**From:** Miguel Carrasquer

**Message:** 27708

**Date:** 2003-11-27

On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 14:05:42 +0100 (MET), Harald Hammarstrom

<haha2581@...> wrote:

contruct absolute definite

-0 -m -n

/-a/? /-am/ -/an/ or /-a:n/

Now I would be very interested in knowing what the plural and dual

equivalents were.

We've been discussing this on sci.lang, where I got side-tracked from

*sab`atu(m) into a discussion about Semitic nunation and mimation in

general. I can give a short resumÃ© of my own views here (although it's a

bit off-topic [a lot, really]):

The way I see it, proto-Semitic had a construct state:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -0 -at-0

acc -0 -at-0

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-0/-a:n-0

obl -i: -a:t-i

du.

nom -a: -at-a:

obl -a-i: -at-a-i:

There was a definite state, constructed by adding a old pronominal article

*V, pl./du. *Vn):

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u -at-u

acc -a -at-a

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u:-n -a:t-u

obl -i:-n -a:t-i

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -a-i:-n -at-a-i:-n

Note that the fem.pl., which already contains the plural marker -a:t- (~

-a:n-) does not add the plural form of the "article".

Finally, there was an "indefinite" state, with *-n (perhaps *-m?) added to

all forms, whether singular, plural and dual:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u-n -at-u-n

acc -a-n -at-a-n

gen -i-n -at-i-n

pl.

nom -u:-n -a:t-u-n

obl -i:-n -a:t-i-n

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -a-i:-n -at-a-i:-n

Akkadian has a construct and an absolute state, where the absolute state

continues the old "indefinite". The final sequence *-u(:)n becomes

*-u(:)m, and the *-m is analogically extended to the oblique case(s).

After a long vowel, *-m (but not *-n) is dropped. This results in

Akkadian:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u-m -at-u-m

acc -a-m -at-a-m

gen -i-m -at-i-m

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-u-m

obl -i: -a:t-i-m

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -i:-n -at-i:-n

Canaanite (Ugaritic, Phoenician, Hebrew...) also has a construct and an

absolute state, but here the absolute continues the old definite state.

The *-m from *-um/*-u:m has here been extended to the dual as well:

Ugaritic Hebrew

nom -u -at-u

acc -a -at-a -0 -a:(h) < *-ata

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u:-m(a) -a:t-u

obl -i:-m(a) -a:t-i -i:m -o:t

du.

nom -a:-m -at-a:-m

obl -i:-m -at-i:-m -ayim -a:tayim

Aramaic is essentially the same, but has generalized nunation:

sg. -0 -a:(h) < *-ata

pl. -i:-n -a:n

du. -a-yi-n -&t-a-yi-n

Note the fem.pl. in -a:n for expected -a:t (Hebrew -o:t).

Arabic maintains all three states:

construct definite indefinite

nom -u -at-u -u -at-u -u-n -at-u-n

acc -a -at-a -a -at-a -a-n -at-a-n

gen -i -at-i -i -at-i -i-n -at-i-n

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-u -u:-n(a) -a:t-u -u:-n(a) -a:t-u-n

obl -i: -a:t-i -i:-n(a) -a:t-i -i:-n(a) -a:t-i-n

du.

nom -a: -at-a: -a:-n(i) -at-a:-n(i) -a:-n(i) -at-a:-n(i)

obl -a-y -at-a-y -a-y-n(i) -at-a-y-n(i) -a-y-n(i) -at-a-y-n(i)

As in NW Semitic, the singular of the construct state has been equated with

the singular of the definite stae.

So, I would like to know how Sabaean fits into this.

=======================

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

mcv@...

<haha2581@...> wrote:

>I had to go look for my old papers and you are dead right. It's my memoryThanks. If I can summarize, the Sabaean noun had three "states":

>that was wrong. I quote unpublished Jan RetsÃ¶ "Introduction to Sabaean",

>2000. p. 4:

>"The nominal declension

>Most Sabaean nouns (substantives, adjectives and numerals) are declined

>according to states. The two basic ones are the construct and the

>absolute. The construct has no visible marking. The absolute is formed by

>adding the suffix <m>:

><yd> - <ydm>

><hgr> - <hgrm>

>

>There is no semantic difference between the two states. They serve as

>markers of syntactic relations between nouns. The absolute state can be

>seen as the lexical form of a noun (its quotation form) and is the normal

>form of a noun (substantive or adjective) which is not restricted by

>genitival attributes in a sentence. For the use of the construct state,

>see below, lesson 5 and 6.

