Introduction to the Grammar of Hebrew Poetry in Byzantine Palestine By Michael Rand

From Gorgias Press:
This work is concerned with investigating a corpus of several thousand lines of poetry, selected from the oeuvre of Eleazar be-rabbi Qillir, a liturgical poet (payyetan) whose period of activity dates to the early seventh century CE. The first portion of the work is a grammar devoted mainly to morphology and syntax. The aim of this portion is (1) to provide a structural description of the most salient/individuating features of the Qillirian dialect, and (2) to compare the morphological and syntactic data thus gathered with analogous phenomena in Biblical, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Mishnaic Hebrew, thereby establishing the position of the Qillirian dialect within the developmental trajectory of Hebrew in Roman/Byzantine Palestine. The second portion of the work is an investigation of the poetic norms, as well as rhetorical techniques employed by Qillir, together with an assessment of their impact on the grammar (e.g., the influence of rhyme on morphology). This portion seeks to integrate a formal analysis of Qillirian poetics into a linguistic evaluation of the Qillirian dialect vis-à-vis its Palestinian contemporaries (including Aramaic and Greek) and antecedents. The overall aim of the project is to design an analytical framework within which a self-conscious poetic dialect might be investigated, both as a linguistic and an aesthetic object.


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