Proto-Semitic is the hypothetical proto-language ancestral to historical Semitic languages of the Middle East. Locations which have been proposed for its origination include northern Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Levant with a 2009 study proposing that it may have originated around 3750 BCE. The Semitic language family is considered a component of the larger Afroasiatic macro-family of languages.
The earliest attestations of a Semitic language are in Akkadian, dating to ca. the 23rd century BC (see Sargon of Akkad) and Eblaite, but earlier evidence of Akkadian comes from personal names in Sumerian texts circa 2800 BC. Researchers in Egypt also claim to have discovered Canaanite snake spells that "date from between 3000 and 2400 B.C.".
|This section's factual accuracy is disputed. (December 2011)|
Migration from Arabia into the fertile crescent has been a constant pattern of human movement in the Middle East since antiquity. As such, the Arabian peninsula has long been accepted as the original Semitic Urheimat by a majority of scholars. Older theories positing Mesopotamia as the Semitic homeland were severely undermined by the identification of the non-Semitic Sumerian culture in Mesopotamia in the late 19th century, which is now generally believed to have predated the Semitic culture in Mesopotamia by many centuries. A mainstream view nowadays maintains that the first wave of Semitic-speakers infiltrated Mesopotamia in the first half of the third millennium BC. A second Amorite wave is generally believed to have followed around 2000 BC. This Amorite wave was responsible for emergence of the Old Babylonian Empire and of such urban centers in the west as Ugarit. An Aramean wave of migration towards the fertile crescent followed in the second half of the second millennium BC. The emergence of the Israelite nation in Canaan should have occurred around this time, although the origin of the Israelites remains a matter of debate. The Arab waves of migration toward the fertile crescent started in the last millennium BC and culminated in the 7th century CE with the great Islamic expansion, which by far surpassed all previous expansions, reaching a maximum extent from southern France to the borders of China.
The presence of a non-Semitic culture predating the Canaanites in Canaan has not been proven by archeology. However, a traditional account transmitted by many Greek historians and accepted unanimously in pre-modern times points to a Phoenician (Canaanite) origin in Mesopotamia, to which the Phoenicians had reportedly arrived from the Arabian shores of the Persian Gulf. Although many attempts have been made to discredit this entire story, it remains accepted.
Given that Proto-Semitic would have been an Afroasiatic language, some believe that the first prehistoric speakers of the ancestral Proto-Semitic language came from Ethiopia, which would have been the Proto-Semitic homeland. New research, however, suggests that South Semitic may have been introduced to Ethiopia sometime before the 8th century BC. This is also supported by the presence of nouns in Proto-Semitic that seemingly make an African origin for the language impossible – ice, oak, horse and camel. The camel and horse did not arrive in Africa until nearly two thousand years after Semitic languages were being written in the Mesopotamia area.
Other more recent work suggests Syria/Mesopotamia as the homeland for Proto-Semitic, due to the flora and fauna described by it, which include oak, pistachio and almond trees. The presence of ice and four different words for hill also suggest a colder, more mountainous area than Arabia. Eblaite, one of the oldest Semitic languages, when deciphered turned out to have almost no non-Afroasiatic nouns in its lexicon, suggesting a very long presence in the Syria area. Bitumen and naphtha were also well known and have root words, and these are resources not found in Africa or Arabia, but commonly in the northern parts of the Levant. Christopher Ehret argues on this basis that there are two possible homelands for Semitic, Northern Mesopotamia where Western Semitic broke away from Eastern Semitic; or the Levant. Ehret states "Because of the many indications that non-Semitic languages predominated in Mesopotamia and all around its northern and eastern flanks in the pre-state eras—and that Akkadian therefore was likely intrusive to that region—the second solution seems by far the more probable of the two. The Levant regions, as the part of Asia nearest and more directly connected to Africa, also make much better sense as the proto-Semitic territory, considering the solely African locations of all the rest of the Afrasan family." A more recent study by Andrew Kitchen and others using Bayesian techniques in phylogenetic analysis identifies a place of origin for Semitic in the Levant, suggesting that Akkadian is the most basal of Semitic languages.
Juris Zarins has suggested the development of a Circum-Arabian Nomadic Pastoral Complex of cultures in the period of the 6,200 BCE climatic crisis, stretching from the Red Sea shoreline and northeastward into modern day Syria and Iraq, which spread Proto-Semitic languages through the region. This complex may have developed from the fusion of Harifian and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B cultures in the Southern Levant, first evidenced in the Munhata culture and later Yarmukian culture of the region.
