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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

“Namely” or “Forsooth”? The Disturbing History of the Syriac Particle LAM

Thu, April 10, 2014 • 5:00 PM • MEZ B0.306

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Workshop on Late Antiquity presents Na'ama Pat-El Ph.D.

The Syriac particle LAM has been assumed to be a marker of direct speech by grammarians and linguists. Several scholars has traced its history to an infinitive of the verb to say in Aramaic. In this talk I will take a fresh look at the function of the particle in Syriac texts of various genres and periods and its possible etymology. The results will shock and amaze you, and will serve as a reminder of what happens when one does not read ancient texts carefully.

Na'ama Pat-El is an Assistant Professor, focusing on Semitic historical linguistics. She is the author of Studies in the Historical Syntax of Aramaic (Gorgias, 2012) and a co-author of Language and Nature: papers presented to John Huehnergard (Oriental Institute, 2012). She has published on language contact and historical syntax.

Sponsored by: Middle Eastern Studies, The Department of Religious Studies, Louise Farmer Boyer Chair in Biblical Studies, and the Department of Art and Art History


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