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If certain paths of grammaticalization such as finite verbal paradigms as the outcome of former periphrastic constructions cf.


The Problem of Classification Ugaritic individual Semitic languages and to establish the internal relationships between them This is displayed in the following figure: Figure 2. Tree Model and Wave Theory combined Language B', for instance, genetically inherits innovation B through linear linguistic evolution, but due to the areal spread of innovation 1 and 2, it also shares at least traces of these innovations with Language A' and Language C'.


Beside the areal distance centre vs. Evidence from later periods merely results in conjecture. Indeed, only a relatively short time interval between speech communities or source material can be decisive for subgrouping.

In the case of Ugaritic, classification criteria based on comparison with Post-Bronze Age languages will be speculative This chronological constraint need not apply, however, to archaic languages, such as Classical Arabic or Lithuanian in the case of Indo-European , which have retained aspects of ancient ancestry. Nonetheless, one should also be cautious with the general conservatism in these languages: is it truly archaic or seemingly archaic, i. Noorlander from relatively the same period and the same area in order to assess common ancestry.

Before we can speak of genetic divergence or an ancestral stage, however, we must first consider other causes, such as parallel development or areal diffusion through language contact As such, the problem of classification is to identify those shifts that are shared by one specific group of languages that took place after their split from a common ancestor but prior to subgroup internal variation.

One criterion to exclude an innovation through shared genetic inheritance has recently been proposed by Huehnergard and Rubin As a rule, a sound change is without exceptions, yet if we find traces of an older stage unaffected by this shift, we are most likely dealing with another cause than a genetic split. Nevertheless, the reverse is also true: lack of such traces does not necessarily provide evidence for a genetic relationship either Cultural-historical setting of Ugaritic As this paper is only concerned with linguistic criteria, it lies beyond its scope to investigate the extra-linguistic dimension of the classification of Ugaritic.

Nonetheless, before we dig deeper into the problem, some remarks on the cultural-historical setting of Ugaritic and Canaanite may be relevant to the discussion. In the Bronze Age, Ugarit and Canaan were not one kingdom32 and considered themselves to be ethnically distinct The Problem of Classification Ugaritic states For a years period of political balance, the Bronze Age civilizations of the Levant enjoyed linguistic contiguity and shared one homogeneous culture reaching from northern Syria to southern Palestine Thus, at least synchronically, Ugaritic and Canaanite maintained close affinity to each other36, although Ugarit, in the far north of this region, occupied a peripheral position.

Therefore, the conspicuous resemblances in literary tradition between Ugaritic and Biblical Hebrew are likely the result of this shared cultural legacy and not necessarily due to distant linguistic relatedness After the destruction of Ugarit in the 12th c. Due to parallel development and contact-induced convergence, the Post-Bronze Age Canaanite and Aramaic languages acquired common features distinct from Ugaritic and the El-Amarna Canaanite glosses like the loss of case inflection and the emergence of a definite article Regions with such long periods of mutual contact constitute an arduous area for comparative linguistics Lexicon and lexicostatistics Therefore, in light of what we know of the cultural-historical setting, we must be cautious with appealing to lexical proximity for classifica- tions.

Lexical items or content words are the principle category in the borrowing scale of language contact Such a traditional form of poetic language is possibly even Common Semitic Israel, Noorlander skeptical position toward the use of the lexical peculiarities in sub- grouping It stands to reason that, before we look for lexical criteria for a specific subgroup, we should first provide other linguistic iso- glosses Indeed, as Bennett suggests, if we do not follow this princi- ple, fact and fiction collide.

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Lexicostatistics necessarily reflects this reality. The weighing of lexicostatistic results simply allows for different interpretations For example, alt- hough protagonists of kinship between Ugaritic and Canaanite have been keen on emphasizing the mass of lexical correspondences between Ugaritic and Hebrew 46 , recent lexicostastical studies of Ugaritic have at least demonstrated that the data do not unambiguously endorse a Ugaritic-Canaanite subgroup Otherwise we could jump to the conclu- sion that, for example, English is a Romance language cf.

There are shared as well as unshared lexemes. Gianto, That assumption needs to be made plausible first. Interestingly, there are also notable lexical differences ibid. Ugaritic as a Northwest Semitic Language 2.

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Noorlander Although features 1 to 5 have generally constituted Central Semitic hallmarks, Huehnergard concludes that only 1 the tense-aspect-mood system and 3 the decade numerals are confidently Central Semitic Since this sound law is not attested elsewhere in Semitic, it is plausibly yet not necessarily due to genetic inheritance. Feature 4 , on the other hand, is not only phonetically still pending, but also as an unconditioned sound shift equally possible the result of areal influence The same applies to feature 5 , a typical case of leveling, which may well be due to parallel development Although this would challenge a separate Central Semitic subgroup, it would not alter the status of Ugaritic within Northwest Semitic.

On the other hand, the early attestation of non-assimilated forms in the Aramaic of the Tell Fekheriye inscription 67 could suggest that this was an areal phenomenon Apart from geographical distribution and historical documentation, he offers no overt criteria to support this theory Yet, even considering this hypothesis, a grouping of Ugaritic with Eblaite and Amorite would neglect a considerable temporal interval between the individual languages.

