C I P Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, Brussel L I P I N S K I Edward Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. — Leuven: Peeters, 1997. — 756 p.: ill., 24 cm. — (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta: 80). © 1997, Peeters Publishers & Department of Oriental Studies Bondgenotenlaan 153, B-3000 Leuven/Louvain (Belgium) A l l rights reserved, including the rights to translate or to reproduce this book or parts thereof in any form. D . 1997/0602/48 I S B N 90-6831-939-6 (Peeters, Leuven)



PREFACE ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS I . SEMITIC LANGUAGES 1. Definition 2. Afro-Asiatic A. Egyptian a) Old Egyptian b) Middle Egyptian c) Late Egyptian d) Demotic e) Coptic B. Cushitic a) Bedja b) Agaw c) East Cushitic d) West and South Cushitic C. Libyco-Berber D. Chadic 3. Proto-Semitic . .

17 21 23 23 24 25 25 26 27 27 29 29 31 32 32 33 34 39 41 47 50 50 52 53 53 53 54 55

4. Classification of Semitic Languages 5. North Semitic A. Palaeosyrian B. Amorite C. Ugaritic 6. East Semitic A. Old Akkadian B. Assyro-Babylonian C. Late Babylonian



7. West Semitic A. Canaanite a) Old Canaanite b) Hebrew c) Phoenician d) Ammonite e) Moabite f) Edomite B. Aramaic a) Early Aramaic b) Official or Imperial Aramaic c) Standard Literary Aramaic d) Middle Aramaic e) Western Late Aramaic e) Eastern Late Aramaic f) Neo-Aramaic C. Arabic a) Pre-Islamic North and East Arabian b) Pre-Classical Arabic c) Classical Arabic d) Neo-Arabic or Middle Arabic e) Modern Arabic 8. South Semitic A. South Arabian a) Sabaic b) Minaic c) Qatabanic d) Hadramitic e) Modern South Arabian B. Ethiopic a) North Ethiopic Ge'ez Tigre Tigrinya b) South Ethiopic Amharic Argobba Harari

56 56 57 57 58 60 60 61 61 61 63 63 63 65 66 69 70 71 72 75 75 77 78 78 79 80 80 80 80 81 83 83 83 84 84 84 84 84






Gurage Gafat 9. Language and Script A. Cuneiform Script B. Alphabetic Script C. Transcription and Transliteration II. PHONOLOGY 1. Basic Assumptions A. Linguistic Analysis B. Consonantal Sounds C. Vowels D. Intonation E. Phonemes F. Voiced and Unvoiced Sounds G. Emphatic Sounds H. Proto-Semitic Phonemes 2. Labials 3. Dental Plosives 4. Interdentals 5. Dental Fricatives 6. Prepalatal and Palatal 7. Laterals 8. Liquids and Nasal 9. Velar Plosives 10. Laryngals, Pharyngal and Velar Fricatives 11. Synopsis of the Consonantal System 12. Vowels 13. Diphthongs

85 85 86 86 87 93 95 96 96 99 100 102 103 104 105 106 109 116 117 122 126 129 132 137 141 150 152 166



14. Geminated or Long Consonants 15. Syllable 16. Word Accent 17. Sentence Stress or Pitch 18. Conditioned Sound Changes

173 178 181 184 186

A. Assimilation 186 a) Assimilation between Consonants 187 b) Assimilation between Vowels 190 c) Assimilation between a Consonant and a Vowel . 190 B. Dissimilation C. Metathesis D. Haplology E. Prosthesis F. Anaptyxis G. Sandhi H. Elision I . Hypercorrection IĪL MORPHOLOGY 1. The Root Morpheme 2. The Noun A. Noun Stems or Patterns a) Simple Patterns b) Patterns with Diphthongs c) Patterns Extended by Gemination d) Patterns Extended by Reduplication e) Patterns with Preformatives and Infixes . Preformatives '-/'Preformative yaPreformatives w-lm-lnPreformative tInfix -tPreformative šf) Patterns with Afformatives Afformative -ān .191 192 193 194 195 196 196 199 201 201 209 209 210 212 213 214 215 215 216 216 219 220 221 221 221






Afformatives -iy/-ay/-āwī/-yal-iyya Afformatives in -t Other Afformatives Afformative -ayim/n of Place Names . . . . g) Nominal Compounds B. Gender C. Number a) Dual b) Plural External Plural Plural by Reduplication Internal Plural c) Paucative d) Collective Nouns e) Singulative D. Case Inflection a) Diptotic "Ergative" Declension b) Use in Proper Names c) "Classical" Triptotic Declension d) "Adverbial" Cases e) Historical Survey of Case Inflection E. The "States" of the Noun a) Construct State b) Predicate State c) Determinate State d) Indeterminate State e) Paradigms F. Adjectives G. Numerals a) Cardinals b) Ordinals c) Fractionals d) Multiplicatives e) Distributives f) Verbal Derivatives 3. Pronouns A. Independent Personal Pronouns B. Suffixed Personal Pronouns . .

223 225 226 228 228 229 235 236 238 238 244 245 251 251 252 253 254 258 259 260 262 265 265 266 267 272 274 278 280 280 292 294 295 296 296 297 298 306




C. Reflexive Pronoun D. Independent Possessive Pronouns E. Demonstrative Pronouns F. Determinative-Relative Pronouns G. Interrogative and Indefinite Pronouns 4. Verbs A. Preliminaries B. Tenses and Aspects a) Fully Developed System b) Simplified Systems c) Transitivity — Intransitivity d) Modern Languages C. Moods D. Actor Affixes a) Suffix-Conjugation b) Imperative c) Prefix-Conjugation Set I Set I I E. Stems and Voices a) Basic Stem b) Stem with Geminated Second Radical Consonant. c) Stem with Lengthened First Vowel d) "Causative" Stem e) Stem with rc-Prefix f) Stems with i-Affix g) Frequentative Stems h) Reduplicated Biconsonantal Stems i) Stems with Geminated or Reduplicated Last Radical. j ) Other Stems k) Verbs with Four Radical Consonants 1) Passive Voice m) Recapitulation of Stems F. Infinitive and Participle a) Infinitive b) Participle c) Neo-Aramaic Verbal System d) Participial Tense Forms in Other Languages

311 312 315 324 328 331 331 335 335 340 343 346 351 359 359 366 368 369 376 378 378 382 385 387 393 395 402 405 406 407 407 408 409


415 415 419 421 . 424



G. Particular Types of Verbs a) "Weak" Verbs b) Biconsonantal Verbs c) Verbs with Pharyngals, Laryngals, Velar Fricatives . H. Verbs with Pronominal Suffixes 5. Adverbs A. Adverbs of Nominal Origin B. Adverbs of Place and Negatives C. Adverbs of Time 6. Prepositions A. Primary Prepositions B. Prepositions of Nominal Origin C. Compound Prepositions 7. Connective and Deictic Particles A. Conjunctions B. Presentatives C. Subordinate Conjunctions D. Copulae E. Expression of Possession IV. SYNTAX 1. Classes of Sentences A. Minor Clauses B. Major Clauses C. Nominal Clauses D. Verbal Clauses E. Concord of Subject and Predicate 2. Nominal Phrases A. Attribute B. Apposition C. Genitival or Subjoining Relation

425 425 436 445 450 453 453 454 458 459 460 465 469 470 470 472 474 475 480 481 483 483 484 484 487 491 494 494 496 497

14 3. Verbal Phrases A. Accusative B. Infinitive 4. Clauses


504 504 508 511 511 515 519 521 527 533 535 536 543 545 554 557 564 567 568 570 . . . . 575 593 593 597 598 600 601 605 610

A. Particular Types of Main Clauses B. Parallel Clauses C. Subordinate Clauses a) Relative Clauses b) Temporal/Causal Clauses c) Final/Consecutive Clauses d) Substantival Clauses e) Conditional Clauses V. LEXICON 1. Etymology 2. Derivatives 3. Languages in Contact 4. Internal Change 5. Proper Names A. Anthroponomy B. Toponymy GLOSSARY OF SELECTED LINGUISTIC TERMS BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Semitic Languages in General 2. North Semitic 3. East Semitic 4. West Semitic A. "Canaanite" B. Aramaic C. Arabic

. Anthroponomy and Toponymy GENERAL INDEX INDEX OF WORDS AND FORMS Agaw Amharic Ammonite Amorite Arabic Aramaic. Mandaic. Bantu Bedja Chadic Coptic East and West Cushitic Egyptian Gafat Ge'ez Greek Gurage Harari Hausa Hebrew Hittite Latin Libyco-Berber. . Tuareg 617 617 619 622 624 627 629 633 639 681 681 681 684 684 685 696 702 702 713 713 714 714 714 715 716 717 720 721 724 725 725 731 731 731 . Chadic 9. Languages in Contact 10. Late Babyloninan. Ethiopic 6. Old Akkadian . Neo-Aramaic.CONTENTS 15 5. Cushitic 8. Numidic. Syriac Argobba Assyro-Babylonian. Libyco-Berber 7. South Semitic A. South Arabian B.

16 Moabite North Arabian Oromo Palaeosyrian Persian Phoenician and Punic Rendille Semitic. Modern Sumerian Tigre Tigrinya Ugaritic CONTENTS 734 735 735 736 738 738 740 740 742 742 744 745 746 748 749 753 TABLES. A N D TEXT FIGURES . Common Somali South Arabian. MAPS. Epigraphic South Arabian.

Syriac. Brockelmann's famous Grundriss and its epigones seem to neglect this type of comparisons. In fact. BBeAeirae B cpaBHHTejiLHoe royneHHe CCMHTCKHX JOHKOB. but it is nev­ ertheless intended primarily as an introductory work. and Ge'ez. This work was based mainly on the so-called classical Semitic languages. Besides. that the one of earlier comparative grammars of the Semitic languages. the usefulness of an outline of a com­ parative grammar of the Semitic languages is self-evident since the last original work of this kind was published twenty-five years ago by B. The scope of the present Outline is thus larger. from the point of view of comparative linguistics. although C. the right approach was already outlined in 1898 when H. viz. which resulted in the first comparative grammar of the Semitic languages ever published.M. Yet. in a certain sense. year by year. the present book owes a similar approach to itself. in isolation from each other". However. the material has increased considerably during the last decades and the need for a synthesis taking the new information into account was growing steadily. both ancient and modern. as I.PREFACE Having taught the introduction to the Semitic languages and their comparative grammar for more than a quarter of a century. but paid little attention to other Semitic languages. directed towards . and it abstained from a systematic treatment of the syntax and of semantic problems. In addition. I decided finally to acquiesce to a long-standing suggestion and to undertake the task of publishing the results of my research and teaching in the form of a textbook. Finally. Designed to come out in the centenary of the completion of Zim­ mern's work. Diakonoff rightly stressed in 1988. Zimmern published his Vergleichende Grammatik der semitischen Sprachen. comparative Semitics without a broader Afro-Asiatic or HamitoSemitic background is — in some areas at least — methodologically questionable. Biblical Hebrew. where he gives some paradigms showing the connections between Semitic and other Hamito-Semitic languages.M. it was felt in different quarters that it is important to draw the attention of the students to cer­ tain tendencies discernible in modern dialects and to clearly bring out the main common features of Semitic syntax. Classical Arabic. the Afro-Asiatic language families "cannot be studied. Grande. Akkadian. (Moscow 1972).

Its aim is to underline the common characteristics and trends of the languages and dialects that compose the Semitic language "family" by applying the comparative method of historical linguistics. only when they cannot be found easily in current grammars of the particular languages. at the end of the vol­ ume.Y. Kutscher. For a more detailed presentation and analysis of linguistic data. Leslau. E. No Semitist can be assumed today to be at home in all the Semitic idioms. R. and the present work relies to a great extent on publications of other scholars.F. of students of linguistics. and. we must ask the user's indulgence. how­ ever. M . of course. I . Johnstone. For such occasional lack of uniformity and for certain redundancies. The object it has in view is not a mere juxtaposition of forms belonging to various languages. S. and thus to corroborate our views by quoting litera­ ture in extensive notes. Gelb. aimed at lessening the possibility of misinterpreta­ tion. the advanced students should rather refer to specific grammars. Z. Fischer. Cantineau. Macuch. Beeston. on the other. I. Littmann. not a comparative study of the views expressed by com­ peting linguistic schools: Semitics is more wonderful than linguistics! Consequently. It might also be useful to stress at the outset that the present work is intended as a compendious and up-to-date analysis of the nature and structure of the Semitic languages. but rather to present as clearly . W.L. M . as a rule. we do not attempt to apply the latter's arsenals of techni­ cal vocabulary to the Semitic languages. especially of A. references are given. on the one hand. especially from spoken languages and dialects. T . E.J. it is inevitable that incon­ sistencies w i l l appear in the transliteration and the spelling of Afro-Asi­ atic words and phrases. a selective list of which is given in the bibliography. Segert. seen in both a diachronic and a synchronic perspectives which must be used together. It is a comparative analysis of a lan­ guage family. i f some part of the evidence is not to be veiled. W. It is clear. we deemed it unwise to explain here at full length why the preference was given to certain theories to the exclusion of others. Harris. that the views exposed in this book differ some­ times from the opinions expressed by the above-mentioned Semitists and by other scholars.18 PREFACE an audience consisting. The selection of linguistic facts and the degree of their condensation may also be subject to discussion and to criticism. von Soden. Diakonoff. Nevertheless. of students of one or several Semitic languages. W.S. To avoid an excessive overloading of the text. J. In view of the great variety and intricacy of the material presented. but a comparison and an explanation of the changes they incurred.

Neo-Aramaic. the verbs.e. languages in contact. includes such languages of antiquity as Palaeosyrian. to the sequence in which words are arranged in a sentence. I have prof­ ited in particular from a number of questions raised by my Kurdish students and from the constructive comments of those who have fol­ lowed my seminars in the Department of Epigraphy at the Yarmouk University. Assyro-BabyIonian. The presentation of the basic assumptions is followed by a synchronic and diachronic description of the consonants. the pronouns. and subordinate clauses. The last section of Part One deals with the problems of language and script. It is followed by a glossary of linguistic terms used in Semitics. It is a pleasure to acknowledge my gratitude to the many classes which have inspired the successive drafts of this grammar. vowels. derivatives. with questions such as classes of sentences. and Chadic.PREFACE 19 as possible the fundamental insights about the wide world represented by the history and the present reality of the concerned language family. In fact. The Semitic group. the prepositions. Hebrew. the sentence stress. particular types of main clauses. Part Five aims at presenting some fundamental insights about lexico­ graphical analysis. Part One is introductory. coordinate. nominal and verbal phrases. the single languages of which are briefly described. Etymology. . Part Three concerns the morphology. Part Four treats of the main features of Semitic syntax. the nouns. It situates the Semitic languages in the wider context of Afro-Asiatic or Hamito-Semitic language family. and diphthongs. the word accent. parallel. and Epigraphic South Arabian. and by an index of words and forms. by a general index. inter­ nal change. Cushitic. both fixed and free orders are found mingled in widely varying proportions in a great number of Semitic languages. proper names — these are the main questions examined in this part. the five main branches of which are Semitic. by a selective bibliography. Diachronic factors come here distinctly to the fore in relation to word order. Libyco-Berber. the coordinative and deictic parti­ cles are examined from a diachronic and synchronic point of view. i. After a preliminary section deal­ ing with the problem of the Semitic root. Phoenician. and the con­ temporary languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Questions related to the sylla­ ble. the adverbs. and the conditioned sound changes are examined in this part as well. Old Akkadian. Egyptian. as well as Arabic. Aramaic. Part Two is devoted to phonology.

Malha for the great care and professional skill which she exercised in preparing the text for printing. Further. Last but not least.20 PREFACE I also wish to express my sincere thanks to Mrs F. . whose skilful care is apparent over again in the way this book is printed and edited. I must thank my wife Malgorzata for help­ ing me to bring this work to a happy end. I cannot let go unexpressed my deep appreciation for the work realized by Peeters Publishers and the Orientaliste typography.

.Ar.. Other Abbreviations accusative Amorite Arabic Aramaic Archives royales de Mari.... = feminine Gen. Ob. fern. Nah. Am. Ps. Prov. Joel. KevelaerNeukirchen-Vluyn 1978. ca. = Modern South Arabian msec. I Kings. Ex. gen. II Kings.. = masculine M. Job. Dan. Masc.. POSENER. Esd.. KNUDTZON. I Chr. for example e.. Amor. Qoh. masc.... Cl. Soph. Jos. El Amarna Tablets 359-379 (AOAT 8). enlarged edition). DN E = = = = = = = = = = = = = = .S.. II Chr. RAINEY. C cf.... Jer.. 2nd ed... Nb. Die El-Amarna-Tafeln (VAB 2). Ez. Leipzig 1915. Neh. I Sam.ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS The Books of the Bible Gen.. Ruth. Lev. compare Classical Arabic Colloquial corrected. = Hebrew KTU = M. = literally. Hab. Mich. Mai. Paris 1950 ff. about Consonant confer.-Bab.F. = millisecond(s) Ms. = manuscript(s) Ace. Ras Ibn Hani and Other Places {KTU: second. Arab. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit. DIETRICH . A. = = genitive Hebr. Cant..A. Assyro-Babylonian circa. I En. = Epigraphic South Arabian Fern. mss. Bruxelles 1940. Princes et pays d'Asie et de Nubie.... f..O. Zech. Hag. II Sam. Coll.J. corrects in divine name Egyptian execration texts published by G.Ar. Lam. Jon.... Hos. Aram.. LORETZ .A.... Sir.A.. m.. EA = The El-Amarna tablets numbered according to J.g.... = exempli gratia. cor.. E. Esth.S. ARM Ass. SANMARTÍN. etymologically lit. Is. = Modern Arabic M. Deut. acc. Judg... Act.. Miinster 1995.

g. etc. Jerusalem 1986. Literature. Contracts. but not attested as such in texts.L. when placed between two letters. but needed in the translation. sing. Hebrew and Moabite Inscriptions. hyphen used to connect the elements of certain compound words. "city' . YARDENI. Oxford 1982. II. = Proto-Semitic P. "country".. PORTEN . 3Q. + joins lexemes or morphemes forming one word.... 2nd ed. = person Plur. ! to be especially noticed. = versus. I I I . etc. appellations. LUGAL small capital letters indicate logograms. Oxford 1975. Jerusalem 1993. III. = plural PN = personal name Pr. symbols. Sing. words. Aramaic Inscriptions.s. // parallel with. Letters. signifies that the preceding form develops or has developed into the following one. ? dubious reading or interpretation. enclose words not found in the original. = Ugaritic v = vowel v = long vowel vs. against Symbols. abbreviation of the determinative DINGIR. in cuneiform texts.Bab.. in cuneiform texts. in cuneiform texts. = singular TAD = B.-Sem.A. "god". sumerograms.. 2Q. determinative URU. = Old Akkadian O. d ki uru 1 // t] () * < > . nom. RES = Repertoire d'Épigraphie Sémitique. = new series O. 3. = nominative n. etc. Ugar. plur. = Old Babylonian Pers. pers. Jeru­ salem 1989. = Texts from Qumrān grot 1.Akk. indicates form or vocalization supposed. Lists. Textbook of Aramaic Documents from Ancient Egypt I. Determinatives enclose phonemic transcriptions. as well as cuneiform and hieroglyphic "syllabic" graphemes pertaining to one word. Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions I. it is generally replaced by the macron in the present Outline'. TSSI = J. Oxford 1973. enclose phonetic approximations or reconstructed parts of a text. Phoenician Inscriptions. e. because of a new reading. GIBSON.22 ABBREVIATIONS AND SYMBOLS Norn. Paris 1905-68. Accounts. : the colon indicates length in linguistics. = Palaeosyrian 1Q. II.Syr. / indicates alternative forms. syllables. signifies that the preceding form has developed from the following one. postpositional determinative KT.C. 2.

and the entire language family was named "Hamito-Semitic" in 1876 by Fr. They form part of a larger language group often called Hamito-Semitic. Eichhorn's Repertorium fuer biblische und morgenlaendische Literatur (vol. Hebrew.1. London 1844. Schon in the latter's Gram­ mar of the Hausa Language (London 1862). Schlcezer in J. where Miiller describes the concerned group of languages. but his intuition connecting the languages of this group with another branch of Afro-Asiatic.21-31 among the sons of Sem.H.D. Ibn Quraysh is rightly regarded as one of the forerunners of com­ parative Semitic linguistics. Greenberg. belong to the same large language family. They are spoken nowadays by more than two hundred million people and they constitute the only language family the history of which can be followed for four thousand five hundred years. but lately better known as Afro-Asiatic. V I I I . Cushitic in his terminology. by Judah ibn Quraysh. where he expresses the opinion that also Berber and "Ethiopic". instead. 10.C. DEFINITION 1. p. considering that this is the only language family represented in both Africa and Asia. in his work known as Rìsāla. Newman who had appended a note on Hausa in the third edition of J. However. Prichard's Researches as to the Physical History of Man (vol. As for Hausa. I V . at least in some particular cases.G.N. Miiller in his Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft (Wien 1876-88). proposed . The designation "Cushitic" was introduced by 1858. A broader interrelationship was first recognized by Th. they do not stand isolated among the languages of the world. the best known of the Chadic languages. Benfey in his sole work on Semitic linguistics: Ueber das Verhaeltniss der aegyptischen Sprache zum semitischen Sprachstamm (Leipzig 1844). based an Arabic. from Tiaret (Algeria). J.L. it was related to this group in the very same year by T. 161) because they were spoken by peoples included in Gen.F. p.I SEMITIC LANGUAGES 1. The "Semitic" languages were so named in 1781 by A. and was then followed by J. i. did not yield fruit before the 19th century. and Aramaic. 617-626).e. The existence of a relationship between Berber in North Africa and Semitic was perceived already in the second half of the 9th century A.

as first shown by I . built on the stem -rut-). Diakonoff (Semito-Hamitic Languages. in North Africa. "to be striking one another". Moscow 1965) who reached the important conclusion that Afro-Asiatic belonged originally to an ergative language type. On the other hand. e. besides the Semitic family which will be described below. although there are many features of semantics and idiom which are common to African languages and to Semitic. but their oldest written attestations. parts of the body are often used as prepositions and the extended metaphoric use of words. The languages in question are spoken nowadays in Western Asia.A S I A T I C 1.g. Kwena murút-i. the various Germanic or Romance or Slavic languages. The links of Afro-Asi­ atic with the great Bantu linguistic stock of Central Africa seem to be more precise. North Syria. Kwena hu-rút-ís-á. The pertinent observations are restricted here to the prerequisites necessary for an understanding and a reconstruction of Semitic linguistic history. Swahili fung-is-a. can lead to meanings like " w i n .C. are limited to Mesopotamia.(e.2. this topic is outside the scope of the present study. The latter have a few points of contact with Afro-Asiatic. and in the Horn of northeastern Africa. say. since comparative Egypto-Semitic linguistics is still in its infancy. A F R O . by the noun prefix mu.g. dating back to the third millennium B. while .24 SEMITIC LANGUAGES to call it Afro-Asiatic in his work The Languages of Africa. character­ ized by the opposition of a casus agens (nominative. gain. Swahilipatiliz-ana. "to cause to shut"). "to vex one an other").. as indicated e. loca­ tive) to a casus patiens (accusative. use". but these are scarcely sufficient to warrant assumption of any genetic connection. Afro-Asiatic would more or less correspond to the group of Indo-European languages.g. issued in 1963. predicative). instrumental. M . Whereas the relation between the various Semitic languages can be compared with that of. there is a structural analogy between Afro-Asiatic and the Cau­ casian languages.g. "to cause to teach". and the causative suffix -is-1 -is. the reciprocal verb suffix -án(e. Sotho ho-op-án-á. For example. and Egypt. A reference to these languages will be made only occasionally.3. 1.(e.g. "teacher". A more detailed approach is unnecessary. anyhow. etc. of the verb "eat". 2. The languages that belong to the Afro-Asiatic group are classified in four main families.

dual. the royal decrees.7) give some insights into the latest phase of a number of grammatical categories in a language that underwent important changes in the course of time. a) Old Egyptian 2. and the Pyramid texts discovered on the walls of chambers inside the pyramids of the kings of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties.2. inde­ pendently from loanwords. which is related to the Semitic stative..1. and Libyco-Berber. . This results partly from the current Egypto­ logical research that too often postulates syntactic principles unheard in language study and.D. There are also some affinities in the vocabulary. although next to nothing is known about the vowels of the older stages of Egypt­ ian. Egyptian has a suffix verb form. the practical use of Egyptian in morpho-syntactic analysis and in comparative Afro-Asiatic studies in general is limited. The main sources for our knowledge of the language of the Old Kingdom are the biographic texts. except ancient Ethiopic or Ge'ez. There is also the intrinsic default of the hieroglyphic writing system that lacks any indication of vowels and geminations.C. These texts. which were incanta­ tions for the well-being of the dead king. Even in the third millennium B. A. Only Egyptian and some Semitic languages have records from very ancient times. Among the similarities is the phonological system. cannot serve comparative purposes. represented by inscriptions only partly understandable in the present state of our knowledge. which is a Semitic language. and a prefixed form in ś/s which corresponds to the Semitic causative stem. Only Coptic dialects (§2. while its limits are not com­ pensated by any living tradition. and plural). these two branches were very distinct. show peculiarities of their own. therefore. 1000. Both possess two genders (masculine and feminine) and three numbers (singular. however.EGYPTIAN 25 none of the other African members of the Afro-Asiatic group is known from sources earlier than the 19th century. namely the old perfective or "pseudo-participle". The Egyptian language was the speech of the Nile valley from the earliest historical times until some time after A. Despite these analogies. Egyptian 2. The morphologies of Semitic and Egyptian were characterized by consonantal roots which are combined with vowel patterns and affixes.

Anyuk a kiì'o ki ġàày. For example. However. Egyptian has a special verb for "notknowing": rh. b) Middle Egyptian 2. Therefore. Middle Egyptian survived in later times for many monumental inscriptions and for some literary compositions. e. but the influence of the spoken language is reflected by the occasional use of forms which were to become standard only in Late Egyptian. the only ones of whose religious ideas there is definite knowledge. Old Nubian ki-.C. as k3i. Since Egyptian is linked by evident lexical and morphological isoglosses with Semitic. being used for all pur­ poses from that time until the mid-second millennium B. such vocalic differ­ ences cannot be expressed in hieroglyphic script. as a rule. Old Nubian negative morpheme m. Now.3. Old Nubian orpa-gir. In another domain. it is extremely difficult to ascertain that the Egyptian conjugation system had developed under a Nilotic influence. vs. the "qualitative" (indefinite) and the "applicative" (definite). but an important feature of several Nilotic languages consists in showing definiteness by the use of verbal forms involving an internal vowel change. vs. Middle Egyptian is the classical stage of ancient Egyptian. just as Egyptian vocabulary comprises words alien to Afro-Asiatic but related to Old Nubian. Egyptian religion presents the same basic characteristics as the Nilotic religion of the Dhinka and Shilluk tribes of southern Sudan. and Cushitic.C. Chadic. because of the lack of vocalization in Egyptian. "wine". "not to know". to plan". "to make wine". negative m vs. It developed from Old Egyptian and was based on the language spoken towards the end of the third millennium B.. We know at least that. . "to know". with any equivalent of a definite or indefinite article.g. " I am paddling a canoe" ("qualitative"). Old Egyptian has a series of suffix-conjugations. "to think". vs. Old and Middle Egyptian dispense. a kiia ġáày. it stands to reason that Egyptian has lost the prefix-conjugation in prehistoric times under the influence of a Macro-Sudanic adstratum or substratum of the Nile valley. The suffixconjugations of Old Egyptian remained the major verb forms in use through Middle Egyptian. it is unlikely that it could have diverged from common Afro-Asiatic before the latter had developed its verbal system. Besides the old perfective. viz. "to think out. along with Nilotic languages. hm. like Nilotic languages. îrp. " I paddle the canoe" ("applicative").26 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S including very archaic linguistic features. Libyco-Berber. which are peculiar to Egyptian and are not paralleled in the other Afro-Asiatic languages.

many phonetic changes occurred. This system involves the use of certain hieroglyphic or hieratic signs indicating a consonant followed by a weak consonant or a semi-vowel (3. Demotic was the ordinary language used for official acts and other documents. and continuing into Roman times. Late Egyptian shows striking differences when compared with Old and Middle Egyptian: the old verb forms were being replaced. a special system known as "group-writing" was devised for the transcription of foreign names and words. In the Ptolemaic age it first distinguishes / from r. like contemporary Semitic alphabetic scripts. particularly the Amarna letters from the 14th century B. There are also some hesitations in the transcription of Semitic voiced consonants. . Egyptian twf. down to the 5th century A.C. Besides.g.g. c) Late Egyptian 2. y). def­ inite and indefinite articles were used. 1). and numerous foreign words appeared. but they rep­ resented them also by signs which Egyptologists transcribe with "r" and " n " .5. i. At least as early as the Middle Kingdom. w. for instance in the name of Byblos. beginning in the 8th/7th century B. Demotic is written from right to left.4. and a single Demotic sign is often in origin a liga­ ture of several hieroglyphs. but they are often com­ bined with "alphabetic" signs marking just one consonant (Fig.C. Egyptian db' vs. Hebrew sūp.y vs. The signs comprise phonograms. are found in Demotic texts.D. that the Egyptian phoneme interpreted as " t " by Egyptologists corresponds then to Semitic s (e. and determinatives. particularly Semitic. they usually used the sign 3 to transcribe these two Semitic phonemes in Middle Egyptian texts (e.g.EGYPTIAN 27 2. which may be related to these of Coptic. d) Demotic 2. ì-ś-k-3-n = 'šqln). Gbl in Semitic but K-p-n or K-b-n in ancient Egyptian. Semitic 'sb'. Fairly accurate deductions may be made about the phonetic value of the consonants and of the vowels thanks to cuneiform texts. "papyrus plant") and that the alleged " d " is the phonetic equivalent of Semitic s (e. for instance.6. Definite traces of dialect distinctions. It appears also. "finger"). since the Egyptians did not distinguish between r and / in their script. These "syllabic" signs are thought by some to represent Semitic syllables. word signs.

Egyptian Grammar. The uniconsonantal signs in the Egyptian hieroglyphic script according to A. London 1957. Gardiner. p. 27. 1. 3rd ed.28 SEMITIC LANGUAGES SIGN TRANS­ LITERATION OBJECT D E P I C T E D It i ì Egyptian vulture 1 WW i y r w flowering reed j ( i ) two reed-flowers oblique strokes forearm quail chick foot stool homed viper owl water mouth reed shelter in Held* wick of twisted flax placenta (?) 1 * a J • f b P m n r ro h h h s i © animal's belly with teats bolt ((a) folded cloth pool hill-slope c I s k g t i A basket with handle stand for jar loaf tethering rope hand snake d 4 Í 1 Fig.. .

passive. magic spells. and the like. The Cushitic family comprises about seventy mostly littleexplored languages. the "ergative" and the nonactive cases of the noun inflection. Coptic dialects became pro­ gressively restricted after the Arab conquest of Egypt (A. as verbal aspects. Cushitic 2. "Egypt". ġ. while a few men in the village of Zainīya (northeast of Karnak) could understand usual Coptic liturgical texts as late as 1936. ġ). followed by a Christian litera­ ture. But it is generally assumed that Coptic died out as a spoken language during the 16th century. Cushitic preserves some archaic Afro-Asiatic fea­ tures in morpho-syntax. In fact. During the Roman and Byzantine periods Greek was the most common written language in Egypt. Coptic literature is almost entirely religious and consists mainly of translations from Greek. 19). texts were written in Egyptian but in Greek letters. but also Christian translations of the Bible. but the pronunciation is based on the values of the letters in Modem Greek. Fig. The Bohairic dialect is still the liturgical language of the Coptic Church. They are generally characterized in phonology by palatal consonants (c. The Arabic writer Maqrizi. with its religious and ecclesiastical phraseology borrowed from Greek. n. Aside from the rather slight difference of linguistic structure between Demotic and Coptic. from the Greek {Ai)gyptos. the causative. There is. As early as the 2nd century A. as yet. little agreement concerning the identification and classification of these languages that are spoken from the Red Sea littoral to the area south of the Horn of northeastern Africa (cf. 640). These were not only horoscopes.CUSHITIC 29 e) Coptic 2. and by the absence or the limited use of pharyngals (h.D. breaking with the hieroglyphic and Demotic tradi­ tions. there is a marked change in vocabulary and general tone due to the shift from paganism to Christianity. written in Greek letters supplemented by seven characters taken from Demotic. The language was the one or the other of the Egyptian dialects as they were then spoken and are known as Coptic. s). by globalized emphatics (p = p\ t = t\ c = c\ q = k'). although Demotic was also widely used.8. which have most likely disappeared like in several Semitic languages.D. ') and of velar fricatives (h.7. and reflexive . B. still records that in his own day Copts in Upper Egypt spoke scarcely anything but Coptic. although a Coptic native speaker is attested at Asyût in 1672/3. bom in Cairo (1365-1442).

C. that might be further subdivided. Instead. just as it uses postpositions rather than prepositions. to the 5th century A.. The following diagram presents the main sub-groups: Cushitic North Cushitic (Bedja) Central Cushitic (Agaw) West Cushitic (Omotic) East Cushitic South Cushitic Bilin Khamtanga Qemant Qwara Awngi "Highland" "Lowland" Northern (Saho-Afar) Oromo Southern Galaboid Ba'iso Sam Rendille Bani Somali . Cushitic consists of five main groups of languages. and Old Nubian which is known from Christian writings dating from the end of the 8th century to the 14th cen­ tury. a still imperfectly understood language which is attested from the 3rd cen­ tury B.30 SEMITIC LANGUAGES stems of the verb. and which is continued by the modern Nubian dialects of the Nile valley and of the Kordofan hills.D. The pronominal elements and the basic vocabulary often show close rela­ tionship to Semitic. Cushitic is not-related to the Macro-Sudanic languages which were used and written in northern Sudan: Meroitic. but it frequently suffixes the characteristic mor­ phemes.

9. 153 = ca. either Moslems or no. and Beni 'Amar in the south. called also (To) Bedawi. e. and elsewhere.(gumad. k-ādbil. Bedja or North Cushitic is spoken on the Red Sea littoral of the Sudan and in the hinterland. Bedja has lost the Afro-Asiatic pharyngals and the emphatic consonants. sugumād. mdedar. They probably inhabited what is now called the Bayuda desert. " I may collect".D. "to k i l l " . is presumably of Bisharin descent. the reflexive/passive affix -t. Remnants of these western Bedja are to be recognized in the Bedyat of Ennedi. The Bedja tribes of eastern Sudan are essentially nomad pastoralists that belong to two main tribal confederacies: the Bisharin and Abdada. king of Aksum in the mid-4th century A. The Islamism of the Bedja. "to be loved").(kehan "to love".CUSHITIC 31 a) Bedja 2. to the latitude of Kassala in the south. preterite. the conjugation of the finite verb parallels the Semitic imperfective. "to lengthen"). A. Early Moslem monuments discovered in the area should be linked rather with the Arabs of the Beni Omayya tribe who had begun to cross the Red Sea as early as the 8th century. presents striking morphological analo­ gies with Semitic verbal stems. In earlier times the Bedja speakers extended much further to the west across the Nile.H. As for phonology. In any case.g. for Maqrizi (1365-1442) wrote of them as mostly heathen. about 100 km northeast of Kassala. (§8. 790) have been found in some places. is relatively recent. . the Hadendowa. " I am collecting". conditional 'īdbil.11). " I collected". The Bedja of the Sudan are probably the Medju of ancient Egypt and certainly the Blemmyes who used to raid Upper Egypt in the Roman period. Amarar. Circular stone graves with flat tops are presumably those of Bedja. in the north. Moreover. "to be long".D. Their lan­ guage. "to kill each other"). Moslem tomb­ stones dating from the 8th to the 11th centuries (the earliest is dated from A. the Bisherla. " I don't collect") and seems to go back to a volitive form. They are called Bouyaeixoi in the Greek inscriptions of Ezana. which has a present meaning in negative clauses (e. though fervid in some tribes such as the Haden­ dowa. present 'adanbīl < *'adabbīl. whose royal clan. and the intensive or "pluriactional" doubling of a radical (dir. while early Moslem stone-built towerlike tombs occur at Maman. and Bcyá in the "Christian Topography" written about A. past 'adbfl. about 200 km north of Omdurman.D. with the causative prefix s. many non-Islamic beliefs persist among the Bedja people until our days.g. atkehan. and probably jussive. 550 by Cosmos Indicopleutes who had travelled throughout the Red Sea trading area. Thus.

among them into Falasha.32 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S b) Agaw 2. But they have almost entirely forgotten their former lan­ guage with the exception of some outlying communities living in Qwara before the Falasha emigration to Israel. yaġe. spoken in Eritrea around Keren. including the Grace after Meals. which claim to be of Jewish descent. and also the velar nasal ng (/rj/). corresponding to the Khamta and Khamir varieties of Agaw reported earlier in the northeastern part of the Amharic area (Wello province). Semitic y-wq% yaqe. parallel to the Semitic imperfective and perfective: yinte. At the request of James Bruce. The Agaw dialects which are still living include Bilin. "he brings" (vs. yig e.11. Awngi has a developed suf­ fix-conjugation with a clear distinction between the main verb and the verb of subordinate clauses. yage. Semitic y-wqy). have been preserved. The Falashas. dating from the 19th century. East Cushitic comprises a number of languages spoken in the Horn of Africa and divided into "Highland" and "Lowland" East Cushitic. although Awngi seems to be in less dan­ ger of disappearing than the others. in a region where Semitic influence has been rel­ atively strong. Khamtanga. and some Falasha prayer texts in Qwara. The Falashas read the Bible in Ge'ez and speak Amharic. "he comes" (vs. "he is. Semitic y-wg'). The Agaw dialects are receding nowadays before Amharic and Tigrinya. Semitic y-'ty). and Southern Agaw or Awngi. The Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group possess the voiced velar fricative ġ.9). as well as their labialized counterparts. spoken south and west of the lake. that are not necessarily intelligible to speakers of another Agaw idiom. Otherwise. the text of the Song of Songs has been translated in 1769-72 from Amharic into three Agaw dialects. Their present scattered distribution must be the result of the Semitic expansion in this area (§8. "he remains" (vs. Qemant and the Qwara or Falasha dialects. Agaw or Central Cushitic is constituted of a number of closely related languages. he becomes" (vs. These languages are spoken in Eritrea and in northwestern Ethiopia. north of Lake Tana. like Awngi. The Agaw people are believed to have once occupied most of highland Ethiopia. It is noticeable for having preserved five basic verbs which belong to the prefix-conjugation. w c) East Cushitic 2.10. and it is still custom­ ary among them to recite certain blessings in Agaw. . "he knows" (vs. once spoke two Agaw dialects. Semitic y-qūm).

Hadiyya.D. probably from the 8th century A. the best represented . was the main substratum language of South Ethiopic. The name Somali first occurs in a praise song of Yeshaq I of Abyssinia (1412-1427). formerly called Galla or Galbnna. Boni. Hausa (§2. which are considered by some scholars as a distinct branch of Afro-Asiatic. and Swahili (§1. as well as the source of the Islamization of Somalia. now called Highland East Cushitic. attested mainly in Kenya. and the Somali dialects spoken by about five million people in Somalia. but it became a "written" language only in 1975. there is no reason to believe that their ancestors arrived from Arabia. east of Lake Turkana (former Rudolf).CUSHITIC 33 1° The main "Lowland" language is Oromo. d) West and South Cushitic 2. Ba'iso which is spo­ ken on an island of Lake Abaya. This sub-family of East Cushitic is a compact group with seven or eight languages and several dialects spoken by some two million people. The latter sub-group is important for comparative linguistics because of its prefixconjugation with an aspectual distinction between perfective and imperfective. is its main representative nowadays. also called Kafa group or Omotic — because it is spoken in the vicinity of the Omo river —. Tembaro. Oromo is thus. and perhaps Burġi. after Arabic. in eastern Ethiopia. onwards. including alliterative poetry. 3° Eastern Sidamo.7).12. It comprises Rendille. Alaba. 2° Other linguistically important Lowland East Cushitic languages are the Konso in Ethiopia. Among the Omotic dialects. the African language with the largest number of speakers. whose name is derived from a common root *sam ("nose").16). constitutes a family of some forty related languages spoken by about two million people in south­ western Ethiopia. the other languages of this group are Kambata. and the so-called "Sam" languages. There is a large body of Somali oral literature. Darasa. Sidamo proper. West Cushitic. the languages of the Galaboid sub-group. east of the lower Tana river. Contrary to a Somali tradition. It is spoken by some twenty million people living in Ethiopia and in northern Kenya. Qabenna. the Saho-Afar in Eritrea and in the Djibouti Republic. the total of Rendille and Boni speakers amounts only to a few thousand. spoken in Kenya. although the Arabic peninsula was the origin of an increasing immigration. spoken by about one mil­ lion people. Instead. and in northern Kenya. with the publication of the first Oromo periodical in Ethiopian script (§9. and it was once used also in northern Somalia.2).

as a rule. the imperfective and the perfective. while the a-prefix is marking the predicative or non-active case (§32. These languages — except Iraqw — are little known and some of them. and lexical nature with Semitic.34 SEMITIC LANGUAGES is the Walamo dialect cluster with more than one million speakers. however. "follow!") and the jussive (-Ikdm-) (§38. Libyco-Berber has two verbal prefixforms. From the comparative point of view. Libyco-Berber 2.^ . Libyco-Berber dialects were formerly spoken in all of North Africa except Egypt. for instance. in Tanzania. the Iraqw. and the Dahalo. and by the Guanches of the Canary Islands (Fig. that indicate the aspect.g. morphological. There is no doubt. but it preserves the aspectual nature of the conjugation very well.13. atom.2). "he is gracious") and two non-aspectual tenses. hnin. and Kafa. the imperative (e. In the singular. South Cushitic comprises languages spoken in Kenya and in Tanzania. as Mbugu and Dahalo. i.g. has only suffixed nominal and verbal formations. viz. by the Tuareg of the Sahara. Libyco-Berber preserves the features of an ergative language type to a greater extent than Semitic and its declension system is based on the opposition of an active subject case (casus agens) to a pred­ icative or non-active case (casus patiens). except a few short Berber sentences in an Arabic manuscript from the 12th century and a number of Berber words and proper names quoted in works of Arab mediaeval writ­ ers. but no written sources are available before some Shleuh manuscripts from the 16th or 17th century written in Arabic script. are influenced by Bantu languages. like the Mbugu. Madji. Djandjero. Spe­ cial attention was paid also to Moca. but these affinities can readily be explained within the general framework of Afro-Asiatic languages. viz. Most verbal roots are monosyllabic and belong to the types C vC or C vC C x 2 A 2 T 2. C . the active subject case is characterized by the w-prefix. syntactical. which is used also in subordinate clauses.1-7).e. 2). that the pronouns are Cushitic and that the conjugation belongs to the common Cushitic suffix inflection. The Libyco-Berber language is spoken by some twenty million people from the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to the Atlantic and from the Mediterranean southwards into the Sahara. Beside a stative con­ jugation (e. Considerable interest in the spoken Berber lan­ guages and their origins had developed by the middle of the 19th century. It shows many correspondences of a phono­ logical. Kafa.14.

Fig. Geographical distribution of Libyco-Berber . 2.

one must reckon also with possible loanwords from Songhai. -tdffdġ-. -lākkdm-\ causative s-stem. "go often out". Tachelhit or Shleuh in the south of the country and in Mauritania.g. uššdn in Kabyle but âhdggi in Tuareg) and important phonetic changes (e. The word maziġ has a long history. except the last one which is paralleled by the Egyptian "pseudo-passive": intensive stem. although Tuareg and some eastern idioms appear to be its most archaic forms of speech. and someone speaking Berber is an amaziġ (plur.g.g.36 SEMITIC LANGUAGES whether the action is considered as a lasting process or as a concluded action. the numerous dialects of which show but relatively slight differences. "heart". Tuareg is important also because it has but few borrowings from Arabic. frequentative. "fox". . "be freed".g. Kabyle and Tachaouit or Chaouia in Kabylia and in the Aurès (Algeria). "to follow": Aspect perfective imperfective Positive -Ikam-lākkdmNegative -Ikem-hkkdm- A vowel lengthening characterizes in Tuareg the intensive stem. e. -ttwadddz-. reflexive or reciprocal. However. The term ta-maziġ-t is used nowadays in Moroccan and Saharan dialects to designate the Berber language in general. which are instead numerous in other Berber dialects. the borrowings from Arabic are mainly lexical. and affixes may be added in all dialects to the verbal root in order to express the causative. Libyco-Berber is still essen­ tially one language. Tuareg dwl. exceptionally morpho­ logical or syntactical. Tachelhit ul. Tamazight in the Middle Atlas region. while some Libyco-Berber tribes are called Mazices or MG^IKSC. the basic stem of -Ikdm-. "cause to f a l l " . Zenaga in southwestern Mauritania. in classical sources. -Ikām-.g. reflexive / reciprocal m/rt-stem. an important isolated language spoken in Tombouctou (Mali). A l l these stems occur also in Semitic languages.g. e. or passive meaning of the verb.g.g. Tarifit wr). m3trdg-. -S9rt9k-. and in the city of Agades in the A i r oasis of the Sahara (Niger). In Tuareg. Ibn Khaldun (13321406) considers Mazigh as a forefather of the Berbers. agentless passive f/w-stem. Tarifit or Rifan in northern Morocco. like in some Semitic and Cushitic languages. e. e. Tamazight uz. e. Despite numerous lexical variations (e. frequentative i-stem. viz. e. "be crushed". in the Niger valley farther south. i-maziġ-drì). since it is attested as a North African personal name in Roman times. etc.

although it undoubtedly presents some advan­ tages. Tarifit ydšša < *yikía. they do not indicate vowels. l> z. "king". 11 > â. Tachaouit dddhhast < *ta-dahhākit. Punic". g > ġ. does of course not reflect the dialectal richness of the language. /.g. "olive oil". . e. Its origin may go back to the 7th-6th centuries B. but they have more pharyngalized emphatics than Common Semitic. a plural apparently related to Greek (poiviK-.g. "young goat". pronounced nowadays idgid in Tarifit because of the phonetic changes g > z and // > g. it is not easy to connect the phonological.LIBYCO-BERBER 37 2. "mule"). officially adopted in Niger and in Mali. However.. original pharyngalization can disappear (e. 3).g.rr> g.C.. the tifīnaġ.g. as indicated by monuments and inscriptions ranging over the whole of North Africa. the uninterrupted continuity of the LibycoBerber idioms appears to be accepted nowadays by all reputable schol­ ars in the field. The changes d > d. 2nd century B. The orthography of Tuareg in Latin characters. "Phoenician. s > s. k > ġ. not even the ini­ tial w-. There is also a large corpus of Libyco-Berber proper names quoted in Punic. Besides. a secondary pharyngal may be inserted before t (e. 11 > ġ.15. also more palatalized and fricativized consonants. r > r. "he ate"). B. Greek. and Latin sources. syntactical. Tachaouit ti-ġdtt-dn. Most of the ancient inscriptions (about 1200) date however from the times of the Numidian kingdoms (3rd-1st cent. "laughing"). As a rule. d > d. Tachaouit dz-zdht < Arabic dz-zdyt.). z > š (>ẁ). "she-goats"." (Dougga. k > š. gives a small idea of the problems facing the linguists. a-.C. e. Nevertheless.C.g. k > g. z > z. t > f. Kabyle ta-bdġliht < ta-bdġlit. q > ġ. mor­ phological. to compare with Hebrew gddi and Arabic ġady.. and lexical elements of this antique documenta­ tion with the modern Berber forms of speech. b > b. The modem Berber dialects reflect the ancient loss of original gutturals. and various assimilations may occur (e. The Numidic noun gld.) and of the Roman Empire (Fig. t > t.of the case prefixes which have thus to be supplied. as well as g > z. d > d. The Berber-speaking Tuaregs have a writing of their own. s > z are quite frequent. d > t. nbbn nšqr' corresponding approximately to *i-nbabdn n-u-šqura\ "the cutters of wood (were).

1. b m f P t t d d d t n V OLDER FORMS E3 PRESENT-DAY FORMS Consonants bt mt nb Clusters 0 3 u cj X <=< >o X Î X B 6 VA H nd -rnd t nu E E I nt m 3 3 H > mi r < -1 f ii = Tt G © O n 1 II It r s z z s Š a o — • CD o 0 XX # rt St zt « r- T 30Q 6G St Mw £ +9 :i: t í z y k g i w ġ h q h zt í ?i i 1/ nk ng gt ir n v^: II = • • T « .38 SEMITIC LANGUAGES PHONETIC VALUE . gt y • • * •• •• • : .

northern Cameroon.e. in the case of Hausa. of instrument. crafts. the formation of noun plurals. Hausa yazo. the m. 4. "he built". Kera. . The importance of Hausa cannot be underestimated. tazo. Bidiya. cor­ responds to Egyptian nsp. The language has become the general lingua franca in northern Nigeria and the number of people speaking Hausa as a secondary language is con­ siderable. the -n/t/n gen­ der-number marking pattern in the deictic system (masculine. The Hausa speakers constitute the single^most numerous group in northern Nigeria and in southern Niger. Migàma. with metathesis. and. in northern Nigeria. among other ways.CHADIC 39 D . and of agent. Hausa is written traditionally in an orthography based on the Arabic alphabet. to Semitic nasāpu. numerous Arabic words have been borrowed. "he came". There are also some highly probable etymological connexions between Chadic and Afro-Asiatic.g. while náàsb. sin means "brother" like in ancient Egyptian. spoken in northern Cameroon and in the Chad Republic. In both languages. western and central Chad. "she came"). They form the most variegated branch of Afro-Asiatic with some 125 dif­ ferent languages. "he is building" (Mubi). and technology. and binnāa. as Mubi. plural). and to Cushitic nēfso (Boni). the formation of intensive or "pluriactional" verbs by internal consonant gemination. The dialect differences are not sufficiently serious to interfere with mutual intelligibility. Niger. For instance. "to breathe". is undoubtedly related to the conju­ gation of the Semitic verb bny. The Chadic languages. In East Chadic (Migama). composed mainly in the dialect of Kano which became the standard literary lan­ guage. by adding a suffix -n and by inserting a vowel -a-. Kwang. and an asymmetrical conjugational system involving suffixed feminine and plural markers in addition to pronominal prefixes. are spoken in Western and Central Africa. i. Distinctive Afro-Asiatic features that can be shown to exist also in Chadic are the affixed morpheme t with the triple function of feminine / diminutive / singulative (e. but in general East Chadic languages. and an original Hausa literature does exist. feminine. Chadic 2. As result of Islamic influence. mutum means "man". mutu means "to die" in Hausa.prefix forming nouns of place. The chief idiom of this family is Hausa. seem to be more archaic and to provide more parallels to Afro-Asiatic. a recent subdivision of which is presented in Fig. The Mubi aspectual opposition between bēni. while the Old Akkadian corresponding verb is muātu. particularly in the spheres of religion. so called from the name of Lake Chad.16. a large group that has only recently been described in a satisfactory way.

) (Warji..) (Musgu) (Gidar) (Somrai. (Kotoko.. Kwang) (Dangla.... Gude. Diagram of Chadic languages according to P... Zime..) (Bura.) (Sukur) (Daba....) Matakam Sukur CHADIC (Matakam..40 Branch SEMITIC LANGUAGES Subbranch Group Language (Hausa.) (Mokulu) (Sokoro...) (Zaar. 4.) (Tera.... Ga'anda. Goemai.... Hina...) (Nancere. Gwandara) (Bole. Buduma.) (Higi.. Kanakuru. Bana) (Mandara. Newman (1977).) FAMILY Kotoko Musgu Gidar Somrai Nancere Kera Dangla Mokulu Sokoro MASA Masa (Masa.. Tumak. Gabri..) (Kera..) .) (Bade. Mubi. Lamang. Kulere.) (Angas.. Margi..) (Ron.. Ngizim. Pa'a.. Gisiga.) Fig.) (Bata.. Barain...... Boghom.

have a much larger layer of common elements in their phonol­ ogy.PROTO-SEMITIC 41 2. Very characteristic of Libyco-Berber and of Semitic are the preserved features of the ergative language type. The Semitic languages. . PROTO-SEMITIC 3. although their number amounts to about seventy. The inter­ relations between the five branches of Afro-Asiatic may therefore be represented schematically in the following way: Proto-Afro-Asiatic Semitic Berber Cushitic Egyptian Chadic 3. maintained despite lapse of time and spreading over new areas. and vocabulary than the Afro-Asiatic group as a whole. strongly support the family-tree theory which regards the dividing process that affects a homogeneous language — in this case the Proto-Semitic — as the main impelling power from which new idioms originated. with identical morphemes indicating either the active subject or the predicate-object. The five branches of Afro-Asiatic are not really parallel to each other. Thus Libyco-Berber is certainly closer to the Semitic branch than Egypt/ ian or Cushitic. syntax. are obviously the most distant from the other branches. as far as known presently. These two branches of Afro-Asiatic are thus closely related to each other.17. while Chadic languages.1. morphology. This theory does not exclude. easily recognizable in ancient and in modern forms of speech. but this relationship can best be explained in the general frame of the whole language family. These common elements and parallel developments. because closer relations can be established between some of them. with the aspectual opposition of accomplished to unaccomplished. They also share certain common features in their evolution. both in the singular and in the plural. Also the system of conjugation in Libyco-Berber and in Semitic is built upon a "nominal" and a "verbal" bases.

The . the sedentary or halfsedentary protopopulation of North Syria and Mesopotamia was most likely non-Semitic. of a new common language. As for Arabia. with the exception of newly founded settlements. however. is most likely due to an ancient conquest and emigration. Since the Semitic languages go apparently back to a common ori­ gin. this region could hardly have supported sufficient population for such large waves of emigration before the domestication of the dromedary in the second millennium B. while the Semitic languages of Africa are grouped in an apparently peripheral area of Semitic and their appearance in the Horn of Africa. while Proto-Semitic is a linguistic prerequi­ site the existence of which in prehistoric times is necessary for an under­ standing of the mutual relations and parallel developments of the histor­ ically documented Semitic languages. however. correspond to the global evi­ dence with distant Semitic areas. Now.2. No definitive answer. and Africa. In fact. 3. as appears from the large number of non-Semitic geographical names in Palaeosyrian and in Old Akkadian texts. In other words. can be given to this question without considering the Afro-Asiatic linguistic interrelations. that may lead to the emerging of a new local koine. concrete applications of the wave-theory that attributes com­ mon linguistic evolutions to the spreading of linguistic changes by con­ tacts between dialects. 3. the peripheral hypothesis. The problems of the latter group are.3. more manageable owing to the fact that the Latin language is historically documented. In any case. In view of the relatively limited geographical dispersion of the ancient core of Semitic languages and of the great measure of affinity between them. as Akkadian and Ethiopic. midst Cushitic languages. The problem of the original homeland of the Semites cannot be examined historically without considering the linguistic relations between the five branches of the Afro-Asiatic language family. neither the wave-theory nor its variant. geographical names. the concept of Proto-Semitic would seem comparable to that of Latin with regard to the Romance languages.. more alike than are those which are not so widely separated.C. Various regions have been taken into account: Syria. Arabia. the question of the location of the speakers of this Proto-Semitic language has been often considered of importance. reflect an old and inherited linguistic tradition of the specific areas.42 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S however. ProtoSemitic is something more than a conventional name given to the whole of elements shared by the family of languages under consideration.

This might have been the period when the speakers of Proto-Semitic passed through the Nile delta from the West to the East. when the Sahara's climate was much wetter. and desertion. on the one hand.C. This implies that the speakers of Proto-Semitic were still dwelling in Africa in the 5th millennium B. in Mesopotamia. Separation is a variable in the sense that parts of an original language community will tend to diverge faster i f they become completely separated as. The similarities in language between peo­ ples living so far away from each other are due. under like circumstances. where written documents of the third millennium B.C. 5500-3500 B. The Palestinian tumuli. belonging to the culture of semi-nomadic groups during much of the fourth and third . closer lan­ guage contacts with Libyco-Berber and with Cushitic.C.PROTO-SEMITIC 43 main service that comparative linguistics can render to the investigation of this prehistoric problem is not simply asserting the common origin of the languages in question. were the earliest to separate from the common trunk. a major faunal break. and there was a proper system of rivers and vegetation consisting of grass with trees. while Proto-Semitic maintained.C. Although the available data and the very incomplete lexicostatisti­ cal studies must be regarded as preliminary.). desertification. 3300-3050 B. and Semitic and Chadic. and the Egyptian finds in southern Palestine from the Early Bronze period I (ca.. Semitic and LibycoBerber around e. Settlement was undoubtedly widespread in the Sahara at that time. The collapse of the Ghassulian culture in Palestine around 3300 B. the longer the time the greater the divergence. A worsening of environmental condi­ tions is indicated in North Africa ca.) may testify to the arrival of these new population groups. preserve noticeable traces of Pre-Semitic and. followed by Egyptian. for a certain time. 3500 B. but defining the degree of their divergence and relating it to two variables: time and separation. say. in the Neolithic Sub-pluvial (ca. Now.g. with disappearance of vegetation. the conclusion from purely linguistic evidence seems inescapable that the Proto-Chadic languages.C. while the isoglosses and the lexicostatistical factors connecting Semitic and Egyptian. on the other. Time is a variable related to divergence in the sense that. not to cultural contact and borrowing. and reached Western Asia. 1000 B. the most numerous isoglosses and lexicostatistical convergences are precisely those linking Semitic with Libyco-Berber. and there is ample evidence of Neolithic culture with rock drawings showing animals that no longer live there. seem to be the less impor­ tant. so that erosion took place as in other moist temperate or subtropical regions. also of PreSumerian substratum.C. but to common linguistic tradition.C.

. Semitic speakers settled among Cushitic pastoralists whose presence in the region probably goes back to 3500-3000 B.2.C. Although the discussion of these problems lies outside the scope of the present work. since a very similar type of sepulture characterizes pre-historic North Africa. wave after wave of Semitic migrations would seem to have set forth. 6. were the Akkadians who. Thus. while the Ethiopians would have crossed over to the Horn of Africa when drier conditions prevailed in South Arabia ca. seem to confirm this hypothesis.44 SEMITIC LANGUAGES millennia B. 5. However. Since only the most primitive type of raft was needed to cross the Straits of Bab elMandeb or to make the short voyage across the Hanish Islands. journeying along the Fertile Crescent through Palestine and Syria.C. but they are generally too ephemeral to be helpful in this context. skeletal evidence seems to indicate that the same Neolithic peoples from North-Africa entered the Iberian peninsula and moved into the Egyptian upper valley of the Nile in predynastic times.4. The earliest of these migrants. and founded the first Semitic Empire at Kish (§4. The Amorites (§4. and their modem descen­ dants — through frequently mixed with negroes — are found among the . 5. a rela­ tively early date for the beginning of the last mentioned migration would not be surprising. 3000 B. reached Northern Babylonia ca.1-2.). fol­ lowing the collapse of the Early Bronze culture in Palestine. 3500 B. Fur­ ther subdivisions of course exist. The Libyco-Berbers continued.2).C. (Fig. and those who went farthest to the East. instead. 5). and crossing over into Mesopotamia. especially Algeria.. 1500-500 B.2) which form the central group of the large Niger-Congo family and whose homeland probably lies in the Nigeria-Cameroon area. The Southern Semites would seem to have reached the moister highlands of the Yemen and Hadramawt after 2000 B. but enough evidence is available to establish the fact that the Afro-Asians belonged basically to the long-headed or dolichocephalic Mediterranean peoples widespread in distribution in Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic times.C.2.C. They are well represented by the Naqāda cranial series.C. it is useful to add that any linguistic mapping a Afro-Asiatic speakers should be complemented by an anthropological approach. and it is a typical feature of the old Libyco-Berber tradition. dated to the Amratian period (ca. 3. The data are not so abundant as might be wished.3) and their congeners would appear to have followed as far as Syria before 2500 B. from North Africa. to occupy the original language area of the speakers of Afro-Asiatic.C. Their African origins may even be confirmed by a relationship of Afro-Asiatic with Bantu lan­ guages (§1.

C. 8000-1200 B.PROTO-SEMITIC 45 Fig. are statuettes of bearded men wearing phallic sheaths. and of the Palestinian skeletons of the Early Bronze . The predynastic pop­ ulation of Lower Egypt differed from that of Upper Egypt in having broader heads. speakers of Cushitic languages in the Horn of Africa and the Bedja people in the desert between the Nile and the Red Sea. 158. The Amratian culture seems to have been absorbed by the Gerzean one. The spread of the earliest pastoralists in Africa. like those of the Libyans in historical times.. Krzyzaniak. coming from Lower Egypt where the latter's origins begin to be investigated. according to L. suggesting connexions with prehistoric Libyco-Berbers. Characteristic artefacts of the Amratian period. striking similarities link the physical characteristics of the predynastic Egyptians. instead. Poznan 1992. and narrower noses. p. The subsequent racial history of Egypt was to be that of a gradual replacement of the Upper Egyptian or "Cushitic" type by that of prehistoric Lower Egypt. Summing up. I n Palestine. Schyiek pradzìejdw w środkowym Sudanie. there was no drastic change in the main anthropolog­ ical type during the transition from the Chalcolithic to the Early Bronze age. ca. of the contemporary Bedja population and the main Berber type. 5. longer faces.

implies a determi­ nate type of linguistic expansion in Western Asia. with a stature of a little less than 1. viz. represented nowadays by the Libyco-Berber dialects. and the new sites were usually situated in different spots. The dolicocephalic features are best preserved nowadays among the Bedouin Arabs. This large span of time seems to be sufficient for explaining the differences between Semitic . infiltration. developed independently from Semitic during a period of 5500 years or more. — seem to have brought an end to the Chalcolithic settlements in Palestine. These are the circumstances obviously reflected in the settlement of Semites in Western Asia where Semitic idioms replaced the substratum languages of the regions where today Arabic. and Hebrew are spoken.5. the influence of the lin­ guistic substratum on Semitic must have been limited except in Mesopotamia where the Sumerian adstratum played an important role. judging from the great similarity of the Semitic languages and from their close relationship to Libyco-Berber. 3. thus caus­ ing the spreading language to differentiate itself from the language of the original linguistic homeland. Linguistic expansion can take place by diffusion. Interference varies in degree and kind chiefly in proportion to non-linguistic cultural receptivity or hostility.55 for women. Whereas diffu­ sion necessitates no permanent displacement of language carriers and infiltration implies a movement of but a restricted number of individu­ als. This indicates in turn that the Early Bronze age culture introduced by the Semitic population groups lacked the receptivity required to be modified in a very significant way through linguistic interference. the new migrants — Semites. the Semitic tongues of the new territories followed together with other cul­ tural features a path of historical development more or less divergent from that of the Afro-Asiatic language of the original homeland. Archaeological evidence from Palestine probably provides the correct interpretation of this fact. The lat­ ter. with a projecting occiput and the chin prominent. migration signifies that whole tribes permanently displace them­ selves and spread over a new territory. Neo-Aramaic. i f we except the borrowings from Punic and Arabic. thus delineated. and migration. for men and about 1.46 SEMITIC LANGUAGES age: dolichocephalic type. Now. Thus. The spreading of Afro-Asiatic. in our hypothesis. However. the location of the new Early Bronze I set­ tlements shows a great shift from the preceding Chalcolithic pattern.65 m. Areas densely settled in the Chalcolithic period were either totally or partially deserted. The substratum generally modifies the gaining language through interference.

Northwest Semitic further divided into Canaanite and Aramaic. especially i f we take into account the fact that the two groups were affected. Some are attested only in the third or the second millennium B. respectively in Asia and in Africa. there is no way at . to group all languages into three great branches: the East Semitic represented by Akkadian. and Aramaic. before 3000 B.. It was usual. until a short time ago.CLASSIFICATION 47 and Libyco-Berber. and Mari. CLASSIFICATION OF SEMITIC LANGUAGES 4. West Semitic was believed to have split into a northern and a southern branch. 4.C. on the other. Unfortunately. It is convenient to call "Palaeosyrian" those dialects that are attested by documents found in Syria. was between East Semitic or Akkadian and West Semitic. while other languages have been identified as late as the 20th cen­ tury A. but before 2000 B.C. and the South Semitic with Arabic and Ethiopic.. although the language shows a certain mixture (§41. 48. The distinct Semitic tongues are ranging from important lan­ guages with large literatures to language forms used over a limited terri­ tory and either entirely unwritten or possessing but a few preserved doc­ uments. probably Kish (§5. on the one side. This conception can no more be sustained because of the discovery of languages that do not fit into any of those branches. The discovery of new types of Semitic speeches in Northern Syria. 4. the Northwest Semitic with Canaanite.C. This classification was based on the view that the first division which Semitic underwent. reveals the existence of a group of dialects belonging to Semitic languages of the third millennium B. while some "literary" and lexical texts are duplicated at Fāra and at Tell Abū Salābīkh (Iraq). Amorite. that were related to Old Akkadian and slightly less to Amorite. and Arabic. At a later date.. while Southwest Semitic split into Arabic. 2400 B. Ugaritic. by neigh­ bouring forms of speech which belonged to completely different lan­ guage families.C. Amorite.1.2. Tell Beydar. The language may be linked to some extent with the writing system brought from Mesopotamia and thus partly represent the written Semitic of the place from which the script was taken ca.. and South Arabian and Ethiopic.2). as well as in the Kish area of Central Mesopotamia.28.D. at Ebla.C. and in view of doubts risen with regard to the classification of Ugaritic.5).

C. and the epigraphical documentation transmits fuller information on dialectal varieties than has since been available. For a time. that obviously preserve some common archaic elements. borrowed from the Sumerians or Proto-Sumerians. But with the formation of literary languages in cultural and political centres. and the interpretation of other forms of speech as mere dialects of these literary languages cannot be sustained any more. while some North Arabian lan­ guages used the prefixed article han-. Syria- . thus blurring clearly cut linguistic divisions.C.4. classifications based on important literary languages. some Early Aramaic dialects probably possessed the internal or "broken" plural. Therefore. regularly found only in the South Semitic area. and to the chronological and perhaps partly local vicinity of the written languages. and Ethiopic.48 SEMITIC LANGUAGES present to check this hypothesis. As for the greater affinity between Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian. as Arabic. Besides. 4. The differences between the Semitic forms of speech obviously increased with the time. it is due to the use of the same type of script. the differences of which often increase with the time and in proportion as the geographical dis­ tances grow. The resulting picture shows therefore that there was no clear cut between East and West Semitic in the third millennium B. Hebrew. One can assume therefore that this feature reflects an even older common stage of Semitic languages. the variety of spoken dialects.C. attested normally in Canaanite lan­ guages of the first millennium B. It appears also that Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian texts contain many proper names in which occurs an ending -a that qualifies the predicate state of the noun and that is attested also in some Amorite names. South Arabian. of course. 4. and Syriac. varying in length in the various regions. In conclusion. all spoken dialects were of equal prestige. but take also into account.3. A classification based on these standard languages does not reflect. i f feasible. Palaeosyrian dialects share certain linguistic features with Ugaritic. the historically attested documentation. For instance. Semitic languages were spoken in Mesopotamia. a subdivision of the Semitic language family should be based on the wide geographic distribution of the speeches. Ethiopic. but does not belong to the living languages of the texts. certain local dialects augmented their prestige and with their grammatical codifica­ tion came some measure of petrifaction allowing for clearly cut linguis­ tic features. In ancient times. There is also no clear cut between Northwest and Southwest Semitic in the first millennium B.

both ancient and modern. In any case. Arabia. 4. colonization.6. This survey does not aim at giving a detailed description of all the Semitic languages. therefore.C. i. The terms "dialect" and "language" are taken here in their rough definition. However. . since the linguistic material of the present survey extends in time over some 4500 years: from the mid-third millennium B. when we encounter the earliest written manifestations of a Semitic language (Palaeosyrian. Standard Arabic. Phoenician. Although the latter has an introductory char­ acter. it also adduces evidence from other ancient and modern Semitic languages and dialects. that can­ not simply derive from the preceding stages of Babylonian. but also historical stages of the languages considered. to describe the Semitic languages and dialects roughly in the same geographic order. and Ethiopia. 4. not only geographically different forms of speech may be called "dialects".. Middle Assyrian.C.e. Old Akkadian). and emphasizes the position of the great literary or standard languages. Lihyānite. and Late Babylonian. Therefore. and North Arabian languages (Thamúdic. as Old Assyrian. when some entirely unwritten forms of Semitic speech have been described and analyzed. Ara­ maic. migration. an East Semitic group with Old Akkadian. In this approach. and NeoAssyrian that together cover a span of 1500 years. the lack of any up-to-date introductory work demands a summary presentation of the current knowledge in this field in order to clarify the concepts and the terminology adopted in the present comparative study. Their position in the Semitic family has therefore to be briefly characterized. (Palaeosyrian. the present survey will distinguish a North Semitic grouping. Amorite. does not aim at exhaustiveness.CLASSIFICATION 49 Palestine. no exact definition of "language" and "dialect" is feasible. a West Semitic group with Canaanite (Hebrew. until the present times. Moabite. Beyond this area they have spread only as a result of later and historically known developments. It is convenient. Assyro-Babylonian. Neo-Arabic). the distinct forms of speech being called "dialects" when the differences are relatively small.5. Ugaritic). and the "discovery" of a new Semitic language merely expresses the scholars' conviction that a type of speech appears sufficiently distinct from others so as deserve a name of its own. Ammonite). to which belong written languages of the third and second mil­ lennia B. slightly corrected in view of some chronological considerations. or conquest. and a South Semitic group with South Arabian and Ethiopian languages. Safaitic.

Amorite. that may reveal the existence of unknown dialects or even of new related lan­ guages.50 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S 5. However. besides syllabic signs and auxiliary marks aimed at helping the understanding of the writing. They are known to us only through written records and can­ not be subjected to strict phonetic analysis.2). there are common features in the writing system. 7). syntax. Common scribal traditions and cultural elements are revealed by these documents and by texts from the area of Kish. However. 6). It would be pre­ mature. as was the case at Tell Mardikh/Ebla and at Tell Beydar. to term that cultural entity "Kish civilization" and to contrast it too sharply with the Sumerian culture. . going back to the mid-third millennium B. North Semitic is represented nowadays by Palaeosyrian (but cf. as well (Fig. according to the "short" chronology (Fig.C. especially with the written culture of Sumer. in phonol­ ogy. by the tablets from Tell Beydar. the sources so far discovered — in particular the proper names — contain elements surviving from an older Semitic language that should also be studied and evaluated. NORTH SEMITIC 5.1. Besides. near Hassake (Syria). 15 km east of Babylon. and vocabulary. Palaeosyrian 5. in any case. morphology. §4. Palaeosyrian cuneiform script is of Sumerian or even of Pre-Sumerian origin and it uses Sumerian logograms or word signs. These are languages spoken and written in Upper Mesopotamia and Northern Syria in the third and second mil­ lennia B. by the Pre-Sargonic and post-Ur-III texts from Mari. the spoken languages may differ to various extents from a written koine and.C. however. It is impossible to consider the texts from different sites as written in one language spoken by a single people in the whole area extending from North Syria to Babylonia.C. Palaeosyrian is represented by the "Eblaite" texts from Tell Mardikh/Ebla dating from the 24th century B.2. and Ugaritic. in Syria. in Mesopotamia. Further research and more discoveries are needed to establish how many written Semitic languages or dialects of the mid-third millennium should be distinguished in the area under consideration. their corpus expands steadily by the discovery of more written documents. A .

75.Fig. Ebla Tablet TM.G. 6.1377 Obverse (Courtesy Missione Archeologica in Siria). .

C. by some loanwords borrowed by Old Babylonian scribes. in particular those from Mari. The geographical area of the speak­ ers of Amorite dialects and the relation of these speech forms to Palaeosyrian suggest however to classify Amorite among the North Semitic tongues and to consider "East Canaanite" as an inappropriate designation of the language under consideration. These forms of Semitic speech are mainly known by the numerous proper names — with specific grammatical forms — which appear in var­ ious cuneiform texts.52 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S Fig. Amorite was once called "East Canaanite" and is often consid­ ered as a Northwest Semitic language.3. . 7. B.C. and by certain linguistic peculiarities occurring sporadically in Old Babylonian texts. Some Amorite names are found also in Middle Egyptian execration texts from the 19th and 18th cen­ turies B. Tell Beydar Tablet 2629-T-2 (Courtesy Euro-Syrian Excavations at Tell Beydar). Amorite is the name given nowadays to a group of North Semitic dialects spoken in North Syria and Upper Mesopotamia between the mid­ dle of the third millennium and the second half of the second millennium B. Amorite 5.

The texts discovered at Ras Shamra and at Ras Ibn Hani. on the coast of north­ western Syria.EAST SEMITIC 53 C.C. there are letters and administrative-economic documents that reflect a somewhat younger stage of the language. according to a "short" chronology). 13th.2) are considered as written in an earlier dialect of the same language as the one used in the Semitic documents of the Empire created by Sargon of Akkad.C.). A. and the beginning of the 12th centuries B. date from the 14th. E A S T SEMITIC 6. and by the Late Babylonian that cannot be derived from the preceding stages of Babylonian without admitting at least considerable interference from another Semitic language. Next to mythological and epic compositions. Ugaritic is the name given to the Semitic language discovered in 1929 at Ras Shamra. Ugaritic was written in an alphabetic cuneiform script using 30 simple signs which. East Semitic is represented by Old Akkadian. by the various branches of Assyro-Babylonian (roughly 1900-600 B.C.C.1. However. according to a "short" chronology. the latter will generally be called "Assyro-Babylon­ ian" in this Outline. the capital of the Semitic Empire of Sar­ gon of Agade (ca. south­ west of Ugarit.C. 6. Ugaritic 5.2.4. attested roughly from 2400 to 2000 B. present single consonantal sounds. owing to its Sumerian or PreSumerian and thus non-Semitic origin. but was written mainly in syllabograms that also indicated vowels. the site of ancient Ugarit. on the other. its . Akkadian did use logograms or word signs. "Akka­ dian" is the most diffused global appellation of these forms of speech. this script was in several respects imperfect.. on the one hand. Old Akkadian 6. 2265-2210. Old Akkadian may be dated between 2350 and 2000 B. and the Assyrian and Babylonian dialects of the second and first millennia B. I f the Early Dynastic I I I or Pre-Sargonic texts from the Kish area (§5. Yet. A few tablets in alphabetic cuneiform script were also found at other sites. to underline the distinction between Old Akkadian. Like in the case of Palaeosyrian. it comes from Akkad or Agade.. notably in Palestine. on the whole.

Thus. Its written use. however.. 1000-600 B. 8). and literary texts preserved makes Assyro-Babylonian one of the princi­ pal sources for ancient Semitic. There are several sub-dialects in the Old Babylonian period.C. Middle Babylonian (ca.C. as it happens frequently at Ebla and at Mari.). various local forms of Assyro-Babylonian were used in the neighbouring countries and served in the second millennium B.). Assyro-Babylonian 6. The dialect of these literary texts has been termed Standard Babylonian (Fig.54 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S writing is of Sumerian or non-Semitic origin and has the same general characteristics. literary compositions.C. By a gradual process. and between the earlier Old Babylonian and the later Old Babylonian has to be pointed out. The outstanding case of this is the Amarna correspondence. 1500-1000 B. AssyroBabylonian died out as a spoken language and was replaced by Aramaic in its homeland.). The huge number of private letters.C. continued to be copied in later times. Within the Babylonian dialect one can dis­ tinguish the following periods: Old Babylonian (ca. there are provincial dialects from Susa (Elam). . between the 8th and the 6th centuries B. the existence of dialectal differences between North Baby­ lonian and South Babylonian.4. for purposes of State correspondence and for official documents in areas where East Semitic was not spoken. there seems to be no convincing way of deriving the earliest attested Assyrian or Babylonian texts from Old Akkadian.C. Besides. from the Diyala region. was also used as a literary language in Assyria. Because of the cultural prestige of Baby­ lonian. and certain speech elements are not omitted in writing. contracts. On the other side. that obviously was a local dialect of northern Babylonia that owed its prestige and literary character to the fact of being spoken in the power centre of the Kish dynasties and of the Akkadian Empire. chiefly from Syria-Palestine. In addition. 6. continued until the 1st century A. and Neo-BabyIonian (ca. but cuneiform signs are generally used with their normal Sumerian value. Babylonian. which originated in the Old Babylonian or Middle Babylonian periods. The Babylonians themselves were calling it "Akkadian". the dialect of the southern part of Mesopotamia. and from Mari. 1900-1500 B. however. B.3. contrary to the Ebla practice.D. public documents. generally conserving their original wording.

which was Aramaicized in its final phase. espe­ cially in the northwestern regions of the Assyrian Empire and in the wording of contracts. with texts principally from commercial settlements in Ana­ tolia. C. onwards.6. with records strongly influenced by Babylonian. Late Babylonian 6. 600 B. and Arsacid periods from ca.5. the dialect of the north­ ern part of Mesopotamia. 19001700 B. 1500-1000 B.C. Middle Assyrian (ca.).C. 1000-600 B. Seleucid. Middle Babylonian fragment of the Gilgamesh Epic from Megiddo (Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums). The various linguistic stages of Assyrian. 6.EAST SEMITIC 55 Fig. and Neo-Assyrian (ca. .).C. Late Babylonian is the written language of South Mesopotamia in the Persian. can be divided into Old Assyrian (ca.). 8.C. but written in the same dialect.

mor­ phology. although there were certainly educated people having a fairly good knowledge of the literary idiom. and syntax. Since people resorted in the Near East to professional scribes to have even their private letters written. 7. Canaanite 7. W E S T SEMITIC 7. and Edomite. West Semitic was traditionally divided into two groups. are classified. the existence of Late Babylonian tablets belonging to this genre does not prove that Babylonian subsisted as a vernacular language at that time. as a rule. In recent times. coined from the toponym Canaan. The stages of the first millennium B. A.C. the older stages of the Canaanite languages. For this reason. . Ammonite. Amorite and Ugaritic have been classified here as North Semitic tongues. The name Canaanite.56 SEMITIC LANGUAGES while Aramaic and the practically unknown Chaldaean dialect were the spoken idioms which by a gradual process influenced the written lan­ guage.C. while the North Ara­ bian forms of speech w i l l be viewed as the third main family of the West Semitic languages of Syria-Palestine and Northern Arabia. the ancient appellation of southern Syria and Palestine.1. as the use of iprus-forms in the volitive functions of the Aramaic imperfect (§54.10). with Hebrew and Syriac as the main lit­ erary languages. but certain texts can hardly be con­ sidered as written in a truly Babylonian dialect. as Hebrew. w i l l be used in the present work to designate. Moabite. instead. Amorite and Ugaritic have often been considered as older forms of speech of Canaanite despite the fact that they are morphologically and syntactically more distinct from Hebrew than the North Arabian languages.2. known from sources of the second millennium B. Phoenician. The latter does not seem to have borrowed an impor­ tant part of its lexicon from Aramaic. The Hebrew language is the only one in this group that survived the Antiquity.6) and the occasional transmutation of the stative into an Aramaic perfect (§38. and translated. since their type of speech reveals a too far-reaching linguistic change in phonetics. read. namely the Canaanite and the Aramaic.

Hebrew is the Canaanite form of speech used inland from ca. Besides the Bible.. provides a large number of Canaanite glosses and linguistic peculiarities in its Babylonian cuneiform text. by the Semitic loan­ words in ancient Egyptian. b) Hebrew 7. and the Tosefta belong to the period when Hebrew was still a spoken language. I f the inscriptions on Phoenician arrowheads and the Gezer calendar are added to this group. which existed pre­ viously for hundreds of years as a vernacular but became a new literary language only in the late first century A. the Dead Sea scrolls. Qohelet.C. and by the few words in Egyptian texts put into the mouth of Semites. In the first millennium B. the documents discovered in the Judaean Desert. onwards. but they cannot be consid­ ered as deciphered.D.C.C. Also the pseudo-hieroglyphic inscriptions of Byblos are most likely composed in a Canaanite dialect.C.4. and the 10th century B.CANAANITE LANGUAGES 57 a) Old Canaanite 7.5. it comprised two main dialects — the Israelite in the north and the Judahite in the south — but the biblical text retained but a few traces of dialects that can instead be identified in the epigraphical material. and Esther. The last mentioned works are written in the so-called Mishnaic Hebrew. onwards.C. some superimposed upon datable Egyptian objects. They are attested directly by a number of short inscriptions found in Palestine (Proto-Canaanite) and in the Sinai peninsula (Proto-Sinaitic). The Dead Sea scrolls have revealed some linguistic features that are parallel also to the particular Samaritan . the latter can be dated between the mid-second millennium B. Old Canaanite forms of speech of the second millennium B. are reflected to a certain extent in the Old Babylonian tablets from Hazor. 1000 B. Also this material is unmistakably Canaanite. This material can be supplemented by the Canaanite words and forms occurring in eight texts found at Kāmid elLoz (Lebanon) and in a few scattered documents. 7.3. the Chronicles. and it represents the earliest purely alphabetic form of writing. Also some of the documents discovered in the Judaean Desert are written in this idiom and its influ­ ence can be detected already in the later books of the Bible. e. The whole series is variously dated by scholars from 1800 B.C. The Amarna correspondence of the 14th century B.C. the Mishnah. but cannot be further defined with any certainty.g.. at least in some parts of Judaea.

its phonologi­ cal and grammatical interpretation by the various Schools of "Masoretes" or traditionalists. As a matter of fact. known as ivrti.D. though Elijah Levita (1468/9-1549) pointed already out that the Masoretic vowels and accents do not belong to the original text but had originated in post-talmudic times. There was a certain impact of Yiddish on the early stage of mod­ ern Hebrew. is condi­ tioned by their knowledge of the language spoken more than a thousand years before them and by the reliability of oral traditions underlying the reading of the Bible in Jewish communities whose vernaculars were mainly Aramaic or Arabic dialects. Tyre. although the consonantal text of the Hebrew Bible is gen­ erally speaking reliable from the linguistic point of view.C. Vocalized quotations of Hebrew words and sentences in the present Outline are generally based on the reading of the Tiberian Masoretes as preserved in the Ms.. As a result. and whose vocalization was adjusted to the system of Aaron BenAsher.58 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S tradition of Hebrew. developed under the influence of Aramaic and of the Arabic vernacular. 9). Mishnaic Hebrew ceased to be spoken around 200 A. Since 1881 Hebrew again became a spoken idiom and it is nowadays the language of modern Israel. the recent massive immigration of Jews from Russia brings about a Slavic impact on some aspects of spoken Hebrew. Sidon. Phoenician is the Canaanite form of speech used in the first millennium B. since most of the Jewish immigrants who arrived in Pales­ tine from eastern Europe prior to World War I I were native speakers of Yiddish. This later form of Mishnaic Hebrew was influenced by Biblical Hebrew and by Aramaic.6. A c) Phoenician 7.D.D. (Fig. this mixed idiom cannot be employed as a trustworthy basis for the study of spoken and literary Mishnaic Hebrew used in the earlier period. exhibits innovative elements as well. St.D. retained as the lan­ guage of liturgy and revived as literary language from the 14th century on. although Samaritan Hebrew. Petersburg B 19 which was written in 1009 A. its vowel points and accents are almost iden­ tical with those of the Aleppo Codex pointed by Aaron Ben-Asher him­ self in the first half of the 10th century A. that serves as the main base for the grammatical investigation of Biblical Hebrew. in the . In fact. Instead. especially that from Tiberias. in the coastal cities of Byblos. The same must be said about the "Masoretic" Hebrew of the 9th-10th centuries A. but it remained a written language that served for every written purpose and even flourished in poetry and literature.

4.26-3. . Page from the Aleppo Codex with the text of I Chron.CANAANITE LANGUAGES 59 Fig. 2. 9.

was a Canaanite form of speech.D. but Phoenician died out as a spoken language in the Levant at latest in the 3rd or 4th centuries A. perhaps down to the 11th century A. Punic inscription from Carthage. and on the Atlantic coast of Spain and of Morocco. the language developed a distinct form.. a Tyrian foundation. In Carthage. In its latest stage. called Punic (Fig. represented by a small corpus of inscriptions dated from the 9th to the end of the 6th century B. that was also used in the Numidian king­ doms of North Africa.60 SEMITIC LANGUAGES neighbouring towns. the Phoenician speech of West Mediterranean countries is called Neo-Punic and it is attested also in Latin script (Latino-Punic inscriptions).C. represented by two inscriptions and a few seals dated from the 9th through the 6th century B. used east of the lower Jordan valley around Rabbath-Ammon. modern Amman.C. along the Mediterranean shores.. Fig.D. The epigraphical material attests the existence of different dialects in the Phoenician homeland and overseas. documented down to the first centuries A. Ammonite.8.7. d) Ammonite 7. and in the various settlements and colonies estab­ lished in Anatolia.D.. in Libya. was a Canaanite idiom spoken east . e) Moabite 7. Moabite. at Suit. It was probably more different from Hebrew than can be guessed from the unvocalized Aramaic script of the inscriptions. Neo-Punic continued to be spoken in North Africa until the 5th century A.. 10.D. As far as our information goes. 10).

C. B. except for the Tell Fekherye statue and the Tell Halaf pedestal inscrip­ tion. was the Canaanite idiom of southern Transjordan and eastern Negev. Despite our very poor knowledge of the language. Although the ninth-century B. f) Edomite 7. (Fig. North Israel. Assyria. and some of its dialects survive until the present day.) and on the stele found at Tell el-Qādi (ca. Edomite. There are no impor­ tant differences in the script and the spelling of the various documents. and northern Transjordan dating from the 9th through the 7th century B.C.C. a) Early Aramaic 7. The morphological variations point instead to the existence of several dialects that represent different levels of the evolution of the language.C. While the Tell Fekherye inscription (ca. Several historical stages and contemporaneous dialects have to be distinguished. Aramaic 7. their language cannot be regarded as an Hebrew dialect. palaeography and morphology reveal some specifically Edomite features. . 11). on. Aramaic forms a widespread linguistic group that could be clas­ sified also as North or East Semitic. Moabite inscriptions present the earliest "Hebrew" characters of the alphabetic script. and even in the juridical and economic documents on clay tablets from Upper Mesopotamia and Assyria. a standard form of the language prevails in the inscriptions.. the two Samalian inscriptions from Zincirli (8th century B.C. and both do not use the deter­ minative-relative zy.) seems to testify to the use of internal or "broken" plurals.C. 850 B.) apparently retain the case endings in the plural and have no emphatic state. 850 B.C.C. From the 8th century B.ARAMAIC 61 of the Dead Sea. 800 B.C.). attested by a few inscriptions and seals dated from the 9th through the 4th century B.10. The latter is also unat­ tested in the Deir 'Alia plaster inscription (ca.11. Early Aramaic is represented by an increasing number of inscrip­ tions from Syria. Its earliest written attestations go back to the 9th century B.9.

ca. Panamuwa I (Zincirli). Kilamuwa (Zincirli). Bar-Rakkāb (Zincirli). 3. 9. mid-8th century. 730. 4. C . 6. . and northern Transjordan in the 9th and 8th centuries B . ca. I I . early 8th century. Alphabetic scripts of Syria. > f . late 8th century. Sefire. Deir 'Alia. Tell Fekherye. beginning of the 8th century. 8. mid-9th century. / % r tr ? w K <?? % V t % w s I f / / / Fig. 2. 7.62 SEMITIC LANGUAGES 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 < b f f f ft â -\ A 9 A g d h A Í T «*- A A « 1 M s 2 \ H X ft w M % f a h IS © M © ® t v I % t 1 J? y / V & . Zakkūr (Tell Afis). Karatepe. mid-8th century. late 9th century. : I . Cilicia. Panamuwa IT (Zincirli). m n s c S T 0 > ? e > > * ) > 0 ¥ o 0 ? © ( à r » P s • q r V > ? 1 r ? V . 800. 5.

D.C.C. Official or Imperial Aramaic is the language of the Aramaic doc­ uments of the Persian Empire. It is the language of various inscriptions on stone. and the narrative in the Aramaic portions of Ezra are the earliest exam­ ples of this form of speech that is further used in the Book of Daniel.16. in the literary Aramaic compositions discovered at Qumrān. d) Middle Aramaic 7. the Bar Punesh fragments. Middle Aramaic is the name generally given to the Aramaic dialects attested from the 3rd century B. and of Arabic on the other. Aramaic became the lingua franca of the Near East and it served later as the offi­ cial language of the Achaemenian administration until the end of the 4th century B. The documents and the Bar Kokhba letters discovered in the Judaean Desert represent the Palestinian Aramaic of Judaea. Turkmenistan. 7. known as Onqelos and Jonathan. in Afghanistan.12. like the Nabataean inscriptions . Documents written in Nabataean were also discovered among the scrolls of the Judaean Desert.C.ARAMAIC 63 b) Official or Imperial Aramaic 7. they already contain elements of Middle Aramaic on the one hand. in the Wadi Dāliyeh (Samaria).15. at a much later date. to the 3rd century A. and subsisted alongside the Official Aramaic of the Achaemenian period. in Megillat Ta'anit.13. The Story of Ahiqar. Besides the texts in Standard Literary Aramaic and in a faulty Official Aramaic that survived in non-Aramaic speaking regions of the former Persian Empire. and at Persepolis. and in the Cau­ casus.C. in the "Scroll of Antiochus". in the Targums to the Pentateuch and to the Prophets. there are a number of epigraphic dialects from this period. c) Standard Literary Aramaic 7. as well as of the Aramaic letters and documents quoted in the Book of Ezra. Although they are basically written in Official Aramaic. Beginning with the 8th century B. Standard Literary Aramaic is the literary dialect that emerged in the 7th century B. of the Aramaic documents found in Egypt.14. 7. and. Pakistan. but some authors apply this qualification also to earlier texts. perhaps the scattered phrases of the story from the tomb at Sheikh el-Fadl.

12.64 SEMITIC LANGUAGES and graffiti from Transjordan. The Nabataean use of the Aramaic language and script contin­ ued a North Arabian tradition attested already in the 5th century B. Fig. Nabataean Aramaic was the written language of the Arab population whose main centre was Petra. The last dated Nabataean Aramaic text dates from 356 A. which was the language of a substantial part of the population of Palmyra.38). Egypt. D . found at Tell el-Maskhūta (Egypt).C. North Arabia. and Italy. Copenhagen).C.D. 214 (Courtesy Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. 12). are detected in some of these inscriptions. by the inscriptions of the oasis of Tayma' and somewhat later by the inscription of Qaynû. dated A . the language of which was also influenced by an East Aramaic dialect. From the 2nd century B.D. Traces of Arabic.17. king of Qedar.D.C. historically attested from the beginning of the 4th cen­ tury B. The Palmyrene inscriptions. to the 4th century A. through the 3rd century A. . There are also a few inscriptions written in Nabataean Arabic (§7. Palmyrene inscription from Malkū's tomb. 7.C. Negev.. dating from the 1st century B. Greece. are written in a West Aramaic idiom based on Official Aramaic (Fig.

and the inscrip­ tion of the Herakles statue from 150/1 A. and this may also be the case of the inscriptions found at Toprak-kale.ARAMAIC 65 7.18. The Jewish Palestinian Aramaic of the Byzantine period is often called Galilean Aramaic since most of the material comes from Galilee.C. It is a period with abundant written material. e) Western Late Aramaic 7.D.23. 7. words writ­ ten in Aramaic but read in Middle Iranian.D. found in southern Iraq and written in cuneiform script on a clay tablet. go back to the lst-3rd centuries A. i. and are all of pagan ori­ gin. also the ca.22. but their language occupies an intermediate position between West and East Aramaic. 100 km south-west of Mosul. but the dialect is best . all dating from the Late Parthian period. The material consists of a variety of dedicatory and memorial inscriptions. morphology. 7. is composed in East Aramaic. The inscriptions from Ashur and other sites in the area of Upper Tigris. Their script resembles that of the contemporary cursive Palmyrene inscriptions. but this appellation may be too restrictive.19. The Uruk Incantation text from the 3rd or 2nd century B. mod­ ern Urfa. 7. and syntax. are the precursors of the ideograms used later in the Pahlavi texts of the Sassanid dynasty (226642 A.21. The earliest Syriac inscriptions from the region of Edessa.D.. Despite the contrary opinion of some authors. ca. They date from the 2nd and 3rd centuries A. and their language is closely related to Syriac. are written with Aramaic logograms. perhaps in the Chaldaean dialect. The Aramaic logograms in Parthian inscriptions.C. and considered by their editors as Khwarezmian (Middle Iranian). show the influence of East Aramaic. reflect a closely related form of speech and are written in the North Mesopotamian variant of the Ara­ maic script..D. in Uzbekistan.e.D. The most important witnesses of this use of Aramaic logograms are the Avroman parchment from 52/3 A. phonology. 7. Also the Aramaic texts of Hatra.D. positive distinctions between East and West Aramaic can be made on ground of vocabulary. on. West Aramaic consists primarily of material known from Palestine.20.).. 2000 ostraca of Nisa (Turkmenistan). From the 3rd century A. from the 1st century B.

Eastern Late Aramaic is represented by the literary languages Syriac. It is the best documented of the Aramaic languages.23). 7. as well as by the Ara­ maic logograms in Pahlavi and other Middle Iranian dialects. and from the Palestinian Targums. although Syriac was generally replaced by Neo-Arabic as a spoken idiom from the 8th century A. primarily of a religious Christian nature. on.24) and to Galilean Aramaic (§7. such as the Palestinian Talmud. The preserved sources date from the 5th-8th centuries A.D.26. and the language is used down to the pre­ sent day. a formal script which resembles that of the Syriac inscriptions of the lst-3rd centuries A.D. of Leviticus Rabba. Traces of Mishnaic Hebrew influence are found in this dialect.25. Instead. this dialect is best represented by fragments of Bible translations from Greek. and from the 11th-13th centuries A. sometimes called Palestinian Syriac because of its script.. and of other Midrashim. such as the Melchite liturgy. with a large literature in both poetry and prose. the Aramaic parts of Genesis Rabba.27. 7. occupies an intermediate position between East and West Aramaic... The sources exhibit a dialect closely related to Samaritan Aramaic (§7. and such works as Memar Marqah and the Asatir. is rep­ resented by the Targum to the Pentateuch.66 SEMITIC LANGUAGES known from literary works. was spoken by converted Jews living in Judaea and in Transjordan at least from the 3rd-4th centuries A.D. Christian Palestinian Aramaic. Its oldest literary works go back to the 2nd century A. Samaritan Aramaic. the Aramaic hymns preserved in the liturgy. there are two different vocalization systems and three main Syriac styles of writing: the Estrangeìā. as best represented by the so-called Neofìti I Targum from the Vatican Library and by fragments from the Cairo Geniza.D. Besides some epigraphic finds.D. 7.D. but the differences are limited to some phonetic features.. Syriac. when the language was spoken. written in an offshoot of the Palaeo-Hebrew script and spoken by Samaritans till about the 10th century A. f) Eastern Late Aramaic 7. as well as of translations of other Greek religious texts.D. originally the dialect of Edessa. and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. .24. One can distinguish West­ ern and Eastern Syriac. until the Arabization of Palestine. when it was used only in the liturgy. Mandaic.

XX a JG s ua • q r X X š t i. Syriac Scripts. 13. %x •X. > -V V ^ *A.ARAMAIC 67 Estrangela 1 2 3 4 1 Serto 2 3 4 1 Nestorian 2 3 4 Trans­ Name cription of the Letters 1 J3 T -13.1 \ A c a % «• h w z h t y . k 1 V Sri 1 c o \ i \ JO \ 33. X X Jt L Is A A- Fig. J m n fix JS3 Ca SO & CD s J J5 43. K 1 °J o \ V o ) z 1 3 b g d <^ alaf bēt gāmal dālat hē waw zên hēt tēt yod kāf lāmad mīm nūn semkat 'ē P pē sādē qof rēš šīn taw • o . » T * \ \ 2*. . A.

The earliest Mandaic texts. . and a form of colloquial Mandaic has been recorded. A 4 ± . HA*fA&^JJy oJ*j_^ a . MtH.. S . 13). ed.. have been discovered in southern Iraq and Iran. yxJu*»^ aí*A^U. a t a p oyttrf«b/ F r o m the Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans. Aiio^r -Hit ^f*-»* a«ftáai. date from the 4th-6th centuries A . . known at present. and whether they stand alone or are joined to others (à" ±**ât*AP JJ^iẃr y aìaj» tyx.i6Û AIMJ»^ JAlìLĠ*S> ^\a±rju& y à * . i . Besides. The works of Syriac grammarians. They date from the 5th7th centuries A . a . and their major literary works may also have been written in that period. u* A ^AíAAn^ 2à±mỳo Ju^^i »<.AjyiijfAJ'^J «^ —^ é*. in Mandaic script and language. y^jL^l» aiSu-»y d <4 a / ^ViiAJ» < . D . E .28.± A t £ L < » v JẃUierf t*. ^ A i í í 9 4 f > o^tofdírT tSttl4^v». whether at the beginning.**í<4*« 41 ^t-rf y»íi—*| t^i±~>y uûû&~. 7. The majority of the Syriac letters have different forms depending upon their position in a word. Since Mandaic uses matres lectionis more than any other Aramaic dialect and does not follow any traditional orthography. and the Nestorian. D r o w e r (Leiden 1959). middle or end. and then moved to southern Iraq and Iran where its adepts have still been identified in the 20th century.D. Mandate is the language of the Gnostic sect of the Mandaeans.o*j> 6 ûii^*-V à**-*^*" «' . a $ A . The sect flourished for a time in Upper Mesopotamia. a large number of inscribed "magic" bowls. another cursive variation used in the East. a developed cursive ordinarily used by the Jacobites in the West.68 SEMITIC LANGUAGES the Serto. around Harran.«f^ft „ JAA*. . D . whose origins are obscure. like Jacob of Edessa (7th century A. it has been of great importance for establishing the phonol­ ogy and the precise morphology of East Aramaic.).. and their script represents a South Mesopotamian variant of the Aramaic script-type. have exerted an influence on both Arabic and Hebrew grammatical traditions.i A i S d .^ .

7. the use of the y-prefix in the 3rd person of the imperfect. a kind of Aramaic . in southeastern Turkey. the Geonic texts. etc.32.33. the Book of Commandments by ' Anan ben Dawid. grammatical. These dialects are the surving remains of the once widespread Aramaic languages. Tūroyo comprises the dialects spoken by Christians in the Tur 'Abdīn area. about 60 km. Western Neo-Aramaic is still used by Christians and Moslems in the three villages of Ma'lūla. Characteristic of this Western form of spoken Aramaic are the changes ā > 6 and p >f.29. g) Neo-Aramaic 7. they show a tendency to use the pharyngal h and have developed a conjugation based on participles.ARAMAIC 69 7. The language is reminiscent in many respects of the ancient Aramaic dialects of Palestine (§7. and the Jewish Babylonian incanta­ tions of the "magic" bowls from the Nippur region. for which good manuscripts should be used.D. Gubb 'Adīn. Like Eastern Neo-Aramaic (§7. 7. Most useful is the Frahang i Pahlavīk. A closely related idiom was spoken at Mlahso.34). and Bah'ā. but they exhibit the unconditioned change ā > o like Western Neo-Aramaic. They are divided into three main groups.31. north of Damascus.30. Differences have been detected in the lan­ guage of these texts spread over eight centuries. 7. near Mardin. preserved by religious minorities in mountainous retreat areas. Western Aramaic is exposed to strong phonetic. These various sources. but some of them indicate changes due either to the influence of Late Eastern Aramaic or to errors made by the scribes who no longer knew the Aramaic language. the early Karaite leader. date from the 3rd through the 11th century A. Jewish Babylonian Aramaic is known primarily from the Baby­ lonian Talmud.D. and lexical influences of vernacular Arabic. The large emigration of the local population . a village in the Diyarbakrr province. Neo-Aramaic dialects are spoken nowadays by about half a mil­ lion people living in various regions of the Near East or emigrated to other parts of the world. These dialects occupy an intermediate position between Western and Eastern Neo-Aramaic.23-25). The Aramaic logograms in Pahlavi and other Middle Iranian dialects are mostly derived from Official Aramaic.Middle Iran­ ian glossary that might go back at least to the 7th century A.

and Turkey. While populations of merchants and farmers were settled in towns and oases. It is assumed therefore that Eastern Neo-Aramaic developed from a language similar to Mandaic and to Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. The Christians write in the Nestorian type of Syriac script. Eastern Neo-Aramaic. C . While some of them bear Aramaic names. references to Neo-Aramaic. Iran. as well as innovations shared by Mandaic (§7. They are spoken both by Jews and by Christians of different denominations: Nestorians.27). but lacking in Syr­ iac. There are archaic elements retained in Neo-Aramaic which are absent from Classical Syriac (§7. who visited Kurdistan in the mid-12th century A. most of the Jews have emi­ grated to Israel.70 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S resulted in the creation of scattered Turoyo-speaking communities in Western Europe. books.28) and by Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (§7. as at rule. semi-nomadic breeders of sheep and goats were living in precari­ ous shelters in the vicinity of sedentary settlements. Benjamin of Tudela. in the neighbour­ hood of Lake Urmia. reports that the Jews living there were speaking Aramaic. Chaldaeans.35. and true nomads. Georgia. called also "Modern Syriac" or "Assyr­ ian". differing by their language and their script. is the continuation of the eastern branch of Late Aramaic. 7. in Iraq. near the common borders of Iraq. while the emigration of Christians to the United States and to Armenia.29).34. but there are no documents extant in this form of speech since it was not used as a literary vehicle. made without further specification. used for printing periodicals. Various North Arabian populations have to be distinguished.D. Nowadays. and Jacobites. It gave rise to a spoken koine that coexists nowadays with the dialects.. and above all by their way of life. . The earliest attestations of Arabic are a number of proper names borne by leaders of Arab tribes mentioned in Neo-Assyrian texts. in Iran. others have names that belong to a group of dialects now called Proto-Arabic or Ancient North Arabian. The fairly uniform standard written language of these publications is based on the Urmi dialect. and near Mosul. Neo-Aramaic dialects are used in Kurdistan. Arabic 7. however. In this Outline. and Russia had already started as a result of World War I . point to the Eastern Neo-Aramaic. and pamphlets.

the oasis was the capital of the kingdom of Lihyān. that testify to the evolution of the language.D. the case differentiation between bnw and bny. dated ca. in many passages of the Qur'ān. Then.39. where it can be detected.). one of several Arabian tribes mentioned in the Assyrian annals (Tamudi).36..C. 25 B.D. in North Arabian graf­ fiti from the Tayma' region.. 100 A. Nabataean Arabic is represented by a few inscriptions in Ara­ maic script. there was no longer a fully func­ tioning case system in the 3rd and 4th centuries A. that had developed from the common Semitic alphabet. were moving over great distances and living in tents. which for nearly two centuries was home to a colony of Minaean tradesmen from South Arabia. The so-called Thamūdic graffiti are named after Thamūd. has become merely vestigial by the lst-3rd centuries A. Lihyānite should not be distinguished. both urban and Bedouin. 7.D. Different forms of speech have been distinguished.37. 169 A.C. These sources make it clear that the . Lihyānite is represented by a series of graf­ fiti and of mainly monumental inscriptions engraved in a variety of the South Arabian script. Dedān and the neighbouring site of al-Hidjr (Hegrā') were occupied in ca. While the case endings of the nouns are still used correctly in the bilingual AramaicArabic of Oboda. in a Greek inscription of a Nabataean temple in northeastern Hedjaz.D. dated ca. 7. through the 1st century B.C.C.ARABIC 71 dromedary breeders and caravaneers.C.. ancient Dedān. from the language of the socalled "Dedānite" inscriptions which antedate the period when Dedān was the residence of a Persian governor in the 5th century B. by the Nabataean kingdom.D. 7. Lihyānite is the local dialect of the oasis of al-'Ulā. Pre-Islamic North and East Arabian dialects use a variant of the South Arabian monumental script.) and an-Namāra (328 A.38. a) Pre-Islamic North and East Arabian 7. from the 4th century B. Only the few Nabataean Arabic texts are written in Aramaic script. that had its own king in the 6th/5th century B. Also in South Arabian.D.. as it seems. and in writings of Arab geographers. as appears from the inscriptions of Hegrā' (267 A. in a 5th-century Byzantine source.

through the 3rd century A .C. Pre-Classical Arabic dialects. South Arabian script was used also in southern Iraq ("Chaldaean" inscriptions) and on the East Arabian coast. However.C. Hasaean is the name given to the language of the inscriptions written in a variety of the South Arabian script and found mainly in the great oasis of al-Hāsa'. Since the Safaitic graffiti have been found on the Nabataean territory and are con­ temporaneous with the Nabataean Aramaic inscriptions. probably from the 6th century B. have been found in the northern Tayma' area. and belonging to different dialects. as shown e. D . near modern Sulayyil..42. are described to a certain extent by early Arab philologists which have pre­ served some data on the forms of speech in the Arab peninsula around the 7th-8th centuries A . For the period from the beginning of the 2nd century B. The oldest Thamūdic inscriptions.C. scattered over an area including southeastern Syria.g. and call on a deity to protect his memory and ensure peace to him. we actually possess the inscriptions from Qaryat al-Fāw. memorial inscriptions that mention the name of the person and of his ancestors. dating from the 6th century B. Safaitic texts do not belong to a single dialect. which is very common in Safaitic inscriptions. through the 3rd or 4th century A . Jordan. In any case.C.D. both urban and Bedouin. 7. which is widely used in Nabataean Arabic proper names but appears exceptionally in names attested by the Safaitic graffiti. Many thousands of such texts. for the rendering of various local forms of East Arabian speech. southeast of Damascus. 14-15). and 'al. the name ' T h a m ū d i c " was incorrectly applied to various types of graffiti found throughout Arabia. from al-Hāsa' down to 'Oman. They are so called because they belong to a type of graffiti first discovered in 1857 in the basaltic desert of Safa.C. in the east of Saudi Arabia.41. to a large extent. namely h-. These inscriptions can be dated from the 8th through the 1st century B. They are.40. b) Pre-Classical Arabic 7. The Safaitic inscriptions date from the 1st century B. some of them are likely to be written in Nabataean Arabic.72 SEMITIC L A N G U A G E S Thamūdaeans were living between Mecca and Tayma'. and North Arabia have so far been collected and in part published (Fig. through the 4th century A. often specify his job or the circumstances of his passage. D . D . by the use of two differ­ ent articles. 7. on the trade .

son of 'Amru". "(belonging) to him. capable of expressing the pho­ netic features of Arabic unambiguously. 3° ls mt bn 'n'l. "(belonging) to Dahbānu the carrier.ARABIC 73 Fig. to Blm. They reveal the disappearance . "(belonging) to Śāmitu. Three Safaitic inscriptions on a boulder in Wadi Sirhān (courtesy of Abdu-Aziz al-Sudairi): 1° Ih Mm bn 'rm. They are written in fine monumental South Arabian script. 2 route linking Nadjrān with the eastern Arabian coast. son of 'Ān'il". 14. son of Minhālu". 2° Idhbn nql bn mnhl.

74 SEÌMITIC LANGUAGES Fig. The consonants not l 2 . and the -t of the feminine end­ ing was preserved in some idioms. 15. "for his child"). The consonantal text of the Qur'ān.g. when indicated in script. mn 'zzm = Classical min 'azīzin mā. Thus the feminine ending -t is replaced by the mater lectionis -h. etc. Safaitic inscription on a boulder in Wadi Sirhān (courtesy of Abdu-Aziz al-Sudairi): l'bs 'trw. d. Iwldhw. written in a script developed from the Nabataean cursive. except in the construct state. However. There was no longer a fully func­ tioning case system in nouns and the case endings. like in Aramaic. but attest the preservation of š (s ) and ś (s ). of d. t. where ancient Qur'ān manuscripts preserve the spelling -t. except in the construct state. "from anyone strong") and of the case system (e. (man) of 'Attara". of the nunation (e. while it has dropped in others. have probably lost their functional yield. is most likely a literary expression of the urban dialect of Mecca and Medina in Mohammed's time. "(belonging) to A b ū s u . dialects with and without case endings coexisted.g. ġ.

. have provided the consonantal text of the Qur'ān. in the schools of al-Kūfa and Basra'.. at the latest in the 6th century A.43. 500 A. with a number of diacritical symbols in order to fix its pronunciation and to adapt it to the rules of Classical Arabic. with the Arabic version of Ps. Thus d. probably based on an archaic form of the dialects of Nadjd. The early Arab philologists of the 8th-9th centuries A.D. shaped further to satisfy the needs of poetical diction and of metre. the language of the Qur'ān preserves certain fea­ tures deviating from ordinary Classical Arabic and proving thus that the consonantal text has not been tampered with.D. . It did not arise as a result of the great Arab conquests. in Central Arabia. c) Classical Arabic 7. which was an emphatic interdental t. despite the various vocalic signs and the symbols for tanwīn (nunation). Already before Islam. according to a system already established at Tayma' in the Persian period. An important source for the investigation of early Neo-Arabic are South-Palestinian texts from the 8th-10th centuries A. without altering the holy text. tā' marbūta (feminine ending). and standardized in the Abbasid empire. although Mesopotamia and Syria-Palestine provided the Aramaic lin­ guistic substratum that stimulated the development initiated a few cen­ turies earlier and apparent already in inscriptions and in the consonantal text of the Qur'ān. 78 written in Greek majuscules and thus exhibiting the vowel system. this lan­ guage was employed by poets whose vernacular may have differed strongly from the archaic Nadjdi dialects. Neo-Arabic or Middle Arabic is the urban language of the Arab Empire from the 8th century A. that had become sacred very quickly.D.. the system of the "pausal" forms. thus testifying to the emer­ gence of an Arabic diglossia.D.. is expressed by the corresponding dental "t". dating back to the 8th century A. which was in Old Arabic an emphatic lateral ś. is signified by "s" and z. as well as a bilingual Graeco-Arabic fragment from Damascus. just as / is indicated by " t " and d by " d " (Fig.44.D. Classical Arabic is the language of Pre-Islamic poetry. etc. hamza. perhaps as early as ca.ARABIC 15 contained in the Aramaic alphabet are indicated by letters marking related sounds.D. d) Neo-Arabic or Middle Arabic 7. However. on. 16). emerged from the Pre-Classical Arabic dialects.

16. A a•* 44 z s Š a- 7 s d. . ū s J Fig. t 4 o-» J* t i J ii J r Û â J t I J a J r 4 -> — Â J4 ġ 3 5 r J f q k i m n Ji s: l .* •f h w. Arabic Script.76 SEMITIC LANGUAGES Unbound Bound to the right I Bound on both sides — Bound to the left — Transcription \ ā Name of the letter 'alif bā' tā' tā' gīm hā' hā' dāl dāl rā' zāy sīn šīn sād dād tā' zā' 'ain ġain fa' qāf kāf lām mīm nūn hā' wāw yā' I J o *A* — x A A J A J b t t g c c ii J J h h d d r c a X . ś k b t z.

Qatar. and Dosiri tribes are better known. to which the Arabic idioms of Muslim Spain (al-Andalus) and of Sicily were closely related. Jordan. and the United Arab Emirates. and in some villages of Uzbekistan. In the dialects of the sedentary population. 2° Southwest Arabian in Yemen and Zanzibar. no spoken colloquial Arabic achieved official status as a written language. and the 'Omānī dialects in 'Oman. no matter how well educated. e) Modern Arabic 7. are no descendants of Classical Arabic but rather its con­ temporaries throughout history. and they are closely related to Neo-Ara­ bic. becomes more and more widely known and it is used today for almost all written purposes and for certain formal kinds of speaking. the tenses are associated with the division of time.45. and Central Africa. 5° dialects of Syria. Among the Bedouin dialects. Modern Literary Arabic. in the Aleppo area and in oases of the Syrian desert. Sudan. Israel. with a marked tendency to place the subject before the verb and to avoid the inserting of the object between verb and subject. Rwāla. Lebanon. In almost all the Neo-Arabic dialects d has merged with z. The Arabic which is used in ordinary conversation by all speakers of Arabic. but there is some popular literature in various dialects. The relative pronoun becomes invariable. the adjective. those of the North and Central Arabian 'Anoze. Shammar. spoken by some hundred and seventy million people. 8° West Arabian dialects of the Maghrib with Malta and certain regions of western Egypt. in southeastern Turkey. is instead the colloquial Arabic in its different forms of speech. the asyndetic sentences become more frequent. From the sociological point of view the Modern dialects fall into Bedouin and sedentary colloquials. a direct offshoot of Clas­ sical Arabic. 3° East Arabian dialects of Kuwait. etc. the following division emerges: 1° Hidjazi dialects in Saudi Arabia. Except for Mal­ tese.46. and the pronoun. Bahrain. Modern Arabic dialects. The dual disappears completely in the verb. With the spread of literacy. According to geographical criteria. and its use with the substantive is limited. 4° North Arabian dialects in Iraq. 6° dialects of northern and central Egypt.ARABIC 77 7. . Palestine. 7° dialects of southern Egypt. The disappearance of the case and mood endings led to a more rigid word order in the clause. interdental spirants have shifted generally to the corresponding occlusives. that imply different linguistic substrata. in Khuzistan (Iran).

hundreds of cursive texts incised with a stylus on sticks and palm-leaf stalks have been found in the Yemeni Djawf. both epigraphic and modern. and in Ethiopic. a seden­ tary agrarian civilization developed at least from the beginning of the second millennium B. but also to shared linguis­ tic features. This subgrouping of Semitic languages corresponds not only to geographical criteria. S O U T H S E M I T I C 8.1. South Arabian 8. Monumental Cursive Transcription Y •y h 1 J* l Y 3 k © ) n X 3 h m q w s 2 _7 r b / t Monumental Cursive Transcription ri J> s 1 fi J k h V J h a o pi J> B 1 n s 3 f ?(d) g Monumental Cursive Transcription J) d Tl Á ġ m x H Jl ? .78 SEMITIC LANGUAGES 8. whole or fragmentary. South Arabian Alphabet. sometimes called "Ethio-Semitic" in order to distinguish them from the Cushitic languages of Ethiopia. A t the end of the 8th century B.C. Besides. dating down to the 6th century A. 17). with ancient Ethiopic or Ge'ez and various modern languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia.2. The present summary exposition divides South Semitic into South Arabian.D. A. but only some of them have been fully deciphered and published (Fig. A total of at least 8000 such texts. appear the oldest monumental rock and display inscriptions so far recorded. In Yemen.C. at the southern end of the Arabian peninsula.J> y % 3 _> t s t(?) t z d Fig. .. have been so far discovered. 17.

