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Re: CHAT: New to list

From:Joe <joe@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 17:55
On Wednesday 12 February 2003 11:13 am, John Cowan wrote:
> Wesley Parish scripsit: > > Ancient Egyptian wasn't Semitic as such, it was related though. The name > > of the branch it belonged to, is the "Hamitic" languages, and they are > > mostly North African. I don't think there were ever any north of the > > Mediterranean. > > "Hamitic" isn't really considered a useful term any more, because it means > "Afro-Asiatic but not Semitic", and there is no reason to think that > Semitic is set apart from the other branches of Afro-Asiatic particularly. > > A-A has five branches (Semitic, Egyptian, Berber, Chadic, Cushitic) > according to lumpers; splitters like the Ethnologue recognize Omotic as a > sixth branch. The best-known languages of the five are Arabic, Egyptian, > Tamazight, Hausa, Somali respectively; no Omotic language is well-known. > There is no generally agreed-upon relationship between any subset of the > five branches.
Well, I'd say Hebrew is the best known of all of them, if you're going by reputation... If you mean by number of speakers, well, Arabic sounds about right...