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South Semitic

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Title: South Semitic  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Semitic languages, Akkadian language, Ge'ez language, Yemen, Qahtanite, Arabization, Old South Arabian, Alexander the Great in the Quran, Sabaean language, Ethiopian Semitic languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

South Semitic

South Semitic
Yemen, Oman, Ethiopia, Eritrea
Linguistic classification: Afro-Asiatic

South Semitic is a commonly accepted branch of the Semitic languages. Semitic itself is a branch of the larger Afro-Asiatic language family found in (Northern and Eastern) Africa and Western Asia.

South Semitic is divided into two uncontroversial branches: Ethnologue lists six modern members of the South Arabian branch and 14 members of the Ethiopian branch.

The "homeland" of the South Semitic languages is widely debated, but is believed to have been the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. The modern and historic presence of South Semitic Ethiopian languages (and Ethiopic script) in Africa is believed by some to be due to a migration of South Arabian speakers from Yemen within the last few thousand years. Older research, such as by A. Murtonen (1967), and Lionel Bender (1997),[1] suggesting that Semitic may have originated in Ethiopia, has been put into question by more recent research. In the 21st century, linguists such as Andrew Kitchen and Christopher Ehret affirm Semitic's origins in the Near East.[2]


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