Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1956. First edition. Softcover. Quarto. XX, 277pp. Uncut. Original printed wraps. First edition of this work being a descriptive and comparative study on the Gafat language. Some age-wear on wraps with closed tears and rubbing on spine. 1.5" closed tear on lower front joint. Edges of covers age-toned and slightly chipped. Text in French. Wraps in overall fair, interior in very good condition. g. Item #27287
About the Gafat language: The Gafat language is an extinct Semitic language that was once spoken along the Abbay River in Ethiopia. The records of this language are extremely sparse. There is a translation of the Song of Songs written in the 17th or 18th Century held at the Bodleian Library. Charles Beke collected a word list in the early 1840s with difficulty from the few who knew the language, having found that "the rising generation seem to be altogether ignorant of it; and those grown-up persons who profess to speak it are anything but familiar with it." The most recent accounts of this language are the reports of Wolf Leslau, who visited the region in 1947 and after considerable work was able to find a total of four people who could still speak the language. Edward Ullendorff, in his brief exposition on Gafat, concludes that as of the time of his writing, "one may ... expect that it has now virtually breathed its last."