|From:||Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>|
|Date:||Wednesday, February 2, 2005, 2:04|
On Feb 1, 2005, at 1:48 PM, Ray Brown wrote:
> [SEMITIC DEFINITE ARTICLE]
>> There were some ancient Semitic languages that seem to have had a
>> suffixed /m/ or /n/ definite article.
> That I did not know. I understand Classical Arabic, as well as having a
> preposited definite article. also gave its nouns the following endings
> the singular):
> Indefinite Definite
> nom. -un -u
> acc. -an -a
> gen. -in -n
> But there -n shows indefiniteness.
Yup! It seems like Semitic languages went through stages of using a
definite article, which then lost its definiteness and was replaced by
a new one. So they say that the Arabic |-n| started out definite and
then evolved into indefinite. They also point at a few Hebrew words
that end in anomylous |m|s as the remains of an old |-m| article.
>> I remember learning one theory
>> that claims that instead of viewing the Arabic definite article as an
>> /al/ that sometimes assimilates to dental consonants:
>> |albayt| "the house" vs. |arrajul| "the man"
>> Instead, the basic function of definiteness is carried by the
>> consonant! (cf. Hebrew, where the definte article is always
>> |ha|+gemination, except with gutturals, and never with an extra /l/).
> Interesting - why then would Arabic just geminate the dental consonants
> and not others?
Dissimilation of the non-dentals, i think.
"word-making is world-making."
~ avivah gottlieb zornberg