Ancient Cubrite (natively 𐤄𐤋𐤔𐤅𐤍 𐤄𐤒𐤁𐤓𐤉𐤀 hal-lasūn haκ-κubrījō 'the Cubrite language' /ʔal'lasoːn ʔak'kʰubri:ja:/ or hal-lasūn hat-turȳdījō 'the Druidic language') is the stage of Cubrite after the split from Pre-Exilic Biblical Hebrew. It underwent drastic changes in mere centuries, thus ushering in the era of modern Cubrite.
Ancient Cubrite developed in isolation from Hebrew and was influenced by Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Galatian. It is a separate lineage from the dialect of Canaanite that eventually gave rise to Tiberian Hebrew and the modern Jewish Hebrew reading traditions in Lõis.
Surviving literature in Ancient Cubrite includes bardic poetry; one Beowulf-length heroic epic, Tabarē Harδȳr (Tales of Arthur); and some incantations.
- 1 Todo
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphophonology
- 4 Morphology
- 4.1 Pronouns
- 4.2 Nouns
- 4.3 Adjectives
- 4.4 Verbs
- 4.5 Prepositions
- 4.6 Conjunctions
- 5 Syntax
- 6 Vocabulary
- 7 Sample texts
- 8 Modern uses
- 9 Lexicon
- When should matres lectionis be used?
- some a-priori roots
- Vowel reduction:
- final originally unstressed long > short
- ō > ū > ȳ > ȳ?
Ancient Cubrite was written in an abjad descended from the Proto-Hebrew script. Incantations were completely vocalized, other religious texts less so.
Since Ancient Cubrite merged /ʔ/ and /h/ completely, the letters aleph (half) and he (hê) are confused in earlier texts. Eventually the letter he was only used for a few function words and particles such as the definite article haC-.
Out of the 25 consonants of Proto-Canaanite, Ancient Cubrite merged:
- /x/ with /ħ/ into /ħ/
- /ʕ/ and /ɣ/ into /ɣ̃/
- /h/ and /ʔ/ into /ʔ~ɦ~h~Ø/ ([h] was an allophone used for emphasis.)
- /s/ and /š/ into /s/
On the other hand, it gained consonants allophonically (see #Mutations).
/m p b f v n t d (ʔ)tʰ θ ð ts s̺ tsʰ ɬ (Philly L) ħ k g (ʔ)kʰ x l w j r ʔ~ɦ~h~Ø/ 〈m p b f v n t d ᴛ θ δ z s c ś ȝ ħ k g ᴋ x l w y r h〉
Ancient Cubrite retained Proto-Canaanite vowel length and developed overlong vowels. It had the chain shift ā > ō > ū > ū, similar to Punic and Judeo-Gaelic Hebrew, and developed a new ā from compensatory lengthening.
a e i u ā ē ī ō ū ȳ ê î ô û ŷ /a ɛ~e ɪ~ɨ ʊ~o aː ɛː iː ɔː uː yː ɛːː iːː ɔːː uːː yːː/
Many instances of long and overlong vowels resulted from dropped aleph and he and instances of lost gemination in grammatical affixes. For example: pû 'come! (m.sg.)' (from *būʔ < *buʔ, Tiberian Hebrew /bo:/)
There were major stress shifts away from final stress from Pre-Exilic Hebrew to Ancient Cubrite, eventually resulting in unconditional initial stress.
- Stress shifted to penultimate for feminine singular nouns ending in -ō in adjectives, then nouns, by analogy with the unstressed 3SG.F perfect affix -ō.
- By analogy, stress shifted to penultimate for nouns ending in a plural suffix -īm, -ē, or -ūδ.
- Stress became uniformly initial, ignoring proclitics such as the definite article haC-, prepositions ka- 'and', li- 'dative', bi- 'locative/instrumental', miC- 'from', and the waw in waw-forms. Vowel reduction in surviving texts (missing matres lectionis, or changes in vowels) suggests that at first this was done deliberately as a stylized way to chant incantations.
Finnish-like or Hungarian-like
Words can undergo initial mutation but the mutations are different from the begadkefat spirantization in Tiberian Hebrew. The following mutations occur after a vowel:
- beth /p/ → /b/
- pe /f/ → /v/
- daleth /t/ → /d/
- taw /θ/ → /ð/
- gimel /k/ → /g/
- kaph /x/ → /ɣ/
- zayin /ts/ → /dz/
- samekh /s/ → /z/
- 1sg: hani, ni
- 2sg: haθθa, θa (m); haθθe, θe (f)
- 3sg: hū (m); hī (f)
- 1pl: haħnu
- 2pl: haθθemma, θemma (m); haθθenna, θenna (f)
- 3pl: hemma (m), henna (f)
The definite article was ʔaC- (~ Biblical Hebrew *haC-). It caused gemination of the following consonant; if the following consonant was a guttural and thus could not geminate, it was lengthened to ʔō-.
