Ph.D. and D.Theol, (1959), was born in Finland and has served as minister of the Lutheran Church in Finland (1951-1960), and taught at the Universities of Helsinki and Melbourne. His major publications include: Old Testament divine names (1952), The living soul (1958), Materials for a non-Masoretic Hebrew grammar I-III (1958-64), Broken plurals (1964), Early Semitic (1967), Statistical analyses of morphosyntactics (1978), and Hebrew in its West Semitic setting (Brill, 1986).
'Murtonen's Hebrew in its West Semitic Setting will be appreciated as reference work. Nowhere else there is so much data about non-Tiberian Hebrew tradition available, together with evidence from non-Biblical sources. Both the author and those who helped him in preparing the printout and in other tasks, as well as the institutions which supported this work financially, in his native Finland, in Australia, where he performed his research, and in other countries, deserve the gratitude of those who will use the results for their own research as a thesaurus of data and stimulus for the further development of Hebrew and related studies.'
Stanislav Segert, Wiener Zeitschrift fur die Kunde des Morgenlandes.
This work is a comprehensive survey of non-Masoretic Hebrew dialects and traditions against the background of the related, primarily other West Semitic lanugages, but also the less close East and South Semitic and non-Semitic branches of the Semito-Hamitic phylum are taken into account. The previously published Part One contains Hebrew and comparative lexical material. Part Two contains a systematic phonetic and phonological discussion including an historical survey. Part Three contains a discussion of morphological and syntactical aspects as well as a comprehensive statistical synopsis of the entire language structure compared with selected related languages.
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