Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The linguistic groups of the Ancient Near-East

The Ancient Near-East linguistically
From the linguistic point of view the different languages of the Ancient Near-East can be assigned to the following groups:
- Anatolian IE and PIE (stricto sensu): the Indo-European family,
- Hatti and Nakh: North-Eastern Anatolian,
- Hurrian, Urartean, Kaftiu, Carian, Eteo-Cypriot, Kassite: North-Western Anatolian.
This group forms the Proto-Anatolian family. Euphratic, a kind of substrate of Sumerian, probably belongs to this family as well, as it has similar features.
Sumerian seems to be related to Elamite rather closely, and more remotely to Proto-Anatolian.
Semitic is originally not a Near-Eastern family but a group that intruded from Africa ca. -5000 BCE after splitting from Berber.

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