From Ancient Manuscripts to ModernDictionaries: Perspectives on Linguistics and Ancient Languages
This paper examines the problematic concept of dead language as exemplified by the Hebrew language. The first section presents a brief history of the concept of dead language in European linguistic thought. Originating in Italy of the 15th century, the term became common in European linguistic writings during the 16th to 18th centuries as an epithet for Latin, Ancient Greek and Hebrew. During the Haskala (Jewish Enlightenment) in the 19th century it was adopted by Jewish intellectuals and was current in linguistic controversies throughout the 20th century. Sections 2 and 3 show the key role the label dead as applied to Hebrew played in wide-spread polemics on Jewish language choice in Russia during the first quarter of the 20th century (§ 2) and in the discourse about a Hebrew “revival” in Palestine at the same period (§ 3). Later works on the history of Hebrew published in the 19th and 20th centuries proposed novel conceptualizations but nevertheless followed the idea of the “deadness” of the Hebrew language of previous periods, discussed in § 4. Examples of Hebrew usage which contradict Hebrew’s functioning exclusively as a language of religion and high-level writings are provided in § 5. The last section is a humble attempt to outline a possible direction for a description of Hebrew language history, avoiding the problematic term dead language and other related terms.
The article focuses on the use of derivatives formed from the word νόμος (law) with the help of α- privativum in the Greek translation of the Bible (the Septuagint). Derivatives from the base ἀνομ- are used to translate various Hebrew words, most of which have no "legalistic" connotations in Hebrew. The article sets out a statistical analysis of the usage of these derivatives in the Septuagint and shows that in the Psalms (translated into Greek in the 2nd century BCE) the tendency towards their usage is growing in comparison with the Pentateuch – the first body of the biblical books that was translated into Greek, as early as the beginning of the 3rd century BCE. Perhaps this tendency reflects a certain development in the culture and identity of the Judeo-Hellenistic communities.
In the present article two eleventh-century phrases inscribed many times on the walls of the St Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod (коуни рони and парехъ мари) are shown to be of Semitic provenance. The authors provide the linguistic arguments which support the claim of a Hebrew source for коуни рони and a Syriac one for парехъ мари. In addition, we offer a reconstruction of the historical pragmatic context in which the phrases can be situated. It is proposed that the коуни рони inscriptions can be connected with the seizure of Novgorod and the plundering of St Sophia by Vseslav of Polotsk in the year 1066. They should be regarded as the oldest tangible proof of contacts with Jews and Hebrew in Rus’. In the case of the парехъ мари inscriptions, the hypothesis is put forward that the author was a certain Efrem, a local citizen, possibly a clergyman, who was a Syrian by descent.
The article deals with the recent discussion in the field of the Septuagint scholarship (mainly between A. Pietersma and M. Rösel) on the meaning of the expression εἰς τὸ τέλος in the superscriptions of the Greek Psalter. In the Hebrew Psalter superscriptions like this were mostly either performance directions, or directions with instrumentation, using specific musical terminology. The Septuagint translators were obviously unfamiliar with this terminology, which resulted in a series of rather enigmatic renderings. The Fathers of the Greek church read some of the superscriptions of the Greek Psalter (including εἰς τὸ τέλος) from an eschatological perspective. Was this the meaning intended by the translators themselves? Or should we treat this eschatological interpretation as a later phenomenon irrelative to what the translators themselves thought? Analysis of how the word τέλος was used both in the Septuagint and in the literature of the Hellenistic Judaism speaks rather against the suggestion that the eschatological interpretation was intended by the translators themselves.
The article deals with the treatment of the so-called anthropomorphisms of the Hebrew Bible in the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Septuagint). By anthropomorphism we mean attribution of human physical form or psychological characteristics to God (e.g. speaking about God’s eyes, God’s hand, God’s repentance etc.). Within the Septuagint some scholars find a tendency to avoid anthropomorphisms, though this tendency is far from being consistent. The article summarizes the results of author’s statistical analysis of the treatment of the notion of God’s “eyes” in the Septuagint (including mentioning of God’s eyes in dead metaphors). All the books of the Hebrew Bible were scrutinized. A statistically significant tendency toward avoidance of literal translation of Hebrew expressions in question was found in the Old Greek translation of the books of Kingdoms (= Samuel and Kings of the Hebrew Bible), in as much as we can reconstruct this translation with the help of “Lucianic” manuscripts.
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.