A Bird's-Eye View of Personal Pronouns and Accusative Markers in Ancient Semitic Languages

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In this comparative study of ancient Semitic languages, I present data on the development of personal pronouns and accusative markers. My meta-analysis combines what is known about the major representative languages from both East and West Semitic languages in order to focus on three gradual, corresponding developments: (1) the erosion of inflected oblique independent personal pronouns; (2) the disappearance of the case-ending system; and (3) the emergence of the independent object marker. A bird's-eye view of the documented evidence on Semitic languages suggests that in West Semitic languages, both the oblique independent personal pronoun and the case-ending system gradually disappeared. In parallel, a set of object markers was introduced into West Semitic. This process will be shown to progress at a different pace for the various languages in this branch, and to be relevant not only to the North-west Semitic branch, but rather to the span of old West Semitic languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The author.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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