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Re: Proto-Semitic (was Re: markjjones@HOTMAIL.COM)

From:Rob Haden <magwich78@...>
Date:Friday, March 11, 2005, 0:55
I have a couple more speculations on Proto-Semitic.

First off, I wonder if the Arabic indefinite ending -n and the Akkadian
singular ending -m are related.  Perhaps also the Hebrew plural in -im, but
that is problematic, as the other two languages have it for singular.  So
my theory is that word-final -m in Arabic became -n, hardly a rare sound
change.  Presumably, in Proto-Semitic, it was a 'singulative' marker or

Another speculation is on the personal pronouns.  The 1st and 2nd-person
singulars are:

1sg *ana:ku
2sgm *anta(:)
2sgf *anti(:)

The interesting thing is there's a preposition *ana 'to, for, at'.  What
I'm thinking is that the 1/2sg pronouns are rather transparently from
dative expressions, such as French 'moi'.  So, we'd have **ana-aku >
*ana:ku 'as for me', **ana-ta(:) > *anta 'as for you (m.)', and **ana-ti(:)
> *anti(:) 'as for you (f.)'. Seems rather sound to me.
- Rob


Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>