Mahra (Mehri) B . its limits extended southward to include the region of Zafar. the centre of the kingdom of Himyar. Qatabanic.D. In the 4th to 6th centuries A. since these languages had by then ceased to be used for epigraphic . have been discerned besides the modern spoken South Arabian idioms: Sabaic. 18). 18.C. 3. Djibbāl (Śheri) C .D. ) \ GULF OF ^-*^^*^OMALIA Fig. in north Yemen. 5. 4. Soqotra (Soqotri) a) Sabaic 8. where many "Yemenite" tribesmen have settled in the 8th century A. Sabaic is epigraphically attested from the 8th century B. Saba (Sabaic) Ma'in (Minaic) Qatabān (Qatabanic) Hadramawt (Hadramitic) Awsān (Awsānic) Himyar (Himyaritic) Modern A . attested by epigraphical documents. Minaic.3.D. the realm of the ancient kingdom of Saba. and eastward to cover the former Qatabanic and Hadramitic areas. A number of ancient South Arabian linguistic features have been registered by early Arab grammarians and such occur also in the earliest materials of Andalusian Arabic in Spain.SOUTH ARABIAN 79 Four principal languages. 6. 2. and Hadramitic (Fig. • •V \ SAUDI ARABIA OMAN ® „ C O YEMEN (3) ® ^ * * -^ INDIAN OCEAN v . South Arabian Languages Epigraphic 1. through the 4th century A.

they may be written in an Ethiopian language not classifiable properly as Sabaic.). Minaic inscriptions are attested at Khirbet Ma'in.C. d) Hadramitic 8.C.D. ancient Dedān.7). which are now confined to a relatively small area in and around Dofar and to the island of Soqotra.6. are . at the southern marches of Qatabān. these texts date from the 4th to the 2nd centuries B. after the Sabaean conquest of Ma'in and of Qatabān.C. To judge from the name x\ AÛGIVÍTT| f|'icbv given to the East African coast in the "Periplus of the Erythraean Sea" (1st century A.D. ancient Qarnāwu. through the 2nd century A. The Modern South Arabian languages.5.D. near modern Salālah. Chronologi­ cally. when Hadramawt was conquered in its turn by Saba. have been found also in Ethiopia. and at Qaryat al-Fāw. b) Minaic 8.7. there are texts from the Minaean trading settlements at al-'Ulā. in the Wadi Harib.4. are in fact written in Qatabanic. the capital of the kingdom of Ma'in. c) Qatabanic 8. ancient Yatil. the people of Awsān had led the way in the South Arabian trade along the eastern coast of Africa for which the island of Soqotra was undoubtedly an important sailing centre (cf. e) Modern South Arabian 8. at Khirbet Barāqish. Hadramitic inscriptions have been discovered so far in the royal residence Shabwa. Sabaic inscriptions dating mainly from the 5th-4th centuries B. They date from the 5th century B. resulting from Minaean trading activities. §8. in particular at the trading settlement of Khor Rori.C. to the end of the 3rd century A. Besides. ancient Samhar. However. The few inscriptions from the ephemeral kingdom of Awsān. Qatabanic monumental texts have been found in the Wadi Bayhān. with a few texts from other sites in the east end of Yemeni Djawf. and from scattered places outside Arabia. Their chronological spread is from roughly the 4th century B. and on the plateau to the south of the two wadis. the capital of Hadramawt.80 SEMITIC LANGUAGES purposes. in 'Oman.. Besides. and at several widely scat­ tered sites.

while South Ethiopic includes Amharic. Gafat. Śheri. Harari. Hindus. Certain features in phonology. however. and it has been doubted whether they can be considered as directly related to the old literary dialects. An answer cannot be provided easily since the majority of Ge'ez texts are translations and there is no certainty.53). They share many distinctive fea­ tures with Ethiopic. Both are generally assumed to be derived from a common Proto-Ethiopic. Tigrinya.ETHIOPIC 81 the last vestiges of a group of closely related South Semitic languages. which are absent from Epigraphic South Arabian. As for Soqotra. Argobba. The North Ethiopian lan­ guages include Ge'ez.8. in particular. and Soqotri. B. and in the Southern sharp distinction in the conjugation of main verbs and subordinate verbs (§39. which preserved its Greek name of Island of Dioscorides. and syntax justify the classification of the Semitic languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia into North Ethiopic and South Ethiopic. morphology. The main morphological differences appear in the secondary South Ethiopic gem­ ination of the second radical of the verbs in the perfect of the basic stem (§41. . Therefore. and have their own language which none but they understand". spoken by some 30. The phonological division between North and South Ethiopic is shown by the Northern preservation of the pharyngals and laryngals. Ethiopic 8.9). 19).5). and Gurage (Fig. it was inhabited in the time of the "Periplus of the Erythraean Sea" by Arabs. the question whether Tigre and Tigrinya are direct descendants of Ge'ez or not should remain open.12). The close relationship between Tigre. are Mehri with the closely related Harsūsi and Bathari dialects. also called Djibbāli. as it appears from the typical description by Ibn al-Mudġāwir (13th century): "They are tall and good-looking. in the widespread non-gemination of this radical in the imper­ fect (§38. although the speakers of South Ethiopic may descend from an earlier wave of Semitic immigrants (§8. Tigre.7).000 people. Its commercial importance was certainly great (§8. and Tigrinya. and by a Greek colony the going possibly back to Hellenistic times. The modern languages exhibit certain features. which were spoken in the whole of South Arabia. The main modern languages. The special attention paid to the Mahra tribe of this region by Arab historians and geographers was very likely due to its peculiar culture and unfamiliar language. that their syntax has not been influenced by the language of the original texts. and Ge'ez has not yet been sufficiently investigated.

Semitic and Cushitic languages of the Horn of Africa. .Fig. 19.

10. A period of bilingualism fol­ lowed. Harari. It is closely related to Ge'ez. When Semi­ tes from ancient Yemen settled in Ethiopia. Tigre.000 people. especially at Aksum. This influence of the Cushitic substratum on the Semitic languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia is a crucial problem of Ethiopic linguistics. and partially of Amharic and Gafat.C.C.3). prove the existence of ancient rela­ tions between southwest Arabia and Ethiopia and might indicate that Semitic was brought to Eritrea and to Ethiopia from Yemen in the first millennium B. is attested by epigraphic texts from the 2nd century A. a) North Ethiopic 8. if not earlier (§3.9. especially those of the 5th-4th centuries B. It was the language of the Aksum Empire. The Cushitic group lost ground. no defi­ nite conclusion concerning its ancient pronunciation can be drawn on this basis since present-day pronunciation of Ge'ez is influenced by the spoken language. Argobba. Tigre is spoken in Eritrea by seminomadic tribal communities numbering some 300. The influence of the Cushitic is stronger in the south than in the north. In the north. which still endures. 8.ETHIOPIC 83 8. as the language of worship and sacred literature. It survived as a literary language. and Saho-Afar appear as the linguistic substra­ tum of Ge'ez. in present-day Tigre province.D. Ge'ez... The South Arabian inscriptions found in Ethiopia. The Semitic languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia occupy a geo­ graphical area in which Cushitic was and still is employed. the Cushitic lan­ guages of Bedja. However. and it is still taught in the Church schools. and Tigrinya. but not with­ out having an impact on the structure and vocabulary of the South Ara­ bian idioms spoken by the conquering Semites.12. although the oldest known manuscripts go back only to the 14th century.D.. although it is not certain that it is the direct descendant of the language of the . and particularly by Amharic. Ge'ez remained a spoken language until the end of the 9th century A.11. and Gurage. they imposed their South Arabian language on this Cushitic domain. called also Ethiopic.D.D.. while Eastern Sidamo or Highland East Cushitic covered the domain of Amharic.9-11). 8. which was con­ verted to Christianity in the 4th century A. Agaw. which were influenced also by Oromo and by Somali (§2. The Bible was translated from Greek into Ge'ez between the 5th and the 7th centuries A.

magazines.13. Argobba was still recently spoken in a few villages to the north of Addis Ababa. 8.D. unless stated otherwise. the language is closely related to ancient Ge'ez. It is with Amharic that Argobba has the greatest number of essential features in common. As in the case of Tigre. are preserved in Arabic script and more recent texts. The references to Amharic. The absence of these features in Amharic is due to the fact that it represents an innovated type of South Ethiopic. Tigrinya is spoken by some five to six million people.15.14. 21). Tigrinya is thus. Harari has several features in common with North . It was mainly influenced by two Cushitic languages: the Bedja and the Agaw. and on the vocabulary. 8. It was spoken also to the south of Harar.04- SKM1TIC LANGUAGES Aksum Empire. written in Ethiopic script (Fig. b) South Ethiopic the present Outline are based on the literary language. also on a few grammatical points. Tigrinya literature. with a marked difference between towns and the countryside. have been written in Ethiopic script. but the lan­ guage disappeared in favour of Cushitic Oromo. is only in its beginnings. Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia. from the 19th century. the living Semitic language with the largest number of speakers. There are dialect variations in Amharic which bear on phonol­ ogy. mostly Christians. dating to the 16th century. 8. but it is developing steadily with papers. Some Harari texts. The references to Tigre in the present Outline are based in particular on the dialect of the Mansa' tribe. and books being produced. Amharic syntax and vocabulary are strongly influ­ enced by Cushitic. It is spoken in the central and southern highlands of the country by some fifteen million people. Harari is spoken in the city of Harar in eastern Ethiopia. especially regarding palatalization.14).16. The earliest known document written in Tigrinya is the code of customary law discovered at Sarda and dating from the 19th century A. it was influenced mainly by Agaw. and Amharic lacks the archaic features discernible in other South Ethiopian languages. in the Tigre province of northern Ethiopia — hence Tigrinya is called also Tigray — and in the central regions of Eritrea. The oldest Amharic documents actually known are songs from the 14th century A. after Arabic and Amharic (§8.

Gurage is a cluster of rather divergent dialects spoken to the southwest of Addis Ababa by a population numbering about 600. e. No extra-linguistic data help us yet in answering this question. "child".000 persons or more according to other estimations. Gogot.. 8.18.17). It is the only Semitic language preserving. and the dialects spoken on the five islands of Lake Zway. m àssa in Muher. Later. related to Egyptian mś.ETHIOPIC 85 Ethiopic and the opinion was expressed that Harar was a military colony from northern Ethiopia. and mossa in Soddo. Leslau from four native speakers. Ennemor. the plural noun kitac (< *Jcitāti). Gafat has some archaic characteristics and a number of features in common with the North Gurage dialect Aymallal. Endegen. Wolane. The Soddo and Gafat domains must have been once contiguous. in western Ethiopia. which are alternatively considered as a sub-branch of West Gurage. called also Soddo (§8. the root is attested in Gurage with the meaning "calf". There must have been a territorial continuity between the East Gurage and the Harari speakers. later dis­ rupted by population movements. Its study is based mainly on a translation of the Song of Songs made from Amharic into Gafat in 1769-72 at the request of James Bruce and on the ample documentation collected in 1947 by W. from the root mśì. From the three main groups of dialects. This word appears as mossa in Amharic and as muda in Oromo.17. and Masqan. "little one". the movements of the Oromo tribes sepa­ rated them. an East Gurage group including Selti. corresponding to Coptic mase. related to ancient Egyptian ktt. "calf": m asa in Chaha.g. "to give birth". w w . Gafat was a Semitic language spoken in the region of the Blue Nile. At present. It also preserved the noun mossay. "child". and Gyeto. with a possible sub-group Muher. the language disappeared com­ pletely in favour of Amharic. the Eastern ones come closely to Harari and have several fea­ tures in common with North Ethiopic. Eza. The Gurage dialects are divided into three groups: a West Gurage group including Chaha. "children". 8. and a North(east) Gurage group represented by Soddo or Aymallal.

since writing systems may condition and even influence linguistic data. as well as the Amarna letters. Yet. make use of the cuneiform writing system.1. graphic and largely inadequate representation of spoken language. in fact. the graphs of which. the texts were arranged in horizontal lines progressing from left to right. Cuneiform Script 9. L A N G U A G E AND S C R I P T 9. as emphatically expressed but unskilfully worked out in his book La langue hébraīque restituée et le veritable sens des mots hébreux rétabli et prouvé par leur analyse radicale (Paris 1815-16). the elements of the cuneiform script consist of syllabic signs or syllabograms. The written records of North and East Semitic. being aware that these elements are "signs" of the real words. However. There is even a greater difference between a living language and a "dead" language.2. This was already perceived by Antoine Fabre d'Olivet (1768-1825) who refused to identify the letters and the vocalization of ancient Hebrew writing with actual phonetic elements. A graph in the cuneiform writing system is a wedge or a cluster of wedges imprinted in clay. that it reflects a standard speech while true dialectal forms transpire but rarely. Most languages have existed and still exist as purely oral forms of communication. A. a student of linguistics must remember that writing is still only a secondary representation of language.7). often followed by . formu­ lated in common types of script the rigid conservatism of which helps concealing local pronunciations. were arranged in vertical columns progressing from right to left. written records also present indubitable advan­ tages and the debt of modern society to writing is enormous. which uses alphabetic cuneiform signs. Granted the importance of writing. A treatment of Semitic scripts lies out­ side the scope of the present work. the precursors of the phonemes as distinguished from their actual realization (§10. With the exception of Ugaritic. of word signs or logograms. in particular for the knowledge of ancient lan­ guages. and that spoken language provides the final clue for understanding its written expression. the following apercu deals with the essential facts of the Semitic writing systems. Such a graph is called a "sign" and its referent in the language is called its "value". His "signs" were. Writing is no more than a secondary.86 SEMITIC LANGUAGES 9. At a somewhat later stage. when Semitic texts first began to be written in it. or imitations of such imprints in other materi­ als. deprived of sound and gesture.

unvoiced. This applies in particular to the Ebla texts that cannot be under­ stood by taking the cuneiform signs at face value. and semivowels. The writing system was not designed for Semitic and palliatives. but the distinction of i and e does generally not find expression in the writing. es. the indication of the length of vowels and of the doubling of consonants never received a satisfactory and unam­ biguous solution. therefore. and of determinatives that specify the class or category of the word which they determine. besides giš. the morpho-graphemic spellings like qa-qa-ad-šu. and K I has the values ki. ez. ti. without being pronounced. The Sumerian or Pre-Sumerian origin of the cuneiform writing system. In short. the distinction of interdentals and dentals. laryngals. the notation of pharyngals. The indication of vowels by syllabograms is of con­ siderable assistance to the linguistic analysis. of voiced. Word dividers consisting in small vertical wedges occur irregularly in Old Assyrian texts and they are often used later in Ugaritic cuneiform alphabetic script. and the changes occur­ ring between earlier and later texts cause problems for the correct analy­ sis of the Semitic phonology. neither in Sumerian nor in Semitic words. Thus. qé. Besides. but may also signify yib or yip at the beginning of a verbal form. also the consonantic elements require an appropriate evaluation and an interpre­ tation. In particular. is. B. the sign D I stands for di. eb. such as scribal conventions and later differentia­ tions of signs. correspond to an actual pronunciation qaqqassu. 9. In other words. to reach phonetically satisfactory conclusions without using data drawn from comparative Semitic linguistics. The sign GIŠ has the values iz.3. never reached a point where it could be said that every combination of phonemes found expression in the writing. de.LANGUAGE AND SCRIPT 87 phonetic complements. and emphatic consonants belonging to the same "triad". "his head". Alphabetic Script 9. use consonantal alphabetic scripts developed from an alphabet created in . which are often described as reflecting the deep morphological structure of the language (qaqqad + šu). ep. ip.4. it is difficult. in accordance with genuine East Semitic morpho-phonemic rules. es. te. The West and South Semitic languages. the local variations in the use of signs. for instance. ke. qí. as well as Ugaritic. is. the cuneiform sign IB has the values ib.

the Ugaritic script of the 14th century B. short or long. This vocalic use of the letters under consideration was borrowed by the Greeks together with the Semitic alphabet and was extended to short vowels. Greek o was not borrowed directly from Semitic but by application of the acrophonic principle to the Greek translation 6(p9aA. The main lines of the evolution of the Semitic alphabet are shown schematically in Fig. The use of the matres lectionis w and y is also attested in the South Arabian type of alphabetic script. distinct from the original ' that received the value 'a. y served to indicate lie. the West and South Semitic lan­ guages used its original linear form which developed into two distinct types of letters: the so-called Phoenician alphabet with twenty-two let­ ters and the South Arabian alphabet with twenty-nine letters. 20. Christian Palestinian Aramaic hyy' l(h)ayyal.C. already possesses two supplementary signs 7 and 'w. These three signs could be used also to mark the vowels a.5. However.C.C. written in monumental . there is no notation at all for ā. at least in Human texts written in alphabetic cuneiform script. and based on Egyptian hieroglyphic signs. like in later Semitic texts. and later in Arabic. of Semitic 'ayn. to a limited extent. a fully developed use of matres lectionis or vowel letters appears in Aramaic and in Moabite as early as the mid-9th century B. While the Ugaritic script represents a cuneiform adaptation of this new writing system. 9. not even in the Pre-Clas­ sical Arabic inscriptions from Qaryat al-Fāw.6. Besides. 9.C. h was used initially to mark final -ē and then also final -ā. i/e. Three or four consonantal signs of the Phoenician alphabet received a supplementary function in order to indi­ cate long final vowels and. "eye". for which also ' served in Aramaic. perhaps as early as the 8th century B.6c. The Semitic alphabet was originally purely consonantal in charac­ ter.u. Only Mishnaic Hebrew and some Late Aramaic dialects show the practice of indicating consonantal w and y by a double spelling ww and yy\ e. "the life".g.88 SEMITIC LANGUAGES Canaan in the mid-second millennium B. u. Mishnaic Hebrew ywwny /Yawnē/ instead of Biblical Hebrew ybnh lYabnēl. The ambivalent use of w and y allows some­ times for the possibility that either the diphthong aw/ay or a long vowel is represented in a word. even long medial vowels: w was used to mark ū/o. probably because its creation was inspired by the Egyptian hiero­ glyphic "alphabet".. Instead. with the same vocalic values ū/d and ī/ē.

20. . Evolution of the Semitic alphabet.Proto-Canaanite Beth-Shemesh tablet = "South Arabian" Phoenician Western Eastern Jewish Nabataean Palmyrene Syriac Mandaic Arabic Fig.

In addition to these 231 forms. however. placed above the letter. These deficiencies have been partly obviated in the 7th-9th centuries A. "tight". Contrary to the other West Semitic languages. The orthography. "while". mh /mā/. has two defects: it does not indicate the gemination or consonantal lengthening. by a complicated system of diacritical signs . Occasion­ ally.8. placed also above the letter. "your brother". Besides. The gemination is marked by a small p. h can be used for a. Vowel notation by means of matres lectionis does not fix the meaning and the reading of texts in an unambiguous way. Besides. \h.' stands for a. comparable to some extent with the cuneiform writing system. 21). the pronunciation of Ge'ez preserved in the Ethiopic Church is influenced by Amharic. In the second system. an abbreviation of pbq. In some Late Phoenician inscriptions from Cyprus and in Punic. the Late Punic and the Neo-Punic inscriptions did employ w. Vowels have thus become an integral part of Ethiopic writing which assumed a syllabic character. and ' for o.D. each of which occurs in a basic form and in six other forms known as orders. they indicate an internal long vowel as well. according to two differ­ ent systems (§21. and ' as vowel letters. there are thirty-nine others which represent labialization and are usually listed as an appendix to the main list (see Fig. y. Besides. 'dh /'idâ/. and ' for e and o. while the non-gemination is marked by la. an abbreviation of yàlalla. The latter uses the traditional Ethiopic syllabary with additional signs: it has thirty-three characters. 9.9. except in a few forms brought about by linguistic change. and it uses the same set of symbols to mark the vowel d and the absence of any vowel.g. like in 'hwhm /'ahūhum/. e. "that is loose". "what". 9. h. Two additional symbols indicating gemination and non-gemi­ nation are often used in traditional grammars written in Amharic. Besides. The South Arabian script has been adapted in Ethiopic to denote seven vowels by a variety of changes in the shape of the consonantal symbols. however. the Lihyānite inscriptions of the Hellenistic period follow the Aramaic scribal tradition and use h as a vowel letter for â. Phoenician did not use any vowel letters. The best represented system uses ' for a. 9.14).90 SEMITIC LANGUAGES South Arabian script (§7.42).7. h for e. there is a notable deficiency in the absence of any consistent marking of gem­ inated or long consonants. w and y are exceptionally used as vowel letters in foreign names or words. However.

21. * ft- d T ft /» f p T X 7 r * Fig. ft. + + ì 7 h h Ii a* 0 II * i h<h n V ? n » T y. h. . ft. <K Ax 0O <% •» IP V* 9 <h 1° *% I Ù n <* 6 ii it ** & ÌÍ y Q ft 75 •fl A A. *) »i tf 1 •* k h<k w z z y d è g t c p s S < Ś tb h.T l <P <*.ft0* ft.L A N G U A G E AND SCRIPT 91 Consonant + w + Vowel 1 w 1 1 Name of the letter ! hoy lawe S hawt may šawt rees sat šat qāf bet tawe cawe harm nahas nahas 'alf kaf kaf wawe 'ain zay zay yam an dent ġent garni tait cait pait saday dappa af pesa Trans­ cription Consonant + Vowel 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 a/a u i a/ā e 9/0 o V V* a w 3 i w 4 a w 5 e 6 h 1 ii A- it /t y % A. n. * ÎÍ * * a- * p. H & ll H Ii. 7* ft. Amharic syllabary. Ti •» w ù /> II IT f A TP 7 T TC P ft. h Ti. IT * 7 7« X m m* Ok fitfe ft 0 * ft. T *n C k Cr ft k ft ft 4. AM u tf A" A r h<h m s<š r s š q b t a <h ih. P «7 m m. K ft. ? p.

and later for Classical Arabic. later reduced to one dot. new sounds are represented. The pronunciation thus fixed was a traditional one. and eventually to the pronunciation of some consonants in modern conserv­ ative idioms such as Modern South Arabian. Different punctuation signs have been used in the alphabetic script to divide each two words of a text. The old­ est attestations of a diacritical dot distinguishing d and r are found in the Palmyrene inscriptions of the 3rd century A. 9. The use of diacritics is widespread and serves to distinguish various sounds expressed by the same consonantal symbol.92 SEMITIC LANC. for example. Hebrew. The three systems are used in the Aramaic Tell Fekherye . but no definite conclu­ sion concerning the older vocalizations can be drawn on its basis. sometimes to three dots. 9.D. Thus. the three sounds /. Hebrew. where / was indicated by the letter "s". one gets ġ. and South Arabian spellings. A similar system was adopted in modern times to write spoken Aramaic that contains an expanded sound system comprising some thirty-one consonantal phonemes..D. e. the languages of Transjordan. especially for the reading of the sacred texts. With a sim­ ple dot placed under " g " one obtains ġ. The real phonemic status of the languages using the Phoenician alphabet can only be established by synchronic comparisons with cuneiform. and in Syriac. except in the Tell Fekherye inscription of the mid-9th century B.10.11. š. In Early Aramaic. They go back either to a verti­ cal stroke used as word divider or to a pair of dots arranged like a colon (:). and Classical Arabic. with a small upside-down v-like diacritic under the same letter. That "punctuation" system was further developed by Arab scribes who called it naqt and used diacritical dots to distinguish consonantal phonemes represented by the same characters. the script of which derives from the Nabataean Aramaic cursive.g. to much later diacritic signs. in Arabic and in Neo-Aramaic. placed one on top of the other. Using the same principle one gets h and c from " k " . or by diachronic references to later spellings. The use of these diacritics is attested in the earliest Islamic papyri and inscriptions from the 7th century A. The twenty-two symbols of that alphabet could not express the Semitic phonemes which did not exist any more in Late Canaanite and Phoeni­ cian languages. The so-called Phoenician alphabet was used for Aramaic. Jewish Aramaic.DACES aiming at fixing the pronunciation of Syriac. and ś were all designated by the same symbol " š " . by adding special diacritics to a number of the original twenty-two letters.C. hieroglyphic. etc.

in particular. The transcription of Semitic words."who campaigned up to Thadj".. follows the usual conventions and is based mainly on the standard form of the languages concerned. In Masoretic Hebrew. the pair of dots (:) is used as verse divider. Besides. The pair of dots and the single dot are better attested. although occasional references to such tran­ scriptions occur in the part dealing with phonology. or in Hebrew characters and called "Judaeo-Ara­ bic". The three dots occur on the Lachish ewer from the 13th or 12th century B. 9. mainly biblical and liturgical. there are West Semitic inscriptions and even Ethiopian newspapers where the words are run together. Transcription and Transliteration 9. "and he acted neither for reward nor for favour" (cf. in . From the mid-first millennium B.C. and in two lines of the Tell Fekherye inscription. Allophones are indicated only in special circumstances. A different but related problem concerns the use of one offshoot of the Semitic alpha­ betic script to write texts in another Semitic language. which uses four square dots arranged in a square pattern (::) as a sentence divider.C.13. The vertical stroke keeps with the tra­ dition attested in Ugaritic by the small vertical wedge and anticipated in Old Assyrian texts (§9.TRANSCRIPTION AND TRANSLITERATION 93 inscription of the 9th century B.2). while the Moabite Mesha inscription uses small strokes to mark out sentences or contextual units. of mediaeval Arabic texts written either in Syriac script and named garšūnī. C. and in Epigraphic South Arabian. In particular.C. or dū 'asm li-Tāġ (dw 'sr' /fg). for exam­ ple in Nabataean Arabic: fa-yafal lā fidā wa-lā 'atarā (pyp'l V pd' wl' 'tr').. space was used to separate words in West Semitic instead of dots. and this practice began to be fol­ lowed also by printers of modern Ethiopic texts.11). in archaic Greek writ­ ing.12. This is the case. the latter is also given. in accordance with the requirements of an introduction. However. § 38. This practice was continued in West Semitic inscriptions of the 11th and 10th centuries B.C. there are Hebrew texts. When the transcription differs from the simple transliteration of the signs. two square dots are employed as word dividers in the Ethiopian writing system. which is employed in this work. instead.. No attempt is made in the present Outline to deal in a systematic way with the problem of transliterating foreign names and words into a Semitic writing system.

. and of Hebrew words in Origen's Hexapla and in a few other works. Instead. occasional reference will be made to the vocalized transcriptions of Punic words in the Poenulus of Plautus. but an Outline cannot enter into the discussion of questions they may raise and dialects they reveal. and there is a Berber translation of a Passover Haggadah in Hebrew characters.94 SEMITIC LANGUAGES Arabic transcription. Such texts may have a great linguistic importance.

consists generally in proper names. apart from a few scattered glosses. proper names change pronunciation along with the rest of the language and.1. therefore.II PHONOLOGY 10. we cannot base our phonological infer­ ences on the statistical predominance of a conservative spelling in the available sources. it is a matter of great methodological importance to distinguish between orthography and phonology in considering written documents. Sephardic. as the Ashkenazic. Thus. as those of the island Soqotra and of the montainous regions of 'Oman. There­ fore. or Yemenite pronunciation of Hebrew. I f the linguist and grammarian takes great interest in them. Particularly interesting and more revealing are the lapses. However. As for the mod­ ern proununciation of Semitic languages. enumerates forty-two consonantal speech sounds registered in Arabic by this doyen of Semitic linguistics. . he should bear in mind that the analysis of speech sounds of ancient languages is based mainly on their written notation which is imperfect and often conserva­ tive (§9.1). it is far from trustworthy in deter­ mining that of earlier periods. written in the 8th century. Yet. the famous Sibawayh's treatise on Arabic gram­ mar. are generally believed to correspond quite well to the consonantal speech sounds of Classical Arabic. it cannot be neglected in the study of ancient languages and it will be used in the present work. as well as the transcription of one language in the alphabet of another when this script is inherently unfitted to be the vehicle for an automatic transcription. Although this phonetic material is in general limited and subject to mishearing. may preserve old South Arabian pronunciations and articulations. for example. it is because they are the phonetic manifestation of the morphemes which are the minimal units of any grammatical structure. their transcription in other languages may provide some help in following the evolution of speech sounds. Although we are dependent on the orthography for discovering the phonology of ancient languages. although relatively static and isolated com­ munities. The sounds of speech can be analyzed from various points of view (§10. Such material. being part of speech. it does not reveal all the phonetic richness of the lan­ guage and does not follow its evolution in an adequate way. The twentyeight characters of the Arabic alphabet. Now.2). often concealed by the conser­ vatism of scribal practices.

The study of the articulatory movements that produce speech sounds is prelinguistic. and traditionally employed symbols and diacritics have been used to a great extent. The linguistic analysis of the sound of language as a whole and of specific languages can be considered under three headings: 1° the study of the articulation of speech sounds. the system of transliteration has been kept as simple as possible. e. These experimental procedures go over into the field of phonetics as soon as they describe the bases for the classification of speech sounds as such. and tones.g. for practical reasons. e. e. airflow and intraoral pressure measure­ ments aim at explaining the aerodynamic conditions of speech produc­ tion. can be expressed in a fairly adequate way when one uses the symbols of the international phonetic alphabet (in brackets).3. The various sounds of Semitic languages.g. "he wrote".g. in accordance with the requirements of an introduction and with the widespread practice of teachers and stu­ dents of Semitic. being con­ cerned with physics and physiology. the stress is indicated by an accent placed at the beginning of stressed syllables.96 PHONOLOGY 1. In the international phonetic alphabet. 10.2. 'kataba. in one way or another. Arabic kátaba. A synopsis of the two notation systems should make it clear. It is customary to put phonetic symbols in brackets. Speech sounds can be classified first into conso­ nants. Consonants = [?] = [Î] b = [b] ' (glottal stop) (voiced pharyngal) (voiced labial) . as far as known and described precisely. However. but word stress is shown in the present Outline by an accent placed above the vowel of the stressed syllable. [p]. B A S I C ASSUMPTIONS A. [a]. Linguistic Analysis 10. 3° the functioning of speech sounds in the language structure (phonemics). A l l the sounds of the spoken Semitic languages can be subjected. spectrography observes speech displayed in the form of acoustic energy. while glottography and laryngography help in stating the function of the glottis. to experi­ mental investigation: thus. 2° the classification and description of speech sounds (phonetics). vowels.

globalized or velar­ ized. emphatic fricative lateral. spirantized) P = [q>] ]. [c] (voiceless palato-alveolar affricate) d = [d] (voiced dental plosive) (do. [d] (emphatic voiced dental. I ] > [ts] (emphatic voiceless fricative dental. globalized or velarized) (palatalized and globalized voiceless velar plosive) q = ÍKì r = [r]. [R] (liquid trill. globalized or velarized) t = [9] (voiceless interdental) t = [t]. spirantized) (fricative palatal) S = [9] 6 = [tJ]. w (emphatic voiceless interdental. velarized) b = [P1 y y y s 1 2 3 . spirantized) ~k = M (palatalized voiceless velar plosive) I = [1] (liquid lateral) I = [*] (velarized voiced lateral) m = [m] (labial nasal) n = [n] (dental nasal) h = [n] (palatalized nasal) h = [n] (post-palatal or velar nasal) (voiceless labial) P = [p] (do. q = M . affricate) ś = [4] (voiceless lateral fricative) ś = »] (emphatic lateral fricative) š = [/] (voiceless palato-alveolar fricative) š = [f'] (emphatic/globalized voiceless palato-alveolar fricative) s = [/] (voiceless palato-alveolar fricative) s = [4] (voiceless lateral fricative) s = [s] (voiceless fricative dental) t = [t] (voiceless dental plosive) t = [t]. [t] (emphatic voiceless dental plosive.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 97 (do. velarized voiced dental) (emphatic voiced interdental) d = [d] (palatalized voiced dental plosive) = [41 (voiceless labiodental fricative) f = m (voiced velar plosive) 8 = [g] (do. uvular trill) r =M (velarized voiced trill) s = [s] (voiceless fricative dental) s = [?L [s'l. spirantized) 8 = [y] (voiced palato-alveolar affricate) = [d3l Ì (voiced velar fricative) 8 = [y] (palatalized voiced velar plosive) 8 = [§] h = [h] (voiceless laryngal) h = [h] (voiceless pharyngal) h = [x] (voiceless velar fricative) h =w (palatalized voiceless velar fricative) k = [k] (voiceless velar plosive) k = [x] (do. [t'l. spirantized or voiced interdental) d = [§] 4 = [d]. [4]. [k': [k] (emphatic voiceless velar plosive.

front) (long) (non-syllabic) (mean-mid. p .10). 'arsāh. central) (high.g. back) (non-syllabic) (central) (high. "heaven"). d. "the king"). ū thus indicated are shown in transcription (e. samā. back) (long) (higher-low. m = [a] = [*] = [e] = [e:] = [e] = b] = [i] = [i:] = m = [0] = [0:] =W = [6] = [e] = [u] = [u:l = [u] (low. /. front) (long) (non-syllabic) (lower-high. [e] = [ft]. y of Hebrew. [a] = [3l = [fe] (voiceless dental affricate) (palatalized voiceless dental plosive) (voiced labial velar) (palatal) (voiced fricative dental) (emphatic voiced fricative dental.g. Hebrew dageš forte and Arabic šadda are shown by geminating the consonant (e. k . Aramaic. The medial and final vowel letters h. "day".g. but the long vowels ā. Syriac. ra'sun. i f helpful for pointing out the etymology. Otherwise. q .g.98 PHONOLOGY í p w y z z z z = [ts] = ra = [w] = [j] = [z] = [?]. are not transliterated unless the orthography needs to be pointed out.g. p. "her land") and ' (e. velarized) (voiced palato-alveolar fricative) (voiced lateral fricative) w w w w w w Labialized consonants are transcribed b . w. r. g . ydm. g. ē. ī. t are used. k. e. back) (long) (non-syllabic) . lower-mid)) (non-syllabic) (nasalized) (non-phonemic) (mean-mid. o. A dot under the letter indicates its emphatic pronunciation. hammelek [ham:elek]. Vowels a ā a â ā a e ē ê d i ī i 0 6 0 6 6 u ū ù = M = [a:] = [«]. p. Arabic. The spi­ rant form of b g d k p tin Hebrew and Aramaic is normally not marked (§11. Normally. Hebrew mappiq and Arabic hamza are simply indicated by transliterating h (e. h . under­ lined symbols b. back) (long) (lower-mid. "head").

"he knows". "to enter". which mark the absence of any following vowel. mainly mechanical transliteration of Tiberian vowel signs (§21. low and high. when there are two level tones. although specialists in the field and a recognized orthogra­ phy of some languages. as in Rendille géèl. which is called a dental sound because the tip of the tongue is .10). [pi is called a labial because both lips are brought together to produce the sound. and other long vowels: they are all indicated in this Outline by a macron. I.4. these distinctions will not be followed for Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic. ū. some authors prefer the classificatory terms of "close". "mid". the vowel symbol is doubled in this Outline. Consonantal sounds are described in terms of points of articula­ tion. which is an artificial ultra-short vowel a inserted in Hebrew before a final guttural (§27. and "open" to "high". of the various obstacles to the freely vibrating or moving air as it passes out from the throat passage. However. is transcribed like the hatef patah used in similar circumstances after a guttural. as Oromo beeka. and "low" because of the belief that the former category provides clearer distinction. ē.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 99 No graphemic distinction is made between long vowels resulting from a monophthongization or marked by a mater lectionis.e. Cushitic. as shown in the following figure with the letter 3 (b) as exam­ ple and with the names of the Tiberian vowel signs: 3 ba {patah) bi (hireq) 3 ba/b (hatef patah) a bā/b6 (qames) bo (holem) b6 3 be (segol) 3 bu (qibbūs) 3 bē (sere) 3 ba (tewa mobile) (hatef qames) bè (hatef segol) 0 The "furtive" patah. The šdwa quiescens of Hebrew. are not indicated. Oromo. as opposed to the [t]. and Iraqw. duplicate the vowel symbol. and Chadic. Instead. as Tuareg. for Libyco-Berber. "half-open". instead of bēka. Considering the various traditional pronunciations of Hebrew vowels and their intricate historical development.19) will be adopted. The same system is followed. as a rule. For instance. Consonantal Sounds 10. In the articulatory description of vowel height. B. as in ā. the sukūn and the ġazma of Arabic. a usual. "half-close". i.

is the lowest of the back vowels. Both of these differ from / or [6]. Vowels may be described as sounds produced in a resonance chamber such that there is a minimum of interference with the freely and regularly vibrating air as it passes out from the throat passage. the three basic Semitic vowels [a]. but it is not high toward its roof. [t]. and [u] can be described in the following way: the vowel [a] as in kalb. Consonants are also described in terms of the activity of the air stream in the mouth and the activity of the vocal cords. the velum is dropped and part of the air stream passes through the nasal cavity. and from [k]. Vowels 10. as [b]. while other consonants. [k]. In the case of the nasal consonants such as [m] and [n]. The sound of palatal y ([j]) is produced by placing the front (not the tip) of the tongue near or against the hard palate. e. otherwise it is voiceless. This differ­ ence has important consequences for the phonology since stops cannot be lengthened without changing quality. The various points of articulation are represented in Fig. may be articulated with greater length (§23. which is articulated with the back part of the tongue somewhere in the region of the velum. This may vary from a slight lengthening in time of the pronunciation to much more than double. is the highest of the front í . Vowels are classified by two criteria: 1° tongue height and tongue advancement or retraction. Instead. since the tongue is bunched toward the back of the mouth. 22. or in a sharper onset and/or wipe-off of the consonant. hence it is called a velar sound. The air stream is continuous in the frica­ tives but interrupted in the plosives or stops. [m:].100 PHONOLOGY at or near the upper front teeth. as [p]. Another articulatory contrast opposes a lax articulation to a tense one which is characterized by greater energy resulting either in con­ sonantal lengthening. According to the first crite­ rion.5. as in [f] or [s]. Both differ from the pharyngals and the laryngals which are artic­ ulated respectively in the pharynx and in the larynx. [i]. the vowel [i] as in milk. the sound is called a fricative. 2° lip spreading or rounding. When the air stream must pass through a narrow opening.g. as [p]. either "king" (Phoenician) or "estate" (Arabic).1). When the vocal cords are vibrating the sound is said to be a voiced sound. called "continuants". C. "dog". It differs from the palato-alveolar š (\f]) formed with the front of the tongue touching the hard palate near the alveolar ridge. which is called an interdental because it is produced by placing the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower front teeth.

is the highest back vowel. 23. since the mouth opening is slight. The position of the tongue during the articulation of these three vowels is roughly indicated in Fig. while [i] and [u] are close vowels. Articulation of vowels. [a] [i] Fig. [u] . the vowel [a] is open and has no significant rounding or unrounding. 22. According to the sec­ ond criterion. 23. The vowel [u] as in šulmu. vowels.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS JOJ Fig. "well-being" (Akkadian). but [i] is unrounded and [u] is described as a close rounded vowel. since the tongue is bunched forward in the mouth and is high toward its roof. Points of articulation.

since this would explain the number of homophonous signs in Akkadian.g.3-4). a falling tone. "They made peace". "towards". that may have been distinctive in Sumerian or Pre-Sumerian. In Semitic. In Oromo. The rising into­ nation may be indicated in cuneiform script by an additional vowel sign (is-U-mu-u) but. as in gara. the tone is not an integral part of any Semitic word... islimū and of the declarative islimû are distinguished phonetically by intonation. In par­ ticular. "boy". for instance. This might have also been the case in the Sumerian or Pre-Sumerian language for which the Mesopotamian writing system was originally designed. In the languages called tone languages. that may consist of a single word (§50. and fad­ ing at the end of the answer íslimū. such as Chinese and most Bantu idioms. and high-falling tone (áà). The maximum num­ ber of tones systematically used in any one language to distinguish mor­ phemes seems to be about five.11) was a tone language distinguishing between high {a). Rendille ínàm.6.. " D i d the kings make peace?". Speakers may distinguish. in general. and a tone that falls and then rises. It is likely that the "ProtoSam" sub-group of East Cushitic (§2. However. intonation distinguishes one word from another. Intonation 10. tone plays an important part in some Cushitic languages. "learner". Semitic languages are not tone languages and. for example. with the pitch rising at the end of šarrānu. islimú. "year". lexical dis­ tinctions may be based on tone. a rising tone. and that sex gender of nouns designating human beings or animals was spec­ ified in "Proto-Sam" by the high-low tone for the masculine and the low-high tone for the feminine (e. bara.102 PHONOLOGY D. low (à). a low tone. it is not practicable to mark this kind of into­ nation in Semitic orthography and there are no punctuation marks designed at signifying an interrogation or an exclamation.2). in Old Babylonian. ìnám. intonation conveys shades of meaning which cannot conve­ niently be expressed by other means. among a high t6ne. at present. the two meanings of the interrogative šarrânu. High tone is indicated by an acute accent (á). and bará. Thus.. and intonation can affect the meaning of whole sentences. "girl"). tone must have distinguished the preterite (*yíqtùl) from the jussive-(*y^íẃ/) (§38. and gará "stom­ ach". . while low tone is either left unmarked or indicated by a grave accent (a). The intonation is the rise and fall in the pitch of the voice.

the other fricative. one gets a limited number of phonemes in each language. or rabblm. These various p sounds are said to be members of a class of sounds which. In nearly every language the number of distinguishable sounds is often quite large and greater than the number of consonants and vowels indicated by a current writing sys­ tem (§10. however. such as Hebrew pat and bat. etc. "he lived long". /p/ and /b/ are both plosives or stops. the postvocalic p is spirantized and pronounced as a labial fricative [cp] or p. begins with a voiceless labial plosive or stop. "north". "servant". "bird". one is dental. . "he perished". is in contrast with other such classes. When two words differ by only one phoneme. Instead. where the internal voiced labial plosive is geminated. because one is plo­ sive.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 103 E . as a whole. It is customary to represent phonemes by symbols enclosed in slant lines. the phoneme /b/. both are voiced sounds.e. The phonemes /d/ and ' or / Î / in Arabic damara.1). In a minimally distinct pair of words. and 'amara. Current linguistics distinguishes sharply between speech and lan­ guage. which begins with a voiced labial plosive. that are conso­ nants. i. the number of significant differences is smaller and may correspond more or less to the number of consonants and vowels marked by a writing system. hence each language has its own set of phonemes or distinctive sounds. "bit". short and long vowels. are not minimally distinct. For instance. where the postvocalic spirantized b is pronounced as a labial fricative [p] or b. or 'ebed. in Hebrew the word pat.7. both are labial and the only difference is that /p/ is unvoiced and /b/ is voiced. in sāpon. the words are said to be a minimally distinct pair. Of course. Such a class of sounds is called a phoneme. the phoneme /p/. phonemic distinctions differ from one language to another. and intonations. The members of a phoneme are called its allophones. the internal consonant sound is a voiceless labial plosive geminated. Semitic languages have between 35 and 50 phonemes. "daughter". By grouping the sounds in such a way. the other pharyngal. between sounds and phonemes. Thus in Hebrew pat and bat. in sippor. Phonemes 10. "many". then the two phonemes are minimally distinct phonemes. i f there is a difference of only one distinction between the two phonemes in question. for instance with the class b represented in such Hebrew words as bat.

"sabbat". kbd and kbt. Tigre 'ādad ['ādat]. /d/ and /t/. since the distinction between voiced and unvoiced sounds. "to guard". Another development consists in spirantization or palatalization of occlusives in order to ease the enunciation (§11. "victory". where the phonemic distinction between voiced and voiceless consonants is non­ existent. "well". "full moon". and it is missing in the Cypriot Greek syllabary. Early evidence points to a similar situation in ancient Semitic. etc. as well as the Egyptian transcriptions k-p-n and k-b-n of Gbl. "to protect". dmr > zmr/dmr and tmr > smr. normal in speech. or velar phoneme. . Still in prehistoric times. wst and wsd. A similar devoicing of occlusives occurs also in some Indo-European languages. Such a devoicing. "to make". 18. e. ndn and ntn. In Mycenaean Greek. is well known in the spelling of foreign names and it occurs in informal texts as well. the Syriac inscription 'lshāq bar Dāwīt or the Latin coin legend Turris Davit. might not be an original fea­ ture of Proto-Semitic. "number". In any case. nbk and npk. šbt and špt.8. this distinction is expressed graphically only for the dentals. dū and íẅ ("šu") > še. The his­ torically attested spellings 'bd and 'bt. "to give". but b/p is again treated as one phoneme in Neo-Assyrian.. "to be heavy". "to be firm". "who".g. the history of all languages that can be followed over a long period of time shows that voiceless occlusives become voiced. "breath". and spoken Semitic languages show that voiced consonants may become voiceless in contact with other consonants and in final position in the syllable. for instance. "to perish". these allophones or phonetic variants would have received a phonemic status in the languages con­ cerned. "Byblos". /g/ and /k/.10. and perhaps some other similar pairs were origi­ nally allophones or free variations of the same labial. The description of the minimal differences has a certain impor­ tance in comparative Semitic phonology. nbš and npš. "life". Voiced and Unvoiced Sounds 10. and the frequent lack of differentiation between voiced and unvoiced sounds in Semitic cuneiform writing may in fact suggest that /b/ and /p/. /d/ and /t/. In this hypothesis. "this". interdental.104 PHONOLOGY F . dental. e. as in German before other occlusives. Neo-Aramaic glabtā [ġlapta]. the original Proto-Semitic consonan­ tal pattern could be compared with Sumerian and Chinese.5-6). The phonetic realization is another question. b'l and p'l.g.

and followed by a glottal stop ': p'. "to be alert". Besides. etc. "to k i l l " . "near". In standard Ugaritic. è. It is uncertain which of these characteristics — glottalization in Ethiopic.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 105 G. The appearance of the velar fricative ġ signifies that the pharyngalization of the interdental fricative t had supplanted the basic character of this phoneme. there are pre-glottalized allophones pronounced with a closed and stationary glottis in the initial phase of the articulation. as well as the appearance of the vowel u in the neighbourhood of emphatics in East Semitic. or qtl. tr > ġr. and perhaps yqt > yqġ. s. In Arabic. as far as it is to be considered. śhq. called tafhlm in Arabic. ktl. may explain the variant forms of certain Semitic roots. A different problem is raised by the Semitic emphatic sounds that are pronounced nowadays in the Ethiopian languages and in Mod­ ern South Arabian as ejectives. which probably originated from t and ś. and qtl. Because of this spread of the suprasegmental velarization. 't. all the aforementioned changes and transcriptions point to a pharyngalization. new emphatic consonants arose also in modern dialects. the spreading of the velarization over the whole word. accompanied by a velarization. the latter can be seen by means of a radioscopy which shows how the emphatic phonemes are articulated with a raising of the back part of the tongue in the region of the velum. with vocal cords tightly closed and pushed upward. "to guard". inassur instead of inassar. while h is a voice­ less velar fricative. This velarization gives them. how­ ever. 's. t. a sombre «-like quality that tends to spread over the whole word. Since " q " marks a velar plosive and " " ' was used to indicate also the voiced velar fricative ġ. for instance in qurbum instead of qarbum. instead. "mountain". mty > mġy. the following changes are ascertained: tm' > ġm'. i. thus 'k.e. is very limited. such as dhk. "he guards". and shq. A comparable phenomenon is attested in Aramaic by the spellings " q " and " " ' used to mark d < ś and by the Neo-Assyrian transcriptions of this phoneme with hi or qi. s\ c'. t'. . k/q.9. the characteristic articulatory feature of all the emphatic phonemes is the contraction of the upper pharynx. ntr > nġr. velarization or pharyngalization in Arabic — should be considered as primary. ancient phonetic changes and transcriptions of the emphatics z and d. "to laugh". Their phonemic load. k\ also transcribed p. However. Emphatic Sounds 10. and the surrounding vowels. support the primitive character of the pharyngalization which characterizes the Libyco-Berber emphatics as well. "to be thirsty". like in Ra-hia-nu I Ra-qi-a-nu for Raśyān. Besides. "to arrive".

10. The phonemes constitute the basic structure of the material of the language. supported in Ethiopia by the influence of the Cushitic languages. The phonemes of ancient written Semitic lan­ guages are reconstructed on the basis of various indications. that tends to be replaced by the glottal stop or by a glottalized velar plosive k' (among the Georgian-speaking Jews). Economy of effort seems thus to have brought about this development which does not indicate. points to its being a secondary feature. Modern South Arabian. One should rather note that all these forms of speech are also characterized by an almost complete non-occurrence of the pharyngal '. the com­ mon Semitic or Proto-Semitic phonemic system can be reconstructed with a high degree of probability. that the dialects in question had a glottalized emphatic velar in an earlier period. and it is out of them that the words and the grammatical forms are formed. transcrip­ tions in other languages and scripts. The geographical setting shows.11. Therefore the replacement of the pharyn­ galization or velarization of the emphatics by their glottalization may reflect the same phenomenon as the change ' > '. it must result from an articulation which is limited to the glottal contraction. such as tra­ ditional pronunciation. The phonemes of spoken Semitic languages can be described and analyzed on the basis of observation of what happens when speech is produced. and comparative Semitic linguistics. while the laws of phonetic correspondences between the branches of Afro-Asiatic have not been sufficiently elucidated. orthographic peculiarities. but it cannot be ascribed to the sole influence of Cushitic. description by mediaeval grammarians. on the other hand. . Although there remain doubts and uncertainties.106 PHONOLOGY The fact that the glottalization of emphatics is not found in Semitic outside Ethiopic. H.8). without the retraction of the tongue and a raising of its back toward the soft extremity of the velum. As for the phenomenon q > ' in many Arabic urban dialects. and in Hebrew as realized by some Jews of Algeria and Morocco. that this development did not happen under the influence of Cushitic (§18. therefore. in Tigre before a consonant. Proto-Semitic Phonemes 10. and also Hebrew as pronounced by Georgian-speaking Jews. 10.

Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic also possesses the three corre­ sponding long vowels: ā ([a:]). 24. and the low vowel [a]. ī ([i:]). some of which have certainly a phonemic status when used in concrete circumstances. 24. . High/close front palatal unrounded / ([i]). Besides. ū ([u:]). Front high mean-mid lower-high lower-mid higher-low low [£] Central Back [u] m [e] [9] [o] [e] [9] m [a] Fig. High/close back velar rounded u ([u]). Location of vowels.BASIC ASSUMPTIONS 107 Consonants Plosive Labial Dental Interdental (Pre)palatal Velar Pharyngal Laryngal pb t dt kg q ' Fricative s zs tdt (z) š hġ h' h Lateral ś ś (d) Liquid Ir Nasal m n Semivowel w y Vowels Low/open back velar a ([a]). [a] Intonations Besides the word-stress Semitic languages have various sentence stresses or pitches. vocalic functions of / and r are identifiable in some forms of speech and numerous vocalic variations are attested in Semitic since its most ancient historically attested phases. They are intermediate in height between the high vowels [i] and [u]. The location of various vowels with regard to the front-back and high-low dimensions is indicated in Fig. but they acquired the phonemic status in several Semitic languages. The vowels e/ē and o/o do not belong to the common Semitic phonemes.

12. in the paragraphs dealing with the single phonemes (§11-22). Proto-Semitic phonemes underwent a great variety of phonetic changes in the course of time. These changes are examined in the apposite para­ graphs dealing with gemination and various conditioned sound changes . i. dissimilation. 10. Egyptian hk3. by the mod­ ern pronunciation of native speakers. The innumerable phonetic changes found in the history of Semitic languages represent three major types of phonemic development: 1° the phonemic shift consisting in the change of a phoneme of one sound-type into a phoneme of another sound-type (e. for instance.. Prehistorical changes can be recon­ structed by comparison also with Afro-Asiatic languages other than Semitic. corre­ spond synchronically to conditioned allophonic variations and manifest themselves through assimilation. "to be right". reconstructed changes cannot be treated in the same manner as historically attested develop­ ments which are revealed by orthography and its deviations.108 PHONOLOGY 10. Only a careful consideration of historical changes enables us to draw any conclusions regarding pre­ historical developments.g. e. is compared with Semitic. of Turkish words in Neo-Aramaic) are two additional types of sound changes in a language. anaptyxis.g. The equations may become quite interesting when Egyptian. ss > rs). The latter changes. independently from the conventional nature of Egyptological transcriptions. Prehistorical. termed "conditioned". of the velar fricatives in Assyro-Babylonian) and the rise of a new phoneme by bor­ rowing (e. 2° the phonemic merger or total assimilation (cf. nt > tt) or in the emergence of a new.g.g. either short (e. § 27. prosthesis. m > mb/p) or dou­ ble/long (e. The monophonemization consisting in the change from a cluster of two phonemes into a single phoneme is a phonemic merger. "to be heavy". and by evidence from contact between languages. as a rule. A l l phonemic changes may occur either in all positions or only in specific ones.3-10). metathesis. dd > nd. the coalescence of two phonemes resulting in the exclusive occurrence of either one of the two contrasting sound-units (e. i.e. ś > d).g.Semitic šlm. dt > dd)\ 3° the phonemic split consisting in a bifurcation of two phonemes out of the allophones of one initial phoneme. Egyptian wdn = Semitic wzn / 'zn.13. while the diphonemization consisting in an opposite development is a phonemic split. etc. to Egyptian snb .g. by comparative evidence. The phonemic loss (e.g. We may refer. "to be healthy".e. The former are usually called "unconditioned" and they are examined. elision. possibly intermediate type (e. "rule" = Semitic hqq.g. since more radical divergencies are then revealed.

Its presence in some Semitic roots could probably be explained as resulting from an original geminated bb as is the case in West Gurage where the sound p is an allophone of bb. Eza dàbbàrā. etc. word or name has p. It is relatively rare in Ge'ez and its symbol does not occur in the Aksum inscriptions. since each man's pronunciation is governed by the general conventions followed in his milieu. Also Ethiopic possesses a p in addi­ tion to the/. "he added". it has further a labial nasal m and a labial semivowel w.D. Ennemor. 27). . and Gyeto dàpàrā. the Arabs pronounce it as [f] or [b]. 4° sound change affects only certain sounds in a given language at a spe­ cific period of its history. These are four: 1° phonetic change is usually regular in that it affects all the occurrences of a phoneme in certain clearly definable positions in the utterance. §18. "autumnal". however. Ethiopic pos­ sesses. e. "curtain". it probably origi­ nated through the spirantization of p into [q>]. from English "pipe". pēp. where a Persian. "sword". Some general principles. Endegefi dāppārā. may usefully be posited at this point.2. Greek. 2. from Persian parde.7). and in Ethiopic. in South-Arabian. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two labial plosives. all the speakers in a given speech community together. 2° phonetic shift affects. is pro­ nounced in Arabic firind or birind. The phoneme p occurs in Eastern Arabic dialects. in particular b .g. 3° the speakers of a given commu­ nity are unaware of sound change. e. and the Sabaic transcription bit of Greek 7taÀÂá5(ss) — designating the widespread Athenian tetradrachms with the head of Pallas Athena — indicates that the letter V could not be used to express the Greek n.g. In other dialects. Pliny's Latin carfiathum. voiceless p and voiced b. as a rule. which nevertheless require qualifi­ cation. "pipe". testifies to this shift in South Semitic already in the 1st century A. h .109 (§23. a series of labialized consonants. Persian pirind. "autumn". e. besides. w w w w w 11. Original /p/ is realized as the voiceless labiodental frica­ tive /f/ in Arabic. and in the lit­ erary language. as this is not made consciously. based on South Arabian hrf. but its use is restricted to loanwords. Chaha. q (cf.. g . k . LABIALS 11.g. parda.1.

11.. Nam-pi-gi for present-day Manbiġ. "Servant of Astarte". husband". Il-pa-rak-ka. "man.g. "to be weak". certainly corresponds to the usual qbr' with an additional change q > k. pronounced and even written sometimes as bosta. "father". When the allophones b and p reached a phonemic status.g. the sound p alternates with p. and both p and p are vari­ ants of b.À. "its door". Nowadays. Syriac qwaz < *qbz. that the current Assyriological transcription pelludû or pilludû faces the Greek transcription (3tÀ.o5co. 11.g. tarappeza = xpáns^a. and bâba. in the minimal pair bāba. Interchanges between b and p are frequent in Semitic languages and some of them go probably back to the time when b/p was one phoneme.5. e.r|TOs. "to leap". and in Modern Ethiopian languages (e. kbd > Harari kūd. in Aramaic "spring site". in posta. Pharyngalized labials are unknown in Classical Arabic and they play but a mar­ ginal role in modern Arabic dialects. become w. e.8). and be reduced to the round vowel d/ū. of rare occurrence. but b'l in Ugaritic and Amorite (i-ba-al-). The shape of its symbol is imitated from s and it is usually employed to transcribe Greek loan­ words (e. but it is already attested by the Masoretic vocalization of ( . soul"). "to make".110 PHONOLOGY 11.10). nabsā' > noša. 'bn > Gurage ūn.g. with the result. Nabataean kpr\ "the tomb". thus e. many Ethiopians substitute b for p. parāqlitos = 7tapáKÀ. which appears already in the Numidic transcription 'wdštr of Punic bd(')štrt.3. In East Gurage (Selti). "table"). with variant spellings.g. p'l.4. Different stages of this change are historically attested.g. e. Eastern Neo-Aramaic qbāltā > qwaltā. Amharic saw as against Ge'ez sab'. E. However. "complaint". Ge'ez dabsa and dawasa. Aramaic I'll-barak/. "cult". cer­ tain roots did not receive the same formalized expression in all the lan­ guages (§10. "white").g. in Modern South Arabian (e. "Arab". illustrate the transition b> b>w. "post office". in West Semitic. e.g. The further change is well represented in Neo-Aramaic (e. Ar-pa-a-a and Ar-ba-a-a. In NeoAssyrian b/p is again one phoneme. gabrā' > gora.g. "God has blessed". "person. this glottalized labial may well be of Cushitic origin. "man". Ethiopic possesses also a voiceless labial plosive p which is emphatic ([p']) and. Caution is required in these matters because of the frequent lack of dif­ ferentiation between voiced an unvoiced sounds in cuneiform writing. "stone". *lbn > lūn. where one should not assign the unusual value bá to the sign PA. like p. "liver"). A non-geminated b in non-initial position can be spirantized into b (§11.g.

g. Since there are archaic features in South Ethiopic. instead of represent­ ing unheard values of cuneiform signs. e. ġariiba for gamma. correspond to Aramaic šurbīnā. m can change into b (e. habaltu for hamaltu. "charm"). 'Iauvia stands for Old Hebrew Yabneh. u -bu for u -mu. and Assyro-Babylonian šurmīnu. 11.g. . The same phenomenon occurs also in Ethiopian languages. The inter­ change of b and m is attested also in Andalusian Arabic. ba for mā. qinnam for qinnab. with a further change b > w or m > w. Therefore Ara­ maic bar. "brother-in-law".in Assyro-Babylon­ ian words containing a labial. Syriac šarwaynā. with a similar development of p in totāpot < *taptapat. Sometimes the b disappears without leaving a trace in the labial vowel. "to escape". e.changes often into n. ymmt alternates in Ugaritic with ybmt. it is not surprising that South Arabian bn corresponds to West Semitic min. "to shape. "cypress". to Old Assyrian mer'um. " I carried". and Arabic sarw. "hemp". Chaha and Eza ndm > Ennemor ndm > Gyeto ndb. "day". "for whom?" Palaeosyrian sar-mi-na. especially in Amharic (e. "judgement". maġaha for bagaha. as well as to the verb br'. There are occurrences in which b alternates with m. "son". sum". bā smuk for mā smuk.g.7.6. Besides.g.g. explainable as Halam + Aramaizing -ān (§29.g. and inter­ vocalic m > b passing through b can become w (e. ribs. "four"). "star". The nominal prefix m. Gurage amànāgà and awànàgà. "cloud"). arat for Ge'ez 'arba't. Amorite yamamu{m) is the same word as yabamuim). "what is your name?". Soddo dabdna and dàmmàna. darn and dāw. where m and b can occasionally alternate (e. "water".g. "he rejoiced". since m reappears much later in the name of Halmān. napharu. Sporadic examples occur in modern Maghrebine colloquials. Such spellings must echo real allophones. "Aleppo". e. "master"). dual of /šarmīnu/. Tigre dabanā and damanā.54). to Middle and Neo-Assyrian mar'u. This phe­ nomenon is well attested in Palaeosyrian that exhibits spellings like Ha-lam for Halab. "total. which shares many characteristics with South Arabian languages. "daughter-in-law". Ibdn for Imdn. "booty". nšpt < mšpt.LABIALS 111 Hebrew kokāb < kawkab < kabkab. "Aleppo". "from". might be related to Babylonian māru. The same shift is sporadically attested in Aramaic. e. "son". and various cases of substitution of b for m and vice versa are attributed to the Tayyi' and Bakr dialects in North and Northeast Arabia: e.g.g. to create". The change was certainly not carried through consistently in any dialect. "frontlet between the eyes". ki A A 11.

8. e. broken plural (§31. ndbkh < madbdhā. which is written with m in cuneiform writing but transcribed šwš in Aramaic (Laos in Greek). dēq < de'iq < damiq. "south". In Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and in Mishnaic Hebrew the change m > n in final position is very common. "Arab".g. as shown by Palaeosyrian kà-ma-tum / kà-na-tù-um. The same change m > w may explain the shift from Babylonian I-lu-Me-er to Ara­ maic 7wr and it certainly occurs in Gurage dialects (e. 11. "skilled man". Palaeosyrian zumūbaru. Amharic qâmbár from Ge'ez . Gogot tambuyà next to tamuyà.26). "to be skilled". "ashes"). East Semitic wasāmu. where one also finds a probable hypercorrection of w becoming m (Muher and Gogot tamuyà for *tawdyá.g. "is good"). drwn < drwm. nwty stands for "Nabataean" in Talmudic Aramaic. "to be fit. passing through the spirantized m. Also the third radical m may change into n. nqdš' < mqdš'.g. as in A-mu-ka-nu. "parasite". which can­ not be interpreted as dissimilation of gemination. but the opposite change n > m is attested in Išm < Išn.9. "to hide".28) of *zambāru < zamāru. "to accuse". con­ firmed by Aramaic transcriptions (ss = sās < sa'as < šamaš). "man". when m is in intervocalic or postvocalic position. "to pull away". "orphan". hkyn < hkym. e.112 PHONOLOGY "bowl-like leg". "tongue. "orphan"). transcribed 'wkn in Ara­ maic. the Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian shift of intervocalic m to glottal stop and long vowel (e. as in Samaš pronounced Sawaš.. skilled". 'dn < 'dm. This change is well attested in Neo-Babylonian. e.g. "the sanctuary". related to Assyro-Babylonian kalmatu{m). 11. attested already in Antiquity by the agent noun mwsn and per­ sisting nowadays in Tuareg a-mūssen. and Libyco-Berber wsn. "God is (my) support". language". at Hatra. or baqāmu / baqānu. "song". In addi­ tion. The same phenomenon is attested in Classical Hebrew with śtm / śtn. In identical'conditions. but the b is preserved in 'rby /'Arbay/. name given to the god of Akko in the Babylonian Talmud ('Abddā zārā l i b ) . "wise person".g. The examples of the m / n alternation increase if the broader Afro-Asiatic area is taken into account with. The labial m can become w. "louse". The signs with m stand therefore for the phoneme w. and by Babylonian pasāmu / pasānu. may imply a previous spirantization of m. The occasional change m > n in medial position is found in the Aramaic name ll-su-un-ki = 'Ismk. This change occurs frequently in LibycoBerber (§ 29. awád for Ge'ez Hamad. "the altar". A-muk-a-nu or A-muk-ka-na. There are some examples of inserted b or p after m.

It is quite probable therefore that Eblaite si-pis and Ugaritic špš. "snake". where the nongeminated consonants b g d k p t are spirantized in post-vocalic position. "snake". TT. However. The original nasal may disappear in front of the inserted plosive. Apppt transcribing Hebrew 'mry. as in French chambre from Latin camera or in Greek au^poxos. as in the secondary Greek form ppoxos. Arabic does not know spirantization of labials or velars. but the plosive and the spirantized realizations have both attained phone­ mic status and are no more conditioned by their position.10. "immortal". These positional variants are attested in the Middle Ages in all Jewish Arabic-speaking communities. as in East Gurage dmbab. The spirantization of labials. and in France. only some of the six consonants are realized nowadays in Hebrew as plosives and as spirantized or labioden­ tal fricatives.g. With the exception of a few communities. Boni šimir. also a secondary m may be inserted before b. traces of the double pronunciation of b g d k p t can be detected in Neo-Aramaic. including Spain. originated from *śampšu or *śimpšu. dentals. Mandaic 'mbr' from 'mr'. p. but these two series of transcriptions do not imply regular positional variants as in the tradi­ tional Jewish reading of Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. and both attested also with the change b > w (Argobba hzwaw. both Eastern and Western. T. Old Babylonian Huwawa). Therefore we cannot be sure that Greek X. Somali šimbir-ta. In Eastern Syriac. both related to Harari and Arabic hubāb. "mor­ tal". or by %. "yoke". "the Red (Castle)".áiiJ35a reproduces a Semitic pronunciation of lamed. there are hesitations in the pronunciation of p / / . Instead. In Tūroyo. but the labials 11. 0. "mortal". with an inserted p after m. the spirantization is probably indicated by the Greek transcriptions of k. "sheep". Zap\|/ai marking the proper name Šamšay. A similar phenomenon is attested in Cushitic (e. Among the Samaritans. . "Omri". b g d kp t have survived only with one pronunciation except for p. which is pronounced b when geminated and mainly as/elsewhere. "bird") and in Indo-European languages. "snake". But no evident case of such an insertion seems to occur before p.LABIALS 113 qamar. p is never spirantized. t in the Bible: the Septuagint tran­ scribes these letters either by K. however. Rendille cimbir. and in the name of Humbaba. and velars in the various Semitic languages is well known. "sun". except in the loanwords of some dialects. like in Ect|ii|/ai. Spanish Alhambra from Andalusian Arabic 'alHamrā'. IappXaxos used for Yamlik. from popxos. 9. Although Aramaic p and k are never rendered in Demotic by / and h.

g. In various diphthongs w may be reduced to a vowel.8). sá-pu-wa-an. as in Ú-ar-ti-a /Wardiya/.g. The labial w can serve as a glide between vowels. 27. but also ā (aw > ā) (§ 22.114 PHONOLOGY b. e. Phonetic w occurs as a speech-sound throughout the life of East Semitic. "bird"). Arabic maqrū'a > maqrūwa. Assyro-Baby­ lonian pa-nu-ú-a = panūwa . The spirant consonants are not phonemic in Ethiopian lan­ guages and they can appear as free variants. but there are some sporadic traces of spirantization of non-geminated velars k. Ethiopic wof and of < 'op. "slave". colloquial Arabic wakkil < 'akkil. u (e. Gurage wáz < b àz. but its graphic notation in cuneiform syllabic scripts is imper­ fect and doubts have been cast on its phonemic status from the Old Babylonian period on. except in the case of m (§11. k . and also as an on-glide in initial position before o. m.24). The initial wa was sometimes expressed also by u+a or á+a. wu (e.g. as in Old Assyrian Tan-bar-ta and Tan-mar-ta. facts that seem to imply a previous spirantization of the labials. g . spirantization of labials and of dentals cannot be detected.g. Similarly. Amharic G àġġam or Goġġam. h . it may also result from a secondary diphthongization of a long vowel. indicated by signs with h. and the velars k.g. as in 'à-ba-al /wabāl/. Since the phoneme w did not exist in Sumerian or Pre-Sumerian.7). In Śheri (Modern South Arabian). which are allographs of Tan-wa(Pl)-ar-ta. and by the sign É having the value 'à. w w w w w w w 11. especially after u (e. q in Ethiopian lan­ guages (e. It may come from non-geminated b or m by spiranti­ zation. §19.g. cf. q can be spirantized in Ethiopic when they are not geminated. "being read").g.12.panū'a. cuneiform writing does not have any special signs to express it. the name of one Ethiopian province. The labial semivowel w has regular correspondences in all the Semitic languages. and even before a (e. The Semites were forced therefore to find ways of expressing w in their writing and they regularly used the sign PI in the function of wi. g. generally 6 or ū.11. 11. cf.1. wa.23-24). Replacement signs with b and m were also used. and from rounded phonemes b . neither b nor m may occur in intervocalic position. the divine name Nusku = Nušhu). but there is either a compensatory lengthening of the vowel or a raising of a semi­ vowel. In Assyro-Babylonian. they are not necessarily connected with post-vocalic position (e. §18. "he fed". "transporting". These replacements show that the scribes were aware of the phonetic . "flexible [shoes]"). Ethiopic labialized consonants fol­ lowed by à may alternate with consonants plus -o (<-o).3-4.

is in opposition to wld in the other Semitic languages.g. but the hamza is there a purely orthographic feature.g. The use of the cuneiform sign PI to mark yi. "goodwill". "fragrant ema­ nation". Aramaic.13. also the vowel-sign u could be used to indicate wa. "and". 11. "to be'\ in rdw and rdy. e. "lawful". A South Ara­ bian Sabaic inscription shows a dialectal tendency to replace w by y at the beginning of words and the same phenomenon is attested once in an Arabic Hidjazi poem where yāzi'ahum. In Middle Assyrian and in NeoAssyrian. There is also the regular Arabic prac­ tice of substituting ' for w/y after ā. except in archaiz­ ing script and in peripheral regions. e. the other possibility consisting in not expressing w at all.and 7. "enforcement". s 11. wu (§11. in kyn against normal kwn.and wi. Ugaritic. as well the "Canaanite" of the second and first millennia B. yld. "Nineveh". "theif commander". These forms are written 'u.C. Ugaritic. w and that the apparent changes w > m and w > b in East Semitic are to be considered as graphic replacements or allographs and not as real phonetic developments.> iin initial position. *ġāwiz > ġā'iz. A development w > y in initial position characterizes Amorite. m.g. from warita. In Arabic there is a possible development wu. Besides. yú besides wi. in the name of the letter wāw. and Canaanite (Amarna correspondence) witness to this development which had a repercussion on scribal habits. hawba instead of usual the Arabic sources. §19. e. "inheritance".fawha and fayha. E. some roots with first radical w have sporadically a variant with '. In Sabaic. a Hidjazi dialect. *'iġrāy > 'iġrā'. It is encountered in medial position after a consonant in the Hebrew and Aramaic word 'aryē. Initial w is preserved only in the conjunction wa-. "to inherit" (cf.g. The same fluctuation occurs also in Andalusian Arabic. "lion".> u. pe.14. wa. e. in a few loanwords and in foreign proper names. The loss of w at the beginning of words can generally be assumed from the Old Babylonian period on. meaning "hook". as in Ni-nu-a.13) in texts influenced by Amorite. especially in Hudhail.24). ya . The sign PI having become restricted in later periods to the values pi.LABIALS 115 correlation of the labials b. probably following the occasional spirantization of these phonemes in the spoken language. its place in the system was taken by signs with m and b. stands for wāzi'ahum. fluctuation between the semivowels w and y is sometimes seen also in medial and final positions. 'irtun. instead of common Semitic *'arwiy-. . "to bear". as in M nu-u for Ni-nu-wa. "gravity".g.

The labiodental/may result in certain conditions from the inter­ dental t and from a lisping articulation of š I s so that the sound produced is [0] > [f] (cf. In Modern South Arabian languages. tomb".2. as the sign DI used with the values di/de and ti/te. In the Jewish Yemenite commu­ nity. when com­ pared with Harari ustu. 3. Arabic pharyngalized dentals. DENTAL PLOSIVES 12. When pronounced by Bantus and Uzbeks. e. Like the other emphatic consonants. it has further an emphatic plosive t which was voiceless. This phenomenon is well-known to Arab grammarians and enters in their category of 'ibdāl luġawī or "lexical substitution". Lihyānite Rubaf for Rubat. ġadat > ġadaf. Hebrew t is realized either as t or as d. and then by analogy lef. The Jewish Sephardi communities of Italy pronounce Hebrew t as d and the voicing of final t into d also occurs in Ethiopia. with Amharic tacc. and ancient Egyptian transcriptions of Semitic names. as indicated by the traditional and colloquial pronunciation of Arabic. 12. one of which was voiced and the other voiceless.3. do not prove a voiced realization of t. since the distinction between voiced and emphatic consonants of the same group is insufficient in both systems.15. tef. Greek transcription <í>épe7i of the Syrian place name Tārib. namely in West Gurage and in Argobba. voiceless t and voiced d. It was therefore of no phone­ mic significance whether the emphatic sound was pronounced with or without voice. and Hebrew. e. The tendency of voicing a voiceless t or t is nevertheless attested in several Semitic forms of speech.os.g. which possibly goes back to a *tes alternating e. Cuneiform spellings. Masyaf for Mediaeval Arabic Masyat. / corresponded to a pair of non-emphatic ones. "under". who are unfamiliar with emphatic phonemes. "grave. The Arabic colloquials of North Africa also show a tendency of voicing t. "on". classical nataqa is pronounced ndaq. at Cherchel (Alge­ ria).g.g.116 PHONOLOGY 11. "inside". This phenomenon would explain the Egyptian pronominal suffix -/ of the third person mas­ culine singular and the Argobba prepositions wdfc. Ethiopic. 12.1. the post-glottalized t (t') has partially voiced and sometimes wholly voiced variants. as D-b-h for the toponym Tú-bi-hi. also in older Arabic. Latin formus. Greek Oepp. either plosive or . "he spoke". Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two dental plosives. "hot").

"daughter") and especially in South Ethiopic: di > ġ (§ 15. the lips are rounded. "daughter"). also known as Austronesian. .e. but the Maghrebine t is mainly characterized by its affricative articulation t. Further research is needed in both cases. The alternation d I r has left traces in Cushitic and in South Ethiopic (§17.5).g. 4.11) and it led in Cushitic to an opposition of mascu­ line k vs.g. rewbe). i. [9] and [8]. often change into the corresponding labialized consonants.transcribed 0pÚ7to~is in Greek). the front orifice is contracted. i.6.1.INTERDENTALS 117 fricative. voiceless / and voiced d. Instead of being original. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two interdental fricatives. the PN Krupssi. feminine t (§36. 40. t> c. but an alternation 11 k appears in other circumstances as well (e. The following table gives but a very partial idea of the development of the interdentals in the main Semitic languages and has to be explained below. at least in the consonantal cluster tb > kb (e.6). It is also attested for Arabic t in a few Tunesian dialects.4. widespread in the urban dialects of Morocco and of several Algerian cities. [ts]. w w 12. s > s . A change t > k took place in the Indo-European Lycian of South Anatolia. this opposition may result from a specialized function obtained by the allophones t and k of the same phoneme. and it occurs in languages of the Niger-Congo family (e. while a diacritical sign distinguishes it in Arabic from the emphatic dental fricative s. berca < berta. INTERDENTALS 13. kbatra < *tbatra / rwatra. "woman". etc.e.5. ti > c.7). it has further an emphatic frica­ tive t. Fulani debbo. the upper pharynx. thus t > t .g. Instead of the back orifice. The first alternation occurs in Semitic pronominal ele­ ments (§36.g. An example of a phoneme realized as [t] or [k] is encountered nowadays in the Samoan language which is believed to represent the oldest form of Malayo-Polynesian. plur.e. This consonant is represented by a graphic symbol of its own in Ugaritic and in Epigraphic South Ara­ bian. which is often transliterated "z". The precise phonological status of dental plosives in prehistoric Afro-Asiatic raises some questions because of the traceable alternations 11 k and dir. i. Palatalization of den­ tals occurs in Western Neo-Aramaic (e.

zu'āzum. Taš-má-Sí-piš II Taš-máUTU). the same city name as Ma-ša-du and Ma-sa-aa* .118 PHONOLOGY Pr. si. šu expresses the syllables ta. e. In the case of the Old Akkadian demonstrative.-Sem. instead. as well as of the demonstrative of remoter deixis ("that". Proto-Semitic d and t (z) are expressed by the row of the signs ZA.A. su stand for syllables containing the Semitic phonemes š or ś (e. z. No systematic distinction is made between ś and š. and tá-sa-am-ma (tś'm = ts 'm).S. one could mention sá-lim (šlm . tu (e. "to divide". "people". may signalize a phonetic distinction between the su sign. and in the expression mu-da-bil sí-kà-ri /mudabbil sikāril. as well as sa-am-si (śmšy = s ms y). si. between su -a-tum and Qatabanian oblique s wt.Ar. while the signs SA.g. su interchanges frequently with the SA. "he made good"). t dor d t Hebr.g. thus obliterating the pho­ netic distinction between ŠA and SA. t d t Ge'ez s z s 13.g. S z s Aram. the regular occurrence of the su sign in the spelling of the independent and suffixed personal pro­ noun. s (e. t> t d> d t>t Cl. s i . In Eblaite. ši. written sí-piš (cf. this interpretation is supported by the parallelism between su . "foundation".g. "you will buy". "story­ teller". However. š z s Ugar. and ni-si (nś' = ns '). "he is well". t d z E. u-sa-lim /ušallim/. and both may be expressed also by the sign ŠÈ. root zht). ti. Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian preserve traces of one interden­ tal at least. and between su -nu-ti and Qata­ banian oblique plural s mt. the overall picture corresponds to the Old Akkadian scribal practice.-Bab. where *dikr is spelt with zi {si) in agreement with Phoenician u 4 4 4 1 l 4 l A A l u 2 2 l 2 u d s*r(§14. kl 1 . used initially to express the prepalatal š. A third set of signs SÁ.2. In fact. the group of syllabograms consisting of the signs ŠA. namely the voiceless t. that are used for the three dental fricatives s. "those"). "he sits"). su group and seems to indicate that the phonemes origi­ nally differentiated by the two rows of signs were tending to coalesce in the period under consideration. In Old Akkadian. but traces of a distinctive sibilant seem to appear in the name of the Sun-deity *śpš. "my sun". u-sa-ab luttabl. and the su sign employed orig­ inally for the lateral ś. zi. the voiced phoneme d is indicated by the same signs as its voiceless counterpart i .sHm). in su-ru-uš (śrš = sVs ). su^-a and Qatabanian s w. t d t Ass. However. zu.2).g. As for the oppositions SÁ : SA and si : s i in Old Akkadian. Some irregularities occur in documents from Ebla where parallel texts quote e.

13.2-4 and offers a com­ parison with the situation in Ugaritic and Epigraphic South Arabian. A chart of the principal signs involved in the discussion of early Semitic sibilants recapitulates the outline of §13. e. e. etc. but Ia-sa-rum /Yašarwn/. SI.INTERDENTALS 119 13.4). especially regarding the transcription of Amorite names (§13. šu with SA. ŠA ŠI ŠU ZA ZI ZU ŠA ŠI ŠU ŠA ŠI ŠU SA/I/U Ugar. The cuneiform spelling of Amorite personal names clearly pre­ serves the distinction between the interdental t and the sibilants š/ś. ú-sa-ás-ha-ar next to ú-ša-ás-hi-ir. ši.g. were used to indicate the voiceless sibilant s. and also in the case of Old Assyrian texts. reservations have to be set forth in the case of the Mari and Qatara (Tell ar-Rimah) texts. expressed in the cuneiform writing by the signs of the set ŠA.5. "he turned".. SU.. The Proto-Semitic interdentals d and t (z) were coa­ lesced with the dental fricatives. Sa-am-šu.m or Šaap-si at Alalakh. T. However. t t t 'did did did š š š š Š Š s E.-Bab. The picture that emerges from the Old Babylonian period on in Assyro-Babylonian is that /. e. su indicate that the development t > š must have begun in some Amorite dialects towards the end of the Old Babylonian period. SU ZA/I/U 2 2 2 s 3 . although the cuneiform signs of the different sets may occur in free interchange. ši. š and ś have coalesced into one phoneme š. SÁ.3.g.4. si. while the signs SA. However.Da-gan /Yatūb-Dagān/. Sa-ap-si-A-du /Šapši-Haddu/. the rare interchanges of ŠA. that were coalesced into š like later in Ugaritic. ŠE. ŠA ŠI ŠU ZA ZI Amorite ŠA ŠI ŠU ZA ZI Ass.S t (Si) ŠU ŠA t t d d d ~di du ša (SO ŠU SA/SÁ SI/ZI zu SÁ SI zu SA SI 4 s s s s s s l l 1 ši SU śa su/sù SA SI/ZI/SI U su su/zu SA SI SU ZA/I/U ši ŚU su ZA/I/U sa/i/u SA SI.Akk.-Sem. Ia-šu-ub. šu. á à 13.Syr. These documents from Northern Mesopotamia still seem to reflect a distinction between / on the one side and š/ś on the other (e. ta ti tu da P. ŠA O. sa-am-si < śmš).g.g.

C. 4. flood") in Northern Transjordan. d.g.120 PHONOLOGY 13. although the alphabet borrowed from the Phoenicians makes such assessments difficult. a phenomenon which seems to prelude to the Aramaic shift / > t and to the merging of the two phonemes. 'ahd. "Tyre". new spellings begin to appear. í > t (e.31. but some words preserve the etymological d (e. ntr < *ntr.g. and in the theonym tt. the two words thrm. reflecting the shifts t > t (e. "gems". In Ugaritic.g. "he guarded"). The phonetic process reflected in these changes . The interdental d gener­ ally merges with d (e. since the " d " of Egyptologists usually cor­ responds to Semitic s. "kind". It is uncertain whether the Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions preserve the three interdentals. However. Also Ammonite seems to have preserved /. "s" stand also for /. the biblical shibbolet story in Judg. like later in Aramaic. as in 'ttr > 'tr. which are written from right to left in a shorter alphabet of 22 letters (KTU 1. 4. but the dialect referred to may be Aramaic instead of being Hebrew.9). 13. are spelt thrm and Itpn on one tablet (KTU 1.g.710). "they seized him"). and Itpn. As for t. 13. "arm").C. occasionally written hdm and tt. besides the words in which an etymological t is velarized into ġ (§ 10.24). yhtb < *yhtb. that appears about the 13th century B. 1.g. The Greek tran­ scription Túpos of the Phoenician place-name Sr might indicate that original Tūr was still dialectally realized with t when it entered Greek under the form Túpos. "sacrifice"). there are traces of an initiating process t > š appearing in the spelling 'ahrtp of the name 'ahršp and in the use of a new sign o to mark both š and t in three texts from Ugarit. especially when the word contains a laryngal or r. Ancient Egyptian D-r can simply transcribe Sr. "may he bring back"). / and t generally retain their independence. However. "he seized"). 'hdwhy < *'hdwhy.12. t respectively. 12. clearly differentiated from EtSuVv (Phoenician Sdri) and from the later attested name Eo(t))p. all of the few occurrences of etymological d are retained (e. dbh.5-6 points to the existence of / (tblt. except in the Tell Fekherye inscription where t is transcribed "s".g.8.77. They should be distinguished from the assimilation tt > tt. it can be replaced by a non-emphatic interdental in htm. In the 8th century B. '"Attar". In addition. which merged in Canaanite with dental and palato-alveolar fricatives at the time of the Proto-Canaanite inscriptions using the short alphabet of 22 letters. In two texts ( K T U 1.6. "stream.7. dr'.24). "arrows". d > d (e. In Early Aramaic inscriptions the symbols " š " . "z".

g. for instance in the Hawrān. The opposite process of free spirantization of d > d and t > t cannot be assessed for Aramaic and Hebrew before the Hellenistic period. sm' îoītm'. and x for t. often realize /t/ as [s]. interdental fricatives have shifted to the corresponding dental plosives.D. Pre-Classical and Classical Arabic maintain the three interdentals as independent phonemes and Classical Arabic uses the Aramaic symbols " d " . "they reached".INTERDENTALS 121 lasted probably for several centuries and the dental realization of the interdentals did certainly not happen at the same time in all the Aramaic dialects. 13. in Ia-at-ri-hu lYatribl. but the phoneme in question merged with s soon after the Aksum inscriptions (§ 16.44) uses 8 to transliterate Arabic d.9. in Syria (e. however. x or 8 for t. A particular feature of North Arabian inscriptions from the Tabūk (Saudi Arabia) and Ma'ān (Jordan) area consists in indicating the etymological / by the sign for ś (d). tribe".g. (§7. e. readers of the Qur'ān who have no interdentals in their own language and try to pro­ nounce them. t. In most dialects of the sedentary population. t. In cuneiform script. as well as z it). A voicing of / is attested in the Hassānīya dialect of Mauritania. "and he made a new sheepfold". "thirst") suggests that the phonemic distinctiveness of these two letters was. and dm'rn' for damā'irunā. "our hearts". Hesitations occur in Palmyrene Aramaic. /d/ as [z]. lost. or in the Algerian cities that have preserved the Andalusian dialect of Arabic (e. d. sll for til. This scribal practice is somehow related to the phonetic shifts d > d or d and d > t which are attested around the 9th century A. w-hdś śyt = w-hdt tyt. "nail"). t (conventionally transcribed "z") appears to have become a voiced interdental [d]. "covering". The Dam­ ascus fragment from the 8th century A. d (f). In fact. to some extent at least. An intermediate develop­ ment phase seems to be attested by Sabaic cursive texts which indicate the etymological t by the sign for ś (d). North Arabian t is transcribed by t. The usual Greek transcriptions are 8 for d.10. duhr.D. as phd and phz for fahd. but its acoustic value is not identical with that of d. this sign was borrowed by Ethiopic (dappa). the frequency with which s and t appear as variant spellings in the same word (e. In fact. " t " . 13.g. Besides. e. like in md'w for mt'w. "mid-day").4). and /d/ as [z]. " t " for d. In Epigraphic South Arabian. A limited evolution may be assumed in ancient South Arabian .g.g. dofor. by the early South-Palestinian Arabic spellings šahhāt for šahhād. In the North Arabian sphere. "beggar". which is attested in various Modern Arabic forms of speech. "clan.

Harari hētàra. Harari.1. t. It is pharyngalized in Arabic.g. . The same may have happened in the case of d and z. Ge'ez mm'a. Amharic and Argobba tâmma.1). s. "to fence i n " .g. against Sabaic 7'z.vs. In addition. Since the Phoenician dialect of Lapethos in Cyprus uses š in the same period to transcribe Greek /s/ in ptlmyš. "Delos". and Tigrinya lost the interdentals t. It also possesses an emphatic dental fricative s. [s]: ys wbn. In Sabaic. but post-glottalized ([s']) in Ethiopic and in Modern South Arabian. t. d and d. though here seems to be a preference for noting the sound as d. but different cases should be distin­ guished. Ge'ez. z. In Ethiopia. e.122 PHONOLOGY also for the interdentals t and d. "to be thirsty". and 'trhf.12. "upon"). "Eleazos" ('EXeá^os). "Ptolemaios". Osarapis". except in the place-name "Ctesiphon". t became s. more appropriately noted by " t " or " š " than by "s " or "s". "Ptolemaios". D E N T A L F R I C A T I V E S 14. 5. In some Modern South Arabian dialects there is loss of distinc­ tion between t and t. but [t] can alternate in Gurage with the glottal stop and become zero. that became s< z. Although s and t remained distinct phonemes in Minaic. Arabic hazara. vs.D. Argobba. and there is one case in Sabaic from Haram where Semitic t is spelt s .g. however. written qtwsf with s. The Arabic z is in real­ ity the emphatic interdental d < t (§13.11. South Mehri and Soqotri tar. 13. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two dental fricatives. 'I'd. In Semitic. Argobba hattàra. these transcriptions " t " and " Š " probably reflect a weakly enunciated Greek variety of the sound s which was likely to suggest a lisping effect. Gurage tàma-. t and d (e. d.9). North Mehri dar. Tigre. Gurage atara. In Amharic. e. it is / that is used for the rendering of a non-Semitic /s/. as in dlt. e. and Gurage t. voiceless s and voiced z. 3 3 3 3 3 3 13. Arabic zami'a. in the divine name 'ttr or 'shrm.e. This would imply a local dialectal shift t > s in the 1st-3rd centuries A. Ge'ez hasara. Most South Ethiopian languages testify thus to a different development of / (z) than North Ethiopic. tlmyt. i. the hiss of s is very much stronger and more sibilant than the Greek s (§14. which is voiceless. "he will reward". Greek /s/ is represented by s . the sounds noted by t and s have fallen in Hadramitic together into a single phoneme noted indifferently by either letter.g. "Osiri-Apis. d.

ms gd for the Aramaic loanword masgad. "clothing".3). In Palmyrene inscriptions.D.C. as in š'd (s''<f). comparable with the low pitch of Russian plain /s/. In the 8th century A. Therefore. as shown by Aramaic transcriptions.C. for this sound was obviously palatalized into [š] and could be indicated by the letter shin ("š") serving to indicate both /š/ and /ś/. In the Arabic sphere.g. The three dental fricatives s. Besides.DENTAL FRICATIVES 123 It is noteworthy that the Arabic plain /s/ is of higher pitch than most allo­ phones of English /s/. Sibawayh makes it clear that. to understand an ancient transcription of Semitic /s/ by Hittite /s/ in ku-ni-ir-ša [korilrsa] rendering Semitic qdnl{'a)rsa. The cuneiform script does not distinguish the dental fricatives in an adequate way and a change in the writing practice occurred in the first centuries of the second millennium B. the transcription of the etymological ś fluctuates between "s" and " Š " . "house of prayer") is already attested in an earlier period by a text from the Haram area.D. "rewarding". z. and the original s appears also as " š " . the North Arabian inscriptions. Neo-Assyrian /s/ was palatalized into [š]. When Nabataean Aramaic script was adopted for writing North Arabian. etymological Arabic š is transcribed "Š". both pronunciations zkr and skr are attested by the same name written zkrb 7 on three arrowheads and t-k-r-b-'-r in Egyptian transcription corre­ sponding to skrb'l. as a consequence. and the Sabaic tendency to merge s with s in the 5th-6th centuries A. while the pharyngalized /s/ displays a noticeably lower pitch than the English /s/. the phonetic distinction of these consonants was blurred. stands against standard Sabaic ks wy. "who owns the earth". "to remem­ ber". transcribed in Latin as syth.. no use was made of the letter samek ("s") expressing the [s] sound. mšn /masennu/. "lucky".2-4.. 14. /s/ had a point of closure between the 1 2 3 1 x l 3 3 2 1 2 . in šh(y)mw (s hm). where 'ks wt. e. as in skr / škr (s kr). use only the letters s (s) and s (f). a Russian observer will be inclined to identify Arabic /s/ with his own /s/. as explained in §13. "garments". The devoicing of z < d into s occurs in the Phoenician root skr < zkr < dkr. Instead. 14. in his time. which corre­ spond to South Arabian s and s . A similar palatalization of /s/ is attested later in Arabia and in Ethiopia (§14. e. "arrow". In the 11th century B.2. and in the Late Punic spelling s I st of the demonstrative pronoun z / *zt <d I dt. These variations most likely represent forms taken from different Phoenician dialects surviving later in Punic..g. "treasurer". s are often interchanged in Western Late Aramaic manuscripts dating from a period when Aramaic dialects were no longer spoken in Palestine and.g. (e. This might help. by analogy. while a cuneiform sign za/sa was also available.3. even the earliest Lihyānic ones.

The air is pushed out over the tongue and the lips are simul­ taneously rounded and pouted. for luhūm. a description which identifies it with [s] (§14. but . 14. but there is no contact between the top of the tongue and the alve­ olar ridge.44) translit­ erates the etymological ś by % (e-g. erectly for samì'. The modern standard pronunciation [s] of Arabic sin. it is unlikely that all the attested cases of etymological š may have been occasioned by palatalization. OKp. Some of them go back to earlier stages of Ethiopic and preserve the original phoneme."he heard". and Gurage.g.rjEÀ. (§7.x P Y ° 0 for šabi'ū. which in Sibawayh's days had a point of closure "the same as for g and y. in which /š/ and /s/ had merged. rjay[i8] for sa'id. "the Devil" (root śtn). Thus we may represent the development of the three sibilants indicated in Arabic as «š» in the fol­ lowing way: E l 0 l ) Proto-Semitic Sibawayh * • [?] Post-Sibawayh Arabic [5] [5] The fricative palatal [9] is still attested nowadays in Śheri. The merging of /s/ and / Š / occurred also in Ge'ez and in modern Ethiopian languages. together with retroflexion of the tonguetip. i. for 'afsal. Harari. Although secondary palatalization of s into [š] is attested in Tigrinya. between the centre of the tongue and the soft palate".u%oup. must post-date Sibawayh's time. "bread". This sound derives from an original ś.). Amharic.124 PHONOLOGY tongue-tip and the hard palate. The Damascus fragment from the 8th century A. while etymological s. "meat" plur.e.D.g."it came up").4. This transliteration shows at least that the modern standard shin was realized at that time as a com­ plex sound. but it is not complete. probably similar to the fricative palatal [§]. the speak­ ers of which pronounce it with approximately the same tongue position as š. % P í for hubz.4). "noble" (= Arabic šarīj). or in girif. A. as in qetan."hs abhorred". It introduces a clear distinction between sin and shin [s]. and s are indicated by a (e. which serves for h and h as well (e. "they were sated"). different from simple sibilants. š.

"finger". in northern Jordan. in Mehri sdba'. as against 'dsba' in Śheri and in Soqotri. e. although it seemingly corresponds to an old pronunciation of this dental fricative. z becomes s. s can be realized as š. the merging of /s/ and /š/ had already occurred in Ge'ez. In some Jewish Moroccan communi­ ties Hebrew /s/ and /š/ are both realized as a sound intermediary between [s] and [s]. in Amharic and in Gafat. or simple develarization.8. Both changes s > š and š > s are attested in modern Arabic dialects but they are generally conditioned: under the influence of a fol­ lowing ġ. "roof". The palatalization of s into [s] led to the development of a new phoneme š for which an adaptation . 14. e. The principle at work here is the phonological tendency which makes the whole word either emphatic or non-emphatic.g. "lane". 14. 14.9). This [c] has phonemic status in Śheri. and hsr. in zirāt. or as [s]. In modern South Arabian languages. s is suspended in the neighbourhood of emphatics. s is often pronounced as an affricate [ts']. but 5 can also change into s. on the other hand. and in the first case turns all or most consonants into emphatic ones (§10.7. The substitution of z to s in the neighbourhood of an emphatic is attested in colloquials of central Syria. e. One should also mention the passage s > t in SouthAmharic.9.DENTAL FRICATIVES 125 it can also be a palatalized variant of k. There are also unconditioned vari­ ants. 14. e. when spn. It may reflect dissimi­ lation. The opposite shift s > s is attested as well in mediaeval and in modern Arabic dialects.g. was transcribed by tspn in Demotic. Also in Modern Ethiopian languages. as mentioned above (§ 14. This tendency is attested also in North Africa. s can change into š. z. 14. In Ethiopian languages. "belly" (root krs). in soltān < sultān. as rafas and rafaš. "way" (< Latin strata). sirāt or sirāt. by anxrip in Greek. viz.3).g. sġī' against classical šaġī'.5. "courageous". Argobba. the difference between s. as in girś. as in the cluster st > st. as in sqoq < zuqāq. In the colloquial of es-Salt. "north". "to kick". "master".g. at least in Late Antiquity. e. The realization of Hebrew s as a voiceless dental affricate [ts] by European Jews is probably to be considered as an innovation.g. in zaqf < saqf. that shows an arbitrary interchange of the two symbols "s" and "Š". "plant".6. Gurage. In contact with q. and Harari under the influence of Cushitic.

and eastern Polynesian (Hawaii I Savaii).14). Therefore. I f one takes this evidence into account. e. This would explain the spelling iu-se-bi-la {yuśśēbila}.5) producing a geminated dental lateral of the ś type (§ 16.g. and the prepalatal š was described in § 13. The changing practice of the cuneiform writing system with regard to the interdental t. èitīá / septem. Arabic suq I siq. Neo-Assyrian š was pronounced [s]. one may wonder whether the articulated š of Ethiopic results always from a secondary palatalization of s or preserves an old pronunciation.10. kušda > kulda [kuśśa]. the Middle Babylonian and Middle Assyrian orthographic change š > I before a dental is probably a scribal device that indicates a total reciprocal assimilation (§27. i. "urge o n ! " (root šūq). "seven") and by h in Lycian (e.1. for which no adequate cuneiform signs were available. mahana. found mainly in borrowed words. [f]. Instead. "since". šoh'attà. hik. "seven". the Amharic causative preforma­ tive as. in an Amarna letter from Byblos (EA 88. 15. Per­ sian. "name".g.beside as.g. e. as shown by Aramaic and Hebrew transcriptions. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has a voiceless fricative prepalatal or palato-alveolar š.vs. P R E P A L A T A L AND P A L A T A L 15. In addition.e. and a palatal semivowel y. vs.20). š) into h is attested also in the Tuareg dialects of Ahaggar and Air. like Tigrinya Sam beside sdm. "five". very likely [iśśu]. "foundation". 6.2.g. The change of an original sibilant (z. z.2). but is was replaced by the rough breathing in Greek (e.4). West Semitic s was transcribed " š " in . 14. of the Afro-Asiatic prefix of the causative verbal stem (§41. Tigrinya and Amharic have an etymological š in some gen­ uine Semitic words and forms. and of the Semitic conditional particle (§61. In consequence. in Armenian.2-4.35) and the later NeoAssyrian spellings like issu for ištu. there is a strong case for regarding š > s (> h) as the primitive phoneme of the Semitic personal pronoun of the third per­ son (§36.10. "he has sent". The sibilant s is almost universal. nbwsmskn for Nabû-šum-iškun. at least in a number of cases. e. Luwian maššana-. or for isdu.11). [j]. "god"). "make haste!".126 PHONOLOGY of the symbol for "s" is used (šat). "come here!". hammuštá. i. Modern South Arabian (§15.g. the dental fricative s. since the Neo-Assyrian cuneiform spelling remained unchanged.e. Ghat dialect zik. However.(§41.4).

6) increased the number of words containing the prepalatal š.3-4.20).5. Sa-me-ri-na = šmryn.10.4). On the contrary.: "they put š . "your (fem. "seventy". noticed already among the Mahra by Masudī in the 10th century A. the use of the Greek symbol S in Latino-Punic inscriptions to indicate š (e. 15.10). "seven".: Root *šab' *šim *hamš *šma' *šqiy Śheri šo' šum hīš ìr šeqe Mehri hoba ham haymah hīma hdqu Soqotri yhobd' šem hamoš h emah hez3 y "seven" "name" "five" "he heard" "he watered 15. "Samaria". It is unlikely.3. like šabe I sebe.g. in the causative prefix of the causative verbal stem (§41. In Neo-Punic there is an occasional interchange between $ and s in other cases as well. e. E. In Modern South Arabian and Ethiopian languages. SVMAR = šmr. Mil-ki-a-ša-pa = mlkysp. Śheri šurś < krś. that palatalization may have brought about the change of s into š in the various cases where modern Ethiopian languages have an etymological š which is not con­ tiguous to a phoneme like / that may have occasioned the change s > Š. as shown by a comparison of some nominal and verbal roots in Mehri and in Śheri.g. e. e.g.g. "belly". while the situation in Soqotri is less clear and seems to reflect external influences.4. In other languages. and finally developed into [s] in Arabic and in Ethiopic. while West Semitic š was rendered by "s". despite some dialectal palatalizations of s into š (§ 14.g.2). and in the conditional particle (§61. an unusual variation š/s occurs in some words.PREPALATAL AND PALATAL 127 Neo-Assyrian texts.D. in Assyrian and šb'm / sb'm. A similar phe­ nomenon occurs on a wider scale not only in Indo-European and other language families (§14.11). 15. A change š > h is attested in the Semitic personal pronoun of the third person (§36.) house". but also in Modern South Arabian. as stressed above (§ 14. but mainly in foreign names from which one cannot infer that š and s were normally confused. "guardian") shows that the phonemic distinction between š and s was not lost.3. in NeoPunic that probably continues two different Punic dialects (§15. This is an old phonetic change. the palatal­ ization of the velars (§18.9).7). Gafat gàġġaš < gâġġaki. The prepalatal š merged with s in various Arabian and Ethiopian forms of speech. however.

spirit". The Egyptian name ntr. e.. "captivity". Also t may be . 'Omānī colloquial yāl < 'āl < 'ahl. The palatal semivowel y has regular correspondences in the var­ ious Semitic languages.7. is believed to be related to Semitic nkr. The palatal y can serve as a glide between vowels. In Libyco-Berber. or appears as a glide (§15.6).5). in which it disappears in Assyro-Babylonian leaving behind the vowel which accompanied it (e. Amharic haya < *kil'ā. The velar k is palatalized into c in various circumstances. "soul. e. yi. especially after i (e. i-ig-muur. 15.8. Śheri širet < qryt. 15. "heart") and // changes into ġ in Tarifit (e. "god". Gafat tzgàlġi < tdgàldi.g. z. "strange(r)". "he captured". it may be derived not only from a velar (§ 18. The Old Akkadian spellings of the type i-ik-mi.g. any lexical study must take this widespread phenomenon into account. uz < ul. As for the palatal ġ. instead of a glottal stop. sdgdm < sallim. e.> /-. In Eastern Neo-Aramaic. also with the change / > r.13). e. Therefore. e. or results from a palatalization of /. Palatalization plays an important role in Afro-Asiatic languages. the voiced prepalatal z is found in loanwords and in gen­ uine Aramaic words in which š is voiced by assimilation.> u-). as well as the corresponding glottalized emphatic š or C. from wâlāda. §22. Similar phenomena occur in Arabic and Neo-Aramaic vernaculars (§18.6. It is either original. and it is conventionally transcribed " t " by Egyptologists. "you gird yourself" (fern. to the phonetic repertory. "family". "to greet"). 15. / is palatalized into z in Tamazight (e. not only in Semitic (§15.6). East Gurage bāce < bakaya. in [xezbona] < hušbānā. yu. the Old Egyptian pronom­ inal suffix -ki of the second person feminine singular became -c.13-14). Neo-Aramaic ydmma < 'emmā. Arabic yusr < 'usr. for example. Besides.g. "twenty". " b i l l " . probably indicate the preservation of initial y. but it should perhaps be linked with Agaw nkdra.g. "town". "peasant". and also as an on-glide in initial position. a-fġah < fallāh.g. thus. he says.).7). "give birth!". especially when it is contiguous to the vowel i J u.g.g. palatalization added â. "mother". or is derived from w (§11.128 PHONOLOGY instead of k".(cf.g. "he wept".g. also in cases of usual spellings without initial i. Devoicing at the end of a word or of a clause may cause a fur­ ther change ġ > c. "sin"). "he conquered". In cuneiform script it is not marked in initial position.g. but also from d. Arabic hafi'a > hatīya. e. Harari wūlâġi. like in Tarifit Mric < Melilla.

sk and šìk = śk'. ša-me-ma = šmm. Nevertheless.transcribing ś clearly shows the lateral character of this phoneme. ša (e. kis-. They correspond to [4] and [4]. except in Old Akkadian where the sign su seems to have originally expressed the prepalatal š. Neither do the Amarna glosses and the Egyptian transcriptions indicate that an autonomous phoneme ś existed in the Canaanite languages of the I I millennium B. Non emphatic ś has a graphic sign of its own in Epigraphic South Arabian. "field"). namely s ( £ ) . well-known in East Semitic.g. "Kamosh . arm". 2 4 16. "Soco"). "heaven") and śa (e. "gate"). but this is by no means certain: it can be directly bor­ rowed from another Semitic language. Otherwise. The Neo-Assyrian transcription Ka-[ma-]as-hal-ta-a of the Moabite royal name *Kamoš. In the Amarna glosses. which corresponds to West Cushitic (Omotic) kite-. 'śr. the word "ten". is written in Phoenician 'sr. sa-te-e = śdh.g. Greek $akaa\iov and its derivatives are borrowed from Semitic bśm. This phoneme cannot be distinguished from š in the North and East Semitic languages.C. while the Egyptian transcriptions s and š are interchangeable (e. while the sign su indicated the lateral ś (§ 13. and it seems therefore that ś has lost there its phonemic status. 7. "hand". "hand.LATERALS 129 palatalized as. the sign ša can express ta (e.g. but its "feminine" form is spelt 'šrt. A systematic study of the Afro-Asiatic lexicon and of the palatalization rules in various languages is still a desideratum.3. with the tongue-tip in the /-position. "balsam-oil". the Semitic noun qāt-. ša-muma. the merging of š and ś is apparently complete in all the languages attested in cuneiform script. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic had two dental laterals.'aśā. In the Phoenician alphabet ś and š are expressed by one symbol with the obvious consequence that the alphabetic script of no West Semitic language is capable of distinguishing the two sounds without using diacritical signs.g.1. The existence of both forms is best explained by an original 'śr. and -Xa. ša-ah-ri = t'r.2. voice­ less s and emphatic ś. conventionally transcribed d. and it is pronounced in Modern South Arabian by retracting the right corner of the mouth and forcing a stream of air between the teeth and the inside of the cheek at the right side of the mouth. for example.2). 16. It might be a Phoeni­ cian loanword. LATERALS 16.

16. Late Babylonian. However. and that it was a lateral phoneme. "sun(-god)". Ethiopic. In Aramaic. ti-mi-iš. since etymological š is written " š " in Jewish Aramaic texts. in 'dsar < 'śr.130 PHONOLOGY has made". etc. as e. since Semitic languages generally avoid homorganic radicals in contiguous position. while etymological ś is rendered there by "s". il-ta meš. sa-mì-iš. te-er. In fact. While š is regularly rendered by "s" in Neo-Assyrian and by " Š " in Babylonian. "twenty". trt'šr'. śagīb. the distinc­ tion made by the Masoretes is etymologically correct and it is confirmed by the incompatibility of contiguous ś and / in Hebrew roots.g. which in Sibawayh's time had a totally different articulation from the modern one.5.4. which had the same development as Arabic in this case. "victorious". kśdy in Aramaic and ks dy in Sabaic. the differentiation of š and ś is expressed by diacritical signs. The phonemic distinc­ tion between ś and š results likewise from the later shift ś > s in Ara­ maic. il-ta-meš. the various attempts to indicate the strange sound ś reveal its different phonemic status: e. Spoken Arabic leaves no doubt about the original character of this differentia­ tion.6. Arab philologists distinguished sin (< s) from sin (< s) by placing three points above the right side of the letter (^à) serv­ ing to express šīn (< ś). but this sound 2 . The Masoretes indicate the graphic dis­ tinction by placing a point either above the right side of the symbol (for s) or its left (for s). perhaps close to [9] (§14.. e..4). the realization of ś is equal to that of s in all Jewish communities. il-te-meš. is tran­ scribed sa-gi-bi or ta -gi-bi. "moon(-god)". "twelve". and hammeš < hmš. appears as še-er. still preserve the spelling with " š " . śhr. the graphic distinction introduced in Hebrew is absent from the Samaritan tradition and may be based on a comparison with Aramaic. and śmš. and Elamite tran­ scriptions. D . However. in standard Syriac. il-te-{eh-)ri. indicates that ś was preserved in Moabite in the 7th century B. 16. "five". borrowed the South Arabian letter s ( £ ) to indicate ś. Instead.C. In Hebrew and in Arabic. etc. is written Kal-da/dà-a-a in Assyro-Babylonian. the phonemic distinction of š and ś is demonstrated by Neo-Assyrian. and in Egypto-Aramaic once also smš. Neo-Babylonian. ta -meš.g. the Old Syriac inscriptions from the lst-3rd centuries A . The name "Chaldaean".g. 'šryn. "ten". This also demonstrates the lateral character of original ś. where the spelling clearly shows the lateral character of ś. 5 5 5 2 16. while š remains unchanged. is spelt šam-si.

g. in the Hawrān dialect. "he was lost") and by its merging with 5 in Ethiopic. It loses sometimes its emphasis and is then reduced to [d].9. also supports its original emphatic character and indi­ cates that ś had existed in North Semitic as an independent phoneme. t'i. in Phoenician. this phoneme is articulated like a voiced i (§ 16. In Arabic ś is pronounced either as a voiced emphatic dental plosive [d] or as a voiced emphatic interdental [d]. as arrabal{de). "to cut l . soon after the early Aksum inscriptions. abyal for 'abyad. The name of the Arab god Rudā is transcribed in cuneiform script. namely " d " . The original lateral character of ś results not only from its pro­ nunciation in Modern South Arabian and by its articulation as / in Datura (§16. "he laughs". as albayalde. The existence of ś at an early stage of Ge'ez is therefore attested in orthography. 'arrabda. However. confirm the independent phonemic status of ś and its emphatic character. but also from ancient transcriptions.LATERALS 131 merged with the one expressed by s (rS) to become [s]. "you smite me". and in Hebrew. as e. i. like z. expressed by the clear velarization of the sound symbolized by " " ' (§10. "white". 16.7. in the 7th century B. ś and s are not con­ fused in the early inscriptions. "mayor". at least in some dialects.8.g. the original emphatic character of the sound is supported by its articulation as / in the Datīna dialect of South Yemen (e. The emphatic lateral ś (d) has a graphic sign of its own in Epi­ graphic South and North Arabian. The alternations between dād < ś and shīn < ś in Arabic indicate that the two phonemes constitute a pair: basaka and badaka. Early Aramaic practice of indicating ś by " q " and the later spelling e.2). 16.9). "he finds". without the glottalization which characterizes Modern South Arabian and Ethiopian emphatics. "suburb". In Modern South Ara­ bian languages. "ceruse".e.7). Andalusian Arabic 'al-qādì was still borrowed in Spanish as alcalde. The loss of the lateral glide in Arabic is therefore a quite recent phenomenon. "earth". that was borrowed by Ethiopic to express the corresponding sound (0). in 'rq > 'r'. However. "go out!". where ś is expressed by t in ythq. The dialectal treatment of ś in a single text from Ugarit (KTU 1. 16.g. though the sound itself has disappeared. in todrobni.C. con­ ventionally indicated by "z". 'al-bayād. "white".. as well as in East and North Semitic languages. lā' for dā'.12). and ymt'a. by Ru-ul-da-a-a-ú and the description of dād given by the Arab grammari­ ans leaves little doubt that d represented a lateral phoneme in early Islamic times.

Ar. Hebr.A.S.A.3-6). The originally emphatic consonant ś corresponds to a single non-emphatic one. The original phonemic distinction of these con­ sonants in Afro-Asiatic is in doubt.11. Ass. The following table displays the development of the ProtoSemitic laterals in the Semitic languages taken into account. "to be submissive".10). their distinctive phonemic status is nevertheless established in common Semitic as known in historical times. "to knot". "to laugh". some Chadic languages. Aram.-Sem. hašama and hadama. "to kick". while the lateral glide of the phoneme was preserved ( | > ś). 16. 16. "jackal".in West Cushitic (Omotic). "to break".Ar.-Bab. haša'a and hada'a. "to kindle the fire". M. «āša and nāífa.132 PHONOLOGY off". exem­ plified by the noun "dog". Ge'ez 5 Š Š Ś Ś > S ś s sit s q> ' f ś Š Ś(S ) 2 Ś Ś > S did ś z ś>s 8. *Pr. However.of dangerous animals (§30. kar. with the high probability that the latter reflects the loss of the emphasis. and kal-b. These alterna­ tions reveal an emphatic and a non-emphatic pronunciation of the same roots. "to explain". and one dental nasal n.10. considering the lack of a distinction / / r in ancient Egyptian and the frequent alternations (§17. 'Maws and 'illawd. L I Q U I D S AND NASAL 17. Although 11 nl r still appear as allo­ phones of the same basic phoneme in Palaeosyrian (Ebla) and in Gurage. mašaġa and madaġa. especially before velars and palatals.S. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two dental liquids / and r.1. This uvular articulation would explain the occasional non-gemination of r in Gafat . šahaza and dahaza. The corresponding alternation between śzn and occurs in Hebrew śāhaq and sāhaq. E. n tends in some modern Arabic dialects toward a postpalatal n before most consonants. "to carry". It was therefore of no phonemic significance whether the emphatic sound was produced with or without voice. haša'a and hada' Semitic. "to blind". Ugar. kan. The dental basis of articulation of these phonemes is supported by their traditional and modern realiza­ tions. šafaza and dafaza. M. waššaha and waddaha. while r was realized as a uvular non-rolled [R] in one of the traditional European pronunciations of Hebrew and sporadically in Gafat. with the gender determinant -b.

e.6). In the first millennium B. hdġmi < harīm. i-i-h-b-w-m. rāh.g. 'm' for 'mr. e. The weakness of the liquids is amply exemplified at Ebla: e.11).10). Semitic libb-. in weg < wld.. it may be palatalized into y (§15. li. e.g. e. but the emphatic pronounciation of / and r in certain Arabian words deserves a mention. However. However. Certain reservations have also been expressed concerning the dental nature of r and n because they are frequently contiguous to other dentals (e.g. "my god". "he was brought up" (§43.2. reflects the weakness and the interchangeability of l/n (§17. "to go". "Ashkelon".g. while Semitic languages generally avoid homorganic radicals in contiguous position. This phonetic phenomenon could be related to the appearance of the non-etymological cluster r' in the Ara­ maic 'r'm of the Palestinian Targum for 'ârīm.g.and Rendille aham. The loss of final r is frequent in Sabaic personal names. and slq. Zappa (Masoretic Śârā). the weak­ ness of these phonemes may explain this apparent exception to the com­ mon trend. "Rehob". and hussaq. Egyptian kib. while Gurage testifies to the occasional loss of medial / or r. "gleanings".LIQUIDS AND NASAL 133 and its systematic non-gemination in the Masoretic vocalization of the Hebrew Bible. 29. "to go". "to eat". gund. Egypt­ ian lb.g.g. "wife". "he went". The variations in ancient and modern articulations of r have no phonemic value. 17. "cypress". "intestines". whb'tt < whb'ttr. Semitic qarb-. "army").3). The non-gemination of r might also result from the articulatory shift r > ġ. and qema / qârma. ša-mi-nu Isar-mi-na (dual). A similar situation results from a comparison of Semitic and Cushitic roots. Semitic lahām. The weakness of the liquids is confirmed by ancient Egyptian transcriptions of Semitic / and r with an i in the Mid­ dle Kingdom period. ('A)llāh. e. "lioness". "he raised" (Gen. Egyptian kim. As for the liquid /. with forms like ydhāk.g. "single". Semitic karm-.fard. ġaġ»l < riġl. 'à-agú-um < hlk. "he shall go". several roots common to Semitic and Egyptian have l/r in Semitic but Hi in Egyptian.C. even in the same word ì-lí. e. "vine­ yard". final / and r are dropped occa­ sionally in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. Xappáv (Masoretic Hārārì). the weakness of the liquids is reflected by the Aramaic verbs hlk. a city name attested as Irgt at Ugarit. the Septuagint still shows gemination of Hebrew r. as Touoppa (Masoretic 'Âtnorā). The com­ mon use of the cuneiform sign NI to indicate Semitic ni. i-ś-k-í-n. "boy". e. Besides. The same phenomenon is l2 n . attested in some mediaeval Arabic dialects of Iraq and nowadays also in North Africa. Egyptian iby. "to say". e. and i. La-ru -ga-tù I A-ru -ga-tù.g. "to go up".g. Semitic lb'-. "foot". "God". "heart".

