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Semitic languages

Semitic languages
Semitic Geographic distribution: Genetic classification: Subdivisions: Middle East, North Africa, Northeast Africa and Malta Afro-Asiatic Semitic East Semitic (extinct) West Semitic South Semitic sem

ISO 639-2 and 639-5:

the only branch of that family to be spoken not only in Africa but also in Asia. The most widely spoken Semitic language today is Arabic[1] (322 million native speakers, approx 422 million total speakers)[2][3]. It is followed by Amharic (27 million),[4][5] Tigrinya (about 6.7 million),[6] and Hebrew (about 5 million).[7] Semitic languages are attested in written form from a very early date, with texts in Eblaite and Akkadian appearing from around the middle of the third millennium BC, written in a script adapted from Sumerian cuneiform. The other scripts used to write Semitic languages are alphabetic. Among them are the Ugaritic, Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, South Arabian, and Ge’ez alphabets. Maltese is the only Semitic language to be written in the Latin alphabet and is the only official Semitic language within the European Union. The term "Semitic" for these languages, after Shem, the son of Noah in the Bible, is etymologically a misnomer in some ways (see Semitic), but is nonetheless in standard use.

History
Origins
The Semitic family is a member of the larger Afro-Asiatic family, all of whose other five or more branches are based in Africa. Largely for this reason, the ancestors of Proto-Semitic speakers are now widely believed to have first arrived in the Middle East from Africa, possibly as part of the operation of the Saharan pump, around the late Neolithic.[8][9] Diakonoff sees Semitic originating between the Nile Delta and Canaan as the northernmost branch of Afro-Asiatic. Blench even wonders whether the highly divergent Gurage indicate an origin in Ethiopia (with the rest of Ethiopic Semitic a later back migration). However, an opposing theory is that Afro-Asiatic originated in the Middle East, and that Semitic is the only branch to have stayed put; this view is supported by apparent Sumerian and Caucasian loanwords in the African branches of Afro-Asiatic.[10]

14th century BC diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Amarna. The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 467 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. They constitute a branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family,

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Semitic languages
In any event, Proto-Semitic itself is assumed to have reached the Arabian Peninsula by approximately the 4th millennium BC, from which Semitic daughter languages continued to spread outwards. When written records began in the mid 3rd millennium BC, the Semitic-speaking Akkadians and Amorites were entering Mesopotamia from the deserts to the west, and were probably already present in places such as Ebla in Syria.

2nd millennium BC
By the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC, East Semitic languages dominated in Mesopotamia, while West Semitic languages were probably spoken from Syria to Yemen, although Old South Arabian is considered by most to be South Semitic and data are sparse. Akkadian had become the dominant literary language of the Fertile Crescent, using the cuneiform script they adapted from the Sumerians, while the sparsely attested Eblaite disappeared with the city, and Amorite is attested only from proper names. For the 2nd millennium, somewhat more data are available, thanks to the spread of an invention first used to capture the sounds of Semitic languages — the alphabet. ProtoCanaanite texts from around 1500 BC yield the first undisputed attestations of a West Semitic language (although earlier testimonies are possibly preserved in Middle Bronze Age alphabets), followed by the much more extensive Ugaritic tablets of northern Syria from around 1300 BC. Incursions of nomadic Aramaeans from the Syrian desert begin around this time. Akkadian continued to flourish, splitting into Babylonian and Assyrian dialects.

11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum

1st millennium BC
In the 1st millennium BC, the alphabet spread much further, giving us a picture not just of Canaanite but also of Aramaic, Old South Arabian, and early Ge’ez. During this period, the case system, once vigorous in Ugaritic, seems to have started decaying in Northwest Semitic. Phoenician colonies spread their Canaanite language throughout much of the Mediterranean, while its close relative Hebrew became the vehicle of a religious literature, the Torah and Tanakh, that would have global ramifications. However, as an ironic result of the Assyrian Empire’s conquests, Aramaic became the lingua franca of

Page from a 15th century Bible in Ge’ez (Ethiopia)

