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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 A language is a structured system of communication us ...

Semitic languages
comprising the indigenous languages of the
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
. It emerged from
Proto-Semitic Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language ancestral to the Semitic languages. There is no consensus regarding the location of the Proto-Semitic ''Urheimat''; scholars hypothesize that it may have or ...
in the
Early Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical composition * Period, ...
. It is first attested in proper names identified as
Amorite The Amorites (; Sumerian language, Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; Akkadian language, Akkadian ''Amurrūm'' or ''Tidnum''; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Amar''; he, אמורי ''ʼĔmōrī''; grc, Ἀμορραῖοι) were an ancient Semitic lan ...
in the
Middle Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
. The oldest coherent texts are in
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 ...
, dating to the
Late Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age syst ...
, which by the time of the
Bronze Age collapse The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition period in a large area covering much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly ac ...
are joined by
Old Aramaic Old Aramaic refers to the earliest stage of the Aramaic language Aramaic ( Classical Syriac: ''Arāmāyā''; Old Aramaic: ; Aramaic alphabet, Imperial Aramaic: ; Hebrew alphabet, square script ) is a language that originated among the Aram ...
, and by the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
by the
Canaanite languages The Canaanite languages, or Canaanite dialects, are one of the three subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages The Semitic languages ...
(
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 ...
and
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, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
). The term was coined by
Carl Brockelmann Carl Brockelmann (17 September 1868 – 6 May 1956) German Semiticist, was the foremost orientalist of his generation. He was a professor at the universities in Breslau, Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in ...
in 1908,The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook, Chapter V
page 425
who separated
Fritz Hommel Fritz Hommel (31 July 1854 – 17 April 1936) was a German Orientalist. Biography Hommel was born in Ansbach 280px, Ansbach in the 17th century Ansbach (; ) is a city in the Germany, German state of Bavaria. It is the capital of the Regierun ...
's 1883 classification of
West Semitic languages The West Semitic languages are a proposed major sub-grouping of ancient 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-Hami ...
into Northwest (
CanaaniteCanaanite may refer to: *Canaan and Canaanite people, Semitic-speaking region and civilization in the Ancient Near East *Canaanite languages *Canaanite religion *Canaanites (movement), an early Israelite non-Zionist movement. {{disambig Language an ...
and
Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ancient , at the end of the , and later became one of the most prominent languages of the . During its three thousand years long history, Aramaic went thr ...
) and Southwest (
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
and Abyssinian). Brockelmann's
CanaaniteCanaanite may refer to: *Canaan and Canaanite people, Semitic-speaking region and civilization in the Ancient Near East *Canaanite languages *Canaanite religion *Canaanites (movement), an early Israelite non-Zionist movement. {{disambig Language an ...
sub-group includes
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 ...
,
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 ...
and
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, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...
. Some scholars would now separate Ugaritic as a separate branch of Northwest Semitic alongside Canaanite.
Central Semitic The Central Semitic languages are a proposed intermediate group of Semitic languages The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental co ...
is a proposed intermediate group comprising Northwest Semitic and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
. Central Semitic is either a subgroup of West Semitic or a top-level division of Semitic alongside
East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are combined to make new numbers. ...
and
South Semitic South Semitic is a putative branch of the Semitic languages. Semitic itself is a branch of the larger Afro-Asiatic language family found in ( North and East) Africa and Western Asia. History The "homeland" of the South Semitic languages is widel ...
.
SIL Ethnologue ''Ethnologue: Languages of the World'' (stylized as Ethnoloɠue) is an annual reference publication in print and online that provides statistics and other information on the living languages of the world. It was first issued in 1951, and is now ...
in its system of classification (of living languages only) eliminates Northwest Semitic entirely by joining Canaanite and Arabic in a "South-Central" group which together with Aramaic forms Central Semitic. 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 ...
and Samalian have been identified as language varieties falling outside Aramaic proper but with some similarities to it, possibly in an "Aramoid" or "Syrian" subgroup. It is clear that the
Taymanitic Taymanitic was the language and script of the oasis of Tayma, Taymāʾ in northwestern Arabia, dated to the second half of the 6th century BCE. Classification Taymanitic does not participate in the key innovations of Proto-Arabic, precluding it ...
script expressed a distinct linguistic variety that is not Arabic and not closely related to Hismaic or Safaitic, while it can tentatively be suggested that it was more closely related to Northwest Semitic.