Unstressed -ō corresponds to the Biblical feminine singular ending *-ṓ. Other possible feminine endings are -t, -θ or -δ. Eventually stress shifted away from gender/number suffixes across the board: The regular masculine and feminine plural endings were unstressed -īm and unstressed -ūδ, ~ Biblical Hebrew *-ī́m and *-ṓt.
Often -ō is found where Hebrew has -t.
The construct state was much more predictable than in Tiberian Hebrew.
Example with sȳs 'horse' and sȳsō 'female horse':
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤅𐤕 sȳsūδ |
|𐤄𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤅𐤕 has-sȳsūδ |
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤅𐤕 sȳsūδ |
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉 sȳsuδajj |
|"thy" (m)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤊 sȳsaγa
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤊 sȳsuδēγa |
|"thy" (f)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤊 sȳsaγe
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤊 sȳsuδēγe |
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤅 sȳsuδû |
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤀𐤀 sȳsuδēyô |
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤍 sȳsuδēnu |
|"y'all's" (m)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤊𐤌 sȳsaγem
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤊𐤌 sȳsuδēγem |
|"y'all's" (f)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤊𐤍 sȳsaγen
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤊𐤍 sȳsuδēγen |
|"their" (m)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤀𐤌 sȳsōm(u)
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤉𐤀𐤌, 𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤉𐤌𐤅 sȳsêm, sȳsēmu
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤀𐤌, 𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤌𐤅 sȳsuδêm, sȳsuδēmu |
|"their" (f)||𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤀𐤍 sȳsōn
|𐤎𐤅𐤎𐤕𐤉𐤀𐤍 sȳsuδên |
TODO: Principal parts for segolates and other specific patterns
The directive he reflects as -a.
Adjectives are very similar to pre-exilic Biblical Hebrew. Adjectives can be put in construct state: e.g. ħṓli hṓbō 'lovesick (m.sg.)' (ħṓli is the construct of ħṓlē 'sick').
A common way to express 'very, extreme(ly), great(ly)' was to use the clitic rū- (which caused mutation; borrowed from Proto-Celtic *ɸro-; cognate to Irish ró-, Welsh rhy, both 'too, excessively'). At first only adjectives could take this prefix, but later it was also used on nouns to indicate numerousness or intensity (influenced by רוב *rubb 'multitude' used before a noun).
todo: get rid of 3fp forms
Ancient Cubrite used all 7 binyanim of Biblical Hebrew; another stem (the L-stem; TibH פולל pûlêl and pûlal) remained fully productive in Ancient Cubrite.
Verbs inherited the following forms from pre-Biblical Hebrew:
- preterite independent (~ BH waw-consecutive preterite)
- present independent (~ BH waw-consecutive imperfect)
- preterite dependent (~ BH perfect)
- present dependent (~ BH imperfect)
- cohortative -a
- infinitive construct
The following verb forms lost their productivity:
- emphatic m.sg. imperative -a
- jussive (only survives in hajō 'to be')
- infinitive absolute
The waw-consecutive came to play a purely syntactic role: The waw-consecutive is used as the default form, and the non-waw forms are used when a pre-verbal particle is attached (such as lū 'not', him 'if; definitely not', ha- 'question particle', xī 'when', (wa)hinni 'but; but then'). This is similar to Old Irish verbal allomorphy between independent and dependent forms.
|perfect: lū haγal|
'he did not eat'
|imperfect: lū yūγal|
'he does not eat'
Binyan faȝal (paʕal)
Binyan nivȝal (nifʕal)
Binyan fiȝȝil (piʕʕel)
Binyan fuȝȝal (puʕal)
Binyan hivȝīl (hifʕil)
Binyan huvȝal (hufʕal)
Binyan hiðvaȝȝil (hithpaʕʕel)
- 1sg: -ni
- 2sg: -γa (m); -γe (f)
- 3sg: -w (after most V), -vu (after u or ȳ), -ū (after C) (m); -ô, -hô (f)
- 1pl: -nu
- 2pl: -γem (m); -γen (f)
- 3pl: -hem, -m, -im, -mu, -imu (m); -hen, -n, -in (f)
- Main article: Ancient Cubrite/Gzarot
- jūδ = direct object marker
- li- = to, for, of
- pi- = in, at, by, with (inst.)
- tum la- = like, as
- miC- = from
- ȝim, hiδ = with (comit.)
- wēn = without
- jaȝn = because of
- ȝalē = on
- xa- = and ('like' > 'and')
- ja3n = because
Ancient Cubrite syntax is similar to Bibical Hebrew, but more systematic and streamlined from an IE perspective. Basic word order was retained as VSO under the influence of Celtic (unlike in spoken Biblical Hebrew).
Ancient Cubrite preserved Biblical Hebrew-like verb conjugation quite well (even retaining the waw-consecutive), but also innovated tense constructions. This came from the fact that Celtic speakers attempting to use the aspect-based grammar of Canaanite wanted to indicate tense unambiguously. The choice of whether to use the non-waw or the waw forms is purely syntactic; it depends on whether there is a preverb or not.
