The Semitic Languages presents a comprehensive survey of the individual languages and language clusters within this language family, from their origins in antiquity to their present-day forms.

This second edition has been fully revised, with new chapters and a wealth of additional material. New features include the following:

• new introductory chapters on Proto-Semitic grammar and Semitic linguistic typology

• an additional chapter on the place of Semitic as a subgroup of Afro-Asiatic, and several chapters on modern forms of Arabic, Aramaic and Ethiopian Semitic

• text samples of each individual language, transcribed into the International Phonetic Alphabet, with standard linguistic word-by-word glossing as well as translation

• new maps and tables present information visually for easy reference.

This unique resource is the ideal reference for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of linguistics and language. It will be of interest to researchers and anyone with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic typology, linguistic anthropology and language development.

chapter |27 pages

Semitic and Afro-Asiatic

chapter |31 pages


chapter |15 pages

The Semitic language family

A typological perspective

chapter |22 pages


chapter |29 pages

Tigre of Gindaʕ

chapter |28 pages

Tigrinya 1

chapter |25 pages


chapter |30 pages

Gurage (Muher) 1

chapter |23 pages


chapter |41 pages


chapter |21 pages

Ancient South Arabian

chapter |25 pages


chapter |36 pages

Classical Arabic

chapter |30 pages

Levantine Arabic

chapter |25 pages

Egyptian Arabic

chapter |24 pages

Moroccan Arabic

chapter |28 pages

Ugaritic 1

chapter |24 pages

The Canaanite languages

chapter |38 pages

Pre-modern Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew

chapter |40 pages

Modern Hebrew

chapter |21 pages

Samaritan Aramaic

chapter |21 pages

Modern Western Aramaic

chapter |26 pages


chapter |32 pages


chapter |37 pages

Northeastern Neo-Aramaic

The dialect of Alqosh 1