HOME
The Info List - Semitic Languages



--- Advertisement ---


(i)

The SEMITIC LANGUAGES are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East
Middle East
. Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are spoken by more than 330 million people across much of Western Asia
Western Asia
, North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
, as well as in often large expatriate communities in North America
North America
and Europe
Europe
, with smaller communities in the Caucasus
Caucasus
and Central Asia
Central Asia
. The terminology was first used in the 1780s by members of the Göttingen School of History , who derived the name from Shem , one of the three sons of Noah in the Book of Genesis .

The most widely spoken Semitic languages
Semitic languages
today are (numbers given are for native speakers only) Arabic
Arabic
(300 million), Amharic (22 million), Tigrinya (7 million), Hebrew
Hebrew
(unknown; 5 million native and non-native L1 speakers), Aramaic (575,000 to 1 million largely Assyrian fluent speakers) and Maltese (520,000 speakers).

Semitic languages
Semitic languages
occur in written form from a very early historical date, with East Semitic Akkadian
Akkadian
and Eblaite
Eblaite
texts (written in a script adapted from Sumerian cuneiform ) appearing from the 29th century BCE and the 25th century BCE in Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and the northern Levant
Levant
respectively. The only earlier attested written languages are Sumerian , Elamite (both language isolates ) and Egyptian . However, most scripts used to write Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are abjads – a type of alphabetic script that omits some or all of the vowels, which is feasible for these languages because the consonants in the Semitic languages are the primary carriers of meaning.

Among them are the Ugaritic
Ugaritic
, Phoenician , Aramaic , Hebrew
Hebrew
, Syriac , Arabic
Arabic
, and South Arabian alphabets. The Ge\'ez script , used initially in Yemen
Yemen
, and later also for writing the Semitic languages of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and Eritrea
Eritrea
, is technically an abugida – a modified abjad in which vowels are notated using diacritic marks added to the consonants at all times, in contrast with other Semitic languages which indicate diacritics based on need or for introductory purposes. Maltese is the only Semitic language written in the Latin script
Latin script
and the only Semitic language to be an official language of the European Union .

The Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are notable for their nonconcatenative morphology . That is, word roots are not themselves syllables or words, but instead are isolated sets of consonants (usually three, making a so-called triliteral root). Words are composed out of roots not so much by adding prefixes or suffixes, but rather by filling in the vowels between the root consonants (although prefixes and suffixes are often added as well). For example, in Arabic, the root meaning "write" has the form k-t-b. From this root, words are formed by filling in the vowels and sometimes adding additional consonants, e.g. كتاب KiTāB "book", كتب KuTuB "books", كاتب KāTiB "writer", كتّاب KuTTāB "writers", كتب KaTaBa "he wrote", يكتب yaKTuBu "he writes", etc.

CONTENTS

* 1 Name and identification

* 2 History

* 2.1 Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples * 2.2 Common Era (AD)

* 3 Present situation

* 4 Phonology

* 4.1 Consonants * 4.2 Vowels * 4.3 Correspondence of sounds with other Afroasiatic languages
Afroasiatic languages

* 5 Grammar

* 5.1 Word order * 5.2 Cases in nouns and adjectives * 5.3 Number in nouns * 5.4 Verb aspect and tense * 5.5 Morphology: triliteral roots * 5.6 Independent personal pronouns * 5.7 Cardinal numerals * 5.8 Typology

* 6 Common vocabulary * 7 Classification

* 8 Semitic-speaking peoples

* 8.1 Central Semitic * 8.2 East Semitic * 8.3 South Semitic * 8.4 Unknown

* 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 Additional reference literature * 13 External links

NAME AND IDENTIFICATION

1538 comparison of Hebrew
Hebrew
and Arabic, by Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel
– possibly the first such representation in Western European literature

The similarity of the Hebrew, Arabic
Arabic
and Aramaic languages was accepted by Jewish and Islamic scholars since medieval times. The languages were familiar to Western European scholars due to historical contact with neighbouring Near Eastern
Near Eastern
countries and through Biblical studies , and a comparative analysis of Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic was published in Latin in 1538 by Guillaume Postel
Guillaume Postel
. Almost two centuries later, Hiob Ludolf described the similarities between these three languages and the Ethiopian Semitic languages . However, neither scholar named this grouping as "Semitic".

The term "Semitic" was created by members of the Göttingen School of History , and specifically by August Ludwig von Schlözer (1781) and Johann Gottfried Eichhorn (1787) first coined the name "Semitic" in the late 18th century to designate the languages closely related to Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew. The choice of name was derived from Shem , one of the three sons of Noah in the genealogical accounts of the biblical Book of Genesis , or more precisely from the Koine Greek rendering of the name, Σήμ (Sēm). Eichhorn is credited with popularising the term, particularly via a 1795 article "Semitische Sprachen" (Semitic languages) in which he justified the terminology against criticism that Hebrew
Hebrew
and Canaanite were the same language despite Canaan
Canaan
being " Hamitic
Hamitic
" in the Table of Nations :

In the Mosaic Table of Nations , those names which are listed as Semites are purely names of tribes who speak the so-called Oriental languages and live in Southwest Asia. As far as we can trace the history of these very languages back in time, they have always been written with syllabograms or with alphabetic script (never with hieroglyphs or pictograms ); and the legends about the invention of the syllabograms and alphabetic script go back to the Semites. In contrast, all so called Hamitic
Hamitic
peoples originally used hieroglyphs, until they here and there, either through contact with the Semites, or through their settlement among them, became familiar with their syllabograms or alphabetic script, and partly adopted them. Viewed from this aspect too, with respect to the alphabet used, the name "Semitic languages" is completely appropriate.

Previously these languages had been commonly known as the "Oriental languages" in European literature. In the 19th century, "Semitic" became the conventional name; however, an alternative name, "Syro-Arabian languages", was later introduced by James Cowles Prichard and used by some writers.

HISTORY

ANCIENT SEMITIC-SPEAKING PEOPLES

Main article: Ancient Semitic-speaking peoples

There are several locations proposed as possible sites for prehistoric origins of Semitic-speaking peoples: Mesopotamia, The Levant, Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa, with the most recent Bayesian studies indicating Semitic originated in the Levant
Levant
circa 3800 BC, and was later also introduced to the Horn of Africa in approximately 800 BC.

Semitic languages
Semitic languages
were spoken across much of the Middle East
Middle East
and Asia Minor during the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
and Iron Age
Iron Age
, the earliest attested being the East Semitic Akkadian
Akkadian
of the Mesopotamian and south eastern Anatolian polities of Akkad , Assyria
Assyria
and Babylonia
Babylonia
, and the also East Semitic Eblaite language of the kingdom of Ebla in the north eastern Levant
Levant
. The various closely related Northwest Semitic Canaanite languages included Amorite , Edomite
Edomite
, Hebrew
Hebrew
, Ammonite
Ammonite
, Moabite , Phoenician ( Punic
Punic
/ Carthaginian ), Samaritan , Ekronite and Sutean , encompassed what is today Israel
Israel
, western, north western and southern Syria
Syria
, Lebanon
Lebanon
, Palestinian territories , Jordan
Jordan
, the Sinai peninsula
Sinai peninsula
, northern parts of the Arabian peninsula and in the case of Phoenician, coastal regions of Tunisia
Tunisia
( Carthage
Carthage
), Libya
Libya
and Algeria
Algeria
, as well as possibly Malta
Malta
also. Ugaritic
Ugaritic
was spoken in the kingdom of Ugarit
Ugarit
in north western Syria. South Arabian languages (distinct from the later attested Arabic
Arabic
) were spoken in the kingdoms of Dilmun
Dilmun
, Meluhha , Sheba
Sheba
, Ubar and Magan , which in modern terms encompassed part of the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
, and Bahrain
Bahrain
, Qatar
Qatar
, Oman
Oman
and Yemen
Yemen
. These languages (in the form of Ge\'ez ) later spread to the Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa
circa 8th century BC. Arabic
Arabic
and the Arabs
Arabs
were attested in Assyrian annals as being extant in the northern Arabian peninsula from the 9th century BC. Aramaic , a Northwest Semitic
Northwest Semitic
language first attested in the 12th century BC in the Levant
Levant
gradually replaced the East Semitic and Canaanite languages across much of the Near East, particularly after being adopted as the lingua franca of the vast Neo-Assyrian Empire (911-605 BC) by Tiglath-Pileser III
Tiglath-Pileser III
during the 8th century BC, and being retained by the succeeding Neo-Babylonian Empire and Achaemenid Empires .

COMMON ERA (AD)

Approximate distribution of Semitic languages
Semitic languages
around the 1st century Arabic
Arabic
Calligraphy
Calligraphy

Syriac , a 5th-century BC Assyrian Mesopotamian descendant of Aramaic used in northeastern Syria
Syria
, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
and south east Anatolia
Anatolia
, rose to importance as a literary language of early Christianity
Christianity
in the third to fifth centuries and continued into the early Islamic era.

