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The Age of Arabic Language.

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    Posted: 02 Oct 2009 at 17:44
As its known the Current Arabic Alphabets is one of the newest Alphabets in comparison with the other Semitic languages Alphabets, But the less known fact is the Arabic Language is the oldest of them Based in its  grammatical structure and consequently the nearest to the presumed original Porto-Semitic tong.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2009 at 18:55
I read Akkadian is the oldest branch of Semitic languages,

It's better to name different Semitic languages sub groups to discuss them.

This is what I found in Wiki: Three major Semitic groups are consisted of,

1. Western branch

Aramaic languages,
Western Aramaic languages
2. Eastern branch (extinct)
3. Southern branch
 



Edited by Suren - 02 Oct 2009 at 19:41
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2009 at 06:59
I was speaking about  grammatical structure and consequently, as one of the most accepted theories regarding origin of Semitic people, Arabian Peninsula is the first homeland of Semitic people and  Arabs because of their way of life in the desert kept the most of their ancient past, including their language still the closest to the supposed porto semitic language.

but if you talk about alphabets and ancient scripts and language development thought the years, then yes the  only physical evidence of any Language would be its old scripts, Arabs used different Alphabets before they developed the current one, the Oldest Scripts with ancient Alphabets with Arabic language (south Arabian) goes back to 500 BC
With the Current Classical Arabic Alphabets its goes as far as 300 AD, I am still talking about Alphabets and Ancient scripts found, as i mentioned in the first post Arabic Alphabets is relatively new compared to older Semitic Alphabets.

Now, talking about a language, logically it should have existed long before an alphabet is used or even a related ancient scripts is made.

That we cannot tell how long because no physical evidence can be found on when the language first spoken.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 14:50
the Arab origin is the Arabian peninsula, but the rest of the middle east wasn't a vacum before the time the Arab expended from the south.
now the local ethnicities  from the north also had their semite culture and language (even before using the Alphabet) and Hebrew is a strong candidate ,from pre Arab time ,to poses such title of antiquity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 18:32
 
 
 
Look folks, the standardization of "script" has little to do with the "age" of any language. Hence to claim that contemporary Hebrew is even the language and script of ancient Israel is nonsense. Anyway just my two-cents since I am notoriously critical the minute the word proto-anything is uttered.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slayertplsko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 19:52
I doubt Arabic is the oldest Semitic language (well, perhaps the oldest living?). Even if the statement that its grammar (what do you mean by grammar actually?) is closest to the supposed proto-language be true, it does not prove its antiquity. In fact, it might suggest the contrary - ie. the language did not have enough time to change. But that is way too thin as well. So could you provide some linguistic material that discusses it? I would be interested as I am learning the language.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 20:23
Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 22:23
Grammar is a good way to determine the evolution of a language.  For example, Modern Persian was 'reverse engineered' to help decipher Old Persian, which was infinitely more complex, grammatically.

There is no reason why Arabic cannot be one of the oldest Semitic languages and it is possible to discern how archaic its grammatical structure is when compared to other Semitic languages.

As far as Arabs being confined to the Peninsula until the Islam, well, this is just propaganda with a distinctly anti-Arab flavour.  Arab tribes were present as far north as Syria in classical times. 

Weren't Palmyra and Petra populated by Arab speakers?


Edited by Zagros - 11 Jan 2010 at 23:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jan 2010 at 23:21
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Originally posted by es_bih es_bih wrote:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 13:02
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
 
 
 
Look folks, the standardization of "script" has little to do with the "age" of any language. Hence to claim that contemporary Hebrew is even the language and script of ancient Israel is nonsense. Anyway just my two-cents since I am notoriously critical the minute the word proto-anything is uttered.
 