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Semitic languages

Page from a 12th century Qur’an in Arabic became one of the world’s main literary languages. Its spread among the masses took much longer; however, as native populations outside the Arabian Peninsula gradually abandoned their mother tongues for Arabic and as Bedouin tribes settled in conquered areas, it became the main language of not only central Arabia, but also Yemen,[11] the Fertile Crescent, and Egypt. Most of the Maghreb (Northwest Africa) followed, particularly in the wake of the Banu Hilal’s incursion in the 11th century, and Arabic became the native language even of many inhabitants of Spain. After the collapse of the Nubian kingdom of Dongola in the 14th century, Arabic began to spread south of Egypt; soon after, the Beni Ḥassān brought Arabization to Mauritania. Meanwhile, Semitic languages were diversifying in Ethiopia and Eritrea, where, under heavy Cushitic influence, they split into a number of languages, including Amharic and Tigrinya. With the expansion of Ethiopia under the Solomonic dynasty, Amharic, previously a minor local language, spread throughout much of the country, replacing languages both Semitic (such as Gafat) and non-Semitic (such as Weyto), and replacing Ge’ez as the principal literary language (though Ge’ez remains the liturgical language for Christians in the region); this

9th century Syriac manuscript the Fertile Crescent, gradually pushing Akkadian, Hebrew, Phoenician, and several other languages to extinction (although Hebrew remained in use as a liturgical language), and developing a substantial literature. Meanwhile, Ge’ez texts beginning in this era give the first direct record of Ethiopian Semitic languages.

Common Era / A.D.
Syriac, a descendant of Aramaic used in the northern Levant and Mesopotamia, rose to importance as a literary language of early Christianity in the 3rd to 5th centuries and continued into the early Islamic era. With the emergence of Islam in the 7th century, the ascendancy of Aramaic was dealt a fatal blow by the Arab conquests, which made another Semitic language — Arabic — the official language of an empire stretching from Spain to Central Asia. With the patronage of the caliphs and the prestige of its liturgical status, it rapidly

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spread continues to this day, with Qimant set to disappear in another generation.

Semitic languages
parts of eastern Sudan, has over one million speakers. A number of Gurage languages are to be found in the mountainous center-south of Ethiopia, while Harari is restricted to the city of Harar. Ge’ez remains the liturgical language for Christians in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Present situation
Arabic is spoken natively by majorities from Mauritania to Oman, and from Iraq to the Sudan. As the language of the Qur’an and as a lingua franca, it is widely studied in much of the non-Arabic-speaking Muslim world as well. Its spoken form is divided into a number of dialects, some not mutually comprehensible, united by a single written form. Maltese, genetically a descendant of the extinct Siculo-Arabic dialect, is the principal exception, having adopted a Latin orthography in accordance with its cultural situation as a predominantly Catholic nation and the influence of Romance vocabulary and grammar over the language’s history. Despite the ascendancy of Arabic in the Middle East, other Semitic languages are still to be found there. Hebrew, long extinct as a colloquial language and in use only in Jewish literary, intellectual, and liturgical activity, was revived at the end of the 19th century by the Jewish linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, and has become the main language of Israel, while remaining the language of liturgy and religious scholarship of Jews worldwide. Several small ethnic groups, especially the Assyrians, continue to speak Aramaic dialects (especially Neo-Aramaic, descended from Syriac) in the mountains of northern Iraq, eastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, and northeast Syria, while Syriac itself, a descendant of Old Aramaic, is used liturgically by Syrian and Iraqi Christians. In Arabic-dominated 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, very different both from the surrounding Arabic and from the (presumably related) languages of the Old South Arabian inscriptions. Historically linked to the peninsular homeland of the Old South Arabian languages, Ethiopia and Eritrea contain a substantial number of Semitic languages, of which Amharic and Tigrinya in Ethiopia, and Tigre and Tigrinya in Eritrea, are the most widely spoken. Both Amharic and Tigrinya are official languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea, respectively, while Tigre, spoken in the northern Eritrean and central lowlands, as well as

Grammar
The Semitic languages share a number of grammatical features, although variation has naturally occurred – even within the same language as it evolved through time, such as Arabic from the 6th century AD to the present.

Word order
The reconstructed default word order in Proto-Semitic is Verb Subject Object (VSO), possessed–possessor (NG), and noun–adjective (NA). In Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, this is still the dominant order: ra’ā muħammadun farīdan. (lit. saw Muhammad Farid, Muhammad saw Farid). However, VSO has given way in most modern Semitic languages to typologically more common orders (e.g. SVO); for example, the classical order VSO has given way to SVO in Hebrew and Maltese (due to Europeanisation). Modern Ethiopian Semitic languages are SOV, possessor–possessed, and adjective–noun, probably due to Cushitic influence; however, the oldest attested Ethiopian Semitic language, Ge’ez, was VSO, possessed–possessor, and noun–adjective[4].

