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The EAST SEMITIC LANGUAGES are one of six current divisions of the Semitic languages
Semitic languages
, the others being Northwest Semitic , Arabian , Old South Arabian (also known as Sayhadic), Modern South Arabian , and Ethio-Semitic . The East Semitic group is attested by two distinct languages, Akkadian
Akkadian
and Eblaite , both of which have been long extinct . They stand apart from other Semitic languages, traditionally called West Semitic, in a number of respects. Historically, it is believed that this linguistic situation came about as speakers of East Semitic languages wandered further east, settling in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
during the third millennium BCE , as attested by Akkadian
Akkadian
texts from this period. By the beginning of the second millennium BCE , East Semitic languages, in particular Akkadian
Akkadian
, had come to dominate the region. They were influenced by the non-Semitic Sumerian language and adopted cuneiform writing.

Modern understanding of the phonology of East Semitic languages
Semitic languages
can only be derived from careful study of written texts and comparison with the reconstructed Proto-Semitic . Most striking is the reduction of the inventary of back consonants, that is velar and pharyngeal fricatives , as well as glottals . Akkadian
Akkadian
only preserves *ḫ and (partly) *ḥ as a single phoneme transcribed ḫ and usually reconstructed as a voiceless velar or uvular fricative . The sounds *ʾ , *h , *ʿ , *ġ have all been lost. Their elision appears to give rise to the presence of an e vowel, where it is not found in other Semitic languages
Semitic languages
(for example, Akk. bēl 'master' < PS. *ba‘al , ekallu 'palace/temple' < PS. *haykal). It also appears that the series of interdental fricatives became sibilants (for example, Akk. šalšu 'three' < PS. *ṯalaṯ). However, the exact phonological make-up of the languages is not fully known, and the absence of features may have been the result of the inadequacies of Sumerian orthography to describe the sounds of Semitic languages rather than their real absence.

The word order in East Semitic may also have been influenced by Sumerian, being subject–object–verb rather than the West Semitic verb–subject–object order.

REFERENCES

* Language portal

* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "East Semitic". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

* Huehnergard, J. 1995. “Semitic Languages.” Pp. 2117–2134 in Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. Jack Sasson (editor). New York.

* v * t * e

Semitic languages
Semitic languages

EAST SEMITIC LANGUAGES

* Akkadian
Akkadian
* Eblaite

WEST SEMITIC AND CENTRAL SEMITIC LANGUAGES

NORTHWEST

CANAANITE

HEBREW

* Biblical * Mishnaic * Medieval * Mizrahi * Yemenite * Sephardi * Ashkenazi * Samaritan * Modern

PHOENICIAN

* Punic

OTHERS

* Ammonite * Moabite * Edomite

ARAMAIC

WESTERN

* Jewish Palestinian * Samaritan * Christian Palestinian * Nabataean * Western Neo-Aramaic

EASTERN

* Biblical * Hatran * Syriac * Jewish Babylonian Aramaic * Chaldean Neo-Aramaic * Assyrian Neo-Aramaic * Senaya * Koy Sanjaq Surat * Hértevin * Turoyo * Mlahsô * Mandaic * Judeo-Aramaic * Syriac Malayalam

OTHERS

* Amorite * Eteocypriot * Ugaritic

ARABIC

LITERARY

* Classical * Modern Standard

DIALECTS

MASHRIQI (EASTERN)

ARABIAN PENINSULAR

* Dhofari

* Gulf

* Bahrani * Shihhi

* Hejazi * Najdi * Omani

* Yemeni

* Judeo-Yemeni

BEDOUIN

* Eastern Egyptian and Peninsular Bedawi

OTHERS

* Egyptian

* Sa\'idi Arabic

* Levantine

* Cypriot * Lebanese * Palestinian

* Mesopotamian

* North Mesopotamian * Judeo-Iraqi

* Sudanese

* Central Asian

* Tajiki * Uzbeki

* Shirvani

MAGHREBI (WESTERN)

* Algerian * Saharan * Shuwa * Hassānīya * Andalusian

* Libyan Arabic

* Judeo-Tripolitanian

* Sicilian

* Maltese

* Moroccan Arabic

* Judeo-Moroccan

* Tunisian Arabic

* Judeo-Tunisian

OTHERS

* Old Arabic * Nabataean Arabic

SOUTH SEMITIC LANGUAGES

WESTERN SOUTH

OLD SOUTH

* Sabaean * Minaean * Qatabanian * Hadramautic * Awsānian

ETHIOPIAN

NORTH

* Ge\'ez * Tigrinya * Tigre * Dahalik

SOUTH

AMHARIC

* Argobba

HARARI

* Silt\'e (Wolane, Ulbareg, Inneqor) * Zay

OUTER

N-GROUP

* Gafat * Soddo

TT-GROUP

* Mesmes * Muher

* West Gurage

* Mesqan * Ezha * Chaha * Gura * Gumer * Gyeto * Ennemor * Endegen

MODERN SOUTH ARABIAN

* Bathari * Harsusi * Hobyot * Mehri * Shehri * Soqotri

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