"disgrace"). However. da'ānu < danānu. Arabic layt. while the phonetic change / > n is already announced by the possible intermediary sound in al-na-šuh. in the 4th century B. As a matter of fact.C. in the 7th century B. e.134 PHONOLOGY attested in Hebrew with qīqālon < *qalqalān. laba > naba. 17. e. AeuKwaia > Nicosia)..> n. Syriac qulqālā. The shift / > n in initial position occurs sporadically in other Semitic languages as well. the prefix n. which should be distinguished from the morphological change consisting in the use of the jussive prefix /. otherwise. e. "waist". One should also mention the change of intervocalic n into ' in Middle Assyrian and Neo-Assyrian.3.23) and in the jussive of some South Ethiopian languages (§40. "Nusku". and in Cypro-Phoenician ( A á p v a ^ > Nrnk.4. "might". Spo­ radic occurrences of the interchange between initial / and n occur in Assyro-Babylonian (lamsatu I namsatu. cf.. "merciful". "rubbish dump". In the field of grammatical morphemes.instead of the imperfective y-.. qīqiltā < qilqiltā. The frequent assimilation of / and n to the following consonant — and even to the preceding one (§27.g. The disappear­ ance of the liquid is compensated by the lengthening of the preceding vowel. and in Aramaic.D.. with hâsoprā < *hasarsarat. " f l y " ) . 17.. in a dialect of central Syria (Nuhašše I N-g-ś > Luhuti I L's). "may he be". unless a different explanation is offered for this form. in Nabataean with the proper name 'bd(')lg' transcribed once ApSaync. rēmē'ū < rēmēnū.30) is to be considered as the result of an / > n shift. Thus.instead of /. Hebrew layiš.3) — confirms the weakness of the liquids. They are attested also in the Datīna dialect of South Yemen (e.g. and Greek Xiq are paralleled by Assyro-Babylonian nēšu. "disgrace" ( the Eastern Aramaic prefix-conjugation (§40. Aramaic laytā. "lion". In some Gurage dialects the change / > n occurs even in initial position. The change l> n occurs in initial position and in medial position when / was originally geminated. / becomes r.g.C. The interchange between / and n may be observed in various lan­ guages. lahna mā laqbil for nahna mā . the aforementioned losses of liquids and of n should be distinguished from morphological phenomena like the surrender of nunation and mimation in Arabic and in AssyroBabylonian. The latter phenomenon can be dated in Eastern Aramaic to the 2nd-3rd century A.g. "clarion". and it is realized in nhwy'. the original liq­ uid / almost disappeared in West Gurage. but its substitution by n or r is accomplished under well-defined conditions.

awal > awar.g. "we don't accept"). "but".5. "to believe".e. /Yilhaq-Da'mu/. The variation of n and / occurs in medial and final positions as well. or gudārā.> '1-. Arabic sāraha. since the shift h > ' is widely attested. the change / > r occurs in non-initial position when / was originally not geminated. great. The same phenomenon is sporadically attested in NeoAssyrian. "to dispatch". e. Ik. as Aramaic br against bn. mil for 'nk. in Old Assyrian. "to be" or "to become big.g. occur frequently in Libyco-Berber. "son". badenġāl for badinġān. In West Gurage dialects. "to become big". "son". Lihyānite Himrāg is a phonetic variant of Himlāg.'à-aq-Da-mu / //. in Nabataean Aramaic. In West Gurage dialects. i. 17. i. in North Arabian. nd for la. . In Assyro-Baby­ lonian the "stork" is called laqlaqqu or raqraqqu. 'à-da-ru -um / 'à-da-lu-um. as exemplified by a comparison of Semitic Išn. " I " . in Modern Ara­ bic dialects.g. The l/r alternation is particularly frequent at Ebla. "for").g. "belly". qan(n) for qàrr < qârn.'à-aq-Da-mu. "the interior". and Sabaic rzm. Interchanges between / and r. Interchanges between n and r are also attested. "gift". in Moroccan Arabic. "king". e. "statue".g. in West Gurage r becomes n in initial position and in non-initial position when originally geminated. "tongue". "Damu caught up". tall". that certain languages like ancient Egyptian and Mycenaean Greek (Linear B) do not distinguish graphi­ cally. "horn". the non-geminated n becomes r in non-initial position. bn. godārā. as mentioned above (§17.g. and East Gurage gāddrā.3). plural ngwaren. ban for bal. The existence of the articles hn. "word").. "briefly".in North Arabian also suggests a change hn.LIQUIDS AND NASAL 135 naqbil. corresponds to Hebrew and Aramaic šlh. ġlem or qlam for ġanam.g. "camel". "land-tax". Harari gādāra or godâra. "sheep". Instead. is etymologically related to Arabic Izm. The variation l/n is a surviving feature of Afro-Asiatic. hdr.6.g. "aubergine". e. and such interchanges are also fairly common in Semitic.g. etc. mtn. e. l2 17. where e. Hebrew gādal. and -mnkw for -mlkw. Tarifit r corre­ sponds regularly to Tachelhit / (e.e. e. qartuppi < qantuppi.and 7. e. ammàrd for Amharic ammana.g. "to send". in EgyptoPhoenician. corresponds to Gafat gāddàrā. e. ìr. fenġāl for finġān. attested in Demotic as Is and in Coptic as AAC. "stylus". bl. Similar changes occur in Chadic languages. snm for slm. l-hāson for 'al-hāsilu. gamēra from gamdl. "seal!". the divine name ls-ha-ra I' Iš-ha-la. and in Tigrinya (e. Logone ngun. "cup". kulkā for kunkā. with the etymologically and semantically corre­ sponding Egyptian term ns.

in Greek). "to bring i n " . explainable by the close articulation points of / and d. but not identical.7. and as sandâ in Gafat. The change / > d is reported in the Bantu languages (e.136 PHONOLOGY 17. and in sar'appā (Ez.g.g.6-9). and Oriental Jews use a strongly nasalized 'ain in Hebrew. 17. probably in Proto-Berber (cf. e. occur in a number of languages. with the loss of the original pharyngal.8.23) for śd'ippìm. in Aramaic hansāqā < hassāqā < *haslāqā.9. 94. "wheat" (root ś'r).g. the Lycian PN Dapara transcribed Aanapác. 17.8). Tuareg a-mnukal. However. "passion.g. and in the name of the island itself TaoSos < gwl. attested next to he'ālā.19. "horn" (nd < rn). e.5) for *sa'appā. "statue of Baal". e. The insertion of a non-etymological /. a sequence of abutting consonants generally may not belong to one syllable so as to form a "consonant cluster" (§24. Proto-Bantu -fund. n or r is generally the result of the dissimilation of a geminated consonant (§23. Variant forms of this phenomenon. Amharic anqafat for Ge'ez 'aqfât. "obstacle". or in the Oromo word sinra. A nasal twang is quite audible with some Palestinian Arabs when they pronounce 'ain. 31.< -tunl-. from the Aramaic root '11. related to Arabic hatm(un) and attested next to the usual hotām. this explanation is hardly correct in cases like han'ālā. "anxieties". frequent in South Ethiopian languages. In the Central Mediterranean island of Gozo a peculiar shift / > d is attested in the Phoenician divine name sdmb'l < slmb'l. also with the original pharyngals h and '. An insertion of r before another consonant is encountered in Mishnaic Hebrew hartom. and Gafat word qānd(à) < *qānr < qarn (Ge'ez). "king"). ardent zeal". The insertion of n should be rather explained in this case as the marking of the nasalization of the following consonant. "nose".g. In classical Semitic languages. can be observed in the Amharic variants sadsa (dissimilated from sassa < salsa) and salsa of the numeral "sixty". related to Arabic šaġaf. An insertion of r before 'ain occurs in Hebrew śar'appīm (Ps. nowadays Ghawdex. "to bring up". Thus the alternation d 11 is encountered in Luwian and in Lycian (e. Numidic mnkd. attested as sande in Highland East Cushitic and in Amharic. and in the change affecting the liquid r in the Amharic. when a sequence of two consonants should appear in the beginning or at the end of a word. as the result of prefixing a . Argobba. "palm leaves". Plus-vocalic features of / and r are apparent also in Semitic. related to Arabic sa'af. 139. Therefore. "teach") and a similar phenomenon.

ik or iq. rifle" in Chaha. "rainy season". e. Nevertheless. certain modern Arabic dialects either support a voiced pronunciation or reflect the shift q > g (cf. gran.2. ġlem. In reality. However. and even to some ancient Semitic languages. gener­ ally articulated as the emphatic consonant corresponding to k and there­ fore also transliterated k. inadequate to indicate the distinction between k. "river".g. there was also a way of pronounc­ ing q in Arabic that led to its occasional representation by " k " and q can alternate with k in modern Ethiopian languages. which does not mean "voiced" (g). qr-. slābā.g. qart.3. wànz. -st. this rule does not apply to colloquial forms of Arabic. between GA. nàfs. Sibawayh defines Arabic q as maġhūra. etc.g.1. there is a wide tendency to use prosthetic or anaptyctic vowels. V E L A R PLOSIVES 18. and even QA in certain regions like Mari and Eshnunna.8). "soul". especially in the case of plus-vocalic sonorants or liquids (/.g. but the emphatic velar plosive q . tr-)\ e. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two velar plosives. The syllabic cuneiform writing system is. as usual. 9.). "dog" in Arabic. màngdst. Throughout the whole course of cuneiform writing no attempt was ever made to indicate the exact char­ acter of a final plosive: AG serves as ag. More possibilities occur in final position (-fs. kràmt. "sheep" in colloquial Arabic. since the one emphatic velar plosive corresponded to a pair of non-emphatic ones: voiceless k and voiced g. 18. It also possesses an emphatic velar plosive q. ak or aq. "iron. a certain distinction is introduced from the Old Babylonian period on.V E L A R PLOSIVES 137 morpheme or dropping the case endings. r) that may be followed by another consonant at the end of a word (e. IG is used for ig. "left-handed". to Amharic and other modem Ethiopian forms of speech. etc. or be pre­ ceded by another consonant in the beginning of a word. br-. However. -nz. to Eastern Neo-Aramaic. 18. but "fortis". "government". The only initial clusters which do occur in Amharic are those involving / and r as second mem­ ber (bl-. kr-. brát. voice­ less k and voiced g. q. §18. gr-. kalb. KA. as generally assumed. a Gurage dialect. For the initial plosives. "city" in Phoenician). e. e. g.g. "theft" in Eastern Neo-Aramaic. there was of no phonemic significance whether q was produced with or without voice. gl-.

but cannot prove the existence of two phonemes /k/ and /g/ in Assyro-Babylonian. cf. kim and qim. 18. e.5. e. "hen"). The Hadramitic preposition h. the spirantization of velars is widely attested.2).9). as against tkltšr for Tuklat-lštar (> Iśśar. and in Neo-Aramaic (§15.resulting from the change k > k > h attained a phonemic status already in Antiquity. vs. "he will be rich". especially in Amharic. and of g > ġ. and may be written then as h. §15. in Mod­ ern South Arabian. of q > c.g. "two". The occasional cuneiform spelling with signs of the series " h " instead of signs with g/k reflects this change.. The occasional orthographic interchanges GA/QA. and a similar phonetic situation may occur under certain circumstances in modern South Semitic languages. but GAB is used for gab and qab.g. the non-geminated k is frequently spirantized into k or h in post-vocalic position. "grave". In Neo-Assyrian [g] and [k] seem to be positional variants of the same phoneme. In Tigrinya.g. e. the pronunciation ġ is considered as the correct one (e. why the Babylonian loanword mahāru. mngsr for Mannu-kišarri. e. is attested in Ara­ maic as kwk (§63. "to bow". Tigre kal'ot. in Ethiopian languages.10) and explains. but it is not phonetically conditioned in the same manner in the various forms of speech. The spirantization or fricativization of non-geminated and nonemphatic velar plosives is attested in various Semitic languages. In Modern South Arabian and Ethiopian languages.g. from the Late Babylonian spelling tamāku of tamāhu.5). "he is rich". hulātt. and why Babylonian kimahhu [kiwah]. hanāšu instead of kanāšu. e. which simply signi­ fies that the Aramaic verb tmk is used in this occurrence.g. and GIM for gim. The affricative pronunciation of k > c or k > š.4.6.g. e. In Neo-Aramaic. is borrowed in Syriac under the form mkr.g.. The voiced pronunciation is attested in intervocalic posi­ tion by Aramaic and Hebrew transcriptions. g > i. In Classical Arabic. KI serves for ki and qi. 18.g. KU for ku and qú. "to seize". the spirantized velar plosives attained phonemic status and their "hard" or "soft" pronunciation does not depend on their position. . 18. daġāġa.138 PHONOLOGY is generally indicated by signs with the "voiced" or "voiceless" conso­ nant. but yahahbir. "to equalize in value". Hebrew and Aramaic spirantization of k/g follows the same rules as the spirantization of labials (§11. or g > z is attested in Arabic. GI/KI. e. kábiru. Such cases should carefully be distinguished. GU/KU may reflect a dialectal voiced articula­ tion of q in some areas.

"he was mourning". both colloquial and literary. Therefore.7. the feminine suffixed pronoun -ki becomes . Palatalization of q into d or ġ before or after front vowels (j. "legs"). where the influence of Arabic is a factor of importance. The palatalization occurs extensively in both Soqotri and Sheri.g. indicated e. in a verb that was probably belong­ ing to the fa HI class (*wagim > *watim). "hyena"). the direct change k > š is attested in some Arabic colloquials (e.g. A non-conditioned q > é change occurred in the 'Azd dialect of northern Yemen.g. but is rather unstable except for ġ. while [g] as well as [z] are attested in Moroccan Arabic. by the spelling wtm instead of wgm. occurs in all the Ethiopian languages. These sounds have a phonemic status and exist along­ side the ordinary velars (e. although their phonemic status is due to the impact of the Cushitic substratum. developed from the signs for the velars. k . "liver"). except in Tigre. e) is common in Central Arabian bedouin colloquials (e. and also in Mehri. In Cairene Ara­ bic. This fricative variant [z] is encountered also in Algeria and in southern Iraq. The same is witnessed on the southern coast of Arabia and in early Andalusian Arabic. In Semitic the labiovelars phonetically conditioned occur in Arabic colloquials of Tripolitania and Morocco. In Modern South Arabian. but not in Mehri (garēt. zirit. bâššâ < bky. "slave-girl"). šubdet < kbdt.g. q .g. in the Neo-Aramaic dialect of Ma Tula (e. "cock"). the devoicing ġ > c occurs in the dialect of Palmyra. A series of labiovelars g . w w w w . ndk . the original pronunciation [g] is either preserved or revived.g. Mainly in the neighbourhood of a palatal vowel. and in Ethiopian languages (e. the passage g > z is attested in Soqotri and Śheri (e.11). "slave-girl"). Instead. Amharic idb and gab.g. and some Gurage dialects (§11. kīfìš < képiki. in Modern South Arabian (e. their develop­ ment in Ethiopian languages cannot be ascribed solely to Cushitic influ­ ence.VELAR PLOSIVES 139 while the analogous tendency k > é is viewed as a dialectal deviation (e.g.g. sīġān < sīqān. in Soddo. and occasionally if. Harari. The lack of traces of the Ge'ez labiovelars in an unvocalized text is probably due to the fact that the new symbols for the labiovelars. The sounds ġ and z interchange in South Ethiopic under Cushitic influ­ ence (e. while North Arabian inscriptions from the Tabūk (Saudi Arabic) and Ma'ān (Jordan) area seem to testify to an ancient conditioned g > 6 change.i ) . " I am"). Northeast Gurage). "your stone").g. were invented at the same time as the vocalic signs. y 18. "to cry". die < dlk.

"stay!". "summer". but the lack of glottalization differentiated Arabic q from Ethiopic q and may explain this transliteration. and in Tigre at the end of a syllable (e. "few"). e. q becomes ' in some Arabic dialects. wēh is monophthongized from *wayh < waġh. Id 'tal for hqtal). there are many cases of written g for q in Mandaic (e. This development seems to be different from an earlier change that occurred in Aramaic at least in two distinct phases. it represents the widespread reduction of the voiced pharyngal ' to a glottal stop (§ 19. The change q > ' hap­ pened probably as the result of an economy of effort (§ 10. 18. both from *masyid < tnasgid. On the other hand. after a change of the syllabic structure. In Bahrain. Besides. In some cases. or in ibg. However. It occurs also in the Mesopotamian g3/3i-dialects (gaht for qultu. "mosque". In some Gurage dialects. hayar < haġar.g.14).9. The change ġ > y is attested in some Arabic colloquials. the syllabic structure has been influenced by this change.g. as in rll that in Kuwait means as well "man" (rīl < *ruyil < raġul) as "foot" (rīl < *riyl < riġl).10). The actual evidence is provided by the change q > ' in the Aramaic spelling of ś (d) (§ 16.140 PHONOLOGY 18. "stone".g. espe­ cially in East Arabian.g. the change q > g is actually attested in Hadramawt and in Dorar.8. "face". " I said"). the velars k and q can become zero in medial position (e. in some of the Arabic dialects spoken in the ChadSudan area. . the first one consisting in the shift q > ' which is supported by the spectrographic analysis showing the q between d and '. for Syr­ iac qayta). in the realization of Hebrew q among certain Jewish communi­ ties of Algeria and Morocco. as in bgara. and in East Arabian where it may result from a partial assimilation by voicing.. tit < tsqit. thus in a region that had contacts with Ethiopia. and Hebrew q is realized in some Jewish Yemenite commu­ nities like /g/ or /ġ/.g. e. "cow". from bqy. g'yt'. for baqara.7). "mosque".9-19). and by the Maltese place name Msida. Arabic q is almost invariably transliterated by Ge'ez " g " . Historical implications are obviously involved. The second stage ' > ' is attested in Late Aramaic and in Neo-Aramaic (§ 19. It is noteworthy that a similar change is attested in Algerian Ara­ bic by the word msīd.

19. among them. because of their historic developments and of the way they are indicated in the various writing systems. "to go" (accusative). "my father". However. "fire". The Assyriological practice of indi­ cating etymological ' by '\ h by ' .LARYNGALS. a tendency to be phonetically weakened and even reduced to zero. PHARYNGAL AND VELAR FRICATIVES 10. Nevertheless. h by ' .3. Only the cuneiform alphabetic script of Ugarit and the South Arabian alphabet have adequate symbols for the laryngals.2. The two laryngals ' (") and h (' ). There are two frica­ tive pharyngals: voiceless h ([h]) and voiced ' ([Î]). an articulated ġ is generally transliterated in syllabic cuneiform writing by h and not by '. pahhur. pharyngal frica­ tives and velar fricatives in the same paragraph. and the velar fricatives. 19. Of the two pharyngals. ' by ' and ġ by ' is fol­ lowed in the present section. as well as the two pharyngals h C ) and ' (' ). These phonemes are often classified under the heading of "gut­ turals".1. while the air consumed by the voicing of ' leaves it as a lenis. LARYNGALS. as well two velar fricatives. voiceless h ([x]) and voiced ġ ([y]). as shown by Hittite that has supplied the clinching evidence for the existence of laryngals and pharyngals in Proto-Indo-European (e. they oppose each other as spiritus lenis and spiritus asper in Greek. while the twenty-two letters of the Phoenician alpha­ bet are insufficient to express all the phonemes of the languages which have adopted it.g.4. the pharyngals. 2 3 4 5 19. are indicated in two ways: 1° by zero. a fortis. It is convenient to examine Semitic laryngals. and the velar fricatives. as in a-bi /'abī/. while Arabic uses diacritics in order to distinguish the various phonemes. Greek m3p). il-ga 3 4 2 . they share some common features and. as in Amharic (§19. PHARYNGAL AND V E L A R F R I C A T I V E S 141 19. or a-la-ga-am Ihalākaml. h is essentially a pharyngalized laryngal.20). the pharyngals. Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian writing allows distinguishing the laryngals. 19.5. This phenomenon is paralleled in other AfroAsiatic languages and in Indo-European. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has two laryngals: one glottal plosive ' ([?]) and one voiceless laryngal fricative h. The syllabic cuneiform writing system disposes only of signs indicating ' and h. a name which has been accepted in several circles even though it does not accurately describe all of them from the point of view of their articulation.

The conventional transliteration of É as 'à does not indicate that the word or the name contains a true aleph. Besides. as in gu-la-'à-tum next to gu-la-a-tum and gu-la-tum (meaning unknown). while this spelling occurs frequently with h. and arābum.Ra-sa-ap I'Ebdu-RaSapl. 'À-da-ša IHadatal. or 'k-da IHaddal for the divine name. ' is exceptionally indicated by 'à.6). 19. but it may have disappeared in course of time (§19. the vowel in the Palaeosyrian texts from Mari (but cf.6. a-zum I'azzuml. There is also a convincing way of distinguishing ' from h in Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian writing system. "fierce". "Servant of Resheph". but * does not influence. such as MÁ. "to seize". the pharyngals h and ' influence. "Hero". This spelling is at least a leftover from a period in which the phoneme h was independent from '. and É ('à). e. 2° by special signs. which are therefore to be distinguished from the pharyngals h and ' in Palaeosyrian as well as in Old Akkadian. The two velar fricatives h and ġ are both indicated in Palaeosyr­ ian and in Old Akkadian by signs with h.g. In any case. but expresses any of the to ' consonants. giving rise to homophones. means that the voiced phoneme ġ in sġr and ġrw had definite characteristics which influenced the vowels and separated it from the voiceless h of 'hd and mhr. Ha-la-ll IHala-'ll]. Besides.' the change of contiguous a to e. This a > e change proves conclusively that h and ġ are to be distinguished. "he heard". ahāzu(m) in Old Babylonian.g. as in iš-má lyišma'l. "he took". or ahāzuim). there is little doubt that a phonemic distinction tnust have existed between. "to enter" ('rb). "Youthful" or the like.. the phoneme h C ) when followed by the vowel a is expressed quite often by the sign É = 'à. arābum. "fierce". e. or Eb-du. . "to combat" (hrb). "(The god) made".g. Ha-zi-ir /ùazzīr/.142 PHONOLOGY lyilqahl. "you will taste" (subjunctive). or harā'u{m). §21. as a rule. thus differentiating the laryngal fricative h from the glottal plo­ sive '. In fact. u 4 d 3 The change 'a > "e occurs regularly at Ebla. "to empty". remained mahāru(m). under certain conditions. became sehēru(m). " E l is a maternal uncle". da-la-'à-mu /talahhamu/. This change does not affect the laryngals ' and h. also ' may be indicated by 'à. "to equalize in value". as in En-na-ì-lí IHenna-'Ilīl. a-li-dam /'alītam/. herū(m). "to be small". "upper" (feminine accusative). Occasionally. as in Old Akkadian 'à-zum I'azzuml.11). īb-'à-lu /Yib'alu/ or /Yip'alu/. while Old Akkadian sahāru(m). e. however. " M y god is favourable". The fact that Old Akka­ dian mahāru(m).

h> h (e.8).7. hnn < hnri). hn'il. 'i. e. as well as the reduc­ tion of ' and of h to zero (e. h> h (e. "El is favourable".a w . or Ha-ab-du. PHARYNGAL AND VELAR FRICATIVES 143 19. An actual reduction of ' may occur when ' is contiguous to a labial. 'ahrtp < 'ahršp).g.g.Da-gan /Yašma'-Dagan/. 'bdnt < 'bd'nt. yšm'. all the laryngals.g. dtnrd < dmrhd). h > ġ ('bdyrġ < 'bdyrh). e. "The word of El has made". "El is favourable".g. However.LARYNGALS. In Amorite proper names written in syllabic cuneiform script. Ya-ás-ma-ah.D i N G i R /Hanni-'Il/. " M y father is snatched away (?)". qr'at. there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that the articulation of these phonemes in Amorite was different from the one known from Ugaritic alphabetic texts. "The Ancestor is my healer". In any case. Ammu-ra-pí-i /'Ammu-rāpi'ī/. In Ugaritic. contrary to h and ġ which are always expressed by signs with h. "Servant of 'Anat". §45. but ' and h are clearly distin­ guished in Amorite names found in Egyptian execration texts and in later alphabetic texts from Ugarit. Therefore. corresponds to qarāt and not to *qara'at (§45. "she called". The pharyngals are often indicated by signs with h. e. like in i-ba-al lyib'all or in Da-mu /Da'mu/ (cf. 'u.r a ' . all the pharyngal and velar fricatives are clearly dis­ tinguished in parallel names attested in texts from Ugarit: e. but even in Semitic when the etymological ' was not pronounced in postvocalic or intervocalic position. which provides a shortened form of the well-known Amorite name 1-ba-al-pi-El. "Servant of Yarah". Three cuneiform signs are used for the glottal stop ' according to its vocalization 'a. 'bdyrh.g. the laryngals are reduced graphically to zero.Ha-na-at /'Abdu-'Anat/. 'bd'nt. Ab-di-a-ra-ah /'Abd-Yarah/. personal names show occa­ sional changes ' > ' (e.7-8).g. 'abdhr < 'bdhr).8. and An-naDINGIR /Hanna-'Il/.g. h and ' may be reduced graphically to zero. 'abġl. even at the end of a word. pharyngal and velar fricatives are indicated by a distinct symbol. These signs were employed also as vowels. These changes already announce the later development of the phonemes under consideration.g. This is easily explainable since the narrow orifice of the labial articulation scarcely affords a contrast to the narrowing of the pharynx. e. à á 19.g. and A-bi-hi-il /'Abī-ġēl/. Whether this reduced ' was then lengthening the adjacent vowel or was simply absorbed by the labial depends on the interpretation of the second / in the name Ib'ûfl [Yibāl-pī] or [Yibal-pl] of a prince of Mktry /Magdalay/ in an Egyptian execration text (E 5). / / a .g. However. . e. "Dagan has heard". not only in Human texts.

"wisdom". "to reap". is usually absent at the beginning of words. contrary to the classical Semitic rule. 19. The graphic notation of '. However ' and h did occasionally influence the same change a > e. it may indicate an etymological h in cases in which a change h > h had occurred in a period in which Proto-AssyroBabylonian still had an independent phoneme h. On the synchronic level. "to under- . however. it is generally assumed that gemination of aleph.g. hakāmu. "to be". Yet the pharyngals h and ' are often indicated in Old Assyrian by signs with h showing that they were still preserving their phonemic status.144 PHONOLOGY 19. "to grow rich". as shown e. A partial identification of the etymological consonants which have coalesced in Assyro-Babylonian ' is at times possible. the older praxis of indicating /'a/ by "a" may as well lead to the conclusion that e. esēdu I esādu (hsd). the glottal stop is omissible and could therefore be considered as an allophone of the zero phoneme. by the Ara­ bic 'alif 'al-wasl which is not pronounced in the classical language. e. Assyro-Babylonian h corresponds in general to h or ġ. is unwarranted: the absence of a symbol does not neces­ sarily coincide with phonetic reality. the conclusion that AssyroBabylonian words could begin with a vowel. However. "dust". as shown e. In reality. "to be small". e.g.g. "ask!".g. hanāmu (ġnm). e. In later periods. sa-'-a-le and ša-a-le. e. So does the presence of the symbol not always mean that a glottal stop has to be articulated. "head".g. by the glottal stop in English an aim contrasted with a name and by the very Neo-Assyrian variant hanniu of anniu. the use of a particular form of the sign AH to indicate ' from the Middle Babylonian and Middle Assyrian periods onwards leaves little doubt about the phonemic status of the glottal stop. hapārum /hapārum/. sehēru (sġr). irregular and optional in medial position. for h and ' had influenced the change of contiguous a into e. 19. "debt". retained in earlier periods.10.g. "to dig". ša-ale stands for /ša 'all and that a is an allograph of ' or '-a. However.9.g.11. "this". e. Amorite influence can probably be detected in spellings like Old Babylonian e-hi-il-tum for e-'-il-tum. In Assyro-Babylonian the laryngals and the pharyngal fricatives have been reduced to the glottal stop '. e.g. was lost in later dialects. epru ('pr). "to be terrified". haslsu (hss). ewûm (hwy). In particular. rahābum Ira'ābuml. rēšu (r's). Dialectal vari­ ations could influence the standard practice of the scribes. Besides.g. and Aramaic influence in the NeoAssyrian form ha-an-ni-e for the demonstrative anniu.



stand" (< Mm). A general shift h > h occurred in Eastern Syriac and in Neo-Aramaic (§19.14). Instead, the exceptional Neo-Assyrian spelling hanâšu for kanāšu, "to bend", is the result of a spirantization of k (§18.5). 19.12. The Canaanite dialects of the second millennium B.C. pos­ sessed not only the two laryngals and the two pharyngal fricatives, expressed by distinct letters in the "Phoenician" alphabet, but also the two velar fricatives h and ġ. While h is indicated in Egyptian by h, e.g. r-h-h, "Rehob", h is transliterated by h, e.g. d-b-h = Tú-bi-hi in an Amarna letter (EA 179). Semitic ' appears also in Egyptian as ', e.g. '-k-3, "Akko", while ġ is transliterated either by q (k) or by g, e.g. q-dt or g-d-t, "Gaza". These distinctions do not appear in the West Semitic alphabetic scripts of the first millennium B.C., when h is represented by "h" and ġ by However, e.g., the name of Gaza (ġzt), in Hebrew 'azzā, is consistently spelt TáQa in Greek and ġzt in Minaic inscriptions; the place-name ġufrā, "covert", in Hebrew 'Oprâ, is called Tocpepa in Greek, while Akko ('ky), in Hebrew 'Akko, appears in Greek as "AKT). Besides, e.g., Bethlehem (byt Ihm), in Hebrew Bēt-Lehem, is transcribed Br|0A,eeu. in Greek, but Jericho (yrhw), in Hebrew Ydrlhd, appears in Greek as 'Epi%(o or Tepi%G), and the proper name 'bhyl, in Hebrew 'Ablhayil, is transcribed 'Afh%<xiÀ,. These examples indicate that a pho­ netic distinction between etymological h and h, as well as between ġ and ', persisted in spoken Hebrew until the Hellenistic period. This phonetic distinction had a phonemic status allowing the Greek translators to dis­ cern, e.g., the 'zry (< ġzr) hmlhmh of I Chron. 12,1, who are "men valiant in battle", from the 'zry (< 'dr) rhb, "the helpers of Rahab", in Job 9,13. In Phoenician, instead, nothing suggests the survival of a dis­ tinction between the velar and the pharyngal fricatives. Any real trace of this distinction vanished also in the pronunciation of Hebrew in Roman times, and St Jerome (348-420 A.D.) never represents ' by g, the same being true of the Punic passages transliterated in the Poenulus of Plautus. 19.13. In Aramaic, the situation is also quite clear despite the use of the "Phoenician" alphabet. The velar fricatives h and ġ are always tran­ scribed by h in cuneiform script, e.g. Ba-hi-a-nu /Baġyān/, "the desired one". Instead, under different conditions, the pharyngal fricatives may either be transcribed by h (e.g. Ha-ab-di-ia = 'bdy) or by ' (e.g. Ba- '-lu = b'l), or correspond to an orthographic zero (e.g. Ab-di-ia = 'bdy;



Ba-al = b'ī). These different spelling conventions mean that the velar fricatives h and ġ had definite characteristics which separated them from the pharyngal fricatives h and ' despite the fact that the alphabetic script used the same letter " h " for both h and h, and the same letter " " ' for both ' and ġ. These phonemes probably remained independent until the Hellenistic period, while the increasing cuneiform use of signs with h to transliterate the laryngal fricative h (e.g. Na-ga-ha-v.v /Nagah-Hadad/, "Hadad has shined") demonstrates the strength and the stability of this phoneme in the period under consideration. However, the h of the divine name hdd I hd is often reduced to ' or assimilated in personal names, perhaps under influence of Assyro-Babylonian Adad (e.g. 'dntn < hdntn, "Hadda gave"; mt'dd < mt'hdd, "Protected by Hadad"). 19.14. Middle Aramaic generally retains the independent articulation of the laryngals and of the pharyngal or velar fricatives, but original ' and h are liable to disappear in certain situations. The velar fricative ' may change into ', as in the Old Syriac proper names 'bdnhy < 'bdnhy, "Servant of Nuhay", and 'bd't' < 'bd'î', "Servant of 'Attā", while ġ changes into ', that is finally pronounced in Neo-Aramaic as an ' which is always retained. The h tends to be articulated /h/ in the West, but it is pronounced as /h/ in Eastern Syriac and in Eastern Neo-Aramaic. The consonants in question are frequently interchanged in Samaritan Ara­ maic, but the etymological spelling is generally retained in the other dialects. In Neo-Aramaic, the final syllable of a word was often written phonetically, but the actual tendency is to write it etymologically, e.g. -leh fief instead "of earlier -/<?. In loanwords the phonemes ', h, ', ġ are also found, e.g. Arabic hākim, "ruler", is written hakim, but is articu­ lated [hakim], while Syriac hakīmā', "wise man", is pronounced [hakktma]; Arabic ġalaba, "victory", is written glabtā, but articulated [ġlapta]. 19.15. In Middle Hebrew, the process h > h and ġ > ' is complete, but the Jewish European tradition realizes h as [h], while it generally reduces ' to ' or to zero. Instead, no velar fricative articulation is attested among the Jewish Arabic-speaking communities, which all retain the pronunciation of the pharyngal fricatives. In the Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew, the laryngals and the pharyngals are reduced to zero. It is possible that the Masoretes have aimed at preventing a similar develop­ ment by means of their peculiar system of vocalizing the pharyngals in the biblical text (§27.10).



19.16. The laryngal ' was weak in Phoenician, as appears from the number of changes and elisions which it suffered. In Late Phoenician ' and ' seem to be losing their distinct consonantal values, as suggested by bd'štrt where ' occurs for '. In Punic, the gradual weakening and the final reduction of ', h, h, ' to zero are seen from spellings like Idn for I'dn, "for the Lord", o r ' d for 'hd, "one", from the frequent interchange of these letters in the orthography (e.g. b'l'mn, bhlhmn, b'l'mn for b 'lhmrì) and from their use as vowel letters in Late Punic and Neo-Punic (§21.14). Latin transcriptions of proper names, like Hasdrubal ('zrb'l), Himilco (hmlkt), etc., cannot be considered as proofs of an actual articu­ lation of Punic pharyngals, for the initial h- just reflects a fashionable Latin pronunciation. 19.17. In Arabic, the laryngals and the pharyngal and velar fricatives are generally retained. The laryngal h was pronounced distinctly in ancient North Arabian, since the divine name Nhy /Nuhay/ is transcribed Nu-ha-a-a in Neo-Assyrian and Nhy in Syriac (§19.14). However, there was a shift h > ' recognizable later in the prefix of the verbal form 'af'ala < haf'ala or in the particle 'in < hin, " i f " .The Arabic sounds h and ġ are usually represented in Greek by % and y. Also ' is transliter­ ated by y in the Damascus fragment (§7.44), e.g. XzyaX for la'all(a), "perhaps", but it is unlikely that something can be inferred from this fact. In vernaculars, dialectal changes ġ > ', h > h, ' > h, ' > ' are attested, and ' may disappear in certain situations, or be replaced by w, y, or be compensated by the lengthening of the contiguous vowel, e.g. in early South-Palestinian tarawwas far classical tar a" as, "he became chief", rayyis far classical ra'ls, "head"; in Maghrebine wekkdl for clas­ sical 'akkala, "he made (him) eat", mya for classical mi'a, "hundred", ūden for classical 'udn, "ear". These cases should be carefully distin­ guished from spellings like Safaitic my, "water", or s my, "heaven", where y is etymological, while it is replaced by hamza in Classical Ara­ bic mā' and samā'. The etymological y is preserved also in the Neo-Ara­ bic broken plural 'amyāh instead of classical 'amwāh.
d x

19.18. In Sabaic, one of the three letters ', ', h is occasionally omitted in a place where it would normally have occurred. These omissions reflect a phonetic trend towards the reduction of these consonants to zero in certain circumstances, e.g. yz for normal yz', "he shall do again"; imperfect ts r, "she will be aware", against perfect s 'rt immediately before; the divine epithet twn instead of the usual thwn. This trend
2 2



appears also in cases where 'b, "(my) father", and 7, "(my) god", are reduced to b and / in compound personal names. In Hadramitic, the 'd is the equivalent of Sabaic'd, "to", which points to a change ' > ', widely attested also in Modern South Arabian and Ethiopian languages. 19.19. In Modern South Arabian, there is a shift ġ > ' and h > h in Soqotri, as well as a tendency for both pharyngals to become glottals. This trend is attested for ' also in Śheri and Mehri, although this conso­ nant occurs explicitly as a radical. E.g. 'h, "brother", is articulated in Soqotri asahi or dhi, while b'l, "possessor", is pronounced in Śheri b'ctl, ba'l or bāl, with the vowel lengthened and realized with the pharyngal constriction required for the pronunciation of '. 19.20. Ge'ez had all the phonemes in question, except ġ that has become ' in all the Semitic languages of Ethiopia. However, some speakers of Tigrinya articulate the voiced velar fricative ġ, which exists also in the Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group. In Tigre and Tigrinya, etymological h and h have coalesced into h, although the nongeminated k is frequently fricativized into k or h in Tigrinya (§ 18.5). A l l the laryngal and pharyngal fricatives tend to become zero in South Ethiopic. The h is still fairly common in Amharic, but it may be dropped as well; e.g. the word for "fifty" may be pronounced hamsa or amsa. However, in Harari, in Argobba, and in some Gurage dialects ', h, h are preserved in certain conditions, e.g. in Harari harāsa, "to plough" (root hrt); hadâra, "to pass the night" (root hdr); sàma'a, "to hear" (root šm'). In modern North Ethiopic, on the contrary, ' may disappear alto­ gether in word-final position (e.g. Tigre mulu', " f u l l " , pronounced [mulu]), while ' and ' may be in free variation with each other (e.g. Tigre ['adddha] or ['addaha], "noon"). The Amharic pronunciation, which reduces the phonemes in question to zero, has affected the spelling of Ge'ez texts, so that inconsistencies and interchanges blurred the orthog­ raphy of many manuscripts. 19.21. According to the Masoretic tradition, the laryngals and the pharyngals, as well as r which shares several of their characteristics, cannot be geminated in Hebrew and in Biblical Aramaic. In the Ethiopian idioms in which gemination is a regular feature, all the conso­ nants can be geminated except ' and h. In Neo-Aramaic, instead, the doubling of the consonants has largely been eliminated and replaced by the length of the preceding vowel. In Arabic, all consonants may be



subject to gemination (e.g.fa"ala, "he caused to make"), and this might have been the original situation also in the other Semitic languages. In any case, the Samaritan tradition geminates Hebrew r and this, doubling of r is confirmed by the Greek transcriptions Xappav, "Harran", Eappa, "Sara", etc., while Late Babylonian transliterations of Jewish names, like Mi-na-ah-he-mu, "Menahem", attest the gemination of pharyngals as well. 19.22. In conclusion, the correspondences of the laryngals, pharyngal and velar fricatives in the principal Semitic languages may be presented as follows:
Pr.-Sem. P.Syr. O.Akk. Amor. Ass.-Bab. Ugar. Hebr. Aram. Arab. E.S.A. Ge'ez

h h

h(' )


h h

h h b>b ġ>'

h h h> h

h h h 8

h gib) h gib) h śib)

19.23. In the broader area of Afro-Asiatic, an alternation ' / g, inde­ pendent from the Greek transcription of ' < ġ by y (§19.12), can be observed when comparing Semitic and Cushitic roots; e.g., Hebrew 'ereb I Somali galab I Rendille geléb, "evening"; Hebrew 'es I Sabaic 'ś I Somali geid, "tree, wood"; Aramaic and Syriac 'all I Oromo and Somali gal / Rendille géèl, "to enter". A similar hlk alternation occurs e.g. between Semitic hrt and Libyco-Berber krz, "to plough"; Semitic hšb, "to assume", and Libyco-Berber kašaf, "to guess". Further research is needed in these comparative fields. 19.24. An initial ' may alternate with w (or y; cf. §15.7) without being the result of a change of wa- into 'a, or in the contrary. This alternation rather implies the existence of variant on-glides, as in Arabic 'ahad and wāhid, "one", from *had (§35.3); 'alifa and walifa, "to be familiar"; 'asmā' and wasmā', "the beatiful one", from *šmay/w; classical 'anātun, "languid woman", from Arabic wanā but Hebrew 'ānā, "to languish"; in Lihyānite 'āfaqū for usual wāfaqū, "they agreed"; Old Babylonian 'ahārum and wahārum, "to be behind". These analogical formations are particularly widespread in the Arabic verb, and the main methodological danger would consist either in considering colloquial wforms as newly formed from classical verbs with initial glottal stop or in



assuming a passage of verbs with first radical w from Stem I to Stem IV because they appear with initial ' in Andalusian Arabic or in modern dialects (§41.11). Besides, this ' may simply introduce a prosthetic vowel. Further research in this matter is needed throughout the whole Afro-Asiatic field, because the alternation ' / w appears also when com­ paring e.g. Semitic waqru and Egyptian Ikr, "excellent".



20. To summarize the evolution of the Semitic consonantal system in the principal languages of the group, the following table may be of some use: .-Sem. P.Syr. O.Akk. Amor. X' ) b d 4 8 sib) h(' ) hO h k I m n P a r s s š s š t t t s w y z
2 4






E.S.A. Ge'ez

b d d 8 8 h h h k I m n P a r s s ś ś S t t t t w y z

r ) b d z g 8(h) h(' ) bn h k I m n P < 7 r s s š s Š t t t s w y z


b d 8 8(b) h h h k I m n P a r s s š s Š t t t s w y z

«(-4) b d z 8 b h k I m n P q r s s š s Š t t Š s w y z

b b b . b d d d d z d>d did 4 8 g Š 8 Ś ġ 8> ' ġ> ' h h h h h h h b h>h h>h h h k k k " k I I I I m m m m n n n n P P P f a <? < 7 •° r r r r s s s s s s s s š Ś ś > s g> š s sit q> ' did Š š Š s t t t t t t t t t Š t>t t t s z i >t w w w w y y y y z z z z

b d 4 8 8 h h h k I m n f a r s(s ) s ś(s ) Ś Ẁ) t t t t w y 1
3 2

b d z 8 h h h ìc I m n f < 7 r s s Ś> s Ś1 s s t t s s w y z



^Haccforma ^pyrationc cametsfub^lcgibusrcncturpuru â i camcts primo loco manétis, ideoq; regimine vcrtitur in fchc ua ^ l ^ p r i m a nimirum per chi fie, quod alioquifchcua'gcmitnim exiftcrer inirio didiohisj dequo p3gin.5&\ Ai reliquaefof roar cameras vocalesanrefcemi* ninuiii murare non confueuc runt ctiarhalîoqiii mutabiíẃ;
B 5

~ Qtúnquarb. Vd<cCtenardihocdixerirrt,r$ quod lint fctminittd, qua* uocalem ante mum iant,ut n s y l p abominatiojn regimine mutat " prim* fyllabd* fub $ in ~\ (nam inputtfy lid* btsfcemimnis non conhūmeranda eft primafyl īabàí quantumfyeftatad ntotionum mutatio* tiem>mft UU prr canonrs mafculmorum fint mutábdcs) C7 dicitur TO%}r* Prouerb. 8. ey

alias Difiioporro

quam ClenardusM*

tulit,non in ufu repentur in liatu regiminis p* fitdidut compoftta cum dffixis. lohan. *faac. Etfidiflio T^ZnonriiJìftâ* tuabfolutoftng num. inBiblijs ufurpeturitá» 'ẃen nomma etusforms (cuius rKgẂÌà hie X Clendrtto popta eft) quam plurimd re)>eriutufz

yumtttd* non mutant. EXcipîunturì^ty
quod in regimine habet rtaft : in affixis

^Vaiuw'í.j.Dfí(ffro«,2i.n^nS in regit
mint n ^ n a . D « t f r W k $ . n i Ẁ in regimine Tti&iinpluráiuyỳmore mafcul.

Fig. 25. Fol. 62/3 of the Tabulae in grammaticam Hehraeam by Nicolaus Clenardus (Cleynaerts) (1493/4-1542), professor of Hebrew at Louvain in 1521-31, with comments by Johan. Quinquarboreus (Cinqarbres) and Johan. Isaac Levita, in the Cologne 1561 edition.





21.1. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has three short vowels (§10.5): low/open back velar a, high/close front palatal /, and high/close back velar u with strongly rounded lips. It also possesses the three cor­ responding long vowels ā, ī, a. Although additional vocalic phonemes have arisen in various Semitic languages, there are no sufficient grounds to suppose that other vowels beíbng to the original core of the Semitic phonemic system. The three vocalic -a-, - i - , -u- classes in the basic stem of the Semitic verb (§37.1; 38.3) and in the basic patterns of the Semitic noun (§28.5-12), the three Ugaritic 'a, 7, 'u signs for the glottal stop (§19.8), and the three vocalic phonemes of Classical Arabic show that these are the sole vowels constituting the vocalic core of the system. The situation is identical in Libyco-Berber. Besides, if one takes the evidence of primitive languages, such as those of America or as Australian Arunta, and considers the Bantu languages of Africa, there is a strong case for regarding a, i , u as primitive vowels, of which e and o are acci­ dental variants, unless they result from diphthongs. However, the real­ ization of the Semitic vowels a, /, u in actual speech can produce other vocalic sounds, mainly in the case of short vowels (cf. §10.11). There is a widespread tendency in Semitic to pronounce high and low vowels, especially when they are unstressed, as mid vowels [e], [a], [o]. Thus short [i] and [u] tend to become [a], as in Ethiopic (§21.30), and the same can happen with [a] (§21.6-8,10,13). Besides, [i] can easily become [e] by lowering the tongue, [u] becomes then [o]. The lack of appropriate vocalic signs, especially for [a] and [o], does often not allow determining the presence of these vowels in an accurate way, and "e" will then stand for [a] and " u " for [o] (§21.3). On the other side, a stressed short vowel tends to become long, and its articulation may at the same time be lowered (e.g. i>l> e) or raised (e.g. a > ā > 6). Some of these new vowels may acquire a phonemic status in a determined lan­ guage. 21.2. Despite their smaller number, the vowels are not second to the consonants with regard to their phonemic importance, as shown e.g. by Hebrew 'ab, "father", 'ēb, "bud", and 'ob, "bag". These words differ by only one phoneme, which is a vowel. Statistical examination of the relationship between consonant and vowel shows that an average Arabic text contains ca. 52% of consonants versus 48% of vowels. Statistical samplings of an average Ethiopic text give similar results: ca. 55% of



consonants versus 45% of vowels. Such statistical calculations offer a salutary corrective to the impressionistic approach to Semitic phonol­ ogy, in which the vowel is considered just as a secondary modifier of a consonantal root. 21.3. Besides a, ā, i, F, u, ū, North and East Semitic languages possess the vocalic phonemes e, ē. The existence of the vowels o, d cannot be proved directly, because the cuneiform writing system does not use spe­ cial signs with o, while variants like qurbu and qarbu, next to qirbu, "near", do not point to [qorbu], but indicate the existence of dialectal variations. Even Ugaritic 'u < 'aw cannot be considered as a conclusive proof of 'o, for the monophthongization aw > ū is as plausible as aw > o. However, the vowels o, o appear in Greek transcriptions of Late Babylonian words in the Seleucid period, e.g. o^ov for uznu, "ear", coei, for ūmī [ūwī], "days". 21.4. The vocalic quantity in North and East Semitic can often be determined only by comparison with other Semitic languages and by application of phonetic principles. In fact, the rule that long vowels can be expressed in cuneiform writing by an additional vowel, as in the type ka-a-nu for kānu, "to be stable", or sa-qu-u for šaqū, "to drink", does not apply to the older phases of North and East Semitic, when this scribal convention was still unknown. Even in later periods, the writing itself rarely indicates length by inserting a vowel sign after the sign for open syllable (e.g. ka-a, qu-u). 21.5. The alternating cuneiform notation of a long vowel in one case and of a "doubled" consonant in the other, e.g. sarru-u-ti and sarru-utti, "kingship" (genitive), should presumably be considered as a spelling convention and not as a phonetic phenomenon which is usually described as doubling of the consonant to compensate for the shortening of the preceding vowel. This variation must represent two different scribal devices used to indicate a long vowel by writing an additional sign which expresses either the sole vowel (e.g. sarru-u-ti) or the vowel plus the consonant of the following syllable (e.g. sarru-ut-ti). The latter practice is just a particular case of the so-called "continuous" spelling in which the final consonant of one sign announces the initial consonant of the following sign without aiming at indicating its gemination, e.g. liil-lik-kà instead of li-il-li-ka /lillika/, "may he come". Signs expressing consonant plus vowel plus consonant {C vC : UK) are not used to
x 2



indicate geminated or long consonants, while pairs of syllabograms graphically doubling a consonant (VCJ-CJV) may either indicate a gemi­ nation (e.g. du-ub-ba Idubbāl, "speak!", root dbb), or express the lengthening of the preceding vowel (e.g. sarru-ut-ti Išarrūtil), or be devoid of any phonetic significance (e.g. Im-li-ik-ku-um, variant Im-likum llmlikumf). The alleged dialectal variation of Assyrian -uttu versus Babylonian -ūtu is hardly sustainable, for the spellings in -ut-tu /-ūtu/, etc., characterize the scribal practice at Ugarit, notably in the "General's Letter", at Boghazkoy, in the Amarna letters from Amurru, etc., where they cannot be regarded as Assyrian dialect forms. 21.6. The Palaeosyrian vowel e is secondarily derived from a under the influence of the consonantal phonemes h and as in En-na-ì-lí /Henna-'III/, " M y god is favourable", Eb-du- Ra-sa-ap /'Ebdu-Rašap/, "Servant of Resheph", both at Ebla, or Eš -tár-ra-at /'Ettarat/, "Astarte", at Mari. The long vowel ē is derived at Ebla from a diph­ thong -ay, as in Ti-iš-te-Da-mu /Tištē-Da'mu/, "Damu has drunk", with a prefix ti- of the third person feminine because of the sex of the name bearer, regardless of the syntax of the name. A short e (rather than i) may result from the reduction of a in unstressed syllables; e.g. ba-tá-qì i-dim /batāq yidim/ next to bí-tá-qì i-dim [betaq yidim], "cutting by hand"; ne-sa-qù(-um) [nešaqu(m)], "to kiss"; a-a-u mi /(l)a'ayu miyl, "getting of water", with loss of initial / (§17.2), next to lé-a-ù ma-a [le'ayu maya], "to get water", with initial sign NI. The long ā does not change into d.
d d 4

21.7. In Old Akkadian, e is secondarily derived either from a, follow­ ing the same conventions as in Palaeosyrian, or from i, as in E-li- /'Elī/ from 'ill, "my god". Long ē is derived from i followed by a "weak" consonant, as in ip-te /iptē/ from *yiptih, "he opened", from a plus a "weak" consonant, as in be-lí/bēlī/ from ba'll, "my lord", from a diph­ thong ay, as in Me-sar /Mēšar/, from *Mayšar, the deified "right", or from an original /, as in šÁM-me /ši'mē/ from ši'mī, "prices" in the oblique case of plural. Vowel i changes into u before š (e.g. ištu > uštu, "from"; cf. §48.18) and before an emphatic consonant (e.g. usārum < *hiśārum, "court"), confirming the velarized nature of the emphatics (§10.9). 21.8. In Amorite, the phonemic status of the short vowel e is uncertain, for e seems to be a positional variant or allophone of i in front oíh,h, I,



r, e.g. El J'El/ or // I'll/. Instead, the long phoneme ē appears in Amorite mēqtil names (e.g. Me-es -li-mu-um /Mēšlimum/, "Well-doer") which formally are causative participles *muhaqtil > *muyaqtil > *miyeqtil > mēqtil, attested in Semitic as late as Neo-Punic (e.g. mysql, "honour­ ing"; myqm, "raiser"). Some interchanges of i and u (e.g. Bi-ni- / Bu-ni-), of a and u (e.g. Sa-mu-1 Su-mu-), and of a and / (e.g. Ba-sa-ar / Bi-siir), in words like bn, "son", šm, "name", or in the name of the mountain Bishir, may possibly suggest the existence of secondary vowels of the i, ii, o, 6 types, but Arabic parallel cases of dialectal i against u (e.g. mishaf I rnushaf, "codex"), of u against a (e.g. summ I samm, "poison"), and of a against / (e.g. lahya / lihya, "beard") rather indicate that binum is used in one dialect, bunum in another, etc., and that these variations were originated under the influence of certain consonantal combinations.

21.9. From the three Ugaritic symbols 'a, 'i, 'u we may probably infer that the Ugaritic vowel system corresponds substantially to that of ProtoSemitic (§21.1). The existence of the phonemes ē and o cannot be deduced from the monophthongizations 7 < 'ay and 'u < 'aw, for ay, aw can also evolve into í (e.g. i-nu < yyn, "wine" in Canaanite; BiGia < byt'n, "House of the Spring" in Punic; BuxoÀAiov < *byt'l, "House of E l " in Phoenician) and ū (e.g. Mou6 < mwt, "Death" in Phoenician), like in Assyro-Babylonian (§21.10). In any case, syllabic transcriptions of Ugaritic names indicate a shift ay > I, as in Mi-ša-ra-nu = mšrn /Mīšarānu/, from *mayšarānu (root ysr, "right); I-nu-ia /'īnuya/, from *'Aynuya (root 'yn,"eye"); I-ia-um-mi /'īya-'ummī/, from *'Ayya'ummī,"Where is my mother?". Like in ancient Hidjazi poetry, also the diphthong iya can become I, as in Bi-di-'-lu /Bīdi-'Ilu/, from *Biyadi'Ili,"By the hand of god". An occasional shift ā > o occurs in personal names, e.g. A-du-ni- \J /'Addnī-Ba'al/,"Baal is my lord". It is attested also at Emar where the same persons are called Da-a-du or Du-u-du, Abba-nu or Ab-bu-nu.

21.10. Assyro-Babylonian presents a vowel system identical with Proto-Semitic, but with the addition of the phonemes e and ē, which were secondarily developed at various periods from a, ā, i, I. For e < a and ē < ā one can refer, e.g., to sebēru < *tabārum, "to break"; qebēru < qabārum, "to bury"; qerēbu < qarābum, "to approach", where r brings about the change ā > ē, like the velar fricatives (§ 19.11). Vowel i followed by any of the so-called "weak" consonants can change into e, e.g. i-ru-ub or e-ru-ub, "he entered", from *(y)i'rub. The change i > e



can also occur before r, h, m, e.g. kal-be, "dog" in genitive, from kalbim, while the shift i > u is attested mainly before emphatics and labi­ als, like in ussu, "arrow", from *hittu, or ummu, "mother", from *'immu. The vowel a characterizes many Old Assyrian words which have i in other dialects; e.g. gamrum, "expenditure", as against Middle Assyrian gimru. There is also a frequent aju alternation; e.g. azni and uzni, "my ear". In Ássyro-Babylonian, the original diphthong ay changes either to I or to ē, e.g. i-nu or e-nu, "eye", from *'aynu. In the writing system, the signs can often be read with i or with e, e.g. gilge, ri/re, šìr/šèr, zikjzek, ib/eb, ir/er, etc. I n the late periods, the loss of final vowels occurs not only in the case of short vowels, as in aẁìl, "man", for the older awllu (nominative), awīli (genitive), awlla (accusative), but also in the case of originally long vowels, as i n rab, "chief", nāš, "holder", for the older rabī, nasi, which were shortened in the interme­ diate period to rabi, nasi. 21.11. Late Babylonian reveals a certain tendency towards alphabeti­ zation of the syllabary with use of odd vowels. This tendency appears not only in the transliteration of Greek words like 7TpoaTcn;r|s, "chief", spelt pu-ru-su-tat-te-su, but already in the spelling of genuine Akkadian forms like ú-zu-na-a-šu for uznāšu, "his ears", li-qi-bu-ni for liqbūni, "may they speak", or i-rak-ka-si for irakkas, "he ties". These odd vow­ els are devoid of any phonetic value and should be explained on a purely graphic basis. 21.12. Old Canaanite, known by texts written in cuneiforms, displays the same vowel system as Assyro-Babylonian. However, the change ā > o, expressed by cuneiform signs in u, is already attested at Hazor in the Old Babylonian period by the theophorous element Ha-nu-ta /'Anot/ < 'Anāt, while North Semitic preserves the long ā: Ha-na-at (Mari), A-natu/ti/te (Ugarit). In the 14th century B.C., the shift ā > o is shown at Pella, in northern Jordan, by the Amarna gloss sú-ki-ni /sokini/ (EA 256,9), from sākinu, "prefect", against Ugaritic sà-ki-ni /sākini/, and it is confirmed in Jerusalem by the pronoun a-nu-ki /'anoki/ (EA 287,66.69), " I " , against Ugaritic a-na-ku l'anākul. The long vowel ē resulting from the monophthongization ay > ē is then found, e.g., at Byblos with the probable qè-e-sí/qēsi/ (EA 131,15) from *qaysu, "sum­ mer", at Tyre with mé-e-ma Internal (EA 148,31), plural of may, "water", and in Palestine with ša-me-ma Išamēmal (EA 264,16), plural of *šamay, "heaven", "sky".



21.13. The Phoenician vowel system can be partially reconstructed with the help of Assyro-Babylonian, Greek, and Latin transcriptions of Phoenician words and names. The many dialectal variations result from the geographic and chronological dispersion of the sources, that witness a number of varying pronunciations. The impact of the Old Canaanite change ā > 6 (e.g. macom /maqdm/ < *maqām, "place") becomes stronger in Phoenician after the accent shift to the last syllable and the lengthening of the stressed vowel, which created a new group of long ā vowels. While the original vocalization of the verbal form is preserved e.g. in Ia-ta-na-e-li [Yatan-'Ell, "El has given", in the 7th century B.C., the change yátan > yatan > yaton is attested in the same period by Sa-mu-nu-ia-tu-ni /Samun-yaton/, "Eshmun has given". The new long a vowel, which resulted from the lengthening of a after the loss of a "weak" consonant, also changed into 6 and later into ū. Thus, the origi­ nal vowels are still preserved in Ba-'-li-ra-'-si /Ba'li-ra'ši/, "Baal of the Cape" (9th century B.C.), but a' > ā is finally reduced in Punic to a, e.g. in Rhysaddir /Rūš 'addīr/, "Mighty Cape", and a' > ā appears finally like d in Anniboni from Hanni-Ba 7, with the loss of final / or a change I > n (§17.4). In closed unaccented and in doubly closed syllables (e.g. A woo for Hanno) the vowel a was short and remained unchanged, although it could be pronounced colloquially as e (e.g. felu < *pa'lū, "they made"). Short / was rather lax and open, so that by the side of the usual MiÀx-, Gi(r)-, there occur the variants MeÀ,K-, rep-, for mlk, "king", and gr, "devotee". The diphthongs ay and aw could develop to ē/ī (e.g. aaur|u- /šamēm/, "heavens"; BiGia /Bīt-'ī(n)f, from byt'n, "House of the Spring") and o/ū (e.g. ICOLUAKOU from Yihaw-milk, "May the king give life!"; Moo0 /Mūt/, "Death"). The use of the matres lec­ tionis in Late Punic and Neo-Punic (§21.14) seems to reflect the lack of a phonemic distinction between u and o. It is noteworthy that the letter y is used in the Latin transcription of the Punic passages in Plautus' Poenulus where we would expect u or i. One should keep in mind that the letter y was not yet used in Latin in Plautus' time, so that it must have been inserted into the Mss later. This happened probably in Accius' day, some fifty years after Plautus' death, when the latter's work seems to have been edited first. At that time, however, Punic was still a very alive language and the representation of a Punic vowel by y would normally signify that it was pro­ nounced [ii] and corresponded to Ionic-Attic u. 21.14. The more widely followed system of vowel letters in Late Punic and Neo-Punic can be schematized as follows:



"y" "w" ""' "'"

for i (e.g. tyt\ "Titus"), sometimes for e (e.g. syntr, "senator"); for u (e.g. Iwqy, "Lucius"), sometimes for o (e.g. rwm'n', "Romanus"); for e (e.g. p'lyks, "Felix") and o (e.g. 'nt'ny', "Antonia"); for a (e.g. grm'nyqs, "Germanicus").

A second, less successful but partly older system, uses " y " for i and " w " for w, like the first system. Besides, it uses ' " " for a (e.g. rm\ "Roma"), " h " for e (e.g. šhqnd', "Secunda"), and " " ' for o (e.g. 'd'n for 'adon, "lord"). In addition h and h could be used for a (e.g. hdn for 'adon; bhrk' for barako, "he has blessed him") and o/u (e.g. qlh for qolo, "his stem"; yhly', "Julia"; šmh for šamo', "he heard"). 21.15. The vowel notation in Hebrew was limited before the 7th/8th century A.D. to the matres lectionis used at least from the 9th century B.C. (§9.9). Therefore, any investigation of ancient Hebrew vocalism is as difficult as that of Early Aramaic. The use of Masoretic punctuation indicating the vowels of the consonantal text began only five hundred years after Mishnaic Hebrew had ceased to be a vernacular. It was inspired by the Syrian practice of vocalizing the Bible by means of dia­ critic marks and it is nearly contemporaneous with the similar vocaliza­ tion of the Qur'ān by early Arab philologists. The names and descrip­ tions of vowel sounds in Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac show that much of the phonological theory then current was common to the students of all three languages; e.g. ptāhā, "the open one" in Syriac, is the vowel a, in Hebrew patah and in Arabic fatha. From the fact that Syriac manuscripts with diacritical marks go back to the 5th century A.D. and that similar vowel signs, with similar values, were used for the sacred texts of the three languages we can safely deduce that the system of Eastern Syriac served as model for the Hebrew and Arabic vocalizations. Besides, Syr­ iac influence is visible in writings on other facets of Hebrew and Arabic grammar, so that impact on the development of the vowel marks is not an isolated phenomenon. 21.16. Within the Masoretic system itself three different traditions can be distinguished: the Babylonian one, the older stage of which is very close to the Eastern Syriac system, the Palestinian tradition, continued by the Samaritans, and the Tiberian one, which is not attested before the 9th century A.D. The first and the second of these vocalization systems indicate the vowels by means of supralinear signs, while the third one uses sublinear symbols (with one exception). There are a few notable differences in the qualitative distinction of vowels between these



systems: the Babylonian and the Palestinian vocalizations do not distin­ guish a (patah) and e (segol). The lack of this phonetic distinction in an ancient pronunciation of Hebrew is confirmed by the Greek transcrip­ tions of the name of Esther as 'Acmip or 'Aa0f|p, which correspond to modern Jewish Yemenite pronunciation. Besides, the Palestinian system did originally not distinguish either a and e ox o and u. The combination of vowel signs with the matres lectionis suggests a certain quantitative evaluation of the vowels. None of these systems allows for a distinction of earlier Hebrew dialects. 21.17. According to the older stage of the Babylonian system, consist­ ing entirely of dots located above the letter and to the left of it, the vow­ els may be represented as follows: ā a e i o u

This system has probably led to some confusion because of the multi­ ple use of the set of two dots, and it was replaced by a system in which ā is symbolized by a small 'ain, a by the shape of aleph with one leg missing, and u by a small waw: j. •< i ā a e i o u

The transcriptions ā and a are approximate and simply correspond to the system followed in the transliteration of Hebrew (§10.3). However, they may be correct since vowel quantity is phonemically relevant in modern Tigre precisely and exclusively in the case of ā/a. A similar sit­ uation cannot be excluded for Hebrew as pronounced in the Babylonian tradition. 21.18. The Palestinian system is not a crystallized one. A few mss. do not distinguish between o and u, while the use of two different symbols for a and e in some classes of mss. imply the existence of allophones. Besides, symbols for a interchange to some extent with e and / in many mss. Such variations appear to reflect different Palestinian pronuncia­ tions of Hebrew over a period ranging from the seventh to the tenth or eleventh centuries A.D. Like in the Babylonian system, the diacritics are located above the letter and a little to the left of it: — or— a — or — e i o — u

instead. Besides. This tradition is phonologically justified for. the Hebrew vocalic system consists of seven full vowels. Greek.) contain a transliteration of the Hebrew Bible in Greek letters and the Dead Sea scrolls are characterized by an intensive use of . ā. 21. It prevailed in Hebrew manuscripts and later on in printed books.19. the qames was probably realized as a lower-mid.20. the qames was considered as a representation either of a long ā or of a short 6. The corresponding translitera­ tion is used also in the present work.y_ <. and Latin texts. and it stands for 6 in an original kull.160 PHONOLOGY This vocalization allows for a clear distinction of the basic vocalic phonemes of Common Semitic with the sole addition of the vowel e. This tradition was followed by the Samaritans with a few changes in the shape or the value of the signs: — J. often symbolized by . the qames stands for ā in qām. as indicated below. "he stood up". best represented by the St. .5). In the Jewish Sephardic tradition. the fragments of the second column of Origen's Hexapla (3rd century A. Petersburg Codex B 19 and the Aleppo Codex. e 21. This pronunciation was officialized in the State of Israel and it is gener­ ally followed in the teaching of Hebrew.D. the three dots are replaced by a dot added to the waw. " a l l " . This sign can be added to the vocalic symbols for a.. Their values. back [o]. In the original' Tiberian pronunciation. A a b e i ujo The transcription 6 is approximate. both vocalized by members of the Ben Asher family (§7. simply correspond to the current transliteration of Hebrew: A a ā (patah) (qames) ē (sere) e (segol) i (hireq) o u (holem) (qibbūs) When a wow is adjacent to the letter followed by the vowel u. Besides these eight signs. In this system. as well as from epigra­ phy. The vowel system of earlier stages of the Hebrew language can be learned to a certain extent from the transcription of Hebrew words and names in cuneiform. The Tiberian system was developed by the Karaite families of Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali.g. e. an additional one ~ (šdwā) is used to indicated a zero vowel or a furtive vowel a. e to express furtive vowels of the same quality.

used by the Nestorians. except in Samar­ itan Aramaic. y. To indicate the vowels old. 21. h. ā. where we have even long medial vowels without matres lectionis. long final vowels ē.D.22. with the use of matres lectionis '. used by the Monophysites or Jaco­ bites.6). In Syriac.g. The exceptions are rare. In Late Aramaic. contrary to the practice in other Aramaic dialects. begins in the Hellenistic period to be written plene with ' (in Mandaic also with ') even in medial position (e. initially indicated only in final position by h or '. but point to a dialectally differentiated sit­ uation of the diphthongs (§ 22. Aramaic uses the matres lectionis w. "houses"). spelling tends to be plene. even in the case of internal short vowels. is based on Greek vowel symbols and probably does not antedate the 7th/8th century A. There are two different methods of vowel notation in Syriac: the Eastern system of dots. i.21. 21. u/ū and I. in Mandaic each and every vowel. b'tyn. is spelled plene. i/e.e.. rby.g. and a. "my teacher". h. 6 that disappeared in speech are in certain cases preserved in writing. and ' to indicate the final and medial vowels o/u. w. e. Syriac is the only Late Aramaic dialect to have standardized vocalization systems of its own. while the dot indicating a long ī is employed with the letter y: a iptāhā) ā/o izqāpa) or r e/i karyā) (rbāsālzlāmā e rbāsā/zlāmā qašyā o o/o ('esāsā rwīhā) o u/ū ('esāsā 'allīsā) (hbāsā) . generally when they are long (§9. they are combined with matres lectionis which are widely employed in Syriac: the dot marking old or u/ū is used with the letter w.5). However. The use of matres lectionis increases with the time and the vowel a. '.D. long or short. The Eastern Syriac vowel signs are located above or under the letter. goes back to the 5th century A. while the Western one. pronounced rab. while Biblical Aramaic and the Targums or Aramaic translations of the Bible use the same systems as Hebrew. y. These sources con­ firm the Canaanite shift ā > o.VOWELS 161 matres lectionis indicating medial and final vowels.

the diphthongs are partially preserved in Nabataean names.g. while the old phonemes o and ū. at Ma'lūla. the demonstrative dā is written d. In fact. but in Thamūdic and in Safaitic no long ā is indicated in writing. Oae5os < 'ws^d. " I " . ē and ī merge in Samaritan Aramaic: their quality and quantity is conditioned by stress (on the penultimate) and syllable (open or closed). as results from Greek transliterations like Avrjak'kas for 'wš'lh. as a rule. i > e. Spellings like MoXmxos do not prove the contrary since Greek at in those times was pronounced like e (cf. Pre-Classical Arabic. Greek translitera­ tions show also occasional shifts u> o. as well as the modern colloquials. "servant".162 PHONOLOGY The Western Syriac vowel signs use the Greek vowel letters mostly irrespective of their quantity: A — a/ā (ptoho) o/o izqofo) JL e/ē irboso) A -L u/ū ('esoso) i/ī (hboso) 21. mt. probably due to the following emphatic consonant (e. bt. but rabbúni. tm < taym. a > o.g.g. and a followed by a laryngal changes into e (e. and a > e. at least. except in Western Syriac and in Western Neo-Aramaic. In some forms of speech. that system differed appreciably from that of Classi­ cal Arabic. ā does in general not change into d. This is shown by Greek transliterations as Noiepos < Ntyrw. "house". The diphthongs were certainly monophthongized aw > o and ay>ē like in many modern Arabic colloquials. pdrūqd. in Western Syriac. e. but .24. It does not indicate the short vowels. Pre-Islamic North Arabian inscriptions do not furnish sufficient indications for a full reconstruction of the vowel system. e. "gift". e. In Nabataean.g. Mo}ie%r|). In Aramaic as in Arabic. "lord". PoaaouaGos = Rdwt /Raśawatf). e. rábbon. "my lord". "head"). a sometimes changes into o.g. 21. "death". V < 'awš. for the phonemes 6 and ē certainly existed in Thamūdic and in Safaitic. is best represented by the con­ sonantal text of the Qur'ān. 'n for 'anā. from which derives Middle or NeoArabic. O^euos < 'Ulaym.23.Instead.g. long ā at the end of words was expressed by ' as in other Aramaic dialects. Thus in Nabataean Arabic names.g. Western Syriac presents cases of a shift 6 > ū and ē > J (e.25. "saviour". but pāroqā in Eastern Syriac. K E E I X O S < Kahll). etc. rīšo. Besides. 21. neither the long vowels nor the diphthongs are indicated in Thamūdic and in Safaitic inscriptions.



contemporaneous Greek transliterations of Arabic names show that it possessed the vowels a, d, e, i, o, u, e.g. OPaiSaAAa psv ApiXaaq xwv (3avi Ieaxcop ['Obedallah bdn 'Ab'ilaha' min banl Yds hof\, in the 7th century A.D. However, the phonemic structure of the short vowels was characterized by the opposition a : i/u, with allophones. The long vowels are indicated by matres lectionis: w and y express respectively ū/â and ī/ē, while ' indicates ā, except at the end of feminine nouns in the "absolute" state where h is used as mater lectionis for ā, like in Ara­ maic, e.g. klmh /kalimāl, "speech". However, these letters may also be etymological, e.g. in sw'l /sū'l/, "demand" (root š'l), later shortened to su'l in a closed syllable, or hdy Ihadiyl, "guidance" (root hdy).

21.26. Classical Arabic, formalized in the 8th-9th centuries A.D. by Arab grammarians, presents a vowel system which corresponds phonemically to the Proto-Semitic one with the three short or long vowels a/ā, i/ī, u/ū. The existing system of matres lectionis was complemented in the late 7th cen­ tury A.D. by a system of diacritics inspired by the Eastern Syriac system: a dot above the letter for a, a dot under the letter for i, and a dot in the midst of the letter or to its left for w. Duplicated dots, placed in the same posi­ tions, indicated the nunation -un, -in, -an (tanwīn). This old system, attested in the 8th century A.D. by Kufic manuscripts of the Qur'ān, was expanded towards the end of the same century by additional diacritical signs, and the dots were replaced by other diacritics, used henceforth in Qur'ān and Hadīth manuscripts, i.e. from the 9th-10th centuries on: ia (fatha) i (kasra) 1. u (damma)

For the notation of long vowels, these diacritics are consistently com­ bined with the matres lectionis ', y, w and added to the preceding conso­ nant. A special symbol called sukūn (^-) denotes the absence of a vowel; it is also called ġazma when placed on the final consonant of a word. In order to distinguish the glottal stop (hamz) from the mater lec­ tionis ā, a sign called hamza ( —) is placed above the letter '. To signify the reading 'ā with the glottal stop followed by a long ā, another symbol is placed above the letter, namely madda (-^). In the Qur'ān, however madda is used to indicate ā', V, ū'. The prosthetic ' (§ 27.15), albeit tra­ ditionally written, is not supposed to be pronounced in the Classical lan­ guage and it is therefore distinguished by a symbol called wasla or sila {—), e.g. in 'sm, "name"; 'bn, "son".



21.27. Early Arab grammarians and descriptive studies of modern col­ loquials reveal the extensive variations in the timbre of Arabic vowels. The main tendencies are already described in the traditional Arabic grammars which single out two principal phonetic phenomena: 1° imāla, a non-conditioned palatalization ā > ē, e.g. sēra instead of sāra, "he arrived"; 2° tafhīm, a velarization ā > o, sometimes conditioned by the neighbourhood of emphatic consonants, but heard also, e.g., in saldmun 'alaikum. In modern colloquials, 6 is often a free variant of ū (e.g. bākor, " f i g " , in Algeria), but it can also result from the contraction, e.g., of the pronominal suffix -ahu > -o. In several dialects, the short a is preserved, but i and u change into a, unless they occur in a final closed syllable where they are pronounced e and o, e.g. in Damascus. In some colloquials of North Africa, all the short vowels are elided or reduced to 9. Thus, the very short vowel a can derive from original a (e.g. sahra, "rock"), i (e.g. ddll, "shade") or u (ba'd, "distance"). In general, the variations can be very important as shown, e.g., by the different pronun­ ciations of the word "name" in urban colloquials of Algeria: Isdm at Algiers, sdm at Djidjelli, āsam at Cherchel. These developments are partly depending on the Libyco-Berber substratum and adstratum. 21.28. In Epigraphic South Arabian, no vowels are indicated, except for the use of w and y ambivalently for either consonant or vowel nota­ tion. The spelling of the pronominal suffix -hmw indicates a pronuncia­ tion ending in -u and variant spellings like ywm and ym, "day", in the same inscription obviously express the same pronunciation yam or the like. Similary, y might represent I / ē. Instead, there is no notation at all for long ā, except in two or three aberrant cases. 21.29. In Modern South Arabian languages, vowel quality and quan­ tity are closely related to stress. In Sheri and Soqotri, there is a large range of vowels a, e, ā, a, i, o, d, u, which are generally long in stressed syllables. In Mehri, there are five long vowels ā, ē, F, o, ū, and two short vowels d and a, which occurs only in stressed closed syllables. E.g. kdtob, "to write", corresponds to kt'db in Śheri and Soqotri. 21.30. Old Ethiopic or Ge'ez was at first written in a purely consonan­ tal way, like Epigraphic South Arabian, but in the 4th century A.D. the consonantal symbols were provided with regular vowel markings by adding short strokes or circles and other alterations in the shape of let­ ters. The vocalism which is manifested by this notation distinguishes



seven "orders" or syllabograms for each consonant, as can be seen in Fig. 21 (§9.7). These distinctions are essentially qualitative, with the probable exception of Ge'ez ā and a. Also in Tigre, vowel quantity is relevant phonemically only in the case of a/ā. Beside this case, the Proto-Ethiopic origin of the single modern Ethiopic vowels can be reconstructed as follows: ā < a; u < ū; i < F; a < ā; e < ay; d < i/u; o < aw. In classical Ge'ez, the vowel a is reduced to d before laryngals and pharyngals. The Ethiopic change i > d and u > d is paralleled to some extent in Tuareg (e.g. ergative d-mnokal < *u-mnokal, "king"; ta-barart < *tu-barrart, " g i r l " ; plural d-ndsldm-dn < *u-ndstem-9n, "Moslems"; non-active case d-lkas-dn < *i-lkas-dn, td-lkas-en < *ti-lkas-en, "gourds") and a similar tendency is widely attested in Arabic colloqui­ als (§21.27). 21.31. The modem Ethiopian languages have several additional vowels, short and long. The two central vowels à and d are the most frequent ones, but they show variation in pronunciation depending on the surrounding sounds. A l l the vowels can be nasalized and the long vowels are generally phonemic. They may result from various phonetic developments, as dis­ appearance of intervocalic, prevocalic or postvocalic consonants, or con­ traction of contiguous short vowels. Short vowels are liable to variation and allophones occur frequently. In particular, [o] seems to function some­ times as an allophone of a zero phoneme. For further details, studies of the various languages and dialects concerned have to be consulted. 21.32. There is a widespread tendency in spoken Semitic languages to weaken short -a- to -d- or -e-, and to -i-. The resulting vowel has an indistinct timbre, especially in an unaccented syllable preceding a stressed one. Very often such vowels disappear altogether. There is little doubt that this unconditioned weakening of -a- took place also in ancient Semitic languages, but it is concealed by the conventional and system­ atized spelling of the scribes. At Ebla, however, where there was obvi­ ously no longstanding tradition of writing the local idiom, the variant spelling of proper names reveal the same tendency. Thus, the same place name may be written a-ga-lu or i-ga-lu \ the same personal name may be spelt a-da-ad-mu or i-da-ad-mu, 'à-gi or i-gi. At Ugarit, instead, the occasional change a > i results from a vowel assimilation and is thus phonetically conditioned; e.g. 'ihqm /'lhlqam/ < 'ahqm. There are also examples of a change a > o in close syllable, e.g. in the name Sabbat(ay) transcribed Io|3|3aeo(<;) in the 3rd century B.C. (§21.24).
kl k



22.1. Diphthongs are continuous monosyllabic speech sounds made by gliding from the articulatory position for one vowel towards that for a semivowel ("falling" diphthong), or the opposite ("rising" diphthong). They usually undergo a different development from that of their compo­ nents. The combined sounds are subject to a number of conditioned changes which will be dealt widi in the appropriate paragraphs. Some changes, however, are not conditioned: they affect, in particular, the falling diphthongs aw, ay, whose development presents several varieties. When the semivowel w or y is not long or geminated, as in ayyābu, "enemy", or qawwām "manager", the diphthong is often monophthon­ gized. Thus aw is reduced either to ā or to o/u, and ay changes either to ā or to ē/ī. 22.2. Besides, diphthongs can arise when two vowels meet or they can originate from long vowels, the diphthongization of which leads to the creation of new nominal and verbal patterns. E.g. the colloquial Arabic verb ġawraba, "he put on socks", derives formally from Stem I I I ġāraba of the root grb (§22.17), with lengthened first vowel, while Stem I I of the same verb means "to test, to try". 22.3. The phonetic shifts aw > ā and ay > ā are found in several Semitic languages. In Palaeosyrian, at Ebla, the variants a-mu 'à-mu-tum and a-aw-mu 'à-mu-tum f(y)a(w)mū hammūtum/, "hot days", both with the elision of initial y, suggest the dialectal coexistence of the diphthong and of the contracted form ā < aw, while the change ay > ā appears fre­ quently, e.g. in ba-tu < baytu, "house", or in Ba-na-a-hu /Banā-'ahu/, "The brother is nice". The name of Ebla itself, spelt lb/Eb-la , later E-eb-la-a- or I-ib-la-a in Hurrian texts, testifies to this monophthongization, since it is still written Yb3y = Yiblay or Yeblay in an Egyptian execration text which mentions its Amorite king Šmšwìpìrìm = Šamšu'app-'ilim, "The sun is the face of God" (E 43). Also in Amorite names, we find the variants Ia-aw-si-DiNGiR and Ia-sí-DiNGiR /Ya(w)śi-'El/, "El went out", with the change aw > ā, while the shift of final ay > ā appears e.g. in Ra-sa- Da-gan /Raśā-Dagān/, "Dagan is pleased". The shift 'ayn > 'ān, "eye", is implied at Ugarit by the spelling of lGl-at l'Anāt/, and the widespread change ay > ā is confirmed there by syllabic transcriptions like Ma-ag-da-la-a for Mgdly, Sá-am-ra-a for Tmry, etc., which indicate the monophthongization ay > ā at the end of a word. A n
kl á md



earlier pronunciation is attested for the first place name by Mktry /Magdalayl in an Egyptian execration text (E 5 ) . 22.4. The change ay > ā is widely attested in Arabic. Thus, e.g. Safaitic my, "water", and s my, "heaven", become in Classical Arabic mā' and samā', while early Arab grammarians mention 'alāhā, "upon her", for 'alayhā; salām 'alākum, "peace upon you", for 'alaykum; i/āka, "to you", for ilayka; ladāka, "with you", for ladayka, etc. In modern vernaculars, the change ay > ā occurs in closed syllables of the Syrian dialect of the Nusayris (e.g. bāt, "house", but bayti, "my house"), and before accented syllables in a few dialects of Southern Tunisia (e.g. zātun, "olives"; bada, "white"). In verbal roots with "weak" w/y as third radical, the singular of the base-stem shows the monophthongization -aw > -ā and -ay > -ā when the semivowel is not retained; e.g. ġafā < *ġafaw, "he treated harshly"; bakā < *bakay, "he wept". In fact, the termination -a of the perfect in Classical Arabic is not attested either in modern colloquials or in Safaitic, judging from Greek transliterations like MaaaxnA-Os, Lautx%T|}ios, etc. And a pro­ nunciation 'atā, bakā, etc., as in Classical Arabic, is unlikely in Safaitic because of the spelling 'ty, "he came", bky, "he wept", etc. The monophthongization of -ay > -ā seems to have taken place in Arabic quite late. E.g. the name of the Arab goddess al-'Uzzà is written 'zy not only in the Nabataean name 'bd-'l-'zy, "Servant of al-'Uzzā", but the Syrian writer Isaac of Antioch, in a poem describing events of ca. 4 5 7 A.D., still renders her name as 'wzy. Also the frequent Arabic spelling of final long ā with a -y goes back to the Pre-Classical language in which the monophthongization had not yet taken place. But the final -ay becomes -ā in the interior of Safaitic composite names, e.g. wh'l /W ahā-'It!/,"God has revealed". This development is attested in most Semitic languages.
! r

22.5. In Old Akkadian, the original diphthong ay changes to ē or f, as in Me-sar < *Mayšar, "right"; e-ni-a < *'aynīa, "my eye"; bi-tum < *baytum, "house". The original diphthong aw is reduced to ū, as in u-mi- < *yawmi-, "day"; u-su-zi < *ušawśi', "he led on". The reduction does not take place when the semivowel of ay is long or geminated, like in a it-ti-in /ayyiddin/, "may he not give". The same changes occur reg­ ularly in Assyro-Babylonian (§21.10), with the same exception of ayy, e.g. ayyābu, "enemy". In North Semitic, changes ay > ā (§ 22.2) and ay > ē/ī are attested at the same time, suggesting the existence of such



unknown factors as the dialectal distribution, e.g. in texts from Ugarit (§ 21.9; 22.3). 22.6. The shifts ay > ī/ē and aw > ū/o occur in Old Canaanite (§21.12), in Phoenician and Punic (§ 21.9,13), and in ancient Hebrew, where spellings like yn in the Samaria ostraca instead of yyn, "wine", 'b instead of 'wyb, "enemy", and 'nm instead of 'wnm, "their sin", in a Qumrān fragment (4QPs 89), indicate the reductions ay > Hē and aw > ū/6. In Masoretic Hebrew, the diphthongs aw and ay remain generally unreduced when the semivowel was originally long or geminated (e.g. hay < *hayy, "living"), when the diphthong constitutes the final syllable of a word which is not in the construct state (e.g. layl, "night"), or when it precedes the enclitic particle -h expressing the direction (e.g. šāmaymāh, "towards heaven"). However, there is a tendency not only to preserve or to restore the diphthong, but even to split it into two sylla­ bles, e.g. bayit < *bayt, "house"; māwet < *mawt, "death". 22.7. This tendency to expand and split the diphthongs radically dif­ fers from the general trend observed in Pre-Islamic North Arabian (§21.24) and in Arabic, except in the classical language which preserves the original diphthongs in medial position, but often reduces -ay to -ā at the end of words (§ 22.4). The reduction -ay > -ē is indirectly attested at al-Kūfa where Qur'ān codices frequently write -' instead of the final -y and where long ā was subject to imāla (§21.27). In the Syro-Palestinian dialects, the diphthongs ay and aw, followed by a consonant, are gener­ ally reduced to e (e.g. lēl < layl, "night") and 6 (e.g. tor <tawr, "bull"). However, there are also cases of a monophthongization ay > I (e.g. bltār < Syriac paytārā, "farrier") and aw > ū (e.g. ġū'ān < ġaw'ān, "hun­ gry"). Instead, these are the best attested reductions of the diphthongs ay and aw in Arabic colloquials of North Africa; e.g. bhlra < buhayra, "pond"; bin < bayn, "between", mūġa < mawg«,"wave"; yūm < y#wm,"day". Cases of aw becoming ū are rare outside the Maghrib, but the change of initial aw > ū, as in ūlad < awlād,"children", is ascribed to the ancient Tamīm dialect of northeast Arabia. 22.8. The contraction of diphthongs in Early Aramaic is attested in certain dialects and in certain circumstances. In the Tell Fekherye inscription from the mid-9th century B.C., the closed syllable of the nonsuffixed construct state of byt in bt hdd, "temple of Hadad", shows the reduction, while the open syllable of the suffixed form byth is spelt with



yod. The monophthongization of bayt might have been bāt, as suggested by Bat-ti-il-, Ba-ti-il-, Bathillo in Latin transcription, i.e. /Bāt-'Il/, an Aramaic divine name meaning "God's house", but the reductions ay > I and ay > ē are also attested, e.g. by E-ni-il designating the same person as A-i-ni-U, "Eye of God", or by Sa-mir-i-na besides Sá-ma-ra-'-in, "Samaria". It is clear that forms preserving the diphthong ay and forms reducing it to ā, ē, or ī could coexist in the same area and in the same period. Also in later times, the diphthong ay could be either preserved or monophthongized. In Syriac, it is preserved unless occurring in a doubly closed syllable, e.g. 'aynā, "eye", but 'ēn in the construct state. In Eastern Neo-Aramaic the reduction ay > ē is general, e.g. bēsa < baytā, and ē shows a tendency to change into i. A similar reduction occurs in Tūroyo with the monophthongization ay > i; e.g. milef < maylaf, " i t is learned". Instead, the diphthong ay is generally preserved in Western Neo-Aramaic. 22.9. The parallel use of 7 yrwh and 7 yrwy, "let it not be sated", at Tell Fekherye, suggests a reduction to -ē indicated by -h, while -y prob­ ably represents either a historical spelling, inherited from an older stage of the language, or a secondary diphthongization -ē > ~ey. Since the diphthong -ay at the end of perfect forms of the basic stem is invariably reduced to -ā (e.g. band < *banay, "he built"), the reduction to -ē at the end of a word should be rather explained here by the contraction -iy > -I > -ē (*yarwìy > yarwī > yirwē), well attested in Aramaic by variants as Zab-di-ia /Zabdìy/ and Zab-de-e /Zabdê/, Ba-ni-ìá /Bāniy/ and Ba-né-e /Bānē/, designating the same person. 22.10. The diphthong aw can be preserved in Aramaic or be reduced to o I ū. The spelling with w, even in Early Aramaic inscriptions, does not allow deciding whether w indicates the semivowel, or is used as a mater lectionis for 6 / ū, or is simply a historical spelling. E.g. the name mwdd, from the root wdd, "to love", appears in cuneiform transcription as Mu-da-da, Mu-da-di, and in Greek as Mco8a5. In Syriac, the noun "death" is spelt mawtā, but its construct state appears as mūt, because the preservation of the diphthong would then result in a doubly closed syllable. In Eastern Neo-Aramaic, the diphthong is always reduced to 6 (e.g. motā, "death"), unless the a is long or the w geminated, as in qawwama, spelt qāwemā, "to get up, to go". The same reduction is applied to diphthongs originating from the change b > b > w, as in gabrā > gabrā > gawrā > gorā, "man". The o shows a further tendency to



change into ii. A similar monophthongization dw > u occurs in Turoyo (e.g. ktúli < *ktáwli, " I wrote"), while aw is generally preserved in Western Neo-Aramaic. 22.11. In Epigraphic South Arabian, variant spellings like bt and byt, "house", or ym and ywm, "day", even in one and the same text, indicate that both can be facultative variant orthographies for a single pronuncia­ tion, probably bēt and yom, according to the modern Hadramawt collo­ quial which contracts ay into ē (e.g. ēdā < 'aydan, "also"; 'ēn < 'ayn, "eye"), and aw into 6 (e.g. yom < yawm, "day"); cases of aw becoming ū are rare outside the Maghrib. A n alternative interpretation, which would introduce a distinction either between open and closed syllables, or between stressed and unstressed syllables, does not explain all the variant spellings byt I bt and ywm / ym, since they occur in the same forms, as ywmtn and ymtn, "the days". 22.12. In ancient Ethiopic or Ge'ez the diphthongs appear in reduced form, e.g. yom < yom, "today", lelit < lēlīt, "night", but there are many variations. In the modern Ethiopian languages, the number of divergent realizations of diphthongs is even greater. E.g., while the "threshing floor" is called awd in some Gurage dialects, it is od in others. Simi­ larly, "sheep" is said tay (< tali) in some Gurage idioms, why it is te in other dialects. The reduction pattern appears to be aw > o and ay > e. 22.13. The diphthongs iw, uw, uy are reduced to ū in Assyro-Babylon­ ian, e.g. ūbil < *iwbil, "he brought"; Šūbil < *šuwbil, "send!", šūšur < *šuyšur, "is kept in order". Original iy is instead monophthongized to I, e.g. ide < *iyda', "he knows". In Arabic, instead, iw changes to iy > t at the end of a syllable; e.g. īqā' < *'iwqā', "rhythm", from the root wq'. Also uy develops to iy > ī, sometimes to uw > ū; e.g. bid < *buyd, "lay­ ings (of eggs)", from the root byd; mūqin < *muyqin, "certain", from the root yqn. When the Phoenician orthography was fixed, the suffix -iy of the first person singular was still pronounced -iya after nouns in the oblique cases, e.g. 'by, " o f my father". With the loss of final short vowels it was reduced to -iy, which in time was simplified to -J, but the writing with y was preserved and even extended by analogy to nomina­ tive nouns (e.g. 'my, "my mother"), despite the fact that Phoenician does generally not use any matres lectionis. The same development is attested in Palaeosyrian by synchronic variants; e.g. i-a-la-nu ['iyalānu] and i-la-nu-um or ì-la-núm ['īlānum], "a large tree". In Hebrew, uw



becomes ū and iy changes in i ; e.g. hūšab < *huwtab, "he set"; yīraš < *yiyrat, "he will inherit". Corresponding reductions are also common in Ethiopian languages. 22.14. The rising diphthongs yi- and yu- of the prefixed verbal forms of the third person are not indicated in Palaeosyrian, but they are proba­ bly signified in Old Akkadian by the spellings i-ik-mi- lyikmī-l, "he cap­ tured" (root kmy), i-is-e- /yiš'ē-/, "he searched" (root š'y), u-ub-lam /yūblam/, "he brought" (root wbl), u-ur-da-ni /yūrdanni/, "it went down on me" (root wrd). Similar spellings occur in Old Assyrian; e.g. ú-ub-lu lyublūl, "they brought"; i-ìš-qú-ul /yitqul/, "he weighed out". In Amor­ ite, yi- is only expressed by i-, but yu- is attested by the name Iu-um-raa5-DiNGiR /Yumraś-'El/, "El grieved". In Assyro-Babylonian, yi- is reduced to i- and yu- to u-. Also ya- is monophthongized to e.g. idu < *yadu, "hand", but the alternative spellings with a- and /- in Palaeosyr­ ian indicate the change ya- > yi-, without monophthongization; e.g. a-me-tum /yamittum/ and i-me-tum lyimettuml, "right side". This change explains the form yi- > i- of the prefixed personal in most Semitic lan­ guages (§40.31) and, occasionally, of the first syllable ya- in the basic stem of verbs like yāda', "he recognized"; e.g. in the Edomite proper name Qwsyd' transcribed KOOT8T| in a bilingual ostracon from the 3rd century B.C. 22.15. Secondary diphthongizations are to be found in Semitic lan­ guages when two vowels meet. In such a case, either the two vowels coalesce and there is crasis (e.g. Arabic ī+ū > ū; ū+ī > i; Tigrinya d+a > a; Amharic a+a > a), or a "hiatus-filling" semivowel y or w is pro­ duced. The so-called "weak" verbs, the root of which is monosyllabic and contains a long vowel ā, l, ū, give frequently rise to such secondary diphthongs, e.g. qūm, "to get up", śīm, "to place", kūn, "to be". Thus, the active participle of qūm is in Aramaic either qym /qāyim/, or q'ym with a medial mater lectionis, or q'm with ' substituting the y after ā. While the form qym goes back to the 6th century B.C., the glottal stop replaces the glide y only in the 2nd century B.C. Also in modern South Ethiopic, the glottal stop may replace w or y, as in e'àdā, "to tell", and we'a, "to go down", in one of the Gurage dialects, against ewādā and wayā in other dialects. The situation in Arabic is similar to that of Ara­ maic. In Pre-Classical Arabic, as apparent in the consonantal text of the Qur'ān, the active participle of the same verb is q'ym /qāyim/, "stand­ ing", which was reinterpreted in Classical Arabic as qā'imun. Such



changes are well-known to Arab grammarians who call them 'ibdāl nahwī or sarfì, "grammatical substitution", but consider usually that hamza is replaced by wāw or ya, although the etymological form is, e.g., miyar, "provisions", while mi*or is a secondary form historically. Safaitic inscriptions use sometimes ' as in k'n /kā'in/, "being", but in some cases y is written even instead of an etymological ', chiefly in the neighbourhood of the vowel i, as in hnyt /hāniyat/, "maid" (root hn'). In Epigraphic South Arabian, there is no trace of the practice of substitut­ ing ' for w/y after ā, and the modern Arab colloquials are identical in this respect with the Pre-Classical language. E.g., in Syro-Palestinian dialects, the participle "seeing" of šūf is šāyef and, in Maghrebine dialects, the participle "lodging" of bāt is bāyit. Because cuneiform script lacks specific signs with semivowels, spellings like sa-i-im, sa-imu, "fixing" (root śīm), are ambiguous. Assyriologists explain them usually as šā'imu, but occasional Standard Babylonian forms as da-a-aik /dāyik/, "killing", seem to indicate that one should always read šāyim, etc. In Hebrew, the forms qām, "standing", met, "dead", imply the monophthongization of the secondary diphthongs: *qāyim > qām, *māyit > met. In modern Ethiopian languages, w can be used in medial position as a transitional consonant between two vowels, e.g. duwa from Arabic du'ā', "Muslim prayer". 22.16. There is a series of nominal patterns extended by a diphthong, like fay 'al, faw 'al, fay 'āl, fay 'ūl, fu 'ayI, fu' 'ayI, fi' 'awl, known not only from Arabic but also from other Semitic languages. In particular, the patterns faw 'al "and fu 'ayl — the latter used for diminutives — are attested also in Aramaic (e.g. 'lym, "lad") (§29.10). The monosyllabic patterns fayl má fawl alternate sometimes with noun types ClC and CūC (§29.9), and a possible example of a fay I noun paralleled by a CāC type is provided by the word bayt, "house", apparently related to Cushitic bati, "roof" (Oromo), borrowed in Gafat with the same meaning. 22.17. Verbal Stem I I I with lengthened first vowel — attested in Ara­ bic, Ethiopic, and Syriac (§41.5) — kan give rise to a secondary diph­ thong developed from the long vowel. This is perhaps non evident when comparing, e.g., Classical Arabic ġawġa'a or ġawġā, "to cluck" (of hens), with Syro-Palestinian colloquial gāga, because the verb derives from an onomatopoeia, but colloquial horab, "to strike up a war song", is best explained as *hawrab < hārab, "to wage war", since aw > 6 is the normal reduction in Syro-Palestinian colloquials. The existence of a



fā 'ala > faw 'ala I fay 'ala stem in Ethiopic is implied by forms of the types qotala and qetala. As for Syriac, e.g., the form gawzel, "he set fire on", is best interpreted as a Stem I I I ā > aw of the root gzl, "to plun­ der". These developments are important for a right understanding of the secondary stems of the monosyllabic verbs with a long vowel (§44.5-9). 22.18. Another type of secondary diphthongs can explain the forma­ tion of some secondary verbal roots with "weak" first radicals, e.g. wld I yld, "to bear" (§43.6-7). Thus in Ethiopian Gurage dialects, e.g., the prepalatal y can be an on-glide before the vowels à, e, 9, i, e.g. ydrbat and àrbat, "evening meal". In the same way, labial w can serve in South Ethiopic as an on-glide in initial position before o, u, e.g. wof and of, "bird". This phenomenon cannot be equated with the appearance of a diphthong at the beginning of a Berber noun to which the ergative w-prefix is added, e.g. wagmar < u+agmar, "horse"; yildf < u-ibf-, "wild boar".


23.1. Gemination or consonantal length can be justified etymologically or grammatically, but it occurs also when a long vowel plus a single consonant is replaced by a short vowel plus a doubled consonant, as in Hebrew gdmallim, "camels", "dromedaries", plural of gāmāl (§24.7). Some Semitic languages and dialects are non-geminating in part or in general (§23.5). A compensatory lengthening of the contiguous vowel may then correspond to the gemination, as in Neo-Aramaic dābāšā, "bee", instead of dabbāšā. Gemination is phonemic in the Semitic lan­ guages in which gemination or lengthening of consonants is a regular feature, as it appears, e.g., from Arabic kabara, "to become great", and kabbara, "to make great", or North Ethiopic (Tigrinya) qátànà, "to be small", and qàttānà, "to liquefy", 'abay, "wild", and 'abbay, "Blue Nile", and South Ethiopic (Gurage) abar, "dry season", and abbar, "young man", where gemination and non-gemination of b and t consti­ tute the sole phonemic difference between the two words. It has been suggested that there may have been a phonetic difference in Semitic between long consonants and double or geminated consonants. In fact, there is a category of "continuant" consonants that can be held continuously, with variable tension but without changing quality, and a second category of socalled "kinetic" or "interrupted" sounds that cannot be so held. The first group



comprises the nasal, lateral, fricative, and rolled phonemes, while the second one includes the plosives and the affricates (e.g. [ts]). The gemination of the phonemes of the second group does not imply length, properly speaking, but increased tension which is perceivable in the case of a voiceless plosive, while a voiced one is reckoned less tense since a considerable part of the air it uses is consumed by voicing alone. Therefore, really geminated voiced plosives have to be pronounced either by doubly stopping the chamber of the mouth and sucking in the breath, or by changing the quality, as /bb/ > [mb] or [bb], [dd] > [nd] or [dd], /gg/ > [ng] or [gg]. The first articulation is encountered, e.g., among native Tūroyo speakers and among speakers of Western Neo-Aramaic who even insert an anaptyctic vowel between the geminated consonants; e.g. amehl < amell, "he said to them" (Ġubb 'Adīn). Concrete examples of the second pronounciation in ancient Semitic languages are probably provided by such transcriptions as Eercipcbpa for Sìpporā, 'AK^W for 'Akko, MaxGaGias for Mattityā, which aptly illustrate the changing quality of geminated plosives. In other circum­ stances or forms of speech, and especially in the articulation of "continuants", the so-called "doubling" of a consonant does not consist phonetically in its double articulation, but either in its lengthening or in its amplification. This may vary from a slight "tightening" or lengthening in time to much more than dou­ ble. We keep nevertheless using the traditional terminology and the current notation of consonantal length or tension by transcribing the long or tense con­ sonant twice, e.g. bb. This notation is interchangeable with the symbol /b:/ employed in the international phonetic system and with the capital letter B adopted by some authors. 23.2. Gemination is sometimes hardly audible, particularly at the end of a word (§24.5), where it is not recorded either in Amharic or in Hebrew, e.g. 'am, "people", instead of 'amm. However, it becomes evi­ dent when the final consonant is followed by a vowel, e.g. Hebrew 'amml, "my people". Gemination is at times missing also in the middle of a word, as shown by the Masoretic notation mdbaqdšīm (Ex. 4,19; 10,11), "seeking", instead of the expected *mdbaqqdšlm. Besides, there is no regular marking of long consonants in cuneiform script and there is no such notation at all in Semitic alphabetic scripts, except in some rare cases (§23.3), until the introduction of special diacritics in Hebrew and in Arabic (§23.4). 23.3. Early essays aiming at indicating a geminated or long consonant are found, e.g., in the Hebrew Bible, where the variant spelling hrry of hry must express the plural construct state *harre, "mountains". In Lit­ erary and Official Aramaic, spellings like 'mm' for 'ammā', "the peo­ ple", or dššn and dššy' for the plural of the noun dašš(ā), "door", should be explained in the same way. Besides, it is very likely that at least the liquids and the nasal n, when geminated, were sometimes written in



Safaitic with a double / and a double n, e.g. kllhm = klhm, "all of them", tnn'l = tn'l, Tavvr|À,os, "God has considered" or the like. 23.4. In the Hebrew vocalization systems, the symbol called dageš — generally a dot placed in the letter — is used to mark the gemination of a consonant, but it is in reality an ambiguous sign, since it can also indicate the lack of gemination and the plosive pronunciation of the con­ sonants b g dkp t. This was probably the original function of the dageš used with the plosives, since these phonemes cannot be lengthened, properly speaking, but only amplified by other means, as a pronuncia­ tion with greater pressure. Only Arabic sadda (*) indicates in an unam­ biguous way that the consonant is long or geminated, e.g. 'ammu, "paternal uncle". 23.5. In principle, all the consonants can be geminated, but ' and h are not geminated in Ethiopian languages and the Masoretic punctuation of Hebrew and of Biblical Aramaic in principle excludes the gemination of the pharyngals (h,'), of the laryngals (', h), and of r. In Neo-Aramaic, the doubling of consonants has largely been eliminated and replaced by the lengthening of the preceding vowel, e.g. yāma < yammā, "sea", but a secondary gemination can oppose a word to its counterpart characterized by a long vowel followed by the single consonant, e.g. /mīta/, "dead" (masculine), and /mitta/, "dead" (feminine). There are also non-gemi­ nating dialects in the modern Ethiopian languages, although gemination through assimilation occurs in these dialects as well, e.g. wàsse < wàsfe, "awl", in a non-geminating Gurage dialect. 23.6. Assimilation and resulting gemination occur in all the Semitic languages and will be examined in the appropriate paragraphs dealing with conditioned sound changes (§27.3-7). Instead, dissimilation of gem­ ination is a common Semitic phenomenon which is not conditioned by any particular phonetic environment. It amounts to a phonemic split or diphonemization, if the resulting sounds become significant (cf. §10.7,12), as in Neo-Arabic where the dissimilation may serve as means to distinguish verbal Stems I and I I (e.g. ġarmaš < ġammaš, "to scratch", vs. ġamas, in Lebanon). A geminated consonant can be dissimilated through n and m, through the liquids / and r, sometimes through ' and y. It should be stressed that the dissimilation of geminated plosives, especially when they are voiced, proceeds from the nature of these phonemes that cannot be lengthened, properly speaking, without



changing quality. Thus there arise equations like lb: I = [mb] or [lb]; /dd/ = [nd], [md], or [rd]; /tt/ = [nt], etc. The dissimilation through ' (§23.10) belongs to the same phenomenon, since the p t k series is "geminated" in some languages by spirantization or glottalization. 23.7. Dissimilation through n occurs in Palaeosyrian, e.g. si-na-ba-ti (gen.) < *sibbātu, "sunbeams", from a variant root sbb of Hebrew sby, "splendour", with a plural siba'ot. It is attested in Old Akkadian, e.g. by Ha-an-za-ab-tum as compared with Ha-za-ab-tum /Hassabtum/, a per­ sonal name derived from the root hsb, "to break off". In Amorite, one can mention the names An-du-ma-lik - Ad-du-ma-lik, "Haddu is king", and Samaš-ha-an-zi-ir - Samaš-ha-zi-ir /Samaš-ġazzīr/, "Shamash is a hero". Besides the frequent Babylonian form inandin < inaddin, "he gives", one can refer to ta-na-an-zi-iq = ta-na-az-zi-iq /tanazziq/, "you are angry". The geminated consonants of both verbs can be dissimilated also through m: tanaddina > ta-nam-di-na, "you give me", anazziq > anam-ziq, " I am angry". Dissimilation through m is attested also in Assyro-Babylonian sumbu < subbu, "wagon" (cf. Hebrew sabblm\ Aramaic sabbā). The name of the Palestinian city Eqron /'Aqqaron/ is dissimilated in Neo-Assyrian texts in An-qar-u-na and Am-qar-u-na, and the name of the Aramaic tribe Gabbūl, "kneader", appears as Ga-ambu-lu, etc. The Aramaic personal name hdy /Haddîy/, "rejoicing", is transcribed Ha-an-di-i in Neo-Assyrian and Ha-an-di-ia in Neo-Babylonian texts. The noun kkr < krkr (§27.3), "talent" (weight), may be dis­ similated in Aramaic in knkr, with parrallel Coptic forms ġinġor, ġinġor, and Greek KÍvxotpss. The geminated t of the Ammonite name htš /Hattaš/, also attested in Safaitic and in Nabataean with a Greek translit­ eration XoiTTeaos, is dissimilated in Neo-Assyrian texts in Ha-an-ta-si and in Neo-Babylonian texts in Ha-an-ta-šú. In Ethiopian Gurage dialects, e.g. goġġo, "hut", is dissimilated into gonzo.
á à

23.8. Dissimilation through / is attested in Hebrew by pltyš in the Isaiah scroll l Q I s for pattīš, "forge hammer". One can also quote galmūd < *gammūd, "sterile", from the root gmd, "to be hard"; zal'āpot < *za"āpdt, "deadliness", from the root z'p, "to kill instantly"; hlmš = Assyro-Babylonian elmešu < *hammīš, a precious stone, from the root hmš, "to be steadfast". The Assyro-Babylonian name of the reptile hulmittu corresponds to Hebrew hornet and is obvi­ ously dissimilated from *hummittu. In Arabic, there are several verbs without and with dissimilatory / in stem I I , e.g.fattaha and faltaha, "to



make broad"; habbasa and halbasa, "to mix"; kahhaba and kalhaba, "to strike"; dammasa and dalmasa, "to hide"; etc. The North Arabian name *Faddās is dissimilated in Nabataean in pndšw, but it appears in the Hebrew Bible as pldš. In Amharic and in Gurage dialects, one can mention salsa, "sixty", dissimilated from sassa < sadsa.

23.9. Dissimilation through r is attested in Old Babylonian by la-marsú-[u]m < lamassum, "guardian she-angel" (ARM VI,31,19), in Ara­ maic by kursi' < kussi'u, "throne", by the name of Damascus: Dammeśeq > Darmeśeq, and by šarbīt < Babylonian šabbitu, "staff, sceptre", borrowed further by Hebrew (Esth. 4,11; 5,2; 8,4; Sir. 37,17). In Biblical Hebrew, the verbal form yakarsamennāh (Ps. 80,14) derives through dissimilation ss > rs from yakassamennāh, "it gnaws i t " , and the participle makurbāl (I Chr. 15,27), "wrapped", is dissimilated through bb > rb from makubbāl, attested in Mishnaic Hebrew. In Ethiopian Gurage dialects, the dissimilation through r is frequent, e.g.: gard < gadd, "misery"; korda < koddà, "water bottle"; irda < iddà, "carding bow", etc. Rare examples of progressive dissimilation through r are attested in Hebrew with dibrē < dibbē (Assyro-Babylonian), "words", followed by the denominative verb dibber, yadabber, "to speak", and other derivatives, and in Arabic with batta, "to cut off", dissimilated in batara or in bat{t)ala, with / (§17.5). 23.10. The glottal stop serves for the disjunction of a geminated con­ sonant in some West Gurage dialects, e.g. gum'a vs. gumma, "club"; gun'àr vs. gunnàrjn, "head". This feature can be interpreted as dissimi­ lation of gemination. A similar phenomenon may perhaps be observed in Middle Assyrian and in Neo-Assyrian, in words like bi-'-ti < bittu < bintu, "daughter"; pe-'-ta < pettu < pēntu, "charcoal"; sa-'-te < *sattu < san/mtu, "morning dawn", although the change n > ' is well attested in these dialects when n appears in intervocalic position (§17.2). How­ ever, this is not the case in the present examples, since the spellings bittu (bi-it-ta-, bi-it-tá) and pettu (pé-et-tum) are likewise attested in cuneiform texts. 23.11. The semivowel y serves, e.g., for the disjunction of a geminated liquid in the Arabic verbal form tayla' < talla', "he brought up", attested in Lebanon.

CCvC.11). Sabaic gr. §25. The syllable is a sound or combination of sounds uttered together or at a single impulse of the voice. CvC. "enter" a sanctuary). "he came here". thus mas-.g. which is followed either by a long or geminated consonant or by a two-conso­ nant cluster. by a "weak" / (§17. may represent one closed syllable. The orthographical ambiguity of syllabic cuneiform has a bearing on syllabic structure. Arabic 'aġāra. probably "asylum". one orthographically closed syllable may stand for two open syllables and represent a value of the type CvCv.(§29.1. CCvC). Thus. 24. Such elisions are not exceptional in the Old Babylonian of Mari (e.178 PHONOLOGY 15.*or by a geminated consonant. the often assumed hypothesis that two orthographically open syllables of the Ebla texts. However. One might even invert the reasoning and conclude from spoken languages that the above-mentioned phonological principle of classical literary languages results from standardizing ten­ dencies which aim at committing speech to writing. especially in Palaeosyrian and in Old Akkadian. "grant asylum") of the verb gūr (cf. Instead. short or long. Authors generally assume that every Semitic syllable originally began with one consonant and one only.2. is contrary to the old scribal practice. and it may lead to an incorrect interpretation of variant spellings. a word can also begin with a vowel or with a two-member clus­ ter of consonants (§17. 2° a closed syllable consisting of a conso­ nant or a consonant cluster followed by a vowel. as masa-. "louse". short (Cv. unless one assumes that a short unstressed vowel was elided. the first member of which is often a liquid (CvCC). "par­ asite". Sumerian KU ("to enter") = ma-sa-gàr-tù-um or mas-gàr-tum Jmašagārtum/. Assuming that every syllable begins . and constituting a word or part of a word.with a consonant. Palaeosyrian Da-mu stands for the divine name *Da'-mu and kà-ma-tum represents either kal-ma-tum. On the other hand. CCv). or *kam-ma-tum.g. an orthographically open syllable may represent a syllable actually closed by a guttural. e. 3° a dou­ bly closed syllable consisting of a consonant followed by a vowel.21) from the causative *šagār (cf.g. one can distinguish three types of syllables in Semitic: 1° an open syllable con­ sisting of a consonant or a consonant cluster followed by a vowel. "cause to enter" a sanctuary.5) and they occur also at Ebla. e. CCv) or long (Cv.2). Such cases occur instead in Late Babylonian (§21. SYLLABLE 24. ilkamma for illikamma. with an assimilation Im > mm. at least in conse­ quence of the phonetic and morpho-phonemic evolution of the lan­ guages.9). which is followed in its turn by a consonant (CvC. a nominal derivative in ma. well-known from Old Akkadian. 4 .

with a plural 'ammīm). qām. when it ends either in a consonant following a long vowel.5. 'amm. zaltu or ziltu < *zall-tu. the shortening of long vowels in closed syllables became a general rule. unless the long consonant is split by an anaptyctic vowel (e.g. "people". "only". "he stood up".g. Also long or geminated consonants show a tendency to become short. long or ultra-long: 1° a syllable is short when it ends in a short vowel (Cv: e. and in verbs with a sec­ ond long or geminated radical (e. "dog"). 24.g. e. The vowels are always short in a closed unstressed syllable and long vowels show a tendency to become short when their syllable closes. This phenomenon leads to the elimination or restriction of syllables of the type CvC. min. In Arabic.g.g. "paternal uncle". nāzilūn < nāzilūna. qam < qām.. This shortening is a gen­ eral feature in Hebrew at the end of a word (e.4. 2° a syllable is long when it ends either in a long vowel or in a consonant fol­ lowing a short vowel (Cv: e. 'am < 'amm. Hebrew qāra' > qārā. e. zaliltu). Ara­ bic nabbā < nabba'(a). "in"). e. It is difficult to perceive this phenomenon in a correct way in lan­ guages written in cuneiform syllabograms (§21. kalb. yátan > yatan > yaton. but opens the way to syllables of the type CCvC.g. CvC: e. qurdr < qurr.3. 24.g.g. "basket" in Gurage). In Phoenician. this shorten­ ing appears. " I became"). bi-. "not". lā. "he announced".g. dā/llun). "descendants"). However. "he called". "he gave". especially at the end of a syllable (§23. e.6. the accent shift to the final syllable occasioned its lengthening with the eventual change ā > o.g. in fa-qat < *fa-qatt.g. 3° a syllable is ultra-long. when the final vowel is dropped in pronunciation (e. "he stood up". or in a geminated or long consonant.g. a syllable may be short.g.g. "straying. Quantitatively. there are excep­ tions in pausal forms of ^Classical Arabic. Short vowels tend to become long in open and in stressed sylla­ bles. . CvCC: e. erroneous") or be pronounced long in the beginning of the following syllable (e.g. but this is the case in certain forms of West Semitic verbs with last radical ' when the latter loses its consonantal value.2). 24. dallūn > dā/lun. "from"). or in a two-consonant clus­ ter (CvC: e.SYLLABLE 179 24. and in the case of long consonants that can either be shortened (e.g.5). while modem Ethiopian dialects can avoid it by splitting the long or geminated consonant by means of an anaptyctic vowel (e. In Arabic.