Historical development

The time period for the split of Northwest Semitic from
Proto-Semitic Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical Linguistic reconstruction, reconstructed proto-language ancestral to the Semitic languages. There is no consensus regarding the location of the Proto-Semitic ''Urheimat''; scholars hypothesize that it may have or ...
or from other Semitic groups is uncertain, it has been recently suggested by Richard C. Steiner that the earliest attestation of Northwest Semitic is to be found in snake spells from the Egyptian
Pyramid Texts The Pyramid Texts are the oldest ancient Egyptian funerary texts The literature that makes up the ancient Egyptian funerary texts is a collection of religious documents that were used in ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization of A ...
, dating to the mid-third millennium BCE. Amorite personal names and words in Akkadian and Egyptian texts from the late third millennium to the mid-second millennium BCE and the language of the Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions dated to the first half of the second millennium otherwise constitute the earliest traces of Northwest Semitic, the first Northwest Semitic language attested in full being Ugaritic in the 14th century BCE. During the early 1st millennium, the Phoenician language was spread throughout the Mediterranean by Phoenician colonists, most notably to
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...

Carthage
in today's
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several larg ...

Tunisia
. The
Phoenician alphabet The Phoenician alphabet is an (more specifically, an ) known in modern times from the found across the Mediterranean region. The Phoenician alphabet is also called the Early Linear script (in a Semitic context, not connected to Minoan writin ...

Phoenician alphabet
is of fundamental importance in human history as the source and ancestor of the
Greek alphabet The Greek alphabet has been used to write the Greek language since the late ninth or early eighth century BC. It is derived from the earlier Phoenician alphabet, and was the first alphabetic script in history to have distinct letters for vowels ...

Greek alphabet
, the later
Latin alphabet The Latin alphabet or Roman alphabet is the collection of letters originally used by the ancient Romans In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived ...

Latin alphabet
, the Aramaic (),
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...
, and Arabic writing systems, , and ultimately
Cyrillic The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Uralic languages, Uralic, Caucas ...
. By the 6th century BCE, the use of
Imperial Aramaic Imperial Aramaic is a linguistic term, coined by modern Aramaic studies, scholars in order to designate a specific historical Variety (linguistics), variety of Aramaic language. The term is polysemic, with two distinctive meanings, wider (sociolin ...
, a form of the
Aramaic language Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...
, spread throughout the Northwest Semitic region and largely drove the other Northwest Semitic languages to extinction. The ancient Judaeans adopted Aramaic for daily use, and parts of the
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 the language of the Israelites, ...
are written in it. Hebrew was preserved, however, as a Jewish
liturgical language A sacred language, holy language or liturgical language is any language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most lang ...
and language of scholarship, and resurrected in the 19th century, with modern adaptations, to become the Modern Hebrew language of . After the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
of the 7th century, Arabic began to gradually replace Aramaic throughout the region. Aramaic survives today as the liturgical language of the Syriac Christian Church, and is spoken in modern dialects by small and endangered populations scattered throughout the Middle East. There is also an Aramaic
substratum In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
in
Levantine Arabic Levantine Arabic, also called Shami (autonym Autonym may refer to: * Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym An endonym (from Greek: , 'inner' + , 'name'; also known as autonym) is ...
.


Phonology


Sound changes

Phonologically Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of ling ...

