Central Semitic languages

Infobox Language family
name = Central Semitic
region = Middle East and North Africa
familycolor = Afro-Asiatic
fam2 = Semitic
fam3 = West Semitic
child1 = Northwest Semitic
child2 = Arabic

The Central Semitic languages are an intermediate group of Semitic languages, comprising Arabic and Northwest Semitic (including Canaanite (Hebrew-Phoenician), Aramaic and Ugaritic).

Different classification systems disagree on the precise structure of the group. The most common approach divides it into Arabic and Northwest Semitic, while SIL Ethnologue has South Central Semitic (including Arabic and Hebrew) vs. Aramaic.

The main distinction between Arabic and the Northwest Semitic languages is the presence of broken plurals in the former. The majority of Arabic masculine non-human nouns form plurals in this manner (called inanimate plural), whereas almost all nouns in the Northwest Semitic languages form their plurals with a suffix. For example, the Arabic بيت "bayt" ("house") becomes بيوت "buyūt" ("houses"); the Hebrew בית "bayit" ("house") becomes בתים "battīm" ("houses").

ee also

*Northwest Semitic languages
*Arabic language
*Aramaic language
*Hebrew language
*Ugaritic language
*Semitic Languages
*Proto-Semitic language

References

*cite book|author=Sabatino Moscati|title=An Introduction to Comparative Grammar of Semitic Languages Phonology and Morphology|publisher=Harrassowitz Verlag|year=1980|id=ISBN 3-447-00689-7


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