World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Judah ibn Kuraish

Article Id: WHEBN0004116211
Reproduction Date:

Title: Judah ibn Kuraish  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hebrew grammar, Algerian Jews, Afroasiatic languages, Algeria
Collection: 10Th-Century Rabbis, Algerian Jews, Medieval Algerian Jews, Medieval Hebraists, People from Tiaret, Year of Birth Unknown, Year of Death Unknown
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Judah ibn Kuraish

Rabbinical Eras

Judah ibn Kuraish (Hebrew: יהודה אבן קריש‎, Arabic: يهوذا بن قريش‎), was a Hebrew grammarian and lexicographer. He was born at Tiaret in North Africa, and flourished in the ninth century. While his grammatical works advanced little beyond his predecessors, he was the first in studying comparative philology in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic. He recognized that the various Semitic languages are derived from one source, and that, although different in their development, they are subject to the same linguistic laws. Judah's grammatical researches were original, and he maintained his views regardless of the Mishnah and the Talmud; hence he has been, erroneously, considered a Karaite.


  • Works 1
    • Risalah 1.1
  • Bibliography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4



His Risalah, a letter in Arabic, written in the Hebrew script,[1] to the community at Fes (ed. Bargès and Goldberg, Paris, 1857), is the earliest known contribution to the critical study of the Semitic languages. The work is divided into 3 sections with an introduction. In the preface, he warns the community not to neglect the study of the Targumim, since they are important for a correct knowledge of the Bible, which contains many Aramaisms. In the first section, he compares biblical words to similar Aramaic words. In the second section, he focuses on comparing biblical words to later Rabbinic Hebrew words. He makes this comparison for 17 words, even if they do not have a direct comparison. The third section is structured differently from the other two in that he does not deal with individual words. Instead, he deals with the larger relationship between these three Semitic languages. He explores ideas such as the interchange of letters or pronunciation, the presence or loss of certain weaker letters in roots like the Nun, the changes of letters used in tenses, changes in gender in names and number, additional vowels or the lack thereof, etc. An additional section is attached to the third section in which Judah examines the relationship between Arabic and Hebrew specifically. In particular he notes the exchanges of Aleph with Ayin, Ayin with Ghain, Zayin with Dalet, Tsade with Teth, Shin with Taw, etc.

He is also said to have written, in addition to the Risalah, a dictionary, and a book on the Commandments. Of these works, however, little is known about them. Although Judah mentions his dictionary in the Risalah, nothing remains of it or his other book.


  • Goldberg, preface to the Risalah, Paris, 1857
  • Gustav Karpeles, Geschichte der Jüdischen Literatur, i. 435 et seq., Berlin, 1886
  • Winter and Wünsche, Die Jüdische Litteratur, ii.142-144.


  1. ^ Introduction of Risalat Yehuda Ibn Quraysh - مقدمة رسالة يهوذا بن قريش

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.