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Semitic languages
(679 words)

[German version]

In 1781, A.L. Schloezer introduced this term for the languages which were associated with the sons of Sem/Shem (Gn 10:21-31; Semites) and which had a common origin with the so-called Hamitic languages of Africa. The term Hamito-Semitic is used interchangeably with Afro-Asiatic. Within the Hamito-Semitic languages, Akkadian, or rather Eblaite (mid-3rd millennium BC), is attested earliest in writing; Aramaic has the longest continuous written tradition; and modern Arabic is most widely spoken.

In the literature, the division of the Semitic languages rem…

Cite this page
Müller-Kessler, Christa (Emskirchen), “Semitic languages”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 June 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1107780>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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