An Old Amharic poem from northern Ethiopia: one more text on condemning glory
This contribution offers to the readers a publication and translation (with linguistic and philological commentaries) of a recently discovered piece of Old Amharic poetry, possibly dating to the first half/middle of the 17th century. The published text bears the title Märgämä kəbr (“Condemnation of glory”), but its content differs from that of several other Old Amharic poems (not entirely independent from each other) known under the same title. It is only the general idea and the main topics that are shared by all Märgämä kəbr poems: transience of the earthly world, the inevitability of death and of God’s judgement, and the necessity of leading virtuous life.
One can thus speak of Märgämä kəbr as a special genre of early Amharic literature, probably originally belonging to the domain of oral literature and used to address the Christian community with the aim of religious education and admonition of the laymen.
A review of a recently published grammar of Tigre (North Ethio-Semitic) by David Elias.
A bibliography for Ethio-Semitic, Cushitic and Omotic linguistics for the years 2014-2015.
The book is the outcome of the III International Enno Littmann Conference held in Berlin in April 2009. Of all the papers presented during this meeting the editor has chosen only papers devoted to the study of the language and culture of the Tigre people. The Tigre language ranks as the fifth most spoken in the Semitic family and its speakers amount for roughly 20% of the population of Eritrea. It therefore certainly deserves scholarly attention. The book is, to the best of my knowledge, only the second collection of essays devoted to Tigre studies (the first one being Lusini 2010). [...] Each article in the book is accompanied by a bibliography and in a very innovative decision also by a summary in Tigre as if to declare that the research on Tigre should be done also for and by the people themselves. Thanks to this approach, the book is not only a valuable scholarly contribution but also an important step in the construction of scientific terminology of the Tigre language.
The volume contains eleven essays which cast a look on the past, present, and future of Gəʿəz (Classical Ethiopic) philological and linguistic studies on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the achievement of the Lexicon linguae Aethiopicae by August Dillmann, published in 1865. Most of the essays were presented at a conference convened by the ERC-project TraCES at the University of Hamburg in November 2015. On the one hand, they focus on the significance and importance of the Lexicon and of its author who was one of the greatest orientalists of the nineteenth century. Dillmann’s Lexicon has marked in-depth the development of Ethiopian and oriental studies. It still remains an indispensable tool for the analysis of Gəʿəz style and phraseology, even though it has been surpassed by Wolf Leslau’s Comparative Dictionary of Geʿez (1987), with respect to etymology and number of entries. On the other hand, the essays define more precisely which are (besides the obvious updating) the challenges posed by manuscripts, text editions, and epigraphic evidence emerged since 1865, with regard to Gəʿəz language, orthography, lexicon and lexicography as well as digital humanities and corpus linguistics. The contributors are Maria Bulakh, Wolfgang Dickhut, Andreas Ellwardt, Serge A. Frantsouzoff, Martin Heide, Susanne Hummel, Manfred Kropp, Eugenia Sokolinski, Agostino Soldati, Cristina Vertan, Stefan Weninger, and Alessandro Bausi, who is also the editor of the volume.
The prefix conjugation of all South Ethio-Semitic languages contains an innovative prefix *l(V)- or its traces. However, its distribution along the various subtypes of the prefix conjugation paradigms varies. Its appearance in the jussive positive and negative paradigms seems to be shared by all South Ethio-Semitic languages. On the contrary, the fate of the prefix *l(V)- in the imperfect paradigm differs from one subgtoup to another.
Its grammatical value is not stabile, either: in some languages it is restricted to 1st sg., in others it appears both in sg. and pl. of the 1st person.
The presentation offers an overview of the various patterns of employment of the innovative personal prefix *l(V)- in South Ethio-Semitic. Some of the collected isoglosses can plausibly be considered as a result of a common innovation introduced at a certain stage of the development of a certain language subgroup. Still, one cannot fail to notice a number of isoglosses that contradict each other, which can be explained either in terms of an independent parallel development or of language contact. Special attention is given to the most important factors that excersized influence upon the development of the SES systems of verbal personal prefixes. It turns out that some of these factors are present in languages from other branches of Ethio-Semitic and Semitic, which demonstrate similar shifts in their systems of verbal prefixes.
In conclusion, a coherent and convincing reconstruction of the evolution of the prefix conjugationn in South Ethio-Semitic is offered.
In Tigre, as elsewhere in Ethio-Semitic, one finds alongside the causative prefix ʔa- (which has cognates in all Ethio-Semitic languages and beyond) another causative marker, namely, the prefix ʔat-, which is an internal Ethio-Semitic development. The aim of the present contribution is to highlight the functions of the prefix ʔat- in Tigre and to explore its relationship to the prefix ʔa-.
The article evaluates the aims and methods of creation of the so-called “Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary”, a 14th century word list compiled by order of the Yemenite sultan of the Rasulid dynasty al-Malik al-Afḍal al-ʿAbbās b. ʿAlī. It claims that the Glossary was created with a purely scientific aim of recording a little-known language, that its compilers were likely unaware of the linguistic diversity of the recorded material (hence the name “Ethiopic” in the title), and that the informants were in all probability Ethiopian slaves who, as is well known, were present in South Arabia since Antiquity.
The paper is focused on the study of reaction of italian literature critics on the publication of the Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Jivago". The analysys of the book ""Doctor Jivago", Pasternak, 1958, Italy" (published in Russian language in "Reka vremen", 2012, in Moscow) is given. The papers of italian writers, critics and historians of literature, who reacted immediately upon the publication of the novel (A. Moravia, I. Calvino, F.Fortini, C. Cassola, C. Salinari ecc.) are studied and analised.
In the article the patterns of the realization of emotional utterances in dialogic and monologic speech are described. The author pays special attention to the characteristic features of the speech of a speaker feeling psychic tension and to the compositional-pragmatic peculiarities of dialogic and monologic text.