V. 54 N. 1 (2016)

Verso una definizione della lingua ebraica: irregolarità (šuḏūḏ) e analogia (qiyās) nel Kitāb al-Luma‛

Margherita Farina
Università per Stranieri di Siena

Pubblicato 2016-04-15

Parole chiave

  • Hebrew medieval grammar,
  • qiyās,
  • Hebrew sociolinguistics


The preservation and understanding of the Biblical language played a crucial role in the definition of the Jewish identity through the millennia. The attitude towards non-biblical literary varieties of Hebrew, such as the mišnaic one, on the other hand, was often ambivalent. On the one hand, they were considered as a source of corruption of the sacred language; on the other hand, they represented a precious clue for the analysis and evaluation of Biblical phenomena, by means of analogical comparisons. This paper examines a number of passages of Ibn Ǧanāḥ’s Kitāb al-Luma‛, a grammar of the Hebrew language composed in al-Andalus in the 11th century. It aims at showing how the necessity of justifying the use of the Mišna, for the explanation of unclear biblical lexicon and structures, leads Ibn Ǧanāḥ to develop complex and sophisticated morphological analysis of the Hebrew language, and to elaborate a thorough reflection on the mechanisms governing analogy in language.