As Harifian used the Outacha retouch point technique found earlier in the Fayyum, it has been suggested that Proto-Semitic may have come from Egypt across the Sinai. The climatic recovery during the Chalcolithic led to the development of the secondary products revolution and the Ghassulian culture, pioneering the Mediterranean mixed economy with subsistence horticulture, extensive grain farming, commercial production of olives and wine, and nomadic transhumance pastoralism. The mix has varied historically with climate change. The Ghassulians are usually accepted as being early Semitic speakers.
The reconstruction of Proto-Semitic (PS) was originally based primarily on the Arabic language, whose phonology and morphology (particularly in Classical Arabic) is extremely conservative, and which preserves as contrastive 28 out of the evident 29 consonantal phonemes. Thus, the phonemic inventory of reconstructed Proto-Semitic is very similar to that of Arabic, with only one phoneme less in Arabic than in reconstructed Proto-Semitic. As such, Proto-Semitic is generally reconstructed as having the following phonemes (as usually transcribed in Semitology):
|Nasal||*m [m]||*n [n]|
|Stop||voiceless||*p [p]||*t [t]||*k [k]||*ʼ [ʔ]|
|voiced||*b [b]||*d [d]||*g [ɡ]|
|emphatic||*ṭ [tʼ]||*q [kʼ]|
|voiceless||*ṯ [θ]||*š [ʃ]
*s [s] or [ts]
|*ś [ɬ] or [tɬ]||*ḫ [χ]~[x]||*ḥ [ħ]||*h [h]|
|voiced||*ḏ [ð]||*z [dz] or [z]||*ġ [ʁ]~[ɣ]||*ʻ [ʕ]|
|emphatic||*ṱ [θʼ] or [tθʼ]||*ṣ [tsʼ] or [sʼ]||*ṣ́ [tɬʼ] or [ɬʼ]|
|Approximant||*l [l]||*y [j]||*w [w]|
- Some argue that *s (s), *z (z), *ṣ (sʼ), *ś (ɬ), *ṣ́ (ɬʼ), *ṱ (θʼ) were affricated (/ts, dz, tsʼ, tɬ, tɬʼ, tθʼ/)
- Dental stops d t ṭ
- Velar stops g k ḳ (normally written g k q)
- Dental sibilants z s ṣ
- Interdental ð θ θ̣ (normally written ḏ ṯ ṱ)
- Lateral l ɬ ɬ̣ (normally written l ś ṣ́)
The probable phonetic realization of most consonants is straightforward, and is indicated in the table with the IPA. Two subsets of consonants however call for further comment:
The sounds notated here as "emphatic" sounds occur in nearly all Semitic languages, as well as in most other Afroasiatic languages, and are generally reconstructed as glottalized in Proto-Semitic. [nb 1] Thus, *ṭ for example represents [tʼ]. (See below for the fricatives/affricates).
In modern Semitic languages, emphatics are variously realized as pharyngealized (Arabic, Aramaic, Tiberian Hebrew: e.g. [tˤ]), glottalized (Ethiopian Semitic languages, Modern South Arabian languages: e.g. [tʼ]), or as unaspirated (Turoyo of Tur-Abdin: e.g. [t˭]); Ashkenazi Hebrew and Maltese are exceptions to this general retention, with all emphatics merging into plain consonants under the influence of Indo-European languages (Italian/Sicilian in Maltese, German/Yiddish in Hebrew).
An emphatic labial occurs in some Semitic languages but it is unclear whether it was a phoneme in Proto-Semitic.
- Hebrew developed an emphatic /ṗ/ phoneme to represent unaspirated /p/ in Iranian and Greek.
- Ge'ez is unique among Semitic languages for contrasting all three of /p/, /f/, and /pʼ/. While /p/ and /pʼ/ mostly occur in loanwords (especially Greek), there are many other occurrences where the origin is less clear (e.g. hepʼä 'strike', häppälä 'wash clothes').
