Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11889/4716
Title: Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes
Authors: Halayqa, Issam
Keywords: Weights and measures - History - Hebron - Palestine
Weights and measures - Terminology - Palestine
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: The lexical origin of traditional measure and weight units in the colloquial of Hebron district a considerable number of traditional terms to denote units of measurement and weight are used in the colloquial of Hebron district, This terminology has been essentially used by people living in that area to measure quantities, to perform commercial transactions (including bartering and trading with money), to distrib-ute agricultural and animal products, and in the buying and selling of land. This paper will provide an ethnographic and comparative lexical study of each term for the units of measurement. The ethnographic section will provide a definition of each unit in terms of its numerical value, and the measured materials or objects. The comparative lexical section will trace the etymology, meaning, and the ap-pearance of each term in the ancient Semitic and non-Semitic languages that were predominant in the area of study. This study is an attempt, firstly, to document these units as it has become apparent that many of them are dying out as they were being replaced with the modern metric and imperial systems. Secondly, it attempts to trace the lexical origins of these terms, since it has also become apparent that many of these units have counterparts, and sometimes even originated in the an-cient Semitic and non-Semitic languages. Factors involved in the development of the terminology It was observed that these units are an outcome of contact between man and his natural and cultural surroundings. Many factors played a role in the creation of the names of these units. • The role of agricultural activities (ploughing, fanning, harvest, and storage) and the agricultural environment of the area have significantly affected the no-menclature of the units due to: 1. The amount of land which could be ploughed during the day by a pair of oxen, cows (cf. faddan) or by a single animal such as donkeys and mules (cf. .yarba). 2. The different types of agricultural produce like grain, vegetables and fruits, and liquids like oil, vine syrup and milk, as it was noticed that some of the units of measurements were applied only to a specific kind of crop (tanaka for measuring olive oil and sidsiyya for measuring grain on the threshing floor). With regard to measurements of weight, the seeds of plants, which were available in the surrounding areas, were harvested, dried up and used as a standard measurement to weigh very tiny things (cf. qTra-1). • The role of household utensils and tools was significant as most of the units of measurement of this type were derived from this context. The names used to refer to the vessels used for transport, distribution, division and storage of agricultural
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11889/4716
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