Re: CHAT: New to list
|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
If you mean by number of speakers, well, Arabic sounds about right...