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Introduction to Syriac: An Elementary Grammar With Readings from Syriac Literature
Author: Wheeler M. Thackston
Publisher: IBEX Publishers
Year: 1999
Number of pages: xxvii+228
Format: pdf/rar
Size: 7.4 MB
With this volume, Wheeler M. Thackston, Professor of Near Eastern Languages at Harvard University, continues the series of introductory grammars he began with his An Introduction to Persian and An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic. In each case, Thackston has sought to create an introductory grammar that will allow those unfamiliar with the language to gain a basic reading knowledge relatively quickly. In the present volume, Thackston meets this goal with mixed success.
Following an introductory chapter dealing with such matters as the history of the Syriac language, the alphabet, phonetics, and vocalization, Thackston provides a series of twenty graded lessons designed to have the reader translating Syriac texts as quickly as possible. Each lesson introduces new elements of Syriac grammar followed by a vocabulary list and reading exercises. The vocabulary lists and exercises are keyed to the Peshitta version of the Bible since Thackston assumes, probably correctly, that most students who learn Syriac do so within the context of Biblical studies. Following the grammar lessons is an appendix giving verb conjugation charts and a series of practice readings taken from the Peshitta and other classical Syriac literature, including a selection from the Hymns of Ephrem. A Syriac-English vocabulary list and a very brief subject index round out the volume.

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