|Era||3rd millennium BCE|
Eblaite // (also known as Eblan ISO 639-3), or Paleo Syrian, is an extinct Semitic language which was used during the third millennium BCE by the populations of Northern Syria. It was named after the ancient city of Ebla, in modern western Syria. Variants of the language were also spoken in Mari and Nagar. According to Cyrus H. Gordon, although scribes might have spoken it sometimes, Eblaite was probably not spoken much, being rather a written lingua franca with East and West Semitic features.
Eblaite has been described as an East Semitic language or a North Semitic language; scholars notice the great affinity between Eblaite and pre-Sargonic Akkadian and debate the relation between the two.
North Semitic classification
- Edward Lipiński, noting that in the third millennium BC, there was no clear border between East Semitic languages and West Semitic languages, calls Eblaite a Paleosyrian language and explains the similarities with Akkadian by the use of the same system of writing borrowed from Sumer. Lipiński separates Eblaite from Akkadian, assigning the latter to the East Semitic languages while classifying Eblaite with Amorite and Ugaritic into a grouping he names the North Semitic languages.
East Semitic classification
- Scholars such as Richard I. Caplice, Ignace Gelb and John Huehnergard, have the view that Eblaite is an East Semitic language not to be seen as an early Akkadian dialect, because the differences with other Akkadian dialects are considerable.
- Manfred Krebernik says that Eblaite "is so closely related to Akkadian that it may be classified as an early Akkadian dialect", although some of the names that appear in the tablets are Northwest Semitic.
Eblaite is considered by the East-Semitic classification supporters as a language which exhibits both West-Semitic and East-Semitic features. Grammatically, Eblaite is closer to Akkadian, but lexically and in some grammatical forms, Eblaite is closer to West-Semitic languages.
- Eblaite at MultiTree on the Linguist List
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Eblaite". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Keith Brown, Sarah Ogilvie (2010). Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. p. 313. Archived from the original on 2017-10-18.
- Edward Lipiński (2001). Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. p. 52. Archived from the original on 2017-10-17.
- Gordon, "Amorite and Eblaite", page 101
- Edward Lipiński (2001). Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. p. 49. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22.
- Edward Lipiński (2001). Semitic Languages: Outline of a Comparative Grammar. p. 50. Archived from the original on 2016-04-26.
- Robert Hetzron (2013). The Semitic Languages. p. 7. Archived from the original on 2016-05-06.
- Jerrold S. Cooper, Glenn M. Schwartz (1996). The Study of the Ancient Near East in the Twenty-first Century: The William Foxwell Albright Centennial Conference. p. 259. Archived from the original on 2018-03-20.
- Krebernik, "Linguistic Classification"
- Alan S. Kaye (1991). Semitic studies, Volume 1. p. 550. Archived from the original on 2018-03-20.
- Robert Hetzron (2013). The Semitic Languages. p. 101. Archived from the original on 2016-04-23.
- Watson E. Mills,Roger Aubrey Bullard (1990). Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. p. 226. Archived from the original on 2016-05-21.
- A. Archi. 1987. "Ebla and Eblaite," Eblaitica 1. Ed. C.H. Gordon. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Pages 7–17.
- Cyrus H. Gordon. 1997. "Amorite and Eblaite," The Semitic Languages. Ed. Robert Hetzron. New York: Routledge. Pages 100-113.
- Manfred Krebernik. 1996. "The Linguistic Classification of Eblaite: Methods, Problems, and Results." In The Study of the Ancient Near East in the Twenty-First Century: The William Foxwell Albright Centennial Conference (eds. J.S. Cooper – G.M. Schwartz), pp. 233–249.
- G. Rubio 2006. "Eblaite, Akkadian, and East Semitic." In The Akkadian Language in its Semitic Context (ed. N.J.C. Kouwenberg and G. Deutscher. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten), pp. 110–139.
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