Re: Proto-Semitic (was Re: markjjones@HOTMAIL.COM)
|From:||Rob Haden <magwich78@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, March 13, 2005, 18:10|
On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 12:41:41 +0200, Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
>On Mar 13, 2005, at 2:01 AM, Rob Haden wrote:
>> On Sat, 12 Mar 2005 21:39:12 +0200, Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
>>> Ancient South Arabian: addition of |m| for indefinite. also |n| for
>>> definite (« "han"?) |klbn| vs. |klbm|
>Sorry, i don't know... but i'd expect that the researchers wouldn't
>have theorized that one is definite and the other is indefinite if they
>didn't appear in the same texts.
No problem. I'd wager, however, that either we see |klbm| first and then
|klbn|, or they are present at the same time but in different areas, so
some places may have had a change *-m > -n earlier than others.
Also, Hebrew has -m but Aramaic has -n.
>> Question: Is the *-m element present in the dual? Arabic has nom.
>> acc./gen. -ayn(i). Hebrew has non-terminal -ayim and terminal -Oyim,
>> the absolute state only (never the construct state).
I wonder if the dual forms are morphologically complex: Arabic nom. -a:n(i)
< -ayn < *-aym, acc. -ayn(i) < -ayin < -ayim. That would compare it
favorably to the Hebrew forms: -ayim/-Oyim. The /a:/ in the Arabic dual
nom. is likely from the same source as the Arabic "contract verbs" -- a: <
ay(a). So, the original format for the dual would be direct *-ay-m vs.
oblique *-ay-i-m, where *-ay is the real dual suffix, *-i is the
genitive/oblique ending, and *-m is the enclitic indefinite pronoun. The
vowel alternations in Hebrew are, to my knowledge, the result of prosodic
processes (i.e. terminal vs. non-terminal position).
>> There is an indefinite pronominal stem *ma- in Proto-Semitic. I think
>> this is the identity of the *-m ending. So it was probably an indefinite
>> article the entire time. In the plural: devari: ma 'some things' >
>> deva:ri:m 'things'.
>Exactly, that's pretty much what my notes were saying!
Oh, okay. :) However, it would mean that there was never a suffixed or
enclitic definite article, only an indefinite one.