Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/11

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.[1]

 

This book does not claim to be in any respect a complete Syriac Grammar. It is true that with the material at my disposal I might have added very considerably to not a few sections; but any treatment of grammatical phenomena which aimed at completeness in every detail required quite other manuscript studies, than were at all open to me. Practical considerations too imposed a severe limitation. I trust however, that even within restricted limits, I have succeeded in producing something which may be of use.

I have taken my material from the best sources within reach, entirely disregarding Amira and the other Maronites. Besides the Jacobite and Nestorian grammarians and lexicographers now in print, I have made use of Severus of St. Matthaeus (usually, but incorrectly, styled "of Tekrit") as he appears in the Göttingen manuscript. The Directorate of the Göttingen Library, with their accustomed liberality, farther sent me, at my request, from their manuscript treasures, the large grammar of Barhebraeus together with his Scholia; and, with no less readiness, the Library-Directorate of Gotha sent me the Vocabulary of Elias of Nisibis. These manuscripts yielded produce of many kinds. It would have been an invaluable assistance to me, if I had had before me the Masoretic tradition of the Syrians, with some degree of completeness. Of this, however, I had at command at first—in addition to the epitomes which are found in printed works—only a few extracts, which


  1. Somewhat shortened at the close.—The first edition (1880) was dedicated to J. P. N. Land (Died 30. Ap. 1897).