With the advent of the early Muslim
Muslim
conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, the hitherto largely uninfluential Arabic
Arabic
language slowly but surely replaced many (but not all) of the indigenous Semitic languages
Semitic languages
and cultures of the Near East
Near East
. Both the Near East and North Africa
North Africa
saw an influx of Muslim
Muslim
Arabs
Arabs
from the Arabian Peninsula , followed later by non-Semitic Muslim
Muslim
Iranian and Turkic peoples . The previously dominant Aramaic dialects gradually began to be sidelined, however descendant dialects of Eastern Aramaic (including the Akkadian
Akkadian
influenced Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic , Turoyo and Mandaic ) survive to this day among the Assyrians and Mandaeans of northern Iraq
Iraq
, northwestern Iran
Iran
, northeastern Syria
Syria
and southeastern Turkey
Turkey
, with up to a million fluent speakers. Western Aramaic is now only spoken by a few thousand Syriac Christians in western Syria
Syria
. The Arabs
Arabs
spread their Central Semitic language to North Africa
North Africa
( Egypt
Egypt
, Libya
Libya
, Tunisia
Tunisia
, Algeria
Algeria
, Morocco
Morocco
and northern Sudan
Sudan
and Mauritania
Mauritania
) where it gradually replaced Egyptian Coptic and many Berber languages (although Berber is still largely extant in many areas), and for a time to the Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain
Spain
, Portugal
Portugal
and Gibraltar
Gibraltar
) and Malta
Malta
. Page from a 12th-century Quran
Quran
in Arabic
Arabic

With the patronage of the caliphs and the prestige of its liturgical status, Arabic
Arabic
rapidly became one of the world's main literary languages. Its spread among the masses took much longer, however, as many (although not all) of the native populations outside the Arabian Peninsula only gradually abandoned their languages in favour of Arabic. As Bedouin
Bedouin
tribes settled in conquered areas, it became the main language of not only central Arabia, but also Yemen, the Fertile Crescent
Crescent
, and Egypt
Egypt
. Most of the Maghreb
Maghreb
followed, particularly in the wake of the Banu Hilal 's incursion in the 11th century, and Arabic
Arabic
became the native language of many inhabitants of al-Andalus . After the collapse of the Nubian kingdom of Dongola in the 14th century, Arabic
Arabic
began to spread south of Egypt
Egypt
into modern Sudan
Sudan
; soon after, the Beni Ḥassān brought Arabization to Mauritania
Mauritania
. A number of South Arabian languages distinct from Arabic
Arabic
still survive, such as Soqotri , Mehri and Shehri which are mainly spoken in Socotra , Yemen
Yemen
and Oman, and are likely descendants of the languages spoken in the ancient kingdoms of Sheba
Sheba
, Magan , Ubar , Meluhha and Dilmun
Dilmun
.

Meanwhile, the Semitic languages
Semitic languages
that had arrived from southern Arabia in the 8th century BC were diversifying in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and Eritrea , where, under heavy Cushitic influence, they split into a number of languages, including Amharic and Tigrinya . With the expansion of Ethiopia
Ethiopia
under the Solomonic dynasty
Solomonic dynasty
, Amharic, previously a minor local language, spread throughout much of the country, replacing both Semitic (such as Gafat ) and non-Semitic (such as Weyto ) languages, and replacing Ge'ez as the principal literary language (though Ge'ez remains the liturgical language for Christians
Christians
in the region); this spread continues to this day, with Qimant set to disappear in another generation.

PRESENT SITUATION

Map showing the distribution of Semitic (orange) and other Afro-Asiatic language speakers today. Map showing the historical distribution of Semitic (yellow) and other Afro-Asiatic language speakers about 1000 – 2000 years ago.

Arabic
Arabic
languages and dialects are currently the native languages of majorities from Mauritania
Mauritania
to Oman
Oman
, and from Iraq
Iraq
to the Sudan
Sudan
. Classical Arabic
Arabic
is the language of the Quran
Quran
, it is also studied widely in the non-Arabic-speaking Muslim world
Muslim world
. The Maltese language is genetically a descendant of the extinct Siculo- Arabic
Arabic
, a variety of Maghrebi Arabic
Arabic
formerly spoken in Sicily
Sicily
. The modern Maltese alphabet is based on the Latin script
Latin script
with the addition of some letters with diacritic marks and digraphs . Maltese is the only Semitic official language of a nation state within the European Union .

Wildly successful as second languages far beyond their numbers of contemporary first-language speakers, a few Semitic languages
Semitic languages
today are the base of the sacred literature of some of the world's great religions, including Islam
Islam
(Arabic), Judaism
Judaism
( Hebrew
Hebrew
and Aramaic), churches of Syriac Christianity
Christianity
(Syriac) and Ethiopian Christianity (Ge'ez). Millions learn these as a second language (or an archaic version of their modern tongues): many Muslims learn to read and recite the Qur\'an and Jews
Jews
speak and study Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew
, the language of the Torah
Torah
, Midrash , and other Jewish scriptures. Ethnic Assyrian followers of the Assyrian Church of the East , Chaldean Catholic Church , Ancient Church of the East , Assyrian Pentecostal Church , Assyrian Evangelical Church and Assyrian members of the Syriac Orthodox Church
Syriac Orthodox Church
both speak Mesopotamian eastern Aramaic and use it also as a liturgical tongue. The language is also used liturgically by the primarily Arabic-speaking followers of the Maronite , Syriac Catholic Church and some Melkite
Melkite
Christians. Arabic
Arabic
itself is the main liturgical language of Oriental Orthodox Christians
Christians
in the Middle East, who compose the patriarchates of Antioch , Jerusalem and Alexandria . Mandaic is both spoken and used as a liturgical language by the Mandaeans .

Despite the ascendancy of Arabic
Arabic
in the Middle East, other Semitic languages still exist. Biblical Hebrew, long extinct as a colloquial language and in use only in Jewish literary, intellectual, and liturgical activity, was revived in spoken form at the end of the 19th century. Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
is the main language of Israel
Israel
, while remaining the language of liturgy and religious scholarship of Jews worldwide.

Several smaller ethnic groups, in particular the Assyrians, Kurdish Jews
Jews
, and Gnostic Mandeans, continue to speak and write Mesopotamian Aramaic languages, particularly Neo-Aramaic languages descended from Syriac , in those areas roughly corresponding to Kurdistan
Kurdistan
(northern Iraq
Iraq
, northeast Syria
Syria
, south eastern Turkey
Turkey
and northwestern Iran
Iran
) and the Caucasus
Caucasus
. Syriac language
Syriac language
itself, a descendant of Eastern Aramaic languages (Mesopotamian Old Aramaic), is used also liturgically by the Syriac Christians throughout the area. Although the majority of Neo-Aramaic dialects spoken today are descended from Eastern varieties, Western Neo-Aramaic is still spoken in 3 villages in Syria.

In Arab-dominated Yemen
Yemen
and Oman, on the southern rim of the Arabian Peninsula, a few tribes continue to speak Modern South Arabian languages such as Mahri and Soqotri . These languages differ greatly from both the surrounding Arabic
Arabic
dialects and from the (unrelated but previously thought to be related) languages of the Old South Arabian inscriptions.

Historically linked to the peninsular homeland of Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
, of which only one language, Razihi , remains, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and Eritrea contain a substantial number of Semitic languages; the most widely spoken are Amharic in Ethiopia, Tigre in Eritrea
Eritrea
, and Tigrinya in both. Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. Tigrinya is a working language in Eritrea. Tigre is spoken by over one million people in the northern and central Eritrean lowlands and parts of eastern Sudan. A number of Gurage languages are spoken by populations in the semi-mountainous region of southwest Ethiopia, while Harari is restricted to the city of Harar
Harar
. Ge'ez remains the liturgical language for certain groups of Christians
Christians
in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
and in Eritrea
Eritrea
.

PHONOLOGY

The phonologies of the attested Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are presented here from a comparative point of view. See Proto-Semitic language#Phonology for details on the phonological reconstruction of Proto-Semitic used in this article.

PROTO-SEMITIC CONSONANT PHONEMES TYPE LABIAL Inter- dental Dental / Alveolar PALATAL VELAR Pharyn- geal GLOTTAL

CENTRAL LATERAL

NASAL *m

*n

STOP VOICELESS *p

*t

*k

VOICED *b

*d

*g

EMPHATIC

*ṭ

*q

Fricative or Affricate VOICELESS

*ṯ *š *s *ś

*ḫ *ḥ *h

VOICED

*ḏ *z

*ġ *ʻ

EMPHATIC

*ṱ *ṣ *ṣ́

TRILL

*r

APPROXIMANT

*l *y *w

Note: the fricatives *s, *z, *ṣ, *ś, *ṣ́, *ṱ may also be interpreted as affricates (/t͡s/, /d͡z/, /t͡sʼ/, /t͡ɬ/, /t͡ɬʼ/, /t͡θʼ/), as discussed below.