- Pluperfect: hajō or wajjê + perfect
- Preterite: perfect or waw-preterite
- Past imperfect: hajō or wajjê ('was') + imperfect is used to specifically indicate past imperfect
- Present: imperfect or waw-stative
- Jussive uses the present dependent
- Future imperfective: jî or wājō + imperfect
- Future perfective: wājō + perfect (~ BH *wahajō, waw-consecutive + suffix conjugation)
- As in Hebrew, positive imperatives use the imperative but negative imperatives use hal + 2nd person present dependent.
Uses of the infinitive construct
Many of the Biblical or quasi-Biblical uses of the infinitive construct were retained:
- la + IC may be used to indicate purpose
- there were many verbs after which either la + IC or bare IC were commonly used
- ba- or xa- + IC + NOUN = "when possessor VERBs/VERBed..."
- more generally clauses with IC serve to point to an action in a tenseless way, like "for NOUN to VERB": lū jūʕīl hiwwasivū laθ-θessuᴋō = 'It is not worth it for him to join the fight'
As in Biblical Hebrew, narratives tend to use the waw-preterite. A narrative is commonly introduced by wayyê 'it was' (often to give background info).
- wayyê vaȝm waθθê lōħamō, pūdīγō smô. waθθê ȝazzaδ θessuᴋō, hinni hajōδō rū-ħūljaδ hābō.
- Once there was a woman of war named Boudica. She was mighty in the art of battle, but she was greatly lovesick.
Wishes and prayers use a form of ħajj 'alive' + subject + wa + verb in present dependent (from the jussive). This is an evolution of an oath formula ħayy X... 'I swear by X'.
- ħajjūδ hō-hasirūδ wa jagallȳ niᴛavūδ ham-mumallihūδ bō-harc xullô wa baθ-θūruκō bô.
- May the tree-spirits reveal mystical insights pervading the whole earth and the lush vegetation in it.
A somewhat less common option is to use mī jeθθin wa + present dependent (lit. who will give that...).
One can also simply use the present dependent.
Ancient Cubrite vocabulary was mostly Semitic, but with some Celtic loans. The inherited Semitic vocabulary shows some semantic drift relative to Biblical Hebrew, as well as additional coinages.
- ᴋaᴛōl, ᴋaᴛēl, ᴋaᴛūl = common noun and adjective pattern for basic words
- ᴋaᴛīl = adjective pattern
- ᴋaᴛīlō = noun pattern
- masculine segolates: ᴋaᴛl, ᴋiᴛl, ᴋuᴛl, pl. ᴋVᴛalīm (ᴋuᴛl is often used for nouns of quantity and quality)
- feminine segolates: ᴋaᴛlō, ᴋiᴛlō, ᴋuᴛlō, pl. ᴋVᴛalūδ
- ᴋaᴛalō (paraγō 'good fortune, auspiciousness')
- ᴋaᴛulō (kadulō 'magnificence', zaruħō 'radiance')
- ᴋaᴛalᴛal(ō) = diminutive
- meᴋᴛal(ō) = often place
- maᴋᴛel(ō) = instrument
- θaᴋᴛilō, θeᴋᴛulō
- ᴋaᴛᴛal(ō) = agentive
- ᴋaᴛᴛelō = disease
- θeᴋᴛulō = system of, art of, study of
- -î (feminine -īyō): adjective-forming affix
- -ȳδ: abstract noun suffix
- hī-: un-, non-
Examples of Celtic vocabulary
Ha'azinu (from the Bible)
Masoretic Text, L-Tiberian Hebrew pronunciation
English (tr. A. Z. Foreman)
The following incantation has 4 stressed syllables per line (Prosody in Ancient Cubrite poetry is based on the number of stressed syllables per line):
Modern adaptations of Proto-Azalic and Ancient Cubrite are used in certain New Age spiritual communities in Lõis, with ad hoc and often divergent pronunciation systems, as modern Levantine sprachbund languages do not have the phonation distinctions of the ancient languages.
- hōbō = love
- hilû (pl. hiūhīm) = an animistic spirit, like a Japanese kami
- hasírō = the spirit of a tree
- hinni = but
- pēδ = house
- zadō = injustice, wrong (זדה is a hapax legomena in the Siloam inscription)
- zaruħō = radiance
- ħabab = to love (stative)
- ħabaK = to hug, to embrace
- xabed 'liver'
- xabid 'heavy'
- xabūd 'honor'
- xippid 'to honor'
- xabudō 'esteemed position'
- hax-xabudō 'sir, ma'am'
- maxped 'scale, balance'
- xin 'and'
- níᴛfō = spiritual intuition or inspiration (from a root meaning 'dropping, prophecy' in BH)
- ȝarábō = willow
- fárrō = cow
- rimmūn = pomegranate