A brief introduction to the Semitic languages - download pdf or read online

By Aaron D. Rubin

With a written heritage of approximately 5 thousand years, the Semitic languages include one of many global s earliest attested and longest attested households. popular family members comprise Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Amharic, and Akkadian. This quantity offers an outline of this significant language family members, together with either historical and sleek languages. After a short advent to the background of the family members and its inner class, next chapters conceal themes in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon.Each bankruptcy describes beneficial properties which are attribute of the Semitic language kin as an entire, in addition to many of the extra awesome advancements that happen within the person languages. this offers either a typological review and an outline of extra precise beneficial properties. The chapters include plentiful examples from quite a few languages. the entire examples contain morpheme by way of morpheme glosses, in addition to translations, which assist in making those examples transparent and obtainable even to these now not accustomed to a given language. Concluding the publication is an in depth consultant to additional examining, which directs the reader to crucial reference instruments and secondary literature, and an updated bibliography.This short creation encompasses a wealthy number of information, and covers issues now not quite often present in brief sketches resembling this. The readability of presentation makes it invaluable not just to these within the box of Semitic linguistics, but additionally to the overall linguist or language fanatic who needs to benefit whatever approximately this crucial language relatives.

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Ge'ez nabara 'he sat' and jussive y,nbar 'let him sit, may he sit'. , Central Se­ mitic, is slightly more complex. The inherited perfective form, in combination with a suffix *-u (originally a marker of subordina­ tion) came to indicate non-past, replacing the inherited non-past form (Rubin 2005). The result is that in Central Semitic there was a form of the shape *prefix + CCVC that indicated the jus­ sive, and a form *prefix + CCVC-u that indicated non-past. This situation is found in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic.

For Phoenician, the standard reference grammar is that of Friedrich and Rollig (1 999), though Hackett (2004) provides a nice sketch of the language. For the Canaanite of the Tell El-Amama tablets, see Rainey (1996). Aramaic: As discussed above (§1. 9), Aramaic is the cover term for a large number of languages and dialects. Among the many reference grammars focusing on the ancient dialects, we can cite just a few: Degen (1969) on Old Aramaic; Folmer (1995) and Muraoka and Porten (2003) on Imperial Aramaic; Dalman (1 905) on various Jewish dialects; Noldeke (1904) on Syriac; Miiller-Kessler (1991) on Christian Palestinian Aramaic; and Macuch (1965) on Mandaic.

3 VERBAL TENSE/ASPECT The verbal system is the area in which the languages exhibit the greatest variation, and so an overview of the entire family is impossible in a brief format such as this. Here we will limit our­ selves to some of the interesting developments in the realm of tense and aspect (Cohen 1984 and Kurylowicz 1973 are impor­ tant general works on this issue). For Proto-Semitic, suffice it to say that two basic verbal forms can be reconstructed, and it is likely that these mainly distinguished perfective and imperfec­ tive aspect.

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