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Modern South Arabian languages
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The Modern South Arabian,[1][2] or Eastern South Semitic languages, are a group of endangered languages spoken by small populations inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen and Oman, and Socotra Island. Together with the modern Ethiopian Semitic languages, the Western branch, they form the South Semitic sub-branch of the Afroasiatic language family's Semitic branch.
Modern South Arabian
Geographic
distribution
Yemen, Oman, Kuwait
Linguistic classificationAfro-Asiatic
Modern South Arabian
Subdivisions
Glottologmode1252
Classification
In his glottochronology​-based classification, Alexander Militarev presents the Modern South Arabian languages as a South Semitic branch opposed to a North Semitic branch that includes all the other Semitic languages.[3][4] They are no longer considered to be descendants of the Old South Arabian language, as was once thought, but instead "nephews".
Languages
Grammar
Modern South Arabian languages are known for their apparent archaic Semitic features, especially in their system of phonology. For example, they preserve the lateral fricatives of Proto-Semitic.
Additionally, Militarev identified a Cushiticsubstratum in Modern South Arabian, which he proposes is evidence that Cushitic speakers originally inhabited the Arabian Peninsula alongside Semitic speakers (Militarev 1984, 18-19; cf. also Belova 2003). According to Václav Blažek, this suggests that Semitic peoples assimilated their original Cushitic neighbours to the south who did not later emigrate to the Horn of Africa. He argues that the Levant would thus have been the Proto-Afro-Asiatic Urheimat, from where the various branches of the Afro-Asiatic family subsequently dispersed. To further support this, Blažek cites analysis of rock art in Central Arabia by Anati (1968, 180-84), which notes a connection between the shield-carrying "oval-headed" people depicted on the cave paintings and the Arabian Cushites from the Old Testament, who were similarly described as carrying specific shields.[5]
Reconstruction
Proto-Modern South Arabian reconstructions by Roger Blench (2019):[6]
Glosssg.pl.
one*tʕaad, *tʕiit
two*ṯrooh, *ṯereṯ
three*ʃahṯayt
four*ʔorbac, *raboot
five*xəmmoh
sixm. *ʃɛɛt, f. *ʃətəət
sevenm. *ʃoobeet, f. *ʃəbət
eightm. θəmoonit, f. θəmoonit
ninem. *saʕeet, f. *saaʕet
tenm. *ʕɔ́ɬər, f. *ʕəɬiireet
head*ḥəəreeh
eye*ʔaayn*ʔaayəəntən
ear*ʔeyðeen*ʔiðānten
nose*nəxreer*nəxroor
mouth*xah*xwuutən
hair*ɬəfeet*ɬéef
hand/arm*ḥayd*ḥaadootən
leg*faaʕm*fʕamtən
foot*géedəl*(ha-)gdool
blood*ðoor*ðiiriín
breast*θɔɔdɛʔ*θədií
belly*hóofəl*hefool
sea*rɛ́mrəm*roorəm
path, road*ḥóorəm*ḥiiraám
mountain*kərmām*kərəəmoom
rock, stone*ṣar(fét)*ṣeref
rock, stone*ṣəwər(fet)*ṣəfáyr
rock, stone*ʔoobən
rock, stone*fúdún
fish*ṣódəh*ṣyood
hyena*θəbiiriin
turtle*ḥameseh*ḥoms(tə)
louse*kenemoot*kenoom
man*ɣayg*ɣəyuug
woman*teeθ
male child*ɣeg
child*mber
water*ḥəmooh
fire*ɬəweeṭ*ɬewṭeen
milk*ɬxoof*ɬxefən
salt*məɮḥɔ́t
night*ʔaṣeer*leyli
day*ḥəyoometPWMSA *yiim
netPWMSA *liix*leyuux
wind*mədenut*medáyten
I, we*hoh*nəhan
you, m.*heet*ʔəteem
you, f.*hiit*ʔeteen
he, they m.*heh*həəm
she, they f.*seeh*seen
References
  1. ^ Simeone-Senelle, Marie-Claude (1997). The Modern South Arabian Languages. In Hetzron, R. (ed.). 1997. The Semitic Languages. London: Routledge, p. 378-423.
  2. ^ Rendsburg, Gary A. Modern South Arabian as a source for Ugaritic etymologies.
  3. ^​http://www.krugosvet.ru/articles/77/1007711/1007711a1.htm
  4. ^ Militarev, Alexander, "Once more about glottochronology and the comparative method: the Omotic-Afrasian case". Moscow, Russian State University for the Humanities.
  5. ^ Blažek, Václav. "Afroasiatic Migrations: Linguistic Evidence" (PDF). Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  6. ^ Blench, Roger (2019). Reconstructing Modern South Arabian. Paper presented at the Workshop on Modern South Arabian Languages, Erlangen, Germany, 19 December 2019.
Bibliography
External links
The Modern South Arabian Languages, by M.C.Simeone-Senelle
Last edited on 31 January 2021, at 20:32
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