In all these cases. "holiness". differing from the corresponding Arabic form 'infa'ala by the place of the supplementary vowel i which is added in Arabic at the beginning of the word. nabdr. "palm trees". "dog". There is a wide tendency in classical Semitic languages to elim­ inate two-consonant clusters at the beginning or at the end of a word by adding a supplementary vowel either between the two consonants or at the beginning. one can refer to the Hebrew verbal form nif'al.. besides the two-consonant clusters formed with a liquid. "leop­ ard".. the perfect ktdbt. or the noun kràmt. "foot".and the first radical of the verb. the addition of the vowel results in a new syllable 'in/fa'ala or nif/'al. to the transliteration KO5CF of Hebrew qds. "ear". e.180 PHONOLOGY 24. the fluctuating pronunciations of Hebrew sdwa (§21. "open!" in Eastern Neo-Aramaic. the imperativeptuh. This tendency is absent from most modern colloquials and its partial absence may be traced back at least to the Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages.19) and of Syriac words.5). "speak!". "she-ass". some modern Arabic dialects and Western Ara­ maic show a clear tendency to introduce prosthetic vowels in such cases. In fact. Beside the anaptyctic vowels of qurdr and zaliltu (§24. Neo-Aramaic ebra. to the imperative of the verbs with second long or geminated radical: massi or massa. " I wrote" in urban Maghrebine Arabic. or apa. A vowel can also be added at the end of a word. The Assyro-Babylonian imperative dubub. e. 24. "run away!". However. in Origen's Hexapla. "earth" (§17.g. e. agar. Although the palato-alveolar š may conceal some phonetic affinities with liquids in these particular cases. iftah. "son". In both cases. respectively at the end of the word.9).g. while it is inserted in Hebrew between the prefix n. Amharic often breaks final clus­ ters by inserting an anaptyctic vowel d\ e. 24. 'dzni. in the Hebrew plural gdmalllm < *g9mallm. This results in a change of the nature of the syllable in question which becomes closed and long.1). "rainy season" in Amharic.17). like nahl.9. to Masoretic Hebrew štayirn and to Syriac štā. e. the addition of a vowel results in the appearance of a new syllable. "was made". "he opened" (§27. at least announce the modern colloquials with.g.g. e. with or without an ultra­ short vowel d.g. one can point. kâlbi. "two". There are also some cases of consonant doubling after a short open syllable (§23. has an anap­ tyctic vowel u splitting the geminated consonant.7.g. or in Aramaic 'attānā < 'atānā. both in Arabic. Instead. "touch! *\firri orfirra.g. "camels". . e.8. The same phonetic device is used in Tigrinya with nouns ending in a cluster of consonants.

unless there is elision or contraction (§22. Aramaic. above all i f there is a stress accent with a phonemic status (§25. The inserted '. "tomb".[ba'al] < *ba'l. Yet. it later became qamáh and finally qmdh.15).8). In Arabic colloquials.[Mahar-] < Mahr-. although the traditional pronunciation of Ge'ez seems to show some principles for the stress of isolated forms and words. tonal marks were added only in Alexandrian times and Hebrew accentuation was only introduced by the Masoretes in early Middle Ages. a semivowel or the glottal stop is inserted in order to avoid the hiatus. after the loss of the short unstressed syllable. WORD ACCENT 25. Early Arab grammarians did not deal with the subject and little can be said about "written" languages. l 2 3 x 2 y 24. 16.g. "wheat". When vowels meet. these elements are of the highest importance. báraqa > bráq.10. " i t lightened".g. The pattern observable in nouns and verbs can be schematized as C vC C > C C vC E. y. but this does not lead to a radical elimination of original short vowels.11. In Greek. "servant of the king". e. in certain Arabic colloquials such as the Syrian. "ten".1. The opposite. sk'r [skdr] < *sikr. A parallel phenomenon is attested in the Neo-Punic of NorthAfrica thanks to the matres lectionis marking the stressed syllable in words like nd'r [ndár] < *nidr. Like in Arabic. nonexpiratory type of accent can be heard in Amharic and in Ethiopic in general. "lord". and in certain Gurage dialects. Also the Ethiopian languages make a fairly extensive use of prosthetic and anaptyctic vowels. "memory". Now. the loss of ancient short vowels in open syllables and the shift of the accent from the stressed syllable of Classi­ cal Arabic to the following one completely changed the syllabic struc­ ture of the language. 's'r ['sár] < *'asr. as shown by Late Phoenician |3aaX. Maap. classical qamh(uri). w introduce a new syllable. in Semitic. although some variant spellings may reveal the .WORD ACCENT 181 24. was pronounced qamah in Pre-Classical and Middle Arabic. qb'r [qbar] < *qabr. Orthography rarely indicates tone and stress. Af3e5peXe%e (vocative) ['Abed-melek] < *'Abd-milk. A similar evolution can be observed in verbal forms. with the reduction of the perfect to one syllable. an expiratory or stress accent exists in Hebrew. this phase was preceded by a dissyllabic realization of the nouns under consideration. "vow". "courier".

e. it comes to rest either on the first syllable of the word or on the antepenult. "letters". "he said". The penult syllable is systematically stressed in the Samaritan pronunciation of Hebrew and Aramaic. sàbára. "he is". Concerning the 3rd person of the perfect in Ge'ez. the final syllable of a noun in the construct state (§33. katábū. e. "they wrote". This accentuation seems to be confirmed by the matres lectionis of the Dead Sea scrolls. In other cases.3) is considered as belonging to the following word. e. "second".10. Otherwise stress recedes until it meets a long syllable and. "he killed".1). e. in the Egyptian tradition of tfre Qur'ān reading. the same situation is found in the South Ethiopian Harari. the word accent falls on the final syllable when the latter is ultra-long. i f there is no such. e. in the Arabic of the Hawrān. "per­ fume". e. e. " I was wounded".g. nêġráht. However.g. barášit bára 'àlúwem 'it eššámem wit áres. "you killed". but such a reconstruction is .g.g. makātíb. The word accent may perhaps fall on the final syllable also when the latter is the result of contraction. 25. 1. "quest of knowledge". swdm /Sādom/ in lQIs 1. ktebna.182 PHONOLOGY impact of the stressed syllable or a shift in the position of the accent. 25. raqabatani.g.4. Assyro-Babylonian šanu < *šaniyu. contrary to the Jewish traditional pronunciation of Hebrew and of Aramaic. tálaba/tu l-'īlmi. a 25. but raqábatun or ráqabatun. " i n the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Gen. thus qatálta. thus nagára.3. there is gen­ eral agreement that the penult syllable is stressed. "we wrote".g. but qátala. thus. in Maghrebine Arabic. Besides. against Masoretic Sddom but in agreement with Greek Eo5opa. néhwē. "slave". "you observed me". the position of the accent on the penult syllable is limited to the cases when the latter is long. "they wrote i t " . 25. even i f it is long. in Arabic of the Hawrān: katabuha.g. Generally.2. "she wrote".5. "he broke". the word accent does not fall on the ultima. Considering modern colloquials from various regions. in Maghrebine Arabic: ríha. It was assumed that the position of the word accent in East Semitic followed analogous principles. the stress falls then on the penult syllable which can be long or short. Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic principles in this matter can only be highly hypothetical. in Syriac: kétbat. The monosyllabic proclitic particles bear no stress.

tā'àbá. Ie8ou8 [Yddud] < yadud. stress is non-distinctive and shifts eas­ ily from one syllable to the other. "they went". "preg­ nancy". This tendency is even stronger in the Arabic dialects of the area.g. "he gave").6. and its strong stress character. "you will hear"). In Tigre. but they very likely reveal the stress accent of the Amorite linguistic substratum of the writers. but waka. It is also difficult to determine where stress falls in Tigrinya. "the middle of the sea". The place of the accent.g.g. "king". "who". še-e-mi-šu /šémišu/. "he understands". which would have been a force in the word capable of bringing about. However.WORD ACCENT 183 based mainly on secondary deductions. instead. plene writing occurs in accented syllables and does not necessarily mark phonemic length. e. "beam". may be judged from the apparent reduction of short unaccented vowels in the penult syllable (e. Also Phoenician. that appears to have had a strong stress accent. "beloved"). The situation in some languages is the result of complicated developments. but it is conditioned by the general sentence stress or pitch. "his hearing". In some West Gurage dialects. But no systematic attempt was made until now to establish whether Assyro-Babylonian had an expiratory accent. giîlát. yaton < yatan < yátan. e.g. il-ku for illiku. damiqtu / damqatu. however. though it falls usually on the final syllable of a word. Babylonian by-forms like litmudu / litamdu. qá-a-ab-la-at ta-am-ti Iqáblat tāmtil. usually accentuates the final syllable of the word. "she killed". the reduction and complete elision of some vowels. as in Dofar habdl. but the accent falls on the penultimate in some particular cases. as can be learned from Hebrew grammars. 25. . In Soqotri. stress is regularly on the penultimate and all the vowels are phonologically short. which was tone-lengthened with the consequent change ā > 6 (e.g. are best explained by assuming stress on the first syllable. Such elisions frequently occur in Mari letters (e. "good" (feminine). the accent falls on the last syllable of the verbs. Although it is difficult to generalize. and not that of Old Babylonian. for which no clear phonological rules can be determi­ nated to-day. the accentuation of the final syllable is dominant in the Jewish traditional pronunciation of Hebrew.7. "he washed himself". especially in "segolate" forms like melek. but on the penult syllable of the nouns. e. te-se-em-ma for tešémmema. However. the stress falls also in Mod­ em South Arabian languages on the final syllable wherever there is no penult long syllable in the form under consideration. Middle Babylonian ma-a-ni Imánnil.. 25.g. Thus.

"he seized". "may he k i l l ! " (§38.2).g. and bānu. but on the penultimate syllable of the noun. the stress is a distinguishing feature between certain pairs of words. ba'ā. "she came". e. and šābu. exclamatory. one can assume that the word stress may have had a distinctive or phonemic status in ProtoSemitic. and bā'a. In Masoretic Hebrew accentuation has a phonemic value in some grammatical constructs rather than in lexical items. e.g. "long". and wâka. declarative. Considering the existence of archaic features in South Ethiopic. and éppá. "beam".8. and dékkâ. and interrogative sentences generally differ merely in intonation. ēnza. In Semitic languages. Sentence stress or pitch affects the meaning of whole sentences. A similar situation occurs in spoken Neo-Aramaic. but so far no serious work has been done on the subject. eppa. Thus.1. since the word accent seems to be the only distinguishing feature between this pair of verbal forms. but it is not an integral part of any word. "he made". though much important material can be adduced from spoken and even . and of the jussive yaqtúl I yiqtúl. "he is their man". A n important question is whether word stress or tonic accent has or has not a phonemic status. "thatch" (grass to cover the houses). and našéle. "he pierced". qumī.g. "she is coming". "they built".g. which falls on the last syllable of the verb. "get up!" (feminine). wàká. But we are moving here on ground that has not been satis­ factorily investigated. in the case of the preterite yáqtul / yíqtul. and énzâ. in Arabic and in AssyroBabylonian. "he is long". "among us". "he killed". e. Inves­ tigations into Semitic phonology and syntax must include intonation and pitch. nášele. 17. "he is a man". and qūmí. Instead. in other words: whether there are tonemes in Semitic. dekkd. "my getting up" (infinitive). "toga". though sometimes — particularly in written language — a question may be introduced by a word indicating that the sentence is a question or the order of words in the sentence may differ from the ordinary one. banū. "they captured". šabū. even i f authors often assume that word stress is not phonemic in several Semitic languages. It gives expression to sentences and conveys shades of meaning which cannot conveniently be expressed by other means. e.g.184 PHONOLOGY 25. "they returned". S E N T E N C E S T R E S S OR P I T C H 26. e. also lexical items can be contrastive in stress in West Gurage dialects: some verbs can be distin­ guished from certain nouns only through the place of the stress.

In Masoretic Hebrew.g. qādīn > qādī. yā sāhi < sāhibu. and gives rise to the so-called "pausal" forms. or pausal consonants may be pre-glottalized and devoiced (e. in any case. "bitch"). Thus. This common and spontaneous phenomenon has a repercussion on the traditional recitation of the Qur'ān and of the Hebrew Bible. in an Old Babylonian letter from Mari suggesting a pitch islimu instead of the normal íslimū (§ 10. [awlā't] for awlād. "magistrate". either a nasalization may affect vowels standing in the pausal position (e. kalbi for kalba. byúktob for byúktub.g. In an interrogative sentence. This is confirmed by the apocopated forms of the jussive in various Semitic languages (§39. malikun > malik. a question must be said with a rising tone. diphthongizations (e. In a declarative sentence.g. may occur. vowel lengthenings (e.6).g. In other words. yimšow for yimšū. 26.g. "did they make peace?".g.4... "they will go"). especially from letters.3. e. [wallf] for walli. In Yemen. final short vowels. the last syllable must be heard as being on a higher pitch than the penultimate. 26. máyim > mayim. 'al-bakrun > 'al-bakur. on the other hand. "young [camell"). kataba > katab. "he wrote". with a con­ sequent anaptyxis in monosyllabic roots (e. 26. "queen").SENTENCE STRESS OR PITCH 185 "written" languages.14-18). . "chil­ dren"). 'eres > 'ares.g. etc. "he will write"). The exclamatory intonation implies a high pitch and a conse­ quent shortening of the words.2. Pausal phenomena occur also in modern Arabic dialects. case endings. particularly toward the end when the latter corresponds to the point of greatest sig­ nificance in speech. This may be expressed in writing by the additional final sign -ú in is-li-mu-ú.g. stress retrocedes to the penult syllable (e. "water". in Arabic.g. vocalic changes (e. In Syro-Palestinian and Egyptian dialects. "he went"). "king". "oh! friend!").g. We must therefore limit ourselves to some general observations on the falling and rising pitch patterns.g.g. 'ānokí > 'ānokī) and a short accented vowel is lengthened or changes its quality (e. "earth"). the last syllable is generally lower in pitch than the penultimate. but no accent shift has been registered. the different speaker's commitment is discernible mainly from a higher pausal pitch. as shown by the "pausal" forms used in Classical Arabic for the vocative (e. malikatun > malikah. yā 'ammá. "oh! uncle!") and even by the occasional dropping of the final radical of the word (e. and feminine noun endings are dropped (e.

CONDITIONED SOUND C H A N G E S 27. §10. is scarcely more than two or three sylla­ bles. a sequence of similar sounds demands a greater effort from the speaker and he tends to dissimilate them. The natural tendency of the speaker is to limit effort in his speech and to avoid sharp shifts in the use of speech organs. but only one of them is the main sentence stress.. Assimilation 27.. e.2. This leads to a chain of assimilations of one sound to another.7. "tell that they should forgive". A. haplology. Arabic qui yáġfirū. especially when there is formal asyndetic parataxis ( § 5 5 ) . between vowels.1. i f the resulting sound becomes distinctive and sig­ nificant (cf. logical hypotaxis seems to be indicated by the stress falling not on the verb of the main clause. subjoining words.. In particular. The stress of conjoined clauses appears to be influenced in the main by the meaning of the sentence as a whole and.. progres­ sive and more often regressive. is essentially governed by semantic considera­ tions. There is partial and total assimilation.. e. .. 18. Arabic kállimī rasúla llahi yukállim.5. like the order of words in the sentence. which appears to be conditioned by proclitics. while elision. to a phone­ mic merger or shift. aim at facilitating or simplifying the emission of speech sounds in various ways. 12). Assimilation may take place between consonants. enclitics.g. contiguous and distant. prosthesis. Hypercorrection is instead an intentional but erroneous correction of the spelling or of the pronunciation of a word. "speak to God's envoy he should speak. and reciprocal assimilation." In other words.186 PHONOLOGY 26. Only when this assimilation is particularly sharp is the change felt. A sentence of any length has several accents. but on the beginning of the logically dependent clause. At other times. and between a consonant and a vowel. etc. sentence stress has a syntactical function. Assimilation is the main type of conditioned sound changes.g. It amounts to a monophonemization. anaptyxis. The place of the secondary accents is based princi­ pally on the word accent. Another type of change is metathesis. though the interval between accents. whether primary or secondary.

we find *s tnsr > s tsr. "year". in Lihyānite. e. The occasional or dialectal loss of a vowel may also lead to the regressive assimilation of n. The main types of Semitic consonantal assimilation are the following: bk > kk bt > pt dn > nn dš > ss dt > tt dt > dd ~kr > kk Id > dd Ik > kk In > nn Iq > qq lr>ll Is > ŠŠ It > ss mb > bb nb > bb/mb nd > dd nd > dd nf>ff ng>gg nh > nn nk > kk nl > 11 nm > mm np > pp ns > ss nt > tt nt > tt nz > zz qt > qt rd > dd rk > kk rl>ll rn > nn rs > ss rz > zz sf> ss ?f> ?? st > ss/st td > dd th > tt tk > kk tn > nn tš > ŠŠ tt > tt tz > zz tt > tt zt > st a) Thus. perhaps better termed "anticipatory".g. Assimilation between consonants takes most often place between a liquid /.3. "he summoned to his support". kīn tarā > kittarā. "he gave". since the vocal organs "anticipate" the position of the next sound. with the auxiliary verb kin (classical kāna) used to express an eventuality. as in i(3cop0 transcribing Late Babylonian ina būrti. In Sabaic. in Ge'ez inscriptions 'dnza > 'dzza. b) Vowelless / assimilates to various consonants. "while". Amharic samant.g. "feed-place". the n is sometimes assimilated to a following consonant (e. the common type being here total regressive assimilation.g. in Amoriteyansib > yassib. in Phoenician and NorthIsraelite Hebrew *šnt > št /šatt/. vowelless n assimilates regularly to a following consonant: e. r or the nasal n and another consonant. but also in l l . "he raised". "week". and in Safaitic. "you".ASSIMILATION 187 a) Assimilation between Consonants 27. "since". North Arabian mundū > muddū. in Gurage kànfàr > kàfâr. in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian *indin > iddin. "through the cistern". "you would see"..(e. 'tt /'attat/ < 'antat. Andalusian Arabic 'anta > att.g. In Thamūdic. but in agreement with cer­ tain colloquials where forms like bitt < bint occur occasionally. "you". " l i p " . 't /'atta/ < 'anta. mg't < manga'+t. 'al-sams > [aššams]). "woman") contrary to Classical Arabic. most prominently in the case of the Arabic article 'al. in Gafat samdt / samdttâ vs.

"the king of the city". in Aramaic. "shoots"). "talent" (weight). e. " i t is to you". in Gurage wâsfi > wàsse. "round disk". Old Syriac 'mšmš < 'mt-Smš. to compare with Sabaic krkr. e. man la-bet > [manna bet]. Egyptian Demotic krkr. in Arabic *ittalaba > 'ittalaba.g. "he shall capture". shows the assimilation dn > nn. d) Also labials and dentals may be assimilated. ma-qtel-nā-š > ma-qten-nā-š. rests upon the ground "like a cake of bread" (E. "speaking to himself". "the one who bore". in Ge'ez inscriptions 'ambaharu > 'abbaharu.5. e. "round loaf". "Handmaid of Samaš". "he sought". Total reciprocal assimilation implies the change of both conso­ nantal sounds in an intermediary one. in the Palaeosyrian noun kak-kab < kabkab. e.g. in Hebrew and in Sabaic *'hdt > 'ht. "from the sea". also with Arabic kirkira(tun) used metaphorically to designate the callous protu­ berance on the breast of dromedaries which. when the animals lie down. *attarad > attarad. "because of"). e. halla 'al-ka > [hallakka]. "one" (feminine).188 phonology Assyro-Babylonian (e. in Assyro-Babylonian *(w)ālidtu > (w)ālittu.g. bârzaz > bâzāz. "she weaned him". in Classical Arabic *idtakara . gamālathū > gamālattū.g. "solemn oath". " I sent". the assimilation of a sibilant to / is exceptional. in Aramaic (7 dbr > 'dbr. gurda > gudda.g. in colloquial Arabic (e. It is attested in Hebrew with the pronominal suf­ fix -hū. There are also other cases. in Assyro-Babylonian *ustabbit > ussabbit. e. results from the assimilation tš > šš. "from the house"). as well as other con­ sonants.g. nalšu > naššu. Palmyrene 'bnrgl < 'bd-Nrgl. Total progressive assimilation frequently occurs in verbal forms with infix t (§41. "he didn't kill us"). e. in Hebrew *mitdabber > middabber.g. 27. It occurs in North and West Semitic. " a w l " . in the Phoenician name of the god mlqrt < *milk-qart. as in Palaeosyrian su-lu-la-a. " o f the two horns (of the moon)". "he takes"). "talent". e) Transcriptions of proper names in other scripts allow us to distin­ guish assimilations from elisions. Lane). e. *yilkadenhū > yilkadennū. kakkaru or kikkār.25). etc. "Servant of Nerigal".g. in Hebrew (*yilqah > yiqqah. 27. "dream". Hebrew salsillot.g.4. c) The assimilation of r to the following consonant is well attested in various West Gurage dialects.g.W. in colloquial Arabic nisf> nass. as indicated by the Latin form Abinneric(h)us. "half".g. as shown by Greek Apotacaparis. in Tigre (e. Instead. from *sul-sul (cf. the divine name 'Attar > 'Attar. "morning dew"). "star". "he imprisoned".

in Aramaic *yistabba' > yistabba'. "sealed". In Neo-Assyrian ilteqe > isseqe. Arabic 'anbar > 'ambar. and the partial progressive assimilation of voice in Gurage tàpàbà > 'epâpà.2).g. 27. Another partial progressive assimilation.7. while the latter's feminine counterpart BaOvavaia / BiGvavaia. Śheri ġarb and Mehri ġoreb.6. Regressive nasalization explains the West Semitic names Minyamēn < Binyamèn and Mivvavaíos < BinNanay. The change nb > mb occurs frequently. ramānga < ramānka.. in Arabic. "outside". "behold!" . where the contact of the voiced inter­ dental d with the voiceless dental t gives rise to the geminated voiced dental dd. *istabaġa > istabaġa. There are also cases of non-contiguous assimilation between consonants. in Neo-Assyrian *aqtirib > aqtirib.4). "base of neck".. e. "West". the devoicing b > p partially assimilates b to the voiceless t. "mane (of a horse)".g.g. "to be narrow". Partial progressive assimilation occurs frequently with verbal infix t which changes into emphatic t when it is contiguous to another emphatic consonant. " i t is immersed". "base of neck". " i n order that you live". "Daughter of Nanay". "lords". The trill consonant r occa­ sions changes ' > ' and ' > ġ in Arabic where. "to kneel down". In Maghrebine colloquial šrapt < šrabt. e. ġarb. the contact of the liquid / with the dental t gives rise to the geminated dental lateral ś (§15. " I drink".ASSIMILATION 189 > iddakara. in Ge'ez 'agā'azt > 'agā'ast. e. In Hadramawt colloquial. "ambergris". occa­ sions the change nk > ng. 'anbe > 'ambe. "we said". Tigre 'agal tdnbar > tdmbar. Partial regressive or "anticipatory" assimilation occurs e. kangu < kanku. minbar > mimbar. attention was paid to barra' < barra' < barran. frequent in Neo-Babylonian and in Late Babylonian. 27. and Arabic 'urf. remains unchanged. Inversely.g. The assimilation is total when the contiguous consonant is t (§27. 27. pronounced /iśśeqe/. and its derivatives are etymologically related to Ugaritic and Epigraphic South Arabian 'rb. " I approached". correspond to Hebrew 'orep.g. and to ra'a < ra'a. "we shall prove our innocence". "you yourself". "he remembered".g.8). one can mention the partial regressive assimilation of voice in Gurage *timbárâkā > dimbârākâ. rostrum". in Hebrew *nistaddāq > nistaddāq.8. where the devoicing z > s partially assimilates z to the voiceless r. e. "he took". " i t was dyed". "pulpit. Besides the possible occurrences which can be best inter­ preted in a different way (§10. e.

g.g.g'. sâlot > solot. *sārìqihū > sāriqihī. e. "king". kdfu' > kufu'. qaqqada (accusative). "scorpion". There are also examples of partial assimilation of nonemphatic to distant emphatic consonant.15).10. "to fall". "to read. in Gurage wâdâqà > wàtàqâ.6). *sāriqīhu > sāriqīhi. "issue".in nouns like 'aqrab. ra's > rās. 18.g. In Arabic words borrowed by Libyco-Berber. Typical cases of regressive total assimilation occur in Assyrian and in Classical Arabic when the vowel of the noun is assimilated to the vowel of the case end­ ing. e. r may also cause the change of a nonemphatic consonant in an emphatic one in modern Arabic dialects. "head". keleb < kāleb < *kalb. e.g. as in Palaeosyrian 'ahírtum > ì-hir-tum ['ihírtum]. "damage" (progressive). "dog"). at Aleppo. from wariq. "road.190 PHONOLOGY The influence of r also explains the prosthetic 'a. especially in Ethiopian languages. "chief" (regres­ sive). in Assyrian qaqqudu. Tigre gazaz(z)e. or in Gurage dbbut > dbbdt. especially in Assyrian. e.9. in colloquial Arabic dlk > die. from qarā. "yellow". since the structure of Semitic syllables does not admit contiguous vowels (cf. -warġ-. 'imri'in (genitive). "head" (nominative).g. or palatalizing the following velar (§18.g. ndgus > nugus. Assimilation between vowels is always at distance. or total. "to call". Vowel harmony is widely attested in Semitic. in Ugaritic *'allūpu > 'ulp /'ullūpu/. " o f his thieves") and in Hebrew "segolate" nouns (e. or velar (§11.5).g. Besides. "rest". in Classical Arabic 'imru'un. . The regressive total assimilation of vowels may take place in Tigrinya. "cock". e. §22. Also a preceding dental may be palatalized. "he struck" (regressive). "hammer". e. den­ tal. "man" (nomina­ tive). "wicked". at Essaouira (Morocco). "prince". q may change into ġ in the proximity of r. "prayer". Assimilation between a consonant and a vowel can consist in the influence of the vowel either spirantizing the following labial. -ġra-. "pile" (progressive). It can be partial. or uhappi > uheppi. " o f his thief". mādosa > modosa. qaqqidi (genitive). "mouse". and 'akbar. b) Assimilation between Vowels 27. 'imra'an (accusative).10. to study". e. c) Assimilation between a Consonant and a Vowel 27.g. darb > darb. Vowel harmony occurs also after -i/-l in the pronominal suffix -hu/-hū of Classical Arabic (e. as in Assyro-Babylonian hiblātu > hiblētu. attested next to ġr.

The Masoretic vocalization is paralleled by the appear­ ance of secondary a-timbre vowels next to the consonants h. "he takes out for a walk". yafruġu > yafraġu. "my friends". also labial consonants may cause other vowels to change into u. "evening" (but cf. Instead.10). "he achieves". Dissimilation 27. Dissimilation is the reverse of assimilation. Assimilation can further consist either in the velarizing effect of an emphatic consonant which brings about a change of other vowels into o / u (§10. ē. e. Dissimilation can be progressive or regressive. and in modern Egyptian colloquials of Cairo and of the Delta (e. as it appears e.27). i. killim. it is comparable to some extent with East Arabian dialects which are characterized by the change C aC > C C a when C is h. it is a diphonemization or a differentiation of two or more identical sounds in a word by substituting for one of them another sound of similar type or position. yifassah.g. "heart" in Arabic (regressive assimilation).ASSIMILATION 191 "my glass". 21. this change presents some dialectal variations or is optional. However.g. but also in West Semitic. However. h. *libb > lubb. as against gazāz. yikammil. "red". a a a x 2 x 2 2 a a B. "he taught". Besides the emphatics. "friends".g. '. h. and I are prounounced with an offglide before any consonant. 'allim. ū. which were normally vowelless. as it appears from Arabic and from the Hebrew of the Dead Sea scrolls. in ancient Arabic dialects (e. vs.e.g. Neo-Aramaic kē fa. vs. e.9. §24. "he is at rest". and sometimes h. *rūh > rū h. šlwh /šaloh/ (lQIs 58. *yišloh > yišlah. "he sends"). One should also mention the phenomenon attested in the Western NeoAramaic dialect of Gubb 'Adīn and in the Arabic dialect of surrounding villages where the long vowels o.C. "stone". This phonetic notation of the Masoretes aimed probably at insuring a distinct pronunciation of the gutturals and may not reflect any really spoken language. Ya'qob (Icuccop) > Ya' qob. e. "Jacob". from the transcription Koai5r| of the Edomite -name Qwsyd' in a bilingual ostracon from the 3rd century B. "breath".g. where a appears also in contiguity with emphatics. as against masānit.g. "he spoke"). ġ.5. or in the influence of pharyn­ gals. the gutturals bring about a change of other vowels into a in Masoretic Hebrew (e. luhd > lahd.g. e.6-7). mġarib for maġrib.11. and velar fricatives which frequently occasion a vocalic shift a > e in North and East Semitic (§19. masānicce.g. "grave-niche"). where e.g. hamar for 'ahmar. contiguous or . 21. "glass".9) stands for Masoretic šdlah. laryngals.

e. It can also be non-contiguous.g. in Gurage d3m d > d3m t. Abstracting from the differentiation of long consonants or the so-called disjunction of gemination (§23. although a spirantization of the first b may have helped the process in this particu­ lar case.12. Hebrew kebeś and keśeb. Hebrew Simla and śalmā. "faces". . as it appears e. "night". "lamb". Metathesis or transposition of sounds in a word occurs in all the Semitic languages. Gurage kdbàzà < kàzàbâ. in the voicing or devoic­ ing of one of the consonants. Hebrew td'ālā and Arabic taVa(tun). "star". from the East Cushitic verb q)al / d'el ("Sam" languages. A dissimilation of voice is attested e. or Sabaic 'wld and 'Iwd. Tigre mawarri and marawi. Metathesis 27.g.g. Neo-Aramaic [sāhid] < [hazid] (root hsd).g. Ge'ez nakasa and nasaka. "to save". "to k i l l " . and Tigre lahasa. the consonants that undergo metathesis are in contact without any vowel between them. Early Aramaic hsl lhasall. Harari sinān < lisān. "the wise man". It results in the develarization or deglottalization of one of a pair of emphatic consonants. Metathesis can be contiguous. "moon". and Gurage tarraqqa > dàrraqqa. Aramaic ktl and Arabic qtl may point to an original qtl. changing into kwkb in Hebrew and kawkab in Arabic. "to shut the eyes". Slēmon for Hebrew Sdlomd and Greek SaA-copcov.13-14). It is related to the phenomenon aptly expressed by the phrase "his tongue tripped". that is. Hebrew 'āsam and Arabic ġamada. hehākām for *hāhākām.192 PHONOLOGY non-contiguous. A dis­ similation of vowels occurs also in Syriac. "he bit". > lūn. with a concomitant change / > n (§17. "language". wuġūh > 'uġūh. since q is voiceless. There is also dissimilation of homorganic sounds in Arabic *wawāqī > 'awāqī. "to harvest".g. and in Masoretic Hebrew. "water-course". or in the dissimilation of two homorganic sounds. Metathetic relations appear also in the larger Afro-Asiatic realm. "to spend the night". e. dissimilation is most often non-contiguous.g. the consonants are separated by a vowel. E. that is. "children". *Madīnīy (< Madīnà) > Madānīy > Madanīy.g. shows a deglottalization of t which changes into a voiced d. "ounces". "meeting place of two rivers". "sticks".9). and in Amorite kabkabbu.7-10). "Medinan". e. and a dissimilation of homorganic sounds appears e. with the first or the second emphatic develarized (but see §10. w w C.g. in Arabic layl. "to lie". Phoenician his /halds/. "coat". e. where the dissimilation of the long vowels i is qualitative (J > a) and quantitative (ā > a).

*yatsaddaq > yassadaq.g. š. corresponds to Hebrew sullām. etc. To Ge'ez 'aqrab. E. becomes màssē in another one. "ladder". Syriac *'aryiyā. the prefix is placed after the first radical (e. "scor­ pion".g. or Oromo dabra or darba.15. in one Gurage dialect. 1 D. These explanations are not really convincing and another point of view will be presented below (§41. may be reduced to taqātalūna. while Aramaic tar'ā < trġ parallels "Canaanite" tġr > š'r. 27. "eminent". becomes 'aryā. Hebrew babēt. further research is needed to see whether there is metathe­ sis of a tf'l stem or simply an example of a ft'I stem.e. "lion". z. "he leaned".20-32) which is generally believed to be subject to metathesis with the first radical of the verb in precise conditions. the infix can be prefixed to the verbal form. and Per­ sian hurma. Haplology is the omission of one of two contiguous and almost identical syllables which occurs occasionally in various languages and can also be expressed in writing. "door". However. "sieve". AssyroBabylonian simmiltu. as in 'estamek. i. "to give birth". tataqātalūna. Beside the examples quoted in §27. e.HAPLOLOGY 193 Oromo. In Assyro-Babylonian. *zitqāru > tizqāru.14. Another allegedly paradigmatic example is provided by the ver­ bal infix and prefix t of the verbal stems (§41. "in the house". one may refer e. *yitšammer > yištammer. mdzdssē.13. "gate". "to pass". i. corresponds Tigre 'arqab. .g. "he will prove his righteousness"). there are not enough examples of metathesis in the same language to warrant a definite statement on the phonetic conditions in which metathesis occurs. to be compared with Semitic (w/y)ld. "date". Saho). at least. "he is on his guard"). with an additional change / > n (§17. In Hebrew.g. In Ara­ bic. s. In general.g. one of the two "liquids". "you fight". "to grasp". when the first radical is a sibilant s.24-25).12. can be reduced to bēt. Both 'arġal and 'aġral mean in Arabic "sluggish". related to Arabic dabara. as in Pre-Classical Arabic (e. to the name of the Cassite goddess known in Babylonia as Sumaliya but called Šnm at Ugarit. "to pass". there is little doubt that one of the consonants involved in many cases is either / or r. instead of being totally assimilated to it. *sitbutu > tisbutu. is borrowed in 'Omānī Arabic as humra. In Ara­ maic.3-4).e. Haplology 27. 27.

'ifta'ala. as hbrk. There are also animal names with a prosthetic 'a. Hebrew 'ašmoret < *šmrt. iblād from bilād.17). an anaptyctic vowel can be used (§27. Hebrew 'ptlmys and 'btlmys for IlxoA-spatos. h(y)kl. "cemetery". is not a prosthetic letter. the Phoeni­ cian divine name 'šmn = Eapouvos < šmn. Instead of a prosthetic vowel. "son". e. and Arabic 'Aflātūnu for Plato. Ugaritic 'usb'. Ge'ez 'dstifanos for Zi8(pavos. In order to disjoin an initial two-consonant cluster by producing a new syllable. Assyro-Babylonian ikribu. but a reflex of Old Sumerian h. Harari qâbri. "broken" plural of balad. sàbri. both in Egyptian Arabic. as Aramaic and Arabic. e. like in the sound st . The initial h of some North and West Semitic words borrowed from Sumer­ ian. as Tigrinya hbbi. d < i.8). the Humanized name of the god Ea. 'etkdteb. "dog". à. "cop­ per".g. "he was impure". Punic 'klyn for KAecov. §29. "heart". or with loan­ words like Neo-Aramaic 'ustol for Russian CTOJI.8. The prosthetic vowel is employed also with foreign names. Amharic dsport. "country". Arabic 'ibn < bn. 29. " o i l " .9) and in some modern Arabic dialects after elision of an original short vowel.194 PHONOLOGY E . one ought to mention the use of a prosthetic vowel in nouns like Palaeosyr­ ian ís-ba-um /'isba'um/ < *sba\ "finger". "table". "steward". as Late Babylonian Ik-se-nu-nu for Sevcov. "finger". "night-watch". probably by analogy with the stem hif'il. "endurance". A third mean of disjoining a two-consonant cluster is attested in Tigrinya and in Harari. inhās from nuhās. hyn. where an auxiliary vowel -/ is added at the end of a monosyllabic root (§24. "impure". "tears".g. use e. 27. The prosthetic vowel is not required when the initial cluster contains a liquid or the palato-alveolar s. Tigrinya kálbi. "palace". bàġli. This prosthetic vowel can be i.g. Gurage drkus I ârkus. etc. This -i is attested also with roots ending in a gemi­ nated consonant. and it is introduced by ' or h in idioms which require the presence of an initial consonant. Prosthesis 27.16). "mule". u. already explained when dealing with syllabic structure (§24. e. Beside the cases of composite verbal forms with initial cluster. from rák(k)âsâ.19). 'udm't.8). "prayer" (cf.that form a special category (§27.17. either pronounced or simply written. "sport". The final -i can be dropped if these nouns are followed by another word. The use of written h is limited to the Hebrew verbal stem hitpa'el. while the other languages.16. a prosthetic vowel is generally prefixed to the first con­ sonant. The same devel­ opment occurs in Western Neo-Aramaic (§24.

māwet.9.19.g. But the use of the anaptyctic vowel is attested in other cases for the same nouns: ri-gim < rigmu. or milk. "the mention of your god".9). Anaptyxis 27. "dog". in Gurage. e.g. A widespread use of anaptyctic vowels gives a peculiar flavour to the Ebla texts where they cannot be reduced simply to a particular way of using the syllabograms. màngdst.g.g.g. the Djebel Sindjar identified with the Moongod and known later as Šangar or Šaggar. as shown by Phoeni­ cian qart. 24. without serving to dis­ join an initial cluster.. Amharic krâmt. although the Tiberian Masoretes were pronouncing it 'ištē. "you wrote". Even plosive clusters occur regularly in Maghrebine Arabic. A similar d l2 . etc. Sa-nu-ga-ru . especially when a two-consonant cluster was created by the loss of case endings (§24. "middle".g. "government" (§17. F. zi-ik-re-el-ka [zikr-elka]. ktabt. "books". However. "bushel". Anaptyxis is the insertion of a supplementary vowel in a word in order to disjoin a two-consonant cluster by producing a new syllable. "king". nif'al = N-stem) or at its end.g. š. "head" (root r's). anaptyxis did not spread automatically to all doubly closed syllables. an Old Persian word already borrowed into Imperial Aramaic (grb). "king".18.8). in Assyro-Babylonian ri-ig-maAdad [rigm-Adad]. s. app for 'ereb. "two". "the trustee of Ellil". r. "rainy season" (pronounced also as kdràmt). where the presence of a liquid can dispense from using the anaptyctic vowel (§17. Hebrew štē. The anaptyctic vowel can be used at the beginning of a word (e. A so-called "prosthetic" vowel à or d occurs in modem Ethiopian languages. in kalbu > kalb > kāleb or kalib. ša-ki-in I šá-kin I šá-kan < šaknu. e. melek. Modern Semitic languages permit similar consonant clusters in initial and final position. 27. zi-kir < zikru. "the voice of Adad". YLobafor qodeš. KopP for qereb. especially before /. "holiness". e. Neo-Aramaic grībā. apafor 'eres.9.9). "earth". 24. e. àsok. "thorn". as ktub. It is also called "epenthesis". "evening". e. "death") is a unique feature which is not con­ firmed for a somewhat earlier period by Origen's Hexapla mentioning. e. e. Also the con­ nexion of a noun in the construct state with its complement can make the insertion of a vowel superfluous.ANAPTYXIS 195 (§17. "city". ša-ak-ne-Ellil [šakn-Ellìl]. The systematic use of the anaptyctic vowel e in Masoretic Hebrew (e. The vowel u is found in Harari urūs.g. perhaps originally Šanar.g.9).

g..g.4). as already reported when dealing with these sounds. n) is amply attested in Semitic languages. etc. A sandhi-spelling. It stands to reason that these syllabograms were originally articulated with a very short vowel in all circumstances. h. to produce the phrase hal + ra'ayta.20. designates the assimilative changes occurring in a word under the influence of neighbouring words uttered in consecutive speech.g. with the assimilation l-r >rr\ in Hedjaz. "arrow of Tūra-Baal. e. H. e. Elision of vowels and "weak" consonants ('..21. Sandhi 27. in Sūra 24. e. In Tigre. halla 'al-ka. Sandhi. . " i t is to you". "did you see?". "he went away" (cf. meaning in Sanskrit "a placing together". Accord­ ing to Sibawayh. w. which involves the assimilation of n to the following consonant. son of Yarīm". instead of the traditional 'adbār. speakers pronounced it without assimilation. ends in a vowel or in a consonant producing the spiranti­ zation. is pronounced [halakkulla dābbatin] with the dropping of the final -a of halaqa and the assimilation q-k > kk. i. on the other hand. Thus. "tell me!". A similar development gave rise to the divine name Mlqrt < *milk qart. "mountains". is attested in some Old Phoenician inscriptions. In Hebrew epigraphy. "the king of the City". especially in the traditional recitation of the Qur'ān. I. the spi­ rantization of the consonants b g d k p t becomes operative also at the beginning of a word when the preceding one. is common in Galilean Aramaic and it became a rule in the Neo-Aramaic of Ma'lūla. for hy yhwh. y. hs trb'l byrm for *bn yrm. 'addbār. is pro­ nounced [hallakka]. "Yahwe is alive".g. Sandhi is widely attested in Arabic. is used regularly in early South-Palestinian Arabic for qui ll.196 PHONOLOGY situation occurs with the Ethiopic syllabograms of the 6th order that are tradi­ tionally pronounced in Ge'ez either vowelless or with the vowel d < i/u. The sandhi-writing 'zlh for 'zl Ih. "king of Kition". "you have". Similarly.e. Elision 27. "he created all the animals". thus e.44: halaqa kulla dābbatin. G. §65. Tamīm speakers of Central and Eastern Arabia were saying [harra'ayta]. the sandhi phenomenon leads to spellings like hyhwh. the spelling qwly. uttered together in consec­ utive speech. and to mlkty < *milk Kitti.

Nabataean Aramaic wldhm for wyldhm.6) may be elided in Ugaritic in intervocalic position: wn < *wa-hanna/u (KTU 1. the dissyllabic nominal patterns fi'i]. while fa 'il mdfa'ul were reduced to fa 7 and the verbal forms fa'ila to fa 'la. In Early Aramaic. 1. may produce a vowel with an intermediate point of articulation. 1.8).V. "she remained".fu'ul to fi'l. the h of the pronominal suffixes -hu I -ha is elided in Ethiopic (> -u I -a) and the masculine suffix -hu can be elided also in Hebrew (> -6). at the time the orthography was fixed. 2° the quality of the long or stressed vowel tends to prevail. This was probably the case also at Ugarit.25. 27. "heavens". "all of them".3-5). the ' was still pronounced in some forms of the words where it was later elided. e. Postvocalic and intervocalic '. collo­ quial Arabic dale < dalā < dalaw. ydkl.ELISION 197 27. In West Semitic. "to be able".IV.5). e. at Tell Fekherye. The h of the presentative *han (§49. thus reducing e. North Arabian mnwt(w) = Latin Manavat > mnt /Manātl. § 45.V.24. Pre-Classical Arabic baqat < baqāt < *baqiyat. "they have built". there is elision of intervocalic h in pronominal suffixes: klm < klhm. kin < klhn.38.23. The remaining vowel is originally long and the process is practically identical with the contraction of the diphthongs ay I iy I aw > ā (§ 22.6. y. It is omitted in the imperfect of the frequently used Ge'ez verbs bdhla.24. corresponding to the frequent Hebrew wdhinnē. 27.g. it is often kept as his­ torical and etymological spelling without being articulated. y. e. 3° two phonetically distant vowels.50.3. "they filled his hands" (KTU 1. kdhla. V. the imperfect being yabl. "he drew". following rules are generally applied: 1° the meeting of two like vowels results in the same long vowel. fu'l.g. in ancient Arabic dialects unstressed i and u were elided. ' is produced (§ 22.g. syllabic ú-ma-lu-ú. Punic nasot Inašotl < *našāti < našá'ti. like a and /. Thus. 27. According to Sibawayh. either one is elided or a glide w. was very likely pronounced [yimallu] or [yumallu] (cf. Phoeni­ cian o~aur|u.28). "to say". Simi­ larly.Išamēml < šamayīm.31).4. When two vowels meet. e. one of the so-called "Allah's daughters". " I carried".g. When there is elision.g. w can be elided when they are not long or geminated. "and their children".g.15). .22. e. The elision of short vowels occurs also in modern Arabic dialects and in other languages under influence of a strong word accent (§25. Assyro-Babylonian ibniū > ibnū. the verb in rht[h] yml'u /*yumalli'ū/.16.

e. It is uncertain whether -h functions already as mater lectionis in the Ugaritic equation mhrtt = mhrth. like in Ge'ez 'ako. from Tell Beydar (cf. "people". as shown e.29). mhrtth). there is no doubt that the ending -at gave way to -a > -ā at some point in the history of several Semitic languages. I f one hesitates to recognize this general trend in the Palaeosyr­ ian personal name Si-a-ha /Šī-'ahat/.4). An elision in the middle of a divine name is attested. This form is found in contemporary Palestinian inscriptions. A similar assimi­ lation or elision must have occurred in the Libyco-Berber verb llukk < *hlukk. 27. by the name L'zr instead of biblical 'El'āzār. 'aha). "one". and Ikt.3).g. and also in some Aramaic names as hlrm /Hīlarīmf for 'Ahīlarīm. "from the people of Mašaku". Hīrom < * 'Ahīrom). to become" root kūrì).. The nasal n is often assimilated (§27. the elision of h is attested in the word ahl. in Ara­ maic. Instead. "go!". "you (feminine singu­ lar) break". " i t is not". of the very same verbal root. tisàbraš < tisàbralš. "Baal of the Skies". also by -'. "May my brother be exalted!". "She is a sister" (rather "brother". thus balonà. in var­ ious Middle Aramaic dialects. provided by parallel passages (KTU 1.g. "plough-land". 27.2). y l 27. The elision of the feminine ending -t at the end of a word is a widespread phenomenon attested in Semitic and in Late Egyptian (§30. and in Arabic by the vowel letter -h. Also / and n are elided in certain conditions (§17.29). e.g.IV. "Stone of the Mighty one". "to go". "to be".28.g. when h is preceded by the / of the negative al-. §27. " i f he is not".26. The residual final -a was then indicated in Hebrew. which is often written 7 in Safaitic. by Neo-Punic Abaddir < *'abn 'addīr. The liquid / can also be assimilated or elided.g. as the auxiliary -al in Harari before suffixes. "to be.27. "to tread on". and in manuscripts not affected by hypercorrection (§27. The elision of an initial unstressed syllable 'a occurs in Phoeni­ cian personal names (e. The same phenomenon occurs in Mishnaic Hebrew. preserves the original monosyllabic char­ acter of the word (§35. and in the West Semitic forms Ik. in the New Testament (Aá^apos). d-'l Ms k. Aramaic had. composed of the negative element 'a and of the verb kona.6.198 PHONOLOGY Elision of h occurs further in North Gurage hono. for balhonà. or the / of B'l-šmyn >B'sm(y)n. but it is certainly used as a vowel letter from . "family". 3 = 14 cor. e. In North Arabian.3) or elided at the end of a word.

In ancient South Arabian anthroponomy.C. on. e. Lihyānite s nt. Palmyrene 'mt. "Whom Isis has given". that was already used as mater lectionis in Lihyānite (e. first in the verb where this occurred before the fixing of the orthography (hence p'l. Aramaic Pt'sy for P3~dl3ś. or tm'. "perfect". At Ebla. e. as shown by number of Semitic and Greek transcriptions of Egyptian proper names. maqarrāt(e). "hundred". "while"). e. A similar process occurred in Late Egyptian. but especially when he tries to harmonize the idiom used by a writer with a "classical" form of . "year". the place name Mug-ri-i occurs next to Mug-ri-du \ the personal name A-mi-i occurs next to A-mi-du and prob­ ably designates the same person. but the spelling of feminine nouns in -h throughout the Qur'ān shows that final -t was elided in the Pre-Classical period and that the residual vowel -a was indicated by -h. e. a hypocoristic suffix -iy is added to the name. Hypercorrection occurs when a speaker or a writer over-com­ pensates for an error which he fears he might incur. Safaitic bkrt. illustrate this phenomenon. "what".g. Aramaic tbh in tslwth tbh. mh /mā/. transcribed rsh. "young she-camel".. final -t was dropped in Assyro-Babylonian pro­ nunciation after a I ā and after ē. The feminine ending -t was still preserved in Pre-Islamic North Arabian (e. "bales (of straw)".g. "Medeba". since "whom" sounds more formal and hence seems. "first fruits". later also in the noun where NeoPunic spellings like sdyq'. the elision of final consonants is attested in various places. Thamūdic nqt /nāqat/.29. At Emar. "she-camel".C. Hebrew m'h. Hypercorrection 27. In proper names. kl k I . "praying to him is sweet".. confirmed by Latin transcriptions such as Anna for Hnt.. rèsāti.g.g. the theophorous element 'Attar occurs frequently without r at the end of a name.t. "she did"). Hittite pseudo-hieroglyphic transcrip­ tions. like ma-li for malik. show the feminine ending -ā > -o.30. The same process took place in Phoenician. not only when a copyist endeavours correcting a normal scribal error. tà-ka for Dagān. more correct. fallaciously. x 27. 'dh /'idā/.g. as when an English speaker uses "whom" where "who" is required.HYPERCORRECTION 199 the 9th century B. Neo-Assyrian Ekallāte transcribed 'glh in Aramaic. Such mis­ placed changes occur frequently in Mss. In the first millennium B. "folk").g. Moabite Mhdbh. "just". In both examples. transcribed mqrh.

e. zdmā for damā. tried to harmonize Mishnaic Hebrew with Biblical Hebrew because they considered departures from the latter one as mis­ takes. printed texts. but the word was systematically "corrected" in more recent Mss. . was -àk. etc. ddbārdkā. Hypercorrection occurs also in Mandaic manuscripts. and finally grammars and dictionaries. and later the printers. sing. thus writing zeqlā for deqlā..g.g.g. and it disap­ peared in printed texts. Fortunately. Thus. but its vocalization was "cor­ rected" into -kā. This phenomenon is not at all unusual where speakers and copyists try seriously to follow the rules of a "cor­ rect" language. all these words with etymological d and d are pronounced exclusively with d in colloquial Mandaic. masc. E.200 PHONOLOGY the language.g.g. e. The pronominal suffix of the 2nd pers. e. "blood". This "hypercorrecting" tendency let to a complete distortion of the linguistic structure of Mishnaic Hebrew in many manuscripts.. "palm-tree". it can be shown. the Mishnaic Hebrew word for "man" was 'ādān instead of biblical 'ādām. e. when scribes extend the archaizing spelling with z for d to words in which d is etymological. but lack the necessary knowledge. "your word". that Mediaeval copyists. ddbārāk.

kātib-.2. I f Semitic languages can be considered as genetically related. Now. besides the triconsonantal ones.D. but it may undergo a certain degree of change through internal diachronic development or by contact with other languages. and of one or more vowels.1. According to this traditional grammatical analysis. T H E R O O T M O R P H E M E 28.g. Most of the words of the historically attested Semitic languages are usu­ ally analyzed as being a combination of three consonants. maktabat-. morphology is relatively resistent to radical linguistic mutation. This basic semantic element is assumed to be further qualified by a number of vowels or vowels plus consonants which either specify the meaning of the root and serve as lexical morphemes (e. kitāb-. form the smallest lexical unit of the language and constitute the root morpheme (e. or determine the grammatical category and act as grammatical morphemes (e. by Hayyudj of Fez whose ideas are generally followed up to now. even apart from the roots that became biconsonantal in consequence of the dropping out of one of the radicals. 28. especially in the inflectional patterns. . Such a conception was strongly advocated in the 10th cen­ tury A. called radicals. the three con­ sonants. "he writes"). cannot be denied.4 ff.g. "to write").g. This is the reason why a rather synchronic assess­ ment of the characteristics of the Semitic root morpheme may differ somehow from a diachronic appreciation. yaktubu. "writer". "library"). "book". kataba. The material of a language is generally taken to be its words. as the one exposed in §28. The existence of biconsonantal roots in Semitic languages. This is illustrated by the well-known example of the Hebrew verbs prd. it is because they exhibit a systematic correspondence of words in their morphology.Ill MORPHOLOGY 1. Arabic ktb. prm. "he wrote". Their number even increases significantly i f one accepts that only two of the three radicals of the triconsonantal roots are the main bearers of the meaning and that the third one had at one stage the task of a determinant or modifier in very much the same way as occurs with vowels in the fully developed triconsonantal system.

prs. However. the roots include vowels and they constitute pronounceable realities. e. 28. both lexical and grammatical. "father". eight monosyllabic types of Semitic root morphemes can readily be distinguished in historical times. is only the abstract basis of a family of words used in the language and did never exist as a living reality in a spoken idiom. The derivational process can occasion phonetic modifications (e. etc. "god". The root morphemes in question consist . and -u. "love".3. In English. "to go". "to stand". -i-. and further changes are due to the standardization of the monosyllabic root in accordance with a dissyllabic stem pattern. "boy".g. 'ab-. without any morphologic bearing on the Semitic word structure. espe­ cially in the verbs (e. hud. In fact. as d i n g i r . "fatherhood") or grammatical morphemes (e. prq. were already agglutinated to the root. 'ab-ūt-. like those specifying the grammatical gender (§30.3. which should therefore be regarded as forming part of the root. abbūtu. 28. Contrary to the traditional opinion. for example.g.. we shall often refer to the roots by indicating their sole consonants. "great". "fatherhood" in AssyroBabylonian).202 MORPHOLOGY prs. the morphological analysis of basic Semitic words and forms — especially the three -a-. d u. In other words. when complementary mor­ phemes. g a l . prr. "seize!") that can be extended by affixes. the Semitic triconsonantal or biconsonantal root. In Sumerian.1. "to cut". ya-hud-u. This practice should be considered as a simple short­ hand.classes of East Semitic and Arabic verbs (§37. Semitic roots are con­ tinuous morphemes which are instrumental in derivation but subject to vocalic and consonantal change in this process which is based on continu­ ous or discontinuous "pattern morphemes".g.g.g. 38. which are either lexical morphemes (e. Such a situation does not occur in other language "fami­ lies" where the roots also include vowels and can be pronounced by any speaker of the tongue under consideration. the root is a stable reality.g. The same happens in languages as different as Chinese or Sumerian. con­ ceived as the smallest lexical unit. for practical reasons and to keep in tune with the common usage of the Semitists.. However. "he seizes").4. an evolution which took place already in the Proto-Semitic period. that have the radical pr in common and express the basic notion of "dividing". Arabic ya'hud-u). Despite these changes that Semitic has undergone. as in Indo-European languages in general. e. the basic stock of the Semitic vocabulary appears to consist of monosyllabic root morphemes (e. prš.10-11). g u b .g. 15) — reveal a relative stability of radical vowels.

'ah-. "mouth". "know!".vC C (§24. "father". these morphemes are proclitics or enclitics: Ca: wa. all in the accusative.> a-. and C. The CvC class is well represented by monosyllabic nominal roots and verbal basic forms: CaC: 'ab-. distinguishable on the basis of the vowels a. ha. "let it be. "brother". "his mouth". "gauge". "take!". "for". du/tu. "ewe". one could also say that the monosyllabic roots are either short. "my mouth". pu-šu.5). "voice". pá-i. "truly". u. "truly". "and so. gaš. like". In this approach. yad-. The inflection of the nouns qā. or of long syllables as Cv. interrogative. Taking the three fundamental vowels a. "one".7. pá-šu. however.THE ROOT MORPHEME 203 either of short syllables of the type Cv. §28.g. "and". or long. For clarity's sake. "as. i. "because". "give!". dū/tū. "that (one)" (cf. the pro­ nounceable two-consonant clusters are acceptable as well as in modern colloquials. The three sub-groups of the Cv class are distinguishable on the basis of the long vowels ā. ham-. lā. The Assyro-Babylonian nominative form qa-a confirms the Cā pattern for the noun "gauge". gū. may-. "father-in-law". "what?". "not". ka-. l 2 v x 2 y { 2 2 2 3 28. "oh!". "hand". da'. "water". CvC and C C vC or of ultra-long syllables.5. There are three sub-groups of the Cv class. pū can bring about a change of the vowel. mā. u into account. Ci: hi-. Since the vowel length behaves like a consonant and since the initial or final two-consonant cluster is just a variant of a long or geminated consonant. as CvC.6. ta'-. Cū: gū. i. so that".ū: Cā: yā. pū.3). pi-i. lū. la-.> u-. -ma. had. pi-šu. §28. one can then distinguish twenty-four sub-groups of monosyllabic roots. In general. or with -i attested also in the nominative and in the accusative. or with the vowel -a in the accusative. or ultra-long syllables. while the Arabic construct state fū favours a Cū root morpheme in the case of "mouth". C C vC C vC C . be it!". it is better to divide them into eight groups. Ci: ki. "in".ī. e. U-. hah. and their construct state may be used either with the -u of the nominative. pa-lfa-.6). qā. qah. in Old Akkadian pu-i. "come near!". CM: lu-. 28. 28. . "that (one)" (cf.

n.9. How­ ever. "open!". as a comparison with Libyco-Berber seems to suggest in a few specific cases. bin-. Arabic . CuC: mut-. as shown e. although Hausa mutum and East Semitic mutu(m) exhibit a non-geminated t. r (§17. lik. "man". §1. particularly in the imperative of the simple stem: e. sgul-. "go down!". since they are frequent in African languages (cf. "open!".8. or qūm.2). "tread on!". the socalled "weak" verbs of the type śīm. "god". 'uktub. Some specimens of this group may go back to a Proto-Afro-Asiatic pattern CCvC or CvCC. "learn!". 'inzil. gb) may play a role as well.g. "go down!". but limad. "man". The Hebrew plural mdt-īm. "belonging".16-17) or an anap­ tyctic vowel (§27.g. Samun. ktub. This class comprehends. su'-. "bear!". "go!". in Hebrew and Arabic. "four". 28. ru'-. "seize!". in Assyro-Babylonian. by the imperative of triconsonantal verbs in the simple stem. where the tense dd suggests a link with Bantu mu-ntu. "give!". The clusters involved by these patterns are generally resolved in Clas­ sical languages by the addition of a prosthetic (§27. m. "son". may originate from *hlik. would indicate. sba'-. "four". 'arba'. in Neo-Aramaic.204 MORPHOLOGY CiC: '//-. šim-. the Hebrew imperative lēk < *lik. Now. "olive-oil". "take!". "men". "write!". rid. din/tin. tin-. which is often identical with that of the radical. e. The CvC class with an internal long vowel is well attested among nominal and verbal roots. The C C vC class with a consonant cluster in initial position occurs frequently in modern Semitic languages. "sit down!". 1 2 3 C C aC : rba'. tib. and seems to imply a development nt > tt > dd. hud. "companion". as Libyco-Berber llukk. "man". "sheep". "people". "to place". "seize!". E. but labiovelar consonants (kp. ptah. Alternative forms with prosthetic or anaptyctic vowels can coexist. CjC /C : mri'.and Eapouv-.g. mil. "men".19). in Arabic. šmun-. since the initial tense or long 11 probably derives from *hl. but 'iftah. "name".9). sabat. in particular. is apparently related to the Libyco-Berber plural midd-dn or mddd-dn. kusud. the best attested combinations involve one of the con­ sonants /. They base themselves mainly on the Classical Arabic "weak" verbs. "two". ] 2 3 2 3 C C uC : { 2 3 dltmur-. but it was largely represented also in Pre-Classical languages.g. e. there tend to be strict constraints on the formation of clusters in most languages. the Phoenician divine name "Eshmun" derived from *šmun. "write!". although there is a widespread opinion among scholars that Semitic and even Afro-Asiatic "weak" verbs have triconsonantal origins. lidil). "night-watch". "go!". 28.g. "finger". "to get up". "go down!".

jade" (Classical Arabic 'ikdīš or kadis). "mother". "flee!". śarr-. "rock". tlāt-. "pitcher" (Classical Arabic 'ibrīq). nag. CūC: būl-. C iC C : 'imm-. kūb-. "ask!". "chief. sim. "fly". as shown by words like klr. "oven". Ml > sal. This pattern characterizes many nominal roots and it constitutes the stem of the Assyro-Babylonian stative (pars-).C āC : drā'-. bāš. and that of the verb in particular. "speak!". baqq-. CīC: zīm-. sir > sir. "feature(s)". "bag". 18. Assyro-Babylonian and kūr. thus adapting monosyllabic roots to the triconsonantal system. nūn-. C C ūC : klūb. mas(s) > mass(i/a). "night". Instead of the final long or geminated consonant. 'amm-. sis-. "be at rest!". 2 2 28. in particular by some basic numerals. "eight". "get up!".7) and imply an original form *q im in Proto-Afro-Asiatic. 28. "street". "roll!". founder of a family". gud(d). "cave".12. "be firm!". "shade". hurr-. "place!". x 2 2 šinn-. sūq-. "clay". till-. The CjVC C class is a variant of the preceding one. 2 3 x 2 x 2 3 28. C C īCỳ briq-. "fish". C J M C C : dubb-. "face". reflects exten­ sive late analogical formation. tmān-. "well". "wound". "touch!". "ancestor. One should note that the opposition l:ū is not absolute. dubb(u). "tooth". *kdīś. "heart". pan-.THE ROOT MORPHEME 205 morphology in general. in other Semitic languages. Such monosyllabic roots would sim­ ply require the transfer of some samples to the classes CvC or C C vC w w x 2 y CāC: kāp-. More insight might be found in Libyco-Berber verbs like qqim. šušš-. x 2 3 C. "be ashamed!". firr(i/a). The C vC C class is characterized by a long or geminated final consonant. mūś-. "three". "palm of the hand". kīs-. "oven". x 2 2 C aC C . The C C vC class with a consonant cluster in initial position and a long radical vowel does not occur frequently. "livestock". zimm-. king". The situation is here comparable with the opposition of voiced and unvoiced consonants (§10. "cage" (Greek K^COPOS). where the tense consonant qq could go back to a labiovelar q (§11. This extensive analogical process makes Arabic less fitting for an analysis of the monosyllabic roots of the CvC class than most other Semitic languages. "feast. x 2 2 gal{l). kapp-. hagg-. or blr and būr. it has a two-consonant cluster at the end.8). "forehead". "cart horse.10. "begin!". "stay!". qirr(i/a). "yesterday". but its existence is firmly attested. kīr-. "sixty". tit-. kūn.11. libb-.11. pilgrimage". "kill!".> kdlš. qūm. tmāl-. "foetus". with the exception of 2 3 . "flower". "arm". "gnat".

word".206 MORPHOLOGY the 3rd pers. instead of damly. e. "seven". besides the normal form an. "brother". we encounter at Ebla ù-hu-wa-tum /'uhuwātum/. the second vowel of the stem is to be considered as consistently suppressed. 'idr-. "darkness". "booty". "name". "five". x 2 x 2 x 2 28.19). "tongue". ba'l-. (paris. "fraternity". and ismawan.g. ġunm-. Thus. ilsawdn. qudš-. tūb-ā + atum. C iC Cỳ biśr-. "calf". šab'-. instead. kalb-. Similar enlargements of biconsonantal roots are found in Palaeosyrian and in Libyco-Berber. "holiness". "dis­ missal" (root wś'. where a /z-glide separates the two vowels ā. The enlargement of certain biconsonantal roots with -ā should be compared with the colloquial extension of Arabic pronouns to anāya. Now. "wall".9) *ilsā and *ismā. 'umq-. 'igl-. In Palaeosyrian. some ancient Arabic dialects used 'abā instead of 'ab. and 'immā. "you". that are unlikely to have been borrowed from the Aramaic emphatic state (§33. ravine". however. "document. "lord". and with the widespread suffixing of an enclitic -a in various Agaw dialects.7).26). the a-vowel changed into u under the influence of the w-glide. hamš-. "bloody". plural of Us. both are "sound" plurals of older internal plurals (§31. yadā for yad. This enclitic produced derivatives that are sometimes considered as proofs of the original triconsonantal or dissyllabic character of the roots under consid­ eration.13. dntāya. According to the com­ mon opinion. These forms go back to the following elements: 'ah-ā + atum. damā for dam. 'aśr-. especially to the pronoun of the first person singular an-a. masc. "joy". "goodness". "the name"). "help". The original tf-morpheme is preserved. "blood". A comparable phe­ nomenon occurs in dialectal Aramaic with dbhh. "hand". Arabic damawly. nidr-. . the Semitic enclitic -ā often occurs in cases where " m y " is implied and it is probably related to a pronominal suffix of the first person singular (cf. tù-bù-a-tum /tūbuwātum/. like in the name 'Abraham < 'Abrām and in the plural form of some nouns (§31. C uC Cỳ 'udn-. "valley". with the Libyco-Berber use of an expressive parti­ cle ay. "vow". §36. In fact. plural of ism. "ten". "(my) father". " I " . These forms might be compared with Mishnaic Hebrew 'abbā. "the memorial" (lit. derives from such a secondary form damā with a w-glide separating the two vowels. instead. In reality. 'ahā for 'ah. "gorge. "order. The following list includes only examples of nominal roots: C aC Cỳ 'amr-. sa-zu-wa-tum /ša(w)śu(')wātum/. "(my) mother". hušk-. in Libyco-Berber. malk-. "king". sipr-. "is separated"). sing. "dog".-"she-bear". "ear". book". ša{w)sā(') + atum. and šmh'. śi'b-. "father". Thus. "to go out"). gadr-.

and kalblm are nouns. kalb. Such cases cannot advocate the alleged tri­ consonantal origin of the roots in question. this morpheme seems to have a causal function (§41..forming nouns often implies a notion of place (§29.g. e. For example. tin-.g. "two".. and never. and sipr. They are "full" morphemes because they have a more or less independent meaning. "son". affixing the imperfect and indicative morphemes to the Arabic verbal root *ktub.15. e.14.g. E. "dogs".1).to form kalb-im. Affixes and infixes have varying effects when they are added to roots. another verbal form .THE ROOT MORPHEME 207 corresponding to the Arabic internal plurals 'asmā' of 'ism. Both kalb. 28. but the "full" and "free" verbal morpheme Ictub-.11). to kalb. "write!". These morphemes are called "bound". The "full" and "free" morphemes are not fully defined by their semantic and phonological properties. when the morpheme -y is suffixed to the root. In fact. a "dog". so that one or a series of full morphemes in isolation can be fairly meaningful.13.means "a book (belonging) to a king".li-malk. They also have syntactic properties which determine how they function with respect to the gram­ matical processes of the language. When -im is added in Hebrew.16. 28. can func­ tion only as a noun. as a verb.21). say. 43. The roots are sometimes called by linguists "full" and "free" morphemes. is subject to a shift in grammatical class or part of speech when determinate lexical morphemes are added to it (§28. while the suffixed verbal morpheme -ū usually indicates the plural. Similarly.1) which are affixed to the root or infixed in it according to a series of well determined patterns. by lexical and grammatical morphemes (§28. the prefixed morpheme ma. "dog". 28. and 'abnā' of 'ibn. the effect is to further specify kalb. The task of lexical individualization and grammatical catego­ rization is assumed. kalb-. They are "free" morphemes because they can stand alone as indepen­ dent words. gives rise to tniiy). "double!". because they do not have an independent meaning. although they are not all empty of semantic content. some nominal morphemes may become verbal when an appropriate lexical morpheme is added to it. and "empty". "name".with respect to the number of animals being referred to. adding the plural morphem -lm does not change the grammatical class of the word in question.suggests a determined ani­ mal. indeed.g. because they cannot stand alone as independent words. e.

by way of contrast. but they can also be used as relative pronouns. yet both are nouns. Affixation and infixation involve adding an "empty" mor­ pheme to a " f u l l " morpheme or to a larger unit containing a " f u l l " mor­ pheme. The derivational suffix -at-. but maktabat. are formed by combining two or more roots. with no affix (§57.19. "because" (§ a deverbal noun. as prefix. libb malkat. with no affix in a Semitic language lacking a functioning case system in nouns. relates malk-. 28. " i n " .16). bēt. E.g. is dealt with in the chapter on nouns. These distinctions are based on the actual use of the parts of speech in Semitic languages. infix. belong to different grammatical classes. Thus. linguists often distinguish between "inflectional" and "derivational" affixes. As for the grammatical function of differ­ ent units in a clause. yaktubu and maktabat-. Uninflected morphemes are subdivided in adverbs (§47). yaktubu is a verb. and malkat-. On the other hand. e. As a rule.18. for instance. connective and deictic particles (§49). where the nomen regens is followed immediately by the nomen rectum.17. and the distinction . the pattern of which. On the basis of the categories for which certain classes of words inflect. "name". most adverbs and prepositions are derived from nouns.5). Nor is a shift in grammatical class always signalled by an overt marker. etc. 28. three inflectional classes or parts of speech may be distin­ guished: nouns (§29-35). suffix. "grammatical" and "lexical".. the conjugation of which is examined in the corresponding chapter. it can be expressed by their simple juxtaposition in a determined word order. combining the preposition ana. and verbs (§37-46). "king". meaning "house" and "place". There are various other ways of forming complex lexical units and expressing the relative function of various items in a sentence.are basically nouns. a shift in grammatical class is indicated by overt markers. "heart of the/a queen". However. and the noun sum. to use older terms. Accordingly. *ktub. derivational affixes do not always effect a change in grammatical class as in the example of maktabat-. "queen". Some words.208 MORPHOLOGY ya-ktub-u. or. however.. "library". The addition of affixes or infixes to roots is one way of con­ structing complex lexical items from simple ones and of indicating their grammatical function.and ašar. 28. we obtain the East Semitic subordinate conjunction aššu(m). and even vocalic change. as maktab-at. prepositions (§48). However.vs. pronouns (§36). "he writes".g.

gargar. and case. qufa' means either "to cough" or "cough". Noun Stems or Patterns 29. inasmuch as they can be established. "to help" or "help". 2. state (§33). which is associated in several instances with a specific meaning or function. and participles. etc. 'ab-. A. case (§32). They are primary i f they correspond to a root morpheme.2. "noun-form". "father". viz.g. number (§31). and often also through their morphological type. because there are a number of Afro-Asiatic roots which are used both as nouns and verbs without distinctive affixes. the main noun patterns will be presented with their principal semantic fields. Comparative Afro-Asiatic linguistics shows even that the distinction between verbal and nominal roots is not always clearly cut.3. qātuim) designates the "hand". In the following. and habār "to curse" or "curse". or "pattern". e. T H E NOUN 29. prs for AssyroBabylonian. There are many deverbal nouns and denominative verbs. A noun is a member of a class of words which has a descriptive function and comprises substantives. In Somali.. The same paradigms will be employed in the sections dealing with the inflection of the noun. or the usual paradigms will be used: fl mainly for Arabic.NOUN PATTERNS 209 between nouns and verbs is not clearly cut in Semitic and. called "stem".1. Semitic nouns are either primary or derived. The participle and the infinitive are verbal nouns. as well as in the further chapters of this book. but Somali qād < *qāt is a verb meaning "to take". "fatherhood". qtl for most North and West Semitic languages. number. either the symbols CvC. while the stative or suffix-conjugation stands on the threshold between nominal and verbal predication. Nominal patterns are said to be "simple" when they correspond to a root morpheme or appear as its allomorphs. in general. gender (§30). as well as numerals. They are "extended" . e. These nominal subclasses are usually distinguishable through their various degree of subjection to the inflectional categories of gender. 29. Arabic 'ubūwa.g. For the identification of the patterns. e..g. They are derived i f their pattern repre­ sents an extended or modified verbal or nominal root morpheme. in Afro-Asiatic. In East Semitic. adjectives.

g. "sit down". The "simple" patterns are distinguishable from each other by vocalization. kalb-. "one". "brother". "father". "hand". and by lengthen­ ing or gemination of consonants. we shall not enter in this Outline into a discussion of the vocalic components of discontinuous patterns. when a diphthongization occurs. pū-. Arabic maġlis-. "mouth". E. The "extended" patterns are often discontinuous and may be superimposed on a root. The bicon­ sonantal "simple" patterns can have either a short vowel (CvC). ša'r and sa'ar. "lay down". x 2 2 29. can become kalab in the construct state of Assyro-Babylonian. unless such a spelling of stems belonging to the type C vC C is to be attributed to the inadequate character of the writing system. Hence it is evident that a purely con­ sonantal script. especially to anaptyxis (§27.11).g. Their semantic field includes kinship (e. "two").g. "blood". "hunt".210 MORPHOLOGY either when preformatives. The same phe­ nomenon seems to be attested in Palaeosyrian (e. 'ab-. Ugaritic or South Arabian. the patterns fa 'al and fa 'il may occur as phonetic variants of fa'I. nahr and nahar. or a long vowel (CvC). 'imm-. kapp-. They corre­ spond all to the root morphemes of the same type (§28. is formed on the pattern miCCaC which is superimposed on the verbal root *škub (w-class). yad-. tin-. and phonetic develop­ ments.9. and basic numerals (had-. it develops to kāleb > keleb in Hebrew and to * kalab > kdlab in Aramaic. by lengthening of vowels. "mother"). or when the whole root morpheme or one of its radicals are reduplicated. conceals a wide variety of morphological "simple" noun stems.5. but they may convey abstract meanings 2 3 { 2 3 . Considering the uncertainties resulting from lacking vocalizations.12) are likewise subject to phonological developments.g.g. but Aramaic miškab.6-7. 'ah-. The monoconsonantal (Cv) noun stems are fairly rare. parts of human body (e. e. "hair". dam-. " o i l " ) . simply implies the prefixing of ma. afformatives or infixes are added. These stems mostly denote concrete nouns. E. "conference room". but are subject to phonological developments according to the principles exposed in the section on phonology (§10-27).19). tard and tarad.g. In Arabic.g. a) Simple Patterns 29A. diachronic factors. "dog". "river". or a long second consonant (C vC C ). "bed". e. "palm of hand").to the verbal root *glis (/-class). sa-ma-nu. The triconsonantal nouns with one short vowel of the type CjvC C (§28.

g. The patterns CvClC and CvCūC are predominantly adjectival or participial.). Babylonian bašmu(m). Dissyllables with long vowel in the first syllable (CvCvC) are either active participles of triconsonantal verbs (CāCiC). §33. to be compared with the broken plural tiqāl of the adjec­ tive taqll. kà-šè-bù(-um) /kādibum/.and *tmān-. CvClC. Hebrew nouns belonging to this category are called "segolates" since they are vocalized e-e. e. e.7).and tmān-. is used in Aramaic as a passive participle { 2 3 . malik. and tamān-. "great". "holiness". well-being". barely attested in the Latin transcriptions of Jerome (348-420 A. halba < halab-ā. "eight". Numerous vocalic changes occur in modem Arabic dialects. Arabic kablr. these nouns are vocalized a-a. Hebrew 'āsūm. "misleading".from kabd-. e. in the Tiberian Masoretic tradition. "heavy".g. 29. where kerem appears as charm and zemer as zambr. "liver". Dissyllables with long vowel in the second syllable (CvCvC) par­ tially derive from monosyllabic morpheme roots of the type C C vC (§28. "peace. "milk" (cf.g.g. participle "going" and substantive "envoy" in Assyro-Baby­ lonian. with two segols.). while their Tiberian pausal vocalization is ā-e.g. 29. E. from malk-. Ge'ez marir. kabid. often substan­ tivized as agent nouns. or kibar. and appar­ ently unknown to the author of the Latin transcriptions of Hebrew in the 10thcentury Ripoll Ms. It is worth noting that this segolization is still unknown to Origen (3rd century A. e. 29. "great". hence "quitter". as Arabic tiqal. Dissyllables with short vowels of the type CvCvC may be vari­ ants of the preceding group. Arabic quds.D. hence "liar". occasioned mainly by anaptyxis.7. "bitter". "serpent". E. kātib. "greatness". in particular. probably originate from *tlāt. becoming šopēt and later šūfēt in Punic. talāt-. partially substantivized. wa-zi-um /wāśi'um/. This pattern is attested also in Palaeosyrian. "strong". e. In the Babylonian tradition. e. Others are adjectives. "judge". participle "writing" in Aramaic and substantive "scribe" in Arabic. "three". "king". "heaviness". Assyro-Babylonian sulmu. *tāpit-. It is subject to important vocalic changes in Hebrew and in Phoenician. ālikuim). while the present colloquial forms of Damascus are tlāt. or patterns very rare outside Arabic.g. 74.g.6. which reappears frequently in modern colloquials.10). The second short vowel is lost in Syriac and in Neo-Aramaic. to be related to the broken plural kibār of the adjective kablr. "going out".D.NOUN PATTERNS 211 as well. Palaeosyrian ba-ša-nu-(-um) and Arabic batan(un) vs.8.g.

"rice". "lime-plaster" (cf. swr. Arabic ġlr).g. kdtlb. "she-camels". are inter­ nal plurals (§31. CuCūC. Arabic nitāq. Hebrew 'Is). "small". Other Arabic examples are haydar.(§34. Arabic hln). also in kawtar. while the same function is assumed in Hebrew by the type CvCūC. *Kutar.6). The same pattern CiCāC is employed also for tools and instruments. while 'awnuq or 'aynuq. "hedgehog".g. "lake". "day". "whip". West Semitic and South Arabian hykl or hykl goes back to Old Sumerian (§27. as suggested by rawz for ruzz.16). Hebrew 'ēzor < *'izār.g. see also §29. The patterns CiCāC. Dissyllables with diphthong in the first syllable (Caw/yCaC) may have different origins. siġar. Arabic hulm.9. "to abound". is used for 'ā'(d)dug. Ge'ez qdnāt. šayham. "man" (cf. "seas").g. "more abounding". riġāl. "garlic". hawr. "great". the short vowels may disappear or be affected by a qualitative change. The diphthong aw appears instead of u in Andalusian Arabic lawbān for lubān. e. "ass". known from Amorite onomastics. "smallness". 'ys . e. "star".g. gyr.g. "arbiter". siġār.26-28) of nāqa in ancient Arabic dialects. Neo-Aramaic hmāra.212 MORPHOLOGY (e.g. qātūl. bihār. while kawkab. bayt.g. sawf for suf. Assyro-Babylon­ ian qināzu(m). "wool". 'izām. is based ultimately on the biconsonantal reduplicated root kabkab-. particularly in Arabic: e. which appears as an extension of the pattern CiCaC (e. "dream". "scent" (cf. "time" (cf.g. Arabic sūra). tawm. Arabic tlb).2). cf. yawm. In some languages. In modern dialects. from wafara. hyn. qatll. the short vowel i is lost or changes into eld.g. vs. "belt". becomes kiblr in Cairene Arabic and gblr in a "Mesopotamian" dialect. "men". and CaCIC are used in Arabic to form broken plurals.g. "greatness". e. and in Sabaic hwlm vs. "olibanum". 'awfar. "killed" in Arabic. karūbu. a divine name. "the great ones". tyb. and ā may become o. attested already in Sabaic (kwkb). kablr. especially the first one (e. Several nouns of this group are simply Arabic elatives introduced by 'a. Monosyllables with diphthong appear in Semitic (e. Since early Andalusian is related somehow to ancient South Arabian (§8. "house"). "written"). "donkey".g. "blessed" in AssyroBabylonian poetry. e. "the small ones". "belt". cf. 1 .5). e. "belt". E. e. "generous". They characterize the Andalusian dialect. Aramaic himār. b) Patterns with Diphthongs 29. fay sal. "image" (cf. 'izam. A similar use of both stems occurs occasionally also in other languages. Ethiopic 'aydug.g. the Sabaic patterns fyl mdjwl should probably be interpreted as/ay/ and fawl: e. "killed". "donkey".

g. i f Tù-bù-hu. dabbūhā. "most holy" in Ara­ bic. and /tubbūhu/ in Palaeosyrian. rakkāb. "grave-digger".10.g.NOUN PATTERNS 213 29. e. "column. especially in Arabic. "territories"). 'addīr. 'iġġawl. kaddān. e. "sailor" in Aramaic. hinnaws. but it is also encountered in proper names. and in a number of Syriac nouns. "interpreter (of dreams)". while Assyro-Babylonian uses patterns with vowels ī / ū for the same purpose (e. Clear traces of this pattern subsist in LibycoBerber. qaddūs or quddūs. zammām. ni-bù-hu /nibbūġu/. "harness collar". hasslnu. da-nu-nu Idannūrìul. "powerful" in Hebrew and in Phoenician. "contusion". Most of these stems occur also in Assyro-Babylonian. This pattern occurs in Libyco2 2 3 l 2 2 3 ] 1 2 z 2 2 3 2 2 3 á . perhaps slym.11. but belongs then to different semantic fields. "workman" in Ge'ez.. naġġār. while their number is somewhat reduced in other languages. Twelve different noun stems with geminated second radical consonant are attested in Arabic. "small calf". sikkūru. The pattern C aC C ūC is used instead of C aC C āC in Assyro-Babylonian šakkūru. "young boy" in Aramaic. but this did not happen for some unknown reason. "(are) outstanding". "beautiful" in Aramaic. "carpenter" in Arabic. Aramaic ptwr. "small dog" in Arabic. "piglet". habbūrā.g. e. "axe". a kind of "bolt"). e. The pattern/V/ occurs in Epigraphic South Arabian mainly as a broken plural stem (e. "statuette" in Sabaic. Tuareg a-fdrrad. gazzūrā.g. "very small" in Assyro-Babylonian. c) Patterns extended by Gemination 29. Stems of the types CjVC C vC and CjVC C vC are also employed throughout the Semitic languages to indi­ cate adjectives with intensive meaning. gallābu{m). e. "bolt"). gabbār. "shearer". or with one of the diphthongs -aw-1-ay-.g. qattanu. "barber" in Assyro-Babylonian. pillar". It might be identical there with the Arabic fi"awl pattern which occurs in some diminutives.g.g. The vowel ā should normally have changed into 6 in Hebrew. mdwr. a-nabbal. The pattern appears also in Hebrew 'ammūd. "sweeper". "sacrificer".in the second syllable (CvCayC) and a dissimilated vowel u<a'm the first one are largely used as diminutives. "drunk­ ard". gazzūzā. The pattern C^aC C āC is largely used in Semitic for names of professions. either with short or long second vowel. "(are) very strong".'À-da means "Very slaughterous is Hadda". should belong here too. mallāh. 'ulaym. e. "horse­ man" in Hebrew. Dissyllables with the diphthong -ay. The same noun stem is employed for tools or instruments in colloquial Arabic (e. kulayb. "butcher".g. šappīr.g.

galgal. a priest. sdttār. e. "worker") and in some modern Ethiopic dialects (e. "raft". with vocalic dissimilation. "what is slaughtered". filizz. "skull". Dissyllables with geminated third consonant occur chiefly in Old Akkadian. "wharf. pirpira. "wheel. and sirsur. The vowel of the reduplicated base may change by dissimilation. "pepper". palāha < pallāhā. "occiput". The same meaning characterizes the C iC C ūC pattern in Samaritan Ara­ maic. Hebrew gulgolet. in Assyro-Babylonian. and in Arabic. "chain" in Ge'ez. hdrrād. Ara­ maic nouns like pdrakkā. Other nouns are Semitic.13. as kunukku(m). sansal < *šalšal. a-mdllal. "splinter". qaqqadu(m) < *qadqadu(m). "altar". a suffix -akku{m) or -ikku{m) was added to several Sumerian loanwords. Aramaic gulgultā (Greek ToÀyoGá). "white". "(non-precious) metal". išši'akku(m). "star" in Amorite.g. "oak".12. "seal". "skull". Mishnaic Hebrew pilpēl. "head" in Assyro-Babylonian. 29. "piece". especially in Tuareg. In Arabic there are a few nouns and adjectives of these pat­ terns. "broker". is unknown.14. Hebrew baqbūq. ġitamm. siyyūd.g. e. CjVC C vC ). Noun stems with reduplication either of the second or third con­ sonant of the root morpheme (CjVC vC vC . In Old Akkadian. baluhhu(m). Hebrew.g.g. "old". "game". or of both of them (CjVC vC C vC ). "flask". kabkab-. e.g. gizzūr.g. and haluppu(m). "vast (ocean)". both related to Assyro-Babylonian gulgull(at)u(m). "marriage". "new"). changed into kakkabu(m) or 'kawkab > kokab in other languages. are attested in various Semitic languages. "galbanum". The pattern with complete reduplication of base is easily recognizable also in Libyco-Berber. The pattern C dC C āC is used in Tigre to form names of products or results of actions. gursidakku(m). and tâ-kdrkort.g.g. e. and Aramaic.g. and Arabic ġalġala(tun).g. "butterfly" in Neo-Aramaic. with different vow­ els. Patterns with reduplicated root morphemes are attested in most Semitic languages. ta-kdlkabba. d) Patterns extended by Reduplication 29. e. are two Sumerian loanwords in Akkadian.g. e. e. e. while the etymology of Assyro-Baby­ lonian arammu. "city ruler". E. nesakkuini). globe". ramp". or ahuzzatuim).214 MORPHOLOGY Berber adjectives as well. The gemination is lost in Neo-Aramaic (e. haġis < *hâġgis. in Phoenician. and kdlakkā. a-wdssar. "flour basket". are borrowed from Assyro-Babylonian. l 2 2 ?> l 2 2 3 29. like in sirsur. The 2 2 3 2 3 3 2 3 2 3 .

"thick"). The pattern is attested also in Lihyānite and in Nabataean Aramaic. Preformatives '-/-' 29.g. "blackish". "executor" (cf. "ant"). in Hebrew (e. n-. e. colour names (e. e. 'by. i. Both denom­ inative and deverbal derivatives are represented in this large group of patterns. in Tigre (e.g. 'a'raġ. 's ll /'aślal/ against Arabic 'ašall. 'araġ. "small amount"). cf.. both attested in Ugaritic. 'akzār. "narwhal" (cf. and suf­ fixes. hatamtam.g.g. . cf. The most frequent of these is 'af'al which forms elatives (§34. in Syriac (e. 'anhr. "complete"). karlm. 'arnab. this pattern may lead to the splitting of the long second radical. in Tigrinya (e. m-. "reddish". nibu in Assyro-Babylonian). The same pattern is used also for some ani­ mal names. "withered ". "lame". "movement"). 'af'ūl. "shellfish " (cf..NOUN PATTERNS 215 first pattern occurs rarely in Assyro-Babylonian (e. morning light").e. šdlamhmā..5).g. 'sdq w-yrt. zuqaqlpu.g.g. nāhiru in Assyro-Babylonian). "nobler. Noun stems are extended by various prefixes.. šdparpārā. kulbābu.g. infixes.. "crooked paths").g. "green"). e. in Hebrew (e.g. in Ge'ez (e. A few Hebrew adjectives are related to these cate­ gories (e. "hare" in several Semitic languages (but cf.g. 'af'āl. in Amharic talallaq. in Aramaic (e. and 'anhb. and Š-.g. e.g.g. "red"). sdwunwun. Patterns with a prosthetic vowel introduced by '. "scor­ pion") and in modern Ethiopian tongues. 'af'ilat. "lameness"). 'af'ilā(')w are 2 7 7 .g. martūt. t-. "cruel").16. Besides.g.15. "noble"). wa-. especially with 'sdq. "green"). "brightness.g. The noun stems 'af'ul. ydraqraq. 'arakrak. šdharhar. "babbling"). ra nān.. V .g.g. this pattern is used in Hebrew for diminutives of colour names: 'âdamdām.are well rep­ resented in Arabic. Arabic 'asdaq. in the morphemes ya-. 'akram. in Arabic (e. Patterns with reduplicated second and third consonants of the root morpheme occur sporadically in Aramaic (e. in Arabic (e. comparatives or superlatives (e. 'âqalqallot. <a e) Patterns with Preformatives and Infixes 29. "lint"). " I . the executor and the heir of my father In Pre-Islamic North Arabian. šumlūl. very noble". "great".g. 'ahmar. The second one is encountered in Assyro-Babylonian (e. hamalmāl. The main prefixes consist in a prosthetic vowel introduced by ' or sometimes '. greenish". annabu). "yellowish. "the most reli­ able"). and bodily qualifications (e.

wāntiya. e.19. a kind of snake in Ugaritic (cf. ipteru(m). Hebrew. and in North Ethiopic to form "broken" or internal plurals (cf. Aramaic.18. time. This morpheme wâ. Arabic. ring". ikribuim). The shift could simply be explained by the tendency of Gurage to change m to w (§ 11. Patterns with prosthetic iare attested in Assyro-Babylonian. "filter".17. from nàtàràm. small bird" in Arabic (cf. and participles. since the antelope or gazelle is the holy animal of this deity. "sparrow. Yatrib.g. The . agent. instrument.g. "prayer". The nouns with prefix wa. Some animal names containing the consonant r have a pros­ thetic vowel introduced by ' instead of ' (§27. Ethiopic. §31. nouns of instrument are formed by the prefix wā.may also express the place where or the time when the action occurs. In the Chaha dialect of Gurage. 29. 29. wâdràgya.8).g. "Expeller".has an instrumental function and expresses the instrument or the means by which one performs an action.that is used in the various Ethiopian languages to form verbal nouns. in South Arabian. "birds".26-28). "locust" in Sabaic. so m.20. There are few nominal patterns having a particular meaning in South Ethiopic. from dānāgām. 'usfūr. 'qšr.20 ff. however. Patterns with preformative ya.derives from mâ. "slough" of a snake in Arabic). just like the instrumental and locative functions of the ergative case are closely related. name given to a staff in Ugaritic. and to proper names. 'rgl.and the suffix -ya. Preformative ya- 29.have the widest possible range of meanings. "he h i t " . the morpheme m. Yarmūk. yahmūr. and Arabic. "hammer". "deer". sippor. "scorpion" in Hebrew.g. verbal nouns. "mandrake". in Hebrew). išdihu(m). However.216 MORPHOLOGY employed in Arabic. 'aqrab.belong therefore to the categories discussed in §29.are confined to names of animals and plants. both in Aramaic. original name of Medina. including nouns of place. Basically. insabtu(m) or ansabtu{m). e. Yarmouk river.8). Ygrš. "ear-ring. "profit". E. The patterns with preformatives ma-/mi-/mu. Per­ haps the divine name 'Attar is to be explained in the same way. Preformatives w-lm-ln- 29. e. "ransom". and yabrūh. qišr. " i t melted".

ski". "sanctuary".is largely employed in Arabic for nouns of instrument. maqom. but rarely in Arabic where a noun like mihrāb. má-kás-híi. "ferry-boat". "east".in Libyco-Berber (§22. "prayer niche". mdsraq. "weapon". The same use is attested in Hebrew (e. madbah. and màngdst. "market place" (cf. and magālā. maġlis.g. It is heavily exploited in scientific and other modern coinages. f a 29. e. house" (cf. "nail". "dam structures".g. e. viz. Hebrew ma'gāl "encampment".is likewise used to form nouns of place in Hebrew (e. mizlaġ. má-kás-áa.21. e. both in Oromo. "to anoint".forms Semitic nouns of place. "weight"). ma' rāb. "kingdom" in Amharic. and in Amharic (e. occur in Cushitic. "temple"). also in also attested in the other branches of AfroAsiatic. "pas­ ture-land" in Palaeosyrian. e. "dining-room"). miftāh. in Qemant-Qwara. midbār. However.g. Arabic manāh. resting place").22. "height. mnht. in Punic (e. ma-sa-batum /mada'bātum/. "scale".. "hiding place"). "conference room. step". e. In Hausa. The prefix ma. mismār. "tower" in Ge'ez. often in Ge'ez (e. "desert". particularly with nouns of instrument. mizān. Instead. mhnt. Hebrew mānd h.g. "skate. several nouns in má. in Aramaic (e.g. mizrāh. etc. "enclosure"). thus in ancient Egyptian. mahfad. "instrument of killing". "dwelling place". "halting place. and mar-a-tum /mar'aytum/. is borrowed from ancient South Arabian mhrb.. "key". má-kà-híi. grave"). "settlement" in Old Akkadian. although no general rules can be established. ma' leh). mrht. mūšabu(m) < *mawšabu(m). the prefix mi. mdrfaq. "to clothe one's self".derive from the verbal root kas-. from wnh. "clothing". "home. "site of killing".g. altar" in Aramaic. Various nouns of agent are formed with m.g. Egyptian mnw. "west" in Hebrew. "dwelling". but other languages furnish valuable information con­ cerning the use of different patterns. ma-a-al-tum (cf. mahdár. "east"). "dwelling" in Assyro-Babylonian. as shown by the syllabic spellings ma-ah-ha[-du] (m'ahd). "east"). and nouns of place. "to k i l l ' . i. "place" in Phoenician. e. from hni. from wrh.26). myqdš. maqdàs. in Tigre (e.g.e. and in ancient South Arabian. "bed. Punic *ma'gal > Latin magalia. miškab. the prefix mi. mdkwāl.g. mišqāl. . as apparent in place names like MápKx(3a (Mryb) or Maicpa (Myf't). mana. a a 29. "fat". maškanum.g.NOUN PATTERNS 217 unvocalized Ugaritic and South Arabian texts prevent us from further specifications. "place of sacrifices.g.g. The prefix m. mdšrāq. mdbyāt. "audience room". "to row". court" in Arabic. "killer".g.> n. "city".

7.of the prefix appears exceptionally in other Semitic languages. muġzal. mashaf. This semantic use of the pattern occurs also in Libyco-Berber (e. whereas it appears in Arabic as a variant of mi. Some substantives are attested in Arabic with different vocal­ izations of the prefix m-. "depth"). "chariot". e. maptē h. "tower". mušpalu.also serve to form various participles (§42. mahzī used in Assyro-Babylonian for nouns of time (e. ma-za-rí-gú /mazārīqu/. "to be wild".14-16) and derived verbal stems in Neo-Aramaic.> n. can be regarded as a tool and as the place where the driver sits or stands. "action".g.can either derive by dissimilation from stems with prefix m.g. miġzal. "midday") and of extension (e. mdhràt. mishaf. with alternative forms as ma-pá-hu(-um) /mappahum/ and na-pá-hu-um /nappahum/.g. "anchor".g. merkābā. malbas. "mirror".g. masaddaqi. In Tigre. maqlūm. Phoenician *magddl).218 MORPHOLOGY which also employs the prefix ma. "altar"). mazlēg. in Amharic. or be deverbal nouns formed from the verbal stem with preformative n(§41. also infinitives (§42. "sieve". Both cases occur mainly in East Semitic.25. 29. Patterns with prefix m. borrowed as nphr into Aramaic. in Palaeosyrian.15-19).when the root morpheme contains a labial.(e.23. "mallet"). and migdol.).g.26. "spindle". "writing implement". naplaqtum < *maplaqtum. "fork". Ge'ez (e.g. "mercy". "bellows". "burning" in Assyro-Babylonian.for the same purpose (e.4. maqraba-. The prefix mu. "chisel". mdgbar. "judgement" in Hebrew. maġzal. from the Assyro-Babylonian verb nadāru. mišpāt. mânka. "book. the suffix -/ is attached to the stem (e. a-maddaz.g. Patterns with prefix n. 29. munhul I munhal. a 29. e. .g.g. malhdq.. mushaf. 29. "key"). 9). e. "battle-axe" in Old Akkadian. ma-qar-tum /maqqartum/. muslālu. "spoon").g. especially Aramaic infinitives of the basic stem. One should also notice that the local and instrumental acceptations are sometimes difficult to distinguish. nanduru. maktabi. The change m. "dress").g. "set of javelins"). and verbal substantives or abstracts. in Hebrew e. as does Palaeosyrian (e. can be consid­ ered as an implement and as the surface on which something can be seen. "closeness" in Arabic. napharu(m) < *mapharu(m). is one of the defence means and a place (cf.24. codex".g. "sum" in Assyro-Babylonian. and Amharic (e. "fearful".

e. This prefix occurs sometimes in other modem Ethiopian languages as well.NOUN PATTERNS 219 and with the rare examples of nbl'at. A professional or social meaning appears already in Palaeosyr­ ian and in Old Akkadian. from tdlfii). "judge". wáttaddàr < *māthaddàr. -ndhšam < -*mdhkam. "a great quantity of butter". §11.g. The patterns with preformatives ta-lti-ltu. §29. in Amharic dnq drarit.produce. e. e.g.27.can appear in the Chaha dialect of Gurage before a collective noun in order to express a plural or a great quantity.g. This phonetic development is attested as early as the 2nd century B. also at . from *tml. 1 ì 29. "hunter". -ndzdam < -*mdsdam. kind of "hawk". e. in a Punico-Numidic inscription from Dougga.g. "fattened sheep" in Assyro-Babylonian. -nbarš < -mbārdk < -mubārak.7).are also widespread in Semitic. "interpreter". from qollá. w w Preformative t- 29. na-qdb. They characterize professional or social situations with reciprocal connotations. "blessed. lucky". "cut­ ters" (root bbdy. "flames" in Ugaritic. "frog".19). and nbt-n < *i-mbdttūri . "cut"). and sometimes occur with nouns of place.g. ma.g. "roper". "sieve".g. e.28. tù-la-dì /tūladu/. tá-da-bí-lu /tadābìlu/. dnqolo. for the most part. in conformity with one of the basic functions of the affix r-. "splitters" (root bdu / bdttu.29. In the Ethiopic dialects of the Gurage group. by the nouns nbb-n < *i-mbabīn .C. may occur in South Ethiopic. Amharic wâmbar < *mânbâr. tá-aš-tá-me-lum. "to roast"). dntdlfit. 29. "woodcutter". -ndġmar < -*md'mal. "judgement" in Old Aramaic (cf. nouns derived from verbal stems. Another dissimilation. -nazum < -*masūm. "fastener". a preformative nà. but also before other consonants (e. also with animal qualifications. "soldier" (cf. e. However. viz. those with t. the change m > n occurs frequently in Berber dialects when the root morpheme contains a labial or the labiodental/. "chair". takbaru. there are several nouns with a non-etymological prefix dn-. wânfit < *manfit. "new-born crop" in Palaeosyrian. Besides. -ndfsad < -*mdfsad. "divide"). they frequently form verbal nouns sig­ nifying an action. This element na.corresponds to Amharic dllâ with the n derived from an original *//. "the man of the mourn­ ers" at Ebla. Although less common than the patterns with prefix m-. mostly before velars (e. "roasted grain".g.> wa-. and nšpt. as against Tigrinya q dr'a.

from Imd. metic". in Ge'ez (e. "to utter. cf. Gafat and Gurage dàbbâlā. "supplier.g. "south").g. "dis­ ciple". tarmiktum. in Hebrew (e. "courtyard").g. "to give away".signifying an action are well attested in Palaeosyrian (e. in Aramaic (e. tip'eret. "Palmyra". "partition").g. "awful". that are formed with this prefix. from w'm\ etc.g. "to repeat").30. "chosen". like Tadmer / Tadmor. tamšīlum. "covering. Nouns of place with the prefix t. tamkārum. Ugaritic does it for tdgr.(cf. Assyro-Babylonian uses patterns with prefix ta. tū'amu{m).g.g.g. "summing up").g. in Old Akkadian (e. talmld. in Arabic (e. tnhyt. takrik.g. "counsellor".). in South Arabian (e. tarbāsu. "interpreter". tàràkâz. "pupil". in Syriac (e. However. "ploughing". Despite its late appearance in texts. tarbū(m). "work".220 MORPHOLOGY Ebla (cf. "praise"). "offering").g. from rgm. "perfect".39). to'ām. tradesman" from makāru(m). tallaktu. garment"). "resident. tafrlq. "going").are found in Assyro-Babylon­ ian (e. to speak". "evil-doer". tamhārum. the noun targūm. tdmhdrt. in Phoenician (e. in Ugaritic (e. is implied already by Ugaritic targumyānu and Assyro-Babylonian targumānu. formed by the addition of the suffix -yānu or -ānu (§29. "resting-place"). 29. in Hebrew and in Aramaic "(e. "confession of sin"). "teaching"). "layerage" or "soakage". "twin". e.31. Their existence in North Semitic is ascertained by the Amorite names Batahrum (masc. tapšahu. Verbal nouns in r. in Ugaritic (e. LibycoBerber takarza). semantic evolution into concrete nouns must be allowed for. Apart from the participles and substantivized infinitives of the verbal stems with -t.g. "twin". "service").20-32).for tamlāku(m).32. "ornament" in Hebrew. Hebrew for tdšāb.g. tklt. tdhillā. tafsām. "fold". from dgr. "disciple". §41. ta'dīrā. tešmeštā. "store-keeper". from wtb.g.g. gitmālu{m).g. "help"). nominal patterns with infixed -toccur in East Semitic for adjectives with intensive meaning. tá-er-iš-tù-um Itaheríttuml.) and Batahra (fern. tágbar. pitluhu(m). "completing"). "image" in Assyro-Babylonian. trbs. trmmt. "battle"). There are also ancient Semitic place names. "to heap". Infix -Í- 29. in Neo-Aramaic (e. e.g. in Amharic (e. talmīdu(m). tēmān < toyman. "heel" in Amharic. 29. . in AssyroBabylonian (e.g. targlgu(m).

"She-who-removes(-evil)". e. Apart from Assyro-Baby­ lonian there are a few examples of these patterns in Palaeosyrian sa-zuwa-tum lša(w)śu(')watuml. Instead. from šalhēb. 29. . -nàr. and in Aramaic nouns derived from verbal safel stems (§41.8-10. This pattern has similar functions in Libyco-Berber. Sinnānu.and št. qadmon. -at. occurs especially with adjectives and proper names formed as adjectives. §34. Neo-Aramaic uses a variant morpheme -ūn to denote diminutives (§29. Patterns with prefix ša. Tachelhit a-skdrz.(§41. from šaklēl. "completion". "black". "to bring". "dismissal". Nūrānu. The morpheme -ān. "plough". there are some Hebrew nouns. and šutābultu. from -kdrz-. Neo-Aramaic (e. with verbal substantives. both from wabālu.g. "to complete". "merciful"). -o. in the Ugaritic proper name Š'tqt. -it. Ugaritic (e. f) Patterns with Afformatives 29. E. There are several noun patterns with afformatives or "nominalizers": -ān > -on > -ūn. "to plough".g. Aramaic (e. kaslān.g. In Hebrew and Phoenician -ān usu­ ally changes into -on. borrowed into late Biblical Hebrew as šalhebet. "eastern").g. nouns of agent. Hebrew (e. and it develops later to -ūn (e./ šu.g. e. Hebrew (e.g.36. Afformative -ān 29. *Dahbān.g. and qorbān. šagapūruim). which is sometimes attached to other nom­ inal patterns. "flame". Adjectives with the suffix -ān occur in Arabic (e.5). rahmān. "interpretation" of omens. "Most High").10). e.g. "offering". 'lyn = EAioov.NOUN PATTERNS 221 Preformative Š- 29. -ya. -aym/n.g. a-siban. "luminous"). Phoenician (e. "to kindle".38). "very strong". "lazy"). "ploughshare". -ut. "golden"). "Most High"). šūbultu(m).29). This pattern. šalhēbītā. Aramaic (e. like šulhān. "table". -iy > I and -ay > ā. -ā'u.g. šuklālā. "present". is attested also in Libyco-Berber.g. and broken plurals. where this change does not take place.34. However. "strong").g.35. as well as for some elatives (cf.g. "toothed"). a-bdrkan. haylānā.g. -àhhā. EXiouv.are employed in East Semitic for verbal nouns of the stems with preformatives š. Numerous proper names belonging to this group are found in Assyro-Babylonian (e. from gbr I gpr. -akku. built like the verbal stem with causative preformative. "bald". diminutives. -awl.33.

bribe").g. "mountaineer". Ugaritic tlhn and Hebrew šulhān. cf. Phoenician 'In .30. and later still in the West. "sunny" or "small sun"). in Hebrew qadmonl. Ge'ez (e. Aramaic (e. Ibn Halfūri). Ugaritic (e.g. ruhānī. zikkāron.g. qorbān. which should be compared with the suffix -ūn appearing in Syriac names (e. "little fel­ low"). Yamlikān in Amorite). "greeting.g. hafaqān. Conversely.41). A great many Arabic names of the first Islamic centuries. "booklet"). a 29. §29. The number of adjectives in -āríi without any gentilitial connotation increases in Post-Classical Arabic. present. variant of -ān.g. brūnā. Diminutives in -ān > -on occur in Assyro-Babylonian (e. "table". "sunny" or "small sun"). Some Neo-Aramaic words have nowadays lost their original diminutive meaning (e. "small dog". However. The nouns of agent formed mainly from active participles by addition of the suffix -ān are well represented in Assyro-Babylonian and . "brother". in Hebrew (e. Ibn Haldūn. "whelp"). the gentilitial endings -iy > -I or -ay can also be added to the suffix -ān > -on.g.39. "remembrance"). śah ron.'alon. or Arabic qur'ān from qara'a. šoltān. "god". Hebrew (e. 'Abdūrì) and in the Neo-Aramaic diminutives (e. šulmānu. "growing old").g. "son"). were formed with a suffix -ūn (e. "to recite".g. q antan. "stomach-ache").g.g.g. "spiritual". "(man) of Astarte". e. našūnā. "oriental". which is attached also to verbal forms (e. ras'ān. saltan. "large tree". "power". "heartbeat.g.39).g. ġišmānī. related to Hebrew 'yl. 'aqrabān. in Modern Hebrew where diminutives end in -on with a feminine -onet (e.g. "youngster". w 29. some nouns have a concrete meaning. 'ahūnā. Šapšìyānu. "(man) of A l w " .g. targumyānu. fluttering"). 29.38. The suffix -ān can be added to the afformative -iy (§29. "small scorpion"). but also in nouns of agent (e. kalbon. yalūnā.g. especially in names from Ugarit (e. goes back either to the adjectival or to the diminutive function of the afformative. Arabic (e. "sickness"). "order"). Amharic (e. The widely used hypocoristic suffix -ān(um) of personal names. but they testify to the existence of a suffix -ūn. in Phoenician 'štrny. mērānu. in South Arabian 'Iwny. "authority".g. "corpu­ lent". like Palaeosyrian i-a-lanu /'iyalānu/.222 MORPHOLOGY Šimšon.37.g. sipron.g. amulet called "littlemoon").g. puqdānā. "offering". e. "interpreter". in Arabic (e. in Neo-Aramaic tūranāyā. Verbal nouns or abstracts in -ān > -on are attested in AssyroBabylonian (e. zbln.

"Horus of Nhn". "washerman". in Assyro-Babylonian. [orāna] < 'abrānā. there is a clearly cut division between . in Neo-Aramaic. hmy. "boys").g.12). ìr-su-ti-a. Ha-ra-ià. Zi-im-ri-ia. They do not imply any particular individualization of the person acting. and probably in Epigraphic South Arabian. "gazelle". šarrāqānu. This use of the afformative -ān should be dis­ tinguished from the external plural -ān attested in several Semitic lan­ guages (§31. E. plur.NOUN PATTERNS 223 in Neo-Aramaic. The gentilitial or adjectival suffixes -iy. "thief". extended to professional qualifications. subyān. contrary to the opinion of some authors. "passer-by". The difference between -iy.> -ā. this distinction lacks clarity. 29.g. "robber". In this hypothesis.41. "bunch of dates". "murderer". The genitilitial ending. also in mod­ ern colloquials (e. Sukkalliya. ummiānu(m). "to wash". HrNhny. "seller". the gentilitial formation -ay. Ia{ f pu-ha-ia).40.g. Broken plurals in -ān are found in Arabic (e.g. "steers­ man".g. "Canaanaean"). Ir-bí-ia. from Nbt.42) or to the first singular pronominal suffix. katbānā. from Sumerian u m m i a. "writer". etc. In fact.seems to have been originally dialectal.g. nādinānuirrì). Ma-ti-ya). qunwān. "legs". "lambs").> -I and -ay. Ma-ar-sa-ia. "to steer".does not exist in Old Akkadian and in stan­ dard Assyro-Babylonian before the Middle Assyrian period. Elahutayum). "master".g. Ekallātayum.g.g. En-na-ià. ġizlān. rhty. Ar-ša-ti-a). from rht. In subsequent times. Su-mi-ia) from the feminine -aya (e. also in Mishnaic Hebrew. sīgān. in the Palaeosyrian texts from Ebla one finds the suffix -ay. but -aya is generally used for feminine Ebla (e. which is also used later at Mari (e. are attested also in ancient Egyptian (e. used also to form the genitive marker -/ (§32. may have originated from a postposition. Afformatives -iy I -ay I -āwī I -ya I -iyya 29. roshān. "the Ombite". Iš-ra-ià). ġazāl.and -ay. whereas it is -iy. A parallel difference characterizes the hypocoristic ending which seems to be -ay. At Ugarit. "Ombos"). The relation between these different functions of the suffix is not evident. The Amorite anthroponomy appears to distinguish the masculine hypocoristic suffix -iya (e. the hypocoristic ending should have a different origin and be related either to a form of diminutive (§29. hdrfān. and later in Old Assyrian and in Old Babylonian (e. from hm. A-si-ya. gozlān.7). They most commonly signify an individual member of a social group and they are widely used as gentilitial and hypocoristic endings with Semitic and even non-Semitic proper names.(kà-na-na-um/im /Kana'nayum/. Old Akkadian (e. Nbty. the so-called nisba.g.

"Chaldaean".43). in Hebrew (e. "soldier". sanbatāwi. from wâttaddàr. 'agelat. e. e.36). hk3w. Haggay. E. "ploughman". 'dnesat.. e. (man) from 'Attara" (Latin Otthara). "craftsman". betāy.g. from ba'at. "Christ­ ian".g. Kaśday. This suffix -āwi is widely used in Ge'ez. hsw. "magic". "little house". e. 29. in Ge'ez (e. harrasi. "little calf". 'dlatit. This suffix may have existed also in ancient Egyptian as suggested.g. krastiyanāwi. "(belonging) to Abūsu. where -ay is often written -a-a.g. It is also productive in Tigrinya (e. Afformatives employed in Tigre to produce diminutives (§29. against 'anesāy.g. from 'agāl.43.g. The suffix -I can be added to the afformative -ān > -on (§29. Tigre 'dgelāy. Makkāwī besides Makkī. on the one side. augmentatives can be derived only from nouns ending in -at by substituting the suffix -āy for this morpheme. from hśi. from dunyā.g.g. however. while the feminine suffix -at or -it is added to masculine nouns. "to sing".g. the masculine suffix -āy is added to feminine nouns. Examples occur already in Safaitic. "Meccan". "singer". wâttaddàrawi.g. and the bulk of West and South Semitic languages. While the Aramaic gentilitial and hypocoristic ending is -ay (e. Safāwī.g. A related suffix -awl appears in Arabic with place names end­ ing in -al-ā (e. "earthly. as l'bs 'trw /'Attarāwī/. Instead. The corresponding Tigre feminine endings -at and -it go probably back to -*ayt > -āt or -It. "[Born] on a holiday"). Sīdonī. "earth. the hypocoristic ending -ay appears frequently in Hebrew names and in Assyro-Babylonian onomastics. Haggī.. "magician". §29. "runner"). The hypocoristic function of -ay may have a bearing on its use in forming modern Ethiopic diminutives. to form pejoratives. ba'āy. from hmt. on the other.g. 'anglizawi. "Englishman") and in Amharic. "official". 29. an ancient use of this afformative to develop diminutives may be attested. "town". "little man". from mangast. "large cave". "small town". e.42.42) are also used to form pejoratives and augmentatives. However. "state".). "Sabbatical".g. the suffix -iy > -I is used in Arabic (e. "man from Safā") and with some other nouns ending in -a/-ā. "little well" (cf. rawwasi. by Arabic ġady and Hebrew gadī. when compared with Libyco-Berber -*ġatt-. Under the influence of Aramaic. . e.g. "craft". "military". How­ ever. dunyāwī. "[Born] on a holiday").224 MORPHOLOGY Aramaic. "maritime". "cave". "worth­ less man". "young goat". "Egyptian"). world". "Sidonian". by hmww. "ruined house". "calf". from dagge. 29. bāhrāwi. from hk3. "little calf" (fern.g. worldly".44. e. mangastawi. Misrī. "goat". against betatit. e. daggetāy.

"old age") and in concrete nouns ( the singular (e. Old Babylonian ummatum). "-ism". "king". nominal patterns with -t are attested in ancient Egyptian. Some Palestinian place names. e.15). in Assyro-Babylonian). but also in abstracts (e. "holiness".15) gave rise in many Phoenician dialects to a new -āt that became -dt and later -ūt (§21. Cushitic nouns belonging to an old stock seem to confirm the originally collective meaning of the pattern. e. from e-kahi. In Ge'ez. §31. i3w. "mother"). indicating that some concrete plurals (e.46.g. . By analogy. Afformatives in -/ 29. "youth". Rāmdt. m3w.g. The usual feminine ending is -at.NOUN PATTERNS 225 29.g. most nouns with a suffix in -t came to be regarded as feminine. 'usūliyya. they produce feminine nouns (§30.g. §29.. Numidic gldt. na'asāt. "fundamentalism". with a probably original long vowel.g. Tuareg te-kahi-t.g.t.13). "people" (cf.45.t.g.g. "governor". "holy things") have shifted to the category of abstract or collective substantives (cf.47. Noun stems with suffixes -at f-ut f-it have often an abstract or collective meaning and. "king". may witness to the same phenomenon. produces abstracts like.1-3). alonuth. but it became -ot in Hebrew and in Phoenician. Modern Arabic uses the suffix -iyya to coin the ever increasing number of abstract nouns corresponding to English "-ity". misdāqiyya.19). qddsāt. "queen". Arabic hallfat-. "balance"). successor". Oromo abbotī. "king". Late Babylonian pāhātu. e. but the tonelengthening of a after the dropping of case endings (§32. e.g. In LibycoBerber. Since this derivational suffix -āt is homophonous with the "feminine" plural mark (§31. Amorite abbūtu). The feminine plural ending was -āt-.g. 'amatu > 'amāt> 'amot. "-ness".16). wàdrāgya. it is quite possible that this ending is to be considered as an originally plural mor­ some modern Gurage dialects of South Ethiopic to form nouns of instrument.g. "elders" (cf. mh3. from sarru. "cock". "maid". šarratu.t. Phoenician mmlkt. not only in truly femi­ nine nouns (e. when attached to masculine root morphemes. 'Aštārdt. "credibility". e. 29. "goddesses"). "Wisdom". and even -ūt in Punic (e. "hammer" (cf. Outside Semitic. and the Hebrew singular hokmot. "deputy. e. Some of the abstract nouns thus formed were subsequently used as masculine concrete nouns. the ending -āt. like 'Anātot. The suffix -ya is used with the prefix wà.g. e. the feminine singular is formed by prefixing and suffixing t. "hen". ummata.

"theft". a-za-me-tu /lazamītu/.g. "longing". Ge'ez fatlo. It served subsequently as -ūt to form abstracts in Palaeosyrian (e. "strong. "python". malakūt. . "little glass". 29. it produced the masculine plural forms of adjectives. Md'ābīt. 'anbītā.g. "Moabite"). "training". the suffix -It forms singulatives (§31. Other Afformatives 29. and in Amharic (e. "a grain of wheat". "spinning".g. In Arabic. kasit.g. 34. "royalty" > "king").g. e.g. from tarbūt.40). Tigrinya 'atro. Hebrew kasūt. Also the exceptional Arabic adjectives in -ūt are borrowed from Aramaic substantives. as e.g.g.g.g. most likely in Phoenician (e. in Aramaic (e. "beginning"). "fat­ tening"). mmlkt. "medi­ cine"). rarely in Ge'ez (e. sdrqot.g. "fluctuations". and they have no relation whatsoever to the East Semitic masculine plural of the adjectives. Hebrew bdklt. in Hebrew and in Phoenician (e. or taqallubāt. but it served sub­ sequently as -ūt to form abstracts derived from other roots and. "beginning").4). in East Semitic.41) in order to form their feminine (e. hitītā.g.g. in Hebrew and in Aramaic (e.g. "pregnant". §31. qadāmit. zàndo. màdhanit. "trained. "little pitcher". Modern written Arabic widely uses the -āt suffix to designate concrete or abstract entities. kadit.g. malkūt. powerful" (cf.g. that were perhaps borrowed from North Ethiopic. in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian (e. hirut. àmhkot. "institutions".g. North Ethiopic has an -o suffix used with concrete and abstract nouns.226 MORPHOLOGY The same remote origin might be ascribed to Amharic abstracts like nafqot. tarabūt. Modern Hebrew adds -it to form diminutives. dannūtu(m) from dannuim). "kingship"). In Neo-Aramaic. "future"). e. "jar". these nouns are rightly regarded as loanwords from Aramaic.g. "coercion". manage­ able". Mo'âbiyyā). although a formation with addition of -at > -ā(h) is also attested (e.16. The suffix -it was most likely added originally to root mor­ phemes ending in -I (e. and they are masculine. "crying") and to gentilitials in -iy > ī (§29. Tigre mdhro. "kingship"). in Ge'ez (e. Palaeosyrian 'à-rí-tum /harītum/. The original suffix -ut was probably added initially to root mor­ phemes ending in -ū (e. e. e. Abstract substantives in -ūt occur in Palaeosyrian (e. "covering"). rē'šīt. šarrūtum. ù-mu-tum /'ūmūtum/. e.g. 'ahârīt. "teaching". as mu'assasāt. 29.48. "a grape". "kingship").g.49. "domination". It is attested also in Amharic.50.g. "spell-binding"). "goodness") and in Arabic (e.

