The Semitic Languages: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Semitic Languages

1st Edition


592 pages

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New in Paperback: 9780415412667
pub: 2006-11-14
Hardback: 9780415057677
pub: 1997-10-23
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315002682
pub: 2013-10-08
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The Semitic Languages presents a unique, comprehensive survey of individual languages or language clusters from their origins in antiquity to their present-day forms.

The Semitic family occupies a position of great historical and linguistic significance: the spoken and written languages of the Phoenicians, Hebrews and Arabs spread throughout Asia and northern and central Africa; the Old Semitic civilizations in turn contributed significantly to European culture; and modern Hebrew, modern literary Arabic, Amharic, and Tigrinya have become their nations' official languages.

The book is divided into three parts and each chapter presents a self-contained article, written by a recognized expert in the field.

* I. General Issues: providing an introduction to the grammatical traditions, subgrouping and writing systems of this language family.

* II. Old Semitic Languages

* III. Modern Semitic Languages

Parts II and III contain structured chapters, which enable the reader to access and compare information easily. These individual descriptions of each language or cluster include phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis and dialects.

Suggestions are made for the most useful sources of further reading and the work is comprehensively indexed.


…this ambitious book is a welcome addition to the library of Semitic studies. It is replete with interesting material and will be of value to comparitive Semiticists and theoretical linguists for many years to come. - Journal of Linguistics

About the Originator

Robert Hetzron is formerly of the Department of Germanic, Oriental and Slavic Languages, University of California at Santa Barbara.

About the Series

Routledge Language Family Series

Each volume in this series contains an in-depth account of the members of some of the world's most important language families. Written by experts in each language, these accessible accounts provide detailed linguistic analysis and description. The contents are carefully structured to cover the natural system of classification: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, semantics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.

Every volume contains extensive bibliographies for each language, a detailed index and tables, and maps and examples from the languages to demonstrate the linguistic features being described. The consistent format allows comparative study, not only between the languages in each volume, but also across all the volumes in the series.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General