Re: Proto-Semitic (was Re: markjjones@HOTMAIL.COM)
|From:||Rob Haden <magwich78@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, March 13, 2005, 18:19|
On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 12:42:08 +0200, Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
>> Is there any indication that the Semitic definite article *hal(-) is
>> more recent? From a syntactic point of view, it would seem to be
>> *older*, since it precedes nouns.
>> - Rob
>Why would that make it older?
Because right-branching languages overwhelming have modifiers following
headwords. If *hal was originally a demonstrative (as seems likely), it's
in the wrong place for a right-branching language like Arabic or Semitic.
I conclude that *hal was an old demonstrative that, as such, preceded its
headwords even when (most) everything else became right-branching. An
interesting question is why we don't seem to find it in Akkadian (or do