Thus. However. from gazeta. Nouns borrowed from another language are often extended by particular suffixes. muziqànna. "teacher". 'imale. katabānnà.g. In modern Amharic. "to be heavy". "correspondent". but follows the Old Akkadian nominal pattern purussā' (e. e.g.g. by the suffix -akkum (§29. d 29.g.51. the suffix is added also to Ethiopic words. from muziqa. "little father". "newspaper". "comrade". bahúrcik. gazetâMa. "sport". among others.g. The suffix -cik has a Pol­ ish origin.g. e. agaranha.g. it is paralleled by the Arabic -ā'u class (e. e.g. "pedestrian". "heaviness". Besides.g. 29. 29. Thus. "tambourine". the Yiddish suffix -le is used in nursery words and in proper names. Suffixes of non-Semitic origin are added in Modem Hebrew and in Neo-Aramaic to Semitic nouns to form diminutives. "little lad". The two suffixes are interchangeable. e. the suffix -iko is Judaeo-Spanish or Ladino. qaddsdnna.52). Instead. "partner"). issV akkum from ensi. derived from the Sumerian genitive morpheme -a k (e. hirbā'u.g. which is employed also for loanwords borrowed from Aramaic with the ending -ā' of the emphatic state (§ 33.g. "destruction"). habériko. §29.g. "little donkey". which is infrequent in later East Semitic.12).g. 'attalātā'u. e.52.NOUN PATTERNS 227 kâbāro. 'dbale. there is an additional suffix -nàr serving to form abstract nouns. Adammā'um). "Tuesday". e. "maturity". Its origin is not clear. "presidency". nouns of agent are formed by adding the suffix -(a)nna to loanwords denoting objects and occupations. e. tappā'um from taba. where a suffix -anna or -dnnat is used to form abstract nouns. In Gurage dialects of South Ethiopic. basahanna and basahannat. from prezident. "president". e. Sumerian loanwords are characterized in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian.g. Abstract nouns are formed by adding the suffix -{a)nnat to concrete nouns and to adjectives. "sanctity". "to write" (cf. e. e. . hamorCik. "chameleon"). from Arabic kataba. Several Arabic loanwords are used in South Ethiopic idioms of the Gurage group with the palatalized suffix -ānnā (and variants). waladannat. prezidentdnnāt. "sportsman". This formation preserves the final vowel of the Sumerian word. or by a geminated last radical. Parallel formations occur in Tigre. "city ruler"). but is attested in Palaeosyrian (cf. "throne") or -ā'um > -ūm (e.g. "parentage". from naza-m. "music". asportânna. followed by -I'um > -urn (e. "little mama". e.g.7). "musician". huluqqā'um. from asport. nàz-nàr.53. kussl'um from g u z i .

g. from milk ("king") + qart ("city").228 MORPHOLOGY Neo-Aramaic diminutives are characterized by the affix -ik.). Similar formations occur in Gafat. N-h-r-n in Egyptian texts of the New Kingdom. "Egyptians". from *g ord ("neighbour") w w w w w .g. e. g drâbetà.allows at Ugarit for the orthographical distinction between the petrified country name Msrm {/Musrlmf). A reduction ay > ā appears in Dotayin = Dotān. " A k k o " (E 49). Afformative -ayimln of Place Names 29. The later reduction -iyi. while Hebrew has Nah rayim. e. known especially from the Mari documents. "the day before yesterday".). i.e. karm-ik-tā.g. but toponyms formed with an archaic locative morpheme which probably consists of the gentilitial suffix -ay /-iy with the genitive ending -«-. with place names like Yb3y /Yìblay/. from ištēn ("one") + ešeret ("ten". from ab a ("father") + àlam ā ("cow"). "Melqart". a g) Nominal Compounds < 29. "father of cows".).54. from šālos ("three") + yom ("day"). belong to this category. since numerals as Assyro-Babylonian istenseret. "Magdala". The place names ending in -ayim l-īm /-ām or -ayin l-īn /-ān are no duals. or 'štr'sy. "the gods of Egypt". "vineyard".> -i. "Egypt" as in 'il Msrm. and the always productive gentilitial formation Msrym (/Musriyyūmaf). The dis­ tinction of the cases is still preserved in the place name Ta-al-ha-yu-um (nom. from 'štrt ("Astarte") and 'sy ("Isis"). The process of word formation in Semitic includes coinage of nominal compounds comparable to English words like "motel" from "motor + hotel". and Nahrīn in Aramaic. Mktry /Magdalay/ (E 5).g. Ta-al-ha-ya-am (ace). from karmā. known also with an early change ay > ā (§22. "small vineyard". fern. e. "North Mesopotamia". abâlam à.3).. 'ky /'Akkay/. The latter usage was not general. 'Énayim = 'Ēnām.C. The same reduction explains the forms Na(h)rima/i in the Amarna correspondence. e. "neighbour". and some Phoenician divine names as Mlqrt. Ta-al-ha-yi-im or Ta-al-hi-yi-im (gen. "Ebla" (E 43). as it appears. from the Egyptian execration texts of the early second millenium B. followed by the mimation or the nunation. 'Ib(il)lin from Hebrew 'Iblayim.and by the feminine gender indicated by the afformative -tā [-ta]. and Horonayim (Hebrew) = Hwrnn (Moabite). Arabic place names of Syria-Palestine ending in -in may have the same origin. "eleven". "shepherd".55. adverbs like Biblical Hebrew šilšdm. Such blended nouns are no strictly modern innovations in Semitic.

"she-ass". the femi­ nine is marked by the ending like in ancient Egyptian and in the other Afro-Asiatic languages. Primarily gender has nothing to do with sex: human beings and animals with sexually distinct social or economic function have simply different names. "babysitter". the Semitic noun has two genders. w B. from mārā ("owner") + šemā ("name"). màkina nàġi-w-oâd. lit.g.e. "bat".2-4) with a genitival qualifier (cf. marker. while Semites speak under the influence of a two-gender language system. 'imm-. gender correlates with sex only in those nouns where sex in expressed semantically. "mother".vs. i. i. "the winged animal of the night". The masculine possesses no spe­ cial endings. Blending of words to form new nominal compounds plays an increasing role in Modern Hebrew. are condi­ tioned by three-gender language patterns. "lighthouse". although Semitic nouns have preserved some traces of a completely different grammatical gen­ der institution (§30. e. like the Romance languages.10-11). Instead. from dm à ("mother") + ġátit ("mistress"). Comparable compounds are widely used also in Neo-Aramaic. "famous". "father" vs. e. "husband and wife" + plur.4). bal-dnna mist-odd. People speaking Latin. qeštīmāran. migdalor. but Semitic pronouns and verbs carry gender characteristics in addition to the nouns. 'atari-. and the Slavic languages. in historical times. Gender 30. but other compositions occur as well. lit. from qešteh ("his bow") + māran ("our Lord"). parhalēle. dmmáġàtit. "master of a house" + plur. "well-known". Only later was the attempt made to relate them according to their kinds and different patterns. Sanskrit. "married couple". marker. except for the cardinal numerals (§35. e. from migdal ("tower") + 'or ("light"). for instance. "owners".1.e. but the plural marker (§31. masculine and feminine. §64. "car drivers". himār. i.vs. smartaf. The most common formation consists of a noun in the construct state (§33.g. However.17) is added to the second element. lit. as 'ab.e. "the bow of our Lord".g.5). maršema. but their components are written as separate words and may even be joined by -anna. "car-lead­ ers".GENDER 229 + bet ("house"). "lady". from pārahtā ("winged animal") + lēle ("night"). "the owner of a name". Yet. Greek. bald bet-oéé. "rainbow". "and". Amharic has a considerable variety of compound nouns. from somer ("guard") + tap ("little children"). A particular feature of Libyco-Berber con- . "ass" vs.

"she-jackal". Other feminine nouns were not characterized by this ending -t-. e. e. "increase". from wad (< *wald). "son". In fact.was either attached directly to the root mor­ pheme.of the feminine or to their allophone td. e. from malik-. "large profit".in the plural of nouns of masculine singular does not demonstrate that the gender of the nouns in question is or became feminine. Old Assyrian and Old Babylonian takšītum. Arabic malikat-. and verbal forms referring to the noun under consideration. or Palaeosyrian ì-ma-tum /'immatum/. and imittu(m) as compared with common Semitic 'rś. the appearance of so-called "feminine" endings with -t. "queen". Gafat dtn it. hams-u. "queen".g. as in ta-mġar-t. "wild sow". However.> 'umm-.g. -it. Hebrew malkut. Assyro-Babylonian ersetu{m). Such a proof can be provided instead by the gender of the adjectives.230 MORPHOLOGY sists in both prefixing and suffixing the morpheme t in the singular. §30. napistu(m). "soul. -ut. Hebrew tarblt. "yellow-green". The morpheme -t. and the resulting forms cannot be assimilated. in Assyro-Babylonian bēltu{m).g. participles. "fathers" in Hebrew. . "mother".to some feminine nouns originally deprived of this mark. "king­ ship". — e. except for adjectives and participles that are not always recognizable by their form as such. Tigre walat (< *waldat). "kingship" in Assyro-Babylonian. Conversely. the Libyco-Berber i-prefix belongs to the case markers ta-. sarrutuim). "city". pronouns. t-ihf-t. "mother". 'ābdt. e. warq-u. — or it was connected with the root by a vowel. either collective or abstract.morpheme does not necessarily indicate masculine gender (cf.g.> 'āton. "right hand". to the Semitic abstract nouns with both prefixed and suffixed V. common Semitic 'imm-. e. 1 w 30.g.6).2.are attested. e. "lady".(§32.3. The three formations in -at-. "earth". Assyro-Babylonian šarratu{m). 'atān. hallfat-. and ymn. "woman". tu-.1).g. and Soddo (Gurage) dmmit vs. "king". like gabr-u. The widespread use of the morpheme -t. A third pattern may occur with nominal bases ending in a conso­ nant cluster. "deputation" > "deputy" in Arabic. and in Phoeni­ cian qart. Ge'ez bd'dsit. t-ussdn-t. the r-morpheme was used in Semitic to form collective and abstract nouns as well. in consequence. and even to the addition of -t. Originally it designated a female being only in nouns derived from a root morpheme signifying a male. "daughter". "elderly woman". ti. 30. "man". npš. person".g. "she-ass". Hence the absence of the indicate female beings led by analogy to the attribution of the feminine gender to most nouns ending in -t-. 'imm.

"watering-place". although it was consistently retained in the construct state (§33. "palmgrove". abstracting from sex. "river". Hebrew kerem. e. E. "other". The vowel is. from the base hamš-\ 'aheret < *'ahirtu.4. This pattern is clearly attested in East Semitic and it subsists in Hebrew under the form of the feminine segolata. are attested in both genders. from the base gabr-. Instead of adding the morpheme -at-1-it-1-ut-. and the formal con­ stitution of the noun with the ending -t-. "bull". which was indicated in some lan­ guages as Hebrew. it is the same as that of the vowel which may occur in the same position in the stative (§38. and lb' can be a "lion" or a "lioness" in Sabaic. "fox". like gdberet < *gabirtu. "house". and Arabic by the mater lectionis he. A number of nouns may be either masculine or feminine.6. šor. like in waruqtu. "word". Besides the sex of human and animal beings. Assyro-Babylonian unqu. Sabaic nhl. "kingship". in most cases. musahhinu.> -CaCt-. e. Masculine concord may refer to species. On the opposite.28). The quality of the vowel occurring between the last two conso­ nants of the base is not predictable but.GENDER 231 "five". by Aramaic mšqy. The t of the most frequent ending -at. like in rapaštu. as against malkut in the construct state. as a rule. The elision of -t in late Assyro-Babylonian is attested by Aramaic transcriptions as rsh for Neo-Assyrian rēšāti. and malkū. can also mean "she-fox" in Arabic. can designate a "cow" in Hebrew. ta'lab. "first fruits". "mare". Besides.5. testify also to the elision of the feminine ending -t in ancient Egyptian. "five". "sun". but it has masculine concord in Neo-Assyrian. in a restricted number of cases u.C. Animal names can be feminine when they designate a female. Assyro-Babylon­ ian nam. it was preserved in the cuneiform writing. "vine­ yard". 30. the phonological solution may then be -CC+t.C. Hebrew 'iššah. faras. Tigre bet. e. 30.g.g. "lady". Aramaic millah. i like in hamistu. Transcriptions of the first millennium B. rapš-u. some categories of nouns deter- .g. e. Arabic hālah. can also designate a "horse" in Arabic. The loss of the t in the endings -it and -ut is reflected. on (§27.g. Neo-Aramaic šimšā. without any marking of the gender. "signet ring". Aramaic. The gender variation may also be dialectal. hâmēšet < *hamistu. "mother's sister". "wide".was eventually lost in many Semitic idioms from the first millennium B. The ending of the absolute state was thus reduced to -a. or -CuCt-. "woman".. 30.19-20). rarest is a.3). -CiCt-.g. "stove". is generally feminine. from the base 'ahr-.

5). "this book". girru(m). "sword".170). while its feminine plural . is masculine. "horn". e. instances occur. as well as names of different stuffs (e. in Neo-Arabic kaff. but they tend to be masculine in Assyro-Babylonian because of the usually masculine gender of the word ālu(m).1. Nearly all other nouns occur in either gender. or samnuirn). or toward which the speaker feels affection. rivers. names of months. "foot". "hand". in Christian Palestinian Aramaic 'dr\ "arm". "face".g. Even the feminine pronoun anā. is masculine in the singular. then "throat" (§63. 17..15). march". relatively small. the plural qar-na-at na-li. šìnn-.7. "heart". "heart". However.1. is referred to by a masculine pronominal suffix ( A R M XIII. rigl-. and riġl. In an Old Babylonian letter from Mari. especially paired. are masculine. "right hand" (Prov. qarn-. "hand". Besides. "tablet". since byt is a masculine noun in Hebrew. and gandāy. e. tuppu(m). In Assyro-Babylonian e. as well as of nouns the gender of which changes when they are used in the plural. "stone". etc. "horns of roebuck". In Ethiopic.55) (cf. and libbu(m). dialectal differences and even personal pref­ erences must obviously be taken into account. "house". just as Hebrew place names beginning with byt. where such nouns are treated as masculine. "ear". "you". "breath". "eye". lyb. "salt"). "hammer". names of cities and countries are gen­ erally feminine. E. Semitic languages show instances of nouns which can be either masculine or feminine (§30. stars. rūh-. in Aramaic 'yn (TAD 111. "bowl"). yah máshof. "palm of the hand". "foot". Tigre madoša. 30. can be either masculine or feminine in the singular. "tooth". Names of parts of the body.g. e. §31.g. gender usage is predictable only for nouns denoting human beings. napš-. perhaps yad. "road. may be applied in Addis Ababa to a male friend to show affection. but yacc mdshaf is feminine because it might refer to a favourite booklet. are masculine. Thus. In these questions. 'pyn.g. "log of wood".232 MORPHOLOGY mine their feminine gender. and weapons tend to be treated in Ethiopic as mas­ culine.g. "breath". " o i l " .7).g. even in literary texts. but for some semantic fields there is a def­ inite preference. almost any noun can be treated as feminine i f it refers to something female. 27.157) and rgl (TAD 111.1. metals.12) and yāmīn. meteorological phenom­ ena. In other words. However. has-. Instead. 'ayn-. although they are used in a proper sense. "city". 'abn-.g. no generalizations are possible. are generally feminine in Semitic: 'udn-. In Amharic. in Hebrew yad (Ex. milh-. Thus.16). but can be masculine or feminine in the plural. names of various tools are feminine (e. harb-. is masculine in the singular.. yad-.1.

In any case.. anger".) wanaccit (plur. ast or am the female (war kutara. This opinion is apparently confirmed by the South Ethiopic idioms of the Gurage group which have no feminine mark. sing.8. which they designate by differ­ ent prefixes. "animals". However. Avaro-Andi. gàrād.g. . arast kutara. "boy". the formal distinction between masculine and femi­ nine is not an original feature of Semitic languages. e. "girl". In the east Caucasian languages. the -t morpheme characterizes some feminine proper names and it occurs in a couple of substantives (e. In the Lowland East Cushitic languages of the "Sam" sub-group.g. 30.9.g. hata gdrrum (masc. "boy".. in the pronominal element ebàryàt. 30. "she-calf". e. "girl". arc. Other Ethiopian languages have gender specifiers for the male and female sex of animals and of human beings. although this situation may also reflect that of Highland East Cushitic. greġāt. The distinction in gender is indi­ cated by the verb or the pronoun referring to the noun. Amharic wand lag. including "human beings". One can observe in Tigre. there is a large noun class which is feminine in the singular and formally masculine in the plural. and there are traces of another class with the opposite gender-number relation. e. that inanimate feminine nouns may have a masculine singular concord when they are used in plural.. "girl". "he-calf".g. etc. The same gender classification exists. an additional word may be used: tābat or war may serve to designate the male. "women of the same clan"). although the -t morpheme is used to a certain extent as a feminine marker as well. Gafat tàbat bušā. tdbat tagga.GENDER 233 libbātu(m) is used in the special acceptation of "heartstrings. It is interesting to recall here that no gender distinction based on sex existed in Sumerian that has a gender classification made on another basis entirely — that of animate and inanimate categories. divide things into eight to fourteen categories.g.g. ardst. and probably in zak-it. or Darghi. "she has beau­ tiful bracelets".g. "plants". "boy". "cock". of fern. e. substantives are divided into two to six classes or genders. as Chechen. ansatà bušā. set lag. waned) ba. "places". The Bantu. "so-and-so" from the masculine ebdrya. For the sex dif­ ferentiation of animals. in the Algonquian family of North American Indians. while the Bantu languages of Africa and the Cau­ casian languages have many grammatical genders. "this one". Other living beings have different root morphemes for the male and the female. as shown by the many basic feminine nouns without any special morpheme. e. anast taġġa. e. "hen").

Egyptian d-b and Highland East Cushitic lo-ba. zab-ba. Egyptian 3-bw. e. "ant" (!). "wolf". "hip­ popotamus". lacking the final b in q dr'a (Tigrinya) and in other Semitic languages. 'arn-ab-. di'-b. "donkey". etc. kura. "pigeon". lamb". lamb".10. "lion". ta'l-ab-. §11. iy-r. nuh-b. dawb-al. "snake" (South Ethiopic. "deer".in Cushitic and Chadic. 'ay-r-. ġura). 'ank-ab-. nam-l-. Libyco-Berber a-tbi-r. "hyena" (Harari. kal-b-. "goat" (Saho). "goat.g. "dog" (dangerous and originally a wild one). still lacking ~ba.C. s-rw. without the final morphem in Somali and in Rendille (East Cushitic). hilam-ār. and therefore seems to indicate that *hanše was a West Asiatic culture word used around 3000 B. gam-al-. the determi­ nants -b and -r / -/ became constituent elements of the concerned nomi­ nal roots in the historically known languages. "ewe". although these formations were still operative in the late third or the early second millennium B. Thus. the postpositive determinant -b qualifies the grammatical gender of wild and dangerous animals.C. attested as lah. which can hardly be separated from Sumerian a n š e. gam-al-. still lacking the -b in South Ethiopic (qurà. "swine. "crocodile". "frog" (Tigrinya). p i g " . dmb-ab / hub-āb. Some of these suffixed animal names and similar formations appear in other Afro-Asi­ atic languages as well. hab-b-. raven".g. ġurā-b I *ġāri-b. "bee". mainly in the seventh millennium B. however.g. fdyy-al / fjġġ-àlà. "poultry" (Gurage). bak-dl. "cattle". Contrary to -t. "deer".g. This gender classifi­ cation should thus go back to a common Afro-Asiatic background. baq-ar-. "calf". "fox.234 MORPHOLOGY 30. "ram. "flies". "sheep". e. as shown by the Semitic name of the "dromedary". "camel. "ass". Gurage).. "young ass" (Arabic). "crow. related to Somali warā-be and perhaps to Egyptian whr. cf. 'aqr-ab-. 'ag-al-1 'ig-I-. "bear". Instead. but it must be posterior to the domestication of animals. but still lacking the -b. kuta-ra. lah-r. dab-b. dub-b-. "lamb". roebuck". A significative example is provided by Gafat ansd"donkey" (Argobba hansia). "ox" (cf.9). gawz-al "young pigeon" (Arabic). izimm-dr. 'imm-ar-. "spider". dub-b > dub-āb. but dáb-el. hulizzlr-. "ass-foal"./ rah-l-. taw-r-. "donkey". "ram. 'ayy-al-. "scor­ pion".) and in Cushitic (qura. wârā-ba or urā-ba. q dr'-ab. "hare". "goat" (South Ethiopic). "dog". domestiw w y .. e. " k i d " (Afar). nayyal-. "elephant". kir-r-.C. Semitic languages preserve traces of a similar gender classifica­ tion with a distinction.5). a-ġy-ul. Tuareg a-g ān-ba. e. between wild animals and domestic animals. §65. jackal". the postpositive determinant -/ / -r qualifies the grammatical gender of domestic or tamed animals. "lizard". "elephant". dromedary". just as the postpositive morpheme -t categorizing the collective or abstracts nouns.

"rib" (Ethiopic. "ear". The same morpheme is prefixed in Libyco-Berber to *gam I *kam. "foot". "nose" (Gurage. šin-n-. "buttocks" (Gurage). gāl in Rendille and Boni. q dn-n. but these are mostly either loanwords or derivatives. tad-anlun.NUMBER 235 cated in that period in Arabia and still called kām (plur. Gafat. and plural. "cow". "teat. cf. dual. The word "tongue" is attested without the gender morpheme in Egyptian (ns). sometimes. udder". w y C. and a-r-ġdm in Tarifit. corresponding to Ge'ez 'af and Harari af. "lap". "bosom". wadne in Somali. "eye". laš-lliš-ān-. intensified as usual to *ġam. "tongue". and in Chadic (*/i-). gah-ān. Within the general domain of number expression."belly". in Proto-Semitic.1. is best explained by the loss of intervocalic m. Oromo funnān. as Ugaritic td. while "ear" and "horn" lack it in Cushitic (*waz. A number of languages distinguish a grammatical gender com­ prising names of parts of the body. udder". "side"). languages dif­ fer on the basis of whether they limit themselves to singular and plural. the postpos­ itive determinant -n qualifies this gender as shown by 'ud-n-. "thigh" (Amharic. without the morpheme -(d)l. Inter­ estingly dián designates the "heart" in some Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group. there are collective . "small finger". Thus. with the typical change / > z of that dialect. his-n. a development attested in Boni. etc. Syriac tddā. from Semitic 'anf + na. Omotic qaro). qut-n-. There are also several exceptions in Semitic. w w 30. with metathesis). also Oromo af-ān. Semitic languages possess three numbers: singular. "teat. Besides. ša-du-un (Amorite). trial. wazana in Saho. g ad-n. bat-n-. td-n (Ugaritic). thus a-lg m in Tachelhit. "horn". "tooth". "right hand". with other names in various Cushitic languages. It is the same word as Gafat ālam à. karri) in Cushitic (Bedja). with the regular Rifan allophone r II I The East Cushitic name of the dromedary. yam-an-. Oromo cinā. Argobba. afu-na. Number 31. or include also dual and. 'ay-n-. qar-n-.11. Gurage. pa-n-. "mouth". a-z-ġdm in Tamazight. and it lacks the determinant /. Its Tuareg name alam has a different origin. pa'~n-. Cushitic). corresponds to a form without final -n. The noun tad-an (Arabic). whereas "ear" is called kàzàr(à) in the same Agaw dialects. Hebrew šad. "face". "stomach".. gēl-a (collective) in Somali. perhaps from the same root as £d-n. in Libyco-Berber (i-ls).

characterized in Semitic by a different pattern of the basic root. they denote either a single being or thing. al su-lu-la-a 1 ITI. attested at least in Arabic and in Ethiopic. As for singulars. It serves to denote not only pairs of objects — mostly parts of the body occurring in pairs. a) Dual 31. except for the singulatives derived from collectives (§31. or a group of beings or things regarded collectively. "by virtue of the two horns of the moon". Thamūdic h-bkrtn. These dual morphemes are attached to the stem or to its "feminine" ending -f. e. E. needs further investigation.35-37). In Palaeosyrian. 31. for example. viz. Many language groups present plural formations radically different.12) by nunation or mimation. The latter category. It is formed by adding -ā in the nom­ inative and -ay > -ē / -I I -ā in the oblique case. the plural is distinguished from the singular by other sets of class-prefixes. Its regular occurrence in Palaeosyrian. e. but also to express simple duality. the singulars do not require any particular presen­ tation.40-42). which can be missing. ba-ntu. "little men". Old Akkadian. Old Akkadian bēlān. In all probability. "little man". Ugaritic. bēltīn. the singular was originally the only number. "two ostriches". as "mankind".2.g.38-39) and paucatives (§31. the eyes —. in Class 7 (diminutives) ka-ntu. The absence of nunation or mimation does not necessarily indicate its dropping in a later period.g. while the plural was expressed by the collective singular. "the two young she-camels". as "man". Besides these general observations.23-34). bēltān. Comparative analysis indicates that the dual is diptotic in all the Semitic languages.3. "the two masters". The dual is formed by special endings attached to the singular. e. Safaitic n'mtn. bēlīn. it distinguishes only the nominative and a single oblique case (genitive-accusative). In the Bantu languages. tu-ntu. Arabic. " i n the two houses". nunation is generally missing.236 MORPHOLOGY nouns (§31.g. corresponding to the so-called "bro­ ken plural" (§31.g. and they are fol­ lowed in the absolute state of the noun (§33. and in Modern South Arabian idioms indicates that its restricted use in other lan­ guages results from the widespread substitution of the plural for the dual. "man". in Class 1 (human beings) mu-ntu. The plural distinguished by additional mor­ phemes from the singulars and from the collective singulars is then the result of a further development. "the two mistresses". at Ebla. "men". 6 . in ba-ta-a.

g. In Hebrew and in Phoenician.. Thus.4.NUMBER 237 31. 'ēnēn. However. in the construct state -ā. e. "eyes". but the unvocalized texts and the contraction of the diphthongs reveal no formal distinction between the nominative and the oblique case. "two eyes". occurs also the feminine plural qrnt when more than two horns are meant. In the Semitic languages which have lost the case endings (§32. A noun designating an object that comes naturally in pairs.6). "eyes". and 'ēntēn. "ten handles" or some similar tools. and in Modem Ara­ bic colloquials. thus -tayn > -ten. and besides the dual ydm. It can be contracted to -ē (Arabic colloqui­ als) or to -ī > -i (Modem South Arabian). because the whole extension of the same single form for all cases of the dual in ancient Arabic dialects calls for caution. "horns" in Aramaic. in Ugaritic e. we have mimation instead of nunation. "halves".3-4). in particular a part of the body.g. Phoeni­ cian 'hym. in Neo-Arabic. In the absolute state.g. among modem colloquials. Hebrew raglayim. Instead.i . is generally used in the dual..4). A similar situation occurs in Modem South Arabian languages where original duals can function as plurals. appears also the feminine plural in 'šr ydt. The mimation is used also in Ugaritic. However.5. with the dual ending added to the feminine mor­ pheme . from sing. 31. in the Arabic dialects of Damascus and of Baghdad (§31. besides the dual qrnm. but it may also appear in the plural when more than two are meant or when the word is used in a derived or different meaning. but the ā might result from a monophthon­ gization of ay (cf.13). and are so considered by native speakers (e. the dual morpheme -ay of the oblique case is commonly used also in the nominative. . qarnayin. e.. in most modem Arabic colloquials. In classical and literary Arabic e. the dual "two hands" is yadāni in the nominative. nasf). §22. it is fol­ lowed by the nunation in Aramaic. with various meanings. e.12-18).g. The ā of the oblique case might result from a contraction ay > ā (cf.6. "feet.g. the original dual ending is used as a "pseudo-dual". 'ēnēn. "hands". "two brothers". "two horns". while "two eyes" is 'ēntēn in Dam­ ascus and in Baghdad. Authors generally believe that such a distinction has to be admitted since Ugaritic possesses the three basic cases (§32. this assumption is by no means certain.g. nasfi. The attested Pre-Classical forms are -āni or -āna. paws". that of Hadramawt has -an for the dual in all cases. §22. 31. but the plural of the same feminine noun is yudlyun or 'ayādin.

times". plur. while qātāti designates two or more "shares". Therefore.10. "ensembles of sayings". 31.g.7. "elder". Broken plurals. they continue to occur with nouns that denote a pair of objects. The same evolution is attested in Hebrew and in Punic.g.13).238 MORPHOLOGY 31. The plural may be formed in Semitic by the attachment of special endings to the singular or by the use of a noun pattern different from the one employed for the singular. they have a different mean­ ing. which could be related to the broken plurals. there are examples of double plurals.8. In Assyro-Babylonian.. dual endings are replaced by plural end­ ings from the Old Babylonian period on. Ge'ez liq.10-11). However. e. The second type of plural is referred to as "internal" or "broken" plural (§31. 'aqwāl. There is also a plural pattern in -h (§31. the dual ending occurs in p'mm.25.e. 'aqāwīl.12-20). "sayings". consisting in pluralizations of forms already plural. that refers to the paws of sacrificed ani­ mals. "saying". When the same nouns occur with the regular plural ending. but the regular feminine plural p 'mt is used when the word means "occurrences. External Plural 31.. 'amsāl and 'amsālāt. in Ge'ez where the external plural ending -āt may be added to the broken plural. with the dual ending. "six wings" are called in Hebrew šēš kdnāpayim. Ara­ bic qawl. and a plural by reduplication of the root morpheme (§31. or in suffixing an ending -ān(-) or -āt{-) (§31. "chief".28. Besides. in particular. two or more "hands" are qātā(rì). In Punic.19). Such a double pluralization is frequent in Berber dialects (§28.9. The first type of plural is called "external" or "sound". plur. E.g. it may consist either in the lengthening of the characteristic vowel of the singular (§31. "proverb". are sometimes further pluralized by an external plural (§31. E. the contrast between originally dual endings and plural endings is henceforth on the lexical level and it does not express any more the distinction between the numbers dual and plural. b) Plural 31.g.23-34).33). i. Comparative analysis indicates that the external plural of ProtoSemitic or Common Semitic is diptotic and that it is formed by the . liqān and liqānāt. while the regular feminine plural kanāpot means "extremities".33) and both forms may coexist (§31.21-22). but they are then used even i f the number of these objects is more than two. E. as in the case of liq and of masāle.

Late Babylonian blranātu). In the masculine plural of Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian. "gods") appears in AssyroBabylonian from the Old Babylonian period on. Thus. "horses"). can best be explained by the common ten­ dency of the oblique case to stand for all cases. "words"). "thieves". This apparent innovation might thus be explained as an expanded use of . šarrānu. "sons". Phoenician (r|À. mlkw. at least in Ugaritic. e. "kings". haddādīn.g. The later Assyro-Babylonian plurals kalbē. is kalbātu(m) and the plural of the corresponding oblique case kalbati(m) is kaìbāti{m). "men". as suggested by the construct state bnw and bny. the plural of the feminine nominative kalbatuim). but sāriqīna in the oblique case). It is as yet uncertain whether the Lihyānite construct plural bnw /banū/. but mlky in the oblique case). "chain". Hani. Ammonite. the -e functions as the phonetic indicator of this long vowel. implies an absolute masculine plural banūna.g. "bitch". "smiths"). In Neo-Aramaic. This formation is already attested in Late Aramaic. cf. but it is preserved in the absolute state of plural North Semitic nouns. from the time when the distinction between the numbers dual and plural was abandoned. in Classical Arabic (e.NUMBER 239 lengthening of the characteristic vowel of the singular. "months of ingathering"). yrhw 'sp. a plural in form). in Arabic. 31. while it changes to nunation in Aramaic (with the exception of Samalian). bīrtā. "kings") and -āni/ī (oblique case. the plural of the nominative kalbu(m).g. the mimation of the singular is omit­ ted. e.g. plur. "bulls"). Neo-Aramaic (e. torīlē. Aramaic (e. The allophone -ē of the ending -I in the oblique case of the plural is already attested in Old Akkadian. and modem Arabic colloquials (e. "dog". e. and most likely in Lihyānite and in the earlier stages of South Arabian. "sons".g. is kalbū and the plural of the oblique case kalbiim) is kalbl. the ending -yāti is the plural morpheme of the nouns ending in -tā. bīrānyāt with a double plural ter­ mination -ān + yāt (§31. in the Canaanite dialect of the Gezer calendar (e. i.12. "houses". "stronghold". used also for the nominative.g. "deity". A masculine plural in -ānu/ū (nominative. Similarly. sūsīm. In the "plene" spellings a-wili-e.g.e. e.12. but the distinction of the cases is preserved in the Samalian dialect of Aramaic (e. bi-ti-e.g.g. 31.11.g. sāriqūna. This trend is well known from Hebrew (e. plur. millln. which regularly occur in Old Assyrian and occasionally in Old Babylonian. like in Classical Arabic. Moabite. šišiltā.eip = 'lm.g. šišilyāti. also in Hebrew and in Phoenician.

corresponds to the plurals ri'ūna and rVātiun). followed by the case markers -u/ū and -i/l. §31. has the plurals ginnln and ginnayyā or ginnātā in the emphatic state (§33. "cities". šānā. sitt riġlēnāt. has both plurals 'âšērīm and 'âšērot. "year". "cut­ ters". In Ge'ez. "priests". Logone ngun. a-la-ni-i-ka. and it is being substituted for the feminine ending -t of the singular (e. The ending -āni < -ānī/ē is also used to form masculine plurals in Neo-Aramaic and it is rightly seen there as combining the element -ān.C. which kept only few traces of the dual.g. plur.7). although the "feminine" suffix -āt is used for masculine sub­ stantives as well (e. "your cities") could perhaps be compared with the addition of the plural end­ ing -āt to the dual morpheme -ēn. of a bilingual Punico-Numidic inscription from Dougga. "queens"). ngwaren). as early as the ninth century B. thus inde­ pendently from any influence of Arabic.g. E. It is used mainly with participles and verbal adjectives. "eyebrows"). as well as the plural patterns fi'lān and fu'lān in Arabic (e. There seems to be no contrast between the two sets of forms that can be determined at present. has the plural šānīm in the absolute state. "sanctuary". "girls"). "belly".g.240 MORPHOLOGY the originally dual ending -ān (§31. plural of masih.C. while 'âšērā.g.g.. and nbt-n "splitters". masihān. the colloquial Arabic of Baghdad (e. kahdnāt. while the most common fem­ inine ending is -dtdn. Tigre qdddusām kdtubām. "saints".mark of the feminine in the sin­ gular have a masculine and a feminine forms in the plural.g. the same suffix forms the plural in Chadic (e.g.g. "Mes­ siah"). ġizlān. the external masculine plural ending can be also -ān (e. "year". malkān. The plural s nn lšinūn(a)l is attested also in Safaitic. but sanot in the construct state. one should bear in mind that the plural in -n is attested in Libyco-Berber as early as the 2nd century B. The apparently double indications of the plural in East Semitic -ān-ū or -ān-ī (e.and the usual plural morpheme -lie..15).g.g. Modern North Ethiopic still preserves the ending of the external plural -an in Tigrinya and -ām in Tigre. "lung". l . "garden". "six pairs of paws").13. 31. in the nouns nbb-n. "gazelle").3). Arabic sanat(un). the ending -ān appears in Aramaic as the feminine plural morpheme of the absolute state. Tigrinya qaddusan.g. The external masculine plural in Modern South Arabian languages is -In or its allophone (e. e. The Aramaic noun ginnā. "broken" plural of ġazāl. Besides. ġagotan. However. -tan or an allophone (e. and ri'atiun). Significantly. has the plurals sìnūna and sanawāt(un). "Holy Scriptures". Some nouns with the overt -t. with the change n > m\ e. a-la-nu-u. In Hebrew.

We know at least that ks'u is also . while the word "wheat" (root hnt) is attested under the forms htm and htt. Some nouns. epinnu(m). "city gate". bābu. A similar phenomenon occurs in Assyro-Babylonian. "plough". in Assyro-Babylonian. some of the nouns in question are really feminine also in the singular. or ikkaru. yom. appears with the plurals r'ašm. has the plurals bābāni and bābāti. indicates that the morpheme -t does not change the gender of the noun. which have the plurals ks'at and mtbt. without the -t. are masculine in both numbers. plur. as shown by the plurals nasīkāni and nasīkāti of the name nasīku.15. 31. in Ugaritic. "chair". ikkarātu(m). "hand". This alternative plural regularly adds a special connotation and agrees with masculine forms of adjectives and of verbal pronominal affixes. In Ugaritic. "peasant".g. plur. "many days". This phenomenon assumes larger proportions in Assyro-Babylonian and especially in North Ethiopic where the "feminine" plural ending -āt is widely used for masculine nouns. "known owners" (masc). "field". Some Neo-Aramaic masculine nouns have a "feminine" plural formation besides the regular masculine plural ending.g. originates from an ancient *-āti. qaqqaduim). with idū and idātu(m). plur. Thus. but are treated as feminine in the plural. epinnētuim). plur. is attested with the plurals biblāni and biblāti. Other nouns however. in the construct state. both masculine and feminine. "owners" (masc). mārā. "ship". "dwelling". "sheikh" or "prince" of the Aramaeans. abulluim). eleppētu(m). Both forms of plural occur also in Hebrew iyāmīm. eqlētu(m). or mtb. These nouns cannot be considered automatically as feminine. yamot) and in Phoenician iymm. as e. grn. qaqqadātuim). In Imperial Aramaic. as e. r'iš. plur. or eleppu(m). abullātu(m). e. In Assyro-Babylonian.14.mark of the feminine in the singular.g. while the Ammonite phrase ywmt rbm. "gift". as shown by the masculine plural termination of the modifying adjective rbm. and in Aramaic with nouns which do not have the feminine morpheme -t. Also the external plural in -oca / -ac. used for both genders in modem South Ethiopic (§31. "gate". The situation is similar in Ugaritic with nouns like ks'u. which was the ending of the plural oblique case: the vowel i caused palatalization of t and was absorbed in the palatal. mārwātā.NUMBER 241 31. idu(m).in the singular. "head". take the "feminine" ending in the plural. marl. has the plurals grnm and grnt. biblu. plur.17) and in some Tigre nouns. "head". e. "owner" (masc). ymt). "day". or eqlu(m). yomāt.g. r'ašt and r'išt. "threshing floor". A third group consists of nouns which are masculine in the singular. has the attested plurals yomln and.

16). "per­ son". is dnġdccà in East Gurage. "apostles".17). plur. South Ethiopic uses the ending -occ / -ac deriving from an ancient *-āti as plural marker without making a distinction between the masculine and the feminine (§31. "house". "new". therefore. e. the plural ending is -tat after vowels (e. E. e. This plural morpheme is pro­ nounced -occ in Amharic. East Gurage dialects also repeat the last radical to express the plural (§31. also in Highland East Cushitic. In the context. Amharic continues using the Old Ethiopic ending -āt. "water".g.12) is employed for adjectives and participles (e.17. plur. "languages". amēlūtuirn).34) and the preserved patterns are no longer productive.g. mainly with masculine nouns or with nouns unspecified as to gender. rabiūtiim). the question can be decided on the basis of grammatical concord. or a substantive with collective meaning. "elders. -deed. "convents". Contrary to Ge'ez and to the modern North Ethiopic. "heart". since -t. Ge'ez kadis. whereas it is -àc in Harari and -ac in Argobba. plur. sâbat). gâzatat). is betoâé in Amharic. hadisān). Ge'ez may. a side influence of the Cushitic adstratum on Ethiopic should not be excluded. §31. e. and the Soddo dialect of Gurage. hawaryat. In North Ethiopic the ending -āt is used instead of the masculine plural morpheme -ān without influencing the gender of the nouns (e. whereas it is bedac in Argobba. while the morpheme -ān (cf.20). plur. and for a small number of substantives. it is sometimes difficult to decide whether the noun ending in -ūtu is an adjective masculine plural. "great". This morpheme is homophonous with the deriva­ tional afformative -ūtu that forms abstract nouns (e. the plural of bet. plur. plur.22). rabiu(m).g.g. "mankind". Gafat. I n Tigrinya.. the plural of dng.g. . "house". culo. The Amharic broken plurals are borrowed from Ge'ez (§31. §31. "hand". hsanat. Besides the plural ending -occ (§31.g. Assyro-Babylonian uses the morpheme -ūtu. South Ethiopic has an external plural only. even when the final vowel has only an auxiliary function (§27. in the oblique case -ūti. gádamat.g. however. 31. The wide use of the ending -āt can best be explained by the original function of the morpheme -tforming collective nouns (§30. šarrūtu. plur.g.242 MORPHOLOGY feminine in the singular. māyāt. "king­ ship") and. 31.16. witnesses".g. Tigrinya sá the most common Cushitic marker of the plural. "baby". as in hbbi. gâza. rabiūtu(m).15). However. East Gurage dialects add a vowel to the element -c: -cá. For the adjective masculine plural. e. as šibūtuim).1). hbbdtat (cf.

31. plur.15). with 'amht. 'aryē.'à-tum I gullahātum I. "camel". "fathers". plur. suhartātu(m) besides suharātu(m). construct state). plur. Ge'ez barakat. Aramaic uses the feminine plural morphemes to form the plural of some masculine nouns — mainly loanwords — ending in a vowel. qešet.g. "fathers".g. construct state). "doors"). gamelalo. waġi. 'aġā. 'ustādāt(un) or 'asātida(turì). "seat". "brothers". "women". plur. 'aryāwān and 'aryāwātā. barakatāt. "cups". e. plur. plur. in Hadramitic Cbhty. The same usage is attested in Arabic. and 'afayt. "towns". Tigre sadāyat. Hebrew delet. "mothers". a a 31. 'ummahāt. išātātu. "governor".20. 'umht. "master". West Gurage has no plural marker. korsāwān. ddlātot. e. plur. "lion". Sabaic plural patterns in -h are found with biconsonantal nomi­ nal roots in 'bh. in Tigrinya where gdza. in the Hawrān ('abbahāt. 'ahtt. in Phoenician (dlht.g. 'mh. plur. 'ustād. 'âbāhātok. thus. "pasha". plur. 'aġāwātiun). Instead. in Aramaic (e. plur. "your fathers". "elder brother". "mouths". sadāyatāt. gamela. "female clients. 'immdhātā. plur. "the mothers". waġiġo.g. Assyro-Babylonian išātu(m). 'ās( )wātā in the emphatic state. in Ugaritic. "moth­ ers". "handmaids". plur. "companion". pehā. "bow". plur. fàràz means both "horse" and "horses". 'ilht. "clans"). "ag(h)a".19. "help". "names" in the construct state). bāšā. has a plural gdzawdtti besides the usual gdzatat (§31.18. The number of the noun is indirectly reflected in the verb and in the pronouns. 31. likewise in Minaic (e. E. have probably the same origin. "goddesses". thus 'āsē. Similar plurals occur in North Ethiopic. plur. and in some modem Arabic colloquials. "blessing". and with the addition of an external feminine plural morpheme in 'mht. 'hint. with gu-la. "sister". "mothers"). "doctor". 'mi). bāšawāt(un). the ending -t of the plural seems to be superimposed upon an earlier ending in -h.g. pah( )wātā. The same situation is found also in some Cushitic dialects of the region. kinā. "door".NUMBER 243 éulalo. . "girl".g. qrht. bet is "house" and "houses". "fathers". qašātot. suhartu(m). The Tigre plurals 'abayt. šifāh. In all these instances. plur. plur. besides 'aht.g. The same ending -āt > -ot of the plural is sometimes superim­ posed upon the singular ending -t. šdmāhāt. "house". Ugaritic 'aht. while the formation of the plural in -ht occurs in Palaeosyrian. "handmaids"). in Hebrew ('âmāhdt. kdnāwān and kdtiāwātā. The plural in -h is attested also in Arabic (e. plur. "lips") and in Qatabanic ('hh-. 'ntht. e. "fire". "fathers". korsē. handmaids" (sing.

and the plural morpheme -occ can still be added to the extended root (e. A n analogous plural formation is attested in some South Ethiopian languages which express the plural by the repetition of the last radical.g. with no singular but with the addition of the plural morpheme -ū. Hebrew mēmē. gázatat (§31. but this consonant is not necessarily the last one (e. plur. sanasana).15). wollalu. gâza. "mountains"). "theft". plur. while the double writing AN. "brother".22. plur.g.AN signifies heaven". mà'alti. e.244 MORPHOLOGY 'āmat. àmar. This type of plural marking is unlikely to have arisen from a distributive context (§35. "donkey".g. It is used in Chadic (e. "houses").) and rabrdbān (fern. "neighbour". Sabaic 'Vlt. âmararà. "little ones".g. rahrdbln (masc. "baby". for reduplication can have various functions.g. hadhddānē. plur.k u r . Hausa dambe. g abbabit. w w . culalo. Plural by Reduplication 31. The Tigrinya plural end­ ing -tat appearing after vowels is probably related to these cases. plur. plur. plur. A similar practice is attested at Ebla where the triple writing AN.g. The repetition of the root mor­ pheme is probably one of the oldest methods to express the plural.g. "year". "great". with addition of a -t. "lady". e. wànddmamocc).). wâyzazdr). "waters" (con­ struct state). k u r . sdraq. culo. A plural formation by reduplicating the root morpheme is attested for some biconsonantal nouns. "struggle". cf. This suffix -otāt < -atāî is common in Tigre with nouns whose singular ends in -at. This partial reduplication occurs also in Chadic (e. Bedja san.21. wàyzàro. dambedambe). while ancient Egyptian initially redupli­ cated the hieroglyph to mark the dual and wrote it thrice to signify the plural.17). "gods". e. Syriac daqddqē. ft 31. -t) should be considered as a secondary feature. "hidden things" (cf. but it is used also with other nouns. Palaeosyrian ha-ba-ha-bi (gen. rumah-rumah.g. plur. Also Amharic uses the repetition of a radical as a device to express the plural in a lim­ ited number of nouns. especially in Gurage (§31. "brother". plur. plur. -In I -ān. Arabic hab'). Aramaic rab.22). wànddmm. g àbbe. plur. "brother". Assyro-Babylonian birbirrū. in Sumerian (e.g. e. md'altat. plur. "cutting edges". plur. 'āmotāt.AN may indicate the plural "gods". "glare". "day".g.). sdrqotāt. "house". also with the addition of the usual plural ending.AN. with the addition of the -t morpheme. wolla. The addition of the usual plural morphemes (-Ū. and in the Malay language (e. Hebrewpe. pīpiyydt. plur. "certain ones".g. to a lesser extent in Cushitic (e.

viz. plur. and there are clear parallels in other branches of AfroAsiatic. Kafa bāk-6. Somali san.NUMBER 245 Hausa magana. has the collective meaning "the small ones". "nose". plur. attested besides the usual k3w. "this". where the Coptic internal plurals can hardly be considered in mass as a secondary development.g. or ik3. and it is more pervasive in ancient South Arabian than in any other Semitic language.24. The use of broken plurals is widely attested in Arabic and in Ethiopic. Thus. The patterns so used are rightly regarded as original collectives and their function as plurals can only be established in the light of grammatical concord.25. Semitic internal or "broken" plurals are formed by the use of noun patterns different from those of the singular. while the Assyrian individual singular is sahru(m). 31. "small". sanan). "good". 31. bākik-6. Some of them may be quite archaic. at least in the sense that the collective function of some of their patterns is common to several Semitic languages in different areas. a rare plural of k3. plur. the broken plurals may be regarded as Proto-Semitic.g. "goodness". The same noun pattern is used in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian for socalled abstracts like dumqu(m). buhhal. Internal Plural 31. Old Assyrian suhrum. kofa. Therefore. A restricted number of Assyro-Babylonian monosyllabic nouns preserve traces of a broken plural — sometimes called "infixed plural" — that parallels the Arabic pattern fu "al (e. "soul".23. "cock". especially in Bedja and in Afar-Saho. Traces of broken plurals are also preserved in dialects belonging to Semitic languages in which these plurals are not regularly attested. "word". which is in reality a collec­ tive noun "good things" derived from damquim). the pattern of which corresponds to Classical Arabic fu'lun. as suggested by the old Egyptian plurals ipw and ipn of pw and pn. "door". These nouns form their plural on the pattern C vC C a(C ) to which the ending -ū / -ī or -ūtu / -ātu of the external plural is added: ] 2 2 3 . in Libyco-Berber. in Cushitic. "free men"). and in Egypto-Coptic. maganganu. plur. kofofi) and in Cushitic (e.

abba-ū > abbū *ahha-ū > ahhū alkak-ātu arrak-ūtu bakkar-ī dammaq-ūtu daqqaq-ūtu ebbar-ūtu hannab-ātu sahhar-ū / sehher-ūtu zikkar-ū This pattern might be attested also in Palaeosyrian by e. This kind of ambiguity does not occur in Hebrew where similar survivals of broken plurals — traditionally explained by a dageš dirimens — are preserved by the Masoretic vocalization of some Hebrew nouns. "grape" 'âseret < * 'asr-.g. "sanctuary" Plur. "pastures".31). in Epigraphic South Arabian. to which du-ba-lu might be related as well. fu' 'al. "long" bakr-u. They generally have a superimposed external plural ter­ mination which causes the shortening a > d in the pattern C vC C aCỳ l 2 2 Sing. "fine" ebr-u.26. fu"āl and fu'al. amsal. "way" ark-u. the Palaeosyrian orthography does not allow distinguishing patterns corresponding to fu 'āl. "man" Plur. as well. "crowd" 'āqēb < * 'aqb-. The stem with vowel ā most likely occurs in ahlāmu. du-ba-lu /dubbaru/. Besides. By far the most frequently used broken plural pattern in ancient Arabic. The stem vowel is either a ('af'āl > 'af'al) or u ('af'ūl > 'af'ul). "pasture". "voluptuous" sahr-u / sehr-u. "brother" alk-at-. "good" daqq-u. in Ge'ez.246 MORPHOLOGY Sing. "bow" miqdāš. "heel" 'ēśeb < 'iśb-. both fu'al and fi'al are well represented in North Ethiopic by the pattern CdCaC (§31. "young camel" damq-u. "mountain". "parables".g. sdbak < *sbak-. "friend" hanb-u. and to Ethiopic dabr. adbar. the probable Old Babylonian designation of the Proto-Aramaeans and their congeners which must transcribe a . "small" zikr-u. However. ab-u. and in Tigrinya is 'fl with the preformative 'a-. "herb" qešet < qašt-. "thicket" 'ēnāb < *'inb-. This stem is preserved in a few Amharic forms bor­ rowed from Ge'ez (e. subbdk-o 'innab-ē 'assdr-ot 'iqqab-ē I -ot 'iśśdb-ot qasšat-oî miqqadāš 31. "mountains") and it was used in North and West Semitic. "father" ah-u. a noun related to Aramaic dabr-.

'ahqul. seem­ ingly a plural of šēdu(m). the patterns with the prefix 'a. -zlufa.are found in bhn. a-sa-lu /'āšālu < 'a'šālu/. It is used also in modem North Ethiopic. plur. "rushes".g. kātìb. and zl'. a barley species. "jug". kuttāb).. 26). Some of these pat­ terns go probably back to the third millennium B. in which there are clear examples of syncope of internal -h(§27. "city".g. "dog". "boys. "field". šu'arā'). Vocalic variations as Ugaritic 'utkl and Aramaic 'etkālā might suggest that the pattern was broken. plur. ġazāl. from sing. -gbalu).g. plur. in a Punico-Numidic inscription from Dougga. "poet". 'amrād) or by the suffix -ān (e. since they seem to appear in Palaeosyrian. and bhnt. by gú-a-tum Iquhatumj. plur. in the Aramaic Tell Fekherye inscription. with short or long vowels.C.(§31. as suggested. marad. e.26). "sons". Classical Arabic has thirty different patterns of broken plurals (Fig. as well as some other possible instances of broken plurals (§31. "daughters". "despicable (men)". "wood". In modem colloquials. with the addition of the usual plural morpheme -m. haql.(e.28. It is probably found also in Palaeosyrian ar-ša-lu /'ardālu/. 'ahgur. with the meaning "surety". "all the lands". and by sa-a-dum /šahadum/. though it is often to be translated as a singular. "grapes". 31. The stem with vowel ū ('af'ūl) is found in 'dqwr.NUMBER 247 native 'aġlām. where they are attested already in the 2nd century B.g. corresponding to Hebrew 'eškol or 'aškol < *'atkāl. but similar broken plurals have a wider range of application in Libyco-Berber (e. "hand". There is also a pattern fu'alā'. plur. hagar. Minaic plural stems with infix -h. plur. -ġbula.C. deprived of their short vowel. 'aklub next to 'aklāb. both 'af'āl and fi'āl became . e. "springs".g. "scribe".C. lads".) and apparently employed as the broken plural 'adqūr of dqr. from sing. e. Tigre kaldb. "houses". used with nouns designating persons (e. "illness".g. "iron". 31.29). This stem with the vowel u < ū is very com­ mon in Ge'ez.25). -zlaf'. áš-kà-lum /'atkālum/. The trace of such a plural. probably a plural of qātum.. "gazelle". in consideration of mt kin. probably occurs in Ugaritic bhtm. others extended either by the prefix 'a. "rush". an Aramaic noun used in the Tell Fekherye inscription (9th century B.g.g. with diphthongs. e. as shown by šqr'. ġizlān). They may occur also in Palaeosyrian. plur.27. except in Yemen (§31.26) have almost disappeared and coalesced with other stems. "lands". The existence of such a plural may also be assumed for *mht. "warranty". šā'ir. some of them with geminated second radical (e.g.

248 MORPHOLOGY f'āl. "songs". "Hadramites".> plur. e. sing. the broken plural of thefì'āl pattern occurs in Palaeosyrian mu-dabil sí-kà-ri (mudabbìl sikāri/. For further details the grammars of classical and colloquial Arabic have to be consulted. as well as the pattern for four-consonant singular stems. "devil". while the Hebrew plural of "segolate" nouns derived from the type CjVC C (§29. is likewise attested in Palaeosyrian. ġbāl instead of 'aġbāl or ġibāl.9). plur. e. hrāf instead of hirāf. sing. zu-mu-ba-ru /zumūbaru/. e. kawkab.g. from *zambāru < zamāru (§11. plur. šaytān. lit. The pattern fa 'īl.g. 31. The same situation occurs in Samaritan Aramaic (e. Four-consonant singular patterns have plurals formed on the stems fa'alii and fa'ālīl. It should be stressed here that some of the last-mentioned patterns are very old or are used also in other languages. the use of broken plurals is more extensive in ancient South Arabian than in any other Semitic language. sa-i-lum or sa-ì-lu-um /śa'īrum/. . šayātīn. *milāk+īm > m(à)lākīm. "donkeys". 26. plur. widely used pattern: harāf "lamb". inasmuch as it occurs even with nisba formations in -ly. "feet"). represented in Arabic by words like 'abīd(un). "teller of stories". 'hdr. malk. which is a new. e. ġabal. Thus. but with a different set of vowels. 2 3 l2 Patterns of "broken" plurals in Classical Arabic fa 'al(un) f'ial{un) fu 'al(un) fu 'ul{un) fa'īl(un) fi 'āl(un) fu'āl(un) fu 'ūl(un) fa 'ala(tun) fi'ala(tun) fu 'ala(tun) fu"al(un) 'af'ul(un) 'afilaitun) 'af'āliun) fu' 'āl(urì) fi 'lān(un) fu 'lān(un) fa'ālā fa 'ā 'il(u) 'af'ilā 'u fi'āla(tun) fu 'āla(tun) fi 'la(tun) fa 'ālil(un) fa 'ālīl(urì) fu'alā'u fa 'ālilaitun) fawā'il{u) fawā 'īliu) Fig.g.29. and hamlr(un).g.g. "story-teller". "slaves". kawākib. As said above. e.g. plur. "star".5) is an external plural superimposed on a broken plural of the same pattern//'āl >f'āl. rigl.> rēgāl+en. "mountain". "barley".

'adbar). the patterns of which show more similarity to those of Ethiopic than to those of Arabic. "tail".g. Ge'ez q ays. "soul. nanyhon. Tigre šangul. plur. "mast". plur. "jacket".f'wlt. Other attested broken plural stems of ancient South Arabian are f'l. Tigre daqal. Ge'ez bahr. "adult". plur. 'abqal.f'ln. 'aCāCaCit) (e. Ge'ez mal'ak. ġabāb). "eagle". "foal". "dog".31. 'ashdl. Tigre masni. gdwf. Tigre walat. Ge'ez 'din. "mule". danāgal. 31. e.g. plur. 'dzni. plur. karas. plur. Tigre safta. plur.f'ylt. Tigre mansaf. plur. 'awālad.g. instead of usual Arabic 'af'āl. šanaggal). "horse". plur. plur. 'abatarti. "daughter". Another kind of broken plural has developed within these languages. labs. "mountain". In North Ethiopic the situation is similar to that of ancient South Arabian. CaCaCt (e. "child". Tigre ġdbbat. "messenger". 'a'mūm). Ge'ez zanab.g. "sea". Tigrinya fàrās.g. plur. "chal­ ice". plur. "kid". kanfdr. with broken plurals showing the vocalic change of the singular basis.and/or the afforma­ tive -t. 'f'lw. plur. plur. plur. "mule". "rebel". "ear". 1 1 The Modern South Arabian languages have broken plurals.g. q ayās. plur. aġayw. Tigrinya bâtri. 'aCCaCt (e. plur. šafattit)." girl". plur. but its vocalization cannot be established directly. plur. plur. best attested in Ethiopic (§31. 'azan. 'aġannit). plur. Tigre karšat. "belly". sahaft). manāsaf.g. sāhl. 'adquī). 'albās. Tigre ġana. Ge'ez haql. plur. plur. "friend". 'aCCdC (e. 'afras. 'agar). "mountain". manadaq. "ear". "foot". fdlho. nasr. e. 'aCCāC (e. "chest". C^aCflCyCjit) (e. CaCāCi(t) (e. "uncle".26). 'ansart). plur.g. fdlhi.30. plur. Tigre dabar. plur. 'anaggal). 31. dabr. It consists in the change of the last vowel i/a of the singular into o/w. plur. 'amm. plur. Since present-day Yemeni colloquials use the stem 'af'ūl (e. and for four-consonant singular stems the patterns CaCdCaC (e.g. plur. 'n/s ) was vocalized simi­ larly.g. person".31). plur. Ge'ez sahāfi. gawaft. "brother".f'yl. 'ahgur. 'dgdr. masānit). 'azmad). 'abhart. "staff". 'aC aC C it (e. nanhan. Ge'ez darigal. f'lt. plur. Tigre naggal. plur.g.g. 'abaġalti). "carpet". "lip". nfs . plur. Ge'ez baql. 'a'zan. 'aklāb. C aC aCyC aC (e. 'ahqul. Additional or variant patterns occur in modem North Ethiopic: 'aC aC C aC (e. 'aCCūC (e. plur.f'lw. aġā. "writer". kànafar) and CaCûCaCt (e. CaCāC (e. one can assume that epigraphic f ' l (e. 'aznāb.g.NUMBER 249 The most used broken plural pattern is 'f'l (§31.f'wl. plur. plur.g.g.g. Tigrinya mândàq. "younger brother". We give examples of the main patterns CiCaC I CuCaC > CdCaC (e. plur. hagar. "shin". sometimes accompanied by the preformative 'a. 'adbār. Tigre kaldb. "town". "wall". malā'akt). "relative". plur.g. zâmàd. bàġli.26. plur.g.g. "dress". fit. plur. "field". w w l 2 2 3 { 2 2 x 2 3 A .

"board". the broken plural of which is kawākab. is zalāyam. 'adgām or 'adgāmāt. This plural form occurs also with some other noun types like katam. mànabart. 31. "land". 'asagdat.g. tree". Amharic has borrowed several broken plurals from Ge'ez. the broken plural of Tigre bet < *bayt is 'abyāt. "book". "gods". másahaft. 'amdār or 'amdārāt. plur.32. "sovereigns". e. Tigre bd'ray. power".g. Besides. e.g. Tigre kala'. several Tigre nouns of the pattern CdCāC have a plural 'aCaCCat. Thus. "clay pot". "star". coined from malik. is hayal. plural of agzi'a. or 'alwahat with vocalic changes next to the pharyngal h. "ox".15). "seats". "rain". The plural amalakt. 'akalla'at or 'akalla'at.g. from màshaf. Tigrinya tāhlì. plur. e. from the verb hela < *hayla. that of hilat. "strength. plur.g. and that of hasur. 'akatmat. "seal. ddgdm. The same occurs with a Tigre noun like kokab < *kawkab < *kabkab. "sovereign". "pen". luh.24). e. and . as a kind of plurale maiestatis (§50. plur. and with a metathesis when the second radical consonant is a guttural. plur. kdtāb. 'akatbat. "books". "seat". plur. the broken plural of Tigre zdlām.g. Tigre madar.33. 'ab'arat < *'aba'rat. "tale". sagad. In modern North Ethiopic. Other diphthongs reveal the use of a broken plural pattern which corresponds to ancient South Arabian f'yL Thus. there are many examples of external plural superimposed on broken plurals.250 morphology 31. e. Tigre bara'. "plant. 'alwāh.g. wahar. "king". where the -at ending probably goes back to the plural morpheme -āt. "book". "neck". and a combination of both in 'atahaltat or 'atahaltat. plur. a broken plural 'atahalti. A characteristic of broken plurals in modern North Ethiopic is the preservation of original diphthongs. Some nouns have alternative plurals..g. l 2 2 3 3 31. is a form superimposed on the formally broken plural amlak. "enclo­ sure".26). "God". e. The same pat­ tern is used for aga'azt.g. " b u l l " . "to be strong". with a regular external plural tàhlitat (§31. e. E. plur. Some nouns of this group are used only with the additional external morpheme -āt. e. Besides the aCCaC type (§31. plur. is hasāyar. The external suffix -at > -at is added also to broken plurals of the type 'aC aC C aC when C is a guttural.34. one should mention the CàCaCaCt pattern which is used for four-consonant singular stems and is the best represented. 'awharat < *'awahrat. from mánbàr. the plural suffix -āt can be added optionally to the broken plural of the type 'aCCvC. 'abra'āt or 'abra'at with vocalic changes next to the pharyngal '. plur. or 'alwahāt. stamp".

Collective nouns express a plurality of individual objects or persons. In Arabic. Old Akkadian sabūm. "king". "tears". they may be considered as masculine or feminine (§50. 'anhās. As subjects of a sentence. The suffixes are added to the basis of countable singulars. walatit.g. to the basis of diminutives. Paucative is a grammatical category expressing smallness of number or quantity.with the following patterns: 'af'ul(un) corresponding to the plural fu 'ul(un).38. "some girls" 'anhesām. habbeyāy. Tigre qataf. 'af'ila(tun) correspond­ ing to fa'alaitun) or fi'alaitun). but may have existed in other Semitic languages as well. species of animals. Paucative is indicated in Tigre by the plural-type suffixes -ām for the masculine gender and -āt for the feminine. It is attested at least in Arabic and in Ethiopic. the plural of ndgus.23).37. Instead. Arabic dam'(un). is liqawant.NUMBER 251 for anabdst. 'ab'ār 'āliha. 31. etc. "a few houses" 'akarritām. under the singular form. 'akarrit. workmen". "leaves". 'af'āl(urì) corresponding to fi 'āl(un). "lions" plural of anbàsa. d) Collective Nouns 31. "cow" "small monkey" "little girl" "houses" "hyenas" "a few cows" "a few monkeys' waletāt. c) Paucative 31. is nàgást. "lion". and 'af'ilā'u corresponding to fu'alā'u. 31. plants.. the collective animate nouns may take their verbs in either the singular or the plural. e. "relative" "some rivers" "some wells' "some gods" "some relatives". Further research is needed.g. the paucative derivation is characterized by the pre­ fix 'a. "river" bi'r.: wa'at.36. "God" Plural nuhur. 'aqribā'. "learned man".35. E. bi'ār. "a few hyenas" wa'āt. qarīb. Collectives are often . and to broken plurals. habbeyām. "well" 'ilāh. E.: Singular nahr. and the plural of liq. I 'ābār. "people. Paucative "rivers" "wells" 'anhur.g.

A plural form may exist beside the col­ lective noun. 31. labina{tun). "a piece of lead". "songs". hadlda(tun).41. "army".g. . so'n. in Old Akkadian. fleet". "a coffee grain". hamāma(tun). bun. ummānum. "iron". Tigre 'addām. śē'ār. "a bug". from qadar. e) Singulative 31. or directly from the col­ lective in the absence of a countable singular belonging to the same root.g. in Hebrew. gabil. Tigre qadrāy. should belong to different classes. "donkey".41-42) can be considered as singulatives. "a piece of wood". "crowds". "lead". "birds") vs. or -ām (§29. there is a correspondence between determinate categories of beings and the linguistic classes: e. -ay > ā. "ship". hadid(un). from 'aéay. "single brick".40-43). There is no apparent reason why enti­ ties of such similar nature as Arabic himār.252 MORPHOLOGY feminine in gender when they are considered as a plurality. Hebrew 'onī. men". "people". Tigre rdšāš. "ships. "people". "soldier". bunat. A singular may be derived from the collective noun by means of an afformative. derived either from the singulative. "bugs". "single song". On the other hand. "gnats". "birds". Yet. The more common afformative of the singulatives is -at{un) > ā/a in Arabic. "pinions". The suf­ fix -ay may also be used without any gentilitial connotation to form a singulative. labin(un).g. "wood". and tayr. "bricks". širā. Arabic hamām(un). "pigeons". animals living individually ("donkey". śa'ârā. "people.39. tdkenāy.g.g. sir. "a piece of iron". "cattle".g. no principle of classification differen­ tiating individual from collective nouns is apparent from a mere inspec­ tion of the members of each class. "eagle". and in Ethiopic. post-classical Arabic 'askariyyun. This afformative may also express the notion "a piece of". "single pigeon". such a countable singular is called singulative (§31. "hair". e. rasasat. "a gnat". "single hair". "pinion". and riisum. Tigre 'dcyāy.40. 'oniyyā. "eagle"). e. and baqar. "small cattle". e. E. animals living in groups ("cat­ tle". Besides being fre­ quently equivalent to plurals. e. 31. Nouns formed by the addition of the gentilitial suffixes -iy > -I. in Hebrew. "army". The presence of a collective noun does not imply the absence of either the countable singular or the plural. from 'askarun. collectives are often difficult to distinguish from abstracts. and 'addāmātāt. from tdkān. 'ebrā. or nasr. 'ēber. "coffee". in Tigre.

Thus.1. namni. instrumental). "drinkers' company". A similar situation is found in Libyco-Berber which shows close links with Semitic. wam-an and yam-an. while the latter at once defines the predicate and the object. with a plural in -ot-a. shows no trace of case inflection. "the man". predicate). the active participle may function as a singulative of collective nouns of the pattern fa7 / fa'al which designate human beings. was orig­ inally replaced by one between "ergative" and "predicative". Instead.(sing. i. The "ergative" is marked by u. Bedja has a prefixed case marking with ū.) for the subject case.) for the object case. Case Inflection 32. D.(plur. "the man". e. In Arabic. harkan. "water(s)" — a plural noun attested in all Berber dialects — can be interpreted respectively as *ū-am-an and *ī-am-an: . but they do not correspond exactly to classical usage. the non-active component of the sentence. object case. e. "a drinker".. This contrast is close to the distinction of the "agent case" (casus agens) and the "patient case" (casus patiens) in the so-called "ergative" languages. the familiar con­ trast of nominative and accusative. "bad". The feminine t. šārib(urì).(sing. e.. or subjective and objective./ tē-). and a "predica­ tive" in -a (nama. It has two cases expressed by the vocalic alternation which affects the first syllable.g. Cushitic and Libyco-Berber have two basic cases. Ancient Egyptian. subject case. tā. and Southern Agaw (Awngi). generally reduced to a after the feminine tprefix and in Tuareg. tū-1 to-. has developed a rich operative case system.42.g.) or ā. "by hand". and 6.) or ē(plur. There are other nominal suffixes in Cushitic. as the singular of šarb(urì). The Cushitic case system appears quite clearly in Oromo which possesses an "ergative" in -n(i) (e. the former being used when the noun is acting (cf.CASE INFLECTION 253 31.e. with a plural in -on(n)i < -ot-ni. We can assume that the plural case marks were originally pronounced ū and I so that. partly postpositions.g.morpheme precedes the case marking (sing. while the "predicative" or non-active case is marked by a in the singular and by / in the plural. To what extent the Semitic languages originally possessed case distinctions is a debatable question. and the syntactic relations of nouns were indicated either by the word order or by the use of prepositions and the like. Greek epyarns) as instrument or subject. hama. plur. Instead. but the name casus patiens suits the Afro-Asiatic "predicative" only in part. for instance.g.

gen­ itive. " b u l l " .43). 32. viz.5) and partly corresponds also to the two oblique cases of the "classical" languages. 4° the existence of an absolute form of the noun which originally corresponded to the case in -a. and the non-active or "predicative" case in -a.3. 33. several facts suggest that Semitic nouns were ini­ tially diptotic and that two cases were distinguished like in Cushitic and in Libyco-Berber: the subject case or "ergative" in -u and the non-sub­ ject case or "predicative" in -a. The well-founded assumption that Semitic originally had two cases (§32. non-active ta-funas-t ti-funas-in ergative tu-funas-t tu-funas-in Although authors generally believe that Semitic substantives and adjectives originally inflected for three basic cases.8-12).2.254 MORPHOLOGY ydššur a-ġarraf s waman. leaves us with the same morpho-syntactical opposi­ tion u : a as in Libyco-Berber. traditionally called "nominative". the active principle of a process is not viewed as the subject of the verb expressing the action. Several peculiarities of this diptotic sys­ tem indicate that it is closely related to an ergative language structure: 1° the coincidence of the "nominative" case with the "instrumental" or "locative". which has a predicative function (§32. "cow". the "ergative" or "agent" case in -u. called "accusative". "may one draw water from the well" (both examples in Tarifit). the vowels of the plural ending being those of Tuareg dialects: w masc. viz. a-funas i-funas-dn u-funas u-funas-dn fern. The system may be presented schematically as follows. a) Diptotic "Ergative" Declension 32. and ta-funast. with the examples a-funas. non-active ergative sing. ad ydksi yaman z g anu. The questions related directly to the case system will be examined briefly in the following paragraphs. 2° the function of the non-active case in -a in intransitive verbal or nominal clauses. the genitive and the accusative. and accusative. 6° the lack of a common Semitic passive voice (§41.11.16). but as the instrument of . nominative. 3° its use to denote the construct state of the noun. "he filled the jar with water". 5° the use of pronominal affixes of the verb referring not only to the "agent" but also to the non-active compo­ nent of the sentence (§36. plur. In ergative languages.

is an "ergative" singular and waman < *ū-am-an. while the "predicative" became. e. i-na-'à-áš na-'à-su I-li-lu /yinahhaš nahāšu lllilul. Both names pro­ vide incomplete sentences. which indicates the object affected by the action. where /hennum/ is clearly an instrumental case. This particular example does not raise the question of the concord between verb and subject. as a possessive. si-in I-li-lu. and I-bi-i-lum or ì-lum-i-bí. Ves­ tiges of the same system are preserved in Old Akkadian onomastics where the same "ergative" case in -um is still attested in names like En-num-ì-lí. In intransitive utterances. gender. "the hand" (ergative). called "ergative". by contrast. This distinction was not introduced in Afro-Asiatic. e. is an "ergative" plural which is introduced by the preposition s. the Caucasian Chechen language distinguishes kujgaca. u-rgaz. as indicated by the a. This is the reason why the agent case. and as instrumental in a verbal clause. "the water of the sea". with the difference that the Semitic "ergative" finished by losing its instrumental function and became a nominative subject case. where the child is obviously understood. like in Libyco-Berber where it is indicated by the a. called "locative" in Assyriology. d 32.marker.g. "with the hand" (instrumental). with /'Hum/ indicating the agent (§32. However. and the instrumental case coincide. while the concord with the non-active component of the sen­ tence is established in certain conditions by means of pronominal suffixes. "the house of Enlil". "By the grace of my god".prefix. since the verb is missing in the first one and the subject in the second one. as a rule. an accusative object case.4. but the archaic form ktijga still functions as ergative and as instrumental. . contains two "ergative" cases and one non-active case. "he will certainly recover thanks to Enlil".CASE INFLECTION 255 its realization. As for a-ġarraf. the Tarifit clause yaššur u-rgaz a-ġarraf s waman. which uses the same basic forms in both functions. "God has named". In Libyco-Berber.g. "for Enlil". "water". "jar". For example. "the man filled the jar with water". because the god and the child are both masculine and both in the singular. Palaeosyrian ritual texts seem to preserve some archaic phrases with the "ergative" w-case used like in Libyco-Berber after a preposition. É I-li-lu. it is the entity affected by the "filling". while the a-case may appear with the construct state.18). and number. Thus.. ba ti-'à-ma-tù /mā tihāmatul. although historical develop­ ments often introduce a formal distinction between these two functions. A similar situation occurs in Caucasian languages. the predicate is represented by the nonactive case. the personals of the verb in the historically attested Afro-Asiatic languages agree with the agent in person. "man". from kūjguo.

e. "may your instruction reach me". 54. in Ge'ez. etc. Old Babylonian mārašu. Old Akka­ dian.3). while the non-active component of the sentence is expressed by the so-called "predicative accusative" (§52. "he arrived (as) a rider". ndguša hagar. still operative in Ethiopic. In fact. the "ergative" case characterizes the log­ ical subject of these intransitive sentences. "the child is buried". and in East Gurage (§32.g. "the tent of the man". ta-dut-t w-ulli. however.g. therefore.2). The personals of the verb agree always with the logical subject.5. tātūna 'ajwāġan.11. "why does your tablet not make it clear?". "Muhend is great".256 MORPHOLOGY e. or by the Tachelhit verbal clause imdl u-fruh.e. high. but it should rather be consid­ ered as a vestige of an old syntactic feature. "church"). ummašu ahāt PN. "the king of the city") and in Amharic (e. in Classical Arabic call phrases . This -a is usually explained as a paragogic vowel. as shown e.g. "the wool of the sheep".g. since the perfect of the suffix-conjugation goes back to a stative which is basically a nomi­ nal predicate (§38. "his way is dif­ ferent". "Servant of Dusares". batd krasriyan. The original system was later reinterpreted along the lines of the contrast of nominative and accusative. Traces of a construct state in -a. Old Akkadian tērtakunu lillikam. "his gift". Instead.g. The construct state in -a appears occasionally also in East Semitic. as a non-active component of the phrase. buried. Arabic gā'a rākiban. 33. i.g. "you are coming (in) crowds". " E l is high". Old Akkadian qīštašu. "the woman bad-is". and Amorite names. e. viz. the logical subject was originally con­ ceived as the instrument by means of which the signified condition was actually realized. "house of Christian". in Classical Arabic. The same mor­ pheme a is suffixed to the nominal predicate in Palaeosyrian. The noun determined by another noun can be regarded as a kind of recipient and be considered. by the Oromo clause niti-n hamtu-da. by the Amorite name E-lura-ma.g..3) has the same origin. occur in Nabataean Arabic as reflected by the Greek transcription Ap5a5oi)aapos. Tarifit Muhnd d a-mqqran. Babylonian alaktašu šaniat.5. This construction exactly parallels the syntax of the Libyco-Berber noun phrase with the nomen regens hav­ ing the (3-prefix. but also in the nominative.g. The -a ending characterizes the construct state in Ge'ez (e. "his mother is the sister of P N " . a-ham u-rgaz. used independently from the accusative.8). being bad. not only in the accusative (e. e. kl tuppaka pānam ul šuršu. before pronominal suffixes. while the nomen rectum is marked by the w-prefix. 32. "his son"). The ending -a of the perfect in Classical Arabic and in Ethiopic (§40.

"the house of the chief") from the object case in -a (e. the likelihood that. a-funas. such a s d a m .g. Otherwise. Labba. the construct state in -a occurs only when the nomen regens is an accusative. d d 32. no case endings are used in Modern Arabic and. 'ummane. A-dam-ma.. Ishara. m a . "our road". ba'al hab-bayit.. dust") and in some West Gurage dialects. §32. "meat".g.. i. In Afro-Asiatic. "country".g. and nib'al hab-bayit. Cushitic Oromo distin­ guishes the subject case in -n(i) (e. The same origin may be attributed to the ending -â of the absolute state of the nouns in Gafat (e. Such a distinction inevitably touches upon the question of the ambiguous status of the so-called genetivus obiectivus (§51. like yā bna 'ammī. bàsàrà.7. and in Syro-Palestinian colloquials before pronominal suffixes. "the owner of the house". in the Hawràn dialect. this form coin­ cides with the non-active <z-case. Ela. e. This would explain why a large number of words passed from Old Akkadian to Sumerian in a form end­ ing in -a. "bull" in Tuareg.g. afàrà.6). To what extent this ending cor­ responds to an ancient usage is a debatable question. "the house is owned (by him)".12). "oh! heroic rider!". "earth.g. "battle". etc. 32.. i-rgaz-dn imdqqr-an.d a. like in LibycoBerber.?" The answer is.e. This is the form of the Libyco-Berber or Cushitic noun given in answer to a question like: "what is the word for. like Abba. In Afro-Asiatic. A similar sit­ uation can be assumed in the ancient Semitic languages before the devel­ opment of a new case alignment.. e. e. 'a-rākiban kamlyan.CASE INFLECTION 257 and exclamations (cf. "the tent of the man". the mark of the "predicative". muk-a. since it is the "ergative" that often denotes the genitive relation. manni motti. Palaeosyrian 'À-da /Hadda/. and why several Semitic divine names also end in -a.g. "our Lord!". may go back by nominalization to both bā'al hab-bayit. The genitive of the diptotic Semitic declension ends in -a (§32. a-ham u-rgaz. the first clause would require the a-"predicative" *bayta and the second one would use the «-"ergative" *baytu. Also the Classical Arabic vocative in -ā I -an may go back to this "absolute" form of the noun. e. mana motti).12). "oh! son of my uncle!". "big men" in Tarifit. "our mother".h a .g. "oh! uncle!". in Classical Arabic. The existence of an "absolute" form or citation form of the noun is a characteristic of ergative languages. yā 'ammā. "he owns the house". "tree" in Oromo.r a . darbane. rabbanā.6.g. as indi- . e. One might posit an initial distinction between a genitive denoting an "agent" and a genitive denoting a "patient".

it is likely to have the same origin as the gentilitial suffix -iy. at least in part with names ending in -ān.g. "the son of a man". Plausible as it may appear for theonyms. Many nouns without any ending or with the ending -a appear in Palaeosyrian and Old Akkadian proper names. the use of which is still inconsistent in Palaeosyrian and in the Old Akkadian onomastics in general.3.258 MORPHOLOGY cated by Tachelhit imdl a-fruh. there is a postposition -i which includes the idea "out from" or "away from". In Highland East Cushitic. or using the non-active case with the ending -a as citation form (§32. because forms without case endings appear also among d d d .6).8. such as personal. and among the Semitic loanwords in Sumerian. and with theophorous elements. as well as many categories of proper names.41). "the child is buried".> -i (§ 29. which may derive from a postposition. the stems ending in -ā 'u).g.10. Also in the singular. Hadiyya mene-i. Contrary to the case endings of the actually used Palaeosyrian. and imdl u-fruh. fu'al. The divine names with no case endings (e.9. "from Mecca") and it is a postpo­ sition -ti that expresses the genitive relation in Oromo (Lowland East Cushitic) .10). e. probably because it reflects idioms spoken before the introduction of the mimation (§33.13. Old Akkadian or Amorite languages. ilma nama-ti.. manni kun (subject) kan (object) abbāko-ti. the plural stems of the type fa'ālilu. 32. e. etc. Further research work is needed in this field.g. and month names. There are only two cases in the plural and the dual of the Semitic languages (§31. this -a ending never appears as -am(a). "from a man". Ra-sa-ap. Makkī. "this house (is) the one of my father". Ma-lik) have been regarded by some scholars as vocatives in form. maf'al. As for the "new" genitive marker -/. Dagan. with some place names. divine. the diptotic declension char­ acterizes Ge'ez. "he buried the child". The Semitic gentilitial suffix -iyexpresses a similar idea (e..g. b) Use in Proper Names 32.15-17). geographic. it should be made on a compara­ tive Afro-Asiatic basis.fu'āl. 32. several nominal patterns of Classical Arabic ('afal. this explanation cannot be accepted.g. This situation can best be explained as still reflecting Semitic languages or dialects having no well-established declension. e.fa'lān. and syllabic spellings indicate that the situation was similar in Amorite and in Ugaritic.

7) in Amorite and Ugaritic proper names (e.g. A-šùr^).g.g à r < tamkār-. contrast subject cases Nu-ri-ia-nu and Pu-lu-zi-nu with genitives Nu-ri-ia-na and Pu-lu-zi-na). With the exception of Ge'ez. "hunger". Ba-hi-ir. Ha-ni-it).u-/a I'Atru-Ba'lal. as fad. in Ge'ez. "El is lord". kra. As for the ending -a. ìr-ra-na-da. U -ga-ra~at . e. Su-ru-uš-ki-in. in Arabic: kāna 'ahā ll. they possess three basic cases for the singular of most nouns. uru d c) "Classical" Triptotic Declension 32. thus distinguishing one subject case or "nominative" ending in -w. present a somewhat different picture. Li-da-at-G\. The ending -a is likewise the morpheme of the non-subject case of diptotic nouns in all the Semitic idioms which have preserved the case inflection. ga . to become".g. tradesman".g. names of months (e.13). laz. The "classical" Semitic languages. " I I is father".g. sum < turn-. "supplier.13. The same -a morpheme still character­ izes the predicate in Classical Arabic. always charac­ terized by conservatism (e. cf. "The progeny is firm"). "your light has become for you darkness".g. sa . A-ru -ga-a^\ Ba-sa-ar^. "Servant of Ashur". "Settlement of Baal"). 'atr b'l = Ki. They rather reflect the stage of the language prior to the introduction of case marking. A-ba-Il.11. 32. Palaeosyrian and Old Akka­ dian included. and in some Gurage dialects of South Ethiopic. "(some)thing". Old Akkadian.tu < śadw-. Ha-ab-du-A-su-ra. "you became a women". . in combination with the verb "to be. in Ge'ez: konki bd'dsita. "thirst". "mountain". "garlic") or used in anthroponomy (e.g. Ha-ab-du-Ba-ah-la.g. an explanation which is generally proposed for a few basic Libyco-Berber common nouns which are in the same situation. "lira is exalted". "Servant of Baal". "The root is firm". dam . it is the morpheme of the predicative in Palaeosyrian. bdrhāndka sdlmata konaka. in East Gurage: giddirân ydhanál. and common words borrowed by Sumerian (e. "The heir is firm". "he became big". "His ancestor is a rock".12. usually called "genitive" and "accusative". The morpheme -a can also be the morpheme of the genitive (§32. and two non-subject cases. Ba-ah-la-DiNGTR.ra . "he was a brother to me". g 9 kì 32. and Amorite proper < karān-. "vineyard". §33. and it is used as such in a productive way with diptotic Ugaritic names (e. A-pil-ki-in. Sú-ra-Ha-am-mu-ú. Such words could not possibly be explained as vocatives.CASE INFLECTION 259 Semitic toponyms (e.

g. as it seems (e. This mor­ pheme occurs frequently with nouns forming elements of personal names (e. 32. acquiring thus an adverbial meaning (e. a-li-iš.18-20). da-ni-ii. There is also quantitative opposition between the sin­ gular ending -a and the dual morpheme -ā of the subject case.11). mah-ri-is.5). Its ending is -a. with adjectives and participles. sa-da-bí-iš.17. inherited from the -a of the unique non-sub­ ject case which has lost its predicative function with the exception of the formations still attested in Arabic and in Ethiopic (§32. called "construct state" (§33.g.5. "Damu is standing") into the verbal perfect in -a (fa'ala. " i n front of").14. The accusative is used for the object of a transitive verb and for the term of reference of an intransitive verb.7). also at Ebla. etc.2). Old Assyrian. §47. "instead of". but no functional relation connects these forms. "into the Tigris") which expresses the idea "with.7) with a pos­ sible allophone -e. mu-lu-iš. na-da-ni-iš. and Old Babylonian have also a dative-adverbial or terminative-adverbial case in -iš or -eš (e. Sar-ri-iš-da-gal. or another noun (nomen regens) in the bound form. It is even used with words functioning as prepositions (e. but the <2-case develops for sure from a nomi­ nal predicate through the participial predicate (e. Its ending is -i (cf.15. such as an adjective. an adverb.260 MORPHOLOGY 32. "on behalf of"). The genitive is a subjoined case (nomen rectum). The following picture of the case inflection emerges thus for the "classical" Semitic languages: Singular Nominative Genitive Accusative -u -i -a Plural -u -ī/-ē Dual -a -ay d) "Adverbial" Cases 32. with infinitives (e. Old Akkadian. for".16.g. to.2-4). §32. to which they are related genetically.g. "to give"). The singular endings -u and -i are quantitatively distinct from the corresponding morphemes -ū and -I of the plural.3). Qāma-Da'mu. Beside the examples with -iš. . "Rely upon the king!").g. a determinative pro­ noun (§51. 40. 32.g. Idiglat-es. It is uncer­ tain whether this predicative function reappears in the Aramaic "emphatic" state (§33.g. "strongly". determined by its antecedent which can be a preposition (§48. " i n addition to". §33.

55). Its traces survive in several Semitic languages. since the alternation w : m is well attested (§49.g. Proto-Semitic had a so-called "locative" in -u(m).g.10). which may derive from an original -um > -dm (§47.g. Forms without the final -m are attested already in Old Babylonian (e.g. . libbu.14. suprānuššu < supr-ān-um-šu. "the day before yesterday" (§ 29. "By the grace of my god".KAŠ Har-zú . és NÌ. "in the heart of. but employed also as preposition in Palaeosyrian. This double use of a particle as preposition and postposition is not exceptional in Afro-Asi­ atic and it may be compared with the parallel existence of the common Semitic conjunction wa-. "he takes a lamb of sacrifice with his hand.g. and there is little doubt that it coincides with the subject case.g.g. "later". which should more conveniently be called "instrumental". fawqu. ba'du. 4 32. and of the East Semitic and South Ethiopic enclitic -ma. "By the hand of my lord". "and". "with his claws"). "with­ out". the instrumental suffix -(u)m used in one parallel member is balanced by a preposition in the other. like I-dum-be-li.18.3). enough". and in a few Old Akkadian names.CASE INFLECTION 261 there are several East Semitic forms with -uš. éš NÌ. within") and could be com­ pared with Arabic adverbs ending in -u (e. " i n my fingers". and En-num-ì-lí. which might have devel­ oped secondarily from -iš. "for/with its/his messenger". "below"). a kid with both hands". tahtu. e.3). "and". §48. as well as with Syriac and Ge'ez adverbs with final long -ū. at Ebla. Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian balum. "at my feet". "above". The func­ tion of the instrumental / locative suffix -uml-u appears in Standard Lit­ erary Babylonian fixed phrases like šēpā'a (< *sēpū-ya). the morpheme iš is no case ending but a particle used mainly in ancient phases of Semitic as postposition. Hebrew pit'om. Besides the "classical" cases already considered. "above". e. Most of the nouns to which the ending -um is attached form adverbs or preposi­ tions (§47. iš na-ak-ri-im. Iqh 'imr dbh bydh IIIVa kl'atnm (KTU 1. "for a pair of shoes". "for his journey".KAŠ -S Û. The suffix -{u)m is preceded here by a morph (a)n which appears in this position also in Assyro-Babylonian (e. Syriac kaddū. iš mas-a-né-en. "on a sudden".1). but not šilšom. as shown by ma-za-lum-su. in texts from Mari (e. In Ugaritic. kì 4 . with which it formed the "ergative". as already mentioned (§32. "for the journey to Harzu". The pronominal suffix follows -um also in Palaeosyrian. e. and rittū'a (< *rittū-ya). "sufficiently. "to the enemy") and from Ebla (e.3).55-57). which may have the same origin.111. Ge'ez lā'lu < lā'lū. In reality.g.

14. where it is regarded as an adverbial accusative (e. The Hebrew ending -ā(h) denoting a place relation (e. e. in Arabic.g. The postpositive -is can be used also with another adverbial ending -am. "outside".IV.262 MORPHOLOGY 32. Many names are not declined at all.g.18). "by day".C. we may surmise that the Aramaic adverbs such as 'ar'ā. daily" in Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian. "eastward and westward"). e. In view of the analogy with the suffix -um/-u (§32. "on the ground. but the concomitant use of verbs of movement. like in an Old Akkadian love incantation from Kish: ki-rí-šum tu-ur -da tu-ur -da-ma a-na kirīm.g. "emptyhanded". "to the orchard they went down (dual fern. rēqām. employed also with the accusative (§52.21. have the same ending -am without the final -m and with the consequent lengthening of the vowel (§47.2). e) Historical Survey of Case Inflection 32. case endings on proper names were either dropped or drastically shortened. "heavenward". Ugaritic has shown that the -h in question was originally a consonantal postposition expressing motion towards a place. From the Middle Babylonian period on.). below". 4 A 32. "each of them entered into his house"). bārā. as it seems. The postposition -is can be combined with the ending -um and alternate with a prepositional phrase. Subsequently.11. "he entered into the city") and in mod­ em East Gurage dialects of South Ethiopic (e. there was no longer a fully functioning case system in proper names and in nouns. bo'a hagara. Šmmh.14. .g. etc. allows of the explanation of this -a/-a morpheme as the ending of the non-sub­ ject case. In East Semitic.20. (§47.2). hadaddni gar gardni hid. The weakening of this postvocalic -h (*-ah) and the consequent reduction of the postposition to the vowel -a are already noticeable in Ugaritic. "earthward".22-23) compared with ns'a ydh šmmh (KTU 1. ūmisam.g.g. while others end either in a consonant or in a vowel. "day by day. case inflection is in full use down to the middle of the second millennium B. and per­ haps in Ge'ez (e. This ending -am is employed in Hebrew without the postposition -iš to form the adverbs yomām. by š'a ydk smm (KTU 1. "he lifts his hands heavenward".4-5). However. they went down to the orchard". sarqan wa-ġarban. Bābelāh.3). which is mostly i. This reduced directive postposition -a is preserved not only in Hebrew but also.19. 'arsh. "to Babylon") was regarded by some scholars as a survival of the accusative ending -a.g. as shown e.

ks'u (nominative). "shades (of the dead)".12).7.9.C. "governor": EA 256. sú-ki-ni = skn. It simply suggests the syntactical function of the nouns which is indicated by word order (§50. In the "Canaanite" languages of the first millennium B...g.C. kept in writing because of the syllabic nature of the script. the former accusative (§52. and with them the entire case system.g. case inflection is fully used in Old Canaanite. and -a are encountered without reference to their syntactical function. the -ūma of the plural subject case (e. hi-na-ia = 'ny. the former genitive. At Emar. "genitive". -He. 32.g.17). ks'a (accusative). there is no longer a distinction between subject and nonsubject plural forms. 'u. 32.17). ša-me-ma: EA 264. 32.CASE INFLECTION 263 As for nouns. ma-at-ni-a = mtn'. The relation expressed by the former genitive is sufficiently indi­ cated as such by its antecedent.C.22. "accusative" in reference to these languages is more convenient than strictly scientific.g.23. "heaven": EA 211. had been dropped in the spo­ ken language or had become merely vestigial. and the vocalic case endings of the singular disap­ pear. This indicates that the vocalic endings of the singular. the -i of the genitive (e.17-19) and by the optional use of a particle intro­ ducing the object of a transitive verb. as may be seen in the Amarna glosses showing the -u of the nominative (e. In the NeoBabylonian and in the Neo-Assyrian dialects. while the plural is marked by -ī/ē or -āni.g. while the subjoined function of a noun. ša-mu-ma = smm. "my eyes": EA 144. ks'i (genitive). the use of the Latin case names "nominative". and that there was no longer an operative case system. without any case distinction.g.9). In North Semitic. the case system was not in full use any more and the irregularities are numerous. "supply": EA 337. and in Aramaic.g. results from . all three endings -u. "throne". with the following scheme: object (accusative) precedes the verb. the -a of the accusative (e.16).13. as may be seen in Ugaritic nouns whose final con­ sonant is \ vocalized 'a. The syntactical function of the case inflection is taken over by word order. "small cattle": EA 263.21). and the -ā of the dual (e. the -Ima of the plural non-subject case (e. the ending -w often occurs instead of the -a of the accusative.24. rp'im (plural non-subject case).10-11). in the early 12th century B. rp'um (plural subject case). 'i. In West Semitic. sú-ú-nu = s'n. Therefore. subject (nominative) precedes the object. case inflection is in full use down to the twelfth century B. e.

e. the so-called "paragogic" vowels of the Hebrew grammar. saba nas'ā kāhdn may a. §7. but al-bayt. which means that the case differentiation had become merely vestigial by the lst-3rd centuries A. 32.25. we are limited to the contrast between the two forms bnw and bny. Pre-Classical North Arabian had no longer a fully functioning case system in the 3rd and 4th centuries A. standardized for diction in the schools of the Abassid empire (§7. 32.38. However. baytu.. In Neo-Arabic or Middle Arabic. The archaizing use of the case system in Classical Arabic derives from conservative dialects. which testify to the existence of a subject case and of a non-subject case in the plural. to become". The same use of the suffix -á is encountered in East . The modern South Arabian languages do not possess any case distinction. darbin. and in the modern colloquials which developed from Pre-Classical Arabic. marked by -a. especially at the junction of a noun in the construct state with its complement. 42). "a road"). where another explanation is however possible (§32.27.26. "Servant of God". 'Abdī. However. band Ba'or. "the house").g.g. Panū-'Èl. have no longer a syntactical function.of the former genitive. The faint traces of case endings.20). and in combination with the verb "to be. This morpheme is used in the expression of the direct object (e. Ge'ez distinguishes the subject case and the non-subject or oblique case.43).g. 32. "after the priest has taken water"). while -u < -un is preserved in some Yemenite colloquials when the noun is indeterminate (e.D.g. one encounters the nunation in the -in form (e. "son of Be'or".11). In fact. where the morpheme -a expresses the syntactic predicative situation (§32. the case inflection does not exist. in the expression of place relation.264 MORPHOLOGY its place and from the bound form of its antecedent. "a house".'Ēl. They may play an euphonic or rhythmic role. the construct external masculine plural is the one gram­ matical feature in which a case distinction would be apparent. "Face of God". although the Nabataean and the South Arabian scripts continued to indicate final vowels indis­ criminately (cf.D. Because of the lack of vocalization in the script of ancient South Arabia. this distinction is already blurred by the mid period of the epigraphical evidence. often in poetry and in proper names. In some dialects of Northern and Central Saudi Arabia. a few faint traces of case endings subsist in Bedouin vernaculars of the Ara­ bian peninsula. apparently with the -i.

"he has sold the sheep") and in some other phrase types.1. Amharic bāgun šāttà.g. e. bedu.g. gari.g. and the absolute or indeterminate state. Their origin seems to be different (§33. testifying indirectly to the earlier existence of two distinct cases in plural nouns. "the swords of the enemies").17). I f so. For proper names. these were first reduced to -d. "the house") and in Argobba (e. a) Construct State 33. e. It is a unlikely that these postpositive articles -u I -i have originated from the case vowel preceding the nunation.g. the determinate state. in Argobba. E .2. This marker is identical with the postpositive definite article -u in Amharic (e. Clas­ sical Arabic suyūfu l-'a'dā'i. the pred­ icate state. called in the tradi­ tional terminology the "states" of the noun: the construct state. a feature paralleled in other Ethiopian languages. Ge'ez occasionally introduces the direct object by a prefixed la-. which may imply four formally differentiated forms. The Semitic noun can appear in four different syntactic situations. either noun (e. Dāwit walada Salomonhā. A few Greek transcriptions apparently show that Early Ge'ez had the -u (nominative) and the -i (genitive) case endings. The South Ethiopic plural ending -ac I -ode originates from the plural oblique morpheme -āti (§31. and in Gafat when the definite noun is used as direct object (e.g. "the house"). §33. as in ancient South Arabian languages (§33.14). The "States" of the Noun 33. The definite article -u is occasionally paralleled in Amharic by -itu for the feminine (usually -wa < -u+a) (cf. although nunation appears in Amharic. However.14). "the house"). or attached . There is a direct object marker in Harari which is -u after a consonant and -w after a vowel. "David begot Solomon". and there is a corresponding -/ morpheme in various Gurage dialects (e. 32.g. betu.g. especially in the expression of the direct object.28. Ge'ez has a par­ ticular case ending -hā for the accusative. Traces of a case distinction are preserved also in South Ethiopic where various developments can be observed. A noun followed by a genitival qualifier.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 265 Gurage dialects of South Ethiopic. 17). bidā'a-w musāfìr-u yàthidādral. and then disappeared.15. "he administers the merchandise (and) the merchant(s)".

3.11). "the time he died". or Amorite (§32. is said to be in the "construct" state or in a "bound" form. However.5) and it cannot be regarded as a simple paragogic vowel.g. "his country"). the dual or plural morpheme and the case ending are usually added to the stem (e. a noun in the construct state has the stem form with no prepositive or postpositive article (§33. Eštar-ra-bí-at.g. "the wealth of the tradesman"). Sabaic rglhw. a form ending in -a is found in personal names regarded as Palaeosyrian. At first sight. "the gods are powerful". Arabic rabbuka. 33. Old Akkadian. §57. e.6-10) corresponds in East and North Semitic to that of the absolute state (§33.15) or of the stative (§40. -o remain unchanged in the construct. e. However. e. "your lord").2ff.7-14). cf. The standard form of the predicate state in a nominal clause (§50. "spell­ binding of the rear of the teeth".g. the article may be prefixed to the construct state in well defined circumstances. Ge'ez ndgusa hagar. "temples of gods". while those ending in -i have their construct in -e.266 MORPHOLOGY pronoun (e. "Ea is great". a different picture seems to emerge from Ge'ez and from Amharic that indicate the construct state by an additional ending -a. or an asyndetic relative clause (e. Safaitic s nt b'yt hwlt m's.11).4. As a general rule. "Ishtar is great". and with no addi­ tional mimation or nunation. Classical Arabic mālu tāġirin. l 33.5.g.g.). in parallelism with "spell-binding of the tongue". Ilū-da-nu.g. "the king of the city". a-za-me-tù du-hu-rí si-ne-mu /lazamītu duhūli šinnīmu/.g. "his two legs"). -e.g. especially before pronominal suffixes (e. "the year when Hawlat has over­ come Ma'as". and they may be not represented in the consonantal writing systems when they are reduced to a simple vowel (e. in Old Akkadian: Ea-rabi. as in Modern South Arabian (§33. Aramaic 'aynē 'ânāšā. Arabic hīna māta. "the eyes of a man". The contraction of the vowels explains why Ethiopic nouns ending in the long vowels -ā.9) and in Tigre (§33.5). but they are capable of deletion. This rule is followed already in Palaeosyr­ ian. Phoenician bt 'Inm. It repre­ sents the case-form of the predicate in a nominal clause of an ergative . as opposed to the "free" form. This ending derives from the case-form of the non-active component of the sentence (§32. Besides. b) Predicate State 33. Assyro-Babylonian māssu < māt-šu.

in South Semitic (§33. as when affixed to a substantive already mentioned or being in natural connection with a given situation. "the boy is small". Ge'ez qatala.14). and Su -be-la.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 267 language (§32. of the Indo-European languages as well. ] 4 4 4 . "he killed". It often marks class and species determination.6. exactly as in Libyco-Berber. to become" is used (§32. instead.g. "cattle and flock" (cf. " I am/was saying". hr-ti.11. "He is the (particular) lord". "God is the (particular) father".7).3). seems to lack any connec­ tion with the determinate or indeterminate state of the noun. It may also express the idea of "the particular one". "she is gone". Amorite. This grammatical device.3). e. at least in the North and East Semitic languages (§33.g.16).4). instead. The predicative in -a of the Palaeosyrian.g.e. 'al-waladu saġīrun. šm-tì.13).15). and replace a pronominal suffix.10). "the man" as distinguished from "man" in general. Arabic malaka. This mor­ pheme -a must go back to Afro-Asiatic since it occurs also with forms of the Egyptian old perfective or pseudo-participle. § 33. c) Determinate State 33.8. dd-kì.11. As for the article proper. or A-bi -ì-lí. and probably in North Semitic (§33. contributed to the growth of identification. as in Arabic man-i rraġulu. "a (particular) lion roared at him".g.g. "this") man?" (cf. the predicate of the nominal clause is in the nominative of the absolute or indetermi­ nate state (§33. 33. and A-ba-Il. e. Enclitics are here much less frequent than proclitics.10). e. The mimation. In Classical Arabic. and Old Akkadian onomastics (§32.5) appears to have such a secondary function when one compares names like Su -be-li. but they are attested in Aramaic (§33. it is a very late acquisition of the Semitic languages and. e. the -a of the predicate state subsists in Classical Arabic and in Ethiopic when the verb "to be. "He is my lord". though not indispensable. "he owns". and it also explains the verbal perfect ending -a in both languages (§40. which presents a close resemblance with the Semitic stative. both definite and indefinite. Tarifit Muhnd d amqqran. 54. How­ ever. e. as in Safaitic klmh h's d. "My god is my father". as in Hebrew habbāqār wd-hasso'n. for that matter. "who is the (i. A noun which is neither a proper name nor in the syntactic situ­ ation of a construct or a predicate can be made "determinate" by an additional prefixed or suffixed morpheme which may mark individual determination.4. "you are content". "Muhend is great". § 33.

at Hamath. Lihyānite. "the king"). "the king". In the first hypothesis. and in Tigre by a prefixed definite article. sing. "mother".C.). e.g. onwards and by h already in the 8th century B.g. In this particular case. definiteness is expressed by proleptic pronominal suf­ fixes added to the verb form. In Soqotri. Its earliest attested form is ha-. yuspul-la hdudca. Anyhow. In other Neo-Aramaic dialects. e. Other means ful­ fil the former function of the "emphatic" state: the Neo-Aramaic of the Tūr 'Abdīn area (Tūroyo) expresses definiteness by prefixing shortened allomorphs of the demonstrative (§36. and the usual transcription -ā' is more convenient than strictly scientific.8.g. Similar examples are attested in . in the word mlkh. "the large well-bucket".).36).C. this "emphatic" state became the common form of all the nouns in the Eastern dialects of Middle Aramaic and in Neo-Aramaic. This implies that the original morpheme *-ah was weakened very early to -a' and finally reduced to a vowel -ā marked either by ' or by the mater lectionis h. Thamūdic.C. "the kings" (plur. and in the Modern South Arabian languages where the definite article a-1 áis prefixed to definite nouns the initial element of which is a voiced or glottalized consonant (e. the original consonantal value of ' as a glottal stop is in doubt.7. or -h is already a simple vowel letter. The determinate state of the noun is marked in the "Canaanite" languages of the first millennium B. Moabite. Safaitic. 33. sing. therefore. however. Phoeni­ cian. e. "he has opened (it) the grave". The predicative morpheme -a might reappear in Aramaic with its determinative value as the postpositive article -ā. "king". "they will take (her) the bride along" (Ma'lūla). which character­ izes the so-called "emphatic" state of the Aramaic noun. "the daughter" (fern.) qora. it has apparently lost its spe­ cific function and has become a constitutive part of a number of nouns. Edomite. Śheri à-ġarb. the Aramaic postpositive article is a suffixed pronominal element. either the original form of the postpositive article is preserved dialectally. used in Hebrew. in Modern South Arabian languages.268 MORPHOLOGY 33. Yam-malke] < 'an-malkē. ['ī-barto]. like in South Semitic and probably in North Semitic (§33. 'a'am < *hā-'umm. ptehlē-la (fern.13-14).g. In the "predicative" hypothesis. thus ['ū-malko]. since it is unaccented in speech. [malka] or [malko]. in Arabic. Mehri a-saar. also in the Western ones. malkā'. Its ending -ā is pronounced nowadays as a short vowel. "the gazelle")..). This mor­ pheme -ā is indicated in writing by ' from the 9th century B. Ammonite.g. "the king" (masc. originally iden­ tical with the determinate state (e. in Pre-Islamic North Arabian.

hap-pa'am.g. "this night". l-hmr't.g. hnqbr. which should be related to the Arabic word han. b-h-'bl. "for the people" (II Chr. serving as an indefinite article. it was also sug­ gested that the Zia-prefix in Mehri may go back to *had. "wall. as suggested by its demonstrative meaning in Pre-Islamic North Arabian (e.g. com­ pound" (§67.18). a-bdtk.g. as gdr. "hand". "this camel") and by some Hebrew expressions using the article: hay-ydm. However. "Gades". found in Lihyānite before the consonants ' and ' (e. "king". This usage was later extended to some foreign place names. e. and seem indeed to indicate that the original articulation of the article was han-. b-hā-'ām.10. in languages that have no article h-l'-.e. for instance.g.g. as Phoenician h-Gdr. as shown.10). The use of the definite arti­ cle with place names. melek. Since the prefixed article is followed in Hebrew by the gemi­ nated initial consonant of the noun (e. "the king").g. i. by Aramaic 'ârdmā'ê. today". "father". "this day. but this happened under Greek influence (e.9. and to . contrary to Thamūdic and to Safaitic where it is preserved. that here" (§49.6). "the goddess" (TSSI 11. The weakening of the h led to the Punic spelling ' of the article (e. "your house". hn-'sl. "this year". In Hebrew.g. haš-šānā.25).12). hayb. "something".is already attested around 400 B. — sometimes before other consonants as well (e.g. Some particular points concerning the use of the article have to be mentioned.3d). it has long been assumed that its original form was hn-. b-h-dr. as Neo-Punic h-Rm\ "Rome". In Masoretic Hebrew. Mehri bayt.C. hal-layld. hn-'lt. hn-'zy. the gemination is compensated in simi­ lar cases by the lengthening of the vowel a.7).. the article is elided after the prepositions b-. "one". ham-melek. DN han-'Uzzay). 10.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 269 Mehri. initially a deictic particle "this here. /-. "the land".g. "in the camp". e. A peculiarity of the Mehri and Śheri definite article con­ sists in being prefixed to nouns determined by personal suffixes. Thamūdic hgml. "house". hayd. "for the lady". k-. the article is sometimes preserved in Late Biblical Hebrew as well. However. like and in Amharic (§33. These allomorphs parallel the Hebrew forms of the particle min. 33.g. "Romans". e. 'nsk. 33. e. "from" (§48.g. "the socle". "Rome". "this time". e. This form hn. "with the camels". This hypothesis is weakened by the fact that the Mehri numeral "one" is tāt (§35. with assimilation of d to the following consonant. hā'āres. was originally limited to names originated from common nouns. f| T6ur|). e. "the smelter"). or Meroitic Arome. which does not geminate the gutturals. "the grave").

"the old man". The (')a is commonly dropped after and before a vowel (e. fatāy wāldat la-walat. 'an-hulm.> 'al-. bdle-h tàlbàlam. "this here". "the big house" in the Damascus colloquial). "on the earth". contrary to the situation reflected by the modern South Arabian languages and by the ancient Yemenite col­ loquials (§33.g. to the broken plural (e. dl-bēt l-dkbīr.4). to the external plural (e. il-.g. The -n could alternatively mark the accusative in Gafat (§32.g. "a friend of the girl's parents". 'am-raġul "the man").12.may be prefixed to a noun qualified by a pronominal suffix (e. is the beginning of the "South Arabian" and Ethiopic alphabet). la-gandāb 'anas. 'rb'tn m'nhn. 33. the boys of the village"). sàbo-h tālsālam. In modern colloquials one encounters the pronunciations al-. e.11. vs. This ending -n — or -nhn with duals and external mas­ culine plurals — is attached in epigraphical texts to the singular (e. but a pronominal suffix.has also been regarded as a variant form of han. "the two tribes"). corresponding to Biblical Hebrew hazze < *han-ze and to NeoPunic h'z. cf. "the four hundred").g. the particle la. attached to the verb. slmn. The Nabataean and later Arabic definite article 'al. Ludolf in 1681 might belong to a dialect still using the same morpheme -n to express used as definite article and its absence may signify indefiniteness. "the sun"). although it is generally kept in writing. it may imply the indefiniteness of the qualified element. " I don't molest a man" ("hominem non laedo"). "her husband".and probably younger 'am. I f it is prefixed only to the qualifying noun. " I don't eat millet" ("frumentum non edo"). dl-.g. 33. la-wdlād la-ddgge. la-bd'ds-a.g. "this" (§36. s 'bynhn.g.8). "(some) boys of the vil­ lage".g. viz. Since the Semitic article and the determinate state serve also to mark class determination.. walād la-ddgge.28). "the boys of the village".g.9) or by another noun (e. The determinate state of the noun was marked in Epigraphic South Arabian by the morpheme -n. In ancient Yemenite colloquials (e.270 MORPHOLOGY its local forms 'an. with the word order: article + qualifier + qualified noun. 'aš-š assimilated in Arabic to most initial consonants of the noun (e. the Tigre particle la. and to the dual (e. §33. 'nhln. "the dream". this opinion is confirmed indi­ rectly by the Mishnaic Hebrew demonstrative hallāz < *hal-'az. e. la-wdlād la-ddgge. the / of the definite article 'al. two Gafat phrases mentioned by H. Although there is no article hi. 'alā l-'ardi. Contrary to other Semitic languages.38). "the statue).in Lihyānite (hlhm.. should normally resume the preceding direct object and the postpositive 2 . "the palmgroves").g. Like the n of hn-.g. with the change n > I (§17.

e. etc. "(T)his/The AMA-ra". instead of AMA.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 271 article -dš should be affixed to the nouns (§ 33. bedu.36). -{d)ha. One North Gurage dialect (Muher) uses the definite article -we regardless of the gender and of the f . "lord").C. Thus. In the light of wrh-h/s\ also the postpositive article -dš(a) in Gafat (e. "(T)his/ The star is the god". That structure may explain the Ara­ maic emphatic state as well (§33.g. hn.g. and -wa (or -itu) for the femi­ nine singular (e.g. "the woman"). vs. used as demonstratives (cf. AMA-ra-sù.g. "her". Another related Semitic construction is attested in Amorite personal names ending in -Cu-ú (e. 1 1 l á The use of the logogram TU. §36. as in Tigrinya (§36. "his". and *(bēt)u-ha > (bēt)-wa "her (house)".g.) of the Ethiopian languages evolved by elision of intervocalic h from suf­ fixed third person pronouns like in *(bēt)u-hu > (bēt)-ū. "month". despite the fact that the Gafat operative suffixes are of the -h type: -{d)ho. dndscawa.g. and in Argobba (e. which has been explained by the demonstrative so (Greek 6).13. while wrh-s is used in Qatabanic (e. 33.36). wrh-s d-tmn'). This must be a fossilized structure going back to a period when the South Arabian languages had not yet devel­ oped the system of determination and indetermination based respectively on nunation and mimation (§33. The related postpositive definite article -u (masc. I-la-kab-ka-bu-ú /'īla-kabkabuhu/. followed by the pronominal suf­ fix of the third person and by the name of the month. "(T)his/The Adamma". dabru.) / -wa (fern.g. and with some Palaeosyrian divine names. in Amharic (e. which are paralleled in the first millennium B. The determination may be expressed also by a demonstrative. betu.'zy. "house") can best be explained as an unchangeable petrified pronominal suffix of the -s type.17). wrh-h is encountered frequently in Sabaic date formulas. "the house"). "the house".g. "to give birth". by North Arabian hn.g. "mother". "his (house)". as Adam-ma-sù. "the mountain"). 33. or by a vocalic postposition which goes back to a suffixed pronominal element -ih)u functioning as demonstrative.7) and it is paralleled in Indo-European by the suffixed -s (e. ahmara bāsàr-īn tolak ?. "the house") for the masculine and the plural.14. Similar cases occur in Harari where the suffix -In expresses a strong determination. This particular way of expressing determination occurs in Epigraphic South Arabian with the noun wrh.'It. in a parallel passage of the Ebla texts and the absence of the suffix -sù in similar sec­ tions are no sufficient reasons to postulate a new value for the sign AMA. Latin dominu-s.13). gâġġ-aš(ā). The article is thus -u in Ge'ez (e. gàġġā. "do you eat (truly) Amharic meat?".

"the woman". mdštawe.6-14. mlk-m and mlk-t. However. Some preserved pairs of divine names. bayocdi. -y after a vowel (e. like 'il-m and '//-?. "his small house"). 'ttr-m and 'ttr-t.6). "the house". gari. like Mlkm. The -u and -wa articles are identical with the Amharic third person possessive suffixes "his" and "her" so that sometimes there is ambiguity. The two endings -m and -n are allophones of the same original morpheme which initially characterized the non-construct state of the noun without denoting determination or indetermination. However. tdnms betu. b'l-m and b'l-t. In principle. and by divine and per­ sonal names. as well as the state of the undefined or indeterminate noun as opposed to the other states. "a statue") denote the undefined state of the noun.g. with the mimation. the appellation "absolute state" is likewise used in Semitics to designate the citation form of the noun. "the brothers"). not to the head (e.g. 33. "the sister". there is no reason whatsoever to believe in the original deter­ minate or indeterminate values of the mimation and nunation (§33.16). sāriqun. This is confirmed by early Lihyānite forms like h-slmn. 'zzm. which preserve some archaic features. but also from some frozen expressions like ul-tu re-eš a-di ki-id. Since nunation (-n ending) in Classical Arabic (e.272 MORPHOLOGY number of the noun (e. The indeterminate or "absolute" state is that of a noun which is neither construct. which may be identical with the predicative (§32. However.g. only later used with feminines which already had their own marker -t.g. In other Gurage dialects. and marked in consequence. it corresponds to the bare stem form of the noun. w d) Indeterminate State 33. mzsszwe.g. some scholars have assumed that mimation characterizes the indeterminate state of the noun also in East Semitic. "from beginning to end" in Assyro-Babylonian. g àbbabìtwe. Most likely it was originally a masculine marker. seem to confirm this explanation of the -m/n morpheme. átiti. etc. with no additional affixes. the postpositive definite article is -i after a conso­ nant (e..g. while the possessive suffix is attached to the modified substantive (e.15.g. nor predicate. "this statue". "the children"). "the man". the postpositive article in a noun phrase is suffixed to the modifier. "a thief") and mimation (-m ending) in ancient South Arabian (e. with the article and the North Arabian nunation. tdnndsu bet. "the small house"). Its earliest . as known to us best from various kinds of proper names. gamelay.16. nor determinate in the sense described in §33. "the camel"). slmm.

Old Akkadian. e. Instead.k u = nisqum. but it becomes later a free variant of the case endings.17.g. Besides. the language introduces a functional distinction between the mimation and the nunation. -am with determinate and indeter­ minate nouns. which undoubtedly preserve archaic features. just as in Palaeosyrian and in Old Akkadian. Otherwise. the mimation charac­ terizes the absolute or non-construct state of the indeterminate noun (e. Amorite Hab-du-ma. — contrary to East Semitic. Classical Arabic is adding -n also to the singular and to the feminine plural of the undefined state. n i .Da-gan next to Ha-ab-du. Old Canaanite. a quality of figs). and its use is inconsistent in Palaeosyrian. the -m morpheme is missing in the masculine plural. "a . "Servant of Dagan".Da-gan. slmn.18. as in the Hebrew phrase 'īš 'ehād. and Arabic employ the -n ending for the same purposes.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 273 attestations in Palaeosyrian and in Old Akkadian already display the -m ending attached to the case vowels of the masculine singular and of the .gu = šerkum. the -n ending became the mark of the determinate state and the -m ending the mark of the undefined or indeterminate state of the common noun. "a statue"). In Amorite and in Ugaritic. However. Hebrew. Ugaritic bnm 'il next to bn 'il. and Phoenician to the absolute state of the dual and of the masculine plural.g. Another innovation. but it is no mimation. appears regularly in some modern Semitic languages which have intro­ duced a formal marking of the indeterminate state of the noun by means of a word functioning as indefinite article. An innovation characterizes the ancient South Semitic languages represented by epigraphical South Arabian documents. a "petri­ fied" mimation and nunation seem to appear in adverbs ending in -am or -an (§47. še . "son of El".2). instead. and in Semitic loanwords borrowed by Sumerian with the case ending (e. an enclitic particle -ma may exceptionally occur with nouns in the construct state. Henceforth. In consequence. a kind of servant.g. already encountered in Biblical Hebrew. d d 33. slmm.g. Moabite. while the -n ending was used for the dual. — while Ara­ maic. while the nunation denotes the absolute or non-construct state of the determinate noun (e. Whereas mimation continues to be extensively used in proper names. "the statue"). Its use is standardized. the use of the -m ending is restricted in Ugaritic. It is obtained by a semantic weakening of the number "one".er . it can be omitted in Palaeo­ syrian. in the Old Akkadian language and in Early Assyro-Babylonian dialects which reg­ ularly use the case endings -um. Am. 33. and Amorite proper names.

fad ādami. wahda sitt. Acc.1). hd-rragdl. "some­ one". at ârà. A Plural Masc.g. In Egyptian and Syrian Arabic.8). 1.(e. in Amharic. It results from this investigation that the states of the noun influence the case inflection in the languages which have preserved the distinction of cases. "a man"). šarrā šarrī šarratā šarratī šar šarri v sar šarrat sarrati sarrat šarrāt šarrāti ( šarrī/ē Determinate I indeterminate State Singular Masc. is used in the same way. "hand" (§33. Nom. fern. fern.28) gâràd. In Tigre. "one". Fem. Construct State Singular Masc. The same usage has been assumed for Mehri forms like hayd. wāhd arrāġal. hadā. andit. It is combined with the article to wāhid dl. masc. attd gàrdd or quna (§36. fern. hatte. "a woman"). "a boy". šarrān šarrīn šarratān šarratīn . is used for that purpose. e) Paradigms 33. the numeral wāhid. is used alone for this purpose (e. where the indefinite article can be expressed by at (< had). "single". šarrū 1 Dual Masc. šarrū šarrī/ē sarrātum šarrātim Dual Masc. instead.g. and it is reduced to fad > fa in the Arabic of Uzbekistan (e. woro(t). Nom. "a girl". "one". e. Fern. the numeral "one".19. masc. A similar practice can be observed in modern Ethiopian languages. Fem. Fern.l-. the noun fard > fadd.g. in Tigrinya. Gen. Although the endings have various phonotactic vari­ ants. šarrum šarrim šarram sarratum šarratim sarratam Plural Masc. Old Babylonian.g. in Gurage dialects. and Old Assyrian nouns. the following paradigm can be proposed for the triptotic inflection of Old Akkadian. "a man"). and.g. In Iraqi Arabic. "a man") goes probably back to ' Moroccan Ara­ bic (e. hantit. Acc. while the Algerian indefinite article ha-l. masc. Fem.274 MORPHOLOGY (certain) man" (I Sam. Fem. Gen.

