First published in 1836, Prolegomeni ad una grammatica ragionata della lingua ebraica, is perhaps the most important grammatical work of the influential Italian scholar Samuel David Luzzatto (1800-1865). Never reprinted, and never before fully translated, this long inaccessible work has become almost unknown. Intended to serve as an introduction to a comprehensive Hebrew grammar, the book is replete with information and innovative insights that are still valuable to contemporary scholars. Moreover, in addition a complete translation with copious annotations, Aaron Rubin's edition of Luzzatto's Prolegomeni contains an appendix consisting of biographical sketches of the roughly 275 Hebrew scholars mentioned by Luzzatto. This book will be of great value to anyone interested in the Hebrew language and its fascinating history.
Edmund Spenser famously conceded to his friend Walter Raleigh that his method in The Faerie Queene 'will seeme displeasaunt' to those who would 'rather have good discipline delivered plainly in way of precepts, or sermoned at large'. Spenser's allegory and Elizabethan biblical exegesis is the first book-length study to clarify Spenser's comparison by introducing readers to the biblical typologies of contemporary sermons and liturgies. The result demonstrates that 'precepts ... sermoned at large' from lecterns and pulpits were themselves often 'clowdily enwrapped in allegoricall devises'. In effect, routine churchgoing prepared Spenser's first readers to enjoy and interpret The Faerie Queene.
This book is the first English version of Prolegomena zu einer kritischen Grammatik, published by Julius Springer, Vienna, 1935, as Volume 10 of the Vienna Circle's series Schriften zur wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung. The prefatory remarks of both editor and author acknowledge the influence ofWittgenstein in a general way. However, in aim and approach, the work differs from Wittgenstein's Philosophische Grammatik (l969). This is indeed based on material going back to 1932, some of which Schachter must have known. On the other hand, the present Prolegomena not only explains the general, philosophical principles to be followed, but in the light of these proceeds to cover the entire range of conventional grammar, showing where that is uncritical. Whether Wittgenstein in his turn knew of Schachter's work has never been explored. Schachter's object is universal grammar. As is natural, the examples in the original are largely drawn from German grammar, with occasional minor excursions into other languages. For English readers, what matters are the general problems of grammar: there is no point in tying these to the linguistic peculiarities of German, let alone a local variety of it. One who can grasp German at that level might as well read the original. The translation is therefore twofold: the text as a whole has been rendered into English, and the entire apparatus of examples has been replaced, as far as this can be done, by illustrations from English grammar, chosen so as to bring out the same kinds of problem as in the original.
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