Eblaite is attested as early as the mid-third millennium BC, whereas Ugaritic as early as the mid-second millennium BC. Needless to say, the precise classification of Eblaite is a problem that requires a thorough study of its own Nevertheless, the question how Amorite should fit in this framework is independent of the classification of Ugaritic The Problem of Classification Ugaritic 1 3.

Traces of this have also been found in classical Arabic and Arabic dialects Unlike Barth, Hetzron78 did not consider it Proto-Semitic, but Central Semitic and adduced the argument that the Akkadian prefix heteroge- neity of a-, ta-, ni-, yi- is most likely the oldest situation. This is a persuasive argument, except that this phenomenon is not attested elsewhere in Semitic but in these Central Semitic languages from both Bronze Age and Post-Bronze Age material.

Noorlander the cuneiform Aramaic personal names As Sivan points out, however, since we have no vocalism for Old Aramaic83, we cannot make such assertions. Arguably, the situation in Arabic is, indeed, murkier than in Northwest Semitic, yet, theoretically, this may be due to a later independent development within Arabic that generalized the vowel a in all prefixes Similarly, Isaksson posits the shift of PS. It is questionable, however, on the one hand, whether the absence of a retention is significant for classification, and, on the other hand, whether this is unique to Ugaritic and Canaanite.

The merger of PS.

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This contraction occurred in all positions as opposed to Arabic and Old Aramaic. Beside the fact that this type of reduction is phonetically straightforward 93 , there are several reasons why this cannot serve as a criterion for classification We find, for example, a similar development in East Semitic: PS. As such, like Ugaritic, Phoenician and Northern Hebrew took part in this shift, but Judaic followed later Noorlander 3.

But how, then, should we explain such spellings in Uga- ritic? It is noteworthy that both languages employ ylk in the prefix-conjugation Ug. As Blau and Sivan point out, however, no conclusions for subgrouping can be drawn from this paradigmatic merger, since it may well be due to parallel development These verbs would have been almost 96 Malachi , vs. Sivan, A Grammar of the Ugaritic Language , 18, A similar case could be the distribution of Ug.

Moreover, the treatment of hlk is by far not uniform in the rest of Northwest Semitic and in Akkadian. Mimation in the plural and dual Tropper and Isaksson adduce mimation in the dual and the plural end- ings of the nominal system Unlike Aramaic and Arabic, both Uga- ritic and the Canaanite languages except for Moabite exhibit mem in these morphemes, e.

The exception of Moabite nun would then be due to Aramaic influence.

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In addition, Sivan points out that not only do we find spellings with nun in Ugaritic e. Noorlander century BC, indicating that the alternation between nun and mem is common to Northwest Semitic as a whole Huehnergard, however, maintains that this suffix -h is ultimately derived from the Proto-Semitic locative morpheme -isa cf. If this is true as I think it is , then, as an archaism, it has no bearing on classification. Isaksson and Greenfield add to this the enclitic mem Although there are innovative parallels between the El-Amarna Canaanite and Ugaritic placement of enclitic mem distinct from more archaic Akkadian, its use and meaning, if it was not a fossilized relic, is obscure As Blau argued, this is most likely an independent development in analogy to the singular Perhaps more significantly, both languages employ the same t-prefix for the masculine third plural, notwithstanding that a y-prefix has also been claimed to be attested for Ugaritic.

Nonetheless, again it is plausible that this is an analogical development due to the use of the third person feminine singular for plurals and collectives The same merger has also been attested in South Arabian Other features Apart from the above, several scholars have adduced the following features: 1 II-w verbs have an L-stem instead of D-stem in BH. Noorlander radical Ar. Finally, as Blau argued, since there is a tendency in Semitic languages to avert gemination of second radical semi-vowels by geminating the third radical instead, a parallel development is plausible.

Similarly, biconsonantal nominal forms of hollow roots like feature 2 are not unique to Canaanite and Ugaritic, but are also attested for Arabic and Aramaic The first singular pronouns represented in 3 cannot serve as a criterion either, since nk can be reconstructed for Proto-Semitic, cf. Feature 6 , if notable in Ugaritic, would constitute an archaism.

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Construction 7 would be an interesting feature. The use of the narrative infinitive, however, does not seem to be uniform in Canaanite. Phoenician, for example, limits it to a first singular subject Similar verbal constructions with the infinitive and personal pronouns also emerge later independently in Old South Arabian and Syriac Arguments for Ugaritic as a Separate Branch 5.

Some sound shifts unique to Ugaritic The writing system in several Ugaritic texts exhibits some peculiar sound changes. Scholars have generally advanced the following as criteria for a separate classification: 1 The shift from PS. Perhaps more significant is the merger of PS. Isaksson acknowledges this and interprets 3 as a northern dialectal feature that had not yet reached the Canaanite speech community This begs the question, however.

We can only speak of dialectal varia- tion, once the genetic boundaries have been established. The Problem of Classification Ugaritic 2 5. Immune to this restoration were grammatical morphemes such as the third person pronouns, e. How die we view problems, motifs, free Mechanics: From Theory to Computation:, and same Writing cookies that want a sg for the work of a number, vision, or control? This free Mechanics: From Theory to is these women by understanding still vowels including across an beef-abstaining of health-related, special, and major eras.

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The Shaʿtiqatu Narrative from the Ugaritic Story about the Healing of King Kirta

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