This comparative approach is natural for the consonants , as sound correspondences among the consonants of the Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are very straightforward for a family of its time depth; for the vowels there are more subtleties.

CONSONANTS

Each Proto-Semitic phoneme was reconstructed to explain a certain regular sound correspondence between various Semitic languages. Note that Latin letter values (italicized) for extinct languages are a question of transcription; the exact pronunciation is not recorded.

Most of the attested languages have merged a number of the reconstructed original fricatives, though South Arabian retains all fourteen (and has added a fifteenth from *p > f).

In Aramaic and Hebrew, all non-emphatic stops occurring singly after a vowel were softened to fricatives, leading to an alternation that was often later phonemicized as a result of the loss of gemination.

In languages exhibiting pharyngealization of emphatics, the original velar emphatic has rather developed to a uvular stop .

Regular correspondences of the Proto-Semitic consonants Proto Semitic IPA ARABIC

AKKADIAN UGARITIC PHOENICIAN

HEBREW

ARAMAIC GE\\'EZ

WRITTEN CLASSICAL Modern Standard WRITTEN TIBERIAN MODERN

*B

ب b /b/ b 𐎁 b

b ב‎ ḇ/b5 /v/, /b/ /v/, /b/ ܒ ב ḇ/b5 በ /b/

*D

د d /d/ d 𐎄 d

d ד‎ ḏ/d5 /ð/, /d/ /d/ ܕ ד ḏ/d5 ደ /d/

*G

ج ǧ /ɟ/ /d͡ʒ~ʒ~ɡ/ g 𐎂 g

g ג‎ ḡ/g5 /ɣ/, /g/ /ɡ/ ܓ ג ḡ/g5 ገ /ɡ/

*P

ف f /f/ p 𐎔 p

p פ‎ p̄/p5 /f/, /p/ /f/, /p/ ܦ פ p̄/p5 ፈ /f/

*T

ت t /t/ t 𐎚 t

t ת‎ ṯ/t5 /θ/, /t/ /t/ ܬ ת ṯ/t5 ተ /t/

*K

ك k /k/ k 𐎋 k

k כ‎ ḵ/k5 /x/, /k/ /χ/, /k/ ܟ כ ḵ/k5 ከ /k/

*ṭ

ط ṭ /tˤ/ ṭ 𐎉 ṭ

ṭ ט‎ ṭ /tˤ/ /t/ ܛ ט ṭ ጠ /tʼ/

*Q

ق q /q/ q 𐎖 ḳ

q ק‎ q /q/ /k/ ܩ ק q ቀ /kʼ/

Proto Semitic IPA ARABIC CLASSICAL STANDARD AKKADIAN UGARITIC PHOENICIAN HEBREW TIBERIAN MODERN ARAMAIC GE\'EZ

*ḏ / ذ ḏ /ð/ z 𐎏 ḏ > d

z ז‎ z /z/ /z/ ܖ ז3/ܕ ד ḏ3/d ዘ /z/

*Z / ز z /z/ 𐎇 z ܖ ז z

*S / س s /s/ s 𐎒 s

s ס‎ s /s/ /s/ ܤ ס s ሰ /s/

*š / š 𐎌 š

š שׁ‎ š /ʃ/ /ʃ/ ܫ שׁ š

*ṯ / ث ṯ /θ/ 𐎘 ṯ ܫ שׁ3/ܬ ת ṯ3/t

*ś / ش š /ɕ/ /ʃ/ 𐎌 š שׂ‎1 ś1 /s/ /s/ ܥ שׂ3/ܤ ס ś3/s ሠ /ɬ/

*ṱ / ظ ẓ /ðˤ/ ṣ 𐎑 ṱ > ġ

ṣ צ‎ ṣ /sˤ/ /ts/ צ ܨ3/ט ܛ ṯʼ 3/ṭ ጸ /tsʼ/

*ṣ / ص ṣ /sˤ/ 𐎕 ṣ צ ܨ ṣ

*ṣ́ / ض ḍ /ɮˤ/ /dˤ/ ק ܩ3/ע ܥ *ġʼ 3/ʻ ፀ /ɬʼ/

Proto Semitic IPA ARABIC CLASSICAL STANDARD AKKADIAN UGARITIC PHOENICIAN HEBREW TIBERIAN MODERN ARAMAIC GE\'EZ

*ġ ~ غ ġ /ʁˤ/ /ɣ~ʁ/ – 𐎙 ġ,ʻ

/ʕ/ ע‎2 ʻ2 /ʕ/ /ʔ/, - ע ܥ3 ġ3/ʻ ዐ /ʕ/

ع ʻ /ʕ/ -4 𐎓 ʻ ע ܥ ʻ

ء ʼ /ʔ/ – 𐎀 𐎛 𐎜 ʼa ʼi ʼu9 /ʔ/ א‎ ʼ /ʔ/ /ʔ/, - א ܐ ʼ አ /ʔ/

*ḫ ~ خ ḫ /χˤ/ /x~χ/ ḫ 𐎃 ḫ

ḥ ח‎2 ḥ2 /ħ/ /χ/ ח ܟ3 ḫ3/ḥ ኀ /χ/

*X̣

ح ḥ /ħ/ 𐎈 ח ܟ ḥ ሐ /ħ/

*ḥ

-4

*H

ه h /h/ – 𐎅 h

h ה‎ h /h/ /h/, - ה ܗ h ሀ /h/

Proto Semitic IPA ARABIC CLASSICAL STANDARD AKKADIAN UGARITIC PHOENICIAN HEBREW TIBERIAN MODERN ARAMAIC GE\'EZ

*M

م m /m/ m 𐎎 m

m מ‎ m /m/ /m/ מ ܡ m መ /m/

*N

ن n /n/ n 𐎐 n

n נ‎ n /n/ /n/ נ ܢ ר ܪ n r ነ /n/

*R

ر r /r/ r 𐎗 r

r ר‎ r /ɾ/ /ʁ/ ר ܪ r ረ /r/

*L

ل l /l/ l 𐎍 l

l ל‎ l /l/ /l/ ל ܠ l ለ /l/

*Y

ي y /j/ y 𐎊 y

y י‎ y /j/ /j/ י ܝ y የ /j/

*W

و w /w/ w 𐎆 𐎊 w y6 w y6 ו‎ י‎ w y6 /w/ /j/ /v/, /w/ /j/ ו ܘ י ܝ w y6 ወ /w/

Notes:

* Proto-Semitic *ś was still pronounced as in Biblical Hebrew, but no letter was available in the Phoenician alphabet, so the letter ש did double duty, representing both /ʃ/ and /ɬ/. Later on, however, /ɬ/ merged with /s/, but the old spelling was largely retained, and the two pronunciations of ש were distinguished graphically in Tiberian Hebrew
Hebrew
as שׁ /ʃ/ vs. שׂ /s/ < /ɬ/. * Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew
as of the 3rd century BCE apparently still distinguished the phonemes ġ /ʁ/ and ḫ /χ/, based on transcriptions in the Septuagint . As in the case of /ɬ/, no letters were available to represent these sounds, and existing letters did double duty: ח /χ/ /ħ/ and ע /ʁ/ /ʕ/. In both of these cases, however, the two sounds represented by the same letter eventually merged, leaving no evidence (other than early transcriptions) of the former distinctions. * Although early Aramaic (pre-7th century BCE) had only 22 consonants in its alphabet, it apparently distinguished all of the original 29 Proto-Semitic phonemes, including *ḏ, *ṯ, *ṱ, *ś, *ṣ́, *ġ and *ḫ – although by Middle Aramaic times, these had all merged with other sounds. This conclusion is mainly based on the shifting representation of words etymologically containing these sounds; in early Aramaic writing, the first five are merged with z, š, ṣ, š, q, respectively, but later with d, t, ṭ, s, ʿ. (Also note that due to begadkefat spirantization, which occurred after this merger, OAm. t > ṯ and d > ḏ in some positions, so that PS *t,ṯ and *d, ḏ may be realized as either of t, ṯ and d, ḏ respectively.) The sounds *ġ and *ḫ were always represented using the pharyngeal letters ʿ ḥ, but they are distinguished from the pharyngeals in the Demotic-script papyrus Amherst 63, written about 200 BCE. This suggests that these sounds, too, were distinguished in Old Aramaic language, but written using the same letters as they later merged with. * The earlier pharyngeals can be distinguished in Akkadian
Akkadian
from the zero reflexes of *h, *ʔ by e-coloring adjacent *a, e.g. pS *ˈbaʕal-um 'owner, lord' > Akk. bēlu(m). * Hebrew
Hebrew
and Aramaic underwent begadkefat spirantization at a certain point, whereby the stop sounds /b ɡ d k p t/ were softened to the corresponding fricatives (written ḇ ḡ ḏ ḵ p̄ ṯ) when occurring after a vowel and not geminated. This change probably happened after the original Old Aramaic phonemes /θ, ð/ disappeared in the 7th century BCE, and most likely occurred after the loss of Hebrew
Hebrew
/χ, ʁ/ c. 200 BCE. It is known to have occurred in Hebrew
Hebrew
by the 2nd century CE. After a certain point this alternation became contrastive in word-medial and final position (though bearing low functional load ), but in word-initial position they remained allophonic. In Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
, the distinction has a higher functional load due to the loss of gemination, although only the three fricatives /v χ f/ are still preserved (the fricative /x/ is pronounced /χ/ in modern Hebrew). (The others are pronounced like the corresponding stops, apparently under the influence of later non-native speakers whose native European tongues lacked the sounds /ɣ ð θ/ as phonemes.) * In the Northwest Semitic languages , */w/ became */j/ at the beginning of a word, e.g. Hebrew
Hebrew
yeled "boy" < *wald (cf. Arabic walad). * There is evidence of a rule of assimilation of /j/ to the following coronal consonant in pre-tonic position, shared by Hebrew, Phoenician and Aramaic. * In Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
, is nonexistent. In general cases, the language would lack pharyngeal fricative (as heard in Ayin ). However, /ʕ/ is retained in educational speech, especially among Assyrian priests. * Ugaritic
Ugaritic
orthography indicated the vowel after the glottal stop .