 
 
this is a 3000 years old Hebrew text that is easily understood today, using the same words and sentence structure as today. the writing is an older version of the alphabetical Hebrew/proto canaanite.
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Hebrewtext - 12 Jan 2010 at 13:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jan 2010 at 13:22
AFAIK Hebrew is a revived language, and survived for religious purposes before that.  So it is unsurprisng that you can read and understand ancient Hebrew since it was preserved by holy men and not subject to the ravages of every day use for millennia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jan 2010 at 03:21
Originally posted by Hebrewtext Hebrewtext wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 Look folks, the standardization of "script" has little to do with the "age" of any language. Hence to claim that contemporary Hebrew is even the language and script of ancient Israel is nonsense. Anyway just my two-cents since I am notoriously critical the minute the word proto-anything is uttered.
 
this is a 3000 years old Hebrew text that is easily understood today, using the same words and sentence structure as today. the writing is an older version of the alphabetical Hebrew/proto canaanite.
 
 
I missed this "exaggeration" of the claims made by Yosef Garfinkel of the ostracon dug up at Khirbet Qeiyafa. First, this shard has yet to be deciphered successfully and as anyone who read the term "proto-Caananite" can understand the contention it is "Hebrew" is far fetched specially when entangled with "King David". As for "easily understood" that's quite a "leap of faith".
 
 
While Professor Garfinkel might feel confident in his hunt for "King David"--see
 
 
--the claim is not without its sceptics. But you can bet the association will bring "funding" from those determined to "prove" the Bible through archaeology. The Internet itself stands as evidence for this conclusion since mention is replete with references to "David and Goliath". However, serious scholars are yet to be convinced and as of this date "translation" into a proper textual coherence still eludes.
 
PS: Modern Hebrew script descends from Aramaic!


Edited by drgonzaga - 17 Jan 2010 at 03:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2010 at 15:18
and Aramaic evolved from the proto canaanite/Pheonician/Hebrew script
 
"al taasu ve ivdu et adonai"
"shiftu eved ve almanah shiftu yatom va ger"
 
exactly as it would saied  today
 
 


Edited by Hebrewtext - 26 Jan 2010 at 15:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2010 at 16:10
Oh no, not another inverter of Ashurit! The tell tale sign is that modern Hebrew script derives from the Aramaic (would you prefer Syriac?):
 
Phoenecian script>Ashurite/Aramaic>Syriac/Modern Hebrew/Arabic script
 
The bit about "proto-Caananite" is little more than scholarly exercises in transposing Egyptian hieroglyphs, which then would lead to the supposition that Modern Hebrew script descends from Egyptian script. Acrophonic pictorial glyphs of the Levant from the 15th century to about the 11th century BC may explain the consolidation of the Phoenician alphabet but let us face it you can not insert "Hebrew" into the equation. Given Egyptian domination of the Levant during the 18th dynasty one could hardly claim the autonoimc origins of Hebrew anything. Do you want to get into the Ugaritic?  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 10:28
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
Phoenecian script>Ashurite/Aramaic>Syriac/Modern Hebrew/Arabic script
 
 
proto Canaanite=/Phoenecian script=/old Hebrew script>Ashurite/Aramaic/"Modern" Hebrew>Arabic script/syriac
 
the letters kept its original meaning in Hebrew today(aleph ,beit,gimel,dalet) snce the proto Canaanite Acrophonic pictorial system time.
 
 
the "modern" Hebrew script based on Aramaic is dating from the 6th century BC.    not so modern.....
 
Pheonican script and Hebrew (old) script are identical and/to the older proto Canaanite scripts , with its Acrophonic pictorial ideas learnt from the  Egyptian hieroglyphs. (Pheonician , Hebrew ,Canaanite are identical with linguistics and grammer also).
 
Hebrews apeared in the Levant around the 18th cen. BC  , time to adapt the script and language of the local area. but unlike others that were extinct , made it to our days.


Edited by Hebrewtext - 01 Feb 2010 at 19:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 11:48
Aramaic is still kicking, how does that compare with either Hebrew or Arabic?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 12:17
I believe what is today called Chaldean/Assyrian is Aramaic.  When i heard it a few years ago I couldn't tell the difference with Arabic.


