I have always found the grammar of classical languages like Ancient (Biblical) Hebrew to be a good pre-requisite for language awareness with regard to the grammar of contemporary English for ESL purposes. Hebrew texts are one of my personal favorites of study; Hebrew grammar, so entirely different from English and other Indo-European languages, has some special features that are vital to identifying the structure of text. For example, its narrative grammar mode constitutes the main body of a text while at the beginning and the end of such texts other modes like a descriptive grammar mode or a concluding grammar mode are used. To gain a better insight into the ‘deep structure’ of texts, making use of standard lexicographical works is essential. One such work is Wilhelm Gesenius’ famous Hebrew-German dictionary not only covering the entire vocabulary of canonical Jewish sacred scripture but tracing the origin of words back to common semitic roots in other ancient and modern Semitic languages like Phoenician, Sumerian, Old Egyptian, Accadian, Old and Classical Arabic, Ethiopian and the latter’s classical linguistic predecessor, Ge’ez.
Gesenius’ work is now some 200 years old but has never been succeeded by a better, modern work; instead, it has been updated with new findings from sources such as the scrolls from the Qumran caves unknown at the time when Gesenius set out to compile and publish his dictionary for the first time in 1810/1812.
I was lucky to find the following dictionary editions by Gesenius today and bought them immediately to replace some more outdated editions in my personal library with these updated, revised editions.
Gesenius was a German professor of Theology with a concentration on Old GTestament literature and Semitic languages at the German University of Halle in the first half of the 19th century.
German 18th revised Gesenius edition - excellent and up-to-date in terms of data & text-critical literary research:
English Gesenius editon: still worth using but outdated:
Hopefully, you will not think that I am alien from planet Jupiter or Mars when I urgently suggest that Silverboy make good use of these dictionaries while pursuing his research in Applied Lingustics in Pattaya; dealing with brothels, hookers and pimps is such a demanding task while conducting such a demanding research there, looool.
- Extra-terrestrial Alien to conduct research in Pattaya -- The Alien -- 2018-03-29
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