>

>Sabaean distinguishes definiteness by adding a suffix <n> to the noun

>which thus functions as a definite article. The article replaces the

>absolute suffix. Most nouns thus have two independent forms:

>

><hgrm> 'a town' - <hgrn> 'the town'

>

>The absolute-suffix is, however, not an indefinite article which is seen

>from its frequent use in proper names which are always definite: <mlkm>

>'Malik'.

>

>There's no certain indication that Sabaean had a case-inflection like the

>Arabiyya or Akkadian. It has been assumed that the vocalisation of the

>singular definite state was -a:n but it seems more likely that there was

>an alteration between short and long vowels: -a:n/-an perhaps governed by

>accent. In Arabic there are cases of isolated lexemes ending in a vowel

>+ -n like bilGHa:n-un 'story-teller, gossiper', 3ljan-un 'robust, rough',

>firsin-un 'camel's foot', burTun-un 'claw'. The absolute was -am thus:

>baytam. With this should be compared the Arabic words like KHiDrim-un

>'courageous', Duj3um-un 'strong', all probably loanwords from a dialect or

>language (Himyaritic) close to Sabaean(1). Also forms like 'ibnum, 'ibnim,

>'ibnam 'son' are documented in the Arabiyya(2)."

contruct absolute definite

-0 -m -n

/-a/? /-am/ -/an/ or /-a:n/

Now I would be very interested in knowing what the plural and dual

equivalents were.

We've been discussing this on sci.lang, where I got side-tracked from

*sab`atu(m) into a discussion about Semitic nunation and mimation in

general. I can give a short resumÃ© of my own views here (although it's a

bit off-topic [a lot, really]):

The way I see it, proto-Semitic had a construct state:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -0 -at-0

acc -0 -at-0

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-0/-a:n-0

obl -i: -a:t-i

du.

nom -a: -at-a:

obl -a-i: -at-a-i:

There was a definite state, constructed by adding a old pronominal article

*V, pl./du. *Vn):

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u -at-u

acc -a -at-a

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u:-n -a:t-u

obl -i:-n -a:t-i

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -a-i:-n -at-a-i:-n

Note that the fem.pl., which already contains the plural marker -a:t- (~

-a:n-) does not add the plural form of the "article".

Finally, there was an "indefinite" state, with *-n (perhaps *-m?) added to

all forms, whether singular, plural and dual:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u-n -at-u-n

acc -a-n -at-a-n

gen -i-n -at-i-n

pl.

nom -u:-n -a:t-u-n

obl -i:-n -a:t-i-n

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -a-i:-n -at-a-i:-n

Akkadian has a construct and an absolute state, where the absolute state

continues the old "indefinite". The final sequence *-u(:)n becomes

*-u(:)m, and the *-m is analogically extended to the oblique case(s).

After a long vowel, *-m (but not *-n) is dropped. This results in

Akkadian:

sg. masc. fem.

nom -u-m -at-u-m

acc -a-m -at-a-m

gen -i-m -at-i-m

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-u-m

obl -i: -a:t-i-m

du.

nom -a:-n -at-a:-n

obl -i:-n -at-i:-n

Canaanite (Ugaritic, Phoenician, Hebrew...) also has a construct and an

absolute state, but here the absolute continues the old definite state.

The *-m from *-um/*-u:m has here been extended to the dual as well:

Ugaritic Hebrew

nom -u -at-u

acc -a -at-a -0 -a:(h) < *-ata

gen -i -at-i

pl.

nom -u:-m(a) -a:t-u

obl -i:-m(a) -a:t-i -i:m -o:t

du.

nom -a:-m -at-a:-m

obl -i:-m -at-i:-m -ayim -a:tayim

Aramaic is essentially the same, but has generalized nunation:

sg. -0 -a:(h) < *-ata

pl. -i:-n -a:n

du. -a-yi-n -&t-a-yi-n

Note the fem.pl. in -a:n for expected -a:t (Hebrew -o:t).

Arabic maintains all three states:

construct definite indefinite

nom -u -at-u -u -at-u -u-n -at-u-n

acc -a -at-a -a -at-a -a-n -at-a-n

gen -i -at-i -i -at-i -i-n -at-i-n

pl.

nom -u: -a:t-u -u:-n(a) -a:t-u -u:-n(a) -a:t-u-n

obl -i: -a:t-i -i:-n(a) -a:t-i -i:-n(a) -a:t-i-n

du.

nom -a: -at-a: -a:-n(i) -at-a:-n(i) -a:-n(i) -at-a:-n(i)

obl -a-y -at-a-y -a-y-n(i) -at-a-y-n(i) -a-y-n(i) -at-a-y-n(i)

As in NW Semitic, the singular of the construct state has been equated with

the singular of the definite stae.

So, I would like to know how Sabaean fits into this.

=======================

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal

mcv@...