T.H. Robinson published "Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar" in 1915 to meet the need for "something of an elementary nature which should be of value to the student who takes up Syriac for the first time". Though the book was recognised as a success, teachers recognised its weaknesses and this fifth edition is a thorough revision. Much of the old explanatory text and many of the exercises have been superseded. Some matters of grammar and pronunciation receive more systematic treatment and there are additional appendices to introduce the Estrangela and East Syriac scripts. In its format and level, however, the book aims to be, as before, an approachable introduction to this language.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. The script; 3. Pronunciation; 4. Pronouns. Participles. Simple sentences; 5. Nouns and adjctives: gender, number, state; 6. Pronominal suffixes; 7. Prepositions; 8. Verbs. The perfect tense; 9. Simple nouns with variable vowels; 10. Participles; 11. Other nouns with variable vowels; 12. Miscellaneous and irregular nouns; 13. The imperfect tense; 14. The imperative and infinitive; 15. The ethpe'el; 16. The pa'el and ethpa'al; 17. The aph'el and ettaph'al. Other conjugations; 18. Objective pronominal suffixes, 1: attached to the perfect; 19. Objective pronominal suffixes, 2: attached to other forms of teh verb; 20. Weak verbs. Pe-nun verbs; 21. Pe-alaph verbs; 22. Pe-yod verbs; 23. 'E-alaph verbs; 24. Hollow verbs; 25. Geminate verbs; 26. Lamad-yod verbs, 1: the pe'al; 27. Lamad-yod verbs, 2: other conjugations; 28. Pronominal suffixes attached to lamad-yod verbs; 29. Numbers; A. PRONUNCIATION OF THE BGDKPT LETTERS; B. The estrangela script. Diacritical points; C. East Syriac writing and phonology; D. Dates; Syriac-English glossary; English-Syriac glossary
J. F. Coakley is Senior Lecturer in Syriac at Harvard University