[b-hebrew] Proto-Semitic, was WAYYIQTOL

Dave Washburn dwashbur at nyx.net
Sat Mar 13 20:29:52 EST 2004

On Saturday 13 March 2004 12:22, Karl Randolph wrote:
> Peter:
> Both you and Uri mentioned “proto-Semitic”.
> Are there any extent documents written in
> that language, even ones as short as the
> Mesha stone? Or are we talking about a
> reconstructed language, one based on
> theory? What if the theory is wrong? What
> if Biblical Hebrew, with 22 consonantal
> phonemes, is the “proto-Semitic” (there are
> some who make that claim)?

Proto-Semitic is a hypothetical ancestor to most, if not all, of the semitic 
family of languages.  It has been extrapolated based on comparison of 
consonant changes among Hebrew, Aramaic, Ugaritic, Akkadian and several 
others.  There's a good summary of it in the introductory material of 
Gordon's Ugaritic Textbook.  Just as Latin is the ancestor of the Romance 
languages, proto-semitic is the suggested ancestor of the semitic languages.

Dave Washburn
Learning about Christianity from a non-Christian
is like getting a kiss over the telephone.

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