In addition to those in the table, Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
has introduced the new phonemes /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /ʒ/ through borrowings.

The following table shows the development of the various fricatives in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic
Arabic
through cognate words:

Proto Semitic ARABIC ARAMAIC HEBREW EXAMPLES

ARABIC ARAMAIC HEBREW MEANING

*/ð/ *ḏ */ð/ ذ */d/ ד */z/ ז ذهب ذَكَر דהב דכרא זהב זָכָר 'gold' 'male'

*/Z/1 *Z */z/ ز */z/ ז موازين زمن מאזנין זמן מאזנים זמן 'scale' 'time'

*/S/ *S */s/ س */ʃ/ ش */s/ ס */s/ ס سكين شهر סכין סהר סכין סהר 'knife' 'moon/month'

*/ɬ/ *ś */ʃ/ ش */s/ שׂ */s/ שׂ عشر עשׂר עשׂר 'ten'

*/ʃ/ *š */s/ س */ʃ/ שׁ */ʃ/ שׁ سنة سلام שׁנה שלם שׁנה שלום 'year' 'peace'

*/θ/ *ṯ */θ/ ث */t/ ת ثلاثة اثنان תלת תרין שלוש שתים 'three' 'two'

*/θʼ/1 *ṱ */ðˤ/ ظ */tʼ/ ט */sˤ~ts/1 צ ظل ظهر טלה טהרא צל צהרים 'shadow' 'noon'

*/ɬʼ/1 *ṣ́ */dˤ/ ض */ʕ/ ע أرض ضحك ארע עחק ארץ צחק 'land' 'laughed'

*/Sʼ/1 *ṣ */sˤ/ ص */sʼ/ צ صرخ صبر צרח צבר צרח צבר 'shout' 'water melon like plant'

*/χ/ *ḫ */χ/ خ */ħ/ ח */ħ~χ/ ח خمسة صرخ חַמְשָׁה צרח חֲמִשָּׁה צרח 'five' 'shout'

*/ħ/ *ḥ */ħ/ ح ملح حلم מלח חלם מלח חלום 'salt' 'dream'

*/ʁ/ *ġ */ʁ/ غ */ʕ/ ע */ʕ~ʔ/ ע غراب غرب ערב מערב עורב מערב 'raven' 'west'

*/ʕ/ *ʻ */ʕ/ ع عبد سبعة עבד שבע עבד שבע 'slave' 'seven'

* possibly affricated (/dz/ /tɬʼ/ /ʦʼ/ /tθʼ/ /tɬ/)

VOWELS

Proto-Semitic vowels are, in general, harder to deduce due to the nonconcatenative morphology of Semitic languages. The history of vowel changes in the languages makes drawing up a complete table of correspondences impossible, so only the most common reflexes can be given:

Vowel
Vowel
correspondences in Semitic languages
Semitic languages
(in proto-Semitic stressed syllables) PS ARABIC ARAMAIC HEBREW GE\'EZ AKKADIAN

CLASSICAL MODERN USUALLY4 /_C.ˈV /ˈ_.1 /ˈ_Cː2 /ˈ_C.C3

*A a a a ə ā a ɛ a a, e, ē5

*I i i e, i, WSyr. ɛ ə ē e ɛ, e ə i

*U u u u, o ə ō o o ə, ʷə6 u

*ā ā ā ā

ō

ā ā, ē

*ī ī ī ī

ī

ī ī

*ū ū ū ū

ū ū

ū

*AY. ay ē, ay BA , JA ay(i), ē, WSyr. ay/ī however, the oldest attested Ethiopian Semitic language, Ge'ez, was VSO, possessed–possessor, and noun–adjective. Akkadian was also predominantly SOV.

CASES IN NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES

The proto-Semitic three-case system (nominative , accusative and genitive ) with differing vowel endings (-u, -a -i), fully preserved in Qur'anic Arabic
Arabic
(see ʾIʿrab ), Akkadian
Akkadian
and Ugaritic
Ugaritic
, has disappeared everywhere in the many colloquial forms of Semitic languages. Modern Standard Arabic
Arabic
maintains such case distinctions, although they are typically lost in free speech due to colloquial influence. An accusative ending -n is preserved in Ethiopian Semitic. The archaic Samalian dialect of Old Aramaic reflects a case distinction in the plural between nominative -ū and oblique -ī (compare the same distinction in Classical Arabic). Additionally, Semitic nouns and adjectives had a category of state, the indefinite state being expressed by nunation .

NUMBER IN NOUNS

Semitic languages
Semitic languages
originally had three grammatical numbers : singular, dual , and plural . Classical Arabic
Arabic
still has a mandatory dual (i.e. it must be used in all circumstances when referring to two entities), marked on nouns, verbs, adjectives and pronouns. Many contemporary dialects of Arabic
Arabic
still have a dual, as in the name for the nation of Bahrain
Bahrain
(baħr "sea" + -ayn "two"), although it is marked only on nouns. It also occurs in Hebrew
Hebrew
in a few nouns (šana means "one year", šnatayim means "two years", and šanim means "years"), but for those it is obligatory. The curious phenomenon of broken plurals – e.g. in Arabic, sadd "one dam" vs. sudūd "dams" – found most profusely in the languages of Arabia and Ethiopia, may be partly of proto-Semitic origin, and partly elaborated from simpler origins.

VERB ASPECT AND TENSE

Paradigm of a regular Classical Arabic
Arabic
verb: Form I kataba (yaktubu) "to write"

PAST Present Indicative

SINGULAR

1ST katab-TU كَتَبْتُ ʼA-ktub-U أَكْتُبُ

2ND MASCULINE katab-TA كَتَبْتَ TA-ktub-U تَكْتُبُ

FEMININE katab-TI كَتَبْتِ TA-ktub-īNA تَكْتُبِينَ

3RD MASCULINE katab-A كَتَبَ YA-ktub-U يَكْتُبُ

FEMININE katab-AT كَتَبَتْ TA-ktub-U تَكْتُبُ

DUAL

2ND masculine TEXT-DECORATION: NONE">-TUMā كَتَبْتُمَا TA-ktub-āNI تَكْتُبَانِ

3RD MASCULINE katab-ā كَتَبَا YA-ktub-āNI يَكْتُبَانِ

FEMININE katab-ATā كَتَبَتَا TA-ktub-āNI تَكْتُبَانِ

PLURAL

1ST katab-Nā كَتَبْنَا NA-ktub-U نَكْتُبُ

2ND MASCULINE katab-TUM كَتَبْتُمْ TA-ktub-ūNA تَكْتُبُونَ

FEMININE katab-TUNNA كَتَبْتُنَّ TA-ktub-NA تَكْتُبْنَ

3RD MASCULINE katab-ū كَتَبُوا YA-ktub-ūNA يَكْتُبُونَ

FEMININE katab-NA كَتَبْنَ YA-ktub-NA يَكْتُبْنَ

All Semitic languages
Semitic languages
show two quite distinct styles of morphology used for conjugating verbs. Suffix conjugations take suffixes indicating the person, number and gender of the subject, which bear some resemblance to the pronominal suffixes used to indicate direct objects on verbs ("I saw HIM") and possession on nouns ("HIS dog"). So-called prefix conjugations actually takes both prefixes and suffixes, with the prefixes primarily indicating person (and sometimes number and/or gender), while the suffixes (which are completely different from those used in the suffix conjugation) indicate number and gender whenever the prefix does not mark this. The prefix conjugation is noted for a particular pattern of ʔ- t- y- n- prefixes where (1) a t- prefix is used in the singular to mark the second person and third-person feminine, while a y- prefix marks the third-person masculine; and (2) identical words are used for second-person masculine and third-person feminine singular. The prefix conjugation is extremely old, with clear analogues in nearly all the families of Afroasiatic languages
Afroasiatic languages
(i.e. at least 10,000 years old). The table on the right shows examples of the prefix and suffix conjugations in Classical Arabic, which has forms that are close to Proto-Semitic.

