|Publisher||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Publication Date||January 3, 2003|
The first new dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic in a century, this towering scholarly achievement provides a complete lexicon of the entire vocabulary used in both literary and epigraphic sources from the Jewish community in Babylon from the third century C.E. to the twelfth century. Author Michael Sokoloff's primary source is, of course, the Babylonian Talmud, one of the most important and influential works in Jewish literature. Unlike the authors of previous dictionaries of this dialect, however, he also uses a variety of other sources, from inscriptions and legal documents to other rabbinical literature.
A Dictionary of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic also differs from earlier lexographic efforts in its focus on a single dialect. Previous dictionaries have been composite works containing various Aramaic dialects from different periods, blurring distinctions in meaning and nuance. Sokoloff has been able to draw on the most current linguistic and textual scholarship to ensure the complete accuracy of his lexical entries, each of which is divided into six parts: lemma or root, part of speech, English gloss, etymology, semantic features, and bibliographic references. Another important feature in this invaluable reference work is its index of all cited passages, which allows the reader of a given text to easily find the semantics of a particular word.
In addition to linguists and specialists in Jewish Aramaic literature, lay readers and students will also find this comprehensive, up-to-date dictionary useful for understanding the Babylonian Talmud.