The reconstruction of Proto-Semitic has nine fricative sounds that are mostly reflected as sibilants in later languages, although it is a matter of dispute whether all started as sibilants already in PS:
- Two voiced fricatives *ð, *z that eventually become, for example, both *z in Hebrew, but /ð/ and /z/ in Arabic
- Four voiceless fricatives
- *θ (*ṯ) that becomes Hebrew *š but Arabic /θ/
- *š (*s₁) that becomes Hebrew *š but Arabic /s/
- *ś (*s₂) that becomes Hebrew *ś but Arabic /š/
- *s (*s₃) that becomes both Hebrew and Arabic (*)/s/
- Three emphatic fricatives (*θ̣, *ṣ, *ṣ́)
The precise sound of the PS fricatives, notably of *š, *ś, *s, and *ṣ, remains a perplexing problem, and there are various systems of notation to describe them. The notation given here is traditional, based on their pronunciation in Hebrew, which traditionally has been extrapolated back to Proto-Semitic. The notation *s₁, *s₂, *s₃ is found primarily in the literature on Old South Arabian, although more recently it has been used by some authors discussing Proto-Semitic in order to express a non-committal view of the pronunciation of these sounds. However, the older transcription remains predominant in most literature, often even among scholars who disagree with the traditional interpretation or remain non-committal.
The traditional view as expressed in the conventional transcription and still maintained by one part of the authors in the field is that *š was a Voiceless postalveolar fricative ([ʃ]), *s was a voiceless alveolar sibilant ([s]) and *ś was a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative ([ɬ]). Accordingly, *ṣ is seen as an emphatic version of *s ([sʼ]); *z as a voiced version of it ([z]); and *ṣ́ as an emphatic version of *ś ([ɬʼ]). The reconstruction of *ś ṣ́ as lateral fricatives (or affricates) is not in doubt, despite the fact that few modern languages preserve these sounds. The pronunciation of *ś ṣ́ as [ɬ ɬʼ] is still maintained in the Modern South Arabian languages (e.g. Mehri), and evidence of a former lateral pronunciation is evident in a number of other languages. For example, Biblical Hebrew baśam was borrowed into Ancient Greek as balsamon (hence English "balsam"), and the 8th-century Arab grammarian Sībawayh explicitly described the Arabic descendant of *ṣ́ (now pronounced [dˤ] in standard pronunciation, but [ðˤ] in many conservative dialects) as a pharyngealized voiced lateral fricative [ɮˤ].
The primary disagreements concern (1) whether all of these sounds were actually fricatives in Proto-Semitic, or whether some were affricates; and (2) whether the sound designated *š was pronounced [ʃ] (or similar) in Proto-Semitic, as the traditional view posits, or had the value of [s]. The issue of the nature of the "emphatic" consonants, discussed above, is partly related (though partly orthogonal) to the issues here as well.
With respect to the traditional view, there are two dimensions of "minimal" and "maximal" modifications made:
- In how many sounds are taken to be affricates. The "minimal affricate" position takes only the emphatic *ṣ as an affricate [tsʼ]. The "maximal affricate" position additionally posits that *s z were actually affricates [ts] [dz] while *š was actually a simple fricative [s].
- In whether to extend the affricate interpretation to the interdentals and laterals. The "minimal extension" position assumes that only the sibilants were affricates, while the other "fricatives" were in fact all fricatives, while the maximal update extends the same interpretation to the other sounds. Typically this means that the "minimal affricate, maximal extension" position takes all and only the emphatics are taken as affricates, i.e. emphatic *ṣ θ̣ ṣ́ were [tsʼ tθʼ tɬʼ]), while the "maximal affricate, maximal extension" position assumes not only the "maximal affricate" position for sibilants, but also assumes that non-emphatic *θ ð ś were actually affricates.
Affricates in PS were proposed long since, but the idea only seems to have met wider acceptance since the work of Alice Faber (1981) challenging the older approach. A different opinion is maintained for example by Joshua Blau (2010), who maintains that *š was indeed originally [ʃ], while also acknowledging that an affricate [tʃ] is possible.
The Semitic languages that have survived to the modern day often have fricatives for these consonants. However, Ethiopic languages and Modern Hebrew (in many reading traditions) have an affricate for *ṣ.
The evidence in favor of the various affricate interpretations of the sibilants consists both of direct evidence from transcriptions and of structural evidence. However, the evidence for the "maximal extension" positions that extend affricate interpretations to non-sibilant "fricatives" is largely structural. This is due both to the relative rarity of the interdentals and lateral obstruents among the attested Semitic languages, and the even greater rarity of such sounds among the various languages in which Semitic words were transcribed. As a result, even when these sounds were transcribed, the resulting transcriptions may be difficult to interpret clearly.
