Search Results

In: Handbook of Ugaritic Studies
Editor: Juan-Pablo Vita
Akkadian is, after Sumerian, the second oldest language attested in the Ancient Near East, as well as the oldest known Semitic language. It is also a language with one of history’s longest written records. And yet, unlike other relevant languages written over a long period of time, there has been no volume dedicated to its own history. The aim of the present work is to fill that void. The outcome is presented in 26 chapters written by 25 leading authors and divided into two volumes, the first covering the linguistic background and early periods and the second covering the second and first millennia BCE as well as its afterlife.
In: Semitic Languages in Contact

This article describes and analyzes three situations of linguistic contact in the Ancient Near East, taking as its staring point three theoretical studies on contact languages which have been developed recently: the framework of mixed languages (Bakker and Matras, ; Meakins, ), the theory of written language contact (Johanson, ) and the approach to contact among genetically related languages (Epps, Huehnergard and Pat-El, ). The authors argue that the contact systems selected for this article (Ugaritic-Hurrian, Hurro-Akkadian and Canaano-Akkadian), although distinct from the grammatical and sociolinguistic perspective, can all be viewed as expressions of the same dynamic phenomena, where each variety of mixing corresponds to a different stage of a universal continuum of languages in the situation of merger. Consequently, they can be located along the universal cline of mixing: Ugaritic-Hurrian matches the initial stage of intermingling, Hurro-Akkadian reflects gradually more intense blending, and Canaano-Akkadian corresponds to the phase of a profound fusion of the two source codes. By examining and comparing the three cases of mixing, the authors introduce new insights to the general discussion on mixed languages, written language contact and relevance of genetic relation in language intermingling, thus corroborating and/or refining certain hypotheses and propositions that have previously been formulated within the latest theoretical studies.

Free access
In: Journal of Language Contact