An Early North-Western Karaim Bible Translation from 1720. Part 1. The Torah

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Michał Németh

Abstract

In this article an early Bible translation into north-western Karaim is described. The manuscript, written in Hebrew script (in its Karaim semi-cursive variant), dates back to 1720, which makes it the oldest western Karaim Bible translation to be hitherto critically analysed. The manuscript was copied in Kukizów by Simcha ben Chananiel (died in the 1720s). The language of the manuscript reveals archaic features, among others, consonant harmony in the process of emerging.

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Author Biography

Michał Németh, Jagiellonian University, Faculty of Philology

(born 1980) is assistant professor in the Institute of Linguistics at the Jagiellonian University. His main interests lie in historical linguistics and etymology. He studied Turkish and Hungarian philology at the Jagiellonian University. He holds a PhD degree in Linguistics (2011) from the Jagiellonian University. He authored a number of studies, among which are two monographs on the Karaim entitled Unknown Lutsk Karaim Letters in Hebrew Script. (19th–20th Centuries). A Critical Edition (= Studia Turcologica Cracoviensia 12, Kraków 2011) and Zwięzła gramatyka języka zachodniokaraimskiego z ćwiczeniami [= A concise grammar of western Karaim with exercises] (= Prace Karaimoznawcze 1, Poznań 2011).

References

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