The narrowest affricate view (where only *ṣ was an affricate [tsʼ]) is the most accepted. The affricate pronunciation is directly attested in the modern Ethiopic languages and Modern Hebrew, as mentioned above, but in ancient transcriptions of numerous Semitic languages in various other languages. Some examples:
- Transcriptions of Ge'ez from the period of the Axumite Kingdom (early centuries AD), e.g. ṣəyāmo rendered as Greek τζιαμω tsiamō.
- The Hebrew reading tradition of ṣ as [ts] clearly goes back at least to medieval times, as shown by the use of Hebrew צ (ṣ) to represent affricates in early New Persian, Old Osmanli Turkic, Middle High German, etc. Similarly, Old French c /ts/ was used to transliterate צ, e.g. Hebrew ṣɛdɛḳ "righteousness" and ʼārɛṣ "land (of Israel)" were written cedek, arec.
- There is also evidence of an affricated pronunciation of ancient Hebrew and Phoenician/Punic ṣ. Punic ṣ was often transcribed as ts or t in Latin and Greek, or occasionally Greek ks; correspondingly, Egyptian names and loanwords in Hebrew and Phoenician use ṣ to represent the Ancient Egyptian palatal affricate ḏ (conventionally described as voiced but possibly instead an unvoiced ejective).
- Aramaic and Syriac had an affricated realization of *ṣ up to some point, as seen in Old Armenian loanwords (e.g. Aram. צרר 'bundle, bunch' → OArm. 'crar' /tsɹaɹ/).
The "maximal affricate" view applied only to sibilants also has transcriptional evidence in its favor. According to Kogan, the affricate interpretation of Akkadian s z ṣ is generally accepted.
- Akkadian cuneiform as adapted for writing various other languages used the z- signs to represent affricates. Examples include /ts/ in Hittite, Egyptian affricate ṯ in the Amarna letters and the Old Iranian affricates /t͡ʃ d͡ʒ/ in Elamite.
- Egyptian transcriptions of early Canaanite words with *z, *s, *ṣ use affricates (ṯ for *s, ḏ *z, *ṣ).
- West Semitic loanwords in the "older stratum" of Armenian reflect *s *z as affricates /tsʰ/, /dz/.
- Greek borrowing of Phoenician ש *š to represent /s/, and ס *s to represent /ks/, is difficult to explain if *s had the value [s] at the time in Phoenician, but is quite explainable if it actually had the value [ts] (and even more understandable if *š had the value [s]).
- Similarly, Phoenician uses ש *š to represent sibilant fricatives in other languages rather than ס *s down to the mid 3rd-century BC, which has been taken by Friedrich/Röllig 1999 (pp. 27–28) as evidence of an affricate pronunciation in Phoenician down to this time. On the other hand, Egyptian starts using s in place of earlier ṯ to represent Canaanite s around 1000 BC. As a result, Kogan assumes a much earlier loss of affricates in Phoenician, and assumes that the foreign sibilant fricatives in question had a sound closer to [ʃ] than [s]. (A similar interpretation for at least Latin s has been proposed by various linguists based on evidence of similar pronunciations of written s in a number of early medieval Romance languages; a technical term for this "intermediate" sibilant is voiceless alveolar retracted sibilant.)
There is also a good deal of internal evidence in early Akkadian for affricate realizations of s z ṣ. Examples are that underlying ||*t, *d, *ṭ + *š|| was realized as ss (which is more natural if the law was phonetically ||*t, *d, *ṭ + *s|| → [tts]) and that *s z ṣ shift to š before *t (which is more naturally interpreted as deaffrication).
Evidence for *š as /s/ also exists but is somewhat less clear. It has been suggested that it is cross-linguistically rare for languages with a single sibilant fricative to have [ʃ] as this sound, and that [s] is more likely. Similarly, the use of Phoenician ש *š as the source of Greek σ s seems easiest to explain if the phoneme had the sound of [s] at the time. The occurrence of [ʃ] for *š in a number of separate modern Semitic languages (e.g. Neo-Aramaic, Modern South Arabian, most Biblical Hebrew reading traditions) as well as Old Babylonian Akkadian is then suggested to result from a push-type chain shift, where the change [ts] → [s] "pushes" [s] out of the way to [ʃ] in the languages in question, while a merger of the two as [s] occurs in various other languages (e.g. Arabic, Ethiopian Semitic).