Edited by Zagros - 27 Jan 2010 at 12:17
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jan 2010 at 23:59
Once and for all, Hebrew script just as with Islamic script descends for 8th to 6th century Aramaic script. No scholar would claim otherwise. What is known as "Old Hebrew" is nothing other than Phoenician script, as witnessed by the Gezer Calendar dated to the 10th century BC. Hebrew did not "appear" in the Levant in the 18th century BC and such suppositions are nonsensical fancy. Canaanite is Canaanite which is nothing more than an euphemism for Phoenician. In fact, "Old Hebrew" disappeared entirely with the Temple in the 1st century AD. Given the fact the Amonite and Moabite script is identical to "Old Hebrew" any talk of Hebrew originality or even literacy in the 18th century BC is bunkum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jan 2010 at 09:51
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

I believe what is today called Chaldean/Assyrian is Aramaic.  When i heard it a few years ago I couldn't tell the difference with Arabic.
ive heard it spoken its sound Semitic... I couldnt say its older or more archaic.

Aramaic speakers don't like being mistaken for their Assyrian brothers even if the difference is in small degrees and dialects.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2010 at 12:18
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Once and for all, Hebrew script just as with Islamic script descends for 8th to 6th century Aramaic script. No scholar would claim otherwise. .
 
 
the dead sea scrolls dated from 70 AD to the 2nd century BC , and are written with the same Hebrew script as today. which is based upon Aramaic since the sixth century BC.
and yes Pheonician and old Hebrew scripts  are identical , and both related to the proto Canaanite one.(also identical by linguistics and grammer till todays Hebrew).
 


Edited by Hebrewtext - 31 Jan 2010 at 12:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hebrewtext Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2010 at 13:31
Originally posted by Leonidas Leonidas wrote:

Aramaic is still kicking, how does that compare with either Hebrew or Arabic?
 
Hebrew as language is as old or older than Aramaic.
 
about the script :
Hebrew uses till today the old classical Aramaic script, while Syriac  and Christian Neo-Aramaic dialects are written today in a different Syriac alphabet a script evolved from  the Cursive Aramaic.
 


Edited by Hebrewtext - 31 Jan 2010 at 13:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 Jan 2010 at 18:04
Originally posted by Hebrewtext Hebrewtext wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Once and for all, Hebrew script just as with Islamic script descends for 8th to 6th century Aramaic script. No scholar would claim otherwise. .
 
 
the dead sea scrolls dated from 70 AD to the 2nd century BC , and are written with the same Hebrew script as today. which is based upon Aramaic since the sixth century BC.
and yes Pheonician and old Hebrew scripts  are identical , and both related to the proto Canaanite one.(also identical by linguistics and grammer till todays Hebrew).
 
 
Once and for all, there is no such thing as "proto-Canaanite" and such is merely an abstraction chosen by linguists to muddy the waters with jargon. The Hebrew tribes intruded into the urban horizon of the Levant and adopted an already defined alphabet in use by their Semitic cofreres through long contact with the Egyptians consequent to the expansion of the 18th dynasty in Egypt. For one thing, the minute the term "proto" is employed its usage is synonymous with asserting that no written record exists! Why anyone would want to belabour the point set forth succinctly in the below link simply defies all logic and underscores a suspicious agenda:
 
 
 


Edited by drgonzaga - 31 Jan 2010 at 18:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Feb 2010 at 11:59
Quote For one thing, the minute the term "proto" is employed its usage is synonymous with asserting that no written record exists!


Exactly right(!) making any definitive assertion on anything 'proto', a little naive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote necoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2010 at 09:19
the Arab origin is the Arabian peninsula, but the rest of the middle east wasn't a vacum before the time the Arab expended from the south.
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This is quite an old thread, but just thought I might clarify a few of the issues raised here.

Originally posted by azimuth azimuth wrote:

But the less known fact is the Arabic Language is the oldest of them Based in its  grammatical structure and consequently the nearest to the presumed original Porto-Semitic tong.

Firstly, talking about the "age" of a language doesn't really make much sense, since all languages, except synthetic ones, are probably the same age. How so? Because they never really had any clearly defined beginnings. They just slowly morphed out of older forms of a language.

