Author:W. Wright


(Two Volumes)

(Two Volumes)

W. Wright The ancient Semitic languages— Arabic and IEthiopic, Assyrian, Canaanitic (Phoenician and Hebrew), and Aramaic— are as closely connected with each other as the Romance languages. In some points the north Semitic tongues, particularly the Hebrew, may bear the greatest resemblance to this parent speech; but, on the whole, the south Semitic dialects, Arabic and IEthiopic— but especially the former— have, preserved a higher degree of likeness to the original Semitic language.
Dr. Wright’s translation of Gaspari’s Arabic Grammar from the German, edited with numerous additions and corrections, first appeared in 1859. Since that time, it has been thoroughly reNised and enlarged, and has become the standard authority.
Volume-I contains sections on orthography and pronunciation, on the verb, the noun and adjective, on numerals, prepositions, adverbs and conjunctions. Volume-II deals with syntax and prosody. In revising the book he has availed of the labours of Arab Grammarians, both ancient and modem, in particular the Alfiiyah of Ibn Malik, with the Commentary of Ibn Al-Mufassal of Zamakhshari, Lcimiyatu of Ibn Malik and among the later works, Bahth al-Matciab of Gabriel Farhat, Bistarg’s smaller Grammar, founded upon the above, entitled MOtih al-Misbdh and Yazigi’s Faslu ‘I-lade-lb. Among European Grammarians he made constant use of the works of S. de Sacy (Grammaire Arab), Ewald (Grammatica °idea Lingure Arabicre, 1831-33), and Lumsden (A Grammar of the Arabic Language) and also consulted the grammar of Professor Lagus of Helsingfors (Larokurs i Arabiska). The present re-issue of Wright’s Arabic Grammar incorporates only a few changes, mostly corrections of misprints, in the body of the work.


W. Wright

W. Wright (1830-1889) W. Wright was a famous British Orientalist and Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge. Many of his works on Syriac literature are still in print and of considerable scholarly value, especially the catalogues of the holdings of the British Library and Cambridge University Library. A Grammar of the Arabic Language, often simply known as Wright's Grammar, continues to be a popular book with students of Arabic. Wright is also remembered for the Short History of Syriac Literature. Wright was educated at St Andrew's University, Halle and Leiden. He was Professor of Arabic at University College London from 1855 to 1856, and Professor of Arabic at Trinity College, Dublin from 1856 to 1861. From 1861 to 1869, he was an Assistant in the Department of Manuscripts at the British Museum and from 1869 to 1870, Assistant Keeper at the museum. In 1870, he was appointed Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic at Cambridge University and he held the chair there until his death. He also translated and edited Caspari's Grammar of the Arabic; collected and edited-Opuscula Arabica (Leyden, 1859). His main achievement was as a cataloguer of manuscript collections. The rich Syriac holdings of the British Museum (now in the British Library) were mainly obtained in the 1840s from the monastery of Deir al-Syriani in the Nitrian desert in Egypt and contained a large number of previously unknown texts. A bibliography of his work can be found by R. L. Benaly, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1889, pp. 708ff. There is also an entry in the Dictionary of National Biography, vol. 63. pp. 138-139.


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