On the other hand, it has been suggested that the initial merged s in Arabic was actually a "hissing-hushing sibilant", presumably something like [ɕ] (or a "retracted sibilant"), which only later became [s]. This would suggest a value closer to [ɕ] (or a "retracted sibilant") or [ʃ] for Proto-Semitic *š, since [ts] and [s] would almost certainly merge directly to [s]. Furthermore, there is various evidence to suggest that the sound [ʃ] for *š existed at a time when *s was still [ts]. Examples are the Southern Old Babylonian form of Akkadian, which evidently had [ʃ] along with [ts], as well as Egyptian transcriptions of early Canaanite words, where *š s are rendered as š ṯ. (ṯ is an affricate and the consensus interpretation of š is [ʃ], as in modern Coptic.)
Diem (1974) suggested that the Canaanite sound change of *θ → *š is more natural if *š was [s], than if it was [ʃ]. However, Kogan points out numerous objections to this, among which are that *s at the time was [ts], so the change *θ → *š is the most likely merger regardless of the exact nature of *š at the time.
Evidence for the affricate nature of the non-sibilants is mostly based on internal considerations. Ejective fricatives are quite rare cross-linguistically, and when a language has such sounds, it nearly always has [sʼ]. Hence if *ṣ was actually affricate [tsʼ], it would be extremely unusual if *θ̣ ṣ́ were fricative [θʼ ɬʼ] rather than affricate [tθʼ tɬʼ]. According to Rodinson (1981) and Weninger (1998), the Greek place-name Mátlia with tl used to render Ge'ez ḍ (Proto-Semitic *ṣ́) is "clear proof" that this sound was affricated in Ge'ez, and thus quite possibly in Proto-Semitic as well.
The evidence for the most maximal interpretation, where all the interdentals and lateral obstruents were affricates, appears to be mostly structural (i.e. the system would be more symmetric if reconstructed this way).
The shift *š → h occurred in most Semitic languages (besides Akkadian, Minaian, Qatabanian) in grammatical and pronominal morphemes, and it is unclear whether reduction of *š began in a daughter proto-language or in PS itself. Given this, some suggest that weakened *š may have been a separate phoneme in PS.
Correspondence of sounds with daughter languages 
See Semitic languages#Phonology for a fuller discussion of the outcomes of the Proto-Semitic sounds in the various daughter languages.
Correspondence of sounds with other Afroasiatic languages 
See table at Proto-Afroasiatic language#Consonant correspondences.
Comparative vocabulary and reconstructed roots 
See also 
- This explains why there is no voicing distinction in the emphatic series (which wouldn't be necessary if the emphatics were pharyngealized).
- Kitchen, A; Ehret, C; Assefa, S; Mulligan, CJ. (2009). "Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages identifies an Early Bronze Age origin of Semitic in the Near East". Proc Biol Sci. 276 (1668): 2703–10. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0408. PMC 2839953. PMID 19403539.
- National Geographic Feb-2007. Ancient Semitic Snake Spells Deciphered in Egyptian Pyramid.
- Gray, Louis Herbert (2006) Introduction to Semitic Comparative Linguistics
- Courtenay, James John (2009) The Language of Palestine and Adjacent Regions
- Kienast, Burkhart. (2001). Historische semitische Sprachwissenschaft.
- Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (1995) The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Rawlinson, George (2008) History of Phoenicia p.51
- e.g. A. Murtonen; see Fleming, Harold C. (1968), "Ethiopic Language History: Testing Linguistic Hypotheses in an Archaeological and Documentary Context" in Ethnohistory, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Autumn), pp. 353–388
- Bulliet, Richard (1990-05-20) . The Camel and the Wheel. Morningside Book Series. Columbia University Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-231-07235-9.
- Mills, D.S. & S.M. McDonnell (Editors)(2005), The Domestic Horse: The Origins, Development and Management of its Behaviour (Cambridge University Press)
- Ehret, Christopher (2004), "The Afrasan (Afroasiatic) Language Family Originated in Africa, and Other True Tales for Archaeologists and Biological Anthropologists"
- Kitchen, Andrew; Christopher Ehret, et al. (2009-06-22). "Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages identifies an Early Bronze Age origin of Semitic in the Near East". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 276 (1665): 2703–10. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0408. PMC 2839953. PMID 19403539.