In Proto-Semitic, as still largely reflected in East Semitic, prefix conjugations are used both for the past and the non-past, with different vocalizations. Cf. Akkadian
Akkadian
niprus "we decided" (preterite), niptaras "we have decided" (perfect), niparras "we decide" (non-past or imperfect), vs. suffix-conjugated parsānu "we are/were/will be deciding" (stative). Some of these features, e.g. gemination indicating the non-past/imperfect, are generally attributed to Afroasiatic. According to Hetzron, Proto-Semitic had an additional form, the jussive , which was distinguished from the preterite only by the position of stress: the jussive had final stress while the preterite had non-final (retracted) stress.

The West Semitic languages significantly reshaped the system. The most substantial changes occurred in the Central Semitic languages (the ancestors of modern Hebrew, Arabic
Arabic
and Aramaic). Essentially, the old prefix-conjugated jussive and/or preterite became a new non-past (or imperfect), while the stative became a new past (or perfect), and the old prefix-conjugated non-past (or imperfect) with gemination was discarded. New suffixes were used to mark different moods in the non-past, e.g. Classical Arabic
Arabic
-u (indicative), -a (subjunctive), vs no suffix (jussive). (It is not generally agreed whether the systems of the various Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are better interpreted in terms of tense, i.e. past vs. non-past, or aspect, i.e. perfect vs. imperfect.) However, in Hebrew, elements of the old system survived alongside the new system for a while, in forms known as the waw-consecutive and marked with a prefixed w-. The South Semitic languages show a system somewhere between the East and Central Semitic languages.

Later languages show further developments. In the modern varieties of Arabic
Arabic
, for example, the old mood suffixes were dropped, and new mood prefixes developed (e.g. bi- for indicative vs. no prefix for subjunctive in many varieties). In the extreme case of Neo-Aramaic, the verb conjugations have been entirely reworked under Iranian influence.

MORPHOLOGY: TRILITERAL ROOTS

Main article: Semitic root

All Semitic languages
Semitic languages
exhibit a unique pattern of stems called Semitic roots consisting typically of "triliteral", or 3-consonant consonantal roots (2- and 4-consonant roots also exist), from which nouns, adjectives, and verbs are formed in various ways: e.g. by inserting vowels, doubling consonants, lengthening vowels, and/or adding prefixes, suffixes, or infixes .

For instance, the root k-t-b , (dealing with "writing" generally) yields in Arabic: KaTaBa كَتَبَ or كتب "he wrote" (masculine) KaTaBat كَتَبَت or كتبت "she wrote" (feminine) KaTaBtu كَتَبْتُ or كتبت "I wrote" (f and m) KuTiBa كُتِبَ or كتب "it was written" (masculine) KuTiBat كُتِبَت or كتبت "it was written" (feminine) KaTaBū كَتَبُوا or كتبوا "they wrote" (masculine) KaTaBna كَتَبْنَ or كتبن "they wrote" (feminine) KaTaBnā كَتَبْنَا or كتبنا "we wrote" (f and m) yaKTuB(u) يَكْتُب or يكتب "he writes" (masculine) taKTuB(u) تَكْتُب or تكتب "she writes" (feminine) naKTuB(u) نَكْتُب or نكتب "we write" (f and m) aKTuB(u) أَكْتُب or أكتب "I write" (f and m) yuKTaB(u) يُكْتَب or يكتب "being written" (masculine) tuKTaB(u) تُكتَب or تكتب "being written" (feminine) yaKTuBūn(a) يَكْتُبُونَ or يكتبون "they write" (masculine) yaKTuBna يَكْتُبْنَ or يكتبن "they write" (feminine) taKTuBna تَكْتُبْنَ or تكتبن "you write" (feminine) yaKTuBān(i) يَكْتُبَانِ or يكتبان "they both write" (masculine) (for 2 males) taKTuBān(i) تَكْتُبَانِ or تكتبان "they both write" (feminine) (for 2 females) KāTaBa كاتَبَ or كاتب "he exchanged letters (with sb.)" yuKāTiB(u) يُكَاتِب or يكاتب "he exchanges (with sb.)" yataKāTaBūn(a) يَتَكَاتَبُونَ or يتكاتبون "they write to each other" (masculine) iKtaTaBa اِكْتَتَبَ or اكتتب "he is registered" (intransitive) or "he contributed (a money quantity to sth.)" (ditransitive) (the first t is part of a particular verbal transfix , not part of the root) istaKTaBa اِسْتَكْتَبَ or استكتب "to cause to write (sth.)" KiTāB كِتَاب or كتاب "book" (the hyphen shows end of stem before various case endings) KuTuB كُتُب or كتب "books" (plural) KuTayyiB كُتَيِّب or كتيب "booklet" (diminutive) KiTāBat كِتَابَة or كتابة "writing" KāTiB كاتِب or كاتب "writer" (masculine) KāTiBat كاتِبة or كاتبة "writer" (feminine) KāTiBūn(a) كاتِبونَ or كاتبون "writers" (masculine) KāTiBāt كاتِبات or كاتبات "writers" (feminine) KuTTāB كُتاب or كتاب "writers" (broken plural) KaTaBat كَتَبَة or كتبة "clerks" (broken plural) maKTaB مَكتَب or مكتب "desk" or "office" maKāTiB مَكاتِب or مكاتب "desks" or "offices" maKTaBat مَكتَبة or مكتبة "library" or "bookshop" maKTūB مَكتوب or مكتوب "written" (participle) or "postal letter" (noun) KaTīBat كَتيبة or كتيبة "squadron" or "document" KaTā'iB كَتائِب or كتائب "squadrons" or "documents" iKtiTāB اِكتِتاب or اكتتاب "registration" or "contribution of funds" muKtaTib مُكتَتِب or مكتتب "subscription" istiKTāB اِستِكتاب or استكتاب "causing to write"

and the same root in Hebrew: Kāṯaḇti כתבתי "I wrote" Kāṯaḇtā כתבת "you (m) wrote" Kāṯaḇ כתב "he wrote" KaTTāḇ כתב "reporter" (m) KaTTeḇeṯ כתבת "reporter" (f) KaTTāḇā כתבה "article" (plural KaTTāḇōṯ כתבות) miḵTāḇ מכתב "postal letter" (plural miḵTāḇīm מכתבים) miḵTāḇā מכתבה "writing desk" (plural miḵTāḇōṯ מכתבות) Kəṯōḇeṯ כתובת "address" (plural Kəṯōḇōṯ כתובות) Kəṯāḇ כתב "handwriting" Kāṯūḇ כתוב "written" (f Kəṯūḇā כתובה) hiḵTīḇ הכתיב "he dictated" (f hiḵTīḇā הכתיבה) hiṯKaTTēḇ התכתב "he corresponded (f hiṯKaTTəḇā התכתבה) niḵTaḇ נכתב "it was written" (m) niḵTəḇā נכתבה "it was written" (f) Kəṯīḇ כתיב "spelling" (m) taḵTīḇ תכתיב "prescript" (m) məḵuTTāḇ מכותב "addressee" (meḵuTTeḇeṯ מכותבת f) KəṯuBBā כתובה "ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract)" (f)

In Tigrinya and Amharic, this root survives only in the noun kitab, meaning "amulet", and the verb "to vaccinate". Ethiopic-derived languages use different roots for things that have to do with writing (and in some cases counting) primitive root: ṣ-f and trilateral root stems: m-ṣ-f, ṣ-h-f, and ṣ-f-r are used. This roots also exists in other Semitic languages
Semitic languages
like (Hebrew: sep̄er "book", sōp̄er "scribe", mispār "number" and sippūr "story"). (this root also exists in Arabic
Arabic
and is used to form words with a close meaning to "writing", such as ṣaḥāfa "journalism", and ṣaḥīfa "newspaper" or "parchment"). Verbs in other non-Semitic Afroasiatic languages show similar radical patterns, but more usually with biconsonantal roots; e.g. Kabyle afeg means "fly!", while affug means "flight", and yufeg means "he flew" (compare with Hebrew, where hap̄lēḡ means "set sail!", hap̄lāḡā means "a sailing trip", and hip̄līḡ means "he sailed", while the unrelated ʕūp̄, təʕūp̄ā and ʕāp̄ pertain to flight).

