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The CANAANITE LANGUAGES or CANAANITE DIALECTS are one of the two subgroups of the Northwest Semitic languages
Semitic languages
, the others being the Aramaic language
Aramaic language
and Ugaritic language . They were spoken by the ancient Semitic people of the Canaan
Canaan
and Levant
Levant
regions, an area encompassing what are today Israel
Israel
, Jordan
Jordan
, Sinai
Sinai
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Syria , the Palestinian territories , and also some fringe areas of southern Turkey
Turkey
and the northern Arabian peninsula . The Canaanites
Canaanites
, broadly defined to include the Israelites
Israelites
(including Judeans and Samaritans
Samaritans
), Phoenicians (including Carthaginians
Carthaginians
), Amorites
Amorites
, Ammonites , Moabites
Moabites
, Edomites , Suteans , Ekronites and Amalekites . The Canaanite languages had ceased to be everyday spoken languages by the 1st millennium AD, but Hebrew
Hebrew
remained in continuous use by many Jews since that period into medieval times as a liturgical language, literary language, and for commerce, until it was revived as an everyday spoken language in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and became the main language of the Jews of Palestine and later the State of Israel
Israel
. Hebrew
Hebrew
is the only living Canaanite language today.

This family of languages has the distinction of being the first historically attested group of languages to use an alphabet, derived from the Proto-Canaanite alphabet , to record their writings, as opposed to the far earlier Cuneiform
Cuneiform
of the region.

The primary reference for extra-biblical Canaanite inscriptions, together with Aramaic inscriptions, is the German-language book " Kanaanäische und Aramäische Inschriften ", from which inscriptions are often referenced as KAI N (for a number n).

CONTENTS

* 1 Classification and sources

* 1.1 North Canaan
Canaan
* 1.2 South Canaan
Canaan
* 1.3 Other

* 2 Comparison to Aramaic * 3 Descendants * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Bibliography * 7 External links

CLASSIFICATION AND SOURCES

The Canaanite languages or dialects can be split into the following:

NORTH CANAAN

* Phoenician . The main sources are Ahiram sarcophagus inscription , sarcophagus of Eshmunazar , the Tabnit sarcophagus , the Kilamuwa inscription , the Cippi of Melqart , the other Byblian royal inscriptions . For later Punic : in Plautus
Plautus
' play Poenulus at the beginning of the fifth act.

SOUTH CANAAN

* Hebrew
Hebrew
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 medieval times. Beginning in the late 19th century, it was revived as an everyday spoken language by Jews in Palestine and Europe as Zionism emerged as a political movement and Jews began moving to Palestine in increasing numbers, and it became the lingua franca of the growing Jewish community there. After the State of Israel
Israel
was established, it became the main language of the country. Slightly different dialects of the language were used at different times, but overall it is as much the Hebrew language as the various forms of Hebrew
Hebrew
in the first Millennium BC were one language. Hebrew is the only Canaanite language that is a living language, and the only truly successful example of a revived dead language .

The main sources of Classical Hebrew
Hebrew
are the various books of the Jewish Bible ( Tanakh ).

* Ammonite – an extinct Hebraic dialect of the Ammonite people mentioned in the Bible. * Moabite – an extinct Hebraic dialect of the Moabite people mentioned in the Bible. The main sources are the Mesha Stele
Mesha Stele
and El-Kerak Stela . * Edomite – an extinct Hebraic dialect of the Edomite people mentioned in the Bible.

OTHER

Other possible Canaanite languages:

* Ugaritic , although the inclusion of this language within Canaanite is disputed * The Deir Alla Inscription , written in a dialect with Aramaic and South Canaanite characteristics, which is classified as Canaanite in Hetzron. * Ekronite or Philistine Semitic - not to be confused with the non-Semitic (assumed Indo-European ) 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 .

COMPARISON TO ARAMAIC

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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 Akkadian
Akkadian
, Ancient Egyptian and Berber . * The *ā > ō vowel shift ( Canaanite shift ).

DESCENDANTS

Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
, revived in the modern era from an extinct dialect of the ancient Israelites
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
Biblical Hebrew
is accessible only through reconstruction. It may also include Ancient Samaritan Hebrew
Hebrew
, an dialect formerly spoken by the ancient Samaritan
Samaritan
. The main sources of Classical Hebrew
Hebrew
are the Hebrew
Hebrew
Bible ( Tanakh ), and inscriptions such as the Gezer calendar , 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
Hebrew
preserved from the First Millennium BC until modern times include:

* Tiberian Hebrew
Hebrew
– Masoretic scholars living in the Jewish community of Tiberias
Tiberias
in Palestine c. 750-950 AD. * Mizrahi Hebrew
Hebrew
Mizrahi Jews , liturgical * Yemenite Hebrew
Hebrew
Yemenite Jews , liturgical * Sephardi Hebrew
Hebrew
Sephardi Jews , liturgical * Ashkenazi Hebrew
Hebrew
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews
, liturgical * Mishnaic Hebrew
Hebrew
(Rabbinical Hebrew) – Jews , liturgical, rabbinical, any of the Hebrew
Hebrew
dialects found in the Talmud
Talmud
. * Medieval Hebrew
Hebrew
– Jews , liturgical, poetical, rabbinical, scientific, literary; lingua franca based on Bible, Mishna and neologisms forms created by translators and commentators * Haskala Hebrew
Hebrew
– Jews , scientific, literary and journalistic language based on Biblical but enriched with neologisms created by writers and journalists, a transition to the later * Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
used in Israel
Israel
today * Samaritan
Samaritan
Hebrew
Hebrew
Samaritans
Samaritans
, liturgical

The Phoenician and Carthaginian expansion spread the Phoenician language and its Punic dialect to the Western Mediterranean
Western Mediterranean
for a time, but there too it died out, although it seems to have survived slightly longer than in