Ethiopians Speak: Studies in Cultural Background, III. Soddo
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968. First edition. 8vo. ix,236pp. Red library buckram, gilt. Original green wrappers bound in. Fine copy.
"...the purpose of this series is twofold: first, to present to the social scientist in general, and to the student in things Ethiopic in particular, a description of various aspects of everyday life of the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia; and second, to furnish at the same time the Ethiopian linguist with a collection of texts in languages for which we have no writings." Fine. Item #49903
From the collection of Wolf Leslau. Wolf Leslau was undoubtedly the greatest Semiticist linguist of the past century, many would even say of all time. He was born in Czestochowa, Poland, on November 14, 1906, and died in Fullerton, California, on November 18, 2006. The centenarian was working almost up to his final day on a descriptive grammar of the Ethio-Semitic language Gogot. As with so much of his work, his grammars were based on material he had collected doing fieldwork, in this particular case many decades before. He published more than fifty volumes and more than two hundred articles in a variety of international journals over a long and distinguished career of seventy-plus years, and he is known as a most prodigious contributor to Ethiopian linguistics (including three enormous projects of particular importance, Leslau 1979, 1987, 1995) as well as an important contributor to Semitic comparative and historical lexicography, and folklore and oral literature. His publications (written chiefly in English, but also in French, Yiddish, and Hebrew) ranged across descriptive grammar, comparative grammar, lexicography, grammatical/phonological and lexical reconstruction, etymology, language classification, borrowing, anthropological and cultural linguistic topics (e.g. folk tales, argots, riddles, songs, proverbs, taboos), translation, bibliography, reviews, and even recordings of Ethiopian traditional music.