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

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Friday, March 11, 2005, 15:05
On Mar 11, 2005, at 2:55 AM, Rob Haden wrote:
> 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 > somesuch.
According to the theory i learned, |-m| and |-n| were both definiteness markers, which in some languages lost their definite strength and became indefinite markers. This is also supposed to be the origin of the few Hebrew adverbs in |-am|, like _hhinam_ "for free", _reiqam_ "empty". The original plural marker they say was just the long vowel, so Hebrew |-im| developed from |-i-m|. -Stephen (Steg)