LING-430 Structure of Semitic Languages
Fall for 2013-2014
The Semitic language family is one of the oldest attested language families which is still spoken today. It includes languages spoken in Africa, Middle East and Western Asia, languages which figure prominently in the religious, political and cultural issues of our time and of history. This course aims at familiarizing students with the grammatical structure of a number of ancient and modern Semitic languages (e.g., Hebrew, Standard Arabic and dialects, Amharic, Akkadian, Aramaic and others). Topics to be covered include (but are not limited to) root and pattern morphology, the construct state, the derivation of Semitic word order, as well as aspect and modality. By the end of the class, students will have a basic understanding of the Semitic family and its special characteristics. The course is driven by class discussion, homework assignments and readings. Homework assignments will possibly include fieldwork with native speakers of Semitic languages in the D.C. area. Previous study of a Semitic language is encouraged, but not required.
Prerequisites: LING 001
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