Taymanitic
RegionTaymāʾ
Erasecond half of the 6th century BCE
Ancient North Arabian
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Glottologtaym1240

Taymanitic was the language and script of the oasis of Taymāʾ in northwestern Arabia, dated to the second half of the 6th century BCE.[1]

Classification

Taymanitic does not participate in the key innovations of Proto-Arabic, precluding it from being considered a member of the Arabic language family. It shares one key isogloss with Northwest Semitic: the change w > y in word-initial position. Examples include yrḫ for *warḫum 'moon, month' and ydʿ for wadaʿa 'to know'.[2]

It is clear that Taymanitic script expressed a distinct linguistic variety that is not Arabic and not closely related to Hismaic or Safaitic, while it can tentatively be suggested that it was more closely related to Northwest Semitic.[3]

Phonology

Consonants

Consonant phonemes[4]
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Pharyn-
geal
Glottal
plain sibilant lateral
Nasal m n
Plosive/
Affricate
voiceless p t ts k ʔ
voiced b d dz ɡ
ejective tsʼ tɬʼ
Fricative voiceless s ɬ x ħ h
voiced ɣ ʕ
Liquid trill r
central l
Semivowel j w

Vowels

Monophthong phonemes
Short Long
Front Back Front Back
Close i u
Open a

There were two diphthongs of a vowel and semivowel: /aj/ and /aw/.[4]

Characteristics

Taymanitic exhibits two major features which are innovative:[2]

  1. The change w > y in word-initial position: yrḫ for *warḫum 'moon, month' and ydʿ for wadaʿa 'to know'.
  2. The mergers *z, * > *z, *s3, * > *s3, and *, * > * (loss of interdentals).

Unlike Arabic, Taymanitic does not exhibit the merger of Proto-Semitic [s] and [ts].

References

  1. ^ Kootstra, Fokelien (15 August 2016). "The Language of the Taymanitic Inscriptions and its Classification". Arabian Epigraphic Notes. LeiCenSAA: 68.
  2. ^ a b "Al-Jallad. The earliest stages of Arabic and its linguistic classification (Routledge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics, forthcoming)". www.academia.edu. Retrieved 2015-12-08.
  3. ^ Kootstra, Fokelien (15 August 2016). "The Language of the Taymanitic Inscriptions and its Classification". Arabian Epigraphic Notes. LeiCenSAA: 107.
  4. ^ a b "The Language of the Taymanitic Inscriptions and its Classification". Retrieved 2016-09-14.