Nachricht vom

13. Oktober 2022 bis 2. Februar 2023, Donnerstags 13:15 - 14:45. Interessierte Teilnehmer sind herzlich willkommen!

In the course, we will discuss some of the peculiarities of Semitic languages, especially in the fields of phonology and morphology. The course does not require any previous knowledge of a Semitic language, but it will be welcome. Akkadian will be given special attention.


  • Lesson 1: What are Semitic languages? Which Semitic languages exist? How do we study living and ancient languages?
  • Lesson 2: What Is Proto-Semitic? How can it be reconstructed? How do we compare languages? How can we understand the connection between them?
  • Lesson 3: Concatenative morphology; root, stem, pattern, and template
  • Lesson 4: Partly concatenative morphology; (long and short) prefix conjugation(s), suffix conjugation; the Central Semitic hypothesis; stem affixes
  • Lesson 5: Segmental and sub-segmental Phonology of Semitic, Phonological and Phonetic Shifts
  • Lesson 6: Basic Semitic lexicon; common semantic shifts; retentions and innovations
  • Lesson 7: Syllables and suprasegmental phonology, prosody and phonotactics; what is the difference between phonetics and phonology?
  • Lesson 8: Akkadian in its Semitic and Afro-Asiatic setting – phonology and basic morphology
  • Lesson 9: Akkadian in its Semitic and Afro-Asiatic setting – more complex morphology, lexicon, and syntax
  • Lesson 10: Eblaite and Ugaritic in their Semitic and Afro-Asiatic setting as peripheral languages
  • Lesson 11: (non-Sabaic) Old and Modern South Arabian and Ethio-Semitic in their Semitic setting as peripheral languages
  • Lesson 12: Canaanite, Aramaic, North Arabian (including Arabic), and Sabaic in their Semitic setting as central languages
  • Lesson 13: Traditional classification of the Semitic languages and the question of "South Semitic"
  • Lesson 14: Alternative classification schemes and what we can learn from them

Subjects for student talks (10-45 min):

Sargonic Akkadian as opposed to Ur-III Akkadian, retentions and innovations (Hilgert 2002, Hasselbach 2005, 2021, Kogan 2011, Sommerfeld 2021) 

Solved and unsolved questions in the classification of Neo-Aramaic(s) (Hoberman 1985, 1988, Odisho 1988, Macuch 1990, Mutzafi 2014, Khan 2005, 2011, Gzella 2015)

Similarities and differences between Akkadian and Modern South Arabian (Leslau 1945, 1962, 1964, 1969, Huehnergard 1991, 2006, 2019, Rubin 2008, 2012, Edzard 2017)

The Semitic gutturals (Keetman 2009, PAL III, Kogan 2011)

The Semitic uvular fricatives (Segert 1988, Huehnergard 2003, Kogan 2001, 2002, 2005)

Stem-based or root-based inflection in Amharic (Cowley 1969, Appleyard 1972, Podolsky 1980)

Syntax of Biblical Hebrew verbs (Waltke and O'Connor 1990, Fassberg 1999, Blau 2010, Joosten 2012)

Common kinship terms in Semitic (Seligman 1923, Kogan 2015, Coghill 2020)

Syntax of Arabic moods (Haded 1995, Peled 2008, Al-Jallad 2020)

Prefix conjugation in Afro-Asiatic context (Goldenberg 1979, Voigt 1987, Weninger 2011, Kouwenberg 2017)


Meeting ID 644 7178 4765

Passcode  324851