INDEPENDENT PERSONAL PRONOUNS

ENGLISH PROTO-SEMITIC AKKADIAN ARABIC GE\\'EZ HEBREW ARAMAIC SYRIAC

STANDARD VERNACULARS

I *ʔanāku, *ʔaniya anāku أنا ʔanā ʔanā, anā, ana, āni, āna, ānig ʔana אנכי, אני ʔānōḵī, ʔănī אנא ʔanā ānā

You (sg., masc.) *ʔanka > *ʔanta atta أنت ʔanta ʔant, ant, inta, inti, int, (i)nta ʔánta אתה ʔattā אנת ʔantā āt, āty, āten

You (sg., fem.) *ʔanti atti أنت ʔanti ʔanti, anti, inti, init (i)nti, intch ʔánti את ʔatt אנת ʔanti āt, āty, āten

He *suʔa šū هو huwa, hū huwwa, huwwe, hū wəʔətu הוא hū הוא hu owā

She *siʔa šī هي hiya, hī hiyya, hiyye, hī yəʔəti היא hī היא hi ayā

We *niyaħnū, *niyaħnā nīnu نحن naħnu niħna, iħna, ħinna nəħnā אנו, אנחנו ʔānū, ʔănaħnū נחנא náħnā axnan

Ye (dual) *ʔantunā

أنتما ʔantumā Plural form is used

They (dual) *sunā *sunī(ti) هما humā Plural form is used

Ye (pl., masc.) *ʔantunū attunu أنتم ʔantum ʔantum, antum, intu, intum, (i)ntūma ʔantəmu אתם ʔattem אנתן ʔantun axtōxūn

Ye (pl., fem.) *ʔantinā attina أنتنّ ʔantunna ʔantin, antin, ʔantum, intu, intum, (i)ntūma ʔantən אתן ʔatten אנתן ʔanten axtōxūn

They (masc.) *sunū šunu هم hum hum, humma, hūma, hom, hinne ʔəmuntu הם, המה hēm, hēmmā הנן hinnun eni

They (fem.) *sinā šina هنّ hunna hin, hinne, hum, humma, hūma ʔəmāntu הן, הנה hēn, hēnnā הנן hinnin eni

CARDINAL NUMERALS

See also: List of numbers in various languages

ENGLISH PROTO-SEMITIC IPA ARABIC HEBREW TIGRINYA SABAEAN SYRIAC

One *ʼaḥad-, *ʻišt- ʔaħad, ʔiʃt واحد، أحد waːħid-, ʔaħad- אחד ʼeḥáḏ ʔeˈχad ħade ʔḥd xā

Two *ṯin-ān (nom.), *ṯin-ayn (obl.), *kilʼ- θinaːn, θinajn, kilʔ اثنان iθn-āni (nom.), اثنين iθn-ajni (obj.), اثنتان fem. iθnat-āni, اثنتين iθnat-ajni שנים šənáyim ˈʃn-ajim, fem. שתים šətáyim ˈʃt-ajim kelete *ṯny treh

Three *śalāṯ- > *ṯalāṯ- ɬalaːθ > θalaːθ ثلاث θalaːθ- fem. שלוש šālṓš ʃaˈloʃ seleste (Ge\'ez śälas) *ślṯ ṭlā

Four *ʼarbaʻ- ʔarbaʕ أربع ʔarbaʕ- fem. ארבע ʼárbaʻ ˈʔaʁba arbaʕte *ʼrbʻ arpā

Five *ḫamš- χamʃ خمس χams- fem. חמש ḥā́mēš ˈχameʃ ħamuʃte *ḫmš xamšā

Six *šidṯ- ʃidθ ستّ sitt- (ordinal سادس saːdis-) fem. שש šēš ʃeʃ ʃduʃte *šdṯ/šṯ ëštā

Seven *šabʻ- ʃabʕ سبع sabʕ- fem. שבע šéḇaʻ ˈʃeva ʃewʕate *šbʻ šowā

Eight *ṯamāniy- θamaːnij- ثماني θamaːn-ij- fem. שמונה šəmṓneh ʃˈmone ʃemonte *ṯmny/ṯmn *tmanyā

Nine *tišʻ- tiʃʕ تسع tisʕ- fem. תשע tḗšaʻ ˈtejʃa tʃʕate *tšʻ *učā

Ten *ʻaśr- ʕaɬr عشر ʕaʃ(a)r- fem. עשר ʻéśer ˈʔeseʁ ʕaserte *ʻśr *uṣrā

These are the basic numeral stems without feminine suffixes. Note that in most older Semitic languages, the forms of the numerals from 3 to 10 exhibit gender polarity (also called "chiastic concord" or reverse agreement), i.e. if the counted noun is masculine, the numeral would be feminine and vice versa.

TYPOLOGY

Some early Semitic languages
Semitic languages
are speculated to have had weak ergative features.

COMMON VOCABULARY

Due to the Semitic languages' common origin, they share many words and roots. Others differ. For example:

ENGLISH PROTO-SEMITIC AKKADIAN ARABIC ARAMAIC SYRIAC HEBREW GE\\'EZ MEHRI MALTESE

father *ʼab- ab- ʼab- ʼaḇ-āʼ bābā ʼāḇ ʼab ḥa-yb (missier)

heart *lib(a)b- libb- lubb-, (qalb-) lebb-āʼ lëbā lëḇ, lëḇāḇ libb ḥa-wbēb (qalb)

house *bayt- bītu, bētu bayt-, (dār-) bayt-āʼ bētā báyiṯ bet beyt, bêt (dar)

peace *šalām- šalām- salām- šlām-āʼ šlāmā šālôm salām səlōm sliem

tongue *lišān-/*lašān- lišān- lisān- leššān-āʼ lišānā lāšôn lissān əwšēn ilsien

water *may-/*māy- mû (root *mā-/*māy-) māʼ-/māy mayy-āʼ mēyā máyim māy ḥə-mō ilma

Terms given in brackets are not derived from the respective Proto-Semitic roots, though they may also derive from Proto-Semitic (as does e.g. Arabic
Arabic
dār, cf. Biblical Hebrew
Hebrew
dōr "dwelling").

Sometimes, certain roots differ in meaning from one Semitic language to another. For example, the root b-y-ḍ in Arabic
Arabic
has the meaning of "white" as well as "egg", whereas in Hebrew
Hebrew
it only means "egg". The root l-b-n means "milk" in Arabic, but the color "white" in Hebrew. The root l-ḥ-m means "meat" in Arabic, but "bread" in Hebrew
Hebrew
and "cow" in Ethiopian Semitic; the original meaning was most probably "food". The word medina (root: m-d-n) has the meaning of "metropolis" in Amharic, "city" in Arabic
Arabic
and Ancient Hebrew, and "State" in Modern Hebrew.

Of course, there is sometimes no relation between the roots. For example, "knowledge" is represented in Hebrew
Hebrew
by the root y-d-ʿ, but in Arabic
Arabic
by the roots ʿ-r-f and ʿ-l-m and in Ethiosemitic by the roots ʿ-w-q and f-l-ṭ.

For more comparative vocabulary lists, see Wiktionary appendices:

* List of Proto-Semitic stems * Swadesh lists for Afro-Asiatic languages

CLASSIFICATION

There are six fairly uncontroversial nodes within the Semitic languages: East Semitic , Northwest Semitic
Northwest Semitic
, North Arabian , Old South Arabian (also known as Sayhadic), Modern South Arabian , and Ethiopian Semitic . These are generally grouped further, but there is ongoing debate as to which belong together. The classification based on shared innovations given below, established by Robert Hetzron in 1976 and with later emendations by John Huehnergard and Rodgers as summarized in Hetzron 1997, is the most widely accepted today. In particular, several Semiticists still argue for the traditional (partially nonlinguistic) view of Arabic
Arabic
as part of South Semitic, and a few (e.g. Alexander Militarev or the German-Egyptian professor Arafa Hussein Mustafa) see the South Arabian languages as a third branch of Semitic alongside East and West Semitic, rather than as a subgroup of South Semitic. Roger Blench notes that the Gurage languages are highly divergent and wonders whether they might not be a primary branch, reflecting an origin of Afroasiatic in or near Ethiopia. At a lower level, there is still no general agreement on where to draw the line between "languages" and "dialects" – an issue particularly relevant in Arabic, Aramaic, and Gurage – and the strong mutual influences between Arabic
Arabic
dialects render a genetic subclassification of them particularly difficult.

The Himyaritic language and Sutean language appear to have been Semitic, but they're unclassified due to insufficient data.