Phonologically
, Ugaritic lost the sound *ṣ́, replacing it with ( ) (the same shift occurred in Canaanite and
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
). That this same sound became

in Aramaic (although in Ancient Aramaic, it was written with
qoph Qoph (Phoenician alphabet, Phoenician Qōp ) is the nineteenth Letter (alphabet), letter of the Semitic abjads. Aramaic alphabet, Aramaic Qop is derived from the Phoenician letter, and derivations from Aramaic include Hebrew alphabet, Hebrew ...

qoph
), suggests that Ugaritic is not the parent language of the group. An example of this sound shift can be seen in the word for ''earth'': Ugaritic (''’arṣ''), Punic (''’''a''rṣ)'',
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 ...
(''’ereṣ''),
Biblical Hebrew Biblical Hebrew ( ''Ivrit Miqra'it'' or ''Leshon ha-Miqra''), also called Classical Hebrew, is an archaic form of Hebrew language, Hebrew, a language in the Canaanite languages, Canaanite branch of Semitic languages, Semitic languages, spoken b ...
(''’arṣ'') and Aramaic (''’ar‘ā’''). The vowel shift from to distinguishes Canaanite from Ugaritic. Also, in the Canaanite group, the series of Semitic
interdental Interdental consonants are produced by placing the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower front teeth. That differs from dental consonant Dental may refer to: * Having to do with teeth * Dentistry, a medical profession dealing with teeth * ...
fricatives Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the bac ...
become
sibilants In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pr ...
: ( ), ( ) and ( ) became

, ( š) and ( ) respectively. The effect of this sound shift can be seen by comparing the following words:


Vowels

Proto-Northwest Semitic had three contrastive vowel qualities and a length distinction, resulting in six vocalic phonemes: *a, *ā, *i, *ī, *u, and *ū. While *aw, *ay, *iw, *iy, *uw, and *uy are often referred to as diphthongs, they do not seem to have had a different status as such, rather being a normal sequence of a short vowel and a glide.


Consonants

Suchard proposes that: "*s, both from original *s and original *ṯ, then shifted further back to a postalveolar *š, while deaffrication of *ts and *dz to *s and *z gave these phonemes their Hebrew values, as well as merging original *dz with original *ḏ. In fact, original *s may have been realized as anything between and both values are attested in foreign transcriptions of early Northwest Semitic languages".


Emphatics

In Proto-Northwest Semitic the emphatics were articulated with pharyngealization. Its shift to backing (as opposed to Proto-Semitic glottalization of emphatics) has been considered a Central Semitic innovation. According to Faber, the assimilation *-ṣt->-ṣṭ- in the Dt stem in Hebrew (hiṣṭaddēḳ ‘he declared himself righteous’) suggests backing rather than glottalization. The same assimilation is attested in Aramaic (yiṣṭabba ‘he will be moistened’).


Grammar


Nouns

Three cases can be reconstructed for Proto-Northwest Semitic nouns (
nominative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
,
accusative The accusative case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is ...
,
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
), two
genders Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, femininity and masculinity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex, sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gende ...
(male, female) and three
numbers A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduc ...
(single, dual, plural).


Pronouns

Proto-Northwest Semitic pronouns had 2 genders and 3
grammatical cases Grammatical case is a linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguist ...
.


Numerals

Reconstruction of Proto-Northwest Semitic numbers.


