American Association of Teachers of Arabic

A brief Introduction to the Semitic Languages

25 Apr 2011 3:00 PM | Robert Ranieri (Administrator)

A brief Introduction to the Semitic Languages

Aaron D. Rubin
With a written history of nearly five thousand years, the Semitic languages comprise one of the world's earliest attested and longest attested families. Well known members of the family include Arabic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Amharic, and Akkadian. This volume provides an overview of this important language family, including both ancient and modern languages. After a brief introduction to the history of the family and its internal classification, subsequent chapters cover topics in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. Each chapter describes features that are characteristic of the Semitic language family as a whole, as well as some of the more
extraordinary developments that take place in the individual languages. This provides both a typological overview and a description of more unique features. The chapters contain abundant examples from numerous languages. All the examples include morpheme by morpheme glosses, as well as translations, which help make these examples clear and accessible even to those not familiar with a given language. Concluding the book is a detailed guide to further reading, which directs the reader to the most important reference tools and secondary literature, and an up-to-date bibliography.

This brief introduction contains a rich variety of data, and covers topics not normally found in short sketches such as this. The clarity of presentation makes it useful not only to those in the field of Semitic linguistics, but also to the general linguist or language enthusiast who wishes to learn something about this important language family. 

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reposted from Arabic-L

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