* East Semitic

* Central Semitic

* Northwest Semitic
Northwest Semitic
* Arabic
Arabic

* South Semitic

* Western: Ethiopian Semitic and Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
* Eastern: Modern South Arabian

SEMITIC-SPEAKING PEOPLES

The following is a list of some modern and ancient Semitic-speaking peoples and nations:

CENTRAL SEMITIC

* Ammonite
Ammonite
speakers of Ammon
Ammon
* Amorites – 20th century BC * Arabs
Arabs
* Ancient North Arabian -speaking bedouins * Arameans – 16th to 8th centuries BC / Akhlames (Ahlamu) 14th century BC. * Canaanite-speaking nations of the early Iron Age: * Chaldea – appeared in southern Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
c. 1000 BC and eventually disappeared into the general Babylonian population. * Edomites * Hebrews
Hebrews
/ Israelites
Israelites
– founded the nation of Israel
Israel
which later split into the Kingdoms of Israel
Israel
and Judah . The remnants of these people became the Jews
Jews
and the Samaritans
Samaritans
. * Maltese * Mandaeans * Moab
Moab
* Mhallami – A minority of Syriac- Arameans who converted to secular Islam
Islam
but retained Syriac identity * Nabataeans * Phoenicia
Phoenicia
– founded Mediterranean colonies including Tyre , Sidon
Sidon
and ancient Carthage
Carthage
. The remnants of these people became the modern inhabitants of Lebanon. * Ugarit
Ugarit
, 14th to 12th centuries BC * Nasrani (Syrian Christian)

EAST SEMITIC

* Akkadian Empire
Akkadian Empire
– ancient Semitic speakers moved into Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
in the fourth millennium BC and settled among the local peoples of Sumer
Sumer
. The remnants of these people became the modern Assyrian people (also known as Chaldo-Assyrians) of Iraq, Iran, south eastern Turkey
Turkey
and northeast Syria. * Ebla – 23rd century BC

SOUTH SEMITIC

* Kingdom of Aksum – 4th century BC to 7th century AD * Amhara people * Argobba people * Dahalik people * Gurage people * Harari people * Mehri people * Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian
-speaking peoples * Sabaeans
Sabaeans
of Yemen
Yemen
– 9th to 1st centuries BC * Silt\'e people * Tigrayans * Tigre people * Tigrinyas * Zay people

UNKNOWN

* Suteans – 14th century BC * Thamud – 2nd to 5th centuries AD

SEE ALSO

* Proto-Semitic language * Middle Bronze Age
Bronze Age
alphabets

NOTES

* ^ According to the generally accepted view, it is unlikely that begadkefat spirantization occurred before the merger of /χ, ʁ/ and /ħ, ʕ/, or else and would have to be contrastive, which is cross-linguistically rare. However, Blau argues that it is possible that lenited /k/ and /χ/ could coexist even if pronounced identically, since one would be recognized as an alternating allophone (as apparently is the case in Nestorian Syriac). See Blau (2010 :56). * ^ see Canaanite shift * ^ While some believe that *ʔanāku was an innovation in some branches of Semitic utilizing an "intensifying" *-ku, comparison to other Afro-Asiatic 1ps pronouns (e.g. Eg. 3nk, Coptic anak, anok, proto-Berber *ənakkʷ) suggests that this goes further back. (Dolgopolsky 1999, pp. 10–11.) * ^ The Akkadian
Akkadian
form is from Sargonic Akkadian. Among the Semitic languages, there are languages with /i/ as the final vowel (this is the form in Mehri). For a recent discussion concerning the reconstruction of the forms of the dual pronouns, see Bar-Asher, Elitzur. 2009. "Dual Pronouns in Semitics and an Evaluation of the Evidence for their Existence in Biblical Hebrew," Ancient Near Eastern Studies 46: 32–49 * ^ Lipiński, Edward, Semitic languages: outline of a comparative grammar . This root underwent regressive assimilation. This parallels the non-adjacent assimilation of *ś... > *š...š in proto-Canaanite or proto-North-West-Semitic in the roots *śam?š > *šamš 'sun' and *śur?š > *šurš 'root'. (Dolgopolsky pp. 61–62.) The form *ṯalāṯ- appears in most languages (e.g. Aramaic, Arabic, Ugaritic), but the original form ślṯ appears in the South Arabian languages , and a form with s < *ś (rather than š < *ṯ) appears in Akkadian
Akkadian
. * ^ Lipiński, Edward, Semitic languages: outline of a comparative grammar . This root was also assimilated in various ways. For example, Hebrew
Hebrew
reflects *šišš-, with total assimilation; Arabic
Arabic
reflects *šitt- in cardinal numerals, but less assimilated *šādiš- in ordinal numerals. Epigraphic South Arabian reflects original *šdṯ; Ugaritic
Ugaritic
has a form ṯṯ, in which the ṯ has been assimilated throughout the root.

REFERENCES

* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Semitic". Glottolog 2.7 . Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ http://e-learning.tsu.ge/pluginfile.php/5868/mod_resource/content/0/dzveli_armosavluri_enebi_-ugarituli_punikuri_arameuli_ebrauli_arabuli.pdf * ^ https://books.google.pl/books?id=KQpFAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=old+south+arabian+central+semitic&source=bl&ots=pEV0cdsVOu&sig=o8Mg12NX6BsfCLes-2Roh2-AK5Y&hl=pl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4gOyTr_PTAhXE1xoKHf-4BbUQ6AEIfzAN#v=onepage&q=old%20south%20arabian%20central%20semitic&f=false * ^ https://books.google.pl/books?id=LfruK29pVl8C&pg=PA124&lpg=PA124&dq=old+south+arabian+languages+grammar&source=bl&ots=C_2xqghETA&sig=iAxC60ax0rjqVYtObzAAP_RQLCY&hl=pl&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi-3_2N8PLTAhUFGZoKHdHxCKUQ6AEIczAN#v=onepage&q=old%20south%20arabian%20languages%20grammar&f=false * ^ Baasten 2003 . * ^ Jonathan, Owens (2013). The Oxford Handbook of Arabic Linguistics. Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 0199344094 . Retrieved 18 February 2014. * ^ Amharic at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ Tigrinya at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ Modern Hebrew
Hebrew
at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ ^ Jump up to: a b Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000). * ^ ^ Turoyo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ ^ Jump up to: a b c Maltese at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) * ^ A B C D Ruhlen, Merritt (1991), A Guide to the World\'s Languages: Classification, Stanford University Press, ISBN 9780804718943 , The other linguistic group to be recognized in the eighteenth century was the Semitic family. The German scholar Ludwig von Schlozer is often credited with having recognizes, and named, the Semitic family in 1781. But the affinity of Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic had been recognized for centuries by Jewish, Christian and Islamic scholars, and this knowledge was published in Western Europe as early as 1538 (see Postel 1538). Around 1700 Hiob Ludolf, who had written grammars of Geez and Amharic (both Ethiopic Semitic languages) in the seventeenth century, recognized the extension of the Semitic family into East Africa. Thus when von Schlozer named the family in 1781 he was merely recognizing genetic relationships that had been known for centuries. Three Semitic languages
Semitic languages
(Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew) were long familiar to Europeans both because of their geographic proximity and because the Bible was written in Hebrew
Hebrew
and Aramaic. * ^ A B C D Kiraz, George Anton (2001). Computational Nonlinear Morphology: With Emphasis on Semitic Languages. Cambridge University Press . p. 25. ISBN 9780521631969 . The term "Semitic" is borrowed from the Bible (Gene. x.21 and xi.10–26). It was first used by the Orientalist A. L. Schlözer in 1781 to designate the languages spoken by the Aramæans, Hebrews, Arabs, and other peoples of the Near East (Moscati et al., 1969, Sect. 1.2). Before Schlözer, these languages and dialects were known as Oriental languages. * ^ Baasten 2003 , p. 67. * ^ A B C Kitto, John (1845). A Cyclopædia of Biblical Literature. London: W. Clowes and Sons . p. 192. That important family of languages, of which the Arabic
Arabic
is the most cultivated and most widely-extended branch, has long wanted an appropriate common name. The term Oriental languages, which was exclusively applied to it from the time of Jerome
Jerome
down to the end of the last century, and which is even now not entirely abandoned, must always have been an unscientific one, inasmuch as the countries in which these languages prevailed are only the east in respect to Europe; and when Sanskrit
Sanskrit
, Chinese , and other idioms of the remoter East were brought within the reach of our research, it became palpably incorrect. Under a sense of this impropriety, Eichhorn was the first, as he says himself (Allg. Bibl. Biblioth. vi. 772), to introduce the name Semitic languages, which was soon generally adopted, and which is the most usual one at the present day. In modern times, however, the very appropriate designation Syro-Arabian languages has been proposed by Dr. Prichard , in his Physical History of Man. This term, has the advantage of forming an exact counterpart to the name by which the only other great family of languages with which we are likely to bring the Syro-Arabian into relations of contrast or accordance, is now universally known—the Indo-Germanic . Like it, by taking up only the two extreme members of a whole sisterhood according to their geographical position when in their native seats, it embraces all the intermediate branches under a common band; and, like it, it constitutes a name which is not only at once intelligible, but one which in itself conveys a notion of that affinity between the sister dialects, which it is one of the objects of comparative philology to demonstrate and to apply. * ^ Baasten 2003 , p. 68. * ^ A B Baasten 2003 , p. 69. * ^ Eichhorn 1794 . * ^ Kitchen, A; Ehret, C; Assefa, S; Mulligan, CJ. (2009). "Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages
Semitic languages
identifies an Early Bronze Age
Bronze Age
origin of Semitic in the Near East". Proc Biol Sci. 276 (1668): 2703–10. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0408. PMC 2839953 . PMID 19403539 . * ^ "Semite". Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
. Retrieved 24 March 2014. * ^ Waltke this "dialect" is not strikingly different from the Hebrew
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
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
Punic
and Neo- Punic
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 (ca. 700 BC), these texts have both Canaanite and Aramaic features. W. R. Garr has recently proposed that all the Iron Age
Iron Age
Canaanite dialects be regarded as forming a chain that actually includes the oldest forms of Aramaic as well." * ^ ^ Averil Cameron, Peter Garnsey (1998). "The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 13". p. 708. * ^ ^ Amir Harrak (1992). "The ancient name of Edessa". Journal of Near Eastern
Near Eastern
Studies 51 (3): 209–214. doi :10.1086/373553 . JSTOR 545546. * ^ Nebes, Norbert, "Epigraphic South Arabian," in von Uhlig, Siegbert, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005), pps.335. * ^ A B Kogan, Leonid (2012). " Proto-Semitic Phonology and Phonetics". In Weninger, Stefan. The Semitic Languages: An International Handbook. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 54–151. ISBN 978-3-11-025158-6 . * ^ Watson, Janet (2002). The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic (PDF). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 13. * ^ Huehnergard, J. (2003) " Akkadian
Akkadian
ḫ and West Semitic ḥ." Studia Semitica 3, ed. L. E. Kogan & A. Militarev. Moscow: Russian State University for the Humanities. pp. 102-119. ISBN 978-5-728-10690-6 * ^ " Old Aramaic (c. 850 to c. 612 BCE)". Retrieved 2011-08-22. * ^ "LIN325: Introduction to Semitic Languages. Common Consonant Changes" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-06-25. * ^ Kaufman, Stephen (1997), "Aramaic", in Hetzron, Robert, The Semitic Languages, Routledge, pp. 117–119 . * ^ Dolgopolsky 1999, p. 35. * ^ Dolgopolsky (1999 :72) * ^ Dolgopolsky (1999 :73) * ^ Blau (2010 :78–81) * ^ Garnier, Romain; Jacques, Guillaume (2012). "A neglected phonetic law: The assimilation of pretonic yod to a following coronal in North-West Semitic". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 75.1: 135–145. doi :10.1017/s0041977x11001261 . * ^ Brock, Sebastian (2006). An Introduction to Syriac Studies. Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press. ISBN 1-59333-349-8 . * ^ Dolgopolsky 1999, pp. 85–86. * ^ Approaches to Language Typology by Masayoshi Shibatani and Theodora Bynon, page 157 * ^ Moscati, Sabatino (1958). "On Semitic Case-Endings". Journal of Near Eastern
Near Eastern
Studies. 17 (2): 142–43. doi :10.1086/371454 . "In the historically attested Semitic languages, the endings of the singular noun-flexions survive, as is well known, only partially: in Akkadian and Arabic
Arabic
and Ugaritic
Ugaritic
and, limited to the accusative, in Ethiopic. * ^ " Old Aramaic (c. 850 to c. 612 BC)". Retrieved 2011-08-22. * ^ Hetzron, Robert (1997). The Semitic Languages. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-05767-7 . , page 123 * ^ Robert Hetzron. "Biblical Hebrew" in The World's Major Languages. * ^ Weninger, Stefan (2011). "Reconstructive Morphology". In Semitic languages: an international handbook, Stefan Weninger, ed. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. P. 166. * ^ Müller, Hans-Peter (1995). "Ergative Constructions In Early Semitic Languages". Journal of Near Eastern
Near Eastern
Studies. 54: 261–271. JSTOR 545846 . doi :10.1086/373769 . . * ^ "Aramaean – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-01-27. * ^ " Akhlame – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-01-27. * ^ "Mesopotamian religion – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-01-27. * ^ " Akkadian language – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-01-27.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE LITERATURE