- Zarins, Juris (1990), "Early Pastoral Nomadism and the Settlement of Lower Mesopotamia" (Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research), No. 280 (Nov., 1990), pp. 31–65
- Midant-Reynes, Beatrix (2000), The Prehistory of Egypt: From the First Egyptians to the First Pharaohs (Wiley-Blackwell)
- Versteegh, Kees (2001) The Arabic language p.13
- Sáenz-Badillos, Angel (1993) . "Hebrew in the context of the Semitic Languages". A History of the Hebrew Language (Historia de la Lengua Hebrea). trans. John Elwolde. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 18–19. ISBN 0-521-55634-1.
- Dolgopolsky 1999, p. 29.
- Hetzron 1997, p. 147.
- Woodard 2008, p. 219.
- For an example of an author using the traditional symbols, while subscribing to the new sound values, see Hackett, Joe Ann. 2008. Phoenician and Punic. In: The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia (ed. Roger D. Woodard). Likewise Huehnengard, John and Christopher Woods. 2008. Akkadian and Eblaite. In: The Ancient Languages of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Aksum (ed. Roger D. Woodard). P.96: "Similarly, there was a triad of affricates, voiced /dz/ (< z >) voiceless /ts/ (< s >), and emphatic /tsʼ/ (< *ṣ >). These became fricatives in later dialects; the voiceless member of this later, fricative set was pronounced [s] in Babylonian, but [š] in Assyrian, while the reflex of Proto-Semitic *š, which was probably simple [s] originally, continued to be pronounced as such in Assyrian, but as [š] in Babylonian." Similarly, an author remaining undecided regarding the sound values of the sibilants will also use the conventional symbols, e.g. Greenberg, Joseph, The Patterning of Root Morphemes in Semitic. 1990. P.379. In: On language: selected writings of Joseph H. Greenberg. Ed. Keith M. Denning and Suzanne Kemme: "There is great uncertainty regarding the phonetic values of s, ś, and š in Proto-Semitic. I simply use them here as conventional transcriptions of the three sibilants corresponding to the sounds indicated by samekh, śin, and šin respectively in Hebrew orthography."
- Lipiński, Edward. 2000. Semitic languages: outline of a comparative grammar. E.g. the tables on p.113, p.131; also p.133: "Common Semitic or Proto-Semitic has a voiceless fricative prepalatal or palato-alevolar š, i.e. [ʃ] ...", p.129 ff.
- Macdonald, M.C.A. 2008. Ancient North Arabian. In: The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia (ed. Roger D. Woodard). P.190. Likewise most other authors in that volume, who posit the traditional designations and/or sound values for the daughter languages.
- Ferguson, Charles (1959), "The Arabic Koine", Language 35 (4): 630.
- Versteegh, Kees (1997), The Arabic Language, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 90-04-17702-7
- E.g. Huehnengard, John. 2008. Afro-Asiatic. In: The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia (ed. Roger D. Woodard). P.229–231
- Blau, Joshua (2010). Phonology and Morphology of Biblical Hebrew. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. p. 25–40.
- Dolgopolsky 1999, p. 33.
- Kogan, Leonid (2011). "Proto-Semitic Phonetics and Phonology". In Semitic languages: an international handbook, Stefan Weninger, ed. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. P. 62.
- According to Kogan "Proto-Semitic Phonetics and Phonology" (2011), Steiner 1982a is the "classic exposition" (p. 62).
- Kogan, (2011), p. 63.
- Dolgopolsky 1999, p. 32.
- Kogan (2011), p. 66.
- Kogan (2011), p. 67.
- Kogan (2011), pp. 67-68.
- Kogan (2011), p. 69.
- Quoted in Kogan (2011), p. 68.
- Kogan (2011), p. 68.
- Kogan (2011), p. 70, quoting Martinet 1953 p. 73 and Murtonen 1966 p. 138.
- Kogan (2011), p. 70.
- Kogan (2011), pp. 92-93.
- Kogan (2011), p. 80.
- Dolgopolsky 1999, pp. 19, 69-70
- Kienast, Burkhart. (2001). Historische semitische Sprachwissenschaft.
- Dolgopolsky, Aron (1999). From Proto-Semitic to Hebrew. Milan: Centro Studi Camito-Semitici di Milano.
- Hetzron; Robert (1997). The Semitic languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 572. ISBN 0-415-05767-1.
- Woodard, Roger (2008). The Ancient Languages of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Aksum. Cambridge University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-521-68497-8.