London and Berlin: Asher & Co., 1870. First edition. Hardcover. 8vo. XIII, 146 pp. in English + XV in Arabic + 132 pp. in Hebrew. Red cloth with gold lettering on spine. Signature of the late Leon J. Leibreich, the influential Professor of Theology at Hebrew Union College, who has a prize for liturgy endowed, in his name on title page. Work was originally written in Arabic by Judah ben David Hayyuj. This book includes both the Hebrew translation by Moses Gikitilia of Cordova and the English translation by John W. Nutt. Minor age wear to exterior. Binding has been expertly reinforced with green binder's tape along front endpapers. Book is in very good condition. vg. Item #21459
Judah ben David Hayyuj (c. 945 - 1000) was a Spanish-Jewish grammarian. His thorough knowledge of Arabic grammatical literature led him to apply to the Hebrew grammar the theories elaborated by Arabic grammarians, and thus to become the founder of the scientific study of that discipline. The preceding scholars had found the greatest difficulty in accounting, by the laws of Hebrew morphology, for the divergences existing between the regular, or so-called "strong," verbs and the "weak" verbs. A hopeless confusion appeared to reign here in Hebrew; and much ingenuity was spent in endeavoring to discover the principles that controlled the conjugation of the verbs. To substantiate his theories he wrote the treatises upon which his reputation chiefly rests, the Kitab al-Af'al Dhawat Huruf al-Lin (The Book of Verbs Containing Weak Letters) and Kitab al-Af'al Dhawat al-Mathalain (The Book of Verbs Containing Double Letters) which comprise this particular book.