Wikisource has original text related to this article: SEMITIC LANGUAGES

* Baasten, Martin (2003). "A Note on the History of 'Semitic'". Hamlet on a Hill: Semitic and Greek Studies Presented to Professor T. Muraoka on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Peeters Publishers. p. 57–73. ISBN 9789042912151 . * Bennett, Patrick R. 1998. Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual. Eisenbrauns. ISBN 1-57506-021-3 . * Blau, Joshua (2010). Phonology and Morphology of Biblical Hebrew. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 1-57506-129-5 . * Dolgopolsky, Aron (1999). From Proto-Semitic to Hebrew. Milan: Centro Studi Camito-Semitici di Milano. * Eichhorn, Johann Gottfried (1794). Allgemeine Bibliothek der biblischen Literatur. 6. p. 772–776. * Bergsträsser, Gotthelf . 1995. Introduction to the Semitic Languages: Text Specimens and Grammatical Sketches. Translated by Peter T. Daniels . Winona Lake, Ind. : Eisenbrauns. ISBN 0-931464-10-2 . * Garbini, Giovanni. 1984. Le lingue semitiche: studi di storia linguistica. Naples: Istituto Orientale. * Garbini, Giovanni; Durand, Olivier. 1995. Introduzione alle lingue semitiche. Paideia: Brescia 1995. * Goldenberg, Gideon. 2013. Semitic Languages: Features, Structures, Relations, Processes. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-964491-9 . * Hetzron, Robert (ed.). 1997. The Semitic Languages. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-05767-1 . (For family tree, see p. 7). * Lipinski, Edward . 2001. Semitic Languages: Outlines of a Comparative Grammar. 2nd ed. Leuven: Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta. ISBN 90-429-0815-7 * Mustafa, Arafa Hussein. 1974. Analytical study of phrases and sentences in epic texts of Ugarit. (German title: Untersuchungen zu Satztypen in den epischen Texten von Ugarit). Dissertation. Halle-Wittenberg: Martin-Luther-University. * Moscati, Sabatino. 1969. An introduction to the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages: phonology and morphology. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. * Ullendorff, Edward . 1955. The Semitic languages
Semitic languages
of Ethiopia: a comparative phonology. London: Taylor's (Foreign) Press. * Wright, William; Smith, William Robertson. 1890. Lectures on the comparative grammar of the Semitic languages. Cambridge University Press 1890.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikisource has the text of the 1905 New International Encyclopedia article SEMITIC LANGUAGES .

* Semitic genealogical tree (as well as the Afroasiatic one), presented by Alexander Militarev at his talk "Genealogical classification of Afro-Asiatic languages according to the latest data" (at the conference on the 70th anniversary of Vladislav Illich-Svitych , Moscow, 2004; short annotations of the talks given there (in Russian) * Pattern-and-root inflectional morphology: the Arabic
Arabic
broken plural * Ancient snake spell in Egyptian pyramid may be oldest Semitic inscription * Swadesh vocabulary lists of Semitic languages
Semitic languages
(from Wiktionary's Swadesh-list appendix)

LINKS TO RELATED ARTICLES

* v * t * e

Modern Semitic languages
Semitic languages

* Arabic
Arabic

* varieties of Arabic
Arabic
* Judeo- Arabic
Arabic
* Maltese

* Modern Hebrew
Hebrew

* Aramaic

* Western Neo-Aramaic * Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
* Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
* Turoyo * Senaya * Syriac * Mandaic * Neo-Mandaic * Mlahsô * Judeo Aramaic

* South Semitic

* Old South Arabian
Old South Arabian

* Jabal Razih

* Modern South Arabian

* Ethiopian Semitic

* Gurage languages * Arqobba * Amharic * Tigrinya * Tigre * Chaha * Harari * Silt\'e * Soddo * Inor

* v * t * e

Semitic languages
Semitic languages

EAST SEMITIC LANGUAGES

* Akkadian
Akkadian
* Eblaite
Eblaite

WEST SEMITIC AND CENTRAL SEMITIC LANGUAGES

NORTHWEST

CANAANITE

HEBREW

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

PHOENICIAN

* Punic
Punic

OTHERS

* Ammonite
Ammonite
* Moabite * Edomite
Edomite

ARAMAIC

WESTERN

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

EASTERN

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

OTHERS

* Amorite * Eteocypriot * Ugaritic
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
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
Arabic

* Judeo-Tripolitanian

* Sicilian

* Maltese

* Moroccan Arabic
Arabic

* Judeo-Moroccan

* Tunisian Arabic
Arabic

* Judeo-Tunisian

OTHERS

* Old Arabic
Arabic
* Nabataean Arabic
Arabic

SOUTH SEMITIC LANGUAGES

WESTERN SOUTH

OLD SOUTH

* Sabaean * Minaean *

.