In reply to message #0
Dear Akhi Khabiba w'Malpana:
A rabbi once said, "If you know Hebrew, give me an hour and you will also know Armaic."
This has been the way I think most of us Hebrews have approached the language. We think in Hebrew and then make a slight turn. A lot of aspects are implied or understood.
However, this can only carry a person so far. There are most certainly peculiarities and differences between the two languages.
Up until now, the most exhaustive grammars have been in Serto (western Aramaic) with precious little on the eastern side. "Classical Aramaic" was a start, but not enough was done on the Estrangela. "Aramaic Made EZ" was much better but had a kind of meandering feel to it (by intent of the author...he wants us to browse, pick and choose).
Now there is this grammar of yours. And before I say anything know that I feel kind of like the Baptist here...I should be baptized by you. How can I endeavor to advize someone who has taught me so much? A lifetime of Hebrew study and four years learning Aramaic on my own, and you taught me more in less than a year than I had picked up during this period. You will probably say that my work before primed me for understanding you. Possibly, but there must be something said for your style of teaching.
This work, like the translation, is excellent. Your examples are clear and concise. There is no jargon, and great economy of phrases, you say much with little words. I am often guilty of the opposite tendency.
One of the problems with the earlier materials on this subject was the overwhelming heft of forms and terms to memorize. So far, everything you have said here is very clear and very easy to go through. Obviously though I need to see how the sections relate to the whole of the work before saying, "What about this?", but looking at the contents it seems you got everything.
I will however be curious to see how many irregular forms you will be able to get to. A lot of primary grammars avoid them like the plague, but it seems you are deciding to make judicuous mentioning of some of them, but relating them to the predominant forms. (i.e., your discussion on gender tendencies and not forms is done in a more complete way than I have seen in other works.
Make no mistake and remember what I said about translation and what has happened since. This puppy is getting published someday.
Andrew Gabriel Roth
PS-- I'm having trouble with a scholar named Jack Kilmon who keeps insisting that the Peshitta NT dialect is not that of Maran Eshoo but fourth century or later. He knows about the Peshitto, but somehow doesn't see its conneection to this. He may even think the Curetonian is in Estrangela. I have invited him repeatedly to come here and talk to you and hope he will. He is formidible. But in the meantime, can I forward some of his posts to you and gfet your response?