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I am unable to see the content of Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. What does it say there? It is attached to the claim that The term "Afroasiatic" (often now spelled as "Afro-Asiatic") was later coined by Maurice Delafosse (1914). However, it did not come into general use until Joseph Greenberg (1963) formally proposed its adoption. In doing so, Greenberg sought to emphasize the fact that Afroasiatic was the only language family that was represented transcontinentally, in both Africa and Asia.
The sentence specifies in both Africa and Asia? Maybe your proposal is to remove the word transcontintentally? Indeed it does not seem to add anything.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:31, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I cannot propose anything before I actually know what the source says. That said, I wouldn't want to intentionally misquote a source just to say what I like. By the way, Afrikaans is an Indo-European language. --Theurgist (talk) 07:59, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
Also, Austronesian languages are represented in both Africa (by Malagasy) and Asia (by Malay, among others), strictly speaking. --Theurgist (talk) 21:30, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
AA spans Africa & Asia in a block, unlike the others, and assuming a geographical rather than geological or biological definition of Africa. — kwami (talk) 06:34, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
But would someone please tell me what the book says actually? For some reason the content of that particular page is not available for me. --Theurgist (talk) 09:56, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
"the entire language family was named 'Hamito-Semitic' in 1876 by Fr. Müller in his Grundriss der Sprachwissenschaft ... J.H. Greenberg, instead, considering that this is the only language family represented in both Africa and Asia, proposed to call it Afro-Asiatic in his work The Languages of Africa"
Delafosse is not mentioned. — kwami (talk) 22:08, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Is this a notable alternative view we should include?
First, this book is not a serious work of linguistics, it is a political, apparently anti-Semitic, rant to "prove" that Egyptian bears more relationship to Africa than to the Near East. Second, the flow of his argument is simply silly. He claims he wants to destroy the notion of Afroasiatic, but he really doesn't. He simply wants to cut Semitic out of Afroasiatic so that Egyptian can be solidly linked to Africa. It's stupid, really. He shows nice evidence for the connection of Egyptian to the African parts of Afroasiatic and thinks that by doing so he can leave the "Jews" out of the equation. It's not a serious linguistic argument at all and is utterly fringe. There is no need to mention this anti-Semitic rant at all. --Taivo (talk) 12:17, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
But what about all the common lexicon in non-Afro-Asiatic languages, does that have merit in how language groups are defined (or is it more syntax commonalities that define languages). Its seems to be more aimed at Arabic than Hebrew, i.e. by showing that Ancient Egypt has similar lexicon to diverse non-Afro-Asiatic languages, more so than to even Arabic or Amharic. I hope i am not breaking wiki no forum rules. Personally i dont see it as antisemitic, but def anti-Semitic (language). I did also notice (as you picked up) a good argument for one thing while ignoring other arguments.--Inayity (talk) 17:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see what the guy is doing now. I didn't look closely enough after seeing the anti-Semiticism in the first couple of paragraphs. There are always random similarities between languages, no matter how distant geographically or how unrelated they are. In this case, the guy has a very tiny amount of knowledge and thinks that he can make a solid claim based on similarities without a firm grounding in actual historical and comparative linguistics. Most scholars consider the homeland of Afroasiatic to be in Africa. Only a tiny fringe look at the Middle East as the homeland. The ancestor of the Nilo-Saharan languages which the author uses would have been a neighbor to Proto-Afroasiatic so borrowing is not surprising. If the homeland of Proto-Afroasiatic was further to the west, then it would have also bordered ancestral Niger-Congo languages. In any event, the correspondences between Egyptian and Afroasiatic are in the hundreds while these correspondences that the author notes are in the tens only. The primary issue in determining relationship is not even lookalikes, but regular sound correspondences. Did you know that English "do" and French "faire" are a perfect match and related to each other even though they look nothing alike? That's how linguists work. We don't look for lookalikes, but for systematic correspondences. This author does none of that. This is a fringe view. Egyptian is very firmly established within Afroasiatic. --Taivo (talk) 19:42, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
There are also lots of pan-African words, such as the word for 'knee', which are generally ignored when doing comparisons, because all they tell you is that the language is in Africa. — kwami (talk) 00:05, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
The definition of an extinct language is "no native speakers, no living descendants". Egyptian/Coptic fits that definition, therefore the Egyptian branch of Afroasiatic is extinct. --Taivo (talk) 23:16, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
The information is unsourced and irrelevant, I don't think which ones are extinct and which ones are still existent needs to be mentioned in that particular list and without any further explanation. If you feel so passionately about keeping that then I suggest you make a new section describing it more thoroughly because the situation with Coptic/Egyptian is more complex than just "extinct". Turnopoems (talk) 15:08, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Turnopoems, three different editors disagree with you. Read WP:CONSENSUS. If a language has no native speakers and no living descendants, it is extinct. In this case the entire Egyptian branch of Afroasiatic is extinct and three other editors disagree with your opinion. --Taivo (talk) 18:15, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
The issue is no longer about whether Coptic is extinct or not, which I pointed out earlier. As I said, I don't think just mentioning that it is extinct and leaving it at that will suffice because it does not correctly describe the status of the Coptic/Egyptian language. Adding an info box with a more thorough description of the situation regarding the Coptic language should do the trick. Turnopoems (talk) 20:50, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
The info box just gives the basics. It's normal practice to mark which languages and branches are extinct in lists like this. That's entirely appropriate. The details belong in the section or article on Coptic, and indeed, in that info box it's all spelled out. — kwami (talk) 21:30, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
Will be gathering sources for proposed refinements...give me a day or three to gather them and report back here. The sources will have implications for this article as well as other Afroasiatic related articles...see the suggested scholarly sources on the Beja people talk page. The information on these respective pages needs to be updated and refined. Found these sources in doing research. I think they can be very helpful in the article(s). A.Tamar Chabadi (talk) 23:56, 2 March 2013 (UTC)