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 (see ʾIʿrab), Akkadian and Ugaritic; has disappeared everywhere in the many colloquial forms of Semitic languages, although Modern Standard Arabic maintains such case endings in literary and broadcasting contexts. An accusative ending -n is preserved in Ethiopian Semitic.[12] Additionally, Semitic nouns and adjectives had a category of state, the indefinite state being expressed by nunation.

Number in nouns
Semitic languages originally had three grammatical numbers: singular, dual, and plural.

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The dual continues to be used in contemporary dialects of Arabic, as in the name for the nation of Bahrain (baħr "sea" + -ayn "two"), and sporadically in Hebrew (šana means "one year", šnatayim means "two years", and šanim means "years"), and in Maltese (sena means "one year", sentejn means "two years", and snin means "years"). 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, and still common in Maltese, may be partly of proto-Semitic origin, and partly elaborated from simpler origins.

Semitic languages
kitābat- ‫" ةباتك‬writing" kātib- ‫" بتاك‬writer" (masculine) kātibah- ‫" ةبتاك‬writer" (feminine) kātibūn(a) ‫" نوبتاك‬writers" (masculine) kātibāt- ‫" تابتاك‬writers" (feminine) kuttāb- ‫" باتك‬writers" (broken plural) katabat- ‫" ةبتك‬writers" (broken plural) maktab- ‫" بتكم‬desk" or "office" maktabat- ‫" ةبتكم‬library" or "bookshop" maktūb- ‫" بوتكم‬written" (participle) or "postal letter" (noun) and the same root in Hebrew (where it appears as k-t-ḇ): kataḇti ‫" יתבתכ‬I wrote" kataḇta ‫" תבתכ‬you (m) wrote" kataḇ ‫" בתכ‬he wrote" or "reporter" (m) katteḇet ‫" תבתכ‬reporter" (f) kattaḇa ‫" הבתכ‬article" (plural katavot ‫)תובתכ‬ miḵtaḇ ‫" בתכמ‬postal letter" (plural miḵtaḇim ‫)םיבתכמ‬ miḵtaḇa ‫" הבתכמ‬writing desk" (plural miḵtaḇot ‫)תובתכמ‬ ktoḇet ‫" תבותכ‬address" (plural ktoḇot ‫)תובותכ‬ ktaḇ ‫" בתכ‬handwriting" katuḇ ‫" בותכ‬written" (f ktuḇa ‫)הבותכ‬ hiḵtiḇ ‫" ביתכה‬he dictated" (f hiḵtiḇa ‫)הביתכה‬ hitkatteḇ ‫" בתכתה‬he corresponded (f hitkatḇa ‫)הבתכתה‬ niḵtaḇ ‫" בתכנ‬it was written" (m) niḵteḇa ‫" הבתכנ‬it was written" (f) ktiḇ ‫" ביתכ‬spelling" (m) taḵtiḇ ‫" ביתכת‬prescript" (m)

Verb aspect and tense
The aspect systems of West and East Semitic differ substantially; Akkadian preserves a number of features generally attributed to Afro-Asiatic, such as gemination indicating the imperfect, while a stative form, still maintained in Akkadian, became a new perfect in West Semitic. Proto-West Semitic maintained two main verb aspects: perfect for completed action (with pronominal suffixes) and imperfect for uncompleted action (with pronominal prefixes and suffixes). In the extreme case of Neo-Aramaic, however, even the verb conjugations have been entirely reworked under Iranian influence.

Morphology: triliteral roots
All Semitic languages exhibit a unique pattern of stems 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, and/or adding prefixes, suffixes, or infixes. For instance, the root k-t-b, (dealing with "writing" generally) yields in Arabic: kataba ‫" بتك‬he wrote" (masculine) katabat ‫" تبتك‬she wrote" (feminine) kutiba ‫" بتك‬it was written" (masculine) kutibat ‫" تبتك‬it was written" (feminine) kitāb- ‫" باتك‬book" (the hyphen shows end of stem before various case endings) kutub- ‫" بتك‬books" (plural) kutayyib- ‫" بيتك‬booklet" (diminutive)

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
English Proto-Semitic Akkadian father heart house peace tongue water *ʼab*lib(a)bbayt*šalām*lišān-/*lašān*may-/*māyablibbbītu, bētu šalāmlišānArabic ʼablubbbaytsalāmlisān-

