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The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three
subgroups In group theory In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ...
of the
Northwest Semitic languages Northwest Semitic is a division of the Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family ...
, the others being
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
and
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct , classified by some as a of the and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the discovered by French in 1929 at , including several major literary texts, notably the . It has be ...
. They are attested in Canaanite inscriptions throughout the Mediterranean region. Dialects have been labelled primarily with reference to
Biblical geography This is an incomplete list of places, lands, and countries mentioned in the Bible. Some places may be listed twice, under two different names. Only places having their own Wikipedia Wikipedia ( or ) is a free, multilingual open-collaborati ...
: Hebrew, Phoenician/Carthaginian, Amorite, Ammonite, Ekronite, Moabite and Edomite; the dialects were all mutually intelligible, being no more differentiated than geographical varieties of Modern English. This family of languages has the distinction of being the first historically attested group of languages to use an
alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semanti ...

alphabet
, derived from the
Proto-Canaanite alphabet Proto-Canaanite is the name given to :(a) the Proto-Sinaitic script Proto-Sinaitic (also referred to as Sinaitic, Proto-Canaanite when found in Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic: ; Phoenician langu ...
, to record their writings, as opposed to the far earlier
Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the Common Era. It is nam ...

Cuneiform
logographic In a written language A written language is the representation of a spoken or gestural language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
/
syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables *Abugida, writing system us ...
writing of the region. They were spoken by the ancient
Semitic people Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family ...
of the
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
and
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
regions, an area encompassing what is today
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
,
Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia. It is entirely a part of the Greater Middle East. It in ...

Jordan
,
Sinai
Sinai
,
Lebanon Lebanon ( , ar, لُبْنَان, translit=lubnān, ), officially the Republic of Lebanon or the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part ...

Lebanon
,
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا or ar, سُورِيَة, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-S ...

Syria
, the
Palestinian territories The term "Palestinian territories" has been used for many years to describe the territories occupied by Israel since 1967 within the former Mandatory Palestine, British Mandate for Palestine, namely the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and t ...

Palestinian territories
and also some fringe areas of southwestern
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
, southwestern
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and the northern
Arabian Peninsula The Arabian Peninsula (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. At , the ...
. The
Canaanites A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also * Phoenix (mytho ...
are broadly defined to include the
Hebrews The terms ''Hebrews'' (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Jude ...

Hebrews
,
Amalekites Amalek (; he, עֲמָלֵק, ''‘Ámālēq'', ar, عماليق ''‘Amālīq'') is a nation described in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are alm ...
,
Ammon Ammon (Ammonite language, Ammonite: 𐤏𐤌𐤍 ''ʻAmān''; he, עַמּוֹן ''ʻAmmōn''; ar, عمّون, ʻAmmūn) was an ancient Semitic languages, Semitic-speaking nation occupying the east of the Jordan River, between the torrent ...

Ammon
ites,
Amorites The Amorites (; Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''Th ...

Amorites
,
Edomites Edom (; Edomite: 𐤀𐤃𐤌 ''’Edām''; he, אֱדוֹם ''ʼÉḏōm'', lit.: "red"; akk, 𒌑𒁺𒈠𒀀𒀀 ''Uduma'') was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan located between Moab to the northeast, the Arabah to the west and the Ar ...
,
Ekron The city of Ekron (Philistine The Philistines were an ancient people who lived on the south coast of Canaan from the 12th century BC until 604 BC, when their polity, after having already been subjugated for centuries by Assyria, was finally ...

Ekron
ites,
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
(including
Judeans Judea or Judaea, and the modern version of Judah (; from he, יהודה, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is the ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it' ...
and
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
),
Phoenicians Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3.0 ...

Phoenicians
(including the
Carthaginians The Punics, Carthaginians or Western Phoenicians, were a group of peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Latin equivalent of the Greek-derived term 'Phoen ...
), Moabites and
Suteans The Suteans (AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Worl ...
. Although the Amorites are included among the Canaanite peoples, their language is sometimes not considered to be a Canaanite language but closely related. The Canaanite languages continued to be everyday
spoken languages A spoken language is a language produced by articulate sounds, as opposed to a written language. Many languages are only in written form and are not spoken. An oral language or vocal language is a language produced with the vocal tract, as opposed t ...
until at least the 4th century CE.
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
is the only living Canaanite language today. It remained in continuous use by many
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
well into the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
as both a
liturgical Liturgy is the customary public worship Worship is an act of religion, religious wikt:devotion, devotion usually directed towards a deity. For many, worship is not about an emotion, it is more about a recognition of a god. An act of worship ma ...
and
literary language A literary language is the form of a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system c ...
and was used for commerce between disparate
diasporic A diaspora () is a scattered population whose Indigenous peoples, origin lies in a separate geographic locale. Historically, the word diaspora was used to refer to the mass dispersion of a population from its indigenous territories, specifical ...