Verbs

The G fientive or G-stem (Hebrew ''qal'') is the basic, most common, unmarked stem. The G-stem expresses events. The vowel of the prefix of the prefix conjugations in Proto-Northwest Semitic was *-a- and the stem was *-qṭul- or *-qṭil-, as in *ya-qṭul-u 'he will kill', while the stem of the suffix conjugation had two *a vowels, as in *qaṭal-a 'he has killed'. The G stative is like the fientive but expressing states instead of events. The prefix conjugation of stative roots, the vowel of the prefixes was *-i- and it contained and *a vowel, e.g. *yi-kbad-u 'he will become heavy', while the second vowel of the suffix conjugation was either *-i-, as in *kabid-a 'he is/was/will be heavy', or *-u-, as in *ʕamuq-a 'it is/was/will be deep'. Whether the G-stem stative suffix conjugation has *i or *u in the stem is lexically determined. The N-stem (Hebrew ''nip̄ʕal'') is marked by a prefixed *n(a)-. It is mediopassive which is a grammatical voice that subsumes the meanings of both the middle voice and the passive voice. In other words, it expresses a range of meanings where the subject is the patient of the verb, e.g. passive, medial, and reciprocal. The stem of the suffix conjugation is *naqṭaland the stem of the prefix conjugations is *-nqaṭil-; as is the case with stative Gstem verbs, the prefix vowel is *-i-, resulting in forms like *yi-nqaṭil-u 'he will be killed'. The D-stem (Hebrew ''piʕel'') is marked by gemination of the second radical in all forms. It has a range of different meanings, mostly transitive. The stem of the suffix conjugation is *qaṭṭil-, and the same stem is used for the prefix conjugations. It is not clear whether the Proto-Northwest-Semitic prefix vowel should be reconstructed as *-u-, the form inherited from Proto-Semitic (i.e. *yuqaṭṭil-u), or as *-a-, which is somewhat supported by evidence from Ugaritic and Hebrew (*yaqaṭṭil-u). The C-stem (Hebrew ''hip̄ʕil'') more often than not expresses a causative meaning. The most likely reconstructions are *haqṭil- (from older *saqṭil-) for the stem of the suffix conjugation and *-saqṭil- for the stem of the prefix conjugations. The reconstructed prefix vowel is the same as that of the D-stem, and similarly, the participle is to be reconstructed as *musaqṭilum. All of the stems listed here, except the N-stem, could bring forth further derivation. The "internal passive stems" (Gp, Dp, and Cp; Hebrew passive ''qal'', ''puʕal'', and ''hɔp̄ʕal'') aren't marked by affixes, but express their passivity through a different vowel pattern. The Gp prefix conjugation can be reconstructed as *yu-qṭal-u 'he will be killed'. Reflexive or reciprocal meanings can be expressed by the t-stems, formed with a *t which was either infixed after the first radical (Gt, Ct) or prefixed before it (tD). The precise reconstruction are uncertain.


Conjunctions

* *wa, 'and' * *pa/ʔap, 'and then, and so' * *ʔaw, 'or' * *huʼāti and *hiʼāti, direct object markers * *ha, 'to, for' * *ka also *kī, (and *kaj?) 'like, as' * *bal, 'without, non-' * *bi, 'in, with' * *la, 'to, for' (dat/dir) * *min(V), 'from' * *ʕad(aj), 'up to, until' * *ʕal(aj), 'on, against' * *jiθ, 'there is/are'


