"WORKING WITH NO DATA": SEMITIC AND EGYPTIAN STUDIES PRESENTED TO THOMAS O. LAMBDIN. David M. Golomb, ed. Pp. xiv + 264. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1987. Cloth, $28.50.
This work is dedicated to the tireless teacher of Semitic and Egyptian languages at Harvard University, Thomas O. Lambdin. Former students and colleagues join in lauding this brilliant man, master of so many languages and linguistic problems. A preface and two tributes (pp. vii-xiv) open this volume. Through anecdotes and other remembrances of time past, the two tributes contributed by John Huehnergard and Richard J. Clifford capture the flavor of life with Lambdin.
The range of essays reflects the breadth of Lambdin's capabilities and interests. Moshe Bar-Asher opens the essays with his treatment of "The Different Traditions of Mishnaic Hebrew" (pp. 1-38), a linguistic study which brings methodological clarification to the variations of Mishnaic Hebrew. Walter R. Bodine, "Linguistics and Philology in the Study of Ancient Near Eastern Languages" (pp. 39-54), offers some prospects for fruitful interaction between the fields of linguistics and study of Semitic languages. Bodine discusses the possible import of graphemics, translation theory and methodology, and discourse analysis for research on Semitic languages. Richard J. Clifford, "Mot Invites Baal to a Feast: Observations on a Difficult Ugaritic Text (CTA 5.i = KTU 1.5.1)" (pp. 55-64), presents an interpretation of one passage from the Ugaritic Baal Cycle. Students of the text will recognize a few refinements to the study of this passage, written in the Semitic language perhaps most approximating the meaning of this volume's title for Professor Lambdin. It is unclear what the data are for Clifford's rejection of the two triple-questions marked by p-... hm... hm... in 11. 310, a rhetorical feature discussed in M. Held's seminal study in EI 9 (1969):72-79. Frank M. Cross, "The Oldest Phoenician Inscription from Sardinia: the Fragmentary Stele from Nora" (pp. 65-74),...
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