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Naming the flowers

Robert Alter, 24 February 1994

A History of the Hebrew Language 
by Angel Sáenz-Badillos, translated by John Elwolde.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £24.95, December 1993, 0 521 43157 3
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Language in Time of Revolution 
by Benjamin Harshav.
California, 234 pp., £19.95, September 1993, 0 520 07958 2
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... designating completed and uncompleted action – rather than tenses in the modern Western sense). Angel Sáenz-Badillos is a professor of Hebrew language and literature in Madrid, and his main emphasis is on the Biblical period, or rather periods, to which he devotes more than half the book, though he has authoritative things to say about rabbinic and ...

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