Abraham Tal: A dictionary of Samaritan Aramaic-a review article

Moshe Florentin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents a detailed review of A Dictionary of Samaritan Aramaic (Leiden: Brill, 2000). Samaritan Aramaic (SA) is a Palestinian Aramaic dialect similar to Jewish Aramaic and Christian Aramaic, the two other dialects in use during the first millennium CE in Palestine. Based on the best critical editions of Samaritan texts (for each of them the author initially prepared a comprehensive concordance), it presents the entire vocabulary of SA literature as it is known at present; namely the Samaritan Targum, liturgical poems, midrashic literature and SA material attested in Samaritan texts written in Late Samaritan Hebrew. The article deals with lexicographical issues, such as the method of introducing entries and the scope of the dictionary (e.g. its being a sort of mini-encyclopedia). It focuses mainly on matters relating to SA, such as differences between ancient and late layers of the dialect, lexical loans (from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Latin) and influences of Jewish texts (e.g. Onkelos). The scope of the dictionary, its method and, above all, the way its author deals with the vast lexical problems of SA, make it one of the most important contributions to the research into this dialect. It is therefore unsurprising that DSA has already gained an important place on the bookshelves of scholars of other dialects of Aramaic, Hebrew and biblical studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


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