Semitic languages
Aramaic Hebrew Ge’ez Mehri ʼab-ā lebb-ā beyt-ā shlām-ā leššān-ā ʼāḇ lēḇ(āḇ) šālôm lāšôn máyim ʼab libb ḥa-yb ḥa-wbēb beyt, bêt

báyiṯ, bêṯ bet

salām səlōm lissān əwšēn māy ḥə-mō

mû (root *mā-/*māy-) māʼ-/māy mayy-ā

meḵuttaḇ ‫" בתוכמ‬a person on one’s mailing list" (meḵutteḇet ‫ תבתוכמ‬f) ktubba ‫" הבותכ‬ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract)" (f) (note: b here, not ḇ) also appearing in Maltese, where consonantal roots are referred to as the mamma: jiena ktibt "I wrote" inti ktibt "you wrote" (m or f) huwa kiteb "he wrote" hija kitbet "she wrote" aħna ktibna "we wrote" intkom ktibtu "you (pl) wrote" huma kitbu "they wrote" huwa miktub "it is written" kittieb "writer" kittieba "writers" kitba "writing" ktib "writing" ktieb "book" kotba "books" ktejjeb "booklet" In Tigrinya and Amharic, this root survives only in the noun kitab, meaning "amulet", and the verb "to vaccinate". Ethiopic-derived languages use a completely different root (ṣ-ḥ-f) for the verb "to write" (this root exists in Arabic and is used to form words with close meaning to "writing", such as ṣaḥāfa "journalism", and ṣaḥīfa "newspaper" or "parchment").

Verbs in other non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic 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 uf, te’ufah and af).

Common vocabulary
Due to the Semitic languages’ common origin, they share many words and roots in common. For example: Sometimes certain roots differ in meaning from one Semitic language to another. For example, the root b-y-ḍ in Arabic has the meaning of "white" as well as "egg", whereas in 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 and "cow" in Ethiopian Semitic languages; the original meaning was most probably "food". The word medina (root: m-d-n) has the meaning of "city" in Arabic, and "metropolis" in Amharic, but in Modern Hebrew it means "state". Of course, there is sometimes no relation between the roots. For example, "knowledge" is represented in Hebrew by the root y-d-ʿ but in Arabic by the roots ʿ-r-f and ʿ-l-m and in Ethiosemitic by the root ʿ-w-q and f-l-ṭ.

Classification
The classification given below, based on shared innovations – established by Robert Hetzron in 1976 with later emendations by John Huehnergard and Rodgers as summarized in Hetzron 1997 – is the most widely accepted today, but is still disputed. In particular, several Semiticists still argue for the traditional view of 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

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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 Afro-Asiatic 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 below – and the strong mutual influences between Arabic dialects render a genetic subclassification of them particularly difficult. The traditional grouping of the Semitic languages (prior to the 1970s), based partly on non-linguistic data, differs in several respects; in particular, Arabic was put in South Semitic, and Eblaite had not been discovered yet.

Semitic languages
• Modern Hebrew — Spoken mostly in Israel. • Phoenician — extinct • Punic — extinct • Aramaic languages • Western Aramaic languages • Nabataean — extinct • Western Middle Aramaic languages • Jewish Middle Palestinian Aramaic — extinct • Samaritan Aramaic — live descendants • Christian Palestinian Aramaic — extinct • Western Neo-Aramaic (Ma’aloula) — live descendants • Eastern Aramaic languages • Biblical Aramaic — extinct • Hatran Aramaic — extinct • Syriac — live descendants • Jewish Middle Babylonian Aramaic — extinct • Chaldean Neo-Aramaic (Alqosh) — live descendants • Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (Urmia and Hakkari) — live descendants • Senaya — live descendants • Koy Sanjaq Surat — live descendants • Hertevin — live descendants • Turoyo — live descendants • Mlahso — extinct • Mandaic — live descendants • Judaeo-Aramaic — live descendants Arabic languages • Ancient North Arabian — extinct • Arabic • Fusha — (‫ ىحصفلا ةيبرعلا ةغللا‬literally "eloquent"), the written language, divided by specialists into: • Classical Arabic — the language of the Qur’an and early Islamic Arabic literature, • Middle Arabic — a generic term for premodern post-classical efforts to write Classical Arabic, characterized by frequent hypercorrections and occasional lapses into more colloquial usage. Not a spoken language. • Modern Standard Arabic — modern literary (non-native) language used in formal media and written communication throughout the Arab World, differing from Classical

