Authored by: Rebecca Hasselbach-Andee

The Semitic Languages

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9780415731959
eBook ISBN: 9780429025563
Adobe ISBN:


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Semitic contains two major branches, East and West Semitic. Akkadian and Eblaite – whose exact relationship to Akkadian is still a matter of debate – are the sole members of the East Semitic branch, while all other Semitic languages are members of West Semitic. Linguistic features that distinguish Akkadian from West Semitic languages include the use of a prefix conjugation with infixed /t/ for expressing the perfect (iptaras), the form of marking masculine attributive adjectives in the plural – ūtum (as in šarr-ū dann-ūtum king-mpl.nom strong-mpl.nom ‘strong kings’), and the existence of verbal stems with infixed /tan/ that express iterative and habitual notions, as in aštanappar ‘I am writing continuously/I keep writing’. 1

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