diasporic
Jewish communities. It has also remained a liturgical language among
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
. Hebrew was revived by Jewish political and cultural activists, particularly through the revitalization and cultivation efforts of
zionists was the founder of the Modern Zionist movement. In his 1896 pamphlet ''Der Judenstaat ''Der Judenstaat'' ( German, literally ''The Jews' State'', commonly rendered as ''The Jewish State'') is a pamphlet written by Theodor Herzl and publishe ...
throughout Europe and in
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
, as an everyday spoken language in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the mid-20th century,
Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
had become the primary language of the
Jews of Palestine Palestinian Jews were Jews, Jewish inhabitants of Palestine (region), Palestine (known in Hebrew as ''Eretz Israel'', the "Land of Israel") prior to the Israeli Declaration of Independence, establishment of the modern state of Israel. The commo ...
and was later made the
official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the language used by a people or country, but by its government (e.g. judiciar ...

official language
of the
State of Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is ...
. The primary reference for extra-biblical Canaanite inscriptions, together with Aramaic inscriptions, is the German-language book ''
Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften (in English language, English, Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions), or KAI, is the standard source for the original text of Canaanite and Aramaic inscriptions not contained in the Tanakh or Old Testament. ...
'', from which inscriptions are often referenced as KAI ''n'' (for a number ''n'').For example, the
Mesha Stele The Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, is a stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in E ...
is "KAI 181".


Classification and sources

The Canaanite languages or dialects can be split into the following:: "The extrabiblical linguistic material from the Iron Age is primarily epigraphic, that is, texts written on hard materials (pottery, stones, walls, etc.). The epigraphic texts from Israelite territory are written in Hebrew in a form of the language which may be called Inscriptional Hebrew; this 'dialect' is not strikingly different from the Hebrew preserved in the Masoretic text. Unfortunately, it is meagerly attested. Similarly limited are the epigraphic materials in the other South Canaanite dialects, Moabite and Ammonite; Edomite is so poorly attested that we are not sure that it is a South Canaanite dialect, though that seems likely. Of greater interest and bulk is the body of Central Canaanite inscriptions, those written in the Phoenician language of Tyre, Sidon, and Byblos, and in the offshoot Punic and Neo-Punic tongues of the Phoenician colonies in North Africa. "An especially problematic body of material is the Deir Alla wall inscriptions referring to a prophet Balaam (c. 700 BC), these texts have both Canaanite and Aramaic features. W. R. Garr has recently proposed that all the Iron Age Canaanite dialects be regarded as forming a chain that actually includes the oldest forms of Aramaic as well."


North Canaan

*
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...
. The main sources are
Ahiram sarcophagus inscription
Ahiram sarcophagus inscription
, sarcophagus of Eshmunazar, the
Tabnit sarcophagus The Tabnit sarcophagus is the sarcophagus of the Phoenicia Phoenicia (; from grc, Φοινίκη, ') was an ancient Semitic-speaking thalassocratic civilization that originated in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily mod ...

Tabnit sarcophagus
, the Kilamuwa inscription, the
Cippi of Melqart The Cippi of Melqart is the collective name for two Phoenician marble Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or Dolomite (mineral), dolomite. Marble is typically not Foliation (geo ...
, the other
Byblian royal inscriptions The Byblian royal inscriptions are five inscriptions from Byblos Byblos ( ar, جبيل ''Jubayl'', locally ''Jbeil''; gr, Βύβλος; phn, 𐤂𐤁𐤋 (GBL) , (probably ''Gubal'') is a city in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon ...
. For later
Punic The Punic people or Western Phoenicians, were a group of Semitic people, Semitic peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians of the coasts of Western Asia. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Lati ...
: in
Plautus Titus Maccius Plautus (; c. 254 – 184 BC), commonly known as Plautus, was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome ...

Plautus
' play ''
Poenulus ''Poenulus'', also called ''The Little Carthaginian'' or ''The Little Punic'', is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in th ...
'' at the beginning of the fifth act.