Acc. Fern. "who is the one who stands?". Here. "thief". Fern. sāriqā sanqay i J sāriqatā sariqatay v J sāriqu sāriqi . we present the paradigm sāriq. Nom. milku milki milka milkatu milkati milkata 1 \ Plural Masc. milkūma milklma milkātu milkati Dual Masc. sariqa sāriqatu sāriqati _ . 'a. Gen. Acc. Gen. e. Fern. and the indeterminate state. Classical Arabic distinguishes the construct state. . the difference between the determi­ nate and the indeterminate states consists in adding the -n ending to the indeterminate singular and feminine plural. Fern. On the other hand. milkām milklm milkatām milkatīm 33.20. milkā milki milkatā milkati Determinate 1 Indeterminate State Singular Masc. Fern. . Nom. . probably identical to a great extent with an Old Canaanite paradigm that could be based on the glosses of the Amarna correspondence: Construct State Singular Masc. the determi­ nate state. .g. Gen. sariqi ^ sāriqātu . com­ 7. the nunation is known in the determinate state of ancient Yemenite and Eastern dialects. Fern. . K Plural Masc. . The syllabic writing of Ugaritic proper names and nouns. Construct State Singular Masc. sanqati ^ Dual Masc. Fern. sariqata . Fern. sāriqū 1 > J .THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 275 33. milku milki milka milkat milkati milkat 1 J Plural Masc. Nom. allows a pared with the alphabetic spelling of nouns ending in reconstruction of a Ugaritic paradigm. mani ('a)m-qā'imun. . Acc.21. Fern. This distinction is not attested in Pre-Islamic and Pre-Classical Arabic. milkū milkī milkāt milkati Dual Masc. Besides the use of the definite article 'al in the determinate state.

Fern. Nom. sāriqūna sānqlna sāriqātun sāriqātin Dual Masc. as-sāriqatāni 'as-sāriqatayni Indeterminate State Singular Masc. Fern. as-sārìqātu 'as-sāriqāti Masc. Masc. The most apparent differences are encountered in the Old Aramaic dialects that have the "emphatic" or determinate state: Singular Masc. . sāriqānì sāriqayni sārìqatāni sānqataym 33. The different states of the noun are clearly apparent in the Semitic languages without any case distinction. Gen. Acc. sanqan sāriqatun sāriqatin 1 _ . 'as-sāriqu 'as-sāriqi 'as-sāriqa 'as-sāriqatu 'as-sārìqati \ 'as-sāriqata) Plural Masc. Fern. Hebrew. as Aramaic. Phoenician. as-sāriqāni 'as-sāriqayni Fern. Plural Fern. Masc. Fern. sāriqun sāriqin .22. Gen. . > sanqatan J Plural Masc. Construct State malk > melek malkat mal(d)ké malkawāt mal(d)kē Emphatic State malkā(') malkdtā(') mal{à)kayyā(') mal{d)kātā(') mal(9)kayyā(') Absolute State malk > melek malkā(h) mal{3)kīn mal{p)kān mal(3Ì)kayin malkdtayìn . Neo-Arabic. Fern.276 MORPHOLOGY Determinate State Singular Masc. Dual Fern. Acc. as-sāríqūna 'as-sārìqlna Dual Fern. Nom.

. Fem.24. not even before a pronominal suffix. Dual Masc. although it is not used in the dual. "your teachers". One should add that the Maghrebine dialects employ the external masculine plural suffix -In only with adjectives and partici­ ples. e. In Neo-Arabic and in modem colloquials there are many dialec­ tal and phonotactic variants. at least in the writing.g. We give here a paradigm based on the Cairene pronunciation of the noun mi'allim.23. mi'allimlnak. Plural Fem. The construct state of the feminine sin­ gular has the ending -it more often than -at. and that its ending -n is not dropped in the construct state of the modem colloquials. Fem. Construct malk > melek malkat mal(a)kē State mal(d)kdt malkē malkatē Determinate ham-melek hammalkāih) ham-mdlākìm State ham-mdlākdt hammalkayim hammalkātayim Absolute melek malkāQí) mdlākīm State mslākot malkayim malkātayim 33. The Hebrew paradigm can be considered as valid also for Phoenician with the exception of the feminine determinate and absolute states where the Phoenician noun preserves its original -t ending. Singular Masc. Masc.THE "STATES" OF THE NOUN 277 33. "teacher".

34. the adjectives have a proper basic characteristic which is gender inflection expressed by formal grammatical means.41. "the good". e. "God": Hebrew 'êlohīm.44).35-36. even with collective nouns and with Arabic broken or internal plurals. Phoenician 'ēlīm. Construct State mi'allim mi'allimit mi'allimīn mi'allimāt Determinate State il-mi 'allim il-mi 'allima il-mì 'allimīn il-mi 'allimāt Absolute State mi'allim mi'allima mi'allimīn mi'allimāt F . The main difference between adjectives and substantives is rather of a semantic kind. which are grammatically singulars. they indicate the quality of another noun in a specific and concrete situation. and verbal adjectives belong to the category of nouns. Fem. Hebrew 'êlohīm .g. and case. Adjectives 34.1. thus e.278 MORPHOLOGY Masc. As a rule. Plural Masc. In such cases. Their concord is in general plural ad sensum.2. participles.g. that can be either masculine or feminine. Some Semitic nouns are plural in form though not plural in meaning. Some nominal patterns are used more often to form adjectives (cf.g. §29. Classical Arabic riġālun sālihūna. the adjective is more often in the singular (e. "the true"). the adjectives agree with the substantive they modify in gender. "the people who walk". And because they are referring to another noun. From the morphological point of view. When adjectives are not used as substantives (e. but no strict rules can be established. the adjectives. Singular Fern. Hebrew hā'ām hahotekīm. number.g. "pious men".

'ētān < *'aytān. "big teeth". the -n marker of the definite direct object (§32. Classi­ cal Arabic has also feminine patterns for emphatic qualification.g. "the small house" (direct object). the suffix can be added also to the adjective: tannaš-un bet-un. and sdbbuqat 'awahd. tannas-u bet.28) follows the same rule: tannas-un bet. hasna. Aramaic šinnayin rabrdbān. the definite article -u (§33.g.20) is attached to the substantive. plural adjectives agree usually with dual substantives. "a small house". the case inflection of the adjectives is in gen­ eral the same as the declension of the substantives. "a very pretty girl". ni'ma. "the receivers of money". "living God") than in the plural (e.fa'la. Traces of this formation are found in a few Hebrew adjectives. e. "good-looking boys". "the small house". "his small house" (direct object). adjectives agree in gender and number with the substantives they modify. Amharic adjectives only occasionally form plu­ rals. In Tigrinya. "good-looking girls". Besides. called "elative". 34. nūqun hiġānun.3. 'uzma. These forms are no longer used in the colloquial . is formed in Arabic on the pattern 'af'al. e. but its construct state ends in -ū in Old Akkadian. thus in Assyro-Babylonian. e. "how nice!".4.g. The comparative degree of adjectives. -ūti(m) in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian (§31. bintun mulāhun. so we have. sdbbuqat 'awâddat. "lasting". "how mighty!". fi'la. except that inanimate plurals are treated as singulars. 34. 34. tannas bet. like 'akzār. viz. although the homophonous possessive suffix -u (§36. The concord of adjectives and substantives in modem Ethiopic frequently deviates from the common rule.g. "his small house". in the latter case. In consequence. in contrast to the -ūt of Assyro-Babylonian. 'èlohīm hayylm). mdfu'la. in modem Arabic colloquials.16). and distinctive feminine forms are used optionally only in adjec­ tives derived from Ge'ez. "cruel". in Hebrew. "greater". there are adjectives belonging to some nominal patterns of Arabic that are not capable of concord. "great". On the opposite. 'akbar. Interestingly. not to the substantive. However. unlike Ge'ez. e. In other languages. thus kablr.5.g. "how beautiful!". e.g.ADJECTIVES 279 hay. however.14) in an Amharic noun phrase is attached to the modifying adjective. Tigrinya does not distinguish gender in plural adjectives. māhirū kaspim. in Aramaic. tannas bet-un.g. 'akzāb. e. "deceitful". tannas bet-u. the mas­ culine plural of adjectives and participles ends in -ūtu{m). "racing she-camels". In several languages. "his small house".

The pattern 'f'l appears in many South Arabian proper names. "taller than a palm-tree".g. "highest of mountains". loanwords from Arabic may be deceitful. famous". šanūdu. 34. "very large" (cf. Most numerals have a Proto-Semitic origin. Instead. A n East Semitic elative is represented by a small number of adjectives with a prefix ša-1 su\ e.33). a) Cardinals 35. e. 'al-'akbar. "greater". especially in North and East Semitic languages using syllabic and logographic script. "from". šūturuim). but its exact meaning and function are unknown. Beside the cardinals. 7 = 5+2.g. e. "very violent". "bad". 'afdalu raġulin. and distributives. 'a'lā l-ġibāli. Cushitic and Chadic stand apart. 'atwalu min nahlatin.1. "widower".g. as well as with Egyptian and selected Libyco-Berber numerals. "the greatest". Semitic languages possess derived forms or differ­ ent stems to express ordinals. has cardinals based on the quinary Nilotic system and forms the numerals "six" to "nine" by composition: 6 = 5+1. the . by 'an. a remnant of a larger use of this pattern in Semitic languages may be preserved by Hebrew 'almān and Assyro-Babylonian almānu. The same pattern 'af'al is used for the superlative and may then take the article or be defined by a genitive. it has been borrowed into the West­ ern Neo-Aramaic of Ma'lūla. 9 = 5+4. lit. from rab. 'awrab. The comparative may be followed by min or. "great". 8 = 5+3.g. Besides. in particular Bedja. šalbabu / šalbubu.280 MORPHOLOGY speech. For instance. The standard cardinal forms of the numerals in the principal Semitic languages are given below with reconstructed Proto-Semitic forms.6. The former. "celebrated. in the post-classi­ cal language.2. §29. where it was operative. and meaning etymologically "worse". Numerals 35. a noun probably derived from lemnu. fractions. The numerals belong morphologically to the category of nouns. e. multiplicatives or iteratives. Here. writing them in cipher instead of spelling them out. and they even exhibit close connections with Libyco-Berber and Egyptian. which serve to express "than". G. The scribes have often represented the numerals logographically. This limits our knowledge of the numerals. "the most excellent man".

some". or -ān (ištiān-. "one". Ugaritic ('ahd). with an allophone 'ašt. wēdum. "one". use a secondary root morpheme brought into line with the triconsonantal system. dġġát).in Hebrew which results from a change i > a occasioned by ' in a closed stressed syllable. wahada. feminine išt. is borrowed from Arabic. "one". Hebrew ('ehād I 'ahad). "by the unit (of measure)". a) The best known numeral "one" is had. which is diffi­ cult to explain unless one considers -n as the masculine singular ending of the Afro-Asiatic pattern of agreement (cf. "one"). goes back to *(h)and. in some early Arabic vernaculars (had). yahad. andit) and Tigrinya feminine hantit show an inserted n before the dental. way id. Arabic. but South Moroccan Tachelhit ya-n. "eleven". present also in the Libyco-Berber number "one": yiw-an /ya-n. South Arabian. The feminine ištiāt and the Hebrew construct state 'aštē 'āśār. "one". and in South Ethiopic where Gurage had. hatte. viz. in Arabic and in other Semitic languages. and at(t) must derive from had. "to be alone". in Tigrinya (hadá). ad. b) The second root is 'išt-. Epigraphic South Ara­ bian ('hd). but a formal singular is implied by the Aramaic expression b'št'. We do not know the vocalization of Ugaritic 'št 'šr(h). 'išt-. followed by the palatalisation add > aġġ. follow the declension of the plural. fern. and tād. while Amharic and (fern. in Tigre (had. but the same numeral is attested by Libyco-Berber iġ. -ēn (ištērì). and Ge'ez ('ahadu). "to be united" and "gathering" in Hebrew. woro-.16). derives from the same form *wa'(-n) as ancient Egyptian w'(y-w) and must be considered as an authentic Libyco-Berber word. "alone" in AssyroBabylonian. A selective approach is thus necessary. but it shows an assimilation nd > dd. the original form of which is preserved in Aramaic (had). attested in Arabic ('ahad). Various phonetic developments occur in modern Aramaic. Gafat aggā (fern. as shown by other derivatives from had. The forms with initial '. ištān). l . Tuareg forms are in general the most archaic ones. "eleven". § 33.NUMERALS 281 Ghadamsi numeral "one". which is used next to 'hd. and Ethiopic colloquials. "one. It is the only numeral "one" attested in East Semitic where it is used with a suffix -In (ištīrì). and of Minaic 's t. They cannot be reported here. The numeral "one" is represented in Semitic by four different root morphemes. also in Ugaritic (yhd). had. without pretending to go back to Proto-Berber numerals. wāhid. viz.3. "about. The proposed etymologies of 'št are highly conjectural. 35. someone".

'ahd 'aht tn(m) tt tlt(t) tlt 'rbXO 'rb' hmš(t) hmš tt(f) tt šb'(t) šb' tmn(t) tmn tš'(t) tš' 'šr(t) 'šr 'šrm tltm 'arb 'm hmšm ttm m'it 'alp rbt . f. \had-. 'išt\tin-. f. f. afus sdmmust sdis sdist sa sat tarn tamt tza tzat mraw mrawt td-marwin *t9-ni9rwin d mraw *sin-id td-msrwin *sin-id td-mdrwin d *krad-id td-mdrwin td-mede a-zimlgim *Pr. 5 m. f. Bab. 10 m.282 MORPHOLOGY Cardinal Numerals Egyptian 1 m. 9 m. ištēn ištiāt šinā šittā šalāšat šalāš erbet(t) erba hamšat hamiš šiššet šiš(š) sebet(t) sebe samānāt samānē tišīt tiše ešeret ešer ešrā šalāšā erbā hanšā < *hamšā šūš me 'at līm ešeret līm Ugar. f. sdnt krad.-Sem.000 w'(y-w) w't śn-wiy) śn-tiy) hmt-w fd-w dl-w dl-t śrś-wfśîś-w śfh-w hmn-w pśd-w md-w dwt m'b3 hm dlyw ÌŚŚš(n)t h3 db' Libyco-Berber yiwdnfya-n. 3 m. f. f. 7 m. san snat. 8 m. f. 4 m. mraw mi 'tli'mribb- . 2 m. išt sin. f. 6 m. 20 30 40 50 60 100 1000 10. iġ yiwdt. f. sard kratt. kil'\ ślat\ rba '> hams\ sidtVšab'>tmān>tiš'> 'aśr- 0. šart kkuz kkuzt sdmmus.

'dšrā šalāsā 'arbd 'ā hamsā sdssā md'dt 'ašartū md'dt 'dšr tds' samn sdb' >sabu' sàbatt tmn(y)t.NUMERALS 283 Cardinal Numerals Hebrew 'chad. Arabic numerals. sdddstu sdssu.sjlošā 'ahad Aramaic Arabic had hâdā trên tartēn tdlātā tdlāt 'arbd 'ā 'arba' hamšā hâmēš šit šiš wāhid wāhida 'itnāni 'itnatāni talāta talāt 'arba 'a 'arba' hamsa hams sitta sitt sab 'a sab' tamāniya tamānin tis 'a tis' 'ašara 'ašr 'išrūn talātūn 'arba 'ūn hamsūn sittūn mi'at 'alf 'ašara 'ālāf Sabaic 'hd 'ht tny tty sHtt. tds 'atu tds'u. šeimdnē tiš'ā tcša' 'âśārā 'cśer. samāntu samāni."ninety" is replaced by Coll. . s dt. tlty 'rb'y hms y s ty m't 'lf 'śrt "If l l 2 2 2 2 1 l y samān sdmmdnî >Sd' zātànn 'âśar 'eśrīn tdlātln 'arbā 'īn hamšīn šittīn md 'ā 'âlap ribbo > 'asdr 'dsra salāsa 'arbd'a hdmsa sdssa md'dt šdh assdr haya sàlasa arba (h)amsa sddsa. šdls Tigre woro(t) hatte kdl'ot kdl'e f salas Amharic jand | hulātt šāldš 'arbā 'ā 'arba' hâmiššā húmēš sisšā šcs šib'ā. sdds hdms rdb' > 'arba' aratt > hamds ammdst s dtt. màto ši(h) Blf sdlsa 0) 'Blf Ẃ (') The series "twenty" . 'ahat šnayim stayim . šcba' šjmonā šab'â sost 'arbā 'tu 'arbā'. tmn ts 't ts ' 's rt 's r 's ry s lty. tltt s lt. 'cśrlm šMošīm 'arbā 'īm hàmišším siššīm mc'ā 'elep ribbo 'aśar tmny. tlt 'rb't 'rb' hms t hms l 1 x 2 Mehri tāt tayt tdrd tdrayt śātayt śhdlēt rdbot 'arba hdmmoh haymdh Geez 'ahadu 'ahatti kdl'e(tu) kdl'eti šalastu šalās. hamdstu hams. 'ašartu 'ašru. s b't s b' x x l s tt st l l ydtēt hēt ydbayt hoba tmt tdmdnyīt tdmoni sāt sā 'āśdrēt 'ośdr \sds sddddst šib 'ā šdba' tdmanyā îdmānē tiš'ā tdša' 'aśrā sab 'atu sab'u.

"some". while Berber indefinite ša. with the dual form śnwy. explains the byform tir. lit. "eleven". "to cut off". Śheri.either directly (§41. East Chadic sin. The numeral "two" is represented by two different root mor­ phemes. tāt in Mehri. "ten". This form is used in Aramaic with the dual ending of the oblique case followed by the nunation (tryn > trērì). and with the nunation in modern Arabic colloquials (tnayn. this is just a guess. tin. kilaltān > kilattān.g. to which the mimation is added in Ugaritic (tnm) and the nunation in Classical Arabic ('itnāni). as well as in Cushitic (e. a) The first one is employed in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Baby­ lonian with the dual ending -ā (šinā. has an initial glottalized t and goes back to Qatabanic td. sena).6). in the feminine. To express the unit in the numeral "eleven" Gafat makes use of a derivative of *qmt-. An early change n > r. viz.g. 35.13) or through the ordinal *tāniy > tānī.is apparently related to Tuareg mraw. derives from tin.284 MORPHOLOGY c) Tigre woro. and Soqotri. 2 e) Another root is used by Egyptian w' and Libyco-Berber yiw-dn / ya-n. etc. tnēn. while there may be a link with the root *dad. b) The other numeral "two" is attested in Assyro-Babylonian under the form kilallān I ūn and. "something".4. The second . "someone". Bedja san) and in Chadic (e. clus­ ter". the substantive śn means "brother" in Egyptian (śnt.and kil'-. goes back to Arabic say'. d) The numeral "one" of Modern South Arabian. But. "sister").in Aramaic and in Modern South Arabian. sdri). used in the Eastern "Sam" languages belonging to the Lowland East Cushitic group. hence "ten". attested also in td 's r.28): asra qdmcâttá. and originally designate a " b i t " or a "bunch. tād in Harsūsi. The same numeral is attested in Egyptian (śn-w). but one finds an ending -w in Qatabanic (tnw). The Semitic verb *tanāyu(m). 'šnm). as of dates. "to do (something) for the second time". "ten-one".). "second". Its relation to had is improbable. so far. and in Libyco-Berber (sin. which parallels the situation in Gurage where a nongeminated n becomes r in non-initial position (§17. "to repeat". §36. The dual ending -ay appears with the mimation in Hebrew (šnayim) and in Phoenician (šnm. "single" (cf. The word might belong to the same root as Assyro-Babylonian wurrū or murrū. The dual oblique case -ay is used in Sabaic and Minaic (tny).of tin. while the South Arabian numeral tdro shows an ending -6 which is related to the Qatabanic ending -w of tnw. itnēn).

5. or zuz. The numerals "three" to "ten" are abstract or collective substan­ tives marked by the suffix -t in historical times.g. e. and corresponding to ancient Egyptian collectives in -t. diw.I kiltay. alone" in the "Sam" languages. and Hebrew. is used as numeral "two". 35. "both". go back to kdl'et-. w w w c) In Maghrebine Arabic.g. pronounced zūz. §17.NUMERALS 285 liquid / corresponds to the glottal stop of the other Semitic languages (cf. is unchangeable when it is followed by a noun. is replaced in the mid-period by kly. "a set of five" in Middle Egyptian. kdl'e < *kil'ay is the normal numeral "two" for both genders.g. Its basis is probably related to Cushitic *kal-.6.when followed by a pronominal suffix. creates the false impression that cardinal numerals are used in the gen­ der opposite to that of the noun which usually follows in the genitive . "of two kinds". In Ge'ez. and the numeral "one" even in number (e. Hebrew ddbārìm 'âhādīm. case (e. sometimes called "gender polarity". the noun zawġ.t. where the labialized velar k < k is spiran­ tized into h and the / reduced to the vowel e. Arabic kulluhum li-'ummin wāhidatin. next to a feminine kl'ty. Hebrew 'al 'ahad he-hārīm. Only the feminine form kl'at is attested so far in Ugaritic and the masculine form kil'ayitn. "two villages"). "one. However. "two". It is in reality a dual *kil'ā which has lost its not pronounced ' like in ancient South Ara­ bian where the archaic form kl'y. The Classical Arabic kilā. the bare root morpheme continued to be used with feminine nouns. in Hebrew and perhaps in Moabite (kVy: Mesha 23). This noun "two" is used likewise in the modem Ethiopian languages where the phonetic development can lead to forms like h et in Gurage. Assyro-Babylonian ištēn ina libbisunu ul ūsi. The numerals "one" and "two" are either substantives (e. but it has an oblique case kilay. Also Amharic hulàtt and Gafat (h)dhttâ > dhé(êā). or kdVetu may stand for the masculine and kdl'eti for the feminine. Aramaic. "one of them") or adjectives which agree with the noun they determine in gender (e. "not one among them has escaped". "double". 35. Duality is also represented by kpl. in Ugaritic. "both".2).g. but it may be expressed likewise without the numeral by using the sole dual formation of the noun. "on one of the mountains". with the meaning "two" or "both".g. This development. "pair". with the feminine kiltā. zūz. "identical words"). Ara­ bic 'ahaduhum. Arabic qaryatāni tnatāni. the noun has the dual ending with the nunation and it means "both". "they are all from one mother").

"three". literally "a set of three men".g. instead of ŠA which would indicate ta (§13. Thus. especially in Ugaritic where two regressive assimilations took . er-bu u -mi. This is confirmed by the Old Akkadian spelling sa-liiš-tim of the ordinal (fern. in Damascus: talāte. šab'-. but tldt banāt. one might also surmise that certain nouns. However. A similar evolution is encountered in Neo-Aramaic.7. 35. "during four days".286 MORPHOLOGY plural. this apparent inversion of gender seems to operate inconsistently in North Semitic.g. "three horses" in Ugaritic. tiš'-. Tigre uses the numerals "three" to "ten" without -t. In later Semitic languages. Classical Arabic talātatu riġālin. the "gender polarity" tends to disappear. e. in Syriac.g. The Proto-Semitic root morphemes of the numerals "three" to "ten" can be established as follows: ślat-. "six".30). and tldt rġāl. also in the ordinals and in the fractions (§35. still used without prothesis in the suffixed form rdbot of the Mehri and Harsūsi numeral. *talātat > *talāta). in the Mehri and Harsūsi numeral rība for counting "four" days. while ancient Egyptian and Libyco-Berber add the mark -t to numerals qualifying feminine nouns. "three girls". as in the numeral sidt-. This grammatical princi­ ple is rarely or irregularly observed in Late Babylonian. are feminine instead of being masculine and that the lack of the ending / in Ugaritic results from its dropping in the spoken idiom (e. Nevertheless. hamš-. The use of anaptyctic short vowels explains the vocal­ ization attested in the "classical" languages with the exception of the numeral "four" where a prosthetic vowel was added to the root mor­ pheme rba'.g. regardless of their gender. while the opposite tendency can be observed in the other Ethiopian languages where the numerals with the ending -t are more frequently used. e. sidt-.8. while most modern Arabic colloquials use the forms with the -t ending for independent numerals and those without -t in connection with plural nouns. and in Neo-Punic. The archaic and the modern South Arabian forms of the numeral "three" indicate that its original root morpheme had an initial lateral fricative ś (ślat-). rba'-. "three men". tit sswm. contrary to the com­ mon practice in "classical" Semitic languages. only one form is employed. in the Babylonian dialect of Mari influenced by Amorite. The later form tit results from a regressive assimilation. genitive) with the sign SA used to express the syllable salśa. 'aśr. how­ ever. In most modern languages. Chadic languages do not seem to distinguish the gender in numerals. finally eliminating the distinction between masculine and feminine. e. for instance "day". A 35. tmān-.2).

"strength" (m > p). "five". at Alalakh. 35. as se-eb-i šanāti.had an allophone *śrat. In fact. This shift š > s is paralleled by 7 d w . to Libyco-Berber sdis. "seven". "five". originally "fist". Its existence is confirmed by the Libyco-Berber numeral krad / sard. testifying to the change / > r in non initial position (§17.11). A third Afro-Asiatic word meaning "four" is represented by Egyptian fdw. e. "hand". and Hausa fu'du. In the quinary system employed occasionally also in Libyco-Berber.12. with the exception of spellings influenced by North Semitic. may be used instead of sdmmus. and to Hausa sidda. These forms testify to phonetic changes. but later Assyro-Babylonian texts have sebe or seba.10. is certainly related to Egyptian śfh-w and to Libyco-Berber sa. especially in Ugaritic where the form tt first implies the regressive assimilation dt > tt. and then a second regressive assimilation št > tt. the word afus. is certainly related to Egyptian śrś I śiš-w. dative musē / muse. and the š appears also in the Old Assyrian orthography sa-be. The Old Akkadian mentions of the dei­ fied "Seven" (planets ) imply the initial š since the sign si of Si-bi stands for ši I še (§13. signifies a hand (five fingers) and.11. The word originally signified the bending of the four fingers over the hollow of the hand. The numeral *ślat. "three". Bedja fádig. 35. etc. The numeral hams-. "four". and to the Egyptian noun hps. which reflects a change h > s. attested also in Semitic languages. it must be related etymologically to Sabaic hms\ "main army force". "seven years". also to the Bedja numeral asa < *assa < *hassa < *hamsa.. it is the basic unit of a quinary system. The numeral sidt-. which can easily be related to *śrat.2). as such.1). The numeral šab'-. and to Arabic qamaza. attested also in other Semitic languages.g. 35. "fly". "seven" (5+2). asa-rama. and to Libyco-Berber sdmmus. The / of the numeral "three" is labialized in Gafat s osta and elided in Amharic sost. paralleled before front vowels in Slavic languages. The Semitic numeral rba'-. muha vs.9. The Libyco-Berber numeral kkuz is related to Hebrew and Aramaic qums-. has an origin which is inde­ pendent from the corresponding numeral in the other Afro-Asiatic lan­ guage families. The change in question resulted from a dissimilation caused by the originally lateral character of ś (§16. 35. "to take with the fingertips". related directly to Egyptian hps. "handful".5).NUMERALS 287 place (§35. used in asa-gwir. "six" (5+1). "six".

the passage / > s is not usual. samānēšer. with a noun zittu (plur. is related to Egyptian hmn-w and to Libyco-Berber tarn. "to divide".g. hamšat 'âśar. "share". "seven". they reflect different dialectal shifts of the original ś phoneme (§ 16. §35. and Harari (zdhtārì). w 35.21). where the emphasis of z is secondary. in Mehri. "portion". "clan". but the phonetic differences are still in need of a consistent explanation of / : t : h. the forms 'sr and 'šrt are attested for the numeral "ten".15. The Semitic numeral 'aśr. 35. "fifteen"). . is the portion or the amount that remains after one part has been removed. The numerals from "eleven" to "nineteen" are normally formed by the juxtaposition of the unit-numbers or digits and of the numeral "ten". In fact. yha't and yhob?' in Soqotri (cf. cannot be related to forms attested in other Afrasian language families. and from Arabic zahzaha.16. "to cut off". and Epigraphic South Ara­ bian 's rt. "nine". South Ethiopic *ziht > *ziht. Also in East Semitic. "six". "to dis­ place". the numeral "eight" is written ša-ma-né in Old Assyrian. To judge also from the related Aramaic verb zūh. Attempts to relate this numeral to Egyptian pśd-w should be abandoned. The final h of the Ethiopic numeral is a suffix which is missing in most Gurage dialects (zâtâ. attested also in Gafat (zātâhnâ). "nomad group" (cf. The Amharic numeral zdtdnn. in Aramaic (e. zīzātu). In Phoenician. 2 35. a spelling which probably implies the pronunciation /tamānē/. is related to Libyco-Berber tza. šdnē 'āśār. and in Hebrew (e. zi'â).g. "to rip off".3). "eighteen"). The numeral tiš'-. Argobba (zâh tâhh). num­ bering one digit below a full ten or two hands.13. but the later form is samānē. and hoba. § 15. followed by "ten". "eight". Gurage (zâtāh). 36. are found in Assyro-Babylonian (e. i.seems to be reflected by old Amharic sant. the same root as Old Akkadian zu'āzum and Assyro-Babylonian zāZu(m). Its original meaning might be preserved by Arabic 'ašīra{turì).e.288 MORPHOLOGY another shift in Mehri and Soqotri where the numerals "six" and "seven" appear with an initial h or yh instead of the expected palatoalveolar š: net. "nine".g.4. goes probably back to zht (zhz).10). They appear in four variant forms: a) Digits in the construct state.14. 35. "twelve"). "ten". "to go away" or "to remove". The numeral tmān-. The original vocalization *tmān-t.

"fifteen"). Tigre 'asdr wa-sds.g. in AssyroBabylonian. and in ancient South Ara­ bian. in Ugaritic. In Aramaic. "thirteen"). In Ugaritic. "seven­ teen"). asra httá. but only forms without -t are employed in Neo-Aramaic (e. Ugaritic sb' 'srh. and can perhaps be assumed in ancient South Arabian (e.g.g. "eighteen". asra s ostá. Hebrew šdloš 'eśrē.g. and in Amharic (e.g. "sixteen").g. and exception­ ally in Hebrew ('âśrā wa-hâmiššā. l 2 c) The mere asyndetic juxtaposition of digits and of "ten" occurs in Ugaritic (e. "thirteen"). it is reflected in modern colloquials (e.g. appears in Phoenician and Punic (e. 'asartà kdldttd. "eleven". this form is developed into a compound in Neo-Arabic (e. "fourteen") and in Hebrew (e. 'ihdā 'ašrata / 'aširata I 'ašarata.g. in Gafat (e. "twelve"). in Arabic. talātata 'ašara. 'šr 'arb'). Ugaritic tmnt 'šrt. which is usual in Tigre (e.NUMERALS 289 b) Digits with the fixed ending -a. 'šrh w-sb'h. 'ašru wa-salās. in Tigrinya (e. Mehri 'āterēt wd-śātayt. "fifteen". "fourteen"). "thirteen". âsrand.g.g.g.g.g. 'arb' 'šr. . in Aramaic.g. both components of the numeral have the -t ending when used with a masculine noun (e. "thirteen"). 'arbā'ā 'āśār. "thirteen"). in Hebrew. and in Ge'ez.g. "and". "fourteen"). Babylonian hamisserit. in Modern South Arabian (e. "thirteen") and in ancient dialects (e. s dtt 's r. "thirteen"). although the lack of vocalization excludes any certitude and allows of an interpretation of the first type (a). āsrâhulâtt. arba'tāšar. "thirteen". w 35. in Modern South Arabian. Syriac 'arba'sdrē. arba'ta'sar. in Ge'ez (e.17. followed by "ten" with the same ending. "fif­ teen"). and in Hebrew. Besides. tldtta'sar. the digits of the numerals from "thirteen" to "nineteen" have the -t ending when used with masculine nouns. e.g. w d) The component "ten" preceding digits and joined to them by wa or -m.g. are attested in Classical Arabic (e. "fourteen").g. "fourteen". "twelve". but the practice of the Ugaritic scribes is not consistent. 'asartá šamante. the ending -it or -ih > -ē is added to the numeral "ten" when the teens are used with a feminine noun. "eleven"). "seventeen". 'šr w-tlt. Gurage asrd-m h et. 'sr w-hmš. "twelve". also with inverted order (e.g. "fourteen"). 'asdr 'arba'. Ge'ez 'ašartu wa-šalastu. 'ohr wd-śhdlēt. arbāsar. "eighteen"). regardless of the gender. in Nabataean (e. "thirteen". "twelve").g. "fourteen") and only forms with -t occur in modern Arabic colloquials (e.g. "sixteen". in modern Ethiopic (e.

Phoenician. "thirty". the numeral "twenty" is expressed by the dual of "ten" in Assyro-Babylonian (ešrā). talātatu 'alāfìn. thus sost assdr. so much the more that a similar system is attested in Libyco-Berber with the numeral "twenty" as basis. erbē . "sixty" is lētonnēte. "fifty". In Argobba. Tachelhit mrawin). in modern Ethiopian languages. formed as duals of the numerals from "three" to "nine". krad-id 'ašrin. and perhaps in Ugaritic ('šrm). and Arabic. "thirty". Ge'ez forms the numeral "thousand" in this way ('ašartu md'dt. "twenty"). and some Gurage dialects (Soddo and Gogot). The odd tens are formed by addition: sin-id 'ašrin d 1 2 1 . "sixty". thus in Hebrew. French "quatre-vingt"). "five times twenty" = 100. This manner of expressing the tens is generally believed to have been taken from Cushitic. This formation parallels the situation in ancient Egyptian where the tens. Otherwise.g. kkuz-id 'ašrin.g. tlātīn in Damascene colloquial. where it is generally replaced by Arabic 'ašrin. proba­ bly in Libyco-Berber (Tuareg td-mdrwin. hanšā < *hamšā. Aramaic. unfortunately in its borrowed Arabic form 'ašrîn: sin-id 'ašrin (cf. also sdmmus-id 'ašrin. literally "three tens"). Aramaic tdlātīn. Classical Arabic talātūna. except in Late Babylonian where gender concord is attested with masculine and femi­ nine plural endings (e. are plurals of the units. e. in Classical Arabic). thus e. in Ge'ez ('dšrā). Harari. ešrāt. The dual afformative -ā spread analogically from "twenty" to the following tens. etc. in South Arabian ('s ry). sddddst assar. "three times twenty" = 60.18. while šūš. another system probably existed in Semitic languages. Hebrew šdlošim. amsa in Amharic.g. In other Semitic languages. talātu mi'atin. "three hundred". "six tens". Soqotri śìle 'eśarhin. remains unchanged. hammdst assdr.g. and the same system is used in other Semitic languages for hundreds and thousands (e. literally "ten hundreds" ). "forty". One may ask therefore whether Cushitic has not rather borrowed this use from the Semitic languages of Ethiopia or assume that this manner of expressing the tens is common to both language families. "four times twenty" = 80 (cf. "three thousand". "twice twenty" = 40.290 MORPHOLOGY 35. However. Modern South Arabian has pre­ served some numerals of a similar old series (e. from fifty upwards. as suggested by the situation in South Ethiopic. However.31). literally "five tens".g. arbdt assdr. Decade numerals have no gender differentiation. "fifty" in Old Akkadian. Neo-Ara­ maic tlāy. "sixty". "thirty". since "fifty" is ontētonnēte in Sidamo. the tens can be formed by compounding a unit with the numeral "ten". "twenty" is expressed by the plural of "ten" and the following tens are formed analogically by adding the plural ending to the numerals from "three" to "nine". §35. "forty".

a change par­ alleled in krad (§ 35. hmšm w~šnm. "fiftythree").g. It has a plural timad. The latter scheme is the normal way of expressing the compound numerals in ancient South Arabian (e. and in modern Arabic colloquials (e.g. Old Akkadian (mi-ai). the various systems can be presented as follows: 20+1. The latter appears also in Indo-European (e. "twenty-two"). ma-a-at). the situation is opposite: no conjunction is needed to join tens with the digits that precede (e. It is written m't in Phoenician and in ancient South Arabian. šlš hmšm. but the conjunction w.g.or -m (e. 1+20.g. but the conjunction wa. sdis (§35. "fifty-two"). 'ehadwd-'eśrīm.g. 1-/-20. hdmsa wa-'arba'. It is vocalized mē(t) in Late Babylonian. literally "three tens"). etc. 'esrī trē.8). where it is combined with the decimal system. The numeral "hundred" is derived from a common origin. "hundred". In South Ethiopic. Latin trī-gintā. besides.11). and mā in Syriac and in Neo-Aramaic. there is another term for "hundred". The numeral is attested also in Tuareg where td-mede. is related not to Egyptian md-w. This is also the most common construction in Hebrew. mi 'at in Classical Arabic and mlye in the colloquial of Damascus. "twenty-one" in Gurage [Chaha]). 20-Wm-l. "twenty-seven").g. like in modern Ethiopic using the conjunc­ tions wa.g. AssyroBabylonian (me-at. but two different systems are attested in Ugaritic: no conjunction is used to join tens with the digits that follow (e.20. The Semitic dual form for "20" seems to point to a former vigesimal system which is thus pre­ served in Libyco-Berber. literally "four above twenty"). "twice twenty with ten" = 50.19. The Assyro-Babylonian use is unknown.g. māto in Amharic. hms w-s ty. but to Semitic m't. 'šrm 'rb'.NUMERALS 291 mraw. 35. Schematically. "twenty four"). Several systems are followed to join tens with the employed when the digits follow (e. . "twenty-eighth nights").g. "twenty-one"). while the plural is m'at. but an additive / precedes the "ten" when the digit stands first (e.g. It is attested in Palaeosyrian (mi-at. "ten". "fifty-four" in Tigre.14). "thirty". mē'ā in Hebrew.joins the numerals also when the digits precede (e. with an emphatic d replacing the voiceless t. md'dt in Ge'ez. In Phoenician and Punic. and tza (§35. 'rb' l-'šrm. me-at). md'ā in Aramaic. tamānin wa-'išrūna laylatan.g. w l 35. sab'ā w-'dšrīn. in Classical Ara­ bic (e. indirectly in Amorite with the orthography me-et at Mari. "sixty-five"). l-w-20. exactly as in Neo-Aramaic (e. hu ya-mat. which explains the Ugaritic singular m'it (*me'et or *mēt).

The numeral "thousand" can be used in the dual and the plural. might belong here too.21). "thousand" (plur. Since the ordinals are adjectives. The ordinals are adjectives and they follow the rules of the gen­ der. in Old Akkadian. as well as to the divine name Li'im. and case. They generally derive from the cardinals by adding a suffix to the root morpheme or by adopting the CāCiC pattern. bāqlā in Harari and in Gafat. except in East and North Semitic where they precede it. In Ge'ez. they normally follow the substantive. "people. while the use of 'alf with the meaning "thousand" in Tigre and in Harari is due to Arabic influence. Arabic mi'āt and mi'ūn. Aramaic (rebbo). .23. Aramaic mā'tayirì) and in the plural (e. It may be related to Tuareg a-gim. in the West Semitic languages. bâqdr or bàqdl in Gurage (l/r). clan". In South Ethiopic. The numeral "ten thousand" has a special name in Palaeosyrian (n-ba ). i-zīm-ān). "straw"). but the South Ethiopic baqdr may suggest "ox".g.g. with an internal plural 'a'lāf I 'ālāf. "thousand". used also in Cushitic (ših). §35.which is related to the noun meaning either "clan" or "ox". while "one thousand" is expressed by 'ašartu md'dt. one also finds a noun "thousand" borrowed from Cushitic: hum in Harari. 'dlf is used for "ten thousand". number. §35. The analogy with li-im is in favour of "clan".21.292 MORPHOLOGY viz. ? u b) Ordinals 35. with variant forms in other Cushitic languages. as just mentioned. instead.18). In Ugaritic. The numeral "hundred" is used also in the dual (e.g. w 35. It suggests the idea of "magnitude" and can be used in the dual and the plural. since Libyco-Berber z often derives from / (e. suggests the notion of high number (root šyh). and in Assyro-Babylonian one finds li-im. k dm and other forms in Gurage. in Amharic. 'dlf has the meaning "ten thousand". There are five different ways of expressing the numeral "thou­ sand". and Hebrew (ribbo). one encounters the noun 'alp. Mod­ ern Ethiopic sdh / ši(h). 35. and baqol in Somali. In Ge'ez. The numeral may be related to the Ethiopic name of the "mule". in Ge'ez baql (cf. in Ugaritic (rbt). Tigre 'am'āt). which is related to Ugaritic Vim and Hebrew Id'dm. In Palaeosyrian. and in Tigre. literally "ten hundreds" (cf. but there is a dialectal variant a-gim that may suggest a link with Cushitic and South Ethiopic hum. and in South Arabian.22. Tuareg a-zim. Tachelhit alim > Tamazight azim.

NUMERALS 293 35. "eighth").25. "first". With the exception of the rare Old Babylonian ištiyūm and of the South Ethiopic atānā.g. "second". sālištum. from the absence of the -y suf­ fix. 35. 35. viz. and probably in ancient South Arabian judging from Arabic and Ge'ez.26-27).). and to Ge'ez qadāmi. andànna. to South Arabian qdm. The ancient Aramaic ordinal tinyān. probably by allusion to Ex. šadtēt. in Arabic (e.g. in Tigre (e. The form of the ordinal "first" in Old Akkadian. does not reflect the change n > r of the cardi­ nal. "eighth"). while the ordinal tdt parallels the ordinal "sixth" in Old Assyrian (šādiš). Palaeosyrian. dāgam. The alternative explanation for these Assyro-Babylonian forms would be a different pattern CaCC or CiCC.g.g. while Tigrinya fálāmay etymologically means "redeemed". This pattern can be assumed also in Ugaritic.. tāmin. The pattern CāCiC can therefore be regarded as ProtoSemitic. with Mehri sodas. Amorite. as well as to Arabic 'awwal or 'awwil. both meaning literally "the one in front" or "former". "sixth" fern.13. *mahrlu(m) > mahru(m) and pānīuim) > pānū(m) are attested. also in Ge'ez (e. *šādišu > *šaššu > šeššu). kāh'. 13. "first". Ge'ez uses for "second" three different root morphemes. The ordinal "second" is formed in general according to the same patterns as the ordinals 3-10 (§35. the more so if the later Assyro-Babylonian forms saisu. and from the identity of the ordinal s dt. originates from the Ethiopic root ġmr I zmr. The same basic meaning is attached to Aramaic qadmāy. result from the loss of the short i and from the subsequent shortening of ā to a > e in a close syllable (e. "eighth"). Gafat màzámmàryà. but the Neo-Aramaic form is treyāna.g.24. "third". Arabic (sādis). In Assyro-Babylonian. and Ugaritic cannot as yet be ascertained. followed by Modern South Arabian (e. The CāCiC pattern is used for the ordinals up to "tenth" in Old Akkadian (e. "sixth". sāman. where the suf­ fix -y is likewise missing. l . and kā'db. fern.26. while Modern South Arabian employs mašēġar as ordinal "second". Hebrew rVšon derives instead from the word "head". the only known terms for the ordinal "first" derive from root morphemes different from the ones used for the cardinal "one". etc. "third" fern. without any suffix. Ge'ez (sādas). "to begin". which has been borrowed as hāwīl in Modern South Arabian and is suffixed into awwalānl in Syrian and Egyptian colloquials.g. sāhs.g. toman. šādištum. in Old Assyrian (e.). and South Arabian. "third").

30. rdbī'āy. Above "tenth". 'asdr wa-qadāmāy. 'dšrāwi. etc.g. we have hādiya 'ašara. "a fourth".g. hamsāy. "fifth". in Aramaic (e. but endings of the ordinals may be applied in Ethiopic. "hun­ dredth". "thirtieth". e.27. "eleventh". erbēsērī. the cardinal numerals are used.294 MORPHOLOGY 35. c) Fractionals 35. "third"). "hand". In Ge'ez. ddtla. h etànâ.g.. In Neo-Aramaic. md'dtāy. šalāšiyu. sālsāyt. 'asdr warāb'āy. hâmīšī.g. "fourteenth". in Hebrew (e. šalāsāwi. In Tigre. "two". tdšī'ī.g.g. we encounter šālistum.52) prefixed to the corre­ sponding cardinal numeral. "twentieth". "third". Tigre masc.29.26).g. "ten thousandth". and no special forms exist in Hebrew. Phoenician. fem. In Ge'ez. from tre.g. sālsāy. "fifth"). the ending -āy may be applied. 'rb'y. tdlītāy. 35. "fifth".g.28. literally "fourth part" (cf. hmšy. sādsāwì. "third".31). "sixth"). etc. Patterns with a suffix are attested in Middle Assyrian (e. e. either the cardinals or forms with the suffix -āwi can be used. "fourth"). "three". In Arabic. sādsāy. "a seventh". "one hundred and first". "eleventh". ešrū. "third"). "second". -āy is used in Tigre (e. §35. "second". "twelfth". hamāšiyu. no ordinals are attested in Ugaritic and in ancient South Arabian. 'dsrāy. "fifth". ordinal numerals can also be formed by means of the determinative . w 35. sostânâ. 'asar wa-kāl'āy. e. rābd'dt 'dd. "four­ teenth". 'asdr Šdhāy. from tla. In Old Babylonian. and -and in South Ethiopic (e. -I in the genitive (e. "ninth"). From "twentieth" onwards. in Phoenician and Punic (e. "a quarter". the ordinal is followed by 'dd.g. md'dtāy wa-qadāmāy.g. e.g. In Ethiopic. tišā'iyu. The best proof that fractionals were initially derived from fem­ inine ordinals can be deduced from the fact that CāCiC is the normal formation for fractionals as well as for ordinals in the early period of East Semitic and in Ge'ez (§35. "a third". hamsāwi. e. and in Ethiopic: there are parallel series with the endings -āwi and -āy in Ge'ez (e. "twentieth". sā/sēbi'atum. and Aramaic: the cardinal numerals are used beyond "tenth". rābītum. "ninth"). the cardinal numeral "ten" is used with the ordinal of the digits.relative particle dd (§36. etc. "fourth". "twentieth"). A related stem is . ddtre.g. and fur­ ther the ordinal followed by 'ašara.g. "third". masc. e. The ordinals above "tenth" occur in Assyro-Babylonian with a suffix -ū in the nominative. likewise.

mrb't. "thrice". "five times" or "for the fifth time". etc. e. roba'. "four times". e. "a third"). "second". 'sb'm bntmny 'sb' in Sabaic. or šinepiātum > šinepātu(m) in Old Babylonian and snpt in Ugaritic.g. "two-thirds". "a third"). in Sabaic.g. tult. at least among the Iġšan (Tachelhit): sin-id. "once". Ugaritic šb"id or šb'd.g.e. Sabaic s dt'd. used to express the iterative. and idiomatic ways of expressing frac­ tions. This suffix -išu goes back to -* 'itu and corresponds to the South Arabian -'d and to the Ugaritic -0)d. "a fourth"). or sar in Tigre. "a third". 1 d) Multiplicatives 35. and to masallas. These numerals are formed in East Semitic by adding -išu to the stem of the cardinal numerals.and suffixed -t. "third part". "third". There are also forms which can­ not readily be attached to common patterns. in Tigre. "for the sixth time". but also "for the second time".g. "a fifth"). viz. e. i.g. "for the second time" or "in . another method is attested for signifying that something happens "for the first time" or "in the first place". "one eighth".g. etc. in Aramaic (e. "for the third time". in Hebrew (e. "first". hums-. "three times". However. meaning "half". while the Phoenician and the South Arabian vocaliza­ tions are unknown. special words like mislu(m) in Assyro-Babylonian. in Arabic (e. etc. saddehá-ad. "one finger from eight fingers".is dropped after ištīn. An innovative Libyco-Berber use of the morpheme id with­ out preceding numeral aims at marking the plural of not-Berberized loanwords borrowed in the singular. A morpheme -ad appears in Somali where it forms the ordinal numerals. id hali (< Arabic hall. etc. "multiple maternal uncle(s)". kkuz-id. kobá-ad.31. "my maternal uncle").g. "a fifth").g. "fifths".32. "twice". The vowel -/.g. mtltt. adi I ana hamšišu. often with the preposition adi or ana. e. 1 35. This pattern is related to the feminine ordinal "second" in Mehri and Harsūsi (mzšdġdrēf). "twice". The meaning of multiplicatives or iteratives is not only "once". as well as to the plural fraction mhms t. "seven times". as shown by ištiššu. In Ugaritic. e. The same formation is preserved in some Libyco-Berber dialects. salīšīt. From the Middle Assyrian and the Middle Babylonian periods on.NUMERALS 295 found also in Hebrew (e. other patterns are attested as well and the stem CuCC is widely used in West Semitic languages. e.. also in Late Babylonian (hunt.g. the attested fractions have prefixed m. "a fourth". hst in Ugaritic and in Hebrew. labá-ad. krad-id.

had sib'ā. means "to sit cross-legged". "he adjured you". e. derives from tin-. Instead. "three by three". to which a morpheme -y was added (§35. . pa'am 'ahat. f) Verbal Derivatives 35.). the ordinal with the suffix -ānu. like the Hebrew and the Jewish Aramaic causative stem. In Arabic. pa'am hâmīšīt. fourth time".g.g. secondly. e) Distributives 35. "two by two". rabiānu. "seven times"). used in Aramaic with a following cardinal (e. Hebrew hišbī'ekā. "three by three". tunā'. "two by two". "adjure the lands!".g. "time". "to quadruple". "three by three"). "three by three") and maf'al (e. viz.g. thirdly.g. or the numeral had. derived from Stem I I rabba'a. there are also two patterns used to express the distributives. "for the second. in Hebrew and in Phoenician with the cardinal (e. šinā'. but this pattern has not been identified as yet in other Semitic languages which usually express the distributive numerals by a repetition of the cardinals. sulusā'. rubu'ā'. like other derivatives of the same type. viz.34. "the fifth time").. tāniyan. tulāt. gave rise to differ­ ent denominative formations. "once") or the ordinal (e. Palaeosyrian si-ba jsibba'l K I .g. the corresponding Palaeosyrian D-stem expresses the idea of adjuring.296 MORPHOLOGY the second place". "seven". K I . the verb *tanāyu. Aramaic mšby' 'ny 'lykm. fourthly". etc.13). 41. e.g. "make x-fold". the expressed or understood noun pa'am. third. "td repeat". and the phrase tarabba'a 'alā l-'arsi has the specific meaning "he mounted the throne". "firstly. "do for the x time". etc. the numeral sab'-. matlat. "one". tālitan. šaniānu.33. The distributive numerals have the characteristic formation CuCuCā' in East Semitic (ištinā'. however. matnā. The root morphemes of numerals are used in Semitic languages as base of verbal derivatives that sometimes have a particular meaning going beyond the basic acceptations "divide into x parts". "four by four". fu'āl (e. Arabic Stem V tarabba'a. rābi'an. e. " I am adjuring you". salsiānu.g. e.4. E. "two". Because of its use in spells and conjurations. "one by one". There are also forms specific to one language or idiomatic ways of expressing iteratives.g. This formation is attested also in Arabic with the old ordinals of the pattern CāCiC: 'awwalan. Although Arabic Stem I I of sb' simply means "to make sevenfold". talāta talāta.g. "two by two".

The Chadic branch. the Hausa pronoun mu of the 1st pers. inni. e. the independent possessive pronouns. kan or isā. and may form reflexive pro­ nouns. su halbi. These five types are the personal pronouns. and mainly as direct object pre­ ceding the verb. e.g. but the fact is that it is identical with the West African pronoun of the Mandingospeaking Vai tribe (e. "they will hunt" (future).g. a non-active or non-subject case (e. "his"). and the indefinite and interrogative pronouns. "they hunted" (preterite). su-na halbi. where the first set is used as copula (§49. "him"). has the greatest number of peculiarities. may be considered as the assimilated element nu > mu (cf. su-ka halbi. both morphological and morpho-syntactical.1. plur.19). Semitic languages have five types of pronouns besides the per­ sonal preformatives and afformatives of the verb inflection which will be discussed in connection with the verb (§40).g.7) of the cor­ responding pronoun in the other Afro-Asiatic branches.g. so that it is the pronoun which seems to be inflected. "they were hunting" (imperfective).g. nišba'. For example. The personal pronouns are subdivided into independent or separate pronouns and suffixed pronouns which can be used with nouns. as usual. In Cushitic languages like Oromo. and suffix-pronouns are found only in Egyptian and in South Ethiopic. "they have hunted" (perfective). mu-fa. One set is used as isolated citation form. This leaves us in Oromo with three sets of personal pronouns that correspond to an active or subject case (e. The system of the pronouns of the personal group can be said to be genetically identical in all five branches of Afro-Asiatic. "he swore".PRONOUNS 297 the reflexive N-stem is used in Hebrew with the meaning "to swear". isā. as predicate. 3.g. pronominal suffixes are replaced by two sets of separate pronouns. "he"). s(u)-ā halbi. The per­ sonals are expressed in Hausa conjugation by separate pronouns that precede the verb and are fused with morphemes indicating aspect and tense. "we say"). PRONOUNS 36. while the second set serves as possesssive pronoun fol­ lowing the noun. §11. and a genitive or pos­ sessive (e. verbs. the determinative-relative pronouns. mu-ro. although full sets of independent pronouns. the demonstra­ tive pronouns. "our father". dependent pronouns. and prepositions. Such constructions do not occur with Semitic per­ sonal pronouns. .

For compari­ son. f. Ugaritic Hebrew Aramaic an(i) 'an-a 'an-talka^ 'an-ti/ki šu-wa ši-ya a) 'anna 'anta ? anāku atta atti ŠŪ ŠĪ 'an. Independent Personal Pronouns 36. hū(') hī(') 'an j am us(u) ice 3 m.2. hinnīn. Palaeosyrian is based on the Ebla texts. nt-tn atin nt-sn 3ntâ-n3ti ièo himmd(n).298 MORPHOLOGY A. for Rendille. a Lowland East Cushitic Language spoken in Kenya. *'antīn. 'inriin . 1 2 m. 3m. although the existing pronouns Egyptian Tuareg Sing. The following paradigm of the independent personal pronoun. in-n n-zkkà-ni n-akkâ-wti kâw-ni kàmâ-ti dntâ-ni inno nih-nu 'an-ta-nu 'an-ti-na šu-nu ši-na ? 'antanu ? sunu ? nlnu attunu attina šunu šìna hm hn ('ā)nahnū. P. which generally preserves archaic Libyco-Berber forms. 'attā 'an hū '(a) hī'(a) 'ānokī 'ânā 'anta.Bab. 'an 'ami. 'attemimā) 'attēn(ā) hèm(mā) hēn(nā) 'ānu 'ânahna(n) 'antūn/m. free form. and for Tuareg. subject case. 1 m. f. 'attūn 'attln 'innūn 2 m. is limited to the principal Semitic languages and to *Proto-Semitic. In-k nt-k nt-t nt-f nt-s n-sk kay kdm Rendille *Pr.-Sem. 'ank 'at 'at hw hy 'ânī. O. a paradigm is added for Egyptian. Dual 1 1 šuwa šiya nt-a 'an-kā 'an-tjk{an)ā š{u-rì)ā *attunā *šunā 2 3 Plur.Syr.

the element (d)nt. plur. intu 'antunna. resulting from the contamination of two older paradigms: one with the demonstrative element (d)nt-. intu hum(ma) hunna. nassatna n3ssdk(atk)um nzss3k{atk)dn n3ss(at)om nsss(at)an j dhha .). 3rs a w w dkdy 'antumā humā dîdy hsy nafynu. hin 'ntmw snha 'dtēm 'dtēn ndhna 'antdmmu 'antsn wa 'dtomu. hi 'n '(n)t 't h(w)' hy' ho{h) hēt hēt ha(h) sē(h) 'ana 'anta 'anti wd'dtu yz'dti 'ana 'dnta 'dnti hdtu hdta 'ana ndssdka ndssdki ndssu mssa {'anta) sne anta anii 3ssu.dllantā. the other without that ele­ ment. like in Egyptian. inta 'anti. (ni)hna 'antum. fem. inti huwa.. nt-t < *nt-ki. Arabic Sabaic Mehri Ge'ez Tigre Tigrinya Amharic 'una. 'dmānîu hdna 'dntum 'antsn hdtom hdtan ndhna. dnnàrsu .PERSONAL PRONOUNS 299 seem to belong to a mixed paradigm. nt-tn < *nt-kin. snnanta hmw hn hēm sēn ' snnāssu. It should be reminded that Old Egyptian /k/ is palatalized into [c] = " t " before the front vowel / i / ( likely to represent an expanded form of and both elements form the basis of South Ethiopic copulae (§49. hū hiya. used for the 1st and 3rd pers.19-20). ana 'anta. drsu 3ss a. However. masc. 'dmuntu ys'dton.. attested with the 2nd pers.

tana (nonsubject). PalaeoSyrian Sing. e. from the Old Akkadian period down­ wards. to which Soddo àdi. its trace can be found in the personal pronouns of the third person singular and plural with an element t (§36.1). Dual 2 3 Plur. an oblique case is attested not only in East Semitic. Palaeosyrian. 1 2 m. 1 2 3 m. and some Arabic vernaculars (humā denoting the plural and not the dual) probably preserve a trace of the oblique case in the third person plural. while Gafat has even a first per­ son singular pronoun anāt(ti). The fol­ lowing paradigm gives the genitive/accusative form. " I " . " I " . The independent personal pronoun of Proto-Semitic most likely possessed at least one non-subject case. Assyrian Old T> i i • Babylonian T T . "me". " I " . banic kuwāti šuwāti yāti ku(w)āti šu(w)āti ' šiāti yāti kāti/a šuāti/u. f. Walamo tani (subject).300 MORPHOLOGY 36. Ugaritic „ .3. in Ugaritic.11). "me". . ana (non-subject). Old . nēti kunūti šunūti šināti hmt hmt hnt s mt l šināt(i) . In fact. f. šāti/u šuāti. f. A n oblique case of the independent personal pronoun is attested also in Cushitic languages (§36. Oromo ani (subject). . Fairly complete paradigms can be established only for East Semitic. and in South Arabian.g. 3 m. but also in Palaeosyrian. šā/ēti hwt hyt hwt hyt s wt s yt l l *kunīti šunīti *kuntti šunīti hmyt s myt l ni{y)āti niāti kunūti kināti šunūti šināti nīāti. and Old Babylonian distin­ guish two oblique cases: the genitive/accusative and the dative.. Old Akkadian. In the Ethiopian languages. Hebrew (hemmā).. Sabaic u Qata. while Phoenician (hmt). is probably related (< *ati).

Sadun-laba > Sadum-laba. which appears as in. "we". The second vowel a was subsequently dissimilated into u or u > i in all Semitic languages. The only distinct feminine form so far encountered is the third person singular šiāšim which occurs in Old Babylonian poetry.5. An alternative explanation is suggested by the colloquial use of 'ana for the masculine and of 'ani for the feminine in the Djebel ed-Drūz (Syria) and in Yemen. 1 2 3 Old Akkadian Old Babylonian yāši(m) kāši(m) šuāšìm. i-. "you".4.3). Qwara (Agaw) an.g. the n of the masculine pronoun changed into m. possibly under the influence of the preceding vowel u. Middle Assyrian kunkā > kumkā.g. an Amorite personal name). 1 2 3 Plur. and in several persons of the Cushitic pronouns.or n. "he". a phenomenon attested sporadically also in East Semitic (e. Old Akkadian. ni. dnt. There can be no doubt about the original nature of n since it is present not only in .g. Palaeosyrian Sing. anân. the use of which was generalized. but the original vowel did not disappear com­ pletely: it is still present in the Neo-Assyrian plural form attanū-ni. Dative forms are attested in Palaeosyrian. as n. the contrasting West Semitic forms 'ânī vs. and Old Babylonian. The initial 'a-. šāši(m) niāšim kunūši(m) šunūši(m) kuwāši šuwāši ni(y)āsi kanūšì šanūši kuāšim šuāšim 36. 'ânā do raise the question whether 'ânā wasn't once an oblique case. "seal!") and in North Semitic (e. at Ebla (an-tdnu). the second person masculine {-ta) and feminine (-ti). as suggested also by the South Ethiopic copula nwhich must go back to the same pronominal element (§49. all persons of the Egyptian pronoun.or followed by morphemes indicating the first person (-a). The first and second persons singular and the second person plural of the subject case have a common element 'an-. In Semitic languages. When compared with Cushitic (§36. The original form of the sec­ ond person masculine plural is attested in Palaeosyrian.20).in the first and third persons of the Tuareg pronoun. In most West Semitic and South Semitic languages.PERSONAL PRONOUNS 301 36.seem to originate from a prosthetic vowel. etc. a. 'an. d-. and the plural masculine (-nu) and feminine (-no). " I " .

5). k. like in the Arabic dual. 24).6. in East Semitic. For the ProtoSemitic dual. Phoenician ('nk).or -t.for both genders (but cf. we assume a suffix -kā with the -ā of the subject case. a-na-ku). Tuareg (nak). A morphological difference characterizes the Tuareg pronouns of the second person which are formed on the basis k. The ending of the first person pronoun dkdy of the Mehri dual corresponds to the dual -ay morpheme of the oblique case. in the Oromo demonstratives (kuni I tuni. " o f them two". 36. " o f you two". Moabite ('nk).17). There is a probable relation between this suffix and the pronominal suffix of the second person singular (-ka / -ki I -ku) and plural (-kun / -kin) (§36. In Arabic. Therefore. " o f us two". the Modern South Arabian forms suggest that the dual mor­ pheme was added to the singular stems of the pronoun. Instead.of the Semitic suffixed pronouns of the second person (§36. etc. §36. Hebrew. These forms seem to imply a Proto-Semitic variant *'an-ka I * 'an-ki of 'an-ta I 'an-ti for the second person singular and may suggest that the addition of -ku I -ki to the independent pronoun of the first person singular arose by analogy with the variant suffix of the second the basis of the second person pronoun not only in Tuareg and in ancient Egyptian (§36. but also in some South Ethiopian languages: the singular pronoun "you" is ank in Argobba.302 MORPHOLOGY Palaeosyrian. 22. exactly as in Old Egyptian where the suffixed dual pronouns are -ny.) with variants in West and North Gurage dialects. In fact. plur. these remote South Arabian idioms may represent the original situation of the dual. 36. Ugaritic ('ank.). akāk in Harari. and in Aramaic.). but that the Semitic languages have later used the forms with -k. Assyro-Babylonian. as well as with the first person dual in Mehri (dkdy) and Soqotri (ki). -ta I -ti raises the problem of the alleged AfroAsiatic opposition of masculine k vs. -tny < *-kny. Old Canaanite (a-nu-ki).) and possessives (kiyya / tiyya. oka (masc. and ancient Egyptian (ink). §12.7. "you".2). as exemplified e. "my". but also in Egyptian (nttn < *ntkn. .4).g.19. one might assume that once upon a time there had been an opposition of masculine *an-ka vs. this ending is added to the plural stems. The additional suffix -ku I -ki of the first person singular is attested in Old Akkadian (a-na-ku^ a-na-ku-ú). The alternation -ka I -ki vs. Samalian ('nk). feminine *an-ti (cf. feminine t. Since more and more Proto-Semitic features are being discovered in Semitic languages and dialects which are still spoken. -śny = *-šny. "this". etc.

in Tigrinya only in the vocative "O you!" (' several Semitic languages (§15. e. 41. annantā for both genders. The Semitic element nih is followed by this morpheme -n. we may posit a Proto-Semitic element Š-. collo­ quial Arabic (nihna).is implied by East Semitic (nīnu).6). thus allantā. vocalized anon or anan in Coptic. The Proto-Semitic personal pronoun of the second person plural. instead. although Egyptian inn. thus àkàkac. like Walamo inte (subject). thus annantá or dnnantum. The West Semitic vocalization nah. plural of the singular ank.). For the first person plural of the subject case we may posit the Proto-Semitic form nih-nu. is replaced by secondary formations in most modem Ethiopian languages. and in Egyptian. "person". "you".10. nuni. in Semitic. As for the variants in the final vowel. where the dissimilation did not take place. Harari adds the nominal plural ending -ac to the singular pronoun akak.g. indicates that the element 'an. Amharic prefixes the element dllá I dnnà of the plural demonstrative (§36. It is still found in Tigre ('antum. 45) to the singular pronoun antā. exactly as in the suffixed personal pronoun . thus nassakum for the masculine and nassakan for the feminine. "you" (§36. in Cushitic. use forms basically identical with the suffixed personal pronoun.u> d) This explanation is con­ firmed indirectly by the Assyro-Babylonian change nīnu > nīni. the -a of Aramaic.4).). in Chaha: aku (masc). nuna. 36. Tigrinya uses the suffixed noun nāfs > mss. while Cushitic nu.8. akma (fem. intena (non-subject). and fem. 'antan). and in some East Gurage dialects (atum. attested in Ge'ez. thus dnnankum. 36. masc. Argobba prefixes the same element anna to ankum. etc Instead. 'antarì). colloquial Arabic. other than East Gurage. in LibycoBerber.PERSONAL PRONOUNS 303 36. the weakly opposed vowels i and u were harmonized. which changed into h.which is used for the first person plural also in the suffixed personal pronouns.9. as well as dual. inno seem to indicate that nu is the only common element of Afro-Asiatic. Modem South Arabian. and Ge'ez (ndhna). For the third person singular and plural.10). some Cushitic languages of Ethiopia preserve the original plural pronoun "you".33. while Gafat prefixes it to the sin­ gular anta or to the plural antum.was used also for the first person plural. while the form probably due to the influence of the following pharyngal (§27. while the Gurage dialects. and all the Ethiopian languages is likely to be occasioned by a dissimilation of the final -u of nihnu from since the opposition /: u is weak in Ara­ bic and in South Semitic languages (i > d.

17). as in Ge'ez.3).). 9 36. "them". §41. especially šūt. and hdta. yi(n). the independent personal pronouns are h't (*hd'tu) for the 3rd pers. with the t of the oblique case. "these" (fern. "her". and ydt. isī. e.11). cf. Gafat comes closest to Ge'ez with the pronouns wdt.g. anterior to the change ša > ha of the mascu­ line pronoun. Variant forms appear in Palaeosyrian (su-u /šū/. the endings -u and -a being those of the suffixed pronouns of the third per­ son masculine and feminine (§36. with parallel changes (§36. their". §61. hut. "he". hida. These forms are paralleled in Cushitic. isāni. "he". It is likely that this vowel was originally short.of the feminine. wd'dtomu and yd'dton for the plural. and in the Western omitted and the ending of the former oblique case of the independent personal pronoun is added to the elements wa. . Among the modern Ethiopian languages. "he". however. his". "he". or huda. ti(n).20).> '-. which resulted in a masculine pronoun šu-wa and a feminine pronoun si-ya. the initial element hu.> hd. "he". hit. which likewise preserve the / or voice it to d.> hd. which are used in Old Assyrian. with a vowel correspond­ ing qualitatively to the semivowels w and y. The distinction between masculine and feminine was indicated by the suffixed morphemes -wa and -ya. "they. it may have resulted from an early shift šī > sī. In Ge'ez. The same morpheme characterizes the plural in Cushitic.). "she").g. in Middle Assyrian./ ši. Oromo isān. in the causative verbal stem (š. In the variant form of the plural pronoun. The plural was marked by the addition of the morphemes -nu and -na.and ya-. "this" (masc). and šīt./ hi. that must be related to the Libyco-Berber determinatives wa. As for the feminine sē of Modern South Arabian languages. masc sing. also in Old Assyr­ ian and in later Assyro-Babylonian dialects. "he". The h also survives or is rein­ forced to h in the Gurage dialects. si Isil. "him. "she". "she". "she". plur. cf. "these" (masc). masc. These dialectal forms are obviously related to Tigre which has preserved the hu. The resulting forms are wd'dtu and ya'dti for the singular.5). and they distinguish the masculine -u ending from the feminine -/. In an early Ge'ez inscrip­ tion. Oromo isā.g. e.of the masculine and the hi. thus 'dmuntu and 'dmāntu. these morphemes are placed before the ending of the former oblique case.< šu. thus with the addition of the plural morphemes -mu and -n(a). e. "this" (fern.2). ta. "she".> h.304 MORPHOLOGY of the third person (§36.11.> '-m/n. and derive from the oblique case (§36. as shown by hdtu. like for the second person plural. and hmnt (*hdmuntu) for the 3rd pers. "she". and in the conditional particle (s-m/n > h-m/n.

Gafat.PERSONAL PRONOUNS 305 36. differ from Ge'ez. and Argobba express these pronouns by a noun with a suffixed pronoun of the third person. "he".is very likely related to the demonstrative han. Harari has for the masculine azzo. and Harari.1. The form of the second and third persons sin­ gular can be traced back in the Egyptian language of the Pyramid texts and of the Old Kingdom (§2. C 1. "her person" > "she". "he". Tigrinya. w w 36.> -zz.9). for the feminine azze. e. Argobba. "me".32). for the plural azziyac. Argobba has kdssu. from *rd'sa.122) and they are closely related to the old use of the suffixed form of the same noun to express the reflexive pronoun (§36.12. Other Ethiopian in Hebrew hazze. 36. Zway aya). "his person" > "he".17) and a second element -(w)āti / -ūtì. when the corresponding masculine inde­ pendent pronouns were twt (i. and Gurage in the formation of the personal pronoun of the third person. Tigre. "he said to himself". in the Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group.(§36. These formations of the personal pro­ noun parallel an Aramaic use of the suffixed noun tips (e. the endings -zo. "he". . "you". "her belly" > "she". The morpheme -t(i) characterizes the object-case of the personal pronoun also in Cushitic languages. Amharic. probably from kársu. *cuwāti < *kuwāti). "his head" > "he". lit. and śwt (*šuwāti). Amharic dssu.13. Tigrinya. The vocalization of the South Arabian pro­ nouns hwt and hyt of the third person singular is reflected in Andalusian forms transmitted by Pedro de Alcalá as huet and hiet.g.28). anat. "she". drs a.2). from nafsu. npšy V td' 'rh'. -ze. They obviously go back to the determinative-relative element z (§36. "they". with an assimilation -nz. and kdssa.14. and dss a. like for the sec­ ond person plural (§36. "us". and nafsa.g. drsu comes from *rd'su.e. Tigrinya has ndssu. Amharic.g. ydt. Classical Arabic qāla li-nafsihl. "you". the final vowel of which is occa­ sionally replaced by a or u. but y results there from the palatalization n > h > y. The oblique case of the independent personal pronoun has a first element corresponding to the suffixed personal pronouns (§36.41). Hebrew 'al tašši'ū napšotēkem. kut. The element yaof the first person singular apparently parallels the independent personal pronoun " I " in Argobba (ay) and in some Gurage dialects (Chaha and Ennemor dya\ Masqan dyya. While the element az. ndssa. from kársa. "my person will not know the way": TAD I I I . "his belly" > "he". "do not deceive yourselves". "her head" > "she". -ziyac are the respective suffixed personal pronouns of Harari. "she". e. viz.

Egyptian Sing. f. -k -Su. The bound form of personal pronouns can be attached to nouns as possessive pronouns. -iyi -k -m -s f -t -s — -ka -ki -s -s -na -ka -ki -sa -ta -iy -ni -ka -ki -ŠU -ī. 1 2 m. i. -niya -kumaya. f f Tuareg Bedja Hausa *Proto-Semitic Palaeosyrian Old Babylonian -i. For details. " 3 m. f.306 MORPHOLOGY 36. -šumā -šunī[ti/ši] -n Ì ' J 1 ' J -í n -na. [-sum] -Sa. [-ku] -ki -šu -ša. and Old Baby­ lonian independent personal pronoun. Old Akkadian. -kumān -kunī[ti/ši] -iśumaya. [-kum] -ki. -ya -{an)ni. Dual 1 2 3 Plur. as accusative and as dative. Suffixed Personal Pronouns 36. to prepositions to express various relations. -nu. -š -I. -ni -kunu ? -ni[ātifāši] -kun(u)[/ūti/ūši\ -kin(a)[lātilāši] -šun(u)[lūtilūši] -šin(a)[/āti/āši] - -śn -san 1 -tan 1 -sna -sant 1 -tant J -su{m) -šunu -šini . -ya -ni -ka. B. There is no evident connection between this element and the postpo­ sition -iš I -es of the so-called dative-adverbial case of the noun (§32. 1 (noun) ] " -/ (vei-b) j 2 m. Allomorphs may occur after a verb.17). pending on the consonantal or vocalic ending of the verbal form. e. -š. 3 m. and to verbs both as direct and as indirect object. or by way of assimila­ tion or contraction.16. -na -warn -wamt 1 J -n -kna -mu -ku(m) -na -kun -kin -šun -šin -na. [Si] -Jfc -t -f -Ś 1 -t -ša -ny -tny -śny -nay{a) -k{un)ay{a) -š{un)ay(á) -naya. [-a] -ka. ana šu(w)āšim šateršum. the second element is -(w)āši I -ūši instead of -{w)āti / -ūti.g.e. grammars of the various languages and dialects should be consulted.15. In the dative of the Palaeosyrian. " i t is ascribed to him". The attachment of these suffixes to the noun may be effected either by means of case endings or glide vowels.

-n. -himā -ki -hmy -hi -nā. "my soul". -o. -o. but not in Old Assyrian. attested in Old Akkadian and in Old Babylonian. "all of them". I fi. -ha -ki -km -kumā -humā. -ya -rii -ka -ki -huli. 36. ni-sdbra. -u. The particular morphemes of these forms are placed between square brackets without the mimation which is often added to the dative ending -ši(m). -wo -a. -hw -i. -šá -ya -ni -ka -ki -ye -ni -ka -ki -k -k -āy -ni -ka < )e -nn -h y V/.14). e. Bedja. •-k -hi. "his place". -nn] -hū. -ki -n.i -h. -āw. Besides the paradigm for the main Semitic languages and for the reconstructed Proto-Semitic forms. -hà -hu -s. the pronouns are not suffixed but prefixed or placed before the noun in the possessive form and before the verb in the form of the object-case (§36. -ih -hā. ka -š. -an -km -kn -hm -hn -n -kem{ā) -ken(ā) -kon/m -kēn -{aíía)n -kammu -kum -kan -kan -{h)omu -(h)om -{h)on -(h)an -kum -kan -{w)om -(w)ān -aéèahu -aíéàw -kum(ū) -kunna -kmw -kam -km -ham -san -hem{ā). -nn] -hā. like the Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group. -him(ū) -hmw -hunna.g. -hinna -hn . -ā(h) -ki -Š -U. in the accusative and the dative for Palaeosyrian and East Semitic. -yà -ay -k. -) -t •w. -wa -wa. -6 -i -nī -k -kl. etc. "your shadow". -hū/i -hā *-n •k *-k -hw -h. a paradigm of Egyptian. -a. Tuareg. anadàra or anâ adâra.17. ām{6) -hon/m -hen(ā). '-nh. ki-lāmda. ys-nkdra. Ugaritic Hebrew Aramaic Classical Arabic Sabaic Mehri Ge'ez Tigre Tigrinya Amharic -V -// -i -ni -kā -k. -ān(ā) -hēn -hum(ū). -ah -I.SUFFIXED PRONOUNS 307 In some Cushitic languages. The following paradigm of the suffixed personal pronoun in the principal Semitic languages includes the East Semitic and Ugaritic suf­ fixes of the verb. -hu -u. and Hausa suffix-pronouns is added for comparison. -sa -hā -nh. "our God". nay-ki.

The vowel i. Therefore. -the Amharic masculine suffix -h and the Gafat mascu­ line suffix -hà have in reality a [x] derived from a spirantized -k(d). " o f my mistress". lit.308 MORPHOLOGY 36.23). and in 'ddennī <*'odē-nī (cf. The third person singular reflects the same changes š > h as the independent pronoun (§36. occurring first with the suffix of the first person after nominal forms terminating in long vowels to prevent hiatus. Assyro-Babylonian be-el-ti-i-a.19. "he is". is usually absorbed in the palatal. The second person singular suffixes -ka. yeš-nām. but yeš is a frozen form of a verb (§49. e. "my father". Both forms -y and -h occur as verbal suffixes also in Gafat (South Ethiopic).8). like in other South Ethiopian languages. "she is". and Amharic -s < -k. while Amharic -t of the masculine is an allomorph of -u I -w after the vowel -u. yeš-nāh.). 36.g. Old Phoenician 'b. The latter derives from a palatalized -ki > -c ("t") (§15. . The suffix of the first person singular. with the exception of Mehri -dy.10) and corresponds exactly to the Egyptian "dependent" pronouns św (masc. "my father's"). It corresponds to the Egyptian suf­ fixed pronoun The form -ay. and spread later to other persons. The feminine forms in -s of Modern South Arabian should be related to the sē of the independent pronoun (§36. "my time". 'ddē-nūlhū). Palaeosyrian exhibits a shortened form -š of both the masculine (l-suf) and the femi­ nine il-saf) passessive suffixes (genitive).g. -ki. colloquial Yemenite.20. "my horses". which causes palatalization. Gafat -c / -š < -ki.10). is -iy > -1 after a consonant or a short vowel. This nominal -n. The Hebrew nominal suffix -ni in kāmd-riī. The femi­ nine suffix -at is the corresponding nominal ending (§30. results from the adding of -I to the ending of the masculine dual or plural construct state. The Amharic masculine object suffix -(a)w and the Hebrew suffix -āw / -6 result from contractions of the type -ahu > -au > -aw > -o. plur. and -ku for the masculine dative. Perhaps by analogy with the suffix of the first person plural.30). a better parallel is provided by the Phoenician and Punic suffix -nm of the 3rd pers. but it is still -dni in the Harsūsi dialect. Instead. attested in Hebrew and in Aramaic.1-3).18.) and śy (fern.) and -t (fern. *sūsay-ī > sūsāy. added to a noun or to a preposition. is paralleled at sight by Mishnaic Hebrew yes-no. "like me". and -ya after a long vowel and after the originally short vowel i of the genitive (e. 36. exactly as Modern South Arabian. regardless of the termination of the governing word.suffix is a probable transference from verb to noun or preposition. "they are".) (§36. the suffix of the verb is -ni. but 'by. correspond to Egyptian -k (masc.

and Tuareg.nn. without final vowel: Amharic fâl- . The dual forms of Proto-Semitic ended most likely in -ay(a) which is also the ending of dual nouns in the oblique case and which appears in Ugaritic -ny. "was given up"). "Our father". the Gurage dialects (-na. -nn of the third person sin­ gular can be explained by the use of the energic endings -anna or -an of the prefix conjugation (§39. -kuni. As for the second n of the -nn suffix. "Our brother". -n.SUFFIXED PRONOUNS 309 36. 'aqrbrn.g. "Our mountain"). §36. while -n stands for -an + hū > -annū (e. but also by the archaic or dialectal suf­ fix -na in Old Akkadian (e. " I shall bury him").23. gú-ma-a l-kumayal. -nh represents the ending -anna + hū (e. the suffix of the first person plural is attested also under the form -(a)n. in-ne-du-ú for normal Babylonian innadū. A-bu-na. A-hu-na. 36. in Palaeosyrian -na-a l-nayal or -ne-a l-niyal.g. and Hebrew is most likely the result of analogy with the final vowel -ū of the inde­ pendent pronoun (§36. 'aqbrnh. The Proto-Semitic suffix of the first person plural was most likely -na. as suggested not only by Palaeosyrian. " I shall bury him"). it should be compared with the enclitic -dn which can be added in Gurage dialects to the object suffix of the main perfect or imperfect without an apparent change in meaning. The Ugaritic suffix nn of e. Aramaic. "The Saviour is our god") and by the frequent form -ne of the suffix in the Mari documents.8-11).in the position u-u. like in comparable cases at Mari (e. often written as a separate word. Gafat (-na). yqbr. Tigrinya (-na). -Ma). Arabic.of -u.g. Tigre. corroborated both by Amorite names (e.g. "you make us die": EA 238. with the allomorph -t.21. Sa-dú-na. "he buried him". -Una. and apparently Palaeosyrian (-ne I-nil) results possibly from the generalized use of the old ending of the oblique case (?) -ni. "he killed him". The vocalization -nu of Palaeosyrian.g. lš-hi-lu-na /Yit'(u)-'iluna/.2). Ge'ez. -tny < *-kny. in Old Egyptian -ny. AssyroBabylonian. while the suffix -ni of Old Akkadian. 36. e. "of both".g. Old Canaanite (ti-mi-tu-na-nu.g. a spelling which seems to imply a colloquial reduction of an original Amorite -na.7). Since -nh alternates with -n in other­ wise identical contexts. -šuni.33).or reflects the Proto-Semitic situa­ tion (cf. should then be explained as *-an+hū+un > -annūn. -śny = -šny. gāddàlā-nnd-t-dn < *gáddālâ-nnu-u-3n. In several languages. -su-ma-a l-šumayaj. and it is implied by the Modern South Arabian -ki < -kay and -hi < -hay. The latter group of languages either did not preserve the plural morpheme -n/m. Harari (-zina).22. The Ugaritic object suffixes -nh.

with a great variety in their Old Akka­ dian use (-šunu/i/a) and a generally attested feminine -šin in that idiom. while the Arabic forms -kumū.g. e.26) or represent a late development by analogy with singular suffixes. Mehri and Harsūsi -abydtidn. but there is no evidence to show that there was a formal distinction between accusative and dative suffixes. The suffixed pronouns sometimes have dative force in other Semitic languages as well.5) have to be taken into account and Proto-Semitic forms -kun and -kin posited.24). "he wanted us". "to you". The dative suffixes -kum. For the second person plural. In Modern South Arabian. 36.3-4). -hmh. " i n your hand"). -himū are poetical and can alternate. "our houses". there is either no final vowel in poetry (-kun) or the vowel is -u (-kunu). In Old Babylonian. -hnh) may either be a trace of the ProtoSemitic oblique case in -āt (§36. while the ending -īši(m) / -ūši(m) I -āši(m) is employed for the plural dative suffixes in Old Akkadian and Babylonian. The ending -āt(i) / -ūti is used for the plural suffixes of the Babylonian accusative and of the Assyrian dative. -šim). -kum.5.310 MORPHOLOGY làgán. are attested also in Palaeosyrian. . In Old Akkadian. without the final vowels which are unstable and which are missing or can be omitted in most Semitic languages.25. with -himi. the personal suffixes are affixed to definite nouns (§33. -humū. -kim. -šum. With the exception of the accusative/dative pronoun -ni(m) of the first person singular. 10). The vowels marked by h in the suffixed pronouns of the Hebrew Qumrān scrolls (-kmh.26. -knh. "to him". since the same text has in na-ap-ha-ri-su-nu.9). attested in all Semitic languages. and it is not certain that this is due to the oblique case. the attested vowel is -/ (in qá-tì-ku-ni. 36. The Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian dative of the singular suffixes is characterized by the frequent use of the mimation (-nim. Both types of endings correspond to those of the independent pronouns (§36.. " i n their total". the situation is the same as for the second person (§36. As for the final vowels. "our house". and there is an additional suf­ fix -a(m) of the first person.24. Neo-Aramaic bētan. followed by the Old Babylonian poetry. 36. only traces of the oblique case of the pronominal suffix are attested outside Palaeo­ syrian and East Semitic. and -sum. The observations made on the consonantal elements of the inde­ pendent pronoun are relevant also for the suffixes of the third person plural (§36. the observations on the indepen­ dent pronoun (§36.

"head" (e.g.16). the simple form of which is used in Gurage dialects with the sense of "single". A similar use is attested in other Semitic languages.g. "head" (cf.g. However. It is likely that qnūm-.g. one act­ ing as direct object. as qaqqadu. > n 9 s s . besides the generally recognized ramanu (e. while its derivative indicates the unit in the Gafat numeral "eleven": asra qdmcatta {<qdmt < *qdn-t + atta).g. Hebrew 'āmar bd-libbo. "body" (e. with the required pronominal suffix.g. but also with nouns meaning "head". "he said to himself").g.g. one finds sometimes another noun. e. Reflexive Pronoun 36. This word probably derives from the reduplicated root *qdnqdn.12).g.functioning with a suffix as a kind of reflexive pronoun. qaqqassa ana šīmim iddin. pagaršu ina šīmim iddin. Arabic ba'ata 'dā Marwāna fada'āhu 'ilayhi. Assyro-Babylonian. "alone" (quna > qura-). being". qdl-eh.. qdl-u. Christian Palestinian Aramaic has a word qlqn. Two suffixes can be added to a verb without intermediate preposition in Old Akkadian. Old Babylonian atrudakkušsu < *atrud-am-kum-šu.. "about herself". "I sent it to you". Neo-Punic p'l mqr. In East Semitic.28. Punic. Hebrew wayy'aś Id 'Ēhūd hereb (Judg. Hebrew nišba' bd-napšo. the other as indirect object. and ra'as. lit. " I myself". C . Sabaic grmk. "person. "bone" (e. "you yourself"). "he gave it to me". The first person suffix precedes the sec­ ond and third persons. e.g. and *qdn have the same origin and that Amharic qdl. Semitic languages prefer to employ the noun raman-. regardless of their syntactical function. This construction is attested frequently in Ethiopic. "oneself" (e. "belly" (cf. e. instead. "she sold herself"). also §36. quna. Syriac. 3. "about her bone".g. especially with nafs "soul". "he swore by himself"). "for himself"). the usual suffixed pronouns that are then refer­ ring to the subject of the sentence. qīqrii. e. "Maqer made it for himself".27. l-qn'm. is an allophone of qdn. Phoenician. "self". Classical Arabic 'a'tā-nī-hi. "person". "yourself"). not only with napš(e. "himself". the second precedes the third. with the change n > I. or napš-. §36.R E F L E X I V E PRONOUN 311 36. "he sold himself"). and Arabic. "he sent for Marwān and summoned him to himself". Syriac 'al garmah. . "by himself". Syriac ba-qnūmeh. There is no distinct reflexive pronoun in the Semitic languages which can use. "heart" (e. and Samaritan Aramaic use also the noun qnūm-. ana ramanisu. "Ehud made a sword for himself". or pagru.12).

has such a pronoun which is formed by the comple­ ment of appurtenance yâ. f.29. Beside the suffixed personal pronouns of the noun which act as possessive pronouns (§36. Independent Possessive Pronouns 36. the independent possessive pronoun originally formed a separate inflectional class which is indicated by some Old Babylonian forms. In East Semitic. Semitic languages do not distinguish. tw < *kw tn św śy. with the exception of Harari. ya '-um yatturn kūm < < ya'-t-um 2 m.30. f. and South Ethiopic. East Semitic has two types of indepen­ dent possessive pronouns which are formed on the same basic mor­ phemes as the suffixed personal pronoun. Plur. There can be little doubt about the Proto-Semitic or even Afro-Asiatic origin of the posses- Independent Possessive Pronouns Egyptian Sing. 36.17). śt <*kn kuwa-um kan(?)-t-um šuwa-um < šan{l)-t-um kattum < šūm < šattum nūm < m-um *kunūm < kuni-um šunūm < šuni-um . while the process of its transfer into the adjectival category is already accomplished in Old Assyrian. wì Old Babylonian sing. 3 m.combined with the personal pronoun. between suus and eius.312 MORPHOLOGY D. in the way Latin does.

In the feminine forms. the Old Babylonian forms attested with "pronomi­ nal" inflection. and the adjectival inflection of the mainly Assyrian forms of the possessive pronoun in the nominative case. like Latin meus. since it is paralleled by the Old Egypt­ ian "dependent" pronoun. meae.g. and "plur. This inflection probably reveals a Proto-Semitic or even Afro-Asiatic origin of this independent possessive pronoun. The "pronominal" inflection of the Old Babylonian pronoun is char­ acterized by the plural ending -un which is considered as common to the Afro-Asiatic languages. muslim-un. The following table shows the Egyptian dependent pronoun. it is added to the fem­ inine morpheme -t.48) in a pattern comparable with the Arabic collective ending -atun (e. Old Assyrian sing. The two sets "sing". Independent Possessive Pronouns Old Babylonian plur. Old Assyrian plur. "Moslems"). This ending is added in the masculine forms to the abstract-collective morpheme -vtt (§29. muslim-atun. mei.INDEPENDENT POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS 313 sive with pronominal inflection. mea. "Moslem". yūtun < ya '-ūt-un ya'-t-un kuwa-ūt-un kan(l)-t-un šuwa-ūt-un šan(l)-t-un ya'um yātum ku(yv)a 'um ku(w)atum šu(w)a'um šu{w)atum ya 'ūtum yattun < kūtun < yātum ku(w)a ku(w)ātum *šu(w)a'ūtum *šu(w)ātum > šā'ūtum 'ūtum kattun < šūtun šattun < < nūtun < ni-ūt-un ni(y)a'um ni(y)atum kunu'um kunūtum *šunu šunūtum 'um ni(y)a ni(y)ātum *kunu 'ūtum *kunūtun < kuni-ūt-un 'ūtum kunu(w)ātum 'šunu 'ūtum *šunūtun < šuni-ūt-un šunu(w)ātum . etc." refer respectively to the singleness and the plurality of the items possessed.

< * 'aytu-. 'yt. 'iyyā-ka I -ki. when the object possessed is of the feminine gender (e. "yours" fem. 'ēt of Hebrew. The Middle Babylonian use of attu. and yt of Aramaic. which is an optional mark of the definite direct object.(< ntā-).parallels that of the Ethiopic complements of appurtenance nāy. Middle Babylonian Tigre Sing. "his").10). when the object possessed is of the masculine gender (e. "his"). attukunu f. attušina 3 nāyna nāykum nāykdn nāyom nāyan yàrína < yà-dhna "ours" } \ yànnantā < yā-annantā "yours" J ] >• yànnàssu < yā-dnnāssu "theirs" J . wt. attukina m. We give here the Middle Babylonian. attušunu f. nā-sa. which is to be identified with the Arabic particle 'iyyā < 'iyyatintroducing the suffixed pronominal object ('iyyā-ya. etc.and yá-. the Tigre. Edomite. "you". and the Amharic para­ digms in parallelism. combined with the suffixed or independent personal pronouns. and it occurs also in Hausa (Chadic) with the complements of appurtenance nā-. and tā. 1 2 Amharic 3 attu 'a m. A similar formation is attested in Cushitic and in Egyptian.31. t of Punic and Mishnaic Hebrew (Bar Kokhba letters). attuka f. attušu f.g. "me". 1 2 attuni m. "his" "hers" Plur.314 MORPHOLOGY 36. attuki m.g. and Moabite. either noun or pronominal suffix (§52.) and with the "accusative" particle 'yt of Phoenician. tā-sa. attuša nāye nāyka nāyki nāyu nāya yàna < yā-dtie yantà < yà-antà yanéi < yā-ancì yâssu < yà-zssu yâss a < yà-dss a w w "mine" "yours" masc. In the non literary language of the Middle Babylonian period appears a new type of independent possessive pronoun formed by addi­ tion of possessive suffixes to the complement of appurtenance attu.

and with its later syncopated form hart. are attested in Gafat. "she" (§36. thus hn-d (*hanni-dū or *hinna-dū).in nearly all the South Ethiopian languages.6 ff. The demon­ strative position of "previously mentioned" can be assumed by the def­ inite article or its equivalent (§33. However. dnna (fern. and anna (plur. It is used also in Libyco-Berber (§36.of the West Semitic definite article. because the same root morpheme. "this". The equiva­ lent of annium in Mishnaic Hebrew is hallā and in Syriac hand.). "these". vs. sometimes under a variant form or with affixes. "this ".DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS 315 E. In South Ethiopic. Gafat dhhd < *hinni. "that ". ahhd < *hanni.33.from the "far" demonstrative in -a I a. which formally corresponds to the later Hebrew hazze. while dhhd occurs in various Amharic compounds.g. za.appears in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian under the form anni-u(m) > annūirrì). Demonstrative Pronouns 36. (?) (?) 36.45). §36. those"). "this". vs. There is one Proto-Semitic root morpheme that functions essentially as demonstrative. and an-ne /hanni/. viz. these") (cf.).32. with the same final vowel -ā as in Arabic plural 'ulā. "this". in Assyrian also ammiu(m) and allū. vs. *hanni. ya. to Gafat dnnāz(dh). "this". placed before or after a substantive. This distinction can be estab­ lished for each language only on a contextual basis. and to Amharic dnnàzzih or dllāzzih. besides the Amharic base -āzzih preceded by various prepositions. the opposition d : a distinguishes the "near" demonstrative in -d / d.34). "that" (§36. e.). anne or dnnā. Arabic hādā (§36.with its variants *halli.38).45). It does not yet appear clearly whether the same opposition exists in Palaeosyrian between i-ne /hinnil. "these". The same demonstrative is composed in Ugaritic with the determinative-rel­ ative pronoun d > d. both literary and dialectal.> hā.13). with a Babylonian variant ullūm. Besides. The demonstrative * hanni. Two series of demonstratives can be distinguished in the Semitic languages: demonstratives of remoter deixis or "far" demon­ stratives ("that. annāz. "that". "those". a/dnnà (plur. "these" (§36.33-34). can be used in both acceptations. are found in East Gurage. The initial h was also preserved in the Aramaic dialect attested indirectly by the Neo- .and 'ulli-. Gurage zd. "he". azze. "that". and demonstratives of nearer deixis or "near" demonstratives ("this. the independent personal pronoun of the third person. to Harari azzo. Amharic yd(h). and the determinative-relative pro­ noun have the value of a demonstrative in several Semitic languages. while the North Ethiopic Tigre demonstrative is 'dlli < *'ulli. a/dhhd (masc).).

34. where the fossilized pronominal suffix -š used as definite article (§33. with a variant 9n(n)ahuš. that go back to the allophone *hanna of the demonstrative. and Harari hoi. 'dllū in Ge'ez.13) is added to the demonstrative. 'ēlle. "here he is". .in Classical Arabic.3-4). while other Ethiopian languages adapt its final to the usual ending of the perfect. Gafat and other Gurage dialects have forms based on and. end. which is etymo­ logically and functionally related to the demonstrative.g. m.reflected by all these forms paral­ lels the shift han. matter". The principal forms of the Assyro-Babylonian demonstrative *(h)anni. f. best attested in the Gurage dialects (e.of the definite article (§33. The change -nn. The change h > ' is otherwise widespread in the West and South Semitic lan­ guages which kept using the morpheme *hanni to express the plural demonstrative: 'ēlle. and in the Sabaic indefinite pronoun hn-mw or hl-mw. to alternate the liquids / and n (§17.316 MORPHOLOGY Assyrian hanniu. in the 18th century. 'illēk. Related Demonstrative Pronouns Assyro-Babylonian Sing. and it is used in Tigrinya under the form 'alio. preserved in Tigre ha(tu) and in the Gafat -ho suffix: *halla hu.> -11.35). thus "thing. The demonstrative annitān at Mari is interpreted here as a frozen feminine dual originally meaning "this and that".10).'ulā. Dual m. "here he is". anniu(m) annitu(m) anniān annitān anniūtuim) anniātuim) Ugaritic hnd = *hanni/a-dū hndit) = *hanni/a-dā(t) hndn = *hanni/a-dān *hndtn = *hanni/a-dātān . "whatever". This shift should be explained by the ancient tendency of the Semitic languages. 'It in ancient South Arabian. Ge'ez compound hallo is further inflected like a perfect notwith­ standing its present meaning. in the very compound dn(n)aho < *hanna-hu. "forked digging pick"). Amharic and Argobba alia.> 'al. some Gurage dialects alā. wanndt and wállāt. "there he is". 7 in Phoenician. goes prob­ ably back to the frozen demonstrative halla followed by the personal pronoun hu. The latter is still attested in Gafat. The Ethiopic verb of presence hallo < *hallaw. 36. "he is (present)". 'Men in Aramaic. 'In.are given below in the non contracted form (-ium > -ūm). 'ēllū in Hebrew. in the Punic dialectal demonstrative hnkt (§36. Plur. m. > *hallau > *hallaw. a phrase comparable with ancient Hidjazi huwa dā. thus Tigre halla. f. f.

DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS 317 demonstratives are selected only from Ugaritic. to the element agā (agāšū I -šī I -šunu).(§36. anna (plur. while its variant forms. "here". agannūtu (masc. "the tent (in ques­ tion)". Demonstrative Pronouns Syriac hānā hādē Mandaic Mishnaic Hebrew hallā Sabaic (hn/l-mw) Tigre 'dlli 'dlla In hallēn h 'n 'twn h 'n 'tyn 'In 'It 'dllom 'dllan .). A by-form ending in -a adds the nuance of "mentioned before".). This demonstrative is attested also in Libyco-Berber where it is used as a "far" demonstrative. although forms from other idioms could also be referred to. — followed by the complete regressive assimilation ng > gg. dnna (fern. and 'dlli in Tigre are also used for the nearer deixis. possibly derives from *han-kā with a partial progres­ sive assimilation nk > ng. Sabaic. 'ln/t in Sabaic. The Neo-BabyIonian and Late Babylonian "near" demonstra­ tive agā (masc). — frequent in Late Babylonian (§27. while Mandaic hānāt. a-ham-dnna.35. A parallel "far" demonstrative was formed by adding the independent personal pronoun šū (masc).7). The pronoun anniu(m) is used in Assyro-Babylonian as demonstrative of nearer deixis.). Mandaic.). "that jackass".g.).and Mishnaic Hebrew hallā appear to be "far" deictic pronouns. anna (plur.). plur. hand in Syriac. The Gafat "near" demonstrative is dhhd (masc). šunu (plur. e. ammiu(m) and allū in Assyrian. and ullūm in Babylonian. agātu (fern. The plural was usually formed by adding the demonstrative anniūtu > annūtu (masc) or anniātu > annētu (fern.). and Tigre.). plur.) to the element ag(g) < *ang < *hank. e. Also the Punic demonstrative hnkt combines hnwith the deictic element -ko (cf. Mishnaic Hebrew. a-ġyul-inn. It is invariable and is suffixed to the noun. šī (fern. 36.32): ahhd (masc). Hebrew and Punic ko < ka. while the "far" demonstrative has an initial a. The demonstratives hn-d in Ugaritic. are employed as "far" demonstratives. agannētu or agātu (fern.g. Syriac.

. . nominative oblique case Sing. šī (ha)hV h'. . f. Since there is no assimilation of n. nominative oblique case Tuareg East Semitic Hebrew Phoenician Aramaic šū pw wu-1 wa- šuā(ti/u) (ha)hū' h' hw(') tw tu-1 ta- si šiāti. sunatunu r (ha)hem(ma) hmt innun iptn tin- v . 'st). "this one (a man) is buried under this stele". although the demonstrative employed as adjective has a case inflection in East "Far" Demonstrative Pronouns Egyptian Sing. . f. West Gurage. satina ' v hmt . hy hy Ipn win- . . Phoenician. nominative oblique case Dual m. . nominative oblique case Plur. m. this results from the following examples: n'pš š 'dyt hnkt 'bnt. _ . sunuti. nominative oblique case Plur. This demonstrative is used for both genders and appears to function as an adjective and as a pronoun of the nearer deixis. m. 36. "the memorial of 'dyt (PN) is this stele". Aramaic. "this is her stele". hnkt qybr tht 'bn zt. a form *hafinnilakdt has to be assumed. The distinction between the personal pro­ noun and the demonstrative is here not formal but functional. The independent personal pronoun of the third person is used as a demonstrative in East Semitic.. [innokot] i f the word appears in the "Poenulus" of Plautus.9) followed by the ending -t which is suffixed in Phoenician-Punic also to other demonstratives (hmt. Hebrew. .-f. st. ancient South Arabian. hnkt n'bn'. y (hā)hennā sinati(na).318 MORPHOLOGY §49.36.

the Old Egyptian demonstratives.DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS 319 Semitic and in Epigraphic South Arabian. and the main variants of the Tuareg pronominal bases of demon­ stratives are added in the first and second columns of the paradigm. Also the suffixed personal pronoun was used as a kind of demonstrative and as definite article. but used as definite article as well (§33.13). The Tigre "far" demonstrative is also related to the inde­ pendent personal pronoun. viz. hy' hyt hmy hmyt *s y s yt ] laha 'ata hita *s my s myt i i hānon (')ān(i) hmw hmt sm s mt l l lahom 'atom hano hānēn (')ān(i) hn hnt *s'nt lahan 'atān hanāma . "soul / self" (§36.13-14).elements are probably related to the demonstrative and pronominal 6-prefix of Bedja and of West Cushitic (Omotic).12). at least in South Semitic and probably in North Semitic (§33. a shorter form of which is used with the def­ inite article la-.2. replaced in the latter function by the suffixed noun ndss. As for Tigrinya. For comparison. Their p. its "far" demonstrative goes back to an older form of the independent personal pronoun.< *nàfs. manifestly corre­ lated. a nominative and one oblique case. but have no direct correspondent in Semitic. "Far" Syriac Neo-Aramaic Sabaic Demonstrative Tigre Pronouns Tigrinya West Gurage (Chaha) Qatabanic hāw (h)o h'.and w. hw' hwt sw s wt x l lahay 'atu huta hāy (h)ē h'.

33. hallēzū. Most languages distinguish demonstratives of nearer and of "Near" Demonstrative Pronouns Hebrew Sing. 'ēlilū) 'I 'ēllē.37.g. Chaha arc huta.8-10) but which is functionally the demonstrative parti­ cle employed also in Aramaic and in Arabic (§36. ] 4 36. Plur. hā 'ellayin (hā)dāni. Palaeosyrian in u su-wa-ti. Qatabanic bs wt mhrmn. In Hebrew. "that are its borders". hādā iha)dā (hā)dihī. 'illēn. often with the addition of a variety of deictic affixes. which shows the mark of determinate status (§33. 'z. "on that day". the pronoun used adjectivally is preceded by the deictic element hā. while the plural is generally formed by the common Semitic demonstrative *hanni-/'ulli or by its derivatives. tayni (hā)'ulā'i.g. The personal pronoun can also function as isolable demonstrative pronoun. dayni (hā)tāni. f. 'ulā .320 MORPHOLOGY The personal pronoun accompanying a substantive functions as demonstrative adjective. t(ih)ī. (hā)'ēlle. The determinative-relative is employed for the singular demonstratives.12). " i n that sanctuary". it is generally placed after the substantive.38). In West and South Semitic languages. Ara­ maic h' thwmwhy. In South Arabian. also the determinativerelative pronoun du (§36. e. hāden dā(t). st ddnā. Hebrew hū' 'âšer dibbartl.46) is used as demonstrative. Aramaic malkayyā 'innūn. tā Dual m.which is formally identical with the defi­ nite article (§33. It is generally used as demonstrative of remoter deixis. e. e. m. In other languages.< han.g. "that boy". (')st. as a rule. (h)'z. zo z('). it precedes the substantive. m. "that is what I said". Phoenician Aramaic Arabic (haz)ze. zn z('). hallāz(e) (haz)zot. (hā)dī. "those kings".

41-44. and in South Ethiopic (§36. and in the Phoenician dialect of Byblos (zn). "Near" Demonstrative Pronouns Sabaic Qatabanic Sheri Ge'ez Tigrinya dn dt dn dt dánu dinu zd(ntu) zā(tti) dZU dza dyn ? 'In dtn izanu 'dllu. wa-d. but vocalic variations may play a role as well (§36.33). there is in Tamazight a suffixed form dak > tak which qualifies the person or thing present or visible (e.< *halinnila-. with the exception of the Arabic dual attested in the oblique case also as dayni (masc. 36. like earlier in Ugaritic (§36. The prefix is used in Hebrew.33).9). dn. Both the prefix and the suffix are used in the Gafat "near" demonstrative anndzdh < *hinnazin.32). a-rgaz-ad. fern. These demonstratives do not show case differentiation.DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS 321 remoter deixis by means of different affixes. "this man") and to pronominal bases (e.) and tayni (fern. in some Phoenician dialects.g.g. in Middle Aramaic dialects. South Arabian. viz. "this here man").< han. in Tigrinya. Besides.). while the suffix appears in Aramaic. and the suffix -n. the prefix hā. A comparable usage is attested in LibycoBerber where an invariable near demonstrative -ia)d may be suffixed to nouns (e. mainly two affixes are employed in West and South Semitic.38. 'dllo/āntā 'dzàn . For the "near" demonstratives formed with the determinativerelative pronoun.g. The element -k seems to be related to the Semitic deictic particle -k(a) (§36. in Arabic. dn or dt). 49. Ethiopic. "this one"). a-rgaz-adddk. 'dllojāntu 'dzom 'It 'dlla. Thamūdic (masc. "these".

a change which reflects the shift d > d (§13. — are par­ ticular in the sense that the deictic element hā.) in Harsūsi. the element z is pre­ served only after preposition (e. "these". the demonstrative element z is used in Tigrinya: 'dzu. In South Ethiopic. The situation is similar in Gafat.).(e. at Hassānīya (Mauritania).322 MORPHOLOGY 36.40.) and h'z' (fern. with the exception of the demonstrative az-dhha (§36. A similar "far" demonstrative occurs in Gafat: az-dhha.42. The shift d > d occurred also in many modern Arabic colloquials.changed locally into hay. 'dzom.) and dds (fern. The Soqotri forms. where hā. 36. and later dnh. Tigre has the demonstrative 'alii. ba-(z)zih. dandmdh (masc). and especially in the plural demonstrative where d. Beside Ge'ez.g. "this". Instead. "this" (§36. The final -h derives from the spirantized deictic -k (cf. as zi or zd. the situation differs from one language to the other. How­ ever. The Aramaic demonstrative is written znh. "that". The determinative-relative develops its own plural form dū. " i n this") and in the plural dnnàzzih or dllazzih. while the Damascene form is haddle.. "these". — and a -m?h suffix which occurs as a deictic in other com­ pounds. hayye). presents the forms hādawlā < *hā-dā-'ulā and dawlā'i < *da-'ulā'i. dlha (plur. d'/h. this plural is generally extended in the Maghrebine colloquials to hādūma/na with a feminine hādāna. haydi.8). 36.34). New forms are encountered likewise in the Modern South Ara­ bian languages.38).). "these".40). — beside the basic da (masc. also with new devel­ opments in the form of the feminine hādī. In Amharic. didha (fern. The Yemenite colloquial of San'a.). "these" (masc) (§36.9). — used also independently as dā and dl in Harsūsi. z'/h. §49. "this which (is) here" (masc).is added to Classical Arabic (hā)'ulā('i) or develops its own plural form and replaces the element 'ulā('i).).) in Mehri. Mandaic preserves the archaic spelling h'zyn (masc. "this" (masc). e.g. placed after the base form: dddha < *dd-d-ha. A l l North Gurage dialects and the West Gurage Chaha preserve z as demonstrative also in free position.). thus domdh (masc).). ddndmdh (fern.g. hd(y)n. and hn/fomzh (plur.41. dlmdh (fern.39. hd'/h. The elements in the Mehri and Harsūsi "near" demon­ stratives are the base form. which is reduced to dol(a) in the Meccan and Cairene collo­ quials. and dlyomdh (plur. The z of izànu in Śheri is the palatalized / of 'In. The principal forms of the "far" demonstrative based on the determinative-relative d are compounded with the deictic element -k .

ddkdmdh. denāk dāk. the determinative-relative z forms "far" demon­ stratives in North Gurage dialects with the suffix -k.and the suffix -k (Arabic: hādāk. "f ^illēkī } '^n. tīka dēk dayk dáku dikun zdk(t)u 'antaku. The "near" demonstrative is expressed by za. tilka. which can change occasionally to -m. comparable with Latin hie. dnndssu (plur. later with d. dss a I ?rs a (fem. The demonstrative referring to an object near a third person is ya (masc). The lateral z of izok in Sheri is the palatalized / of 'Ik (§16.32. dēkī j J ^ . or with other extended suffixes. -kdmdh (Mehri. Beside Ge'ez. dukham I dukhumma. -buk (Soqotri: dddbuk. yacc (fem. dēk. dnnàzziya I dllàzziya (plur. ydec (fem. dnnazzih / dllazzih (plur. "this". The demonstrative referring to an object near the addressee (second person) is the Amharic independent personal pro­ noun of the third person (§36. cf. f. Other "far" demonstratives are formed with suffixes -lika (Classical Arabic: dalika. thus reflecting the shift d > d (§13. §49.9). m. Harsūsi: dākdmdh. used as a suffix in the Arabic colloquial of Egypt (dukha. and they are also used with an additional suffix -n. 36. §36. 'ulālikà). The opposition d : a distinguishes the "near" demonstrative from the "far" demonstrative like in Gafat (§36. Classical Arabic preserved a dual with a subject case and an oblique case. w w .12): ?rsu I BSSU (masc). 'abmdh). Amharic has developed three degrees of the demonstrative pro­ noun. The demonstrative referring to an object near the speaker (first person) is ydh (masc).44.).).). hlyk). as za. 36.). "that". and in South Semitic languages. dikha.^ 1 n Arabic Mehri Śheri Ge'ez dāka tāka. didbuk. hā'ulāk / hawlāk. Christian Palestinian Aramaic: hdk. Arabic. which occurred also in many modem Arabic colloquials. 'ulā'ika dlyēk iíok 'dlhku The Aramaic demonstrative is written with i in the earlier periods. or without. dlbuk).DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS 323 (cf. "that". hādīk.40). 'antākti Plur. They are attested in Aramaic. 'ellayin 'ulāka.).7). Aramaic Sing. or with the prefix ha.43. The element hā.8).45.).34). 36. ille. as zak.

. or Zu-Aš-tarti. "The pleasant one". The following paradigm contains the fully or partly inflected forms of the pronoun. The subsequent change tu > šu. Determinative-Relative Pronouns 36. ŠA in Palaeosyrian at Ebla and at Tell Beydar. who has car­ ried out its repair": K T U 4. paralleled in West and South Semitic by du.36). or in a relative sentence (e. Zu-ú4-la /DU-'ilaf) and in Ugaritic (du-ú). and partly in Amorite. number. but it became indeclinable without gender. ca.C. The determinative-relative pronoun is written usually with the signs šu. as shown by names like Zu-ha-ad-ni /Du-ġadni/. dū l-qarnayn. at Emar. ŠÈ or ši.145. 5. "the chief of the craftsmen.18). already noticeable in some variants at Ebla and in the post-Ur I I I texts from Mari.2) and the related demonstrative (§36. In the first case. The determinative-relative pronoun was originally fully inflec­ tive. lit. "The (man) of Astarte". with the well-known opposition of voiced and unvoiced consonants (§10. it acts as a pronominal or adjectival antecedent of a relative clause (§57. . an epithet given in Arabic to Alexander the Great).6).324 MORPHOLOGY F. it functions in a genitival structure (§51.47. in the second. The determinative-relative pronoun tu I du introduces a deter­ mination which can consist either in a noun or proper name (e. The vowels of the singular were ini­ tially short. but were lengthened in the course of time. already in Amor­ ite (e.7). and case differ­ entiation in practically all Semitic languages.g.g. "the two horned". 9-10). The unvoiced form tu existed also in West Semitic and it is attested by the Phoenician.g.8).46. 36. "The (man) of pleasure". accred­ ited the erroneous opinion that the determinative-relative pronoun of East Semitic is formally connected with the independent personal pro­ noun šū (§36. in Old Akkadian. This means that its original North and East Semitic form was generally tu. 36. dialectal Hebrew (e. Further dif­ ferentiations are hindered in Epigraphic South Arabian languages because of the lack of vocalization. at Mari.g. "the [man] of two horns". and Mishnaic Hebrew relative pronoun še-.48. lit. 1200 B. while the voiced form du appears also in Amorite dialects and at Emar. Ugaritic rb hršm d šs'a hwyh. Judg.

masc. dw tat(u) tati *tata dātu dāti dāta dt dt dt tā dawā daway dy dy dw.6). 'wlw tat(u) tāt(i) dawātu. the masculine forms Zu(-ú) /dū/ and šu /tu/ occur. 'ulātu 'ulāti dtw(l) 36. dawāti. since its variant spelling is sa-ti [šati]. nominative obi. . case Plur. dawī. The Assyro-Babylonian determinative-relative pronoun appears from the end of the Old Akkadian period on under the indeclinable form ša of the accusative. fem. nominative genitive accusative Sing. nominative obi.DETERMINATIVE-RELATIVE PRONOUNS 325 Old Akkadian Classical & Palaeosyrian Arabic Sing. dn tā dātā. case Dual fem. nominative obi. case Sabaic Minaic Qatabanic tu ti ta dū dī dâ d. fem. nominative obi. as well as the feminine forms ši /ti/ and si-i /šī < til.49. masc. case Plur. . dl dtw. which is in reality the old citation form (§32. nominative genitive accusative Dual masc. In Amorite onomastics. The Palaeosyrian determinative-relative pro­ noun is attested by the singular feminine oblique case sa-ti jtatil rather than Idatil.C. dawātā dawātay dty dtyn tūt(u) tūt(i) dawū. dātay. 'ulū 'ulī 'iy 'hl. Only in rare cases have šūt and šāt survived in the first centuries of the second millennium B.

and d with a very short vowel (da). The form dt stands for the feminine singular (*dāt-) and for the plural (*dūt-). In Hebrew. often with a prefixed vowel ('š). 'allāti I 'allawāti (fern. but they may be inflected according to number.51. as relative pronoun (§36.C. It is written z. gender. either because the pronoun was reduced to a single form or because the final -t was dropped as in possi­ bly similar cases (§35. The pronoun zū is attested as indeclinable relative in poetry. while the masculine genitive *di > ze and the feminine *dat > *zat > zot > zo are employed as demonstratives (§36. Its old feminine z't (*dāt) is attested as demonstrative at Tell Fekherye (9th century B. while simple di continues to be used in Yemen and in some Maghrebine colloquials. and the modern colloquials either reduce it to ildī.326 MORPHOLOGY 36. Only the vocalization of d as du-ú (du) is provided.). There are many variants of this pronoun in the ancient dialects. fern. plur. 'alladlna (masc. 'alladāni (dual masc).38). 'allatī (sing.). iddl.56). plur. the determinative-relative di in the genitive case is used in its original function and as element of demonstratives (§36. Besides.3839.50. which have used it also as an indeclinable alladi. illl. since the determinative-relative dū was already indeclinable in the pre-classical poetry. the forms with z < d are used as demonstratives (§36. In Phoenician. 42). exactly as in Phoenician. . However. while those with š < t are employed as determinative-relative pronouns. 36. However. masc).52. the attestations of se in Classi­ cal Hebrew are rather scarse owing to the widespread use of the noun 'âšer. the archaic theonym zū-Sīnay.6). while the function of determinative-relative was usually taken by še-lša< *ti. or derive allī. In Ugaritic. dy. "place". and case. directly from a base * 'allay. 36. 'allatāni (dual fern. preserves the nominative of the pronoun du used as determinative. In Aramaic.38). only d < d and dt < dt are attested.).). Arabic devel­ oped an extended relative pronoun combining the deictic 'alia < *hanna with the determinative-relative: 'alladī (sing.). but one can assume the existence of a gen­ itive *dī and of an accusative *dā. "the (God) of Sinai".53. zy. Ugaritic d appears sometimes in place of the expected dt. The Classical fully declined Arabic pronoun reflects a system­ atic archaizing intervention. 36.