East Semitic languages
• Akkadian — extinct • Eblaite — extinct

West Semitic languages
Northwest Semitic languages • Amorite — extinct • Ugaritic — extinct • Canaanite languages • Ammonite — extinct • Moabite — extinct • Edomite — extinct • Hebrew • Biblical Hebrew — Used by scholars and Rabbis and in the public reading of the Torah. • Mishnaic Hebrew — Used in the reading of the Talmud and other Rabbinic writings. Probably spoken among Rabbis in the Middle Ages. • Medieval Hebrew — Developed into Modern Hebrew. • Mizrahi Hebrew — Spoken in Israel, Yemen, Iraq, Puerto Rico, and New York etc. • Teimani Hebrew — Spoken mainly by Yemenite Jews. • Sephardi Hebrew — Major basis of modern pronunciation. • Ashkenazi Hebrew — live descendants • Samaritan Hebrew — Spoken in Holon, Tel Aviv and Nablus (Palestinian Authority territory).

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Arabic mainly in numerous neologisms for concepts not found in medieval times, as well as in occasional calques on idioms from Western languages. • Numerous Modern Arabic spoken dialects — roughly divided by the Ethnologue into: • Eastern Arabic dialects • Arabian Peninsular dialects • Dhofari Arabic — Oman/Yemen • Hadrami Arabic — Yemen • Hejazi Arabic — Saudi Arabia • Najdi Arabic — Saudi Arabia • Omani Arabic • Sana’ani Arabic — Yemen • Ta’izzi-Adeni Arabic — Yemen • Judeo-Yemeni Arabic • Bedouin/Bedawi Arabic dialects • Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic • Peninsular Bedawi Arabic — Arabian Peninsula • Central Asian dialects • Central Asian Arabic • Khuzestani Arabic • Shirvani Arabic— extinct • Egyptian Arabic — Cairo and Delta region • Sa’idi Arabic — Upper Egypt • Gulf dialects — includes speakers in Iran • Bahrani Arabic — Bahrain • Gulf Arabic — Persian Gulf (all bordering countries) • Shihhi Arabic — United Arab Emirates • Levantine Arabic dialects • Cypriot Maronite Arabic • North Levantine Spoken — Lebanon, Syria • Lebanese Arabic • South Levantine Spoken — Jordan, Palestinian Authority, West Bank, Israel • Palestinian Arabic • Iraqi Arabic — Iraq • Judeo-Iraqi Arabic • Sudanese Arabic • Maghrebi Arabic dialects • Algerian Arabic • Saharan Arabic • Shuwa Arabic — Chad • Hassānīya Arabic — Mauritania and Saharan area • Libyan Arabic • Judeo-Tripolitanian Arabic — Libyan dialect

Semitic languages
• Andalusian Arabic Old Iberian Arabic — extinct • Siculo-Arabic — Sicily, extinct • Maltese language — a genetic descendant of the extinct SiculoArabic variety. Maltese is the only variety of Arabic to have become an independent language. • Moroccan Arabic • Judeo-Moroccan Arabic • Tunisian Arabic • Judeo-Tunisian Arabic Several Jewish dialects, typically with a number of Hebrew loanwords, are grouped together with classical Arabic written in Hebrew script under the imprecise term Judeo-Arabic.

South Semitic languages
Western South Semitic languages • Old South Arabian — extinct, formerly believed to be the linguistic ancestors of modern South Arabian and Ethiopian Semitic languages (for which see below) • Sabaean — extinct • Minaean — extinct • Qatabanian — extinct • Hadhramautic — extinct • Ethiopic languages (Ethio-Semitic, Ethiopian Semitic): • North • Ge’ez (Ethiopic) — extinct, liturgical use in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches • Tigrinya — national language of Eritrea • Tigré • Dahlik language — "newly discovered" • South • Transversal • Amharic-Argobba • Amharic — national language of Ethiopia • Argobba • Harari-East Gurage • Harari • East Gurage • Selti (also spelled Silt’e) • Zway (also called Zay) • Ulbare • Wolane • Inneqor

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lang Arabic Amharic Tigrinya Hebrew Syriac Aramaic Silt’e Tigre Sebat Bet Gurage Maltese Modern South Arabian languages Inor Soddo Harari • Outer • n-group: • Gafat — extinct • Soddo (also called Kistane) • Goggot • tt-group: • Mesmes — extinct • Muher • West Gurage • Masqan (also spelled Mesqan) • CPWG • Central Western Gurage: • Ezha • Chaha • Gura • Gumer • Peripheral Western Gurage: • Gyeto • Ennemor (also called Inor) • Endegen Eastern South Semitic languages These languages are spoken mainly by tiny minority populations on the Arabian peninsula in Yemen and Oman. • Bathari • Harsusi • Hobyot • Jibbali (also called Shehri) • Mehri • Soqotri — on the islands of Socotra, Abd el Kuri and Samhah (Yemen) and in the UAE.

