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In this volume, P. Bekins extends his KUSATU 17 study of differential object marking in the Mesha Inscription to cover all Iron Age Northwest Semitic epigraphic texts. He shows that while the object marker is optional for definite objects, its use is neither inconsistent nor erratic and its distribution follows a clear linguistic pattern.
P. Noorlander’s study addresses the long-standing question of the position of Ugaritic within the Northwest Semitic language family. Although his careful synthesis does not advocate a novel linguistic classification, it provides a clear summary of the current arguments as well as an analytical discussion of the individual linguistic criteria used to group or separate Ugaritic with the Canaanite family.
G. van der Kooij’s contribution straddles both the history of Northwest Semitic palaeography and the forefront of palaeographic technique. Using the palaeographic achievements of Julius Euting (1838-1913) as the backdrop, van der Kooij pro-vides a model for modern palaeography, including in-depth analyses of the Mesha Stele and the Siloam Tunnel inscription — for the latter van der Kooij provides a new, soon-to-be authoritative line-drawing. As an extra, a high resolution pdf file of it can be accessed by the QR code given inside.
The fourth article, by R. Kerr, examines the phrase k šmʿ qlʾ brkʾ found at the end of Punic dedications and, based on parallels with the same expression but with the prefix conjugation verb, argues for a novel analysis of both the suffix conjugation verb as well as the introductory particle k.