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11 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the five main branches of Semitic languages?
1. Hebrew
2. Arabic
3. Aramaic
4. Akkadian
5. Ethiopic
What principal peculiarities do the Semitic languages have in common?
1. guttural or laryngeal letters with
special sounds;
2. three root letters for almost all
verbs and nouns;
3. meaning is dependent upon form or
pattern of words;
4. pronominal suffixes to nouns, verbs,
and prepositions; and some basic
consonantal vocabulary
What is the Hebrew language?
Hebrew is the original language of the Semitic settlers in the land of ancient Canaan (Palestine)
To what other languages is Hebrew closely related?
(1) CANAANITE--glosses on cuneiform
tablets found in Tell el-Amarna in
Upper Egypt, c. 1400 BC
(2) MOABITE--King Mesha inscriptions,
9th century BC
(3) PHOENICIAN--Inscriptions, 9th
century BC
(4) UGARITIC--closely related to
Biblical Hebrew, but written in an
ancient cuneiform, alphabetic
script. Discovered at Ras Shamra,
a north Syrian coastal city known
in ancient times as Ugarit.
When was ancient Hebrew a living language?
Ancient Hebrew was used for speech and writing until the Babylonian exile in 586 BC.
When did Aramaic replace ancient Hebrew as a living language?
Aramaic became the political and cultural language of the Near East, replacing Ancient Hebrew, from about the 6th century BC on.
Was Ancient Hebrew spoken after the 6th century BC?
Yes, it was spoken through the first century AD, but was no longer the dominant language of the Near East, fading to disuse after the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. It may have been spoken by several communities and many individuals for centuries longer.
How was ancient Hebrew used?
Ancient Hebrew was used for important theological and philosophical writings, as well as for secular and scientific works in the fields of astronomy, poetry and medicine.
Who was responsible for the resurrection of the Modern Hebrew language?
Eliezer ben-Yehudah (1858-1922) because of the Zionist efforts to recolonize Palestine.
What is the only dead language revived and in use in modern times?
What are the four main phases of the Hebrew language?
(1) Biblical Hebrew (a.k.a. Classical
(2) Rabbinical Hebrew (a.k.a. Late
Hebrew) in which the Mishna & Hebrew
portions of the Talmud and Midrash
were written.
(3) Medieval Hebrew (a.k.a. Rabbinic)
was the Hebrew of the great
theological, philosophical and
poetical works of the Middle Ages,
composed mostly in Spain & North
(4) Modern Hebrew--development began in
the 20th century