[b-hebrew] Language, Culture or Both? was Nostratic

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Thu Apr 19 06:50:02 EDT 2007

On 19/04/2007 09:40, Yitzhak Sapir wrote:

> ... A curious statement by Huehnergard:
> "a language spoken by fewer than twenty individuals along the Woito
> River in southwestern Ethiopia, called by themselves Ongota and by their
> neighbors Birale or Birelle, has recently been described and claimed to
> be the remnant of another distinct branch of Afroasiatic." ...

For more on Birale or Ongota, see 
http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=bxe. The population in 
2000 was reported as 19. The language is listed at 
http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=89997 as an unclassified 
branch of Afro-Asiatic, alongside Berber, Chadic, Cushitic, Egyptian, 
Omotic and Semitic.

> ...
>> inally, on a historical basis is that the Medeo-Persian Empire was the
>> first non-Semitic empire.
> There was a Persian empire, not a Medeo-Persian Empire.  Also, there
> was a Mitanni Empire, an Indo-Iranian empire centered in northern
> Mesopotamia that flourished from about 1500 BCE to 1360 BCE. ...

And what about the "Egyptian Empire" of the New Kingdom period? 
Afro-Asiatic but not Semitic. And for that matter the Hittite Empire. Of 
course it all depends how you define "empire".

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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