Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Eric Chaim Kline, Bookseller

Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology. Number Fourteen: Ethiopic Documents: Gurage

New York: The Viking Fund, Inc., 1950. First edition. Softcover. Small quarto. 176pp. (Text), plus 12 photographic plates at rear. Original printed wraps with printer's device on front wrap and title-page. Title-page in red and black lettering. Rebound in boards with red buckram, gilt, spine strip (lightly frayed at extremities). Front wrapper now mounted on front board.

First edition of this fascinating work being a study of the Gurage language, one of the least known Semitic languages of Ethiopia. The Gurage languages do not constitute a coherent linguistic grouping, rather, the term is both linguistic and cultural. The Gurage people speak a number of separate languages, all belonging to the Southern branch of the Ethiopian Semitic language family (which also includes Amharic). The languages are often referred to collectively as "Guraginya" by other Ethiopians (-inya is the Amharic suffix for most Ethiopian Semitic languages). In Gurage, the most important tribe seems to be that of Chaha. This work deals with the Chaha, and the texts are in the central language of Chaha. Age-wear on wraps with spine partly missing and covers age-toned and creased along edges. Minor and sporadic pencil annotations throughout (easily erasable). Wraps in overall poor to fair, interior in very good condition. fair. Item #49936

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.

Price: $65.00

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