South Canaan

*
Ammonite *Belemnoidea—an extinct group of . {{fossil cephalopods, state=collapsed Prehistoric cephalopods by classification Coleoidea ...
– an extinct Hebraic dialect of the
Ammonite people
Ammonite people
mentioned in the Bible. *
Edomite Edom (; Edomite language, Edomite: ; he, Wiktionary:אדום, אֱדוֹם , lit.: "red"; Akkadian language, Akkadian: , ; Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ) was an ancient kingdom in Transjordan (region), Transjordan located between Mo ...
– an extinct Hebraic dialect of the
Edomite people Edom (; : ; he, , lit.: "red"; : , ; : ) was an ancient kingdom in located between to the northeast, the to the west, and the to the south and east.Negev & Gibson (ed.), 2001, ''Edom; Edomites'', pp. 149–150 Most of its former territor ...
mentioned in the Bible and Egyptian texts. *
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
died out as an everyday spoken language between 200 and 400 AD, but remained in continuous use by many Jews since that period, as a written language, a read language and by many people a spoken language as well. It was primarily used in liturgy, literature, and commerce well into modern times. Beginning in the late 19th century, it was revived as an everyday spoken language by Jews in Palestine and diaspora as
Zionism Zionism ( he, צִיּוֹנוּת ''Tsiyyonut'' after ''Zion Zion ( he, צִיּוֹן ''Ṣīyyōn'', , also variously ''Sion'', ''Tzion'', ''Tsion'', ''Tsiyyon'') is a placename in the used as a synonym for as well as for the as ...
emerged as a political movement and Jews began making aliyah (returning) to Palestine in increasing numbers, and it became the ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect The term dialect (from , , from the word , 'disco ...
'' of the growing Jewish community there. After the State of
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
was established, it became the main language of the country. Although different dialects of the language were used in earlier times, mostly it is the same Hebrew language. Hebrew is the only Canaanite language that is a living language, and the most successful example of a revived
dead language An extinct language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system composed o ...
. * Moabite – an extinct Hebraic dialect of the Moabite people mentioned in the Bible. The main sources are the
Mesha Stele The Mesha Stele, also known as the Moabite Stone, is a stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in E ...
and El-Kerak Stela.


Other

Other possible Canaanite languages: * Ekronite or Philistine Semitic – not to be confused with the non-Semitic (assumed
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
)
Philistine language
Philistine language
. The former is attested by several dozen inscriptions in Phoenician script scattered along Israel's southwest coast, in particular the
Ekron Royal Dedicatory Inscription The Ekron Royal Dedicatory Inscription, or simply the Ekron inscription, is a royal dedication inscription found in its Archaeological context, primary context in the ruins of a temple during the 1996 excavations of Ekron.Gitin, Dothan, and Naveh, ...
. *
Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct , classified by some as a of the and so the only known Amorite dialect preserved in writing. It is known through the discovered by French in 1929 at , including several major literary texts, notably the . It has be ...
, although the inclusion of this language within Canaanite is disputed. *The
Deir Alla Inscription The Deir 'Alla Inscription (or Bal'am Son of Be'or Inscription), known as KAI 312, was discovered during a 1967 excavation in Deir 'Alla, Jordan Jordan ( ar, الأردن; tr. ' ), officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,; tr. ') is a co ...
, written in a dialect with
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
and South Canaanite characteristics, which is classified as Canaanite in Hetzron.


Comparison to Aramaic

Some distinctive typological features of Canaanite in relation to Aramaic are: *The prefix ''h-'' used as the definite article (Aramaic has a postfixed ''-a''). That seems to be an innovation of Canaanite. *The first person pronoun being ''ʼnk'' (אנכ ''anok(i)'', versus Aramaic ''ʼnʼ/ʼny, which is similar to
AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages' ...

Akkadian
,
Ancient Egyptian Ancient Egypt was a civilization of Ancient history, ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile, Nile River, situated in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistori ...
and
Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifically Morocco ) , ...

Berber
. *The *''ā'' > ''ō''
vowel shift#REDIRECT Vowel shift A vowel shift is a systematic sound change A sound change, in historical linguistics, is a change in the pronunciation of a language over time. A sound change can involve the replacement of one speech sound (or, more ge ...
(
Canaanite shift In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes i ...
).


Descendants

Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
, revived in the modern era from an extinct dialect of the ancient
Israelites The Israelites (; ) were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israel and Judah, tribal and monarchic peri ...

Israelites
preserved in literature, poetry, liturgy; also known as Classical Hebrew, the oldest form of the language attested in writing. The original pronunciation of Biblical Hebrew is accessible only through reconstruction. It may also include Ancient Samaritan Hebrew, a dialect formerly spoken by the ancient
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
. The main sources of Classical Hebrew are the Hebrew Bible (
Tanakh The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages o ...
), and inscriptions such as the Gezer calendar and Khirbet Qeiyafa pottery shard. All of the other Cannanite languages seem to have become extinct by the early 1st millennium AD. Slightly varying forms of Hebrew preserved from the first millennium BC until modern times include: *
Tiberian Hebrew Tiberian Hebrew is the canonical pronunciation of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh committed to writing by Masoretes, Masoretic scholars living in the Jewish community of Tiberias in ancient Galilee under the Abbasid Caliphate. They wrote in the form of ...
– Masoretic scholars living in the Jewish community of
Tiberias Tiberias ( ; he, טְבֶרְיָה, ; ar, طبريا, Ṭabariyyā) is an Israeli city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Established around 20 Common Era, CE, it was named in honour of the List of Roman emperors, second emperor of the ...