Notes


Bibliography

*Blau, J. 1968. "Some Difficulties in the Reconstruction of 'Proto-Hebrew' and 'Proto-Canaanite'," in In Memoriam Paul Kahle. ''BZAW'', 103. pp. 29–43 *Cross, F. M. 1965. “The Development of the Jewish Scripts,” in ''The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of W. F. Albright'', ed. G. E. Wright. New York. Reprinted 1965, Anchor Book Edition; New York, pp. 133–202. *Cross, F. M. 1967. “The Origin and Early Evolution of the Alphabet,” ''EI'' 5: 8*-24*. *Cross, F. M. 1982. “Alphabets and pots: Reflections on typological method in the dating of human artifacts,” ''MAARAV'' 3: 121-136. *Cross, F. M. 1989. “The Invention and Development of the Alphabet,” in ''The Origins of Writing'' (ed. W. M. Senner; Lincoln: University of Nebraska), pp. 77–90. *Cross, F. M. and Freedman, D. N. 1952. ''Early Hebrew Orthography: A Study of the Epigraphic Evidence'' New Haven: American Oriental Society. *Daniels, Peter. 1996. ''The World’s Writing Systems''. New York: Oxford. *de Moor, Johannes C. 1988. "Narrative Poetry in Canaan," ''UF'' 20:149-171. *Donner, H. and Rollig, W. 1962-64. ''Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften''. 3 volumes. Wiesbaden. (5th ed.) * Driver, G. R. 1976. ''Semitic Writing: From Pictograph to Alphabet''. 3rd edition. London. *Garbini, G. 1960. ''Il Semitico di nord-ovest''. (And a critique by E.Y. Kutscher, ''JSS'' 10 (1965):21-51.) * *Garr, R. 1985. ''Dialect Geography of Syria-Palestine, 1000-586 B.C.E.'' Philadelphia: UPenn. *Gelb, I. J. 1961. “The Early History of the West Semitic Peoples,” ''JCS'' 15:27-47. *Gelb, I. J. 1963. ''A Study of Writing''. 2nd edition. Chicago. *Gibson, J. C. L. 1971-87. ''Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions''. 3 Vols. Oxford: Clarendon. *Ginsberg, H. L. 1970. “The Northwest Semitic Languages,” in ''The World History of the Jewish People'', volume 1/2: Patriarches. Tel Aviv. *Greenfield, J. C. 1969. “Amurrite, Ugaritic and Canaanite,” in ''Proceedings of the International Conference of Semitic Studies''. Jerusalem. pp. 92–101. *Halpern, B. 1987. “Dialect Distribution in Canaan and the Deir Alla Inscriptions,” in ''“Working with No Data”: Semitic and Egyptian Studies Presented to Thomas O. Lambdin''. Ed. D. M. Golomb. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. pp. 119–39. *Harris, Z. 1939. ''Development of the Canaanite Dialects''. AOS, 16. New Haven: AOS. *Herr, Larry G. 1980. "The Formal Scripts of Iron Age Transjordan," ''BASOR'' 238:21-34. * Hoftijzer, J. and Jongeling, K. 1995. ''Dictionary of the North-West Semitic inscriptions''. 2 volumes. Leiden/New York: Brill. Not including Ugaritic. *Huehnergard, J. 1990. "Remarks on the Classification of the Northwest Semitic Languages," in ''The Balaam Text from Deir Alla Re-evaluated: proceedings of the international symposium held at Leiden, 21–24 August 1989''. pp. 282–93. *Kaufman, S. A. 1988. “The Classification of North West Semitic Dialects of the Biblical Period and Some Implications Thereof,” in ''Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies (Panel Sessions: Hebrew and Aramaic Languages)''. Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies. pp. 41–57. *Moran, William L. 1961. “The Hebrew Language in its Northwest Semitic Background,” in ''The Bible and the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of W. F. Albright'', ed. G. E. Wright. New York. Reprinted 1965, Anchor Book Edition; New York, pp. 59–84. *Moran, William L. 1975. “The Syrian Scribe of the Jerusalem Amarna Letters,” in ''Unity and Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East'' (ed. H. Goedicke and J. J. M. Roberts; Baltimore/London: Johns Hopkins University Press) 146-166. *Moscati, Sabatino, ed. 1969. ''An Introduction to the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Languages: Phonology and Morphology''. Porta Linguarum Orientalium, ns, 6. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. *Naveh, J. 1987. ''Early History of the Alphabet: An Introduction to West Semitic Epigraphy and Palaeography''. 2nd edition. Jerusalem: Magnes. Especially sections on West Semitic. *Parker, Simon B. 1997. ''Stories in Scripture and Inscriptions: Comparative Studies on Narratives in Northwest Semitic Inscriptions and the Hebrew Bible''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. * 1971. "Semitic Languages," ''Encyclopaedia Judaica'', volume 14, pp. 1149–57. *Rabin, C. 1991. ''Semitic Languages'' (Jerusalem: Bialik). n Hebrew*Rainey, A. F. 1986 “The Ancient Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite,” ''Hebrew Studies'' 27:1-19. *Rainey, A. F. 1990. “The Prefix Conjugation Patterns of Early Northwest Semitic,” pp. 407–420 in Abusch, Tz., Huehnergard, J. and Steinkeller, P., eds. ''Lingering over Words, Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran''. Atlanta: Scholars. *Renz, J. 1995. ''Handbuch der althebräischen Epigraphik''. 3 volumes. Darmstadt. *Vaughn, A. 1999 “Palaeographic Dating of Judean Seals and Its Significance for Biblical Research,” ''BASOR'' 313:43-64. *Suchard, B. 2019 "The Development of the Biblical Hebrew Vowels: Including a Concise Historical Morphology" Brill p.37-50, 232-252 {{Authority control Languages attested from the 14th century BC 1908 introductions 1900s neologisms Central Semitic languages