Paris: Librairie C. Klincksieck, 1941. First edition. Quarto. IX, , 388pp. Text in French and Tigrinya. Full red cloth with gold lettering on spine. First edition of this fascinating study on the Tigrinya language. This work contains several folding charts. Pages a bit age-toned. Binding in overall very good. This copy from the personal library of the author, with his bookplate on the front pastedown.
The Tigrinya is a Semitic language spoken by the Tigray-Tigrinya people in central Eritrea (there referred to as the "Tigrinya" people), where it is one of the two official languages of Eritrea, and in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia (whose speakers are called "Tigray"), where it also has official status, and among groups of emigrants from these regions, including some of the Beta Israel now living in Israel. Tigrinya is also spoken by the Jeberti (Muslim Tigrinya) in Eritrea.Tigrinya should not be confused with the related Tigre language, which is spoken in the lowland regions in Eritrea to the north and west of the region where Tigrinya is spoken. vg. Item #49917
About the author: 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.