Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [semitic-languages]

A group of related languages originating in the Near-East.

3
votes
3answers
156 views

Have linguistics found any evidence that Semitic languages influenced Germanic languages or vice versa (in ancient times)?

Have linguistics found any evidence that Semitic languages influenced Germanic languages or vice versa (in ancient times)? BACKGROUND: I suggested to a forum of linguists that a certain Semitic word (...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Is it possible for two Semitic (e.g. Arabic, Hebrew) words with the same triliteral root to have different origins?

Learning Arabic, I see some examples of triliteral roots from which words with apparently different meanings are derived. Example: ف ط ر (f-ṭ-r) "to break apart or tear": فَطَرَ • (faṭara) (maybe ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Why is it that Babylonian king names do not match their Akkadian equivalent?

I am trying to figure out why it is that Babylonian (and Assyrian) king names do not match their Akkadian transcription. For example, in the one known inscription for Nabonassar, which is written in ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What's the difference between לזכור and להיזכר in Modern Hebrew? [closed]

In Modern Hebrew, the words לזכור and להיזכר both mean "to remember" and they both come from the root 'זכר'. As an English speaker, it's as if there were two words, "remember" and "remomber" and there ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the concept of verb agreement with passive-active level in Hebrew?

In this Duolingo discussion, 'S.Liebermann' mentions that in Hebrew and Arabic, "the verb needs to agree with the level of passive/active" and "Hebrew has 7 degrees of passive/active, while Arabic has ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Why does Hebrew transcribe Akkadian š inconsistently?

Biblical Hebrew consistently uses the letter ס (s) to transcribe names with the Akkadian consonant š. For example, Esarhaddon for Aššur-aḥa-iddina, Esther from Ištar, Sargon from Šarru-ukīn (all ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Feminine and neuter plural

The Indo-European feminine declension looks like the neuter plural. The usual explanation seems to be that feminine evolved out of an earlier inanimate collective but the semantics doesn't seem to be ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Phonemic similarities between “mother” and “father” in different language families

The words for "mother" and "father" in at least a few language families have a phonetic similarity which I find interesting. Compare the Latin and Greek words (μήτηρ/πατήρ mater/pater) with the (...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

what is the etymology of Hebrew word lasse‘irim לַשְּׂעִירִם

Why would this be translated as a demon/goat? I'm also unclear as to the lemma. Is seems unrelated. Is it שָׂעַר
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What is the significance of the super prefixes in Akkadian transcription?

In transcriptions of the Akkadian language, there are frequently superscript prefixes. For example, in the transcription of Amarna Tablet #16: Here there are prefixes such as "matu" and "ilu". What ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

When did speakers of Semitic languages reach northern Levant and Syria?

Is there an approximate date when speakers of semitic languages reached northern Levant and Syria? I understand that from the linguistic material this can be difficult, but I look for litterature (if ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Semitic (Afroasiatic?) Root Constraints

What is known about the phonological constraints limiting the form of a Semitic (or even Afroasiatic) root? In other words, are there any limits to the possible sequences of radicals? For example, ...
-3
votes
1answer
56 views

Can anyone recommend me some book on semitic linguistics? [closed]

Anything that is for beginners would be appreciated. Something that introduces the subject to someone who is completely new
7
votes
2answers
264 views

Which modern day dialect of Aramaic is the closest one to the dialect that Jesus of Nazareth spoke in Palestine some 2000 years ago?

Which modern day dialect of Aramaic is the closest one to the dialect that Jesus of Nazareth spoke in Palestine some 2000 years ago? In this video, The Modern Aramaic dialects of the Christians and ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

What is the process to form nouns from Phoenician verbs?

What is the process to form nouns from Phoenician verbs? I would like to find a nominal form of the Phoenician verb "𐤍𐤑𐤓" (nun-tsade-resh, spelled left-to-right) ("NṠR"/"naṡar") (corresponding to ...
4
votes
1answer
254 views

Possible connection between PIE Ablaut and Semitic vowel alternation

Since I started to read about language typology and then got a hint about PIE ablaut system I have been wondering if there might be any prehistorical connection between these families at least ...
0
votes
1answer
255 views

Parallels between h₂ and t in PIE and Nostratic, what is the explanation?

