Prolegomena for the Sociolinguistics of Classical Hebrew

William M. Schniedewind


The study of Classical Hebrew has largely proceeded from
the assumptions of 19th century neogrammarians as well as formalist approaches.
Their linguistic assumptions are based on the study of contemporary spoken
languages that and particularly ill-suited to deal with all the facets of an
ancient written language like Classical Hebrew. Language, and particularly
written language, is part of a cultural system. As such, the approaches in
sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics need to integrated into the
study of Classical Hebrew.

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