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Field and Digital Research in Aramaic and Hebrew Studies

On August 23-29, 2021, the Sefer Center, together with the Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies at the Higher School of Economics, is holding an online summer school on field and digital research in Aramaic and Hebrew studies. The school is organized with the support of the Genesis Philanthropy Group. The project is being implemented by the winner of the Common Cause competition of the Effective Philanthropy charity program of the Vladimir Potanin Charitable Foundation. The project is being implemented using a grant from the President of the Russian Federation for the development of civil society provided by the Presidential Grants Fund.

The program of the school combines digital research that has already become habitual in the context of the pandemic with the experience of lecturers and tutors in the field research of Aramaic and Hebrew languages. For example, school participants will be able to try themselves in preparing for the publication of an already recorded field text, as well as conduct a study of lexical features in dialects of one of the Neo-Aramaic languages. In both cases, we are talking about processing an array of field data using modern digital resources and methods: electronic corpora, dictionaries and other linguistic databases.

The lecture-seminar program of the school includes both classes directly related to research tracks and lectures that help to better understand the broader diachronic and theoretical perspective of research conducted within the school. Introductory lectures on the phonology and morphology of themodern Western Aramaic language(S. Lyozov) and theTuroyo language (Y. Furman), on themorphonology of Modern Hebrew (A. Olman), on the one hand, will help the participants of the research groups to prepare for their independent work, on the other hand, these lectures may be of interest to anyone who wants to become better acquainted with the current research of living Semitic languages. The scientific interests of the teachers participating in the school are also related to the ancient Semitic languages. A mini-course ondiachronic processes in the classical Mandaic (in English, M. Morgenstern)allows you to see some of the problems of Aramaistic research from the vintage point of linguistic changes.Lecture on the Aramaic language of Palmyria in the context of the dialectology of the Aramaic languages of the first centuries A.D. (A.Lyavdansky), being an introduction to one of the research tracks, can be useful to everyone who is interested in the history of the Aramaic languages. One of the fascinating areas of study of the written monuments of the Aramaic language is presented by a lecture on Syriac Charms (A. Cherkashina).

Within the framework of the methodological block, the following seminars will be held:

· Neo-Aramaic Electronic Corpora and how to Use them (A. Lyavdansky)

Researching Vocabulary in Dialectology: Field Methods (Yu. Furman)

Palmyrene Script and Digital Paleography (A. Chekal)

The participants will conduct independent research under the guidance of tutors in the following areas:

Publication of a Field Text in Modern Western Aramaic (S. Lyozov)

Study of Lexical Features in the Turoyo Dialects (Yu. Furman)

Study of Magic Rituals in the Syriac Spellbooks (A. Cherkashina)

Digital Research of the Palmyrene Script (A. Chekal,A. Lyavdansky)

Study of the Morphonology of Modern Spoken Hebrew (A. Olman)



There are two possible options of participance in the online school:


1) Student - In this case you not only listen to lectures but also take part in methodological seminars and develop your research project under the guidance of tutor. Application deadline: August, 10.

2) Listener - In this case you have access only to online-lectures. Application deadline: August, 20.


To apply, please choose one of these forms to fill in:



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School lectures and seminars (except the course by M. Morgenstern) will be held in Russian.