Annual Semitic Philology Lecture - 2011
Semitic and Afroasiatic: Challenges and Opportunities
Professor Lurtz Edzard
University of Oslo
5.00pm, Wednesday, 4th May, 2011
Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Sidgwick Site)
In this presentation, I shall review a number of notorious problems in Semitic linguistics that deserve to be treated in a broader Afroasiatic perspective. Among these are the following issues: the consecutive tenses in Biblical Hebrew, the gemination of C2 in the Akkadian and Ethio-Semitic verbal systems, the distribution of absolutive and predicative case in Arabic, the general scenario of gender polarity in the number system, and the shift to SOV word order with all its implications in Ethio-Semitic. I shall argue that typological parallels in other branches of Afroasiatic may help to elucidate the respective situation in Semitic.