"whatever". "his field. "house". regardless of their original meaning.g. a .g. has to be explained as a palatalized la-.for the relative pronoun. But since the meaning of 'âšer was forgotten in Hebrew.g. Epigraphic South Arabian had most likely a fully inflected determinative-relative pronoun. which was used first to express a genitival relation (§51. "write (the house) where he is". Assyro-Babylonian imtasi asar iwwaldu. is used in this way.DETERMINATIVE-RELATIVE PRONOUNS 327 36. The Ge'ez relatival antecedent is za (masc).). an inter­ rogative and indefinite pronoun can also be used as a relatival antecedent (§36. the word started soon to be employed with any qualified element. ašar tattadnu. In Modem South Arabian.52). e. prefixed to the verb of the relative clause. "he who broke"). "place" (< 'atr-).9).. Semitic languages also use some nouns as relatival antecedents. e. "(the house) wherever the king will order.g. 36.54.41) feminine determinative-relative d't shows the use of alif as in Classical Arabic and in Old Aramaic z't (§36. "he forgot (the place) where he was bom".. In Neo-Assyrian. bēt šarru iqbūni lillikū. Hebrew habbayit 'âšer bāriītl. zd is used in Tigrinya and zi in Harari (e.55.. The South Arabian determinative-relative antecedent is also employed in the sources as an indeclinable pronoun.. they shall go". or Sabaic hnmw and hl-mw. Babylonian eqelšu. also with some rarer forms as Sabaic feminine t. 36.g. 'anta (fem. Initially. the Hebrew and Moabite 'âšer. Instead. this noun was simply followed by a relative asyndetic clause: e. Ya' qob 'âšer bdhartīkā. This particle. "Jacob. šupru bēt sūtūni. dd like the Arabic Yemenite col­ loquials. e. The Hasaean (§7. (place) which you have given". In several Semitic languages. Mehri uses di.62). and the South Ethiopian languages. 'alia (plur.). where the older forms of Arabic 'allaappear.25) and then to introduce a relative clause (§57. as in other Semitic languages.. (place) which I have chosen". "the house (place) which I have build". Then it was used in apposi­ tion to another noun designating a place. zi-sdbdra. also the noun bēt.which corresponds to the -tl of Arabic 'alla-tl.56. the Tigre relatival antecedent is la-. use the element yd. except Harari. The best known is the construct state ašar of the Assyro-Babylonian noun asm.

man and mā are uninfected. like Latin guis? and quid? The pronoun referring to animate subjects is character­ ized by two different morphemes: -an in East Semitic. l'ayyāmaf). The archaic forms man and min. "what?".328 MORPHOLOGY G. and mi.) and mdnta (fern. The pronoun referring to inanimate subjects is likewise marked by two distinct morphemes: -in in East Semitic and Ethiopic. In some Gurage dialects. "Who is his opponent?".). "until which day?") and as pronoun in Classical Arabic. the n of man changes into r (§17. "Who is like I I ? " . It is used as adjective in Assyro-Babylonian (e. Semitic languages provide here the only examples in which animate subjects are distinguished from inanimate subjects.5).35). adi ayyim ūmim. Amorite (/'ayyaf. The Palaeosyr­ ian pronoun ml appears at Ebla in the proper name Mi-kà-il. "what?". "what?". "who?". In colloquial Arabic. Tuareg ma and mi correspond to the situation in North Semitic and in "Canaanite" lan­ guages. -ah(a) > -ā in the other Semitic languages. "who?". Hebrew ('ayyē). and ma-a. and South Semitic. followed by the gen- . in Tuareg as ma. there is an interrogative ma-an-na (EA 286. §36. and at Mari in the pre-Sargonic Mí-ma-hir-sú. "who?".57. "who?". ma-an-na. Ara­ maic. show neither case endings nor mimation.59. but they have a mascu­ line and a feminine form in Ge'ez: mannu (masc. 36. "what?".6). There is also an inflected Semitic interrogative 'ayyu. but these pronouns had already become mannum and mlnum in the Old Akkadian period. 36. Ugaritic. which can be explained in the light of Minaic mhn. which is attested in Old Akkadian.g. "what?". min has generally replaced man and its vowel is often lengthened. The interrogative pronouns go back to a common Afro-Asiatic element transmitted in ancient Egyptian as m. "where?". In Arabic. "which?". Ugaritic (7y). Old Babylonian. Old Canaanite (/'ayyāmif). Amorite. while mā is still used only in Yemen. are both attested in proper names. "what?". and in the "Canaanite" languages. In Amorite. "what?". mdnt (masc.) and manna (fern. The Old Canaanite form mi-ia. attested in Old Akkadian. "which?". "who?". in Hausa as mèe.58. as well as an extended form mi-ia-ti with the affix -i (cf. Arabic. appears in several Amarna letters. -iy(a) in Palaeosyrian. Interrogative and Indefinite Pronouns 36. certainly related to Ugaritic mn.). derived from the interrogative particle 'ay. as *mahna > manna. "what?". Besides.

e.60. man min mn mannu man man man m{ )a{ri) w What?" m ma min mlnu(m) Which?" ay ayyu ? mā mh.g.which often preserve the -n of say'in when they are used with the agglutinated pronoun -hu employed as copula. in question". šenhu. ay-inna. The indefinite use of ay is attested also in Libyco-Berber where this pronominal base combines with demonstrative suffixes: e.. 36. with the affix -nā. or short forms as ds.g. as ayš. ēs and ās with monophthongization. mā mā mh(n) mdnt mi 'dntay man man/r mu 'aynā ērii 'ayyiun) ay'y 'ayyiflt) 'ayi 'ayyānay yātu yitta. ay-ad-ddk. The forms assumed by the interrogative pronouns in the various languages are as follows: "Who?" Old Egyptian Tuareg Old Akkadian Assyro-Babylonian Palaeosyrian Amorite Ugaritic Old Canaanite Phoenician Hebrew Aramaic Syriac Neo-Aramaic Classical Arabic Colloquial Arabic Minaic Ge'ez Tigre Tigrinya Amharic Gurage m mi man mannu{m) ml manna my miya my ml man man man. "which thing?" Various reductions are attested. ay-inn. and the plural 'aylēn. "that".INTERROGATIVE AND INDEFINITE PRONOUNS 329 itive ('ayyu raġulin. "who is.and s. Its use is widespread in Arabic colloquials with an ending -š which goes back to classical 'ayyu say'in. "that. "this". wāš and wūš with substitution of w for original '.?" In Ugaritic and in Minaic. "which man?").37). ay-ad. both as interrogative and as indefinite. 'y is encountered up to now only as an indefinite pronoun ("any"). "this here" (§36.. mn manna m mā mā mā mānl mā. etáta 'ay . while it is employed in Syriac. the feminine 'aydā.

in the very same phrase: mnm ib yp' Ib'l). "what­ ever". "whoever". in Assyro-Babylonian (man-ma > mamma.28). Arabic raġulun mā. or by reduplication of the interrogative. y . Oxford). The forms used as a kind of indefinite pronouns are based on the inter­ rogative pronoun. "he himself" (§36. māmā.61. e. "whatsoever"). in Ugaritic (*mannama. Indefinite pronouns. reverse with lines 10-17 of a letter (Bodleian Library. Aramaic ostracon from Elephantine. "whatever". Tigre manma.g.330 MORPHOLOGY F i g . More often a suffix is added to the inter­ rogative. Amharic manndm. 27. in Arabic ('ayyumā. lit. The pronouns mn in Ugaritic and mā in Arabic may be placed in apposition to nouns with the meaning "any". strictly speaking. Phoenician uses the reflexive pronoun qnm-y. min-ma > mimma. "a certain man". "whoever he is". 36. in Amharic. 5th century B . in Ethiopian languages (e. "whoever". "whatever"). . mainly -ma used in Old Akkadian. do not exist in Semitic. e. The indefinite pronoun can also be formed with the deictic particle -k added to the interrogative. Gafat mandm. "anything"). "whoever". as mamman < *man-man in Assyro-Babylonian and mdndmzn. "whoever". mdndm. in Poenician and Punic (mnm. mdndm or mdnâ.g. is preserved in Western Neo-Aramaic monmi l-lt < monmi d-lt or mūnma l-lt. "any­ one". "nobody". "whoever you are". C . "whatever").g. Aramaic *manmi or *manma. "did any foe rise against Baal?". as mhk and mnk in Ugaritic. "a certain". Ugaritic mn 'ib yp' Ib'l. as indefinite in the clause qnmy 't.

CvC. but both categories can be distinguished also in Libyco-Berber where they are represented. for actor.VERBS 331 36. derive from a "verbal" base of the types CvC. Important shifts from one group to the other occurred in the course of time.". Authors call corresponding verbal forms. broadly speaking. of active (event) and stative (state). CaCuC. like the imperative and the jussive refer­ ring to futurity. 2 4. and for voice. "nobody knew what was his malady". which is unpronounceable and did never exist in a spoken language. CaCiC.. and fashionable resorting to modern linguistic analyses of Indo-European tenses may lead to a misinterpretation of the basic characteristics of the Semitic verbal system.1.1-14).g. Lihyānite. South Arabian. for stem. §28..15-17). Also occa­ sional confusions between "stative". The interrogative pronouns can be used also as relatival antecedents in several Semitic languages. like in ergative lan­ guages. This artificial approach cannot lead to an understanding of the Semitic verbal system which was originally characterized by trimorphous <2-class. e. and the Semitic aspects of action. "jussive" in another one. as Aramaic. e.g. Preliminaries 37. or C aC C (cf. and the preterite expressing a genuine past. or "modal" elsewhere. the traditional explanation of Semitic verbal forms is based on the conception of a triconsonantal discontinuous morph or root. The verb is the grammatical category which inflects for tense. Aramaic mn yld šmy mn m'ny'. The primitive tenses. for mood. for aspect. and between transi­ tive and the intransitive conjugations (§38. "cohortative" in a third one. considered either in a synchronic or in a diachronic perspective. "whoever removes my name from the objects.62.. /-class. and w-class roots. "subjunctive" in one language. Arabic. independently from the formal distinction between tenses and aspects (§38. "intransitive". the latter being further expanded to CaCaC. Sabaic 7 mn s 'r k-mhn h' hlthw. by { 2 2 { 2 y x 2 3 . C vC C or C C vC while the aspectual conjugation originates from a "nominal" base of the types CaC.7-12). Furthermore. as the distinction between the categories of tran­ sitive and intransitive. The problems raised by the verb are among the most difficult in Semitic linguistics and the varying terminology used in grammatical studies bearing on the single languages does not help in solving them. and "passive". V E R B S A . CāC.

and by the so-called "qualitative" which derives from a nominal base. Since the last group is more dominant in historically attested verbs than in any other part of speech. "John is singing").g. on the other. the distinction between a future action and a past action. CvC. Both types of conjugation occur in other Afro-Asiatic languages as well. "to separate". while an atelic situation lacks such a determinate goal (e. In other words. CvC. while the type CjC vC corresponds to those which are triconsonantal. while the patterns CvC. whether some event took place before the real or fictitious time of speaking or had not yet taken place at that moment. accomplished or perfected. This bipartite distinction is the normal one in a wide range of languages. designated by the paradigmatic verb parāsu. e. and unaccomplished or not completely performed. The essential function of the "nominal" base of verbal forms is to indicate a condition or a situation with respect to circumstances. permanent or static. as a rule. "he killed". As for the basic patterns of Semitic aspectual forms. while the semantic feature of "accomplishment" replaces the "well-defined terminal point" in the perfective aspect. a telic situation involves a process that leads up to a welldefined terminal point (e. attested in cuneiform script. the "telic/atelic" distinction is neutralized in the Semitic imperfective aspect. Forms of the most ancient Semitic languages. it serves to express formally distinguished aspects which cannot be equated with telic and atelic situ­ ations. we shall occasionally refer to Semitic roots or bases by designating them by the sole consonantal signs. it serves to form a kind of tenses which tell us something about the relative order of events. is generally used for Arabic.g. the types CaC. and CjvC C will be examined in a complementary section (§44). The essential function of the "verbal" base is to express. and "future" is not a universal characteristic of temporal systems. "he made". and qatal. — To avoid tedious repetitions or unwarranted hypotheses. for the other languages. since the familiar tripartite division of time in "past". for example in the "Sam" sub-group of Lowland East Cushitic (§2.and suffix-conjugation.332 MORPHOLOGY the proper verbal conjugation. on the one hand.g.3. viz. "present". 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 37. 37. and CjVC C occur with bicon­ sonantal roots. .2. In other words. "John is making a chair"). while the verbfa'ala.11) with its prefix. are. It means that the "telic/atelic" distinction is of no use in the analysis of Semitic aspects. In fact. Now. The types CvC. the pattern CjC vC will be followed in the general presentation. in grammatical categories.

while the type CjaC C and its derivatives serve for the triconsonantal ones. They appear as both prefixes and suffixes. and corre­ spond to well-known patterns of verbal adjectives. ventive or allative. Besides the indicative.5-6). and called "cohortative" in grammars of Hebrew (§39. broadly speaking. The stem is a verbal pattern deriving from a root. and qatal. The category of mood.VERBS 333 CāC. The actor affixes or personals specify person. while its suffixed variant in -n(na) is termed "energetic" or "energic" (§39. are thus purely grammatical-syntactic categories of coor­ dination and subordination. which is used essentially for statements expressed in main clauses. called indicative. gender. jussive.5. The general presenta­ tion of the Outline will be referring to the triconsonantal pattern supplied by parāsu.8-11). and num­ ber.2). unmarked or marked by affixes (§39). the imperative. The indicative. energic or energetic.14). fa 'ala. 37.3).4. l 2 2 2 3 37.. strictly speaking. .6. and is called "apocopate(d)" in grammars of Arabic (§39. having a final/consecutive function. Despite some difficulties. The imperative. it serves as the base of all the inflectional forms connected with a specific meaning. etc. to the category of nouns. 37. corre­ sponds to the Indo-European injunctive. 2° an East Semitic subjunctive marked by -u and used in all kinds of subordinate clauses (§39. 3° a West Semitic subjunctive marked by -a. while the other types will be examined in §44. there are three basic moods in Semitic: 1° an unmarked jussive which derives from the imperative (§38.7) and which is expressed by the indicative with a suffixed "direc­ tive" morpheme. Each verbal root has a simple or basic stem — not always used in his­ torically attested languages — and a varying number of derived stems. the infinitive. a clear connection can be traced between the personals of the verb and the com­ ponents of the personal pronoun. while the infinitive and the participle belong. denotes the manner in which the action or state is expressed. Their distribution depends on tense and aspect (§40). and C vC C are used for the biconsonantal bases. notifies a fact or what is alleged to be a fact. as its name implies. In fact. is simply a base-form. which denotes a command. The moods of Semitic verbs. subjunctive. and the participle are not considered as "modal" forms. Both are probably related to the East Semitic ventive or allative mood which signifies a general movement of the action towards the speaker (§39.

the Semitic verbal system underwent sev­ eral important changes. in many cases — also in the present Outline — the only available means of translating Semitic aspects in an intelligible manner (cf. 1/A III. The symbols will be explained in §41.1 and IA.18).8. 37.2/B IV. Arabic. §38. noticeable either in a whole group of languages or in a particular idiom.3/C — — 37. .l/A Stem II.g.2/B III. the so-called present-future (iparras) of the grammars of Akkadian. The symbols reported for Ethiopic. it is useful to present here a synoptic table of the main customary terms and symbols employed for East Semitic. a morphosyntactic approach is needed here. Therefore. Aramaic.2/B Stem I. viz. while European tense forms are. e. in the proper sense of the word. The terminology and the symbols used in the grammars to denote the various stems are not identical for all the Semitic languages.7. Tense. and Ethiopic. other seem to result from an internal evolution of a particular group of Semitic languages. showing vocalic differentiation.3/C IV. An exlusively morphological presen­ tation is insufficient to explain the changes involved. either with an affix or with lengthening.l/A Stem I. which refer both to the same forms. "Stem I . e.334 MORPHOLOGY In some languages.3/C — — hif'il — N-stem B/Gt-stem Dt-stem (tL-stem) Št-stem ŠDt-stem — — — haf'el nif'al hitpa'el — — — — — — itpe'el itpa"al ittaf'al — — — — — — — Stem VII Stem VIII Stem V Stem VI Stem X — Stem Stem Stem Stem Stem Stem III. take two different usages into account.. 1. East Semitic B/G-stem D-stem (L-stem) Š-stem ŠD-stem Hebrew pa'al/qal pi'el Aramaic pe'al pa"el Arabic Stem I Stem II Stem III Stem IV Ethiopic Stem I. the stem can exhibit an active and a passive theme. l / A " . Thus.g. also in the derived stems which are formed from the root or from another stem. By "voice" we intend these passive and active forms. Only a diachronic and comparative method can insert these changes in the wider context of the whole Semitic system. 1/A IV. Hebrew.2/B Stem II. In the course of time. While some of these stems have an Afro-Asiatic origin. In order to illustrate the changes occurring in the verbal system.3/C • StemII. is far from being common to any type of Semitic verbal system.

in complex sentences. e. but only aspects.e. also by European subjunctives and other categories. It may also indicate that an activity is in progress or a state is being entered upon under the influence of another activity or state.. ktob. to a future.1. This formation can be translated in European languages by a present. e. indicating basically that a process has not reached completion at a certain moment of time. a future. a future perfect. a future. Often however. Paired with the impera­ tive. but referring to the past and signifying that an action has or has not been performed. in the Arabic colloquial of Damascus. there is another purely verbal form.C vC as the imperative. i. but having besides personal prefixes. A grammarian is not called upon to explain a function i f it does not exist in a given language as a distinct form. the aspectual and the temporal. It is of the highest importance to distin­ guish these approximations from the real functions of Semitic verbal cat­ egories. In the basic triconsonantal model C C vC the simplest form morphologically is placed in the most unmarked category which is the imperative across the whole spread of Afro-Asiatic languages. Each of the systems. or a future perfect will be needed in translating. Therefore. is clear in itself. the preterite. the misuse of the translations in attributing. viz. but exact translation from the one to the other is very dif­ ficult. i f not impossible. the Assyro-Babylonian preterite. it refers by def­ inition to futurity. The imperative stands outside any possible system of aspect.g. B. for practical reasons. and certain modern innovations. Except for the imperative. That does not preclude the fact that most grammatical categories have a variety of meanings and thus may be ambiguous as long as a con­ crete context or life situation do not remove the ambiguity. Semitic languages have no tenses properly speaking. a present. "write!". an imperfect. exhibiting the same personal suffixes.g. be rendered by a past tense of verbs which express action or by the present of verbs which express a state. as yet not performed action. the functions of a future perfect or of a continuous pre­ sent to the Assyro-Babylonian iparras results in a complete misunder­ standing of the Semitic verbal system.TENSES AND ASPECTS 335 really is an imperfective aspect. Tenses and Aspects a) Fully Developed System 38. It is characterized morphologically by the same basic model C. outside the system of aspect. x 2 v 2 3 . The Semitic perfect may.

g. which was phonemic (§25.). Subsequent changes intro­ duced special prefixes aimed at characterizing the cohortative.).10-11). "he heard. (y)iprus / taprus. yaqtúî). Mesopotamian lā tdbkáy. Arabic li-yaktub. "he should write". optative or precative (3rd pers. Tuareg yd-krds. "may he hit". "may he bury". "may he not separate". represented e.C. e. "he heard that he had run away". by the Assyro-Babylonian verbal adjective pars(um). Harsusi ydlbed. the opta­ tive or precative. well-known in Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian: CaCiC { 2 3 . Assyro-Babylonian luprus. This is confirmed by the stress of the prohibitive in modern Arabic colloquials and of the so-called subjunctive in Modern South Arabian. "may I separate". yiprús. despite the changes that the verbal system had then undergone (§38.g. or not at all.g. which continued to be used by the West Semitic languages in a narrative context until the mid-first millennium B. "he knotted". so that he ran away". and as subordinate past tense in ydsla ydrwdl (80-70 msec). "may he write". It occurs in Cushitic as well. The use of the jussive.8).2. Rendille y-igis. These cohortative (1st pers. yíprus. "you shall not k i l l " . while it rested in the jus­ sive on the basic syllable of the imperative (e.g. Maghrebine ma tal'âbuš. Semitic imperative has no first and third persons. was extended to various subordinate verbal clauses.g. as shown by the quantitative vowel gradation. These proclitics express the expectation on the part of the speaker or active subject that the process w i l l indeed take place. the simplest form of which would have been identi­ cal with the preterite i f there were no differences in the stress. liprus. "don't play!" (plur. yáqtul). lā taqtul. The very limited evidence provided by the Kabyle dialect of Libyco-Berber seems to go in the same direction. "he / she separated". e. especially in Ethiopic.336 MORPHOLOGY e. 38. ayiprus. and it is not used in negative clauses. It is a narration oriented form. Mehri ydkteb. Aramaic Ihwy.g. "may he be". Therefore.g.). This form is attested also in Libyco-Berber. and developed to the stative / permansive forms. Soqotri liqbar. e.3.). e. "may he separate". in ydrwdl used as jussive in ydsla ydrwdl (60-90 msec). and vetitive or prohibitive functions are assumed by the so-called "jussive". called also "subjunctive".g. e. "he killed". and the vetitive or prohibitive.g. "don't cry!" (fem. The aspectual category of the verbal system is based on the adjectival C aC C pattern. 38. expressing a genuine past. and beyond. one has to surmise that the stress rested in the preterite on the prefix (e.

g. "he is walking" denotes a continuous process. Maghrebine katbat. The anaptyctic vowel a I i I u should appear only when there is a two-consonant cluster (§27. e. Instead.19). l 2 3 The morphological categories CaCiC. influence of contiguous consonants. "she is alike". CaCuC (e. "he is near").TENSES AND ASPECTS 337 (e. "he is deaf". which express the accom­ plished and the unaccomplished aspect of the action signified by the verb. Thus in Mesopotamian ^p/íw-dialects (qdltu. CaCaC. e. and the latter is not identical with the thematic vowel of the imperative-preterite (e. CaCuC are disrupted in many Arabic colloquials following the elision of short vowels in open unstressed syl­ lables or their qualitative change occasioned by vowel-harmony.g. They express a fundamental contrast between an event which is in the process of transpiring ("he is walking") and one that has already taken place and exists only as a resultant state or condition ("he is in a condition subsequent to walking"). sing.g. and by the Libyco-Berber suffix conjugation of stative verbs which express a quality. in the East and especially in the West. "you are content"). e. Neither does it mat­ ter whether the action tends to a determinate goal ("teli'c) or is simply considered as durative ("atelic"). and with two marked categories. also called "pseudo-participle" (e. CaCaC (e. These marked categories. " I said"). Despite relative distinctions made between an active pattern exhibiting a and stative patterns exhibiting / > e or u > o. which may function either as transitive or as intransitive forms. Ge'ez masalat. This leaves us with one basically unmarked category. e. while "he is striking" connotes a series of actions. but its use was extended in several standard languages. hrt/d. damiq.. "he is wide"). many Arab vernaculars. masc.g. in grammatical categories. are conveniently termed "perfective" and "imperfective". which is a stative or permansive form. rapaš.g. the quality of the inserted vowel is not predictable (e. The originally static aspect of this morphological category is opposed to the perfective and to the imperfective which express.g. Damascene katbet. in the 3rd pers. "she wrote".g. Assyro-Babylonian rapaš. the completed (per­ fect) and the incomplete (present-future) aspect of the action. "he is wide"). the so-called "qualitative". i. vowel-opposi­ tion. but lamid. the basis is either CaCaC or CdCdC. while it is CiCaC or . Classical Arabic malakat. The Afro-Asi­ atic origin of this morphological category C aC (v)C is demonstrated by the Egyptian old perfective. "he is good"). qarub. Tuareg mâzâg or rndzdg. have forms without anaptyxis. It does not matter whether the process is continuous or repetitive.g. "she is the proprietress". "he is learned").g. for this distinction results from the meaning of the verb. "he learned".e. Assyro-Baby­ lonian ilmad.g.

like in Old Assyrian qātka itntahas. "didn't I have muzzled the Dragon?" ( K T U 1. whether it be caused by another or by himself / itself.40). "he has struck your hand". "he has heard").g. and in Ugaritic.111. while the Maghre­ bine basis is CCaC. CiCiC. The imperfective is formed by a lengthened root. "he has com­ manded". and obviously uses the per­ fective of the basic stem.g. while preterite marks the simple past. "he has separated". in Amorite (e.3. " I myself have gone" ( K T U 1. CCiC. the form is an Assyro-Babylonian perfect. (y)iptaqid. This aspect-deriva­ tional gemination signifies actuation in reference to the action. išpur. by gemi­ nating the second consonant of a triconsonantal root.111. and CiCaC in East Arabian. e. has given to P N " . mār sarri šipirti iltapra umma means that "the king's son has issued the following writ". However. " I have seized silver. where 'nt tmths b. " I said").g.and the stem-derivational -t(§41. The same analysis can be made in Ugaritic. 'an 'itlk. showing a shift from original pattern C vC C to C C vC 1 2 3 1 2 y 38. E. the basic function of which can be characterized as "effective" in the sense that a state is pro­ duced in someone or in something. (y)irtapud.338 MORPHOLOGY CuCaC in the Mesopotamian #a/ar-dialects (gdfot.20) and the perfective of the basic stem. while the . Vistbm tnn.11.15). the Neo-Babylonian preterite in PNj ana P N iddin plainly means that "PN.g. Further synchronic and diachronic studies of verbal forms with infixed are needed. The perfective is formed with the r-infix.'mq. Similarly. "'Anat fought in the valley". the distinction can be made on a contextual and syntagmatic basis. viz. 'imths ksp 'itrt hrs.g.6. there is no formal difference in East and North Semitic between the preterite of the Gt-stem (§41. In other words. perfective originally conveys involvement of the acting subject. the form can only be a preterite of the Gt-stem. but when the same verb has a reciprocal connotation. notwithstanding their distinct structural planes. 46-47). 2 f f 2 3 4 2 f f 3 4 2 As a rule. whereas 'imths ksp with a direct object means " I have seized / laid hands on silver". e. The perfective is represented by the Assyro-Babylonian perfect (y)iptaras. but the perfective in P N kūm P N PNj ana P N ittadin implies that "PNj has taken upon himself to give P N instead of P N to P N " . iš-tá-má /yištama'/.5. Thus. as in the Old Akkadian dual imtahsā.4.20 ff. or CCdC. contains a preterite of the Gt-stem. It is also attested in Palaeosyrian (e. This definition implies a functional congruence between the aspect-derivational -t. acquired gold" ( K T U 1. when the verb mahāsu governs a direct object. "he has rushed".). "they fought". "he has chosen us"). ia-ab-ta-haar-na /yabtaharna/. The base form shows the types CaCaC..3. 38. and not simply "has have it sent".

"he stands upright". fails distinguishing between a jussive yiqqah and an imperfective *yilaqqah. This imperfective is attested most likely also in Palaeosyrian. e. has a form i-taha-à /yitahhawū/. A Palaeosyrian incantation text from Ebla. but in modern Ethiopian languages as well. " I am writing"). "he kills". with the m-prefix of the first person singular like in Maghrebine Arabic (§40. irappud. nixehéd [nìšehhed] instead of 'ašhad(u). while the differences noticeable in Ugaritic verbs with first radical ' point to the use of a yaqattul (iparras) next to the yaqtul (iprus) and to the yuqattil (uparris) (§41.3: 2°). or t'asrn (*[tassirūn]). or Ia-na-ab-bi-El /Yanabbi'-El/. "El will name".D. "you will bind".g.3). "he desires. "they will come near". This imperfective must have an Afro-Asiatic origin since its close cognate appears in Libyco-Berber (e. which influences the spelling of syllabic Ugaritian i-le-qa-aš-šu-nu-ti. by "Yemenite" tribesmen. e. The source of such anomalous imperfective forms is to be looked for in South Arabian dialects brought to Spain in the 8th cen­ tury A. akantib < *akattib.8).44. "he takes". "he shoots". "he/she held fast". The avail­ able texts distinguish preterite forms like y'ihd (*[yīhud]) and t'ihd (*[tīhud\). and by the Ethiopic ydqattdl. as reported by Pedro de Alcalá: nihammí [nihammī] instead of 'ahmī. More­ over. you desire". its existence has to be assumed in Epigraphic South Arabian. §38. "he will take them". " I cer­ tify". The imperfective is represented by the Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian "present-future" iparras.g. since the imperfect of the Modern South Arabian goes appar­ ently back to such a pattern (cf. "he will k i l l " . "he/she took". The imperfective under consideration is documented in North Semitic.6. can hardly be explained without admit­ ting the use of a yaqattil form.g. "El will protect". Harsūsi ydlobdd < *yalabbad. in Amorite. Besides. or y'arš (*[yarris\) and farš (*[tarris]).. allegedly incompatible with an imperfective corresponding to East Semitic iparras. and Amorite proper names like Ia-ma-at-ti-El /Yamatti'-'El/. " I protect". and in Ugaritic. ilāmmdd. or irāmmdd with the change I > r. from imperfectives like y'ahd (*[yahhud\) (KTU 4.25). 38. while the singular forms of the Bedja present seem to contain a dissimilated double consonant (e. or y'uhd (*[yuhhud]) and t'uhd (*[tuhhud]). "he learns"). One should refer also to fairly contemporaneous imperfectives from Emar which are clearly influenced .g. The frequent reference to the Ugaritic form yqh ("may he take").28). ydlāmmdd. a form which occurs not only in Ge'ez. instead of normal Babylonian ilaqqē-šunūti. geminated imperfectives of the basic stem appear in early Andalusian Arabic. ipaqqid. Mehri yarokdz < *yarakkaz.TENSES AND ASPECTS 339 stem-derivational gemination expresses actuation in reference to the actor (§41.

38. The purely "verbal" and aspectual categories were somewhat reduced in several Semitic languages. ta-lak. contrary to the jussive where the gemination was not required by the system. "he speaks". the stative / permansive differs from the perfective and from the imperfective by the distribution of the actor affixes: they are all suffixed to the stative. " I shall dismiss you". one should say that the evidence points to an original imperfect ydqattdl / yaqattal in South Arabian.10. The perfective with f-infix is attested in East and . b) Simplified Systems 38. "she goes". yàdakdm.7. Therefore.. tu-uš-ša-ab. are precisely languages of the nongeminating type. Besides the i-infix and the lengthening of the root. as well as in Ethiopic. East Gurage dialects occasionally show the gemination of the second radical. However. vs. while the non-gemination is compensated in Mehri and Harsūsi by the lengthening of the preceding vowel (§38. In summing up the situa­ tion. "may he speak". "he takes prisoner". and Tigrinya — certainly uses the ydqattdl form with gemination of the second radical consonant... e-ez-zi-ib-ka /'e'ezzibka/.6).9. Moreover.C/3 generally preserves the gemination of the second radical. ta-al-la-ak.340 MORPHOLOGY by North Semitic. "when . this consonant is generally not geminated in South Ethiopic which pre­ sents a pattern ydqàtdl. Amharic ydmarrdk.g. the South Ethiopic imperfect of Stems 1/A has very likely lost its gemination. and occasional feminine forms like te-er-ru-ub. "she will stay". e. she will go". like East Gurage and Harari. vs. the South Ethiopic imperfect of Stem I. e. on the whole. so much the more so that North Ethiopic is. 38. while they appear as both prefixes and suffixes with the perfective and the imperfective. The Modern South Arabian languages do not have the second radical consonant geminated in the imperfect. although the close structural analogy between gemination and vowel lengthening allows of an allophone ydqātdl / yaqātal. "may he take prisoner". However. Sheri and Soqotri are again languages of the non-geminating type (cf.8.. While North Ethiopic — Ge'ez. §41. "she enters".g.5). Gafat yddakkam. despite the fact that some of these idioms. 38. closer to Proto-Ethiopic than the South Ethiopic group. instead of Middle Babylonian ezzibka. Tigre. while changes in function and meaning also occurred. or ki-i-mee . ydmark.4.

e. The question is whether this change goes back to Amorite or even to Palaeosyrian. "messenger". This last evolution was certainly on its way at the time of the Amarna correspon­ dence and of the Ugaritic texts. expressed by the preterite. The perfec­ tive with i-infix has obviously appeared as redundant. in Phoenician (e. In Late Babylonian contracts. "and I made this high place").TENSES AND ASPECTS 341 North Semitic. The second change was prompted by the parallelism between a situation existing at a determined moment and the situation resulting from an event anterior to the moment in ques­ tion. PNj ma-ra-su hal-liq ūmu 4 SÌLA ŠE. "my god is king" (cf. w-y'nny b'lšmyn. in Aramaic (e. in Moabite (e. "to be master").g.g. the stative appears already as a real perfect. which can be explained in a different way. no certain examples of the stative used as a real perfect before the later half of the second millennium B. way-yo'mer. 'atwt. "and he made [pea]ce in . In fact. And the difficulty of distinguishing past action and completion led to the dis­ appearance of one of these categories. All Palaeosyrian cases cited refer to alleged perfect tenses of verbs ultimae or mediae infirmae. there is some parallelism between the "aspectual" notion of perfective and the "temporal" notion of past.3). Arabic malaka. This led to a further simplification of the verbal system. only some Late Babylonian forms influenced by Aramaic may be considered as perfects.g.g. as some authors believe. kept on acting as a narrative past tense.C. with both band and danna in the predicate state (§33. or as a noun mal'āk. at least sporadically (e. in the 15th-13th centuries B. "she came"). e. There are. "(if) PNj (the pawned slave) will have fallen sick (or) will have escaped. in Hebrew (e. 40. "he seized". w-"š h-bmt z't. As for East Semitic. Although the old preterite was the regular narrative form in myths and epics. which in turn was superseded by the stative that acquired the meaning of a perfect without losing its original function.C.g. as it seems. and Da-na-LUGAL means "the king is powerful" rather than "the king has judged". Ba-na-a-hu means "the brother is nice" rather than "the (divine) brother has created". since it referred to an action already accomplished and thus belonging to the past. "and he said").5. 'ahd. "and Baalshamayn answered me"). The old preterite preceded by wa-.g. but it was supplanted in West Semitic by the preterite yiqtul I yaqtul. ma-hi-ir is often used in the sense "has received". and even Ma-laak-ì-lí can be interpreted either as a stative malak. at least sporadically.BAR mandattašu PN ušallam. "and".11. 2 2 38.g. PN shall pay four litre of barley a day as his clearing". w-yp'l b-hlb [šl]m. The situation in Amorite is similar.

38. the North Gurage dialects.g. In Nabataean Arabic.13). be-lí i-ma-ar-ru-šu. thus justifying the hypercorrect use of a sub­ junctive marker. and said").g.1-8). including the Arabic vernaculars. ú-ul aš-ku-un-nu. "when he breaks". wa-yaqūlu. use a form of the ydqat{td)lu-iyx)Q in the main clause . "he struck her . which cannot be completely independent from the -u of the Palaeosyrian and East Semitic subjunctive (§39. e. developed from the jussive yaqtúl (§38. I f so.342 MORPHOLOGY Aleppo"). The imperfective iparras I ydqattdl is not attested until now in West Semitic languages.14). 136. but tisàbdr < *tdydsabdr..12.. "why do you keep so silent that you do not say to the king that he should send the bowmen?" (EA 71. which dis­ tinguish an imperfect for the main affirmative clause and an imperfect for the subordinate clause.23-26) but it most likely reflects occasional lapses of the scribes into their native Amorite idiom in which the -u suffix must have taken root (cf.2) by adding an -u. This aspectual form was replaced by a new indicative yaqtulu. "he breaks" or "he shall break". This narrative past tense with the so-called "converted" imperfect was not used any more in Mishnaic Hebrew. "my lord will see i t " ) . darabahā . 38. It certainly occurs with the preterite (e. w-yhtb mwy dhbhw. and was already affixed at Mari to preterite and imperfective forms without apparent change in their mean­ ing and their function (§38. §38. and biblical Dead Sea scrolls occasionally substitute a suffixed form belonging to the contemporaneous spoken idiom.g.10-14). The final -u added sometimes at Mari to verbs of main clauses may result from an hypercorrect use of the subjunctive (e. However. A R M I I .. as suggested by the Oboda inscription: fa-yafal lā fidā wa-lā 'atarā (p-yp'l V pd' w-V 'tr'). and in Arabic (e. although an unconvincing attempt was made to discover it in Hebrew on the basis of the orthography of the Qumrān scrolls. while its shedding is quite general in the other idioms. the old preterite is probably used also after fa-.13. ydsàbru. as examplified by the following sentence of a Byblos letter: a-na mi-nim qa-la-ta (stative) ù la-a ti-iq-bu (jussive + u) a-na šàr-ri ù yu-wa-ši-ru-na (jussive + u + energic n) sāba pí-tá-ti. " I did not assign") and with the present-future (e. The development must have occurred first in spoken dialects.g.. in South Arabian (e. we have evidence of the imperfective . in clauses where formal parataxis expressed log­ ical hypotaxis (§55. This final vowel -u is preserved in Classical Arabic. "and he restored the water-supply of his alluvial land").g. "and he acted neither for reward nor for favour".2-3).g.

The bulk of the material is provided by Arabic that uses the indicative imper­ fect yaqtulu also in all kinds of subordinate clauses. "her heart was filled with joy"). Besides. unless yml'u.D.8). except those that are final/consecutive or conditional. Besides. This explanation is supported by the structural changes which had occurred in Semitic already in the third millennium B. and by the Gurage dialects.. stands simply for *yimlū I *yamlū (cf. e. and it seems therefore to have been an optional literary feature of the Ugaritic idiom.15. "Baal has protected") nor in syllabic texts from Ugarit.14. §45. As for the origin of the subjunctive in -u and of the Arabic subjunctive in -a.4-6). of transi­ tive and intransitive verbs. forms in -u are perhaps unveiled by Ugaritic literary texts where the final radical 'u might characterize the singular preterite yaqtulu (e.TENSES AND ASPECTS 343 yaqattalu and of the preterite yaqtulu in North Semitic. the situation in ancient Arabic dialects of the 6th . it has to be examined in the paragraphs dealing with moods (§39.7th centuries A. ki 38. corroborated by the Amarna correspondence. §39.15-16. since its role was assumed by subor­ dinate conjunctions that have developed in the course of time.14-18).3).. testify nevertheless to the use of -u forms in main clauses.g.C. "now.g. " I gave strength to my country") and by the Amarna correspondence with parallel examples of the preterite (anumma issuru āì šarri. ma-ti -ia u-ki-in-nu.g. However. A question related to aspects is the existence of certain mor­ phological distinctions in the conjugation of active and stative.25-26). with Hidjazis using the indica­ tive in -u where others employ the apocopate (cf.12. suggests that the use of the marked indicative was dialectal or optional before the systematization introduced by Arab grammarians. The morpheme -u of the indicative may therefore be considered as a simple generalization of the -u suffix of subordinate clauses (§38. especially in their basic stem since the mean­ ing of the derived stems generally obliterates these fundamental .g. yml'u Ibh bšmht. 39. The examples from Mari and from Alalakh. I did guard the king's city") and of the presentfuture (anumma inassaru âla sa šarri. by Classical Arabic. Further evidence is provided by Idrimi's autobiographical inscription from Alalakh (e. a distinctive -u sub­ junctive had become superfluous. Ia-qub-Ba'al /Ya'qub-Ba'al/. "now. c) Transitivity — Intransitivity 38. this ending -u appears neither in proper names (e. I shall guard the city of the king") in the same letter from Megiddo (EA 220. By that time.

especially in Rendille. "to learn" yilbaš. "to k i l l " ) . "to die" 38. while intransitive verbs like Arabic yadhab. while the 0-class consists of mainly intransitive verbs. "to drink" ydlbas. yadbuġ. Aramaic Arabic Ge'ez "Sam" ilmad. there are Ethiopic verbs that are inflected according to two patterns.16. "to lie"). The proper meaning of a transitive verb is "to per­ form an action" directly affecting another person or thing (e. since it is attested also in Cushitic. iqrab next to iqrib. and the w-class. "to save". "to become great". or expresses the state of being in a certain condition (e. where the statistical data are inverted. "to dress" yaham. "to be cut off". Arabic yadbaġ. however. This class distinction goes probably back to an Afro-Asiatic scheme.g. e. e. However. as Migāma. "to tan". Authors often assume that this kind of distinction is indicated by the quality of the stem vowel which divides the Semitic verbs into three classes: the aclass. "to dress" yašrab. "to come near" yiqrib. yanqud.g. Some verbs may be inflected according to two or even three classes without any semantic differences. passive yanqad.g. in the prefix-conjugation of the "Sam" sub-group of Lowland East Cushitic (§2. "to come near" yahsib. the stem . viz. the /-class and w-class verbs came together in the mainly transitive 2-class.g. a change of class implies a modification in the meaning of the verb. "to write" yanqud. The dis­ tinction of transitive and intransitive verbs is apparently somewhat clearer in Ethiopic. islam next to islim in Assyro-Babylonian.11). passive yabtar. the /-class. yafsul. In East Semitic and in West Semitic.-Bab. "to go away". "to speak" yagis. yadbiġ. e. as in Arabic yabtur. In other cases.g. In conclusion. The same situation occurs in some Chadic languages. The Semitic jussive is the ver­ bal form which exhibits these differences at best. a-Class Ass. "to mn" yiktub. "to eat" /-Class iqrib. "to value" ydngsr. "to be pleased"). e. but this distinc­ tion is not absolute and dialectal variants exhibit. "to separate". always inflect like û-class verbs.344 MORPHOLOGY semantic differences.. the "Sam" imperfect is added for comparison. These class alternations must be distinguished from vocalic modifications resulting from the use of the passive voice. "to kill" M-Class irpud. or Hebrew yigdal. most stative and intransi­ tive verbs belong either to the /-class or to the w-class. "to cut". "to be saved". Arabic yafsil. whereas the intransitive verb either signifies an action which is complete in itself and affects the subject (e.g. "to depart". "to save" yamut.g.

There was no return to the basic "ergative" opposi­ tion of transitive to intransitive. However. Its origin is not functional.g. In Semitic.10) resulted in the course of the first millennium B. this dis­ tinction was based mainly on the intransitive function of the basic stem (B/G). "the man came near". e. Further changes in the West and South Semitic verbal system (§38.17.1-4). as it seems: it is radicated in the C C vC model of the root morphemes (§28.C.g. and qariba r-raġulu. These categories imply a reference not to the absolute moment of speaking. Therefore. Besides. since the predicate of a nominal clause — thus lacking any verbal form — may be inflected in -a under certain conditions like the object of a transitive verb. used with a subject in the non-active a-case. but to any moment fixed in the utterance. . Similar cases occur also in other Afro-Asiatic languages. used with a sub­ ject in the ergative «-case (§40. a semantic development took place in an early phase of Proto-Semitic or even in Afro-Asiatic with the result that the basic stem of numerous Semitic verbs can be used both transitively and intransitively. "the child was buried". Arabic qariba r-ragula. But this distinction has no direct bearing on the transitive or intransitive nature of active verbs. It is the accomplished or unaccomplished aspect signified by the verbal form that is relevant. In consequence. 38. although it introduces a relative morphological distinction between stative and active verbs.8). Tachelhit imdl u-rgaz a-fruh. and the transitive function of the causative-factitive stems (D and/or S). especially in Libyco-Berber. the basic stem of the historically attested languages contain exclusively transitive verbs as well. The major distinction of category between the new perfect and the imperfect can be seen simply in terms of the aspectual contrast "accomplished" (perfect forms) / "unaccom­ plished" (imperfect forms). there is no doubt that the categories of transitive and intransitive are extremely important in any ergative language.16). the originally ergative character of Semitic was reduced mainly to the opposition of the active and non-active nominal components of the sentence (§32. in a new scheme with two main morphological categories of the indicative: per­ fect and imperfect. l 2 3 38. the mor­ phological distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs as such is no more essential in Semitic. "the man buried the child". and imdl u-fruh. Nevertheless. and Semitic belonged originally to this linguistic type. e.18.TENSES AND ASPECTS 345 vowel is neither predictable nor does it allow distinguishing transitive and intransitive verbs. "he approached the man".

e. "and the complaint took a long time. acting must often be translated by a present. "and the Moslems began working".19. I f we now turn to the tense formations which have been developed in some modern Semitic languages to express time relations in imitation of the western Indo-European tense scheme. wa-ġa'ala l-muslimūna ya'malūna.g.346 MORPHOLOGY This is the main reason why these categories do not correspond to any particular tense of the temporal scheme which has been evolved in the Indo-European languages. In temporal clauses referring to the future. e. like those introduced by mā. speaking. " I swear". mā dāma hayyan.g. "as long as he will have been alive". or lay sa 'ahadun 'afqara min ġaniyyin 'amina l-faqra. thinking. While the "classical" verbal system of the Semitic languages is based on aspect. etc.g. The pluperfect "he had written". d) Modern Languages 38. kān katab.g. "when the Hazradjites had come".g. Instead. having power.3).. as Arabic 'alimtu. the perfect should be translated by a future perfect. This tense is related to Classical Arabic kāna qad or qad kāna followed by the perfect of another verb. discontinuing. per­ fect forms may correspond to an English pluperfect. As a matter of fact. e. fa-tālati š-šakwa wa-huwa yabkī 'aharra bukā'in. halaftu. "he was". as in Arabic 'azza wa-ġalla. In the past. wishing to. "he had already seen through you just as we have seen". can be expressed in mod­ ern Arabic by using the perfect kān. "he had written". The imperfect is used naturally in clauses express­ ing finality and after verbs that denote setting in. it expresses unaccomplished actions in the past. the perfect pre­ served its original stative function. e. "as long as". Thus.. modern speech tends to found the verb inflection on the notion of time and to express it by means of "tenses". e. As for the imperfect.. perfect forms of verbs denoting feeling. Besides. in a temporal clause introduced by lammā which in standard Arabic usage implies anteriority of the subordinate clause to the main sentence (§58. "nobody is poorer than a rich man (if) he feels safe from poverty". .. with the perfect of another verb. being able to do. while he was crying bitterly". e. qad kāna ra'ā minka mitla mā ra'aynā. "he is mighty and great".g.20. we can see that these compound tenses are partly based an old formations which were used in the past to express particular aspects or situations and not time relations. e. and future. present. " I know". etc. fa-lammā qadima l-Hazraġīyūna. 38.g.

ana rāyih asma'. . e.g. e. 38. " I am going to hear". §58. e. kāna n-nabīyu ya'ūdu l-marida. "he was writing" (§42. fa-nakūnu qad 'ahadnā 'iwadan.g.5). "he was". In particular. "and he boarded it (a ship) and sailed with them on the sea. ydkūn katab.g.24). with the imperfect.21. a preverb b(i). In several Arabic dialects of the Arabian Peninsula and in NeoAramaic.TENSES AND ASPECTS 347 kāna is a stative expressing a situation existing at the moment when "we saw" it and it does not shift the tense of the clause automatically to the pluperfect. or the continuous present denoting an action actually performed. Syriac can express the future. "the prophet used to visit sick people". "he will write". e. "which I had said to you". This construction is used in Classi­ cal Arabic to signify a situation resulting from an action which will be accomplished in the future: e. thus: "he was already seeing through you just as we saw". the imperfect with b(i)indicates the future. but its use is extended to the general present in Syro-Palestinian and Cairene colloquials.g. e.18-22). or the future as opposed to the present. 38. various particles are prefixed or suf­ fixed to verbal forms in order to express either the general present. The future sense can be expressed also by the participle rāyih. In reality.22. bi-yruh. Authors generally assume that Syriac has created a pluperfect of the same type as Arabic by combining the auxiliary verb (hâ)wā. Only some examples can be given in the frame of this Outline. A similar analysis explains the modem use of the perfect kān with the imperfect of another verb to express the European imperfect or past con­ tinuous "he was writing". The duration in the past (past contin­ uous) can be expressed also by the perfect of kān with the active partici­ ple. employed to express the continuous present. are used in several modem Semitic colloquials to express time relations and aspects. with the pre­ ceding perfect of another verb. and he entered Egypt". instead. de'mrēt (hâ)wēt fokon. e. Additional morphs. kān ydktub (cf. kān kātib. wīteb bāh wardā 'amhon bd-yammā wd-'al (hâ)wā ld-Mesrēn. By using the imperfect ydkūn with the perfect of another verb. other than verbs but acting as verb modi­ fiers. nehwē kāteb. These constructions are not operative in Neo-Aramaic (§42.g.g.g. This compound tense goes back to Classical kāna yaf'alu which denotes a stable situation con­ sisting in doing something. however. usually with a volitive connotation. the auxiliary does not alter the time reference of the verb in such constructions. "then we shall already be in the situation of having taken an equivalent". By using the imperfect nehwē with the participle of another verb. In Eastern Arabian.g. "going". modem Arabic can express the future "he will write".

"they write". e. which is often used in Bedouin dialects and in Libya to signify an action that will be performed immediately.19) and the widespread Indo-European use of an auxiliary verb expressing desire to form a future tense (e.D. "he is opening". and ki.g. Qatabanic wl ylsq. "he wants to sleep". 38. with the partial assimilation bn > mn. The particle k. "because they did not decree and will not decree". e. kā.marking a present tense. " I am writing". Another explanation considers b(i). the particle is prefixed to the infinitive followed by the preposition / with a pronominal suffix. "let him prosecute". In Arabic colloquials. t l l 38. "she is opening". " I am just writing". the Neo-Aramaic preverb bi. "he ordered his killing" prefixed to the imper­ fect.23).is used in other dialects with the same function. . both attempts to explain this b(i). The same use is encountered in the Western Neo-Aramaic dialect of Ġubb 'Adīn. this formation must be linked to the earlier Qatabanic use which exactly parallels most Syro-Palestinian colloquials: the b. e. "we write". An explanation based on the preposi­ tion the shortened form of yibġi "he w i l l " . since it governs an original infinitive (§38. bi-ptāhā-lā.348 MORPHOLOGY "he will go".g. In Neo-Aramaic. the preverb b(i). but mndktob.(< kin) in Neo-Aramaic. kdm 7 s knw w'l bys knwn. "to be". "he writes". an innovation of the imperfect. "don't open". Damascene bydktob. Although the earliest Neo-Arabic instances of the ^-imperfect date from the 9th century A. Hawrāni vernacular la teftahis).21). In any case. the common Semitic preposition b-.(< kūn) in Anatolia. btdktob.g.seem to be undermined by the regular use of a preverb b. but is used at San'a in phrases like bayn-aktub. "he wants to go" (Kuwait).21). e. "he will do"). but it cannot serve as an explanation of the preverb b(i).is prefixed to the indicative imperfect (§ the Qatabanic indicative imperfect.. etc.24. but not to the jussive or in some other way not-indicative. "she writes". This construc­ tion parallels the Neo-Aramaic tense formed with the preverb bit(§42. bi-ptāhā-lē.originated from the conjunction baynā which means "while" in Classical Arabic. 42. "he will sleep".g. instead. that may have prompted. It derives from the verb kāna I kūn.. it is used with the imperfect and serves to express the continuous present. In Arabic colloquials. like Classical Arabic 'amara bi-qatlihī. bi-yudmuk. the preverb b(i). and is vocalized kū. e.g. According to one opinion. bydktbū. In Eastern Neo-Aramaic. e.(< kārì) in the Maghrib.23.23. in accordance with the Neo-Aramaic verbal system (§42.cannot be discarded i f one takes some nominalizations into account. etc. in turn. ka-niktib.

e. "he is open­ ing". The place of the Arabic negative mā in Mesopotamian <p/iw-dialects deserves a special mention. The gerund (§42.27. ma-kišrab in the Irbil dialect.TENSES AND ASPECTS 349 instead. the imperfect + nàyru or nàbārā expresses the past continuous. to establish tenses expressing continuous actions either in the present ( " I am writing") or in the past ( " I was writing"). e. ki-pātih.g. in Harari. ydsābbdr-allo. in Tigrinya and in West Gurage dialects. In a past context. The modem North Ethiopian languages have developed several compound tenses. 38. There is also a noticeable tendency.g. "he (is)" (§49. and the participle. in Gafat. "they are opening". e. in Argobba. It may be placed either before or after the verb modifier k-.26. 38. especially in order to distinguish the present from the future. followed by the jussive and by the copulative pronoun tu. it is prefixed to the active participle. ki-pāthī. the imperfect + 'ala expresses the past continuous. in Tigre. especially in Tigrinya and in Amharic. the simple present or past from the continuous present or past. but kū-mišrab at 'Aqra.g. e. in Amharic. In most Ethiopian languages. ydsàbbdr nàyru I nābārā. In a past context. "for. In West Gurage dialects. the imperfect + halla expresses the present continuous. thus in Ge'ez. ki-pāthā.19). hdna hddāy ndtfarrar hallena. or the jussive/subw . to". "he is breaking". e. the imperfect expresses the pre­ sent and the future. "he (is)". Instead. Tigrinya exhibits a paral­ lel development: whereas the old imperfect expresses the general present (e. Instead. Other compound tenses are used as well with the imperfect.g. the perfect.12) enters in the composition of other compound tenses.25. ydsābbdr. faġdr Basd' 'dgdl nigis tu.g. "he will break". while the future is expressed by the imperfect with various affixes.g. 38. the present is signified by the simple imperfect. "he was breaking". the future tense is formed by the particle kdprefixed to the imperfect and by the copulative old pronoun 'dyyu. "he breaks"). in East and North Gurage.g. e.g. "tomorrow we shall go to Massawa". "a dog was running on the road". kaldb 'db gabay hs'e 'ala. A similar development can be observed nowadays in the Mansa' dialect of Tigre. e. "he is not drinking". kisābbdr (< kd-ydsàbbdf) 'dyyu. Instead. the imperfect + alio expresses the present continuous.g. In the Mansa' Tigre of today the future tense tends to be expressed more and more by the preposition 'dgdl. there are two ways of expressing the future: either the imperfect is followed by -te / -k e. "(only) we are going out to the wedding". e. "she is opening".

he is speaking. e. and form 2 serves as the negative for tenses 2 and 4. The combination of the gerund with nàbbàr{a) expresses the pluperfect or past perfect: nàgro nàbbár(à). both affir­ mative and negative. This leaves Amharic with five tenses used in main positive clauses: 1° Imperfect. 3° Past continuous. "he spoke. The compound gerund. formed by the combina­ tion of the gerund (§42. especially when the action occurs at the moment of speaking: nāggâra. yanagral. The simple imperfect expresses the present and the future in the main negative clause and in subordinate clauses.350 MORPHOLOGY junctive is followed by -šà I -se. while the imperfect with -te I -k e implies doubt or simple intention. "he has spoken". The compound imperfect with the auxiliary verb alia > all expresses the present. . 2° Perfect.g. the perfect may express the present. 4° Present perfect. w Amharic uses the auxiliary verb alia. the future. with the simple imperfect and with the gerund. In main volitive and negative sentences. 5° Past perfect. Thus. "he had spo­ ken". Amharic developed a past continuous and a past perfect or pluperfect by using the verb nàbbāria). "he was speaking.28. to form the imperfect of the main clause. "he is". and the future perfect in the main affirmative clause: ydnāgr or yanàgdr. With certain verbs. It would appear that the jussive with -šà / -se expresses certainty. he had spoken". he was used to speak".12) with the auxiliary verb alia > all. he w i l l speak". "he speaks. "he was".. The perfect normally expresses the past and may also express the pluperfect. Besides. whereas "he will find" is signified either by the suffixed imper­ fect ydrakdbte or by the suffixed jussive ydnkàbšà. 38. and it combines it with the gerund to form the present perfect. Chaha ydrakdb means "he finds". durative or habit­ ual action in the past: ydnàgdr nâbbàr(â). the jussive yangar is used instead of form 1. he has spoken. The simple imperfect followed by a frozen or a conjugated form of nàbbār(â) expresses a continuous. expresses a past action the outcome of which continues into the present: nāgfall.

Iff. in the Amarna correspondence.7).13).14.3.MOODS 351 C. The so-called "subjunctive" ending -ni occurring in the Assyrian dialect is not a mood ending. to some extent. these moods are all characterized by suffixes. which occurs in Old Akkadian and in Palaeosyrian subordinate clauses. at least with some prefix-conjugations (§38. 39.) which historically preceded the appearance of formally subor­ dinate clauses. and to the pronominal suffixes of a verb.3) and is functionally identical. the jussive with the energetic. to which the so-called apocopate or apocopated imperfect of Classical Arabic and of Hebrew is closely related. It is also possible to consider as moods the paradigm that comprises optative or precative forms.2. The indicative is unmarked in Palaeosyrian.4. 39. the ventive or allative. with the jus­ sive. The same suffix is attested in Classical Arabic and in North Gurage dialects (§38. The use of the same marking with the verb must imply that an analogy was perceived between the ergative and the subordinate . There are good reasons to believe that this marked indicative originated from a generalization of the -u ending of the subjunctive which denoted subordinate clauses (§38. may simply be the ventive suffix with­ out mimation (§39. to the ven­ tive. however. for a verb with a ventive suffix does not take the subjunctive suffix. One can distinguish five moods in Semitic languages: the indica­ tive. and in Assyro-Babylonian. it can be added to the subjunctive. and in Assyro-Baby­ lonian. The subjunctive suffix is generally -u in Palaeosyrian. The subjunctive or "relative" is by definition the mood or form of verbs in clauses which are subordinate to another clause and intro­ duced by a conjunction or a relatival antecedent. while the ending -a. and the one which comprises the vetitive or prohibitive forms.12). and perhaps in Ugaritic. Moods 39. We can assume that the -u suffix of the subjunctive derives from the -u ending of the ergative-instrumental case in nominal constructions (§32. which was initially unmarked. in Old Akkadian. The enclitic -na occurring in dialectal Old Babylonian may have the same grammatical function. two types of the so-called subjunc­ tive. Except for the jussive. 39. 39. These. but a suffix -u seems to appear in Amorite. in Old Akkadian. are prefixed and hence structurally differ from the moods marked by a suffix. but an enclitic indicating the end of a dependent clause.1.

"he will not do". finality. of the perfect. e. "he will do". but phrases like lan yaf' express finality or consequence. should not be understood as statements and negations. O! my Lord. "he will never visit you". that Classical Arabic uses the -u imperfect precisely with these cate­ gories of subordinate clauses. This subjunctive in -a alternates in the Amarna correspondence with the East Semitic ventive. e. the -a subjunctive. which is the sub­ ordinate form of the preterite. like 'an {'allā < 'an-lā) and hattā. cannot be equated with the Arabic subjunctive in -a which is a marked form of the jussive expressing wish.6. the subjunctive occurs sporadically also after wa-'. "who will give this people in my hand that I might get rid of Abimelech?". 39. especially in the post-classical language.g. Like in pre-Classical Arabic. but it is called "indirect cohortative" in the grammars of Hebrew.g. or consequence after well determined conjunctions. e. of the stative. "unless". this subjunctive in -a is used in Old Canaanite and in Hebrew after the conjunction wa.g. Also other conjunctions. of (sawfa) yaf'alu. "may he (the Pharaoh) keep his servant in life so that I may guard his faithful city". ml yittēn 'et. that you will come back". "forgive me. U-. or lan yazūraka 'abadan. They signify that one does not foresee. yuballit ardašu u anassara āl kittišu (EA 74. "would God we were taken back (from hell). e. does not expect that "he will do" or " w i l l pay a visit". instead. e. Modern colloquials no longer distinguish the subjunctive. It is remarkable.29). and the energetic appear mainly in other subordinate clauses. kay-. It is used in the classical language after fa-. so that we might not contest the signs of our Lord". "so that".5. in any case. wazannīyā bn-a l-'Arwā 'an ta'ūda. whereas the apocopated imperfect. 9. space. so that I may enter in the paradise!" The subjunctive is also used after lan. In the pre-classical language. (Judg. expectation. ('i)ġfir līyā Rabbi fa-'adhuia l-gannata. O! son of Arwa. yā laytanā nuraddu wa-lā nukaddiba bi-'āyāti Rabbinā. " I pre­ sume. 'aw. and of the present-future.hā-'ām hazze bd-yādī wa-'āslrā 'et-'Âblmelek. "so that". may govern the subjunctive in certain circumstances.. This is understandable i f -u was suffixed at first to verbs of clauses which were situating the main action in operational circum­ stances of cause. The Palaeosyrian and East Semitic subjunctive. especially in the first person .352 MORPHOLOGY clause.g.55-56). and its particular use with expressions of wish or expectation. 39.g. and time (§57-58).

was used "to indicate that the action of a verb was destined for. but very soon also signified a motion coming from the speaker or the focus of action.g. e.g. In other words. e. "they brought in"). even in Old Akkadian. to be waiting". -am. it "would thus have been used with motion verbs to indicate simple action in the direction of the speaker" (P. However.g. to have recourse to an East Semitic borrowing to explain the -a suffix (§39. "to comb one's self". "to buy for one's self". d 39. and fil-o. thus enhancing the proposed interpretation of the East Semitic ventive/allative.7. and it characterizes actions which profit to the logical subject or affect it in one or the other way. e. . ublūnim. This suffix probably derives from -*a. "send in!") and as -nim after the -ū termination of the plural (e. This positional allomorph -im strengthens. "to buy". the historical process may have been in the contrary direction: it is the Afro-Asiatic directive morpheme. which is suffixed to the verbal stem. "he came". the function of which appears e. the similarity between the afformative of the ventive/allative and the "destinative" verbal extension -*in reconstructed for Proto-Chadic. "to comb". Newman). and kád-o. this verb attina with the ventive suffix -a does not take the subjunctive suffix. káàd. "he came here". from Mari) and there is no need.Da-gan /Tūr-a-Dagān/. illikam. It is characterized by the afformative -a which is believed to have originated from the pronominal dative suffix of the first person singular. leaves little doubt that the West Semitic subjunctive in -a is but a ventive or allative. Boni has retained this suffix as a productive mor­ pheme.7). Dagan!". the ventive or allative is not unique to East Semitic. since it appears as -da after verbs in plural. therefore. done for the benefit of. The mimation can be missing. which is paralleled also in the Bantu languages by the verbal forms with the direc­ tive -al. the Ur-III name Tu-ra. "to be teaching for".MOODS 353 singular. "Return. This morpheme.g. Kwena hu-rút-al-á. However. šu a-na PN a-ti-na.affix.g. sing. with some distinctive syntactical features. The directive a-morpheme is attested in Palaeosyrian (e. a verb of motion with the "destinative" -*in suffix would constitute a kind of pre-dative verb form. illik. This mood originally indicated motion toward the speaker or the focus of action. "to be sitting for someone.g. I f this interpretation is correct. šūbilīm. that probably gave rise to the dative suffix "to me". "(flour) that I gave away to PN". or otherwise affected or pertained to some­ one". although it belongs to a subordinate relative clause. which indicates that action takes place in favour of someone or is directed toward a specific end. the East Semitic suffix appears as -im after the -I ending of the 2nd pers. Since subjunctive and ventive suffixes are mutually exclusive. in particular of the "Sam" sub-group.g. Sotho ho-lúl-al-á. There is a conspicuous analogy between the ventive/allative suffix -a and the "benefactive" suffix -o I -oy of Lowland East Cushitic. fem. (e. in fil. in its turn.

g. and I shall well come to know These semantic connotations of the form appear also in con­ ditional sentences introduced by 'immā. . 1.g. yš'n. used only in sen­ tences involving unreal conditions (e. This mood. . which might indi­ cate either that the use of -n was optional. Minaic wkl dyqnyn. which uses the suffixes -anna (e. like fa-lā tahsabanna llāha muhlifa wahdihi rusulahu.). "may you sustain us!" 39. "so do not try to imagine God as a breaker of his promise concerning his envoys" (Qur'ān 14. anāt alšina. sing.g. " I should go across") or -ā (e. Sabaic 7 Vyrn. It is character­ ized in Classical Arabic by the endings -anna. "and may he grant them"). "may they perish". No proclitic is used in a sentence introduced either by the negative lā or by wa-.. as a rule.13). la-yaqūlunna. "that he should send" (EA 71. The -n imperfect of ancient South Arabian occurs in jussive and subordinate clauses of all kinds (e.g. including relative clauses (e. The suffix -n of the energetic is attested also in Phoenician (e. yqsn. sing. "don't abuse".g. wa-'immā tahāfanna min qawmin hiyānatan " i f you should fear treason from people .354 MORPHOLOGY 39.g.13) in affirmative sentences. where the energetic signifies a desirable possibility and is thus comparable with forms in -an of Modern South Arabian (§39. "and all what he might acquire"). or that -n could be assimilated .8. by the ending -un(n)a\ e. e. ù yu-wa-si-ru-na. "you may not take". 'ēldkā. The energic in -in or -ina is the usual form of the jussive in the Agaw dialects of the Qemant-Qwara group.g.g.g. and -ā in pause: yafa'lanna / yafalan / yaf'alā. wasin. 'āsuranna. written 'srh-n'. These endings are all added to the "short" jussive and they are generally introduced by the optative pro­ clitic la. layta ši'rī wa-'aš'uranna "would I have known. Sabaic wyhmrhmw. where it is characterized. 7 tlqhn.48/47). The energetic denotes a strong wish rather than an emphatic asseveration or prohibition.167). .(§39. halafa la-yaqtulanna. "you will well see". "he swore that he will try to k i l l " .9): 'immā tarayanna mina l-basari ahadan faqūli " i f you happen to see a human being. occurs already in Old Canaanite. but there is a large number of controversial cases (e. It corresponds exactly to the so-called "direct cohortative" of Biblical Hebrew. and it is used in this way also in the protasis of conditional sentences and in interrogative sentences. "they shall draw") and in Aramaic (e. -an. " . la-tarawunna. C I .9. and -dn is the comparable suffix in Mehri and Sheri. . say .g. in the 2nd pers. with its various functions. "let him hear!". "may they speak at last".: T A D I I I . " . " I should go"). "he would be safe"). Mehri ydslēmdn.

4. Although the energetic does not appear in Amorite proper names. where the syntactic status of the two verbs yqr'a and ystrn is absolutely the same. " i f you happen to see"). or 'iqr'an 'ilm n'mm (KTU 1. The evidence of Mehri and Harsūsi indicates that the subjunctive of Modem South Arabian formally corresponds to the ancient yaqtúl jussive (e.11.11.10).g. as suggested by the parallel passage 'iqr'a 'ilm n'mm (KTU 1. thus -*ūnan(na).12. Its use in Ugaritic has long been recognized. may the Beloved hide in his inwards". and therefore had no graphic expression in these cases. although the interpretation of partic­ ular examples is sometimes open to question. The suffix -an or -anna is certainly used in "cohortative" cases like 'atbn 'ank w-'anhn (KTU 1. "may I too sit down and be at ease". 39. or that -*an was sometimes reduced to -ā like the Arabic pausal form and the Hebrew direct cohortative in -ā. Hebrew nēhkā.23.17. "they will make"). Hebrew 'āmūtā. or even a predictable fatality (e.47-49).g.10.g. yqnynn. "when he stands upright").23).1) and by the phrase yqr'a mt b-npšh ystrn ydd b-gngnh (KTU 1. The energetic is attested also in North Semitic.g. Ethiopic and Modem South Arabian distinguish two moods: the indicative of the enunciative clause and the jussive or subjunctive of the volitive clause.g. "let us go!"). the Mari forms iškunanna and imhuranna in subordinate clauses may reflect the native Amorite idiom of the scribes using the energetic ending -anna. and . as well to the frequent use of this mood with verbs of motion (e.MOODS 355 to the consonant of the following pronominal suffix.g. Arabic wa-'aš'uranna. to the alternate forms -n and -a in Ugaritic (§39. hīs ydrkēz. It denotes especially either a strong desire of the speaker (e. " I shall surely come to know"). A particular problem is raised by the double -nn of the Sabaic dual and plural -n imperfect (e. one can assume that -n was also the original ending of the Sabaic plural imperfect and that this -n was pre­ served before the energetic suffix -*an(na). These convergent data seem to indicate that the energetic goes formally back to the ventive/allative.VII. "may I invoke the gracious gods". "they may acquire"). 39. "may Mot cry out from his throat.23. 39. The origin of the energetic mood is linked to the element n of the suffix. or a desirable possibility (e. But the form in -ā is probably employed as well. Since the Qatabanic simple imperfect ends in -wn (yf'lwn.12-13). but semantically has optative or prospective connotations. 'immā tarayanna. " I shall have to die").

e. "he left so that he might study". the phrase 'dgdl + jussive + tu is used in Mansa' Tigre as an expression of futurity without any modal connotation (§38. §38. the so-called verbs ultimae infirmae. The historical appreciation of these peculiarities must . A similar construction of the volitive is attested in Libyco-Berber with the particle ad-1 at-1 ad. ydruh ad-ydġar. when the question is either rhetori­ cal. 'dgdl tdššayam. is his duty".13.g. "so that". which is used as a volitive mood. even when they are attached to the verbal form. Amharic does not use the jussive in subordinate clauses. Prefixing of the proclitic /. "you should take". e. Sabaic Ihslhnn < l+yhslhnn. lit.and the jussive.e. 39. mi 'ide. 39. i. "what should I do?". The vetitive or prohibitive is formed by prefixing ay or one of its derivatives (§38.23.2. "so that he should go.2). barhat tdgba'. the volitive or injunctive forms of the verb are composed by prefixing a proclitic to the basic verbal pattern. especially with the third person. is used for the main clause. The negative adverbs lā.8). In most South Ethiopian languages. ul cannot be considered as proclitics (§47. Only one jussive pattern occurs in Tigre. There is no doubt that this prohibitive particle is originally iden­ tical with the interrogative 'ay (§36. viz.26). appears in subordinate clauses. Widespread is the use of the proclitic lu.14. The so-called "apocopate" or "apocopated" imperfect in Clas­ sical Arabic and in Hebrew is a shortened form of the prefix-conjugation corresponding to East Semitic iprus.356 MORPHOLOGY the same usage is attested in Ge'ez which has two jussive patterns: ydqtdl for the mainly transitive verbs and ydqtal for the intransitive ones (cf. Tarifit at-tdksid. ydqātl or yaqàtdl in Amharic) is used for the subordinate clause (and also for the negative clause)./ li. "may they grant prosperity".g. while the compound imperfect. e. Nowadays.g. It is found also in interrogative clauses. ad-ydksi./ la-. a verb occasionally entails graphic deletion of imperfect y-. 'dgdl ligis waġġdbbo.g. hqtal. The resulting paradigm can be considered as a kind of mood.18. or implying a doubt. or requiring an answer in the imperative. 'al. composed of the simple imper­ fect and of a variable "auxiliary". the jussive preceded by the con­ junction 'dgdl. In several languages. Besides.59). "let there be light". to express the optative or precative (§38. the simple imperfect (e. e.30).16). and by the shortening or the loss of the final long vowel in verbs with a third weak radical. e. It is characterized by the absence of the indicative -u suffix in Arabic. "so that you will be appointed".g.g. "one should draw". "to go is his duty".

"to order". — gave rise to different Masoretic vocalizations. The variations in the spelling. lā yaf'al. e. their inflection precisely exhibits the phonotactic feature that length is dropped in absolute final position and that vocalic ending may drop altogether. "may he speak") and traces of which were later systematized by the early Arab grammarians and by the Masoretes (cf. fal-. ban instead of bāni < bānī. kalliml rasula llāhi yukallim.g..g. and lammā ya'ti. Besides. " i f you do not tell. 39.11). "he should come!". li-yaf'al. i.4). "not".e. e. e.16. "he built" (root bny). ia-aq-bi. §58. — ydsaw and yasawwe. sw and swh. or dropping it altogether. . "he should not come!". parallel East Semitic lā ibni. — ysw and yswh. preterite ibni instead of ibnl. lam ya'ti. e. "building" (par­ ticiple). This interpretation is confirmed in Hebrew by the fact that apocopated forms are used as jussive and in wayyiqtol (§38. "speak to God's envoy (in order that) he would speak". E. — although the differences are purely graphic or dialectal. and real conditions after the particle 'in. "have pity (in order that) you will be pitied".g. fa-li) and after the negative lā. I shall not be satisfied". when the original function of yiqtul is preserved.g. as i f the stem itself was shortened. 'irham turham.(inclusive wal-. The analogy suggests that Arabic and Hebrew apocopate reflects an earlier stage of West Semitic. "he should not do!". It preserves the old volitive function of the yaqtúl after //. parallels Assyrian šumma atta Id taqbi tamuat.12). of the verb swy. The situation is similar in Classical Arabic where the jussive is operative only in determinate kinds of syntagms. saw and sawwē. li-ya'ti. 'sw and 'swh.g. "he should do!". you will die". §43. it preserves the old function of the jussive in asyndetic final / consecutive clauses following an imperative.MOODS 357 reckon with the inflection of the verbs ultimae infirmae in Assyro-Baby­ lonian. As for the apocopate expressing negative statements after lam. "he didn't build". 'in lam yabrah lam 'arda. " i f he does not depart. its function exactly parallels the one of East Semitic preterite. and lammā. present-future ibanni instead of ibanni. documented already by the Amarna correspondence (e. wa-li. "he didn't come". "not yet".g. 39. They reflect a spelling and a pronunciation either expressing the final short -e < -i (< i) and indicating it by the vowel letter -h. 'âsaw and 'âsawwe. "he will build". lā ya'ti. "he didn't yet come" (cf.15. and it is to be consid­ ered likewise as reflecting an earlier stage of the language. Now. " i f " .

358 MORPHOLOGY 39. instead of the indicative in -u. Thus in subordinate clauses they employed the jussive. when".g. "if.18. the apocopated jussive is widely used without the particle /*'-. the apocopate was used also after 'an. "may he put the (evil) eye to shame before you". the indicative in -u was operational in cases where others used the apocopate. the old lam-yaqtul and lammā-yaqtul continued to be used to express the preterite. In Hidjazi dialects. Allah yardi 'alayk. In some ancient Arabic dialects. "Allah befriend you!". e. Allah yakūn ma'ak wa-yahmīk. In modern Arabic colloquials. "be Allah with you and may he protect you!". just like the wayyiqtol in Hebrew. On the other hand. in some categories of negative clauses.'ayn 'annak.19.17. We can assume that those dialects didn't have the subjunctive and the indicative in -u. The following branching diagram of tenses and aspects summa­ rizes the presentation of the common Semitic development of basic ver­ bal forms in the "classical" languages: ya/i + CCvC + an(na) (energetic) ya/i + CCvC (jussive) CCvC (imperative) yá/i + CCvC (preterite) ya/i + CtaCaC (perfective) ya/i + CCvC + a (subjunctive-cohortative) ya/i + CCvC + u (indicative imperfect) (imperfective) CaCC (adjective) ya/i +CtaCiC (perfective) ya/i + CaCCiC (imperfective) CaCuC ya/i + CtaCuC (perfective) ya/i + CaCCuC (imperfective) . and after law. 39. and lan (< lā-'an) instead of the classical subjunctive. The gram­ matical analysis made by Arab philologists on a synchronic level should in fact be reinterpreted in both a diachronic and synchronic perspective. "that". instead. 39. yuhzi I.

ACTOR AFFIXES 359 D. the hyphen (—) indicates that there is no marking. Whereas prefixed Semitic personals are not fused with morphemes indicating aspect and tense. gender and number by suffix morphs. The actor affixes or personals specify person. The square of fountains at Ghadames. usually called prefix-conjugations. we can use the evidence supplied not only by important languages of the Niger-Congo family. Actor Affixes 40. Remembering always the gaps in our knowl­ edge and the dangers inherent in any argumentation from analogy.3-12) will offer some observations on this table.16). They appear as suffixes with the stative and the imperative. they preserve clear traces of case inflection (§40. The Ge'ez paradigm can serve also for Tigrinya. like in Hausa. as in the standard form of the third person masculine singular. The following paragraphs (§40. Fig. 28. and num­ ber. In consequence.1).2. two types of paradigmatic sets determine the two types of conjugations: the suffix-conjugations and the prefix-suffix-conjugations. both as prefixes and suffixes with the derived forms where person is designated by prefix morphs.1. gender. but later agglu­ tinated to the verbal base. In the paradigmatic set of the suffix-conjugation of the stative. While the actor affixes of the suffix-conjugations go back basically to a form of pronominal suffixes of the noun. but also by Hausa which expresses the personals by separate pronouns that precede the verb (§36. the pre­ fixed personals are survivals of pronouns once separate. . in 1845/6. a) Suffix-Conjugation 40.

45. which became also a perfect (§38. "he killed".g. "is good". "Damu is standing"). and Amorite (e.10). "he sent". 2 m. " E l is good"). This may be the correct explanation of the few forms with final -a in the Amarna correspondence. the general trend in Semitic elides the final ' and lengthens the vowel (*našā.g. "Baal is king") and. du-ak. which is indicated by 'a (§19.g. 3 m. The assump­ tion that the vowel a/ā linking the pronominal suffix to the stative/per- . 2 m.5). while the bulk of the material shows no -a. this -a is the mark of the predicate state of the noun (§33.24). e. cf. Ba'al-ma-lak. §27. Since the stative essen­ tially represents the conjugation of a noun (§38. which became a mark of the perfect through the participial predicate as in Qāma-Da'mu. f. f. This suffix is generally believed to belong to the normal inflection of the Ugaritic stative/perfect because of forms like nš'a which are vocalized by some authors *naša'a. "he lifted up".g. f. The stative. 2 1 Plur. Qd-ma-Da-mu. as damqa.3. Old Akkadian (e. "the god is beauti­ ful"). Ta-ba-El. in any case.360 MORPHOLOGY *Proto-Semitic Sing. 3 m. has a third person masculine singular in -a in Classical Arabic and in Ethiopic. the syllabic spelling of Ugaritic proper names shows no -a ending in the stative/perfect (e.8). However. either substantive or adjective. also in some personal names occurring in Palaeosyrian (e.8.3). ša-pár. 1 Dual 3 m.g. f. 1 East Semitic Ugaritic Hebrew Aramaic — -at -ka 1 -ta -ki 1 -ti -ku — -at -āt(a/i) -āti -āk(u) — -t -t -t -t — -ā -tā -t -tī — -at -t -tī -et -ā -atā -kā (?) / -tanā (?) -kāya / -nāya -ā -tā — -t -tm -ny -ū -ā -kan(u) 1 tanu -kin(a) l-tina -na -ū -ā -ātun(u) -ātin(a) -ān(u/i) — — -tm -tn ? -ū -ū -tem -ten -nū -ū -ū -tūn -tēn -nā 40. ìl-ba-na. f.

"he seized me").g. e. isbatanni. qdtālanī. another value attested in the same period. not sal. d .-ku -at -t -ti -t 1 et 1 -it -t -k -dt -k -Š -k -at -ka -ki -ku 1 -it ? ? -ā -atā -tumā -y -ty ? -o -to -ki -ki ? -ū -na -turn -tunna -nā -u -in -tu -tin -na -w -aw-y -u 1 1 -u -nl — -kdm -kdn -dn - á } J -u ? 1 -tu ? ? -kdmmu 1 -kdn •na -accdhu -(d)n feet in Hebrew (e.g. and the Classical form is therefore based on dialects having connec­ tions with South Semitic. -k -Š -hu.ACTOR AFFIXES 361 CI. The final signs -ka or -ki are phonetic complements indicating that the penultimate sign is to be read rak. Gogot). "he was". "he killed me") is a residue of the ancient -a ending is also questionable. "the Moon-god has blessed". e. Harari hal. Sàwa rāggād. Bé-il-ba-rak-ki /Be'dlbarak/. like Si-'-pa-rak-ka /Si'-barak/. "there is". Only auxiliary verbs and proper names may lack this -a or its equivalent -o (Soddo. as this can be seen in parallel names. do not exhibit a termination -a. at least in Ethiopic. Arabic -a -at -ta -ti -tu Coll.g. Judging from the Greek transcription of Pre-Islamic North Arabian names the third person masculine singular of the Old Arabic perfect did not end in -a. Se-erba-rak-ki /Sehr-barak/. since the same vowel appears in AssyroBabylonian with the preterite (e. where the -a predicative had become a firm element of the stative/perfect. Amharic nābbār. "The Moon-god has blessed". Arabic Sabaic Mehri Ge'ez -a Amharic -ā -add -h. "Hadad has blessed". Aramaic names in cuneiform script. "Baal has blessed". or lM-ba-rak-ka /Hadad-barak/.g. "Shoa trembled".

"you heard").g.6. It is not possible to exclude the Proto-Semitic origin of the second one. aza-me-kà or a-zi-mi-kà /lazimika/. possibly influenced by the second person feminine singular. as an euphonic vowel. "you are spell-bound).g. They are suffixed as nominatives to the simple tenses of the verb (e. both ancient (e. The survival of these variant forms. "she heard". which later philologists explained saying simply that "some Arabs occasionally substitute k for r" (Lisān XX.330). is the strongest evidence for their use outside the proper realm of South Semitic. while the Modern South Arabian and Ethiopic feminine suffix -š (Argobba -â) originates from a palatalized -ki. in Epi­ graphic South Arabian (e. while the Amharic -àcé results from the palatalization of -ati. "you brought back".3). -ti) or suffixed (§36. Chaha). In any case. exactly in the same way as the Semitic personals of the stative/perfect. and because the Old Egyptian suffix-pronouns of the second person singular are -k = -ka for the masculine and -t < -*ki for the fem­ inine. "why are you silent?". so much the less because it is used with the stative in Palaeosyrian (e. and in Yemenite dialects of Arabic. a-ta-a qala-a-ka. "you were disloyal") and modern (e.occurs also in some Gurage dialects (e. and Amharic masculine suffix in -h results from a spirantized -ka. Zway (-ha).362 MORPHOLOGY 40.g.) appear in dialectal Neo-Assyrian (e.g. masc. also indicates the presence of a final vowel (cf. either independent (§36.5.5: -ta. In Hebrew and in Phoenician. §33. "you wrote"). just as the plural sufl . ka-aš-da-ki. fem.g. 'asayka. Sabaic 'wdk. because the Tuareg independent pronouns of the second person are formed on the basis k-.19: -ka. Gafat is the only language having an ending -àttà in -ā. the original ending -t is preserved before pronominal suffixes. Besides. in Harari. "you were").g. was written also -t in later periods. What is not generally known is that a similar formation is encountered in dialectal Neo-Babylonian (e. kunk. "she can be confident"). transcribed -t by Egyptologists. s trk. Masqan.) and -āki (fem. -ki). the endings -āka (masc. The second person masculine and feminine is characterized by the same morphemes as the personal pronoun of the second person. the Egyptian "pseudo-participle" sdm-ti.1-2).5). 40.g.4. The Old Egyptian palatalized -ki. śdm-k. śdm-t. perhaps under the influence of the masculine -a termination (§40.g. The feminine ending in -t corresponds to the feminine morpheme of the noun (§30. The Gafat (-áhâ). "you reach"). While the palatalization -ati > ac(c). a form with a final -/ which appears in some Gurage dialects {-átîi in main clauses of Soddo and Gogot) and. lu-ú ha-ma-ti.

while the endings -y (masc. . in Classical Arabic.g. The Amharic suffix -hu — attested also in Gafat and in some Gurage dialects (-h .18). Hebrew (e. Old Babylonian -āt) which usually finishes by being absorbed in the palatal. used both in East Semitic and in South Semitic. The suffix -t of North Semitic and West Semitic languages is almost certainly to be explained by analogy with the second person singular. " I bore". " I spoke"). katubk.6.) and -ty (fern. I f one assumes a similar evolution in Semitic. w 40. and Harari. It is identical with the morpheme -ku of the independent personal pronoun (§36. can surely be considered as Proto-Semitic. like the -h of the second person (§40.C. k'tbty.7). both ancient (e.7.g. which seems logical (e. This might imply a pho­ netic change -ki > -c> -t through the depalatalization of à by the loss of final -i (cf. " I spoke") and modern (e. Phoenician and Punic (e. " I built": EA 292. these endings can therefore be considered as Proto-Semitic. the second person forms in t could have originated from Proto-Semitic or Afro-Asiatic forms in k (§12. " I wrote"). thus *-ku. kunk.5). "sick-we-two"). They correspond to the dual morpheme -ā of nouns in the subject case. -uh) — has a wide­ spread allophone -ku and it results from the spirantization of -ku. waladku. Muher. and Moabite (e. 40.g. 'amartī. " I was". ba-ni-ti. Finally.g.ACTOR AFFIXES 363 fix -tn < -*kin was later indicated also by -tn. Although one must allow for the possibility of a pronunciation -aw and -taw. bahalku. The Qatabanic masculine dual has the ending -w and there is an alternative feminine dual ending -tw in Sabaic.g.f (§36. and in Modern South Arabian with -6 < *-ā and -to < *-tā. " I wrote"). The intermediate spirantized form -ku(m) occurs in Chaha. there is certainly a relation to the Modern South Arabian forms -o and -to. §32.4).) of Sabaic are due probably to anal­ ogy with the oblique case (cf. the Libyco-Berber suffix -ġ of the first person singular represents a pharyngalized velar followed by a vowel. marsā. The masculine ending -ā and the feminine ending -tā are attested for the third person dual in East Semitic (used until the mid-second mil­ lennium B.29). The first person singular suffix -ku.g. mlkty.g.6) and it is attested also in Yemenite dialects of Arabic.). and the additional ending -ī of Old Canaanite (e. " I became king") derives from the possessive suffix .

and Amharic use the ending -ūl-u for both genders. and in Late Aramaic dialects. While the dual ending -ā is added in Classical Ara­ bic and probably in Ugaritic to the plural pronominal stem -turn-. -ana. and with the metathetical Mehri pattern kdtawb. "have a face of". In South Arabian.) and -ā (fem. 40. one may pro­ pose the alternative Proto-Semitic endings -*tanā and -*kā. in Śherí).22).364 MORPHOLOGY 40. The Yemenite dialectal ending -ayn may be related to the Sabaic alternative feminine plural in -y which parallels the masculine -w. Aramaic. -an). The element -ya is the only one introducing a clear distinction either from the plural suffix of the first person (-na I -na) or from the proposed dual suf­ fix of the second person (-ka). the pronominal stem of the singular (-k-) is followed by the same elements -ā-ya. "they wrote"). -ayn. in Classical Arabic.10. but it must have existed also in Palaeosyrian (§36. I f one considers the -ā ending of the subject case as ProtoSemitic and the form -turn. resulting in -*nāya.12) is added to the feminine suffix with various vocalizations (-ūn.5). -ši < -*ki). in East Semitic. The dual end­ ing -ay of the oblique case would have been monophthongized in Ugaritic to -ē or -I without being marked in writing. pá-na-ù /pānayū/. reduced to i > i. lit.g.22).g. are attested in . "are clothed i n " . The resulting form -ki is then identical with the suffix of the second person dual. It stands to reason therefore that the Proto-Semitic suffix was either -nāya or -kāya. The first person dual is attested only in Ugaritic (-ny) and in Modern South Arabian (-ki. "they wrote".(§36. but Hebrew. which so far do not appear as such in any known deriving from -tan. ni-bu-ha /nibbūġā/.9. 40. and in Ge'ez. The latter should be compared with the colloquial Arabic -aw ending of the Persian Gulf region (e. "are outstanding"). the dual morpheme -ā.is apparently added to the pronominal stem of the plural (-n-) and followed by the possessive suffix of the first person. -ēn. the feminine plural ending -n (§31. in several modern Arabic colloquials.8. The second person dual raises the same questions as the personal pronouns (§36. the Modern South Arabian languages add the oblique ending -ay to the sin­ gular pronominal stem -k. some Arabic colloquials.) which appear as such in Palaeosyrian (e. The same purely vocalic endings can perhaps be assumed for Ugaritic. For the third person plural of Proto-Semitic we may posit the end­ ings -ū (masc. Both Sabaic endings. ktibaw.(-*kay > -ki or -Si after palatalization. masculine -w and feminine -y. as expected. In Epigraphic South Arabian. In Ugaritic.

ACTOR AFFIXES 365 Tigre: masc. either independent (§36. masc.kan be assumed for Epigraphic South Arabian. since the same suffix-pronoun -tn < -*kn is attested in Old Egyptian for the second per­ son plural. Similar forms in -k. and it has no connection with the actor suffix as such. indicate that the suffix originates from *-ātikum. katabum. sáffàr-mu-n.g. nâqâr-o-m. it is the same as in the case of the singular (§40. but also in dialectal Neo-Assyrian with -ākunu (e. kaw-ni and fern. fagr-aya. it distinguishes.g. in a subordinate clause. "you were") and -kan for the feminine (e. As for Soddo. in a main clause.g. A common plural termination -i m < -*um occurs in Gafat. The Proto-Semitic origin of -kan(u). There is a relation between this element -m and the plural morphemes -mu and -na of the personal pronoun (§36. used for the third and second persons. a feminine plural in -m is used in the West Gurage dialects which make a distinction of gender in the third person plural. kâmâ-ti. while the Tuareg independent pronouns of the second person plural are. the suffixes in -k.11.5). East Gurage and Argobba pre- . "they measured". The second person plural of Proto-Semitic should be character­ ized by the same morphemes as the corresponding personal pronoun. katabkum. Instead. used for both genders. As for the problem concerning the consonants t and k. fern. "they went out". which adds the morpheme -kum > -kdm > ku to the nominal plural ending -āti (§31. fern. cf. Both the masculine and the feminine plural have a suffix in -m in Gafat and in Soddo (North Gurage). kdtdbdm).g. sàffàr-ma-n.11). The passage from -a-tanu to -a-tunu and -turn has to be explained in the same way as in the case of the independent personal pronoun (§36. w w 40. e. "you wrote". fagr-aw. -a-tina) or suffixed (§36. "they wrote") and in South Arabian Harsūsi (e. "they pulled out". This particular form is due to the fact that in some respects Amharic represents an innovated language type in the South Ethiopic group. e. The Amharic ending -accdhu and its variants.g. fern. sàffàr-ma. In fact. e. at-tu-nu qa-la-ku-nu.g.appear not only in Modern South Arabian and in Ethiopic.17). The final -m is added to all the persons singular and plural in the positive main perfect of several Gurage dialects: it is an enclitic reinforcing the meaning of the word to which it is attached. Chaha masc. fern. probably by analogy with the second person ending -hu m < -*kumu. -a-kiri).g..24: -a-kun. and in dialectal Yemenite Arabic with -kum for the mas­ culine (e. Instead. "you keep silent"). sàffár-dm. A masculine plural in -m is attested in the Western Ġiblah dialect of the Arabian Peninsula (e. nàqār-āma-m.5: -a-tanu. -kin(a) has to be taken seriously into account. katabkan). also kunkū.5). masc. and masc.g.

viz. In the paradigmatic set of the personals of the impera­ tive. the distinction of gender in the second person plural is preserved not only in North Ethiopic. The following paragraphs will (§40. sàffár-kdman. -hum. Ugaritic Hebrew Aramaic -i -a -i -i -u -a •a . 2 m. fem. in Argobba.g. Actor Affixes of the Imperative Pr. "we measured". f. probably by analogy with the element -nu of the personal pronoun.g. fagar-kdn. "you pulled out"). f.-Sem. very likely as the result of a change à > d > o. náqâr-ku-m. 2 m.14-15) offer some observations on this table. but also in some South Ethiopian languages. It appears as -o in Gogot and in Soddo. Soddo sàffár-nā. Arabic. and in West Gurage (e. a North Gurage dialect (e. Ge'ez.2). b) Imperative 40. which is spirantized into -kum. "you measured"). The final vowel is shedded in Modern South Ara­ bian. "you went out").12. in Soddo. -ku. -hu m. a subsidiary -n is added to -na (> nan). fem. masc. For the first person plural we may posit the Proto-Semitic actor affix -na which appears as such in Aramaic. fagar-kum. obvi­ ously by analogy with the ending -nan of the independent personal pro­ noun (§36. or -hu in other South Ethiopian languages. and most South Ethiopian languages (e.g. fem.366 MORPHOLOGY w serve -kum. The conjugation of the imperative is likewise limited to the use of actor suffixes. nàqàr-kdma-m.8. and in Amharic. Besides. Sing.13. 23). the hyphen (—) indicates that there is no marking. masc. Chaha masc. except in the northern Amharic dialects that preserve -ná. Dual Plur. 40. and it is replaced by -u in Babylonian and in Hebrew. •u -u -na East Sem. In Late Aramaic dialects. as in Tigre (e. while the Assyrian allomorph is -āni (§36. sàffár-kdmun. in the subordinate clause).g.

"write!") goes back to the precative particle -na which is used with the imperative in Amorite (e. "go. No par­ ticular ending can be proposed for the feminine plural in Proto-Semitic.2. in Hebrew (e. EA 147.g. sdbar-a. in Hebrew (e. e. 'zl n'. there is probably no connection with the -a which can be added in Old Canaanite (ku-na. and in Amharic to the imperative for emphasis (e. "turn back. ridkdš < ndkdsi. and for the feminine in Aramaic and in Ge'ez. s hl-n. 3 l 40. the masculine ending -ū is used also for the feminine and this usage is implied likewise by the Aramaic suffix -ūn < -ū + n.5) and of the personal pronoun (§36. qūmā. in Neo-Aramaic. šu-ub-na-. The bare stem of the imperative is used for the second person masculine singular. and might be related to the Amharic interjection na. This -i may cause the palatalization of the preceding consonant. "get up!": Ps. "come!". Instead.g. and the feminine is formed with the suffix -i which characterizes the second person feminine singular of the stative/perfect (§40. The regular Sabaic ending -n of the mas­ culine singular (e.5-6) and to the Assyro-Babylonian ventive/allative. and in Aramaic (e. please!"). please!").g.19). "bring back!".g. "take care!". Arabic Coll.g.36). Arabic Sabaic Mehri Ge'ez Amharic -n -i -a 9 -i -o -i -u -na u u I -in -w ? 9 9 •u •a . and in related Arabic colloquials. Actor Affixes of the Imperative CI. "break!"). in the Chaha (Gurage) fern.g. please!"). The dual ending -ā is employed as plural ending in East Semitic for both genders. 82. 'wd-n.14.g. "be ready!". "bite!". This -a suffix may be related to the -a ending of the subjunctive (§39.ACTOR AFFIXES 367 40. In other Arabic colloquials. 'âlē-nā.14). -n is added to a plural ending -ū (> -ūn / -In) by analogy with the inflexion of the prefix conjugation. s tr-n. "climb.15. since the -na suffix of Hebrew and Classical Arabic is most likely related to the precative particle -na. In some Late Aramaic dialects.8). added to the imperative already in Amorite (§40. which is used also with the imperative.

"to come near". in Modern South Arabian. "gallop!". In Common Semitic.16. hence having a subject in the non-active case. The a/i-set is employed for the other stems. but later agglutinated to the base of the verbal stems (§40. where u characterizes the ergative case. Chaha masc. while a/i marks the non-active case: a in the singular.7 ff. "you came near" ni-qrib. i f we disregard the derived i-stems for the moment. which by definition have a transitive meaning. but u occurs when the basis of Stem I contains this vowel. although the pair fa 'ila / yifalu is productive in Sibawayh's time (§40. fern. "we brought near" Barth's law stating that the prefix of the first set was vocalized with i when the thematic vowel was a (yiqtal).368 MORPHOLOGY Also Amharic employs -u for both genders. These vowels are no "root-augments" but case endings of personals once separate. nakso. galbdma. The Geez paradigm can serve also for Tigrinya. c) Prefix-Conjugation 40. . "bite!". qurrubu. and with a when the thematic vowel was either i (yaqtil) or u iyaqtul).1-6). inclusive the basic stem which must be considered as orig­ inally intransitive. the use of the w-set of personals characterizes the causative or fac­ titive D-stem and S-stem (§41. 1 plur. The personals of the prefix-conjugations were represented origi­ nally by two paradigmatic sets characterized by the prefix vowels either a/i or u. "he writes".1). "to bring near": 2 m. e.g.). "we came near" tu-qarrib. The distinction of two sets of prefixes is lost in Neo-Arabic which mostly uses the i-vowel with all the stems. sing. Instead. yuktub besides yiktub. in Ethiopic. There are also cases of vowel harmony. This comes out very clearly in such examples as the following Assyro-Babylon­ ian verb qerēbu. does apply only to a later stage of some Semitic languages. hence a subject in the ergative case. fern. Soddo masc. i in the plural (§32. "you brought near" nu-qarrib. with final vowel -a < -ā characterizing the feminine plural like in Ge'ez. the vowel of the prefix is indepen­ dent from the thematic vowel in East Semitic. but some South Ethiopian languages of the Gurage group distinguish the two genders. and generally in Arabic.24). in Hebrew.3. e. in Palaeosyrian. galbdm. in Amor­ ite. ta-qrib.g. in Aramaic. naksama. This question brings us to the problem of the origin of personals and to the ergative foundations of Afro-Asiatic.

Text of Deut. The first set of the prefix and suffix elements is shown in the following table.ACTOR AFFIXES 369 •2f rfr 2 \ - ^A-ev^ l£3X7*Kf<*>^ m Wf*2L . It will be commented in §40. Fol.1-11. 29.\ Fig.17.x\^f/^2 /VKr^ZJtS'V^'rtr tkO/sC. 1.18-31. . 237 of the Samaritan Pentateuch from the collection of Pietro della Valle (1586-1652) in the Vatican Library. r Set I 40.

.-Sem....-ā ..-l iitata-.-ū ti-lta-.g..-nā ni-lna- yi-. Ebla texts provide examples of affixes which are identical with those of Old Akkadian: third person singular masculine (e. 3 2 1 m. an-na áš-táma /'anna 'aštama'/.-ī 'e-l'a- yitititi-.-a 1 Plur.-ā ta-..-īn 'i- (>- Dual 3 m.Bab. like in Ugaritic and in Old Canaanite texts from the later d d d 2 D 4 .Akk...-ū *ti-/ta-. fern.g...g.-ā *ti-lta-.. /Tašma'Sepešl. Mari tablets use the form tiqtulū for the third person masculine plural (e. "the Sun-goddess will dry bricks").. tikkulū . "they will come near")... na-tì-lu ti-na-ta-ú Inātilū tinattalū/.18. However.(-«) ...-ā ti-. Tàš-má.of the third person feminine singular appears in some names (e.AMA tá-sa-a /tassa'ā/.. " D N D N will go out").-ān ni- f.g. f.-ā ta-.. . yatatata-......'ū (y)i-.. U T U ti-a-ba-an /tilabban/ SIG GAR. "we purify").. third person plural masculine (e. f.-ā ni- Ì-. ...-nā ti-lta-.... . 2 ya-. Besides.. . Ti-iš-te-Damu... Ugaritic HeWew Aramaic Sing. "Damu has drunk"..-ū ti-lta-.-n n- 40.. ... i-.-Ū yi-. timhasū . lš-má-ll /YiŠma'-'Il/. rubbed themselves . . prefixes of a Western type occur as well.. i-ta-ha-u fyitahhawū/.-u ti-... O. .. first person singular (e. m. ....g.. t-. f.. tištayū ...-ā ni- (y)i-.ā ta-. O. 3 2 1 m.g. " I I heard") and feminine (e. there is a distinct dual feminine (e.. Thus.. .. .... yi-.-ūn ti-.. A prefix ti.a ? *ta-. "the wailers strike up"). and this form occurs at Ebla as well (e. "The Sun-goddess heard"). .-n 'a/'i- yi-lyati-ftati-ltati-/ta-.370 MORPHOLOGY *Pr. c f. because of the sex of the name bearer) and texts (e. . .-Ū i-..g.. " ) .-ān ti-. Palaeosyrian and Amorite are not included in this table because a full paradigm cannot be established as yet on the basis of the available evidence and because this evidence points to important dialectal varia­ tions. drunk .g. Ba-li-haa siG..... . .. tiltaptū.g.--a J *ta-.g.a ta-.-ūn yi-.. eaten ..-l 'a- (y)itatata-..ā \ r (y)i-.. ..-l 'a- yttt-.. "they have hammered ...-ā ni- ylt- .-« yi-lya-. ne-'à-la-a Inihallall. " I heard myself") and plural (e..

-ul-aynl-ēnl-an -u(mln) -ul-aynl-ēnl-an . ? ? half of the second millennium B.M.-dm td-.20)..16). .-w y-. "we are staying"./laltaqqah/. These variations and the probable precative-optative use of the imperfective — a construction which would be unusual in East Semitic — obviously reflect the intrusion of local forms into a text writ­ ten originally in another language (§4. just like the _yi-prefix may be expressed by i. there are Ebla texts with verbal forms having a-prefixes of the first person plural.-dn td-..-6 ya-.. "Haddu did hear". or Ia-ás-ma-ah... .-a ta-. and Iu-um-ra-as-El. ti-lta-ltu-lt-. important dialectal variations are shown by third person forms like Ia-am-ru-us-Èl.2. yi-lya-lyu-lh.30).23.g. -u td-. ..C. .. a-na-pá-ap /lanappap/.-i d- yatdtdta-. .-n t- yd-. .. li-na-sa-sár./Yib'al/. liqattal is encountered later in the precative-optative function at Alalakh (e. n d d d ...-U y-. "may he protect": EA 169. Some of these examples seem to favour Barth's law (§40. in Amurru (e..g. Arabic Coll.g. and of the third person./ya-/ or rather precative-optative /la-/ (§38.-Ū ya-.-ā td-... ni-lna-lnu-ln- ... indicated by a.{-il-iri) a-lni-lnd- ytt? ? yatdtdta-. Finally.2)...\M.-na ta-. a-pá-kà-ra /lapakkarā/. . Arabic Sabaic Mehri Ge'ez 371 Amharic yarntata-.. but most cases do decidedly not conform to this principle. "may they protect him")..-dm td-. "may he give me life": EA 198.-ā nd- ydtd-.-u ya-. .21)../yi-/...15).-Ū ta-.ACTOR AFFIXES CI. Ia-ás-mi-ih. .-dn nd- ya-.. As a matter of fact. 39. a-a-tá-qá..-ā •-y -y ydtd-. . d- ya-.... -ti-ba-al /tib'al/..-o .... 40.-i 'd- ya­ tdtdtd-.-i 'a- yi-lya-Hti-lta-ltu-ltdti-lta-ltu-ltdti-lta-ltu-ltd-. "El did care".13. Ia-am-ra-as-El..-u(mln) . e.. like all the names in I-ba-al. "he should besprinkle". "they should join" (dual)..-na na- yi-lya-lyu-ll. "they should join". (§40. as na-nasa-ab Inanassabl... ti-lta-ltu-lt-...m..-o td-.-ā ta-. a-pákà-ru /lapakkarū/. As for Amorite. "he should take".. and Iš-ma. li-nasa-ru-su. . and in Canaan (li-ba-lu-ut-ni.

or i-ik-mi.. obviously under North Semitic influence. The third masculine plural form is either yqtl(n) or tqtl(n). Barth's law seems to be generally operative in Ugaritic..g. "Haddu has completed". tilqūna . especially the one from Byblos.infixed stems which secondarily derive from the two above-mentioned stems. and lu-ú ta-ad-di-na.and -tan..").g. "they will take . Besides. suggest that the prefix may have been yi. but spellings like i-ig-mu-ur. The personals of Set I are used for the basic stem (§41.2). Iš-la-ma-na /Yišlamānu/.is never indicated as such.g.may occur in Assyrian and in archaizing or poetical Baby­ lonian. 40..372 MORPHOLOGY 40. one must reckon with exceptions. "may they both take pos­ session". as well as in Late Babylonian which happens to reflect the spoken Aramaic language. and they will k i l l " (EA 104. Dual forms are rarely encountered in Old Assyrian and in Old Babylonian. " I shall ask"). The variation of vowel pattern Ha in Hebrew prefixes is inde­ pendent from the thematic vowel.22.C. and from personal names in syllabic script (e.18) and in Old Canaanite as reflected in the Amarna correspon­ dence. by Ia-an-ha-mu /Yanhamu/. The distribution of the two sets of Assyro-Babylonian dual personals is the same as in Old Akka­ dian. "he conquered".21. "He comforted....21). but they are attested at Emar (§40. "he captured". it occurs occasionally in the 13th12th centuries B.g.17) according to two nearly contemporaneous North Semitic forms from Emar: lu-ú ta-as-bu-ta . The distinction of the third person singular masculine i. in texts from Emar where it reveals an influence of the local North Semitic idiom. " I shall dispatch".32-34). as shown e. 'il'ak.. The form tiqtulū{na) occurs along with the usual yiqtulū{nà) also in Palaeosyrian documents (§40. "may the gods give you influence" (Kāmid el-Loz 6.19. 40.20. "He kept peace. except in the first person singular where the laryngal occasions . However. The vowel of the prefix is generally i (yi-/ti-).'a of prefixed and thematic vowels in forms of the first person singular (e. and for the -t. The Old Akkadian prefix yi. Ig-ma-raiM /Yigmar-Haddu/. as it appears from the sequence 'i . 'iš'al. ilānu tiddinū bāštaka. for the stem with prefix n-. e. A l l the other stems take actor-affixes of Set I I .and feminine ta. but the dual is normally replaced by the plural. The Ugaritic feminine dual is reconstructed in the paradigm (§40. and in texts from Kāmid el-Loz.". u tidūkūna. "may they both give".in the Sargonic period. d 5 40.18-19).

the ^-prefixes are restricted to the Dosiri dialect as spoken in Kuwait and to other colloquials of the Persian Gulf region. "he will . "he will get up").g.e. yaktib. while the Middle Aramaic of Hatra and Ashur prefixes /. the vowel e attested in Galilean Aramaic and in Syriac (e. There is reason to believe therefore that the /-prefixes were old-inherited in Arabic and that the choice of the <at-prefix for the a-imperfects in Classical Arabic results from a systematization of the language. ne. but it can change into a before a guttural (e. na-.g.24. "she will write") goes very likely back to an original a and implies a variant set of a. Hedjaz was the only region where the prefixes of the ^-imperfect had not the vowel i. regardless of the the­ matic vowel. as well as masculine and feminine plural. The vowel of the prefix is likewise a or its allophone e before a guttural (§27.25. and it is generally a > ā before monosyllabic verbal roots of the type CvC (e. yhz'. "do not go near this tree" (Qur'ān 2. However. and only «-prefixes are found in the canonical readings of the Qur'ān. "he will get up"). like in Classical Arabic. yif'alu (yiqtal) in conformity with Barth's law. the latter follow a contrasting vocalization. 40.g.ACTOR AFFIXES 373 the change i > a. However. lā tiqrabā hādī š-šiġra.g. ydqūm. 'a-. the /-pre­ fix is used when the thematic vowel is / or a. In general. The vowel of the prefixes is generally i in Aramaic. e. Insb. "he will write". tektob.g. "they will pass over") and be reduced to a short d in open unstressed syllables before a mono­ syllabic radical CvC (e.which originated from the preca­ tive or optative (§39. "he will drink". In modern Arabic the third person in the imperfect (e. There are third per­ son forms with preformatives /.10).g. yuktub or yiktub.or /-prefix appears when the thematic vowel is u. 40.13). In Syriac.g. but the imperfect prefix y.33/35).is still preserved in early Syriac inscriptions ( an allophone of 'a-. "he sees").became the standard prefix of the third person masculine singular. However. "he takes away"). and the u. i. among the non-canonical or sāúfd-readings some /-prefixes occur in verbal forms with the thematic vowel a. The a-prefixes are used in Classical Arabic for the active con­ jugation of the basic stem (I) and of Stems V-XV. as shown by the Jewish Babylonian vocalization and by the Jewish Yemenite traditional pronunciation.g.g. yahhpūn.23. the usual 'e.prefixes ya-.or n. e. yāqūm. ta-. 40. but yišrab. e. According to Sibawayh and other early philologists.

26. The distinction between the second person singular masculine and feminine has disappeared in several Arabic colloquials. Harari. " I shall write"). but many verbs display the internal vowel change and the -i suffix. but its persistence in Mesopotamia. e. the second person singular feminine is characterized in Śheri and in Soqotri by an internal vowel change which appears instead of the -i suffix. sing. " I have cried". td-. aktib. . 40. nidmek. Thus in Gurage: yásbàr.g. tektdbln tektdbūn Mardin taktabln taktabūn Baghdad tkitbln tkitbūn Persian Gulf taktdbln taktdbūn 40. The vowel a is char­ acteristic of the prefix of the first person singular (e. while the Qatabanic masculine plural is yf'lwn. The paradigm of the Sabaic simple imperfect (without the -n or -nn ending) is incomplete and the feminine plural is only dubiously attested. nikitbu. Depending on the type of verb. 2 pers. except in Maghrebine Arabic where this prefix is ni.g. aktub.prefixes are found in the affirmative jussive in Gurage. nigéh [nisêh]. niktib. This form is common in Ugaritic and in West Semitic (cf. and by dialects spoken along the Persian Gulf and in Dofar.28. This m-prefix of the singu­ lar is already attested in early Andalusian Arabic as transmitted by Pedro de Alcalá.17). 40.prefixes go most likely back to i. " I shall cry". shared by Bedouin dialects in North and Central Arabia. 'd.374 MORPHOLOGY write". from the Moslem dialect of Baghdad. despite the contrary use of Classical Arabic. In Minaic there seems not to be any graphic differentiation between masculine singular and plural. The affixes of the prefix-conjugation are the same in all the Modern South Arabian languages. §40.g. yâskár. A characteristic feature of Mesopotamian vernaculars. " I shall write"). The Ge'ez yd-. "we shall write"). and from the dialects of the Persian Gulf (ktb. " I had slept". "let him break". e. is the ending -in. However.27.pre­ fixes. plur. However. next to gayaht [sayaht]. -ūn of the second person feminine singular and of the second and third persons plural. nsofar. ndktdb. It is attested also in Western Neo-Aramaic with new for­ mations based on old participles. "to write"): Syriac 2 pers. fern. m.g.g. " I travel". The prefix vowel can also be reduced to d. as suggested by the following examples taken from Syriac.(e. a. is probably due to the Aramaic substratum. this morphological feature may occur also in Mehri. since the vowel d in Ge'ez originates either from / or from u. like for the first person plural which ends in -u (e. and Gafat. nkdtbu. from the Mardin dialect in Anatolia.

and it is also ā in Soddo (North Gurage) in the first person singular after the n. and masc.ACTOR AFFIXES 375 "let him be drunk". In South Ethiopic. "let her break") of the languages using the yâprefix is therefore to be explained by analogy with the vowel d of the imperfect. Chaha àràkdb. "let me arrive"). in Gafat (e. in Harari: yàsbār. an East Gurage dialect. Selti làsbár. "let me make"). The expected vowels of the prefixed Proto-Semitic personals in Set I are a in the singular and i in the plural (§40. the dis­ tinction is lost not only in Amharic. "you find". "let me break") and in other Gurage dialects (e. but the assimila- . and Harari (e.g. nasâkkdt. "they go out". "they find".is prefixed to subjunctive forms of the verb which begin with a vowel. nàsbàr.g.30. "let me break"). Mehri terkēz. fern. the prefix of the first person singu­ lar of the imperfect is also à in various Gurage dialects (e. by Tigre imperfect plural forms masc. Idltam. The vowel d instead of á after the prefixes t.29.g. "you go out". and in Harari. tdfagro. Soqotri liqbdr. In Modern South Arabian. ydrākbo. like in Aramaic (§40.prefix appears in the first person when the verb is introduced by a conjunction (e.prefix (e. "let him break". fern.16).g. The ^-prefixes were thus used at least in some of the South Ethiopian languages and their preservation marks an archaic state which parallels the North Ethiopic i. /. by Chaha imperfect plural forms masc.g. and in East Gurage. Modern North Ethiopic makes a distinction in gender. after elision of the glottal stop or of the initial y-. Gafat. like Chaha. e. "let me break"). tdrākbāma. " I find"). 40. These prefixes are precative or optative preformatives (§39. like Ge'ez. in East Gurage (e. fern.13) and their use was extended to the imperfect. hsbàr. Besides. tdsbár. Idfagro. where the n. ydràkbàma. tdràkbo. The distinction is kept instead in West and North Gurage. "while I find"). but also in Argobba. "may I stand up".in Amharic (e.and n.g.g. nàsbdr. in the second and third persons plural. tdfagra.g. 40. fern.g. hfagra. "may they bury".23). as indicated e. The jussive prefix of the first person singular is /. especially in North Ethiopic Tigre (e. tdnrak dm. "let him arrive".prefixes underlying the Ge'ez set of dprefixes. y 40. "they go out") and perhaps in some Gurage dialects.g.31. while it is n. in Gafat: yàltàm. the vowel of the prefix is a after any consonant. Harari. Idfagro.g. as shown the jussive (e.g. "let me break"). In Selti.

However. Therefore. The feminine ending -ā is identical with that of the dual and it is used in Assyro-Babylonian for the second person plural of both genders. distinctive suffixes have to be posited for the genders of the third and the second persons plural: -ū for the masculine and -ā for the feminine.32.and 'aeven in Palaeosyrian.on the following vowel occasioned the change of a into the homorganic i in most languages (§22. Set I I 40.33-36. in Old Akkadian. South Arabian. in Old Akkadian. Ge'ez.instead of the expected 'u-. the original use of ya. .14). as a rule. and the singular is confirmed by the sec­ ond and first persons where a is employed with the prefixes ta. despite their use of the suffix yi-. endings which are broadly reflected in Old Babylonian and in Ge'ez. Instead. in Aramaic.forms in North Semitic and in Old Canaanite (§40. while the plural ti. while a harmonizing ten­ dency obliterated the difference between singular and plural.18. exactly as in modern Arabic collo­ quials. very rightly. Palaeosyrian and Amorite are not included because only some forms can be established on the basis of the available evidence. and Amharic. but this assumed u is reduced to 9 in Hebrew. are to be considered as results of later developments. the best attested for the prefix of the first person plural. the first person singular. The vowel i is. on their most ancient attestations. The second set of the prefix and suffix elements of the prefixconjugations is characterized by the vowel u in the prefix. and in North Ethiopic. and in Assyro-Babylonian. In particular. Besides. in a large area of Arabic.376 MORPHOLOGY tory effect of y. which is the unique form in Ugaritic where the vowel u would be recognizable. The complete harmonization of the prefix vowels or the alternative contrasting vocalization. the y/-prefix occurs in Palaeosyrian. as formulated in Barth's law. Addi­ tional comments will be found in §40. the reconstruction of Proto-Semitic affixes is not based. Aramaic. has 'a. regardless of the thematic vowel of the verb. these languages are omitted in the follow­ ing table. Since no distinctive pattern is recognizable for Set I I in Sabaic.21) confirm the antiquity of the /-vowel in the plural prefixe. Mehri. while i is predominant in the Amarna correspondence and in modern Arabic colloquials.

