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.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 The author.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Language and Linguistics
- Religious studies
- Linguistics and Language
- Literature and Literary Theory