The Franz Rosenthal Prize in Islamics & Semitics was established in 2005 in memory of Franz Rosenthal (1914–2003), Louis M. Rabinowitz Professor of Semitic languages at Yale from 1956 to 1967, Sterling Professor of Arabic at Yale University from 1967 to 1985, and thereafter Emeritus Professor.
Franz Rosenthal was a distinguished and prolific scholar in the fields of Arabic language and Islamic civilization, Aramaic, and several other Semitic languages and their philology. The breadth of his research activity was wide and impressive, combining expertise in multiple disciplines to produce a long list of influential scholarly accomplishments. The Rosenthal Prize, carrying a monetary value of $5,000 (five thousand dollars), is awarded irregularly to a scholar whose accomplishments in scholarship come closest in scope to those of Franz Rosenthal.
2007—Joshua Blau, Hebrew University (presentation at 217th Annual Meeting, San Antonio; Special Session: Franz Rosenthal Prize Communication, Jacob Lassner, Chair, “Elements of Spoken Aramaic in Early Judeo-Arabic Texts Spelt Phonetically”)
2013—Jacob Lassner, Northwestern University (presentation at 224th annual meeting, Phoenix)