Phoenician and Punic

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Historical and Cultural contexts. Phoenician is a member of the Semitic language family, specifically the Northwest Semitic branch of Central Semitic. Within Northwest Semitic it is a Canaanite language, the closest relatives of which are Hebrew, Moabite, Ammonite, and Edomite. Phoenicia. A description of the sources for the Phoenician language depends to a certain extent on what “Phoenician” is held to mean. The term “Phoenicia” is generally reserved for the strip of land sixty miles long (from Acco in the south to Tell Sukas in the north) and at most thirty miles wide, on the northern coast of the Levant, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean and on the east by the Lebanon Mountains – that is, the modern coast of Lebanon and part of the northern coast of modern Israel. As a scholarly convention, this area is referred to as Phoenicia after 1200 BC, the beginning of the Iron Age. In the early Iron Age, the ravages of the so-called Sea Peoples along the coast of ancient Canaan and into Egypt forced the withdrawal of Egyptian control over Canaan. This withdrawal allowed the Philistines and other Sea Peoples to gain control over the southern coastal plain, and even to expand eastward, where they met a westward-expanding Israel.

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This paper traces the employment of original Phoenician-Punic guttural graphemes, <ˀ>, <ˁ>, , and <ḥ>, to represent vowel phonemes in later Punic. Three typologically distinct treatments are identified: (1) morphographic, where the grapheme <ˀ> indicates the etymological glottal stop /ˀ/ (its original function) as well as vowel morphemes without specifying their phonological character; (2) morpho-phonographic, where guttural graphemes continue to indicate etymological guttural consonants, but now both the presence of a vowel morpheme and (potentially) the vowel quality of that morpheme; and (3) phonographic, where the same set of guttural graphemes serve to denote vowel phonemes only, and do not any longer indicate guttural consonants. The threefold division is argued for on the basis of the Late Punic language written in Punic and Neopunic scripts. Despite the availability of dedicated vowel graphemes, these are not obligatorily written in any period of written Punic. It is suggested that a typologically significant path of development may be observed across these three uses of guttural graphemes, with (3) the endpoint of a development from morphography to phonography.
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In this paper I reexamine three expressions in Amos' visions: Hebrew letter bet Hebrew letter bet (Am 7:4), (Am 7:7-8), and / (Am 8:1-2). I suggest to understand Hebrew letter bet Hebrew letter bet in Am 7:4 'to inundate with fire' postulating the root Hebrew letter bet ii (parallel to Hebrew letter betHebrew letter bet) 'to bring much water', etymologically and literarily connecting this expression to the Meribah account. For in Am 7:7-8 I substantiate the word-play that incorporates an allusion to 1cs personal pronoun, investigating the involved dialectal Northern Hebrew phenomena in their wider North-West Semitic context: The final vowel reduction in ∗anāku and the phonetic shifts ō > ū > ī, á > o, and ś > š. For the word-play / in Am 8:1-2 I elaborate on its phonetic properties, concentrating on the word-final gemination and the short vowel quality in the lexeme ∗qi. The latter case allows postulating the typological path of the corresponding phonetic development: The diphthong contraction → í > ē in an originally open syllable → í // é allophonism in a double closed syllable → final gemination simplification. As a result, several isoglosses that explicitly separate between Northern and Southern dialects of Hebrew are firmly established: The shorter form of 1cs pronoun anōk vs anōkī and the "Phoenician shift". The conclusion is that the Northern dialect is close to the Canaanite innovative center, while the Southern dialect represents the conservative periphery.
In 2009, excavations were conducted in the porta praetoria area of the Severan oasis fort at Cheriat el-Garbia. Now, there is sufficient structural, epigraphic, and material evidence to infer the deployment of a late Roman unit, probably of limitanei, in the repaired fort (castra) between ca. 360/380 and 430/455 AD. Two late Roman deposits which can be characterised as rubbish dumps yielded nine ostraca; these are written in a new variant of late Punic which will be called "South Punic". They exhibit scribal and linguistic features hitherto unknown to Neopunic or Latino-Punic. Two of them are Latin and South Punic bilinguals. Despite their fragmentary condition, they serve to increase our knowledge of the Punic vernacular in late Roman North Africa.
Jo Ann Hackett is Professor of the Practice of Biblical Hebrew and Northwest Semitic Epigraphy at Harvard University, where she has taught since 1989. After receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard in 1980, she taught at Occidental College in Los Angeles, at Johns Hopkins University, and at Indiana University, before returning to Harvard in her present position. Professor Hackett's publications include The Balaam text from Deir ·Allå (1984); ‘Phoenician and Punic’ in the Cambridge encyclopedia of the world's ancient languages (2004); ‘Biblical Hebrew’ in Beyond Babel: a handbook for biblical Hebrew and related languages (2002); and ‘The study of partially documented languages’ in Semitic linguistics: the state of the art at the turn of the twenty-first century (2003).
familiarity with Greek language, and knowledge - critical engagement with Greek antiquity;Classics profession - widely different attitudes within it;grammars used for reference in context - nineteenth-century German scholarship;Greek language - as highly refined (and evolved) means of expressing an author's thought;historical-comparative linguistics - establishing subdiscipline of Greek philology;study of language “itself” - moving past pedagogical-hermeneutical positions of reference grammars;general de-emphasis of “norms” and “default cases” - language interest other than “standard” or “good” Greek;materiality of Greek language;Rudolf Wachter and Arthur Verhoogt's - materials, coming down from inscriptions and papyri;three essays in reflection - on Greek language within antiquity