Tiberias
in
Palestine Palestine ( or ) most often refers to: * State of Palestine, a ''de jure'' sovereign state in the Middle East * Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East Palestine may also refer to: * Palestinian National Aut ...
c. 750–950 AD. *
Mizrahi Hebrew Mizrahi Hebrew, or Eastern Hebrew, refers to any of the pronunciation systems for Biblical Hebrew used liturgically by Mizrahi Jews: Jews from Arab countries or east of them and with a background of Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Se ...
Mizrahi Jews Mizrahi Jews ( he, יהודי המִזְרָח) or ''Mizrahim'' (), also sometimes referred to as Mizrachi (), Edot HaMizrach (; ) or Oriental Jews, are the descendants of the local Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO ...
, liturgical *
Yemenite Hebrew Yemenite Hebrew ( ''ʿivrith Teymonith''), also referred to as Temani Hebrew, is the pronunciation system for Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic lang ...
Yemenite Jews Yemenite Jews or Yemeni Jews or Teimanim (from ''Yehudei Teman''; ar, اليهود اليمنيون) are those Jews who live, or once lived, in Yemen. Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish populati ...
, liturgical *
Sephardi Hebrew Sephardi Hebrew (or Sepharadi Hebrew) is the pronunciation system for Biblical Hebrew language, Biblical Hebrew favored for liturgical use by Sephardi Jewish practice. Its phonology was influenced by contact languages such as Spanish language, Span ...
Sephardi Jews Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), pt, Judeus sefarditas ...
, liturgical *
Ashkenazi HebrewAshkenazi Hebrew ( he, הגייה אשכנזית, Hagiyya Ashkenazit, yi, אַשכּנזישע הבֿרה, Ashkenazishe Havara) is the pronunciation system for Biblical The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. ...
Ashkenazi Jews Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in ...
, liturgical * Mishnaic Hebrew (Rabbinical Hebrew)
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jew
s, liturgical, rabbinical, any of the Hebrew dialects found in the
Talmud The Talmud (; he, תַּלְמוּד ''Tálmūḏ'') is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the ...

Talmud
. *
Medieval Hebrew Medieval Hebrew was a literary and liturgical language that existed between the 4th and 19th century. It was not commonly used as a spoken language, but mainly in written form by rabbis, scholars and poets. Medieval Hebrew had many features that ...
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jew
s, liturgical, poetical, rabbinical, scientific, literary; lingua franca based on Bible, Mishna and neologisms forms created by translators and commentators *
Haskala The ''Haskalah'', often termed Jewish Enlightenment ( he, השכלה; literally, "wisdom", "erudition"), was an intellectual movement among the Jews of Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, with certain influence on those in Western Europe ...
Hebrew –
Jew Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jew
s, scientific, literary and journalistic language based on Biblical but enriched with neologisms created by writers and journalists, a transition to the later *
Modern Hebrew Modern Hebrew ( he, עברית חדשה, ''ʿivrít ḥadašá ', , ''Literal translation, lit.'' "Modern Hebrew" or "New Hebrew"), also known as Israeli Hebrew or Israeli, and generally referred to by speakers simply as Hebrew ( ), is the ...
used in Israel today *
Samaritan Hebrew Samaritan Hebrew () is a reading tradition used liturgically by the Samaritans The Samaritans (; Samaritan Hebrew: , ' (, 'Guardians/Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah)'); he, שומרונים, ''Shomronim''; ar, السامريون, ''al-Sāmir ...
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
, liturgical The Phoenician and Carthaginian expansion spread the
Phoenician language Phoenician ( ) is an extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, c ...
and its
Punic The Punic people or Western Phoenicians, were a group of Semitic people, Semitic peoples in the Western Mediterranean who traced their origins to the Phoenicians of the coasts of Western Asia. In modern scholarship, the term 'Punic' – the Lati ...
dialect to the
Western Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands aroun ...
for a time, but there too it died out, although it seems to have survived slightly longer than in
Phoenicia Phoenicia () was an ancient Ancient history is the aggregate of past eventsWordNet Search – 3 ...
itself.


See also

*
Northwest Semitic languages Northwest Semitic is a division of the Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamitic, is a large language family ...
*
Classification of Semitic languages
Classification of Semitic languages
*
Ancient Hebrew writings The earliest known precursor to Hebrew is an inscription in Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, Ancient Hebrew is the Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription (11th–10th century BCE), if it can indeed be considered Hebrew at that early a stage. By far the most varied, ex ...


References


Bibliography

*''The Semitic Languages. Routledge Language Family Descriptions.'' Edited by Robert Hetzron. New York: Routledge, 1997. * * *


External links


Some West Semitic InscriptionsHow the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs
Biblical Archaeology Review {{Authority control Languages extinct in the 1st millennium 1st-millennium disestablishments in Asia