... In Syriac.-ū *tu-..g. 1 yu-.-ā tu-. Ugaritic Hebrew yutututu-...-ū ylt-. O.-Sem.g. ....-ā (y)u-.-na nu- u-... . Uš-taš-ni-Èl /Yuštatnī-'El/... "she puts on".-ā tu-.... Despite the incomplete evidence.-ū td-. u -qá-ta-ra. ..34. 9 40.-ū yu-.-na tu-..-ān nd- yu-. f. ...-ū td-. tu-.-nā nd- yd-. 3 m. In Colloquial Arabic.-en n(i)- 40. The reconstructed Old Akkadian forms parallel those of Set I (§40.36. 1'. the use of the characteristic vowel u is nevertheless well attested both in Palaeosyrian (e. f.-ā (y)u-. . Here Ugaritic agrees with Hebrew.. . . Aramaic.-ā u-. which should appear in this position as '6. In Ugaritic. " I shall bring near". -ā tu-. . .. . III..g....(-n) t-.33.-en t(i)-.. . 2 m.-ūn td-. .-ā *tu-. Arabic Coll. Sing3 ni.. 1. the prefix of the third person is na.-l 'u- 00»'t(i)t(i)t(i)-..35. "El acted for the second time").-ūn yd-. . The vowel u is reduced in Hebrew and in Aramaic to d... and for the passive forms of all the stems (§41.43-47)... .Akk. 40. . .-ān td-... and Colloquial Arabic against East Semitic and Classical Arabic...-u (y)i-. 'u- (y)ututuÎU-..-ū *(y)u-.-n tt-. .. .. there is an overwhelming use of the vowel i with the exception of the prefix 'a.-Ū yu-.-ā tu-. but the 'a of the first person singular does not reflect 'u. ....-ā *tu-. tu-. with n.. " 2 1 Plur.-ā nu- (y)i-.23). Set I I is used in Classical Arabic for the active forms of Stems I I .... "they will burn incense") and in Amorite (e... tu-a-baáš /tulabbaš/.. 'a- tdtdte-.-Ū tu-..-nā td-.-ā nuyu-.. and IV. ..Bab. nu-wa-sa-ra-si /nuwaššaraši/. " I shall cause to flow".-ā nu- U-.ACTOR AFFIXES 377 Aramaic C I .-n n- yd-. e... .of the first person singular. "we let her go"... 1'.lyuqattarāl.. Arab *Pr. 1 Dual 3 m. A 'â- 'â- yu-.-u t(í)-..-ā tu-. the prefix of the first person singular in Set I I is vocalized with a. .-ī u- yttt'a- ydÎ3- yutututu-.-Ī (')u- uututu-. 'ašhlk...-ā O.... 40. 2 m.-ū tu-.16). 'aqrb. .-īn in Set I (§40. .

tenses. 2 m.378 MORPHOLOGY E . in German). It shows the three consonants of the root with the thematic vowel. In West Semitic and in Modern South Arabian. or a short vowel and a geminated second radical consonant. which w i l l be examined in a separate section (§44). a) Basic Stem 41. and aspects. There are traces of some other patterns as well. the Semitic verb has a set of stems or themes in which formal changes correspond to certain semantic variations. f.1. 3 m. Besides moods. f.43-47). 1 Dual 3 m. I. or u. The triconsonantal verbs are divided into three classes characterized by the vowels a. The biconsonantal verbs. 2 1 Plur. generally have or initially had either a long thematic vowel ā. i.2. Stems and Voices 41. f. This additional vowel variation should be distinguished from the stem-vowel or thematic vowel of the verb. f. or ū. f. The simple or basic stem is either called Stem I or it is desig­ nated by the symbols B(asic) or G(rundstamm. 2 m. 1 hnin hnindt hnimd hninad hnindġ sdm(w) sdm-t{l) sdm-t(i) sdm-kwi I ki I k sdm-wy sdm-ty lamad lamdat lamdāt{a) lamdāti lamdāku lamad lamdat lamdāt(i)/āk(a) lamdāt(i) lamdāk(afu) katab katbat katabta katabti katabtu katbā katabtā 1 kātab kātabā kātabtā kātabt kātabtī (lamdā) ktbny sdm(wly) sdm-ti hninit sdm-tiwny sdm-wyn lamdū lamdā lamdātunu lamdātina lamdānu lamdū lamdā lamdātun{u) lamdātin{a) lamdān(i) I ākuniu) katbū *katbā (?) katabtum katabtin *katbān (?) kātdbū k3tabtem kdtabten kātabnū . different vowel patterns can also determine an active and a passive voice of the stem or theme (§41. 3 m. which belongs to the root. and inflects for Suffix-Conjugation Libyco-Berber ("qualitative") Egyptian (old perfective) Old Babylonian Neo-Assyrian (stative) (stative) Ugaritic (perfect) Mishnaic Hebrew (perfect) Sing.

ya-qtul-u. yd-lbas.g. "he chose". A formal trace of this shift is preserved by the gemination of the second radical consonant in the positive suffix-conjugation of several South Ethiopian languages. "may he speak". Stem I probably represented the conjuga­ tion of intransitive verbs (§38. but South Semitic certainly had a threefold vocalic scheme at an earlier stage. "he tans".g.17. e. "he kills"). "he delegated". Assyro-Babylonian i-lmad.g. Sometimes the vocalic variation has semantic implications. "he separated"). i-prus. Dialectal differences may affect the stem-vowel. ya-dbiġ-u. Gafat. in North Semitic (e.16). Ar. and in West Semitic (e. for mood. both verbs in Arabic.g. ya-drib-u. (perfect) Mehri (perfect) Ge'ez (perfect) Tigre (perfect) Amharic (perfect) katab katbat katabta katabti katabtu/i ktab ketbat ktabt ktabt ketbet kataba katabat katabta katabtì katabtu katabà katabatá katabtumā katab katbet katabt katabti katabt ktab katbat ktabti ktabti ktabt katob katabot katabk katabš katabk katabo katabto katabki katdbki nagara nagarat nagarka nagarki nagarku nagra nagrat nagarka nagarki nagarko nàggàrà nāggārāàà nāggārhlk nāggārš nággárhu/ku katabū katabā katabtūn katabtīn katabnā ktabūn ktabēn ktabton ktabtēn ktabn(an) katabtū katabna katabtum katabtunna katabnā katabu katabu katabtu katabtu katabna katbu katbu ktabtlw ktabtlw ktabna katowb katob katabkam katabkan katoban nagaru nagarâ nagarkammu nagarkan nagarna nagraw nagraya nagarkum nagarkan nagarna nàggàru nāggāru nàggāraàiahu nàggàraiíahu nâggárn . Amharic. "he goes away". viz. while the change i > a and u > d led to a twofold scheme in Ethiopic (e. and some Gurage dialects Suffix-Conjugation Old Aramaic (perfect) Syriac (perfect) Cl. in Arabic ya-fsil-u. (perfect) Maghrebine Coll. "he gave". and even ya-dbuġu. i-qrab or i-qrib. "he separates". "he learned". e. in AssyroBabylonian. As suggested by the vowel ali of the prefixed personals. "he considers". ya-hsab-u or ya-hsib-u. The threefold vocalic scheme is attested in East Semitic (e. "he remembered").g. Amorite ya-bhar. before it became the basic stem of the entire system. and ya-fsul-u. "he strikes". "may he dress"). ya-dkur-. Argobba. Ge'ez yd-ngdr. "he moves away". 40. i-pqid. "he approached". Classical Arabic ya-dhab-u. in functional opposition to Stem II. (perfect) Damascene Coll.g. ya-ntin. ya-dbaġ-u.STEMS AND VOICES 379 tense. and for actor.

extended from the positive perfect to the per­ fect throughout. m. Other signs of this functional shift can still be traced back in the passage of some particular verbs from Stem I I to Stem I (§63.g.g. yi-dbil ti-dbil ti-dbil-a ti-dbil-i 'a-dbil yī-dbil tī-dbil tī-dbil-a ti-dbil-i 'ī-dbil i-lkâm td-lkâm td-lkâm-dd td-lkâm-dd lkâm-dġ yd-lkdm ta-lkam td-lkam-ad td-lkâm-dd dlkdm-dġ ilmad ilmad talmad talmadī almad ilmad talrnad talmad talmidī almad yaktub iaktub taktub taktubin 'aktub yiktob tiktob tiktob tiktabī 'ektob ual. was most likely produced by analogy with the perfect of Stem I I or Ethiopic I.3) when Stem I was developing into a transitive conjugation form. f. quwwū. f. m. f. Hebrew dibber. "he said").2).53). This gemination.380 MORPHOLOGY (§41. m. "to achieve"). ilmadà tn. f. ti-dbil-na ni-dbil tī-dbil-na nī-dbil . in the synonymy of Stems I and I I in numerous other cases (e. East Semitic gamāru and gummuru.2/B (§41. f. "to expect". Prefix-Conjugation: //?r«s-Type Bedja (past) ("condi­ tional") Libyco-Berber (preterite / (jussive) perfective) Old Babylonian (preterite) NeoAssyrian (preterite) Mishnaic Hebrew (imperfect) Ugaritic (perfective) mg. yi-dbil-na yī-dbil-na lkâm-dn Ikâm-mt td-lkâm-am ta-lkâm-ami m-lkâm dlkdm-dn dlkam-ant îa-lkdm-am îa-lkzm-dmî m-lkam ilmadū ilmadā talmadā talmadâ nilmad ilmudū ilmadā talmadā talmadā nilmad yaktubūina) taktubna taktubū{na) *taktubā(l) naktub yìkidbū yiktabū tìktdbū tìktabú niktob m. or in the lack of finite forms of Stem I in the conjugation of a number of transi­ tive verbs (e. East Semitic qu"ū.

) Ge'ez (subj. The Libyco-Berber emphatics -d and -ġ repre­ sent Afro-Asiatic pharyngalized stops followed by a vowel. lamādu. Prefix-Conjugation: Damascene Coll. are added for comparison.and prefix-conjugation of the basic stem is inflected in the prin­ cipal Semitic languages as shown in the following tables where paradigms of the Egyptian old perfective or "pseudo-participle" (sdm. "to hear"). "to speak". "to fol­ low"). viz. thus -ta / -ti and ku. nagara. the / is a spirantized final t.) xiktub tiklub liktub íiktubīn 'aktub nektob tektob tektob tektdbīn 'ektob yaktub taktub taktub taktubī 'aktub bydktob btektob btaktob btsktbi bdktob iktdb tdktdb tdktdb tdktdb ndktdb ydktēb tdktēb tdktēb tdktēbi tektēb ysngdr tdngar tangar tangari 'angar langar tangar tangar tangari 'angar yangàr tangàr tangār tangàri langàr yaktubā taktubā taktubā yaktdbo taktdbo tdktdbo hktdbo bysktbu bydkibu btdktbu htdkthu mnaktob īkatbu īkdtbu tkdtbu tkatbu rikatbu yakìēbdm tdktdbzn tdktēbzm tdktdban naktēb yangaru yangarā tangaru tangarā nangar langaro langara tangaro tangara nangar yangāru yangàru tangàru tangàru annangár yiktubūn yiktubān tiktubūn /iktubān niktub nektdbūn nektdbān tektdbūn tektdbān nektob yaktubū yaktubna taktubū taktubna naktub . (imperfect) iprus-Typc Old Aramaic (imperfect) Syriac (imperfect) CI. (imperfect) Mehri (subj. "to be gracious") and in Tuareg (-dlkem-. "to learn". as inflected in Kabyle (hnin.) Tigre (jussive) Amharic (subj. Only attested Semitic verbs are used in this paragraph. of the Bedja conjugation (-dbil-. The vocalization of Ugaritic and of Old Aramaic is based on analogy with vocalized proper names. and of the Libyco-Berber verb. ktb.STEMS AND VOICES 381 The suffix. Arabic (jussive) Maghrebine Coll. "to write". "to collect").

f. 2 ilammadā 1 Plur. in functional opposition to Stem I (§41. f. as Modern South Arabian. and in indicating plurality of the object in the transitive verbs and plurality of the subject in the intran- . 2 m. f. f.16). just as Cushitic Bedja. 2 m. however. 3 m. it is likely that this stem originally represented the conjugation of transitive verbs (§38. 1 Libyco-Berber (imperfective) i-lākkdm û-lâkkdm ti-lākkdm-dd ti-lākkdtn-dd lākkem-dġ Old Babylonian (present-future) ilammad ilammad talammad talammadī alammad Neo-Assyrian (present-future) ilammad talammad talammad talammidī alammad (yi-)danbīl (rì-)danbīl (ti-)danbīl-a (ti-)danbīl-i 'a-danbīl Dual 3 m.2). 3 m.3. Harari. 40. It is generally designated by the symbol D(oubled or "Doppelungsstamm" in German) which alludes to the "doubling" of the second radical. for instance. and most Gurage dialects. f.17. some Semitic languages. are of a nongeminating type. 1° Stem I I is called also "intensive" in consideration of its function in expressing repetition or spatial dispersion. which exhibits ver­ bal formations with vocalic modifications alone that nevertheless match the two main functions of Stem I I in Semitic. this characteristic of Stem I I is well preserved in the historically attested languages (2°). As result of particular developments. Stem I I with geminated or lengthened second radical consonant is attested over the whole Semitic area.382 MORPHOLOGY Prefix-Conjugation: iparras-Type Bedja (imperfective) Sing. 1 lākkdm-dn lākkdm-dnt td-lākkdm-9m td-lākkdm-dmt 'ē-dbìl-na nd-lâkkdm ilammadū ilammadā talammadā talammadā nilammad ilammudū ilammadā talammadā talammadā nilammad nē-dbīl tē-dbīl-na b) Stem with Geminated Second Radical Consonant 41. Considering the function of Stem I I and the vowel u of the prefixed personals.

Arabic tabata. There is a parallel rule in Bedja that the verb must be in the intensive stem when the subject or the direct object are in plural.g. šibib. Thus.g. but this stem is formed in Bedja by modifications of the stem vowel. The . Hebrew bātar. Here too. "to avenge". but tabbata. ginif. Arabic qata'a. intransitive kitim. "he cut off".in sense (§41. "to arrive".g. "to see one's self". sibab. "to k i l l " . transitive dir. rimad. kātim. "he cut into pieces") and par­ ticularly of quantity (e. "he cut" one thing. "he cut" several things). "to pour out". "he was firm".7). rimid. Old Babylonian butuqtam ibattaq./ y. "to kneel down". "he gave to hear"). "to avenge one's self". "to choke". "to be choking". Bedja offers parallels like ginaf. dar. "to arrive repeatedly". ///. sikal. but qatta'a. "he heard". but bitter. 2° When inflecting intransitive verbs of Stem I . thus approximating the stem with preformatives š. but šimma'. "to massacre"./ './ h. "he made fast"). Stem I I gives them a causative and transitive sense (e.g. Hebrew šāma'. "to make kneel down". but buîuqātim ubattaq. "to see". it denotes intensity. "he will open a breach". sikil. fal.STEMS AND VOICES 383 Prefix-Conjugation: Ugaritic (imperfective) *yakattub *takattub *takattub *takattubin * 'akattub iparras-Type Mehri (imperfect) yakotab takotab takotab takētab dkotdb Ge'ez (imperfect) yanaggar tanaggar tanaggar tanagri 'anaggar Tigre (imperfect) lanaggar tanaggar tanaggar tanagri 'anaggar Amharic (imperfect) yanagr tanàgr tanágr tanagri anāgr yaktabo taktabo taktabo aktabo *yakattabū takattubna *takattabū(na) *takattaba(l) *nakattab yakatbam takatban takatbam takatban nakotab yanagru yanagrā tanagru tanagrā nanaggar lanagro lanagra tanagro tanagra 'annaggar yanagru yanagru tanagru tanagru annanāgr sitive ones. both of qualitative result (e. "to overflow".g. then it is used also as a factitive of transitive verbs (e. "he will open breaches". "to cause carnage". e.

2. It should be noticed that some Stem II verbs in dictionaries of Classical Ara­ bic probably not hark back to historically "intensive" forms. This is a replacive vowel aimed at distin­ guishing the imperfect from the jussive ydqattdl. Arabic kadaba. 4° The corresponding Stem I.384 MORPHOLOGY causative form of these intransitive verbs is characterized by the vowel i like the Semitic D-stem (uparris. Hebrew qittēr.2/B is then a question of vocabulary and of usage in the language.2/B. The following table is limited to the forms of the third person masculine sin­ gular in the Semitic languages presented in §41. jussive. except Mehri which is a language of a non-geminating type (cf. and the usual paradigmatic verbs are being used for the sake of clarity. "he brought near". The three forms shown below belong to the suffix-conjugation (1). Ge'ez qarba. l / A or Stem I. §41. but a basic stem.g. and it is quite often denom­ inative (e. e. In consequence. yufa"il). Whether a verb is of Stem I . A particular feature is the vowel e in the Ge'ez imper­ fect ydqettdl of Stem I.2/B of Ethiopic is no longer a derived stem.4). to the East and South Semitic imperfective (2). but kaddaba. and to the preterite. "he was near". "smoke of sacrifice"). It had to be e < ē in order to avoid its reducing to d in a form which already contained two d.g. from qdtoret. this much discussed e does not result from the monoph­ thongization of a diphthong ay which would have been morphologically and phonologically unexplainable. Maghrebine Coll. Ge'ez Tigre Amharic purrus qtl qittēl qtl qattel fa' 'ala fa' 'al fd"dl qattala qattala qattala 2 uparras yqtl 3 uparris yqtl ydqattēl yqtl tidqattel yufa' 'Hu blfa' 'el yifd' 'dl ydqattdl ydqattdl ydqattdl ydqettdl ydqattdl ydqattdl . "he made sacrificial smoke". Only one Assyro-Babylonian paradigm is given below for East Semitic. 3° In Semitic. "he accused of lying"). There are very few exceptions. the D-stem can have two supplementary functions related to the causative: it can be declarative (e. and West Semitic imperfect (3): 1 Assyro-Babylonian Ugaritic Hebrew Old Aramaic Syriac Classical Arabic Damascene Coll. and qarraba.g. but owe their pre­ sent shape to a misinterpretation of South Arabian imperfective forms of Stem I metanalyzed as Stem I I verbs. "he lied". ydqattil.

"he fought") or a correlative motion towards someone (e. but Stem I I I of Ethiopic (I. kaf ala. Stem I I I with lengthened first vowel may be designated by the symbol L(engthening). "he kept company"). Maghrebine Coll. k .5. "he put (a pot) on the fire" (with a vowel prefixed to a voiced or glottalized first radical). "he treated with kindness". and in Syriac (e.g.e. "he corresponded".3/C) is no longer felt by native speakers as a derived stem. However.e. gawzel. but as a basic stem. "he dissected. "he put on socks".g. "he song war songs"). a stem with lengthened first vowel appears in Modem South Arabian. Besides. The presentation is the same as in §41.g. in Ethiopic (e. e. South Arabian. either an attempt to accomplish something (conative. "he set fire to"). cut in many pieces". i.g. kātaba. represents not only the so-called third stem of Arabic (fā'ala). except in Tigre. m . "he tried to k i l l " .4. "he tormented". "he cut".g. Amharic q dttdrd > qottdrd. Mehri (d)CdCdC. Mehri Geez Tigre Amharic fā 'ala 2 3 yufā'ilu hīfā 'el yifā 'al fā'al fā'al fo'dl qātala qātala qattala yafa'hn yafo'dl ydqattdl ydqātdl ydqattdl ydqātdl ydqattdl ydqatl 41.g.3: 1 Classical Arabic Damascene Coll. "he demolishes").g.STEMS AND VOICES 385 c) Stem with Lengthened First Vowel 41. The w w w w w w . It must be distinguished from the Ethiopic verbs with the vowel o after the first radical which was originally a labiovelar g . as con­ firmed by its either conative (Stem III) or intensive (Stem II) meaning. but often reduced to 6 or ē. horab. ġawraba. lāyana. this derived stem. the long vowel may also replace the gemination of the second radical. yufā'ilu) and in Ethiopic (e. q or a rounded consonant b . A variant of Stem I I I with a diphthong derived from the long vowel. This stem is attested in Arabic (fā'ala. given that internal gemination is not a feature of derived verbal stems in Modem South Arabian. f. i. and Ethiopic. The following table is limited to Arabic. already used in some grammars. zāmala. e. is attested in Arabic (e. in consequence. e. e. Mehri arokdb.g. "he pursued"). Chaha ydbandr. Stem I I I of Arabic indicates an action directed towards an object. Ge'ez degana. "he rang".g. but also the second stem (fa"ala). Tigre gādala. qātala. Ge'ez šāqaya.

was originally a phonotactic free variation in the realization of the "intensive" stem fa"ala / fā'ala (Stems II-III) and of its reflexive correspondent tafa"ala / tafā'ala (Stems V .I I I . but kātim. This opinion is confirmed by the situation in Modern South Arabian. it would have resulted from a specialization of functions origi­ nally attached to a single Stem I I .20 ff. and this may indicate that originally there was only one intensive stem with lengthening either . This leads to the hypothesis that the alternation -vC. "he followed with result". Harari. e. "to practice as veterinary" (from Greek l7T7riaTpos. Soddo.V I : §41. ur ilkim. §41. baytara.g. "he didn't follow".14) which is normally prefixed to Ethiopic verbs with lengthened first vowel (I. but yâkkīrâd.g. Like in Modern South Arabian. where they practically became basic stems.2/B may have belonged here. e. Bedja kitim. espe­ cially in modern colloquials. e.of Stem I I I are rare in Ethiopic and in Syriac. ì) (1) {7) (7 41. The LibycoBerber "intensive" imperfective has probably merged with the imper­ fective of the basic stem which is characterized by both vowel lengthen­ ing and gemination. in particular the Gafat. ikkdràd. In fact. and East Gurage verbs with vowel e or i after the first radical consonant. this variant stem appears mainly in denom­ inative verbs. Since the stem with lengthened first vowel has not been identi­ fied hitherto in North and East Semitic. it is generally considered as a secondary development in West and South Semitic languages. "he cut off").may testify to a phonological equivalence of -vC. "he behaved violently".3/C).g. "he follows" (§2. Harari bēîàna and East Gurage betànā or bītánà < *baytana < *bātala \ "he dispersed" (cf.(§41.). and by the parallel cases of the Bedja "intensive" (cf. e. as Stems I I and V do. "he followed. "he piled up".> -o. Arabic battala. "veterinary").and -vCC.and -vCC-.g. This interpretation is supported by the use of these verbs with the causative reflexive affix at. More pre­ cisely. In Arabic. as ilākkam. "he behaved violently to the end". "to arrive repeatedly". but ilkām. Gafat kimmàrā < *kaymarcfi < *kāmara .6. "to arrive". and the Bedja "intensive" forms with -ā. by the intensive meaning of Stem I I I of many Arabic and Ethiopic verbs. sawġar. the conative or reciprocal acceptation of Stems I I I and V I implies repetition.14). However. Tuareg ilkâm.3) and of the Libyco-Berber "intensive" per­ fective. which are both formed by quantitative or qualitative modifica­ tions of the stem vowel. Gafat at-kimmārā. "he caused to pile up". there is no verbal class with gemination in Cushitic. "he collared" (a dog). some South Ethiopic verbs generally classified as Stem I.3S6 MORPHOLOGY examples of authentic variants -aw.

and with -vC. ydssdiddġ. "to make to live". "to cut in. "he dressed himself".g. West Cushitic (Walamo) ord-es.3/C) were no longer felt by native speakers as derived stems.2/B) and III (I. e. the fā 'ala type was instead entrenched there as the sole intensive/conative stem. d) "Causative" Stem 41. from hark-a. "give". as well as in Bantu (§1. from hor.g. and there is likewise an s-causative in Berber. Early Arab grammarians established then fā 'ala as a distinct derived stem.could thus coexist perfectly as basic stems of different verbal roots. hāra-š. Hebrewpū-š. Oromo dammaq-s. "weakness". "hole". "to shake". ś'nh. namely that in which someone causes a certain . The i-suffix is attested also in Semitic. and the two forms with -vCC. from pe <pū. High­ land East Cushitic imm-is-. "to cause to change". yisodir. draw". "to wake up"). Stem IV with s-affix is attested in all the Afro-Asiatic language families. "to nourish". basing themselves on the contrasting use oî fā'ala and fa" ala in a number of verbs. hāla-š. from dammaq.STEMS AND VOICES 387 of the consonant (-vCC-) or of the vowel (-vC-). "he ordered to k i l l " . "to awaken". from bddddl. e.8. "mouth". from a-ġyul. e. vs. yird. "to behave like a donkey". from hdll. "he settled". It is well-known that Egyptian has a verbal form with i-prefix — later also s — cognate with the Semitic causative (e. "cause to take". In Semitic. used with words borrowed from Arabic (e.g. ydssird. 41. Oromo hark-is-u. all sharing a causative connotation. ydiddġ. "to pull. from imm-. e. both examples in Tarifit. the uses of the causative extend beyond the one usu­ ally viewed as central. "to live").g. "to weaken". "fat". from ord-iya. "to grow fat".g. "to blow". "he clothed".g. "hand". These formations have exact parallels in Libyco-Berber and in Cushitic. "to take". while Ethiopic Stems I I (I. "donkey". Agaw šây-š. and with a secondary conative or reciprocal meaning which led finally to a semantic opposi­ tion between fā'ala má fa"ala in certain Arabic and Ethiopic verbs.7. but Bedja has a stem with the 5-prefix. Tachelhit s-ġyul. from ra'.g.2). "evil". but only as a morpheme deriving verbs from nouns. from šāy-. to engrave". a mor­ pheme -s or -s is suffixed to the causative form of the verb (e. "to change") and with authentic Libyco-Berber verbs. "cause to give". Owing to the lack of internal gemination in the South Arabian verbal system. "he lodged". vs. rā'a-š. In Cushitic and Chadic languages. from 'nh. Tamazight ssbddddl.

"he held himself for great". "he clothed". The factitive use ("to have something done by another") is also widespread. while its traces are encountered in North Ethiopic (cf. e. These examples show that Afro-Asiatic ^-causative performs the same functions as Stem I I in historically attested Semitic languages. in Arabic (e. "he completed"). in AssyroBabylonian (e. "face" (cf.g. uš-tá-si-ir lyuštāšir/. from yida). paralleled by Libyco-Berber (Tamazight) ssdns.g. in l l l l a l . 'astamhara. probably in Amorite (e. "night"). In Semitic.g. asnàggārà. the s-prefix occurs in Palaeosyrian (e. Hebrew he' šīr. "he let speak".3). The preservation of the sibilant before t also characterizes Slavic languages where s does not change into h before a consonant.g. asmellāsa.388 MORPHOLOGY action to be performed or a certain state to be produced. s-udam. s-mi'iw. and in Argobba (e. as well as intransitive and denominative uses. Ugaritic 'šspr-k. ušamqit. "to mew". "he showed himself merciful").g. certainly in Ugaritic (e. in Hebrew (hištah wā. e. AssyroBabylonian ušalbiš. "he confessed". in Qatabanic (e. in Amharic (e. from qāddámā. 'ašhlk.g.g. in Sabaic (e. from labāšu. the 5-pre­ fix is preserved in the causative-reflexive Stem X or Št (§41. "he prostrated himself"). in Old Akkadian (e. The coexistence of the two stems is nevertheless explainable in a diachronic perspective. "he was ahead of"). from udam. "he displayed arrogance"). Syriac 'eštawcū.g.g.g.g. "he inaugurated").g.g. ú-ša-ak-lí-il. s qny. which was acting as intransitive inflection. in Ge'ez (e. ia-ás-ki-in lyaškīn/. at Mari). "he grew rich". e. " I shall cause to flow"). "he was hit").g. s hdt.14). "he made short". "ear"). in Modern South Arabian (e. "he was convened"). " I shall make you count".g. i f Stem I I originally was the conjugation of transitive verbs in opposition to Stem I (§41. e. in Hadramitic (e. Harsūsi šdlbdd. Such denominative formations are not exceptional in Tamazight.9. ú-ša-dì-ú-šu lyušādi'ūšu/. "they bring him up"). 'istakbara. in Minaic (e. Ara­ bic 'udn-. and to Stem I V . s tqr'. which had a causative and facti­ tive function. "he put ahead". §41. "he offered"). with the frequent allophone n of m. "to spend the night" (from mūšu. "he let answer"). "to spend the night". "he caused to fall").g. ašqádaddāmâ. at Ebla. "to kiss". Assyro-Babylonian šumšū. "he fright­ ened"). "to be clothed". "they let him know".29) in Ara­ maic (e. Besides. in Gafat (asdànābbàta. the adjutative acceptation ("to help to do something") and the use as causative of re­ ciprocity ("to cause to do something one against another") are encoun­ tered likewise.g. e 41.g. asattārâ. Besides. "he caused to be"). ys 'lyns .g. "he has released".

g. "he enslaved".3/C). hiqdis. and in Ethiopic (e.g. 2 . vs. Tigre 'asbara and Tigrinya 'asbàrà. Thamūdic hyd'. to the stem with geminated second radical consonant (I. Hebrew yaqtll < *yahaqtll.28). in Ethiopic (§41. in Sabaic (e. "he completed". "he inspired confi­ dence". the ^-prefix is attested also in loanwords borrowed by Aramaic (e. a /z-prefix — later weakened to ' — is used in Old Canaanite (hi-ih-bi-e /hihbī'/.11. "you (plur. in North Arabian (e. šiklēl. Old Canaanite ti-mi-tu-na-nu [timītūnanū]. "he went eastward").g. "he changed"). "changing".33). 'adhaba.g. Harsūsi ansom. Amharic aqárràbâ. "he worked out his salvation". byhu. hanpēq. hr'ny. in Arabic (e.g. Lihyānite hmt'.g. Due to Assyro-Babylonian influence. "he brought"). 'a'bēd.g.7). 1/A). cf. "he consecrated"). "you were" (plur. In Ethiopic. In the prefix-conjugation. from baqiya. "he was left behind"). and in Ethiopic.10.STEMS AND VOICES 389 particular t. Ge'ez 'aqtala. sa'bēd. "he convinced"). "he breathed"). "he has hidden": EA 256. in Moabite (e. in some Aramaic dialects. "slave"). in Modem South Arabian (e. "he caused to happen". E.morpheme may be added to the basic stem (I.l/A > I I ./ s.g. šahlep. e. Gafat alattamd.g. "he let me see"). sa-baqa. in Moabite. šēzib. "he made known". In its turn. byste.2/B). 41. the stem preformative h > ' is usually elided in Old Canaanite.g. Instead of the ^-prefix. "dust". besides. hqny. to the stem with lengthened first vowel. in Hebrew (e. prahu. " I was". "he saved". "he will cause to k i l l " . in Aramaic (e. Its alleged use in Amorite is questionable. saklilū. from 'âbed. "he enslaved"). "he caused to produce"). and in Ethiopic. "he caused to be near". "he caused to go away"). but the preformative s. and in Neo-Ara­ maic (e.14).3/C > II. "he caused to k i l l " not productive in these languages. 41. but also to the stem with geminated second radical consonant. Mishnaic Hebrew borrowed this prefix from Aramaic (e.g. the causative morpheme š > s may be prefixed not only to the basic stem and to the reflexive-pas­ sive stems with i-affix (e. §41.2/B > II. in Arabic. in Hebrew./ a. "they completed") and in some derived verbal forms of Eastern Late Aramaic (e. Traces of a ^-causative have been detected also in Arabic (e. Safaitic 's rq.).g. "he remained". "he caused to break". hqny.14. "he caused to go out".) make us die" (EA 238. In East Semitic and in Ethiopic. to the stem with lengthened first vowel (I.g. prusti vs.g. "he offered"). "he offered". ši'bēd.g. Amharic astamammánā. and to the stem with í-affîx (IV. from Syriac sahlep. Mehri hansom. "he left behind". the 'a.

e.2) — or was based instead on the anal­ ogy of the use of //-pronouns is hard to determine. sum-ma in East Semitic but hm/n > 'm/n in the other Semitic languages (§61. originally pronounced *hi.13. The apparent mediaeval use of Stem I V instead of Stem I . "he will pour out". the vowel is lengthened. Phoenician is the only Semitic language having a y-prefix of the causative (e.base (§36.and h. Modern Arabic colloquials have lost Stem I V with the exception of Eastern Bedouin dialects and of same forms of speech at the rand of the Syrian desert. which is known from Modern South Arabian (§15. in reality exhibits forms with prosthetic ' developed from e. "and I brought back". and in Yemen. Given the fact that the change š > h is attested in Semitic and that this change concerns the third person pronouns. but even Classical Arabic has instances of h retained. The preservation of reflexive št-forms and traces of s-causatives in languages which otherwise have an h / '. "to go to ruin". "he will love".resulting from the dropping of the laryngeal h in the causative //-prefix.g. yuharlqu. especially in Iraq and in Palestine.4). e. Whether this loss was the result of a non-universal prevocalic change š > h — also attested for the conditional particle " i f " . although its conditions remain obscure. 'dny. with an anaptyctic u (9th century A.g.are only morphologically equivalent or etymologically identical. zhar (zahar) > 'azhar. vs.can be an on-glide before the vocalic initial i. the causative stem.g. This is the rule in Arabic. yqdšt.g. "he appeared". the prepalatal y. "to be clear" (liquid). yānakkdr. from rāqa. "to destroy".g. in Saudi Arabia. yihrab. hirib. This on- .like in Hebrew. yuhibbu. next to zuhar (!). their origin is different. 41. " I consecrated") and a pronominal third person y-suffix (e.D. "he will won­ der". 20). but the question is whether the elements š. the difference resulting from a simple phono­ logical development š > h. The use of the ^-prefix in the causative stem (IV) goes together with the s-base of the third person independent and suffixed pronouns. yihrib.). The connection between the verbal affixes and the pronouns is generally accepted. e. e. and the conditional particle.g. 41.g. except in Ugaritic. However. Both the loss of ini­ tial h and the use of y as an on-glide are paralleled in Ethiopic. "his Lord"). ihrab.9-11) indi­ cate that these languages have lost the s-causative. it seems reasonable to assume a phonological development.causative (§41.12. In the verbal stem. while the use of the hi'. In Ge'ez. at Dēr ez-Zor (Syria).10.prefix parallels the one of the pronominal h.390 MORPHOLOGY Moabite w'šb.

'yqdš. While the simple causative function of 'a.. from usbd. Besides.I aš. "to drink". As for the pronominal suffix -y.g. usboy. "to rise". the complex role of 'at. in Tigre 'azmata. tn-y.34) r-affix. e. hence "to cut".14. The widespread use of the first one in South Ethiopic (§41. "arrow". "to act as a father-in-law".9) confirms the latter's archaic evidenced. is used in Ge'ez in isolated verbs without any definite value. The prefix as-. explainable in the light of Libyco-Berber where the causative morpheme can be prefixed directly to the first radical consonant (e. Further research. such as occurs in Aramaic. perhaps borrowed from Amharic. -*ēyī < -*ēhī. The latter (I. from bn.STEMS AND VOICES 391 glide yi. A sim­ ilar process is operative in Central Somali (Cushitic) with an -dy exten­ sion suffixed to nouns to form a related verb. giving raise to a diphthong -*ay < -*ahī. kahi. from in-.2). "he raided". from hadga. "great". e. hm-y. "two". or -*ūyī < -*ūhī. "he caused to leave".11) or with 'at-. from rb./ a-. "to increase".g.very likely preserves the original š. ht-y. and traces of its use are encountered in Tigre and Tigrinya. "to make another". warāb. it can best be explained as derived from a masculine suffix *-hi.prefix of the causative with a prosthetic a.g. bioy. kah. "father-in-law". e.g. "to water (ani­ mals)". e. since the morpheme as.g. "he groaned".g.(like in astd-).28) or frequentative (§41. 1° Apart from these cases. Two causative preformatives occur in modem Ethiopian lan­ guages. in Tigre 'athādaga.or aš-. hence "to protect". and 'a. "to sugar". "to salt". from sokor. "sugar". e. the North Ethiopian languages of Tigre and Tigrinya form the causative either with the prefixed morpheme 'a(§41. e. from hm. the latter being a combination of the causative 'amorpheme and of the reflexive-passive (§41.l/A) is actually converted into a verb of type III. "son".> -s. "to make bk". An alternative explanation would consist in viewing y as an old causal morpheme used also to form verbs by suffixing it to a monosyllabic nominal base. viz. "to water". "to make a son". bk-y. vs.3/C with lengthened first vowel (*ta-hddaga) and with a passive meaning ("he was induced . After a vowel the h was elided. from the transitive verb zamta. s-qas. bn-y.. "cause to taste"). rb-y. Tigre ''asqamqama. there is in Somali an -i suffix that has a causative function. from ht. from biyd. e. "water". vs. "to raise". 41. is needed here. "he left". "he consecrated". "salt". an onomatopoeia that denotes weeping (§62. "he caused to raid". "to make an arrow".g. as. warābi. sokoroy.was then replaced in Punic by 7-.g.appears. based on Afro-Asiatic.

28-32). is gener­ ally believed to represent the situation of ancient Ethiopic. 'a-. the geminated tt should be explained by a phonetic gemination of an intervocalic t. "he caused to be said". not by the addition of the composite morpheme 'at: from the strictly morphological point of view. e. Soddo atkiddànâ. "become multiple". e. The at.can apparently be added also to the old reflexive/passive form *ta-qatala > *taqtala of the basic stem. In short. used in all the South Ethiopian lan­ guages. Thus.54. from bàsâr. do not occur in Semitic. only 'a. "he let speak". as being in the habit of preparing meat. " i t was piled up".morpheme: "he induced to leave".g. Simi­ larly. it can express the adjutative and the causative of reciprocity.392 MORPHOLOGY to leave"). Further.morpheme expresses the causative of intransitive verbs as well as the causative of the reflexive/passive. Tigre 'attaqtala. "he covered". which is changed into a causative one by the 'a. y-.g. while -t. with a complete assimilation of / to the following consonant. "he made someone cook".+ kāddānà.(§41. Contrary to the Bantu languages. pre­ fixes the causative morpheme a. Also in South Ethiopic. Gafat atkimmārà. what would imply that this composite prefix is an innovation in Tigre and Tigrinya. "to unite". a reflexive/passive or frequentative morpheme. "meat". However. "attabala. A recapitulative table will be offered in §41. . "multiply".is the causative prefix which performs the same functions as those attested in Amharic for the iw-prefix. "he caused to be killed". st-. from the causative pre­ fix a + the reflexive/passive prefix tâ. as well as with a series of composite prefixes 'an. besides. Semitic does not possess a causative of the N-stem which is not attested. from the causative prefix a + ta-bazza. Chaha atbásárâm. e. 2° prefixed to *taqtala. the at. "he caused to pile up".e.I an. This leaves us with a variegated conspectus of causative stems with prefixed morphemes Š-. "he caused to cover" or "he caused to be covered". which does not use the prefix 'at-. forms corresponding to Swahili pat ("obtain") -an ("from each other") -is ("cause to") -a. which was replaced by tdqattala. Ge'ez. the corresponding form of the D-stem.g. "he got it piled up". "he helped to k i l l " or "he caused to kill one another". ht-. St-. over the entire Semitic area (§41. thus in Amharic the passive tà-kimmàrà. the prefix at.15-17). asnâggàrâ.(§41. The prefix 'at. 'at-. except in Argobba. e. i. in Soddo atgaddàlà. a.17-18).morpheme can also express the factitive when refer­ ring to an action that one does habitually or frequently.

reciprocal (e.1. from mog-.STEMS AND VOICES 393 e) Stem with n-Prefìx 41. Therefore this stem is also called "medio-passive". /-. from d'el. Besides.g. 41. Ethiopic and Modem South Arabian do not have an N-stem deriving from the basic stem.15. "to bury". "to be buried". Tarifit ydmmarni gars usymi.g.28). from ntk. "to know"). the N-stem or Arabic Stem V I I corresponds in Semitic to the basic stem. perhaps partly because the vowelless n was totally assimilated to the first conso­ nant of the verbal root and cannot be recognized. or both. but n. yarni a-ġi.e. "to be known".in the eastern Boni area (l-d'el) and in Rendille (lá-del). from bēka. As a rule. though scholars have tried to find remnants of such forms. as prefix (e. "a he-baby (< *šim + I) added himself to her".g. and where it coexists with an M-stem that exercises the same function. "she got a baby" (cf. or the prefix dn-1 tan-.14. "to give birth"). "he added milk"). "(his tears) pour down". "to pour". and preserved in the western Boni area of Lowland East Cushitic (n-d'el-. from sabātu.are just allophones of the same Afro-Asiatic affix.17. and reci­ procity may inded have been the original semantic value of the N-stem. is apparently an imperfective *tanattukna.2).g. from hazama). e.16. It occurs likewise in Libyco-Berber where it gives a reflexive or reciprocal meaning to tran­ sitive verbs. in Amorite. there are so far no certain attestations of this stem in Palaeosyrian. Hebrew niptah.659. while nlqht in broken context (KTU 4.1) could be a noun meaning something like "drawings" (otherwise one would expect nqht). In all likelihood. m-. Old Assyrian nasbutū. whereas it is replaced by /.occurs also in Bantu languages (§1. Highland East Cushitic mogam. but these forms are either borrowed from Arabic or result from a change m > n. "to open"). The N-stem is not attested over the entire Semitic area. "he was put to flight". Bedja amodārna. and not even in Ugaritic. since the Ugaritic form tntkn (KTU 1. Oromo bēkam. " i t got open". "they hold each other fast". but there is a series of Ethiopic verbs that have either the prefix 'an-1 an-. i. Some Neo-Aramaic dialects have derived stems with an n-prefix. A reci­ procal verb suffix -án. Thus. "to seize"). "to be bom". while .g. Arabic 'inhazama.g. 41. from pātah. no reliable attestation of the N-stem was encountered so far in both Epigraphic South Arabian and the Aramaic group of lan­ guages. and pas­ sive (e. "kill each other!") or suffix (e. denoting its reflexive (e. The M-stem replaces the N-stem in some Cushitic lan­ guages.

Muher (Gurage) ankrāttátá. The function of this verbal rc-preformative can be compared with that of a na-suffix in Margi. The "mediopassive" function of the N-stem cannot be equated with the meaning of these "expressive" verbs. Amharic ankâbâllàlā.has a transitive or a causative meaning. or as a either intransitive.g. e. "to transgress". nabalkutu(m). Śheri andabdab. an. In Egyptian. "he moved (someone or something)". a language of the Biu-Mandara branch of the Chadic family. the form with (')an.g. Tigre 'anqatqata. "to blow".18. as shown e. "he was shaken". Its general acceptation thus described suits quite well the Semitic verbs having the prefixes 'an.I an-. ngsgs.g. "to throw away".394 MORPHOLOGY an an-prefix is encountered in Modern South Arabian. "to transgress". Amharic ankābàllàlā. Soddo (Gurage) anqalaqqàlâ. "he was bent". e. or used as a verb of state.g. a verb that occurs only with (')an.g.I an. However. and of nawāru with 'ūr. the form with an. or light. and šubalkitu.< *(i)n. the n-preformative of which has formed tri­ consonantal verbs as well. naparquduim). e.or tan. X 2 X V 41.which combines the reflexive-passive mor­ pheme t with n-. "to overflow". e. "to bring over".I tan-. tànkārâttātâ. "he threw . "to fall backwards". "to shine". nabalkutu{m).g. ndàlnà.g.g. from ndàl. Soddo tānqâlaqqālà./ tan-. "he wandered from place to place". movement. The verbs under consideration are lexical items and mainly express sound. usually by means of quadriconsonantal reduplicated stems of the pattern C C C C e. In Ethiopic. there is an ^-prefix used likewise with quadri­ consonantal reduplicated stems. "to throw". These prefixes are not productive in the sense that they cannot derive a verb with these pre­ fixes from the basic stem. "he made wander here and there". Newman). Amharic anqâsaqqâsà. Amharic anqâsaqqâsà. "he moved (himself)". whenever there is a concurrence of a form with 'an. while the intransitive is then formed with the sole Ethiopic can be either transitive (e. Quadriconsonantal verbs with a raz-prefix. Instead. e. Amharic tànqāsaqqàsá. "wan­ der from place to place".and an. e. This explanation is strengthened by the parallel exis­ tence of a i-causative of the East Semitic quadriconsonantal verbs with the H-preformative. are attested also in East Semitic. originally expressing movement. by a comparison of napāšu with pūs. "he moved".g. "throw someone down in wrestling". This suffix "mainly seems to indicate that the action is done in the direction 'away'" (P. This evidence leads to the conclusion that the (')tfft-preformative combines the causative (')aprefix with the n-prefix. "he dragged behind". e.or with tan.

and this was also the case in Old Canaanite. it is vocalized na.STEMS AND VOICES 395 someone down") or intransitive (e. which is a verb formed by reduplication: *anq-anq-a. naplis. it is by no means certain ( the most common prosthetic vowel (§27. Stems with a i-affix are widely used in Afro-Asiatic. The n-prefix of the N-stem does not seem to be connected to any particular vowel.g.g. "look upon!"). The allomorphs am. napqid.and tarn. yaktib.15). The attested vocalization na. w 41.prefix. Ge'ez 'anfar'asa. but yišrab. no firm conclusion can be drawn from these vocalizations with regard to an original vowel of the n-prefix.16) and it also contrasts with the vowel a.19. § East Semitic (e. but in. hiqqātalū < *hinqātalū. f) Stems with t-Ajfix 41. "be entrusted!"). also in the Hebrew imperative (e. However. Old Akkadian tikal next to takal. "he knelt down") do not create any particular problem: they simply result from a partial assimilation nb > mb. especially in Semitic. Some verbs have an only apparent an.3-4: 1 Assyro-Babylonian Hebrew Classical Arabic Damascene Coll.(§41. The following table is presented in the same way as the tables in §41. "be killed!"). na-aq-sa-pu.probably reflects the contrasting patterns i . "he bragged".g.a (e. and Chadic prepositional or pronominal morpheme n. Maghrebine Coll. where they are operative nowadays.before b (e. as Amharic anqaqqa. "he dried".g. As for its assumed connection with the Egyptian.g.20. while the stem with the ttwa-prefix. like in modem Arabic colloquials of the Persian Gulf (e. the naprus niqtal 'infa'ala nfa'al nfa'al 2 ipparras 3 ipparis yiqqātel yunfa'ilu byenfa'el yinfd'al . Amharic amb attàrà.g.33). "he writes". In the imperative. tàmbâràkkākā. Therefore. the forms with the simple r-prefix have a frequentative function and are obviously related to the East Semitic infix -tan.2. a .51). Berber. since the stative has there a n<2-prefix (e.1). "he drinks"). 38. "he jumped"). "they are irritated": EA 82. which is morphologically the simplest form of a "verbal" base (§37. while the i of Arabic in.g.g.appears in later West Semitic. "trust!"). Two T-stems occur frequently in Libyco-Berber.i (e.

Stem IV and stem 'at. Stem V I tafā'ala in Arabic./ at. Tarifit ydttwašš uġrum. The f-affix can be put in Semitic before or after the first consonant of the verbal stem to which it is added.g. contrasting ydšša u-fġah a-ġrum. especially in languages such as Aramaic and Ethiopic.g. Old Aramaic ytšm'. But they have also a passive and a reciprocal meaning. "the countryman has eaten bread". "to take". vs. "whoever opens it for himself". lit. regardless of its use as infix.g. e. bita. Stem V tafa"ala in Arabic. Stem III. "(he) brought for himself". especially the one corresponding to the basic stem. where there is no N-stem. Stem V I I I 'ifta'ala in Arabic. from the stem with doubled second radical consonant (Dt. 'ittahada. bit-at-a. stems with a f-affix can be formed from the basic stem (B/Gt. "to be shaved") and to the Egyptian "pseudo-pas­ sive" form sdm-tw where tw is the indefinite pronoun "(some)one".34-35). "(he) buys". It is basically a morpheme expressing an effective involvement. Allophones of -atmay occur. the T-stem is formed by suffixation instead of prefixation. l / A in Ethiopic). a pro form of the non-active subject had to be used instead of the passive. "they fought each other". or suffix. Since Libyco-Berber is an ergative language. Gafat tàdâr(r)âsâ. Arabic Stem V I I I from 'ahada.21. Chaha (Gurage) târakâsom. "the bread has been eaten "(by someone). Old Babylonian Stem Gt from šakānu. "(he) buys for himself". "he was killed". In Semitic. the stems with f-affix. Stem X 'istaf'ala in Arabic. fid-at-e. in Nabataean Aramaic. mn dy ytpth yth. its original function was also reflexive and frequentative (§41. as in Oromo.396 MORPHOLOGY so-called "agentless passive". The Semitic f-affix does not have the same origin. prefix. "he took for himself".g. as -a4. ištaknu. approxi­ mately cover the same field as the N-stem. from the causative stem (Št. Amharic tàgàddálá.2/B in Ethiopic). "he set up for himself" (subjunctive). " i t was broken". from the stem with length­ ened first vowel (Lt. " i t will be heard".in Ethiopic). Tigrinya tâsàbrà or tásábárà.36). e. like in the perfective iptaras aspect (§38.4).in Rendille. The widespread use of the morpheme in combination with various verbal stems contributed to the widening of its functions. Its reflexive function may be prominent. e. The principal function of the Semitic /-stems can be char­ acterized as reflexive.g. 41. is probably akin to the Cushitic (a)to-stem (e. From the semantic point of view. and from the Ethiopic "frequentative" stem (§41. Tigre tzgādabaw. In the Chadic branch and in some Cushitic languages.3/C in Ethiopic). Stem I I I . Stem III. "they quar­ relled with one another". e. "he was found". "someone has eaten by means of bread". Bedja atomān. Its position can be questioned in .

41. "he appointed for his sake". from 'add. from rhs).D.(Stem X in Arabic). in Ugaritic (e. dtrrn.g. especially in Egypt and in the Maghrib. itmisik. "to mock". yrths. "and I fought".STEMS AND VOICES 397 some cases because of phonological factors which occasion the assimi­ lation of t to the first radical (§41. "he rose".24. "he was seized". These formations go back to old colloquials. from klj). from hli). despite the r-infix of the form dtrrn. "to count". is quoted from an ancient Hidjazi dialect. "they fought with each other". and in Modem South Arabian (e. from misik. from fatah. ygtzr. imtahsā. "to wage war"). Maghrebine tfa'al or tfa'il. in Epi­ graphic South Arabian (e. " i t will be overturned").g. in Arabic (e. "it was counted". "he was avenged". the proper name Ia-an-ta-qiim. as against the early Byblos dialect (thtsp. e.g.C.32). "it was made". and similar forms are encountered elsewhere. and it can change in conse­ quence of a widespread tendency in Semitic languages to restrict the use of stems with infixed t and sometimes to create new stems with prefixed t or (i)sta. Mehri and Harsūsi dktdldf. can only be interpreted as tafa'la. "he consummated the marriage". The reflexive-passive r-prefix is used with the . mitlik. " i t was opened". where qttl is not attested. in Moabite (e.25.g. The tendency to drop the stem with infixed t appears in stan­ dard Phoenician. from gzr). "to open". "it will be torn away". "to seize". "take advice!". "they rubbed themselves". tabarii (tbny). A new basic stem with prefixed t and a passive meaning was created also in Arabic colloquials. 41.g. The original situation of the r-affix after the first radical of the basic stem is preserved in Palaeosyrian (e. from mahāsu). "it will be heard")..g. "he washed himself".23. from rafa'a. "it will be cut off". from lapātu).g. "to urinate". "he took for himself". in Old Phoenician (e.g. w'lthm. itfatah. in Amorite (e. ytšm'.22. In Sabaic. ti-il-tap-tu. thtpk. "to lift"). thtpk. 'irtafa'a. occurs in a South-Palestinian text from the 9th century A. "he was troubled".g. 2 2 41. from hpk). Only possible traces of this stem survive in Biblical Hebrew (štn. " i t will be over­ turned". in Old Aramaic (e. from naqāmu).g. htl. from drr. Cairene it'add.g. on by a r-prefix (e. from šyn.g. from Ihm).g. from the root s ym. from malāku). ts (y)m. in Old Akkadian (e. "to wage war against each other". since the secondary stem tahida. in Assyro-Babylonian (e. and the original r-infix is generally replaced in Aramaic from the 8th century B.

g. "he learned") and tafā'ala. These formations.g.of the reflexive causative. in Amorite. e. to compare with Hebrew yistaddāq. "they will obey".of the Semitic reflexive causative stem (§41. 1° The t is certainly infixed in East Semitic. from the root špk. Mehri and Harsusi ydftdgor.C. " i t will be heard". neither the prosthesis nor the assimilation do appear in North Arabian inscriptions showing the t prefixed to the root.g.398 MORPHOLOGY basic stem in Aramaic from the 8th century B. and in Ugaritic. ysthyalm in Poenulus 931 = *'št'lm. on (e. however. which antedate the 4th/5th cen­ tury A. "he longed". "he was found". Old Aramaic ytšm'. "he was rushed up". " I beg you". However. The reflexive stem of the Modern South Arabian intensive-conative. there is no hard evidence as yet that this has been the case also in Stem V (arid VI) of Pre-Classical Arabic and that the forms with i-affixes assimilated to the first radical bear witness to an Old Arabic assimilation of the i-infix to the preceding sibilant or dental.g. Ge'ez taqatla. but it is amply attested in the other branches of Semitic. like in Ara­ bic Stem V I I I . from the root škh. "he gives alms". with partial assimilation of t. e. and in Aramaic when it follows a sibilant. in Phoenician.g..28). exactly as in the cluster -st.D.9). In fact. trwh. "he was killed") and in all the Ethiopian languages (e. Old Babylonian uštallamû.4). a 2° Instead. hištappēk.g. "he will perform an ablu­ tion". "he was adorned". 41. from the root š7. e. "he will burst". "enjoy yourselves" (Is. This assumption is nevertheless supported by the parallel situation in Stem V I I I and by the prosthetic vowel in perfect forms. is formed with the i-infix.25. In post-classical Hebrew. yištamma'ūn. from the root šm'. which corresponds to Arabic Stems V and V I (cf. e.I -st. Syriac 'etqdtel. yassaddaqu < *yastaddaqu. It preserved its original place also in Hebrew.g. e. ta'allama. the t can be prefixed to a sibilant. the affix can preserve its original place in Aramaic whenever it follows a sibilant. "to be poured out". yattahharu < *yattahharu. The Dt-stem derived from Stem I I with doubled second radical consonant has not been identified so far in Palaeosyrian. "he became heavy".g. also in the 2 . htš'š'w (lQIs ) instead of hišta'aša'ū. Safaitic ts wq. 'ittāqala < *ttāqala (Stem VI). obviously parallel the "innovative" forms used in Classical Arabic tafa"ala (e.I -st. thus hištakah. exactly as in the cluster -št. e. instead of Classical Arabic yatasaddaqu.g. "they will be kept safe". like 'izzayyana < *ztayyana (Stem V ) . §41. 29. "he was killed").

"he discarded". and even ttdndrab. "it became uncovered"). from waqada. Soddo tàzibbàrâ. and very often as a passive (e. "he returned" [transitive]. especially in Algeria. The r-affix produces a new stem also when joined to the theme with first vowel lengthened (§41. in Ge'ez (e.g. e. viz. also as an intransitive (e. e. tâfâllâgâ.g. 41. ttaf'al. "he was married".g. 3° The elision of the vowel of reflexive ta. the t is prefixed in Hebrew (e. "he was weighed"). a-. but pre­ fixed forms are attested in Classical Arabic (e. "he returned" [intran­ sitive].g.g. "he was beaten". "he was sanctified"). in Tigre (e. Syriac 'ethassan. The Modem South Arabian reflexive intensive-conative of the pattern CātCdC and the assimilated Pre-Classical Arabic forms of the type 'iffā'ala I yaffd'alu (cf. ntqud.g. with assimilation.16) and has no phonemic function. taqaddasa.STEMS AND VOICES 399 Central-Arabian colloquials. from zibbdrd. "he dried himself"). In Morocco. the mle in the vernaculars of the settled Arab population. §41. the nf-stem is restricted to verbs with initial radical w.g.leading to a form ntafal or. cf. §41.g. "they fought . and in the other Ethiopian languages (e.g. "he went made"). itehedder.5). hitqaddeš. "it took fire". ttddrdb.g. "he was fortified"). or with Cairene itgawwiz. a reciprocal (e.g. tdmazzana. ništattāpū. nitgallā. "he was wanted").4).26. L-stem i f the i derives from ay < ā. taqātalū. from gawwiz. in Amharic (e. with the consequence that mediaeval and modem colloquials prefix the t with the prosthetic vowel like in modem colloquials. "he will discard". htqds). "he sanctified himself").25) seem to indicate that the t was originally infixed. 41.27. A similar evolution is attested in various Arabic colloquials of the Maghrib. 4° Besides the cases mentioned under 1°.g. in Phoenician (e. with forms as tehedder.g. like in Andalusian atfa"al. ništattā. The initial h / ' of the forms of the suffix-conju­ gation is simply introducing the prosthetic vowel (§27.g. where the passivereflexive meaning of a r-stem is underscored by the addition of a prefix n. Mishnaic Hebrew has a form nitpa"al or nipta"al (with a sibi­ lant as first radical) which combines the N-stem with the tD/Dt-stem and is used as a reflexive (e. "they became partners"). Stem V I tafā'ala of Classical Arabic. instead.g. which has a reflexive or reciprocal meaning. e. and in the camel-bedouin dialects spoken by the Shammar and the Rwāla. "he married". in Aramaic (e. nistappag.

Ge'ez 'astamhara. This would also be the case of the unique Old Aramaic form htn'bw.9. In general. " E l acted for the second time". "he put forward a request". The t is also prefixed in modern Arabic colloquials (e. " i t was burnt"). from the root tny).400 MORPHOLOGY together"). from gāwib.g. "cause to feed (golol-) oneself".29. i.g. in North Ethiopic (e. i f this is a Ht-stem with the causative prefix h. Rendille golol-sa4-. tamāsalū. "he was cut into strips"). "they were withered". "he convinced".(§41.g. 41. "(he) himself takes out".g. in Epigraphic South Arabian (e. Andalusian atfā'aì). hištaìfwā. tšthwy. the 'at-/ ûf-stem of the modern Ethiopian languages (§41.g. and in South Ethiopic (e.e. 14). i. 'istakbara. in Amorite proper names (e. on a sheep to be sacrificed. i. uš-tá-si-ir /yuštāšir/. 41. from mhr). The absence of the morpheme t in the Modern South Arabian forms of the causative reflexive (e. "eat".g.g. "they quarrelled with one another").replacing the original Št-stem of *n'p / na'ābu. "he showed himself merciful". in Assyro-Babylonian (e. Amharic astámammànā. " i t was destroyed". "he was answered". uštalpit. from wdy). "she prostrated herself". "he will swear on i t " . from zakāru). The corresponding Cushitic stem signifies that something is being done by oneself or for oneself.g. in Aramaic (e. in Amharic (e. "he l l l .g.g.g. Uš-ta-ašni-El /Yuštatnī-'El/. from hwy).14) offers an exact parallel to the possible Old Aramaic Ht-stem.g. "they resembled each other"). The reflexive morpheme t of the s-causative and of the Ethiopic '^-causative is always infixed and follows the causative morphemes š. Chaha tārakàsom. in Arabic (e.e. The St-stem. from s 'l)./ s.28. "to dry".g.e. from lapātu). from hwy).and 'a-1 a. from 'mn). and not a tD-stem with h. e. "he inspired confidence". the St-stem and the Ethiopic 'ai-stem have either a causative-passive / reflexive meaning or a causative-reciprocal or adjutative connotation. Oromo bā-sat-a. in Old Akkadian (e. in Hebrew (e. Sabaic s ts 7.g. in Ugaritic (e.simply introducing the prosthetic vowel i instead of the usual Aramaic '. Cairene itgāwib. "he prostrated himself". "(he) causes to get out (bah-) by himself". In any case. "he has released". in Mediaeval Arabic (e. uš-tá-za-kà-ar-si /yuštazakkarši/. in Ge'ez (e. Arabic Stem X .g. in Gafat (tâqattàlâ. Syriac 'eštawdī. "he confessed". Harsūsi šdlbdd. is well attested in all Semitic lan­ guage families: in Palaeosyrian (e.g. tāmarrākā. "he was taken prisoner"). and in the other Ethiopian languages (e. in Tigre tašārama. "to answer"). from the root wšr).g. from kabara).g. "he deemed great".

"he packed with". and Damascene stnāwal. t) or frica­ tive (z.11). the r-infix of Stem VIII is totally or partially assimilated to the preceding interdental (t.g.g. from hsn. s).30). In Arabic. uštamahhar. 27. d). "he was . combine Stems III and X respectively of wahada and of nāla. from 7/) and finally a Tt-stem with the assimilation t' > tt. Moreover.g.5). the original f-infix rather than prefix of Stems V and V I (§41. Beside the South Arabian total assimilation št > š (§41. Official Aramaic 'thhsynn. In modem Arabic colloquials.of Stem X is sometimes extended to other stems. In Aramaic. s). Thus. e. 41. Palestinian istarayyah.2. which conceals a pronounced śś > šš (§15. which has a recipro­ cal connotation (e. from Ibd) and of the intensive-conative reflexive (e. e. "it was crowded". the r-affix is assimilated in various languages to the first consonant of the verbal root. the prefix (i)sta. "she makes herself equal to"). "they refrained". the passive-reflexive of the A-causative (§41. d. Tunisian st'āhid. "brought in".STEMS AND VOICES 401 was hit". d. t) and dental plosive (d. dental plosives (d. Harsūsi šdldbdd. 'izzayyana < *ztayyana. Moroccan Arabic prefixes t to the s.g. participle mt"l.g. 'itta'ara < *tta'ara. The latter is not attested in Phoenician and its use in Hebrew is restricted to one verb. thus creating a stem tsdf'al. from rwm.g. "he hit back") is to be explained by the total assimilation of t to the preceding š: *štalbad > šalbdd and *štalabbad > šahbdd. combines Stems I I and X of rāha.29) and the Aramaic assimilation t' > tt (§41. "he agreed with". Instead. e. other changes related to the f-affix can be observed. both from the morphological and from the semantic points of view. In Pre-Classical Arabic. 'izdahama < *ztahama. 41. 41. which is the passive of the Š-stem.g. the morpheme št can change in AssyroBabylonian into It and become ss in the Neo-Assyrian orthography.30. "he was raised".32. e.g.25) is likewise assimilated to the interdentals (t. The tendency to drop or to restrict the use of the stems with f-infix is also manifest in the case of the Št-stem. z. Following the change h > ' it became a T'-stem (e. There is a clear correspondence between the Modem South Arabian and the East Semitic forms. "he was avenged". it tends to be replaced by a Th-stem. and to the palato-alveolar š (< ś).31. "he found rest". t) or fricatives (s. and uštaparras. e. The exis­ tence of these two forms parallels the two types of the East Semitic Št-stem recognizable by the imperfectives (present-future) uštapras. Syriac 'ettrīm.

In the North Ethiopian lan­ guages of Ge'ez and Tigre the f-affix of the reflexive-passive stem is assimilated to the contiguous dental or sibilant (e.g. contrary to the situation in Arabic (§41.25). but it can optionally be main­ tained in some of the Gurage dialects (e. The frequentative or iterative meaning is expressed in Palaeo­ syrian. yiddakkd'ū < *yidtakkd'ū. the t is assimilated only to a contiguous dental or sibilant (e. hzmntwn < *'''iztamintūn. as in attásassábā. Gafat. in Argobba also in the perfect (e.402 MORPHOLOGY adorned". "you have agreed").g. Besides. Gafat yassikkām for * the imperfective (present-future) and -tan. but .g. "he justified himself"). " i t is opened"). " i t is broken"). "he will be bitten"). histaddēq < *histaddēq. in Old Akkadian. In Hebrew. "they sent continuously" the other "tenses". In Aramaic. where the weakened original guttural is assimilated to the preceding f giving rise to a geminated tt (< t'). "he caused to settle financial accounts". is not geminated (e. Ge'ez ydssabbar < *yatsabbar and Tigre hssabar < *fotsabar. however. Considering the various combinations of prefixed and infixed f-stems with other stems. yittammā < *yittammā. "he calculated" (root Mb). ydkdffàt < *ydtkdffat. a total assimilation of f occurs in the Amharic forms aqqattàlà < *atqattālā < * 'a-tâ-qātala and aqqàtattālà < *atqātattâla < *'a-tà-qatātala with the causative reflexive prefix at(§41. In Harari. "he is offended"). " i t is said". "he carries a burden").33. yannekkàsal. except in verbs beginning with a. In the South Ethiopian languages of Amharic and Argobba the f-affix is assimilated to any first radical.14). formed from assàbâ. the assimilation can be total when the preceding consonant is z (e. and the assimilation is total when this consonant is d or t (e. yaddattaru < *yadtattaru. a partial assimilation of the f-infix of the Dt-stem (corresponding to Ara­ bic Stem V ) is attested when the preceding consonant is s (e. from the reciprocal stem tâsassâbu.g. and Gurage. a recapitulative table will be offered in §41. Ennemor yatsàdàb or ydssâdâb.g. where the n is assimilated to the following consonant.55. and in Assyro-Babylonian by an infix -tana. e. Argobba annekkàsa. Palaeosyrian preterite iš-ta-pá-ru /yištapparū/ < *yištanparū. g) Frequentative Stems 41. "he was bitten". "they settled accounts". This optional usage clearly indicates that the assimilation takes place with a prefixed f.g. "they w i l l be crushed". Amharic yannaggār-all. but in Tigrinya it is assimilated to any contiguous radical which.g. "he covers himself". "he defiles himself").

"he doesn't keep on behaving violently" (vs. ydtdffdġ. e. and it is paralleled by the Ethiopic and Libyco-Berber ta-prefix (§41. It may also assume the various meanings of the "redu­ plicative" or "frequentative" stem (§41. It is not clear as yet whether these forms are hybrid or belong to an authentic West Semitic conjugation. which has to be distinguished from the mva-prefix (§41.10). the frequentative or durative meaning may also be explained by the use of a to-infix. "and lest the bowmen continue to come forth . " I praise continuously").STEMS AND VOICES 403 Old Akkadian imperfective aš-tá-na-pá-ra /(')aštanappara/. the existence of a simple r-affix with the same functions in Syro-Mesopotamian Semitic seems to suggest a different answer (§41. However.34). Some Canaanized verbal forms of the Amarna correspondence use the infix -tan(a). "he usually eats grapes" (vs. 41. of the causative stem (Stn: uštanapras). " I keep on waiting" (vs. " (EA 244.g. which was believed to be unique to the ancient Syro-Mesopotamian Semitic. ydšša. ur itdkdrid. u lāmi tittassūna (with the plural -una termination) sābu pittātu. "he ate"). or continuous action. " I waited"). this morpheme can denote a frequentative. "he died"). This infix can be inserted in all the forms of the basic stem (B/Gtn: iptanarras).g. and to the Ethiopic ra-prefix when'the lat­ ter is added to the stem of some verbs with lengthened first vowel ( well. aštammar. is-te-nem-mu (with an indicative «-suffix). " I am always heeding" (EA 261.19-20). itākârād. tmdttdn. In Ethiopic. "this dog is likely to bite" or "is in the habit of biting". I f the original prefix was *tan-.20). Since the assimilation of -n. attested in Assyro-Babylonian (e. . of the stem with lengthened or geminated sec­ ond radical consonant (Dtn: uptanarras). e. ydtdtt a-dir. while the gemina­ tion is not indicated.17-18). .35). yzffdġ. " I send continuously". corresponds instead to the Libyco-Berber f-prefix. "he often goes out" (vs.has to be assumed in most cases. "he behaved violently"). Amharic ydh wdšša tânakaš now. The latter is sometimes combined with the reflexive f-affix (§41. In Libyco-Berber. raziġ.g.36). the n has been lost completely in Libyco-Berber and in Ethiopic. ydmmut. "he went out"). . Further research is needed.g. this stem may express an action that one does habitually or normally. The frequentative stem with the r<2(«)-affix. and of the passive-reflexive stem (Ntn: ittanapras).34. ikkdrdd. In any case.3/C). tràziġ. "he keeps on behaving violently". not related to the Ethiopic ta«-prefix (§41. habitual.35). the infix -iania). "they die one after the other" (vs.

The clearest case occurs in Ugaritic with a tB/Gt infinitive followed by a feminine pronominal suffix: wl sb't tmthsh b'mq. three times. The context requires the imperfective iparras where the gemination of the second radical is supplanted by the -t. darts his roar once. e. the imperfective iparras denotes a progressive situation. comparable with uptarris < *uptanrris.34). Similar cases occur in temporal clauses at Boghazkoy. .3. taštanapparanni .. inūmi. In the last three examples.imperfective in the Aramaizing asyndetic construction of a perfective followed by an imperfective in upattā nērbētì mālak erinē ušteteššer.g. twice. with a Dtt-form. lā tanta]thas (< tamtathas). lū terēq lū tenessī lū tatatlak. you do not fight over and over again".g.404 MORPHOLOGY 41. The forms in question continued to be used in Late Babylonian. Since the form is an infinitive. where the restitution is based on a parallel passage from Boghazkoy: [šumma. no perfect of the iptaras type may enter here into account.infix: imtathas < *imtathhas... and it darkens more and more .denotes a progressive or frequentative action. [.. may you disappear. "may you recede. "its brickwork crumbles more and more by itself". e.] īrub ištiššu šinīšu šalšīšu rigimšu iddi-ma utetetti. aqbī-šum.36.g.. " . like in Old Assyrian. e. abūya itti nakrlsu kl intathassu. A similar example is found in a syllabic text from Ugarit.19). e. "when you were writing to Comparable forms without n are me over and over again. "and she was not sated with her habit of fighting in the valley" (KTU 1. " I opened up passes (so that) the road of the cedars will be prac­ ticable on and on". I told you found in other Assyro-Babylonian texts with a B/Gtt-form.. although there is no trace of n (cf. .. In these temporal clauses using the frequentative. "when my father was fighting over and over again with his enemies". " i f .35. e. may you go further and further away!".33). Ugaritic and Assyro-Babylonian happen to use a double r-affix in reflexive conjugations. rather than an iterative one. the imper­ fective iparras is employed instead of the iprus. This leaves us with a strong analogy to the Libyco-Berber usage of the i-affix (§41. §41.. libittašu ina ramānišu uštatalpit. as shown by the Stt. It is usually called either "redu­ plicative" or "frequentative" in consideration of its main semantic .g. The paradigm of the East Semitic imperfective (ipar­ ras) of these reflexive-frequentative stems can be presented as follows: B/Gtt imtathas Dtt uptat(ar)ras Štt uštatapras 41.11. where the second -t.g. with a Sttform. A "frequentative" stem with repeated second radical consonant is very common in modern Ethiopic. "[when Adad] enters...

"it dripped". Chaha sdmamdm. from shr. Soddo (Gurage) gddadddld. "he became clumsy". §23.37. 'an-safsafa.g. Tamazight bdgbdg.38. Arabic zalzala. Chaha (Gurage) q?raqdram. "he confused". Hebrew gilgèl. "he wove". "he rolled". "he went on kissing". Aramaic qašqēš > qarqēš. e. "he was joyful". "he demolished". "to make the milk boil". "he went on demolishing".g. A dissimilation may occur in the same conditions as in Semitic. s-tartar. "it was continuously foam­ ing". 41. e. e. "to roll". sabābara. It is notewor­ thy that reduplicated biconsonantal stems frequently occur in LibycoBerber. "he broke thoroughly". e. "it glittered". e. from Ge'ez lahldha with loss of the pharyngals. "he smashed". "he gurgled". e. Ge'ez 'ahmalmala. Chaha (Gurage) bdnandrdm or bdnânàràm. "he snapped". "he continuously turned about". Ge'ez badbada.g. on and on". lalla.g. Some of these verbs give rise by dissimilation to quadri­ consonantal verbs with three different consonants.g. from the root hmr.9). krkb < *kbkb. e. Arabic tabtaba > tartaba. Muher (Gurage) td-blallāqām.STEMS AND VOICES 405 function. this stem mostly expresses an intensive or a frequenta­ tive action. The same formation is attested in Ethiopic with verbs possessing a meaning which implies iterative connotations. Ugaritic ylcrlcr. "he knocked". "to overfill". Also the biconsonantal verbs can form a reduplicative stem. "to go about". Amharic g ânágg ânâ. e. la'la'a. "he worked on and off". In fact. Tigre kadādama. "he devastated". "he kissed" (root s'm). Tigrinya qātatàlā. "he mixed".g. from samām. homarmar. constantly. e. "he slaughtered" (root qtl). thoroughly. Both examples show the dissimilatory function or r (cf. Amharic sdbabdrd. from bandrdm. " i t became green".g. There are verbs whose basic meaning is expressed only by the reduplicative stem. "he sullied". Amharic bālàqāllāqà. "he shook". barbar. all over. There exist in Hebrew some related cases where the second and third radicals are repeated. "he is loose". Aramaic and Mishnaic Hebrew balbēl. h) Reduplicated Biconsonantal Stems 41. 'arsāhsdha. Originally biconsonantal roots of the type CvC give rise by reduplication to quadriconsonantal themes of the type C vC C vC .g. sdharhar. { 2 l 2 w w . The reduplicative may often be rendered by "completely. "to drink hard".g.

e. e. sobēb. from the root 'sy (cf. e. from the root bt' (cf. " i t grew luxuriant". smānt. where the radical s was palatalized by y into ġġ. "he became bent". from shr.406 MORPHOLOGY i) Stems with Geminated or Reduplicated Last Radical Consonant 41. In both examples. "yel­ low".g. 'izwarra. In Ugaritic. e. from 'asfaru. As in Hebrew. "luxuriant". "she was heating". "he became strong". Stems with reduplicated last radical consonant occur in various Semitic languages. Syriac 'abded. a corresponding stem can derive also from substantives. "to become white".3). 'isfarra. *'assay a > *'arsaya > *'àràssáyâ). or sm?nt. From the semantic and the morphological points of view. such a stem (polēl) occurs mainly with biconsonantal verbal roots (§44). "he became b i g " [Lisān]). the last radical consonant is reduplicated in similar cases (cf. e. from sobb. The stem pa'lal appears in Hebrew with denominative verbs. " I became fat". (a a . belong to the same category. from 'azwaru. Tamazight šdmrar. 41.g. The East Semitic verbs su-harrurum and su-qammunu. from rūm. e. from ra' nān. In Hebrew. Amharic bàràtta < *bàràttà'â. classified as Stem I X . In Arabic. "he enslaved".40. "strong"). is used for denominative verbs related to adjectives of the pattern 'afalu and indicates colours or phys­ ical features. "he enclosed". which replaces Stem I X in West Arabian dialects and is inflected in modern colloquials in three different ways: e.g. "he set up". and in Ethiopic. "they set up". trmm. derived from an adjective. A formation apparently corresponding to Arabic Stem I X is attested in Ethiopic. "he became yellow". but it is not considered as a derived stem and the verbs belonging to this cat­ egory go back historically to quadriconsonantal patterns formed often by dissimilation from triconsonnantal roots (§41. Arabic ġalbaba and Ge'ez galbaba. ra nan. In LibycoBerber. dialectal Arabic 'asiya.g. arâġġā < *'àràssáyâ.g.42). derived from ġilbāb. "he covered with stones". A variant of Arabic Stem I X is Stem X I ('if alia). they are often related to Stem I I or D (§41. or smānayt. Ge'ez bardada.39.g. e. "garment". ykllnh.38). in Aramaic. the dissimilatory con­ sonant is r (*batta'a > *barta'a [Tigrinya bartz'e] > *bâráttà'à. "he wrapped". the stem 'if alia.g. Arabic bāti'. Certain secondary and rarer themes with geminated or redupli­ cated last radical consonant occur in various languages. "heat". §41.g. "let him complete i t " . "bent". "to be dead-silent". a stem pll is used in Ugaritic with biconsonantal roots. Ugaritic shrrt. "he grew old". romēm.

either of one or two radicals. is a denomina­ tive verb deriving from the noun sanbat. "he trans­ lated". the nominal pattern of diminutives is applied also to verbs which are thus diphthongized and get a pejorative or ironic meaning.36-40). §41. X I V ('ìfanlala). "he spent the week".g.. k) Verbs with Four Radical Consonants 41. while tdrâgg âmà. the Babylonian verb naharmumu. the combination of two stems is widely attested in modern Arabic colloquials and in Ethiopian languages (§41. These stems cannot be treated here in the framework of an outline of comparative grammar.STEMS AND VOICES 407 j) Other Stems 41. as mentioned above (§41. Semitic languages possess a certain number of verbs with four radical consonants which do not result from the reduplication. is related to Arabic hamma. and X V ('if'anlâ).39). "to defeat". The Arabic verb 'ihrantama (with n-infix: §17.42). from origi­ nally triconsonantal roots. etc. a feature which confirms their derivation from triconsonantal roots (cf. and there are verbs with more than three radical consonants (§41. or are simply denominative verbs. "he turned his face towards the Qibla". e. as a rule. "he said bismillahV''. XIII ('ifawwala). while na-šarbutu. borrowed through Aramaic from Babylonian huttimmu or by dissimilation hultimmu. Amharic sânábbátā. "Sabbath". x w . derives from the noun hurtūm. Besides. but they should be examined one by one. "to decay". is related to Ge'ez barakat. They are then borrowed from a foreign language or originate.42. "snout".41. The examples fit some patterns. where almost each case requires a partic­ ular examination.g.8). In any case. "he abounded". There is a residue of rarer stems which occur in one or another language. "pro­ boscis". is based on the whole expression "in the name of God". yakaytib. and Arabic basmala. "putrid smell". Bàràkkátà. "he writes".g. derives from the same root as South Arabian s bt. the dissimilatory conso­ nant of the East Semitic verbs with four radicals is always / or r. e. diphthongization. "to carry by storm". "blessing". E. 31). Arabic Stems X I I {'if'aw'ala). borrowed with the dissimilation nb < bb from Hebrew šabbāt. staygbal.26. In some Maghrebine colloqui­ als. "translation" (root rgm). derives from the West Semitic noun targūm. Their ori­ gin can still be established in several cases. or of the whole biconsonantal root. by dissimilation. "he looked sulky".

"he was taken away (*muti') for six months and. "may they be despatched") and in a letter from Byblos (EA 126. that spread to South Arabia. East Semitic. In these cases. Instead. however.19. Several examples occur in the Amarna correspondence. Internal passives are known in West Semitic languages and in Modern South Arabian. where the Old Canaanite form iú-ša-ru /yuššarū/. as in tuddanūna. "they are despatched" (from yšr < wšr). they are probably to be regarded as a secondary development of West Semitic. "the correspondence was kept"). and tu-sa-bat ftusabbatl. it has disappeared in most modern Arabic colloqui­ als. The stative is represented e.g. by the following Safaitic sen­ tence: mV s tt 's hrf-hwr. in Ugaritic. while the prefix conjugation follows the vowel pattern u-a (e. Arabic makes use of a variation in vowel pattern to express the distinction between active and passive voices not only for Stems I-IV. while they do not occur in Palaeosyrian. Their existence cannot be proved convincingly in Amorite. " i t was written". e.40). yutakātabu.g. as suggested e.g.46). yuktabu. "(she) will be seized" (EA 85. "let (the copper arrows) be given". " i t will be written". by the Amarna gloss si-ir-ti. always spelled with I in the Qur'ān. and yuqattal for the imperfective. kutiba. Internal passives are in full use in Classical Arabic where the suf­ fix conjugation is formed on the vowel pattern u-i instead of a-a or a-i (e.408 I) Passive Voice MORPHOLOGY 41. " I am besieged" (EA 127. tukūtiba. where the form slrti exactly parallels the Aramaic and Pre-Classical Arabic passive of the CūC verbs. Also the passive of the D-stem appears in a letter from Kāmid el-L6z (lū tuwaššarūna. and Ethiopic. It is still used in the Ristāq dialect of "Oman and in Bedouin dialects of Central and Eastern Maghrib. The internal passive existed probably in North Arabian. "the correspondence will be kept"). Therefore.: lū tuddanūna. paral­ lels the Hebrew quttal (§41. and in Epigraphic South Arabian. both in the prefix and the suffix conju­ gation. a distinctive pas­ sive acceptation is only realized when the "active" vocalization of the stem concerned does not express a passive meaning. "(he) will be protected" (EA 327.34). The passive is already attested in Old Canaanite by a Taanach letter dating from the 15th century B. The basic pattern is yuqtal for the preterite. he returned".g.45).g. as in ú-na-sár /yunassar/. "to l 2 .5). A new passive form with an w-prefix appears in the Hassānīya dialect spoken in Mauritania. ubahhar. but even for Stems V-VTII and X . although these stems usually have a passive-reflexive or a reflexive-intransitive meaning. yubahhar. 41.43.C.44.

also like in Arabic. 41. bahhar. Mehri shows a change / > ē. The following paradigmatic tables aim at presenting a synoptic view of the main verb-stems in Semitic languages. The passive causative. like in Arabic. "he was kicked". from the root 'bd). with an internal vowel letter y. while Soqotri has a passive imperfect yiqdtol. ygzr. "he will be kicked".g.46. Old Aramaic examples of the imper­ fect (e. "he was thrown") and yoqtal in the imperfect. "they were delivered". The passive of the Aramaic D-stem and of the causative stem has practically disappeared. although there are also clear examples from the causative stem. at least in the basic stem. " i t was boiled".g.g. hūbad. luqqah.g. quttal was the passive of the D-stem (e. drfēs. with only a few examples left of a vocalized huqtal form (e. Mehri dglel. like in Arabic. " i t is written". The original pattern of the perfect may have been *qutil. "he will be sent off").g.g. yhybw. the Masoretes preserved it only when the consonantal skeleton did not render possible its vocalization as an N-stem. quddaš.48.45.g. m) Recapitulation of Stems 41. which is secondary as shown by the Old Canaanite yuqattal pattern. "to be done". Generally. since the Sheri and Soqotri forms follow the pattern CdCiC for the perfect. The original pattern of the imperfect does not result clearly from Śheri ydrfds and Mehri yarfos. hošlak. "he was made hallowed"). Sheri rdfis. e. In reality. e. which suggests an original pattern *qutil. 41. "he was taken". the passive of the basic stem is often writ­ ten ktyb. vocalized hoqtal (e. with an imperfect ydquttal (e. may derive from a *huqtil pattern.STEMS AND VOICES 409 be fumigated". 41. par­ allel to Aramaic kdtlb. + verbal noun is used in Modem Ara­ bic to report durative actions. as a rule. "he was destroyed". subsequently changed into qdtil as a consequence of the lengthening of the stressed vowel í: *qutíl > qdtil. In vocalized Biblical Hebrew.47. however. A periphrastic passive formed with tamma. they had then recourse to the paradigms quttal and yuqtal (e. e. the passive of the basic stem has.g. instead of the expected *huqtil. "he will be taken"). ibahhar "to fumigate". "he will be cut") should probably be vocalized yuqtal. A table is offered . Passive forms occur in Modern South Arabian. vs.g. yuqqah. In Official Aramaic. There was also a passive of the causative stem. been superseded by the N-stem. since Mishnaic Hebrew had no passive of the B/G-stem. ydšullah.

50. unmarked in the script.49. "to separate".54) and the stems with i-infix (§41. Ugaritic offers the largest num­ ber of North Semitic verbal forms which can lead to a provisional and partial reconstruction of the verb-stems. The paradigm of Old Babylonian verb-stems can be considered as representative for all the Assyro-Babylonian dialects. it may coincide to a large extent with the situa­ tion in Palaeosyrian.16. We assume that the verb belongs to the M-class. Despite its unvocalized script. *Preterite B/G-stem B/Gt-stem D-stem Dt-stem Š-stem Št-stem yaqtul yaqtatul yuqattil yuqtattil yašaqtil yaštaqtil *Imperfective yaqattul yaqtattul yuqattal yuqtattal yasaqtal yastaq(at)tal *Perfective yaqtatul yaqtattul yuqtattil yuqtatattil yaštaqtil yaštataqtil *Stative-Perfect qatal qittul quttul šaqtil sataqtil — . Most Semitic verbs possess only a part of the stems and forms attested in the entire system.55). is used in this table.21). there is a strong presumption that stems existed which were character­ ized by gemination or vocalic lengthening. as well as for Old Akkadian. Addi­ tional recapitulative tables are offered for the causative stems (§41. The paradigmatic verb parāsu. while the biconsonantal ones will be examined in a further section (§44). and we apply Barth's law (§40. w i l l be used in this table. In fact.410 MORPHOLOGY also for North Semitic. "to k i l l " . Besides. while the graphically distinguishable verbstems of Ugaritic do certainly not represent the entire system. like Arabic qatala. The paradigmatic verb qatal. Preterite B/G-stem B/Gt-stem B/Gtn-stem D-stem Dt-stem Dtn-stem Š-stem Št-stem Štn-stem N-stem Ntn-stem iprus iptaras iptarras uparris uptarris uptarris ušapris uštapris uštapris ipparis ittapras Present-Future iparras iptarras iptanarras uparras uptarras uptanarras ušapras uštap(ar)ras uštanapras ipparras ittanapras Perfect iptaras iptatras iptatarras uptarris uptatarris uptatarris uštapris ustatapris uštatapris ittapras ittatapras Stative paris pitrus pitarrus purrus — putarrus šuprus šutaprus šutaprus naprus itaprus 41. The tables refer to triconsonantal verbal roots. although the available evidence for Palaeosyrian and Amorite is incomplete. 41.

"to k i l l " .5-7).52.2). Perfect active Stem I (B/G) Stem II (D) Stem III (L) Stem IV (Š/H/') Stem V (tD) Stem VI (tL) Stem VII (N) Stem VIII (B/Gt) Stem X (Št) fa 'ala fa' 'ala fā'ala 'af'ala tafa' 'ala tafā'ala 'infa 'ala 'ifta 'ala 'istaf'ala Perfect passive fu 'Ha fu' 'ila fū 'ila 'uf'ila tufu' 'ila tufū 'ila 'unfu 'ila 'uftu 'ila 'ustufila Imperfect active yaf'ulu yufa"ilu yufā 'Hu yuf'ilu yatafa' 'alu yatafā 'alu yanfa 'Hu yafta 'Hu yastaf'ilu Imperfect passive yuf'alu yufa"alu yufā 'alu yuf'alu yutafa"alu yutafā 'alu yunfa 'alu yufta'alu yustaf'alu 41. This is the only language which makes use of the entire system and has a consistent vocalization of all the stems. 1/A (B/G) 2/B (D) 3/C (L) qatala qattala qātala 'aqtala 'aqattala 'aqātala taqat(a)la taqattala taqātala Imperfect yaqattdl ydqettdl ydqāttdl yāqattdl yāqettal yāqāttal ydtqattal ydtqettal ydtqattal Jussive/Subjunctive yaqtdl ydqattdl ydqātdl yāqtal yāqattdl yāqātdl ydtqatal ydtqattal ydtqātal Stem II. the theme with lengthened or geminated second radical consonant. Perfect Stem I. The paradigmatic verb qatala. including their passive voice.STEMS AND VOICES 41.51. each subdivided into three themes: the basic one. 1/A (tB/G) 2/B (tD) 3/C (tL) . "to make". the stem with prefix ta-. South Semitic can best be represented by the entire system of Ge'ez. is used in this table. For the West Semitic languages the system of Classical Arabic has been chosen. while the Ethiopic jussive/sub­ junctive corresponds morphologically to the East Semitic preterite (§38. the stem with prefix 'a-. and the stem with prefix 'asta . is used in this table. and the theme with lengthened first thematic vowel. The paradigmatic verb fa'ala. the traditional presentation of which distinguishes four funda­ mental stems — the basic stem. 1/A (Š/H/') 2/B (Š/H/'D) 3/C (S/H/'L) Stem III. The Ethiopic imperfect corresponds morphologically and semantically to the East Semitic present-future (§38. which only represents the main Stems I-VIII and X.

but al-sàfàrà. l / A ) is not geminated or lengthened in the Semitic lan­ guages with the exception of South Ethiopic. preserve the archaic not-geminated form in the negative. where Amharic (e.412 MORPHOLOGY Perfect Stem IV. the geminating Gurage dialects.2). or West Semitic imperfect (3). Argobba (e. The second radical consonant of the stative or perfect of the basic stem ( I . therefore. just as the verbs used in form 1/A. jussive. The paradig­ matic verbs parās'u. "he did not camp". However. 41.53.g. "he camped". "he spoke"). respectively expressing the imperfective (2) and the preterite. 1/A (Št) 2/B (ŠDt) 3/C (ŠtL) 'astaqtala 'astaqattala 'astaqātala Imperfect yāstaqattdl yāstaqettdl yāstaqāttal Jussive/Subjunctive yāstaqtdl yāstaqattdl yāstaqātdl 41. sàddàba. viz. Soddo sáffārâm. "he offended"). qtl má f ' l are being used: 1 Assyro-Babylonian Š ŠD Št Š Št H Št H Ht ? 2 ušapras ušparras uštap(ar)ras yšqtl yštqtl 3 ušapris ušparris uštapris yšqtl yštqtl yaqtīl yištaqtel y(h)qtl *y(h)tqtl naqtel nettaqtal yuf'ilu yastaf'ilu šuprus šutaprus šqtl štqtl hiqtll hištaqtal hqtl htqtl 'aqtel 'ettaqtal 'af'ala 'istaf'ala Ugaritic Hebrew Old Aramaic Syriac Classical Arabic ' Tt 5 St .g. e. In fact.g. this type 2/B of Ethiopic is no longer. The other South Ethiopic idioms belong to a non-geminating language group. but use the innovated type with gemination in the positive forms. The recapitulative table of the causative stems is limited to the third person masculine singular of the suffix-conjugation (1) and of the two prefix-conjugations. Soddo and Muher-GogotMasqan. with very few exceptions. a derived stem but a basic stem. "he girded himself") have a secondary gemination by analogy with the verbs used in the D-stem or Ethiopic type 2/B (§41. gàllàdà. nāggàrà. the not-geminated second radical consonant of the perfect can­ not be explained as preservation of the archaic type of the basic stem.54.g. and Gafat (e.

1/A-2B 3/C atastā- IV.54): 1 Assyro-Babylonian B/Gt Dt Št B/Gt Št tD NtD B/Gt tG-tD Ht B/Gt ? 2 iptarras uptarras uštap{ar)ras yqttl ystqtl 3 iptaras uptarris uštapris yqttl yštqtl yitqattēl pitrus putarrus šutaprus *qttl Htqtl hitqattēl nitqattēl *qttl 'tqtl htqtl 'etqdtel Ugaritic Hebrew Old Aramaic yqttl ytqtl *yhtqtl netqatel Syriac . 1/A 2/B 3/C as. The recapitulative table of the stems with /-affix is presented like the causative stems (§41.STEMS AND VOICES 413 1 Damascene Coll. St StL tS h S(t) Š(t)L II. 1/A 2/B 3/C II. 1/A 2/B 3/C IV. St StL Magrebine Coll.3/C 41.55. 1/A 2/B 3/C 'ataf'al staf'al stfā 'al 2 3 byaf'el byastaf'el byastfā 'el — staf'el stfā 'il ts af'al hdf'ol Sdf'dl šdfē'dl 'aqtala 'aqattala 'aqātala 'astaqtala 'astaqattala 'astaqātala 'aqtala 'aqattala 'aqātala 'atqātala aqàttālà aqáttàla aqattala asqáttálá asqattàlá aqqattálá astāqattálà ydhdf'dl yašaf'dl yašfa 'lan yāqattdl yāqettdl yāqāttdl yāstaqattdl yāstaqettdl yāstaqāttdl yāqattdl yāqettdl yāqāttdl yātqāttdl yaqátl yaqàttdl yaqattdl yasqàttdl yasqattdl yaqqattdl yastáqattdl — yistaf'el yistfā 'il yitsdf'al ydhaf'dl yašaf'al yašfē'al yāqtdl yāqattdl yāqātal yāstaqtal yāstaqattal yāstaqātal yāqtal yāqattdl yāqātal yātqātal yaqtdl yaqàttdl yaqatal yasqāttal yasqatl yaqqatl yastàqatl Mehri Ge'ez Tigre Amharic II.

traces of which are found also in the other Afro-Asiatic language families.1/A-2/B 3/C at. but that the N-stem. 1/A 2/B 3/C III. should be considered as Proto-Semitic. Ge'ez yafta 'elan yafta 'dl Sdf'dl yašaf'ol safe'al yasfa 'Ian yatqattal taqat(a)la yatqettal taqattala taqātala yatqattal 'astaqtala yāstaqattal 'astaqattala yāstaqettal 'astaqātala yāstaqāttal taqattala taqātala 'atqattala 'atqātala latqattal latqātal latqattal latqātal yaqqdttál yaqqattāl yaqqattal yastàqottal Tigre Amharic tàqâttālà taqattala aqqattālà astaqattala 41. 1/A 2/B 3/C IV. tfa'il 'dl ntaf'al tfā'al staf'el tsaf'al dftd 'dl fata 'dl tfe' Maghrebine Coll. The reconstruction of Proto-Semitic verb-stems is based on the assumption that the stem with lengthened first vowel does not belong to the common Semitic system.3/C 'etqattal 'ettaqtal 'ifta 'ala tafa' 'ala tafā 'ala 'istafala fta'al tfa"al tfā'al 2 3 netqattal nettaqtal yafta 'ilu yatafa' 'alu yatafā 'alu yastafi 'lu bydfta 'el byatfa' 'al byatfā 'al byastaf'el byastfā 'el yitfa 'al.414 MORPHOLOGY 1 Dt Tt Classical Arabic B/Gt tD tL St B/Gt tD tL St StL tB/G tD Nt tL St tS Mehri B/Gt Lt Š(t) Š(t)L III.IV. The whole reconstruction is of course hypothetic. staf'al stfā 'al tfa'al. yitfa 'il yitfe' 'al yintaf'al yitfā 'al yistaf'el yitsaf'al yafta 'dl yaftē'el yasaf'al yasfē'al yatqatal yatqattal yatqātal yāstaqtal yāstaqattdl yāstaqātal latqattal latqātal latqattal latqātal yaqqàtàl yaqqatàl yaqqatl yastàqatl Damascene Coll.1/A-2B 3/C atastà.2/B 3/C III. The .56.

Besides. *Preterite B/G-stem B/Gt-stem D-stem Dt-stem Š-stem Št-stem N-stem yaqtal yaqtatal yuqattil yaqtattil yušaqtil yaštaqtil yanqatil *Imperfective yaqattdl yaqtattal yuqattal yaqtattal yušaqtal yastaq(at)tal yanqattal *Perfective yaqtatal yaqtattal yuqtattil yaqtatattal yuštaqtil yastataqtil yantaqtal *Stative qata/i/ul qittul quttul — šuqtul šataqtul naqtul F. in Modern Arabic and Ethiopic (§42. with distinct vocalizations. and it may exercise functions compa­ rable to those of finite verbal forms. furnish the basis for the ver­ bal inflection in Neo-Aramaic (§42. the infinitive being a verbal noun. as well as the infinitive. Infinitive and Participle 42.INFINITIVE AND PARTICIPLE 415 thematic vowel of the prefix-conjugations is supposed to be a. in Aramaic. the participle can be used both in an active and in a passive sense. in syllabically written Ugaritic.2.50). used also in construct state. they serve also to form tenses in Mishnaic and Modern Hebrew. "every soul experiences death". govern pronominal suffixes. as nouns. They are both subject to nominal inflection.g. a) Infinitive 42. and actor that characterize the verbal inflection. both the infinitive and the participle occur not only in the basic theme. in Assyro-Babylonian. and the participle a kind of verbal adjective. The infinitive of the basic stem was formed in older phases of Semitic on the pattern CaCāC. e.23-25). The active and passive participles. wa-ġā'anī Gibrilu wa-'anā nā'imun "and Gabriel came to me when I was sleeping". Arabic kullu nafsin da'iqatu l-mawti. aspect. mood. and in Arabic. This is the reason why they are rightly considered as nominal forms of the verb. but also in a varying number of derived verbal stems.18-22). The infinitive and the participle are two morphological cate­ gories of the verb lacking the indications of tense. and can be used with or without an added -m (mimation) or -n (nunation). may be introduced by prepositions. regardless of the real w-class of the Arabic verb qatala (§41. in Old Akka­ dian. Forms in other languages clearly demonstrate the same . attested in Palaeosyrian. However.1.

Syriac meqtal. nadqat.416 MORPHOLOGY origin. One of the patterns used in North Ethiopic to form the infinitive is CaCīC. They are encountered in Arabic ( Gafat and in all the Gurage dialects. while šapāru(m). and they became the usual form of the infinitive of the basic stem in Official and Standard Literary Aramaic (e.3). "to perish". Among the nominal types used to form the verbal noun of the basic stem occur patterns with the ma.19-26). mahmalun.g. In Ge'ez. "to k i l l " ) and in Tigre (qatil). màngàr. especially in Ennemor that has only forms with -ot.g. hisābun. "to k i l l " . nadiq (§42. but the infinitive maqtāl / maqtal (<*miqtāl) is used regularly in Tigre and Tigrinya. Argobba.g. nadqo. miqrā'.5. the infinitive of the type qatilot predominates.g.10). but the Early Aramaic infinitive qatāl continued to be used in Syriac as a substantive (e. In Classical Arabic. as Hebrew qātol < *qatāl.g. in the absolute state). that is used in the formation of the infinitive. Umadot. 42. "to carry"). although the influence of velar fricatives and of the liquid r certainly plays a role (§19. well attested in Ge'ez (qadl.4). The pattern with the mi. remains unchanged.6). "to write"). the pattern CiCāC or fi'āl(urì) (e. and Harari (e. 21. The infinitive . "to count".prefix is rarely encountered in Hebrew (e. "building" (nadqa.g. "to break". "to learn") and in some Gurage dialects. A vowel reduction a > e or a > a seems to occur also in Palaeosyrian infinitives followed by an objec­ tive complement (§21.10. but both can be replaced by a wide range of other nominal patterns.4. Galilean Aramaic mektob. halākun.g.3. Tigre has qatlat beside other forms. 42. ptāhā. E. "to heal") appears next to CaCāC (e. and it is still in use in ancient Harari (e. "to leave").g. "acting". and its con­ struct state qatol with shortened vowels./ mi. mandāq (§42. "to be rotten"). became wà. Babylonian šebēru(m). "to speak"). the prefix is either wo. 'dbādā. "to call"). "fight").or o-. The morpheme mà-. while a maqtal type appears in the South Ethiopian languages of Amharic. with the change ā > 6.g. qarābā. In Soddo. Vocalic changes occur in some Assyro-Babylonian verbs for rea­ sons which have not been explained in a satisfactory way.g. "to send". "to open").prefix (§29.g. mišbaq. šifā'un.g. "to build". and later in Middle and Late Aramaic (e. fasādun. e. corresponds to Old Akkadian and Assyrian šabāru{m). 42. and a given verb may have more than one infinitive form. and it appears in Neo-Aramaic as the regular form of the infinitive (e.

Particular features appear in each language and we must confine ourselves to the observation of certain common elements.morpheme could be prefixed to all the infinitives by analogy with the basic stem. the absolute infinitives may also be formed on the pattern of their basic stem with the vowel 6 < ā (e. in Western Aramaic (e.g.131.6. while Assyrian šaprusu(m) is related to the Assyrian S-stative šaprus. 42. while the unvocalized Ugaritic.g.INFINITIVE AND PARTICIPLE 417 with the ending -at in the construct state and -ā in the absolute state is encountered also in Hebrew (e. fVāliun) (Stem I I I = I). This formation is generalized in Late Aramaic. However. Classical Arabic follows. "to explain": RES 1792B. Phoenician. 'ahâbā.C. In Hebrew. etc. but these forms are rarely used in Hebrew. The infinitives of the derived stems often follow the vocalic structure either of the imperative or of the suffix conjugation. However. Syriac causative stem maktābū[t] instead of 'aktābū[t\. "to love"). this suffix -ūt / -at was later extended to the absolute infinitive of the derived stems (-h < -t). 42. 42.g. the infinitive of the derived stems coincides with the second person masculine singular of the imperative. In Aramaic.g. qattol. Galilean Aramaic D-stem mdkattābā instead of kattābā. e. E. mitalku(m). the situation is rather complex and implies a morpho­ logical distinction in Early Aramaic between absolute infinitives — without any recognizable suffix — and construct infinitives ending in -t. while the m. "cause to write") as in Eastern Aramaic (e. D-stem mšlmwth. and Epigraphic South Arabian texts limit the weight of the available information. "its repaying": TAD I I I .9. thus fi"āl(un) (Stem II).g.g. as a rule. "cause to write"). while Assyrian has a particu­ lar vocalization of the B/Gt-infinitives. 42. instead of Babylonian mitluku(m). Old Akkadian follows the Babylonian pattern. the Babylonian infinitive šuprusu(m) of the S-stem corresponds to the S-stative šuprus.7. as early as the 6th/5th century B. Imhwh.3). (e. followed by the nominal morpheme -u(m). niqtdl). However.g. there is as yet insuf­ ficient evidence for Palaeosyrian and Amorite. the main pattern fi'āl{un) of Stem I (§42.1. CI.8).8. "to consider". In Old Akkadian and in Assyro-Babylonian the infinitive coin­ cides with the third person masculine singular of the stative. 42. .10.

the infinitives of the derived stems are formed on the same pattern as the imperative with the addition of the ending -o(i). are qatila. matqallā'. The bases of the Tigrinya. I cried". e.3/C). all of them followed by pronominal suffixes of the noun. "to complete". Thus fassdmo(t). "appearing" (but taqalh' Amharic. .> wà. and q at lata. hârīmī qolī wā'eqrā'. "to address". hābarot. §29. but tafa"ul(un) (Stem V ) and tafā'ul{uri) (Stem VI).19). 'allabot. which morphologically originates from infinitives (CaCīC and perhaps CaCiCot). etc. in the reflexive-passive stem (III. "count­ ing" ('allaba. Amharic. e.g. "to make". Ge'ez nabiro (gerund) 'Iyasus nagaromu (main verb). in the D-stem (L2/B) West Gurage.11.. muhātabat{un). 'infi'āl{uri) (Stem V I I ) . except in stems which have the prefix t-\ e. e. etc.3/C = L). Tigrinya. Stem I. e. in the stem with lengthened first vowel (I. "gerundive".418 MORPHOLOGY 'ifāliun) (Stem I V ) .g. A form taf'īl{uri) with tá-prefix is usually employed also for Stem I I instead of fì"āl(un). 42. Amharic māsobun káfto (gerund) dabbowan wàssàdà (main verb). p'l 'nk . Tigre uses the ma-form with stems having the prefix /-. "to bless". Irbty . "joining" (hābara. and West Gurage have a form called "(pseudo-)gerund". "he joined". This formation is attested also in Tigre. while the femi­ nine of the passive participle is generally used as the infinitive of Stem I I I . "to appear".g.. e. Some ancient and modern collo­ quials have fì'āl for Stem I I I — without the vocalic shortening seen in Classical Arabic — and tifi"āl for Stem V. "to gallop". "having sat down. Jesus said to them". "having uncovered the basket. The Ethiopian languages of Ge'ez. or "coverb" which mainly signifies an action related to the action expressed by the verb of the following main clause. qâtlā. Soddo D-stem (I.2/B) wasdkkat. it occurs in ancient Harari and in some of the Gurage dialects. 'ifti'āl(un) (Stem VIII).in Argobba. Stem III. stem with lengthened first vowel (I.2/B = D).12. Argobba. Ge'ez..g. "lifting up my voice. A variant or earlier form of the "gerund" syntagm is attested in Phoenician with the absolute infinitive followed by the independent personal pronoun. "he counted".3/C) wogalb or ogalb. "to dress".> o (cf. This formation is paralleled by the Hebrew construction using the infinitive with a pronominal suffix and continued by a finite verb. talabso(t). The other North and South Ethiopian languages use infinitives with the prefix ma-Jmà. Steml.g.2/B = tD). bārako(i). In Ge'ez. Besides.g. e. 1/A). 42. qātlat. 'istif'āl(urì) (Stem X ) . he took the bread". with a vocalic qualitative change.

The active participle of the basic stem goes back to a ProtoSemitic pattern CāCiC which appears as such in Palaeosyrian. "heir". "given"). but it is not productive and subsists only in some nouns (e. since the function of the passive participle is normally assumed in East Semitic by the verbal adjective of the parsu(m) type. for my Lady (§53.g. qatāli / qātlāy / qatāl.g. NeoPunic hlws. "he is good"). in Old Akkadian.g.5). Ge'ez wards.(e. Amharic. Besides. and Hebrew qātūl. "written". The vowel i generally causes palatalization of a final radical dental. presuppose an origi­ nal CaCūC form.13. "just". viz. in Assyro-Babylonian. ma-hi-is /māhis/. in Amor­ ite names. and in Harari. of the "impersonal mode" (participle ). while the Hebrew and Phoenician form qdtēl results from the changes ā > 6 (§21. " I having made (this) . of the infinitive. The forms qātlāy and qatāl occur in Tigre with a meaning similar to that of qatāli. "former").14. and Ugaritic evidence is as yet either insufficient or unclear. goes back to the CaCīC pattern. the latter characterizing also the Late Aramaic participle kātēb / kāteb. she heard my voice" It is noteworthy that Isidorus Hispalensis (Berne Latin Codex 123. da-mi-iq Idamiql. and is usually absorbed in the palatal. sāddq. The other South Ethiopian languages have only traces of this form. The context and the usage have to be taken into account in each particular case. e. and of the "gerund" mentioned immediately after the infinitive. cuneiform spelling as such does often not allow distinguishing the active participle (e. the passive participle in -I.20) and i > ē (§21.g. in Arabic. sibilant. "saved". "striking"). e. though rarely. Old Canaanite ha-mu-du (EA 138. Tigre qābdl. "killer. attested as such by cuneiform transliterations of Aramaic .g. 42. "writing". nati-in /natīnl. while Aramaic kdfib.1). in syllabically spelt Ugaritic proper names. The passive participle of the basic stem goes back to the nomi­ nal patterns CaClC and CaCūC. f° 7a) tells of twelve parts of speech in Phoenician.. in the south.12-13. while Old Akkadian and Assyro-Babylonian exhibit both forms. Amharic kàfac < *kàfati. Amorite. 7 b) Participle 42. the classical eight with the addition of the article.INFINITIVE AND PARTICIPLE 419 wšm' ql. The Ethiopic pattern CāCdC reflects the gen­ eral change i > d.. murderer".126). A new participial form qatāli I qatali appears in North Ethiopic. "killed". or liquid. The Palaeosyrian. "desired". and the stative (e. in Aramaic. "who opens". and Argobba.g.

In the 18th century. with a final -i like the active participle and without palatalization (§42. as suggested by the unique example d-squli. in Old Akkadian. "killed"). mašpīl "humiliating"). "deceiving". In South Ethiopic. and myskr.on the theme maf'ūl (e. Thus.g. bdsdl.g. the passive participle "broken" from sàbàra I sâbbàrâ.g. e. "cooked").. as suggested by Late Punic mysql. the adjectival pattern fa 7/ can be used with a passive meaning (e. and also in South Arabian.g. probably by analogy with the participial forms of the derived stems. In Arabic. "making known". as is proved in Biblical Aramaic. "darkened with kohl". §21. and in Arabic. the passive participle seems to have been still operational in Gafat. there are several adjectives with passive meaning of the type qdtul.420 MORPHOLOGY names (e. but the proper passive participle is formed with the prefix ma. rasūl. The participles of the derived stems go back to Proto-Semitic patterns with the prefix mu. Za-bi-i-ni. North Ethiopic can form a passive participle qdtul from every transitive verb. as suggested by Nabataean passive participles like mdkwr. like mu-: *muhaqtil > *mdhaqtil > . which does not appear to represent a Proto-Semitic possibility.g. is sūbur in Harari and sdbur in Soddo. "hung up. the following evolution has to be assumed in accordance with the principles governing the reduction of short vowels in open unstressed syllables (§21. "bought". kadūb. kahil.8. A l l these forms probably derive from an original qatūl type. "he broke".15. and Tigre has occasionally a feminine form qdtdl as well (e. where both participial / 7 and mf'l forms of the basic stem occur in a passive sense. except in Harari and in Soddo (North Gurage) where. suspended". in Amorite and Ugaritic proper names spelt syllabically. "redeemed"). 42.13). this could explain the Amorite proper names of the mēqtil type.13).which appears as such in Palaeosyrian. "envoy" = "sent"). 41. Considering the usual change uy > iy > ī / ē. "honouring". The original form of a dialectal Phoenician causative participle can be reconstructed tentatively as *muyaqtil (cf. and of the causative participle in Hebrew (maqtīl) and in Aramaic (e. in Old Aramaic names transliterated in cuneiform script. As for the maprefix of the Ethiopic participle of the derived stems. but a passive partici­ ple of this type cannot be formed automatically from the verb. maqtūl.g. "remembered" (instead of Aramaic dkyr).1). "dyed black"). while fa'ūl can have either an active or a passive value (e.g. in Assyro-Babylonian. This seems to have been already the case in North Arabian. it is not relevant for Proto-Semitic since the vowel a in the prefix originally belonged to the syncopated h > '.

tasālaqi. 'assassāli. Soddo tdkkul (Stem I. "beautiful". in fact.16. e.has to be assumed for the other Hebrew and Aramaic participial forms. Tigre gdrrum (Stem I. lexical items.2/B = D). e. "fisherman". malāsyāy (Stem I.18. e. e. "unbeliever" (Stem I. 1/A). East Semitic which uses instead verbal adjectives of the types purrus (D-stem) and šuprus (S-stem) in Old Akkadian and Babylonian.g. Assyro-Babylonian active musaprisu (S-stem). "thrown away" (from the root wf).17. "scientist".a in the pas­ sive. the vowel / of the active participle is dropped in the B/Gt-stem and in the N-stem because of the succession of short syllables. "envoy" (Stem III. The resulting ma. the participles of the derived stems are characterized by the vowels a . "killed". 42. In Assyro-Babylonian. "reader" (causative Stem I I . "boiled in water". "expeller" (Stem II. e. "ridiculous" (reflexive-passive Stem III. šūsūm (S-stem). e. the active form qatāli of the basic stem gave rise to analogical formations in the derived stems.2/B = tD). nāfaqi. "barber". Hebrew niqtāl.g. tašayami.i in the active and a .g.3/C = L). A particular form of participle occurs in Phoenician and in Hebrew in the N-stem where the sole ^-prefix is used. A similar situation is attested in Ethiopic where the qatul type of the basic stem gave rise to analogous formations in the derived stems. The Semitic verbal inflection has undergone considerable changes in Neo-Aramaic.JNFINITIVE AND PARTJCIPLE 421 maqtil. e. "ploughman" (Stem I.participles became. while the types parrus and šaprus are employed in Assyrian.2/B = D). "decided" (reflexive-passive Stem III. c) Neo-Aramaic Verbal System 42.2/B = D). Apart from the raw-prefix.2/B = ŠD). as well as a subsequent contraction with the prefixes of the various stems. There are no passive forms in mu. "comforter". In Ethiopic. "broken into pieces". šubburum (D-stem). Phoenician nšt'm. Tigre ma'amrāy (Stem I. used often as substan­ tives. 1/A). nāzazi.3/C = tL). 'ašgāri. Arabic passive mufa"al(un) (Stem I I = D).2/B = D). but the ma.g.g. A similar change mu.> md. 'anbābi. Ara­ maic *muhitqdtēl > *mdhitqetēl > mitqdtēl > mētqdtēl. "dreaded" (plural). with unknown vocalization.g.g. Ge'ez rawwasi. tafannāwi. harrasi. Although Western Neo-Aramaic continues to use prefixed imperfect forms as subjunctive and suffixed perfect forms .was generalized by analogy in Ethiopic.3/C = L). "run­ ner".

" ( i t is to be) wished that" (cf.19) are affixed to these basic forms in order to build the various tenses and moods which replace the two aspects of ancient Aramaic — perfect and imperfect. aspects. since it is peculiar to one Semitic language. "to be". td'nin. especially by Kurdish which is an Iranian language and to which authors attribute the changes in the Neo-Aramaic verbal system.. the preverb qam < * qā(d)m. Aside from distinctions of person. and indicative tenses. In the indicative. Leaving aside this col­ loquial development. t'īnin.g.24). on the passive participle qtll\ Group I I I . qam-: §42. ki-pātih. The person or object acted upon is indicated by the preposition /. Pronominal enclitics and special preverbs (ki-. bit-. used with nouns. "he came down". it also formed new tenses based on the old active and passive participles in order to indicate the present and the pluper­ fect. number. Tūrdyo bases the whole system — with the exception of the imperative — on old participles. Another inno­ vated conjugation consists of forms of the verb (h)wayā. while Eastern Neo-Aramaic uses both verbal nouns: the participles and the infinitive. "being" (cf. e. Eastern Neo-Aramaic was greatly influenced by the neighbouring non-Semitic languages. The verbal forms. §38. " I have opened".e. which are really syntagms. e. Group l i s based on the active participle qātil which refers to the actor and is conjugated by adding enclitic pronouns. The future requires the preverb bit < *b'ē + d. We limit ourselves to some typical examples. e. on the infinitive qtālā. and gender. is prefixed to the participle to form the continuous pre­ sent. placed before the participle. e.22). i. Group I I .422 MORPHOLOGY to express the preterite.g. "they carry" (masc). the conditional. "he is opening". §38. we shall point out some fundamental characteris­ tics of the Neo-Aramaic paradigmatic system. the preverb ki < *kīn. "she will open". etymologically " ( i t is to be) wished that she (well be) opening".g. 42. "before". wewā nhitā. bit-pāthā. is used to form the preterite. fthey had carried" (masc). The whole system cannot be presented pronominal suffixes. moods. transitivity and intransitivity. . Group I comprises the subjunctive. it presents thirty-three different formal categories indicating tenses.19. active and passive voices.g. e. e. qam-pāthin. fall into three groups: Group I is based on the active participle qātil.g.

INFINITIVE AND PARTICIPLE 423 General Present Sing. "he opened". " I have seen". in Mandaic. It is based on the passive participle qui which refers to the person or object acted upon and is conjugated according to gender and number by adding enclitic pronouns. 42. "he will open". e. 3 2 1 pātih pātih pātih pātih pātih pātih pātih pātih pātih + ā > + it > + at> + in > + ān > + ī > pātha pāthit pāthat pāthin pāthan pāthī pāthìtuQi) pāthahin) "he opens" "she opens" "you open" "you open" " I open" " I open" "they open" "you open" "we open" + ītu(ri) > + ah(n) > Other tenses are formed from the general present by prefixing one of the above-mentioned particles or/and adding the frozen form (h)wā. e. etc.e.21. 42. etc. "he is opening"."\i (fern.4). 1 m.20. e. i. i. "he has opened i t " . "he was".e. preterite ptīh-lē. "she has opened them".) is opened by him". . "he was opening".g. f.'while the actor is indicated by the preposition -/. was