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Encyclopedia > West Semitic languages
West Semitic
Geographic
distribution:
Middle East and East Africa
Genetic
classification
:
Afro-Asiatic
 Semitic
  West Semitic
Subdivisions:

The West Semitic languages are a proposed major sub-grouping of Semitic languages. One widely accepted analysis, supported by semiticists like Robert Hetzron and John Huehnergard, divides the Semitic language family into two branches: Eastern and Western. The former consists of the extinct Eblaite and Akkadian languages, the latter of the rump of the Semitic languages. It consists of the clearly defined sub-groups: Ethiopic, South Arabian, Arabic and Northwest Semitic (this including Hebrew, Aramaic and Ugaritic). The first two, Ethiopic and South Arabian, show particular common features, and are often grouped together as South Semitic. The correct classification of Arabic with respect to other Semitic languages is debated. In older classifications, it is grouped with the South Semitic languages. However, Hetzron and Huehnergard connect it more closely with the Northwest Semitic languages, to form Central Semitic. Some semiticists continue to argue for the older classification based on the distinctive feature of broken plurals. A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ...  Eastern Africa (UN subregion)  East African Community  Central African Federation (defunct)  geographic, including above East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easternmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... The Afro-Asiatic languages constitute a language family with about 375 languages (SIL estimate) and more than 300 million speakers spread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia (including some 200 million speakers of Arabic). ... 14th century BC diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Tell Amarna. ... 12th century Hebrew Bible script The Semitic languages are a family of languages spoken by more than 250 million people across much of the Middle East, where they originated, and North and East Africa. ... The Semitic languages are the northeastern subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic languages, and the only family of this group spoken in Asia. ... 14th century BC diplomatic letter in Akkadian, found in Tell Amarna. ... Semitism may refer to: Philo-Semitism Semitic language Semitic people Zionism Category: ... Robert Hetzron (1937 – 1997) was a linguist who specialized in Afroasiatic languages and whose work embraced comparative studies, semantic analysis and theoretical aspects of grammar. ... The East Semitic languages are one of the two major subdivisions of Semitic languages, the other being West Semitic. ... An extinct language (also called a dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. ... Eblaite is an extinct East Semitic language which was spoken in the 3rd millennium BC in the ancient city Ebla, in modern Syria. ... Akkadian (lišānum akkadÄ«tum) was a Semitic language (part of the greater Afro-Asiatic language family) spoken in ancient Mesopotamia, particularly by the Assyrians and Babylonians. ... Ethiopic languages is a language group which belongs to the Western branch of the Southern Semitic languages. ... Old South Arabian is a geographic term for four closely related languages spoken in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. ... The Arabic language ( ), or simply Arabic ( ), is the largest member of the family of Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew, Amharic, and Aramaic. ... The Northwest Semitic languages form a medium-level division of the Semitic language family. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... Aramaic is a group of Semitic languages with a 3,000-year history. ... The Ugaritic language is known to us only in the form of writings found in the lost city of Ugarit in Syria since its discovery by French archaeologists in 1928. ... The Semitic languages are the northeastern subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic languages, and the only family of this group spoken in Asia. ... 12th century Hebrew Bible script The Semitic languages are a family of languages spoken by more than 250 million people across much of the Middle East, where they originated, and North and East Africa. ... In linguistics, broken plurals is a grammatical phenomenon typical in many Semitic languages of the Middle East and Ethiopia in which a singular noun is broken to form a plural by having its root consonant embedded in a different frame, rather than by merely adding a prefix or suffix to...


 
 

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