An Introduction to Ugaritic
As I pen this review we are less than a week from the death of Frank Moore Cross. A fact worth noting since Cross has been so very influential in the study of Ugaritic and as wellbecause Huehnergard dedicates his new grammar to Cross.Huehnergard (from hence, merely H.) offers interested students a very fine grammar written in a sensible style and organized equally sensibly. The volume begins with anIntroduction (pp. 1-18) wherein H. describes the Ugaritic language, Ugaritic texts, andfrom my point of view most importantly, Ugaritic and Biblical studies. Part II is adiscussion of Orthography (pp. 19-22). Part III, Phonology (pp. 23-30). Part IV,Morphology (pp. 31-80) including but not limited to treatments of pronouns, nouns, verbs, adjectives, numerals, prepositions, adverbs and the other parts of speech. Part V,Syntax (pp. 81-84). Part VI, Features of Poetic Texts (pp. 85-87). Part VII, Basic Vocabulary and Practice Exercises (pp. 89-98). And finally, Part VIII, Selection of Texts(pp. 99-138).Following the grammar proper, there are a series of very, very helpful appendicesincluding John Ellison
The Ugaritic Alphabetic Script
, a key to the practice exercises,and paradigms for pronouns, nouns and adjectives, numerals, and verbs.The volume also contains 51 plates, some of them in color and all of them very useful asillustrative material.From a technical point of view, the volume is printed in an exceptionally beautiful fontand the transliterated Ugaritic texts are crystal clear. The book is nicely bound in hardcover and is a sturdy addition to any collection. It is, in a word, made to endure theravages of student usage. When it comes to the matter itself, the introduction to the student of the language of Ugarit, H. has managed to give readers a grammar vastly superior to that of Stanislav Segert. H.
s organization is simply better and clearer than Segert
s and though I haveutilized Segert
s volume for my own course on Ugaritic for many years, I will from hencerequire H.
s instead. Here are my specific reasons for so doing:1- The grammar is clear and precise and H
s explanations clean and crisp.2- The selection of texts offers transliterated readings followed by line for line and wordfor word explanatory notes.3- The Glossary is exceptionally good, thorough, and complete, noting parallels in BiblicalHebrew.4- The exercises allow students to actually read Ugaritic texts and understand them.