What makes more sense is to talk about how conservative a language has remained. Does the language retain features which are known to have existed in earlier stages of the family the language belongs to. As an example, we know that in the history of the Semitic language family, there was originally 29 distinct consonantal phonemes. Pretty much all Semitic languages, underwent some merging of these phonemes, and ended up with less. The languages which retained more of them would be more conservative and therefore represent an "older" form of the language group. In this case Arabic is definitely the most conservative, as it retained 28 of the original 29 phonemes. Other modern Semitic languages like Hebrew for instance retained only about 18 (although Classical Biblical Hebrew still distinguished about 23 of them), Aramaic is very similar. The Ancient South Arabian languages retained all 29.

As to the Grammatical features Azimuth was referring to, here's a few of the grammatical features Arabic retained but most other modern Semitic languages lost, long ago:

The case system.
The dual number. Retained consistently in verbs, nouns and pronouns. Hebrew and Aramaic retained it in a few select nouns.
Almost full set of the proto-Semitic phonemes (as mentioned above).
Verbal sentence order, VSO.
Full set of proto-Semitic vowels.

Originally posted by azimuth azimuth wrote:

As its known the Current Arabic Alphabets is one of the newest Alphabets in comparison with the other Semitic languages Alphabets

Indeed this is one of the most confusing things about languages and "age". In the case of the Semitic languages especially, the earlier attested Semitic languages almost all seem to be far less conservative in most respects than the later attested languages. This is probably because of the fact that Semitic languages were only recorded when they came into contact with other language groups, and usually became heavily affected by them. The Semitic languages are languages of nomadic (bedouin) peoples, that never really adopted writing systems, until they moved north into the Fertile Crescent. This move probably caused their language features to decay, which meant by the time they became recorded, they had evolved significantly.

A modern example of this occurred with Arabic. During the Islamic expansion, the Arabic language was carried out of the Arabian peninsula, all across the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe and Central Asia. As the peoples of these regions adopted Arabic, they probably spoke it with some sort of accent, which eventually evolved into the various regional dialects we know today, which in many cases are quite far removed from Classical/Standard Arabic. One of the first of these dialects to be written down was the dialect of Sicily that survived in Malta (and eventually became Maltese). It was recorded long before any other dialect of Arabic (besides Classical/Standard Arabic), yet Maltese today is far less conservative than almost all the other dialects, most of which have never even been written down even in the current era.

Likewise in the larger Semitic language family the earliest languages to be written down are sometimes the least conservative forms, probably because of the very fact they became heavily influenced by the languages they were in close proximity to, when their speakers settled down. Akkadian for instance is obviously very heavily influenced by Sumerian, and the Akkadian of 4000 years ago is less conservative than the Arabic spoken on al-Jazeera news today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mukarrib Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jan 2012 at 14:30
Originally posted by Hebrewtext Hebrewtext wrote:

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Once and for all, Hebrew script just as with Islamic script descends for 8th to 6th century Aramaic script. No scholar would claim otherwise. .

 

 

the dead sea scrolls dated from 70 AD to the 2nd century BC , and are written with the same Hebrew script as today. which is based upon Aramaic since the sixth century BC.

and yes Pheonician and old Hebrew scripts  are identical , and both related to the proto Canaanite one.(also identical by linguistics and grammer till todays Hebrew).

 


The written text may appear intelligable to you but it was spoken very differently. Hebrew has undergone some major sound shifts over the past 2000~ years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farzad didehvar h Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jun 2013 at 07:54
Seemingly all ambiguity arise from the similarity and differences between Aramit and Arabic
just a while before Islam.
I guess the major question is:
Are(were?) Arabic and Aramites two distinguished languages, or just a spectrum of the same language?
and how  are you able to decide about?
If you know them two different language, I think there are only a few texts of arabic before Islam.
But seemingly the word:"Arab" is an ancient word.
If you know them in  a spectrum, the picture changes drastically.
Is reality hidden?
Words change world.
Change, before being changed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 05:33
I would be interested in hearing about the pre-Islamic Arabic texts.
From what I understand, The Thousand Nights and a Night has been preserved
because they are written in the Classical Arabic that the Koran was written in,
and therefore, philologically speaking that makes them very interesting.
But I am just a dabbling philosopher, and so I cannot claim to have
real knowledge in such matters.

Not all languages are the same age, if one considers how languages get stripped 
down and reborn, through pidgin and creole.  (McWhorter)
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