In Afro-Asiatic we have the feminine ending -a which has the following evolution history: -a < -aha < -at < et where ha is aleph In IE (for instance, in Russian, Greek, Latin) we also have ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

What languages are writer-responsible?

It seems like every scholar since Hinds has only mentioned English as a writer-responsible language, which is also used to contrast reader-responsible languages (that are usually identified as Asian ...
6
votes
3answers
223 views

Semitic: *w > y

In some Semitic languages, the consonant w seems to have become y (a palatal glide) in certain positions: for example Arabic walid "newborn", Hebrew yeled "child", or Arabic waraq "leaves, foliage", ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Linguistic relationship between Hebrew and Greek

In the modern linguistic school of thought, are Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek related? Hebrew is classified as Afroasiatic->Semitic, while Greek is Indo-European->Hellenic. However, in Jewish ...
6
votes
1answer
414 views

Finding the root of an Aramaic or Hebrew word

I'm trying to make a dictionary on the web where people can automatically look up words in a text they're reading online. While I have the words and their definitions, the problem is that many times ...
8
votes
4answers
301 views

Is feminine ending in -a a native feature of Semitic languages?

It seems to me that many Arabic female names are ending in -a: Fatima, Yamina, Aisha, Aziza. Is this a modern innovation imported from Indo-European languages or a native feature? Also I wonder about ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

What is the etymology of the Hebrew word יָלַד

What is the etymology of the Hebrew word יָלַד, transliterated, yalad. The Hebrew Lexicon offers no etymology. This is an effort to research the linguistics pertaining to a question on BH-SE, How ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

If the Arabic script is suited to Arabic grammar, how do speakers of non-Semitic languages cope with it?

The Arabic script is an Abjad writing system or consonantal alphabet. Most letters stand for a consonant, and short vowels are usually not indicated (but can exceptionally be indicated with diacritic ...
5
votes
2answers
736 views

Is the Fifa'a language of Saudi Arabia a dialect of Arabic or a separate language?

A Saudi friend on our sister site, travel.stackexchange.com, was just telling me there is an isolated language in his country called "Fifa'a", but that nothing is written about it on the internet as ...
-3
votes
2answers
372 views

Caucasoid people, Common Genetic roots and Common Proto-Language? [closed]

It is so probable that all Caucasoid people have had a common ancestor. Does The fact that most of Caucasoid people speak a Semitic or Indo-European language not suggest that there has been an ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Linguistic or etymological relationship between the words “Sabbath” and “seven”

The words for "Sabbath" and "seven" seem similar in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Is there an etymological relationship between them? Sabbath (Shabbat), שַׁבָּת, is Strong's H7676. It is spelled shin-bet-...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

What is the Aramaic transliteration system used in the “Aramaic of Jesus” Wikipedia article?

The Wikipedia article "Aramaic of Jesus" contains many instances of transliterated Aramaic, using a system I have not seen before. Some of the notations are well-established, like ŝ for /ʃ/ and ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Plural “you” in different language families connoting respect

I recently found out that French has two different words for "you." From here: Tu is the familiar "you," which demonstrates a certain closeness and informality. ... Vous is the formal "you." It is ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Was there a Semitic influence on Proto-Germanic?

One of the hypotheses supported by Theo Vennemann and other linguists is that Proto-Germanic was influenced by some Semitic language. The evidence they present for their case includes: Loss of some ...
28
votes
5answers
7k views

Can Modern Hebrew be considered an Indo-European language?

According to this Wikipedia page Zuckermann argues that Israeli Hebrew, which he calls "Israeli", is genetically both Indo-European (Germanic, Slavic and Romance) and Afro-Asiatic (Semitic). He ...