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Professor Abraham Tal is the Israel Prize laureate in Hebrew linguistics, and Professor Aryeh Levin is the laureate for general linguistics, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar announced yesterday.

The prize committee awarded the prize to Tal, of Tel Aviv University, for his achievements in the study of Samaritan traditions and the study of the language of the Targums, in lexicography, for his work as an editor of the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language and his contribution in producing important students.

Tal, who was born in Romania, was a member of a Zionist youth group and came to live in Israel in 1950. In 1962, he finished his B.A. in Hebrew language and Bible at Tel Aviv University and did his advanced degrees at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem while teaching at TAU.

The prize committee honored Levin for excellent achievement in the study of the Hebrew language in the Middle Ages and research into Arabic dialects and for promoting literary and spoken Arabic in various state frameworks. Levin, who was born in 1937 in Ramat Gan, has taught at the Hebrew University for the past 40 years, in addition to holding senior posts in the teaching of Arabic in the education system.