Semitic languages
speakers 422,000,000[3] 27,000,000 6,700,000 5,000,000[7] 2,105,000 830,000 800,000 440,000 371,900[13] 360,000 280,000 250,000 21,283

Living Semitic languages by number of speakers See also
• • • • List of Proto-Semitic stems Proto-Semitic language Proto-Canaanite alphabet Middle Bronze Age alphabets

Notes
[1] Including all varieties. [2] Ethnologue report for language code:arb [3] ^ Encarta, Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People. Retrieved 2008-10-28. [4] 1994 Ethiopian census [5] Amharic alphabet, pronunciation and language [6] In 2005, Ethnologue estimated a total of 4.45 million Tigrinya speakers ranging over all countries; 3.2 million in Ethiopia, 1.2 million in Eritrea, 10,000 Beta Israels in Israel (the remaining 15,000 are unaccounted for).[1] The Tigrinya ethnic group, almost entirely Tigrinya speaking, is estimated at 3.3 million by Ethnologue, whereas other estimates indicate 4.3 million in Ethiopia (CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.3.), 2.4 million in Eritrea (July 2006).[2] [7] ^ Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL

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Semitic languages

International. Online version: • Robert Hetzron (ed.) The Semitic http://www.ethnologue.com/. (HebrewLanguages. Routledge: London 1997. >Population total all countries, [3]) ISBN 0-415-05767-1. (For family tree, see [8] The Origins of Afroasiatic – Ehret et al. p. 7). 306 (5702): 1680c – Science • Edward Lipinski. Semitic Languages: [9] McCall, Daniel F. (1998). "The Outlines of a Comparative Grammar. 2nd Afroasiatic Language Phylum: African in ed., Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta: Origin, or Asian?". Current Anthropology Leuven 2001. ISBN 90-429-0815-7 • Sabatino Moscati. An introduction to the 39 (1): 139–44. doi:10.1086/204702. comparative grammar of the Semitic http://links.jstor.org/ languages: phonology and morphology. sici?sici=0011-3204%28199802%2939%3A1%3C139%3ATALPAI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-J&size=LARGE. . Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden 1969. [10] Hayward 2000; • Edward Ullendorff, The Semitic languages http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/ of Ethiopia: a comparative phonology. full/306/5702/1680c London, Taylor’s (Foreign) Press 1955. [11] Nebes, Norbert, "Epigraphic South • William Wright & William Robertson Arabian," in von Uhlig, Siegbert, Smith. Lectures on the comparative Encyclopaedia Aethiopica (Wiesbaden: grammar of the Semitic languages. Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005), pps.335. Cambridge University Press 1890. [2002 [12] Moscati, Sabatino (1958). "On Semitic edition: ISBN 1-931956-12-X] Case-Endings". Journal of Near Eastern • Arafa Hussein Mustafa. "Analytical study Studies 17 (2): 142–43. doi:10.1086/ of phrases and sentences in epic texts of 371454. "In the historically attested Ugarit." (German title: Untersuchungen zu Semitic languages, the endings of the Satztypen in den epischen Texten von singular noun-flexions survive, as is well Ugarit). PhD-Thesis. Martin-Lutherknown, only partially: in Akkadian and University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany: Arabic and Ugaritic and, limited to the 1974. accusative, in Ethiopic. [13] Ethnologue report for Maltese, retrieved 2008-10-28

External links

References
• Patrick R. Bennett. Comparative Semitic Linguistics: A Manual. Eisenbrauns 1998. ISBN 1-57506-021-3. • Gotthelf Bergsträsser, Introduction to the Semitic Languages: Text Specimens and Grammatical Sketches. Translated by Peter T. Daniels. Winona Lake, Ind. : Eisenbrauns 1995. ISBN 0-931464-10-2. • Giovanni Garbini. Le lingue semitiche: studi di storia linguistica. Istituto Orientale: Napoli 1984. • Giovanni Garbini & Olivier Durand. Introduzione alle lingue semitiche. Paideia: Brescia 1995.

• Chart of the Semitic Family Tree American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.) • Semitic genealogical tree (as well as the Afro-Asiatic 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(Russian)) • "Semitic" in SIL’s Ethnologue • Ancient snake spell in Egyptian pyramid may be oldest Semitic inscription

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