User:IlL/A Danified analytic Neo-Arabic/Ancient

From Linguifex
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ancient Knench
Created byIlL
  • Semitic
    • Central Semitic
      • Canaanite
        • Ancient Knench

Ancient Knench, also called "Punic" in Irta (natively *hal-lasūn hak-kana3nījō 'the Canaanite language') is the earliest attested stage of Knench, first attested in the era of Biblical Hebrew. Post-Christianity it underwent drastic changes in mere centuries, thus ushering in the era of modern Knench. Ancient Knench was spoken in Iberia. Its premise is "Phoenician or Punic but a bit more Proto-Germanic".

Ancient Knench developed in isolation from Hebrew and was influenced by Azalic languages and Latin. 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 Irta.

Ancient Knench speakers were mostly Azalic speakers who adopted a Canaanite language. As such their religion differed markedly from ancient Hebrew polytheism (and seems to have adopted Semitic religious terms for concepts that were very different).

Surviving literature in Ancient Knench are attested in the Phoenician alphabet and in transcriptions into Greek or Latin. It includes a portion of the epic *Tabarē [?] (Tales of [?]) and some incantations.

(Grimm should happen during Old Knench stage)


  • When should matres lectionis be used?
  • some a-priori roots
  • Vowel reduction:
    • final originally unstressed long > short



Ancient Knench was written in an abjad descended from the Proto-Hebrew script, and sometimed used a native invented vocalization system. Incantations were completely vocalized, other religious texts less so.

Since Ancient Knench merged /ʔ/ and /h/ completely, the letters aleph (half) and he () 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 Knench 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/

/m p b n t d t(phar) ts s(retracted) ts(phar) ɬ (Philly L) ħ k g q l w j r ʔ~ɦ~h~Ø/ m p b n t d ᴛ z s c ś ȝ ħ k g ᴋ l w y r h


Ancient Knench retained Proto-Canaanite vowel length and developed overlong vowels. It had the chain shift ā > ō > ū, similar to our timeline's Punic and Irta's Tsarfati Hebrew, and developed a new ā from compensatory lengthening.

a e i u ā ē ī ō ū ê î ô û /a ɛ~e ɪ~ɨ ʊ~o aː ɛː iː ɔː uː ɛːː iːː ɔːː uːː/

Minimal pairs and triples for overlong vowels in Ancient Knench:

  • malkō 'a queen', malkô 'her king'
  • suprī 'count! (', suprî 'literary, written'
  • harbi! 'do something a lot! (' harbī! 'ibid.,' harbî 'numerous'
  • dammim 'bleed!', dammīm 'bloodshed', dammîm 'bloody, of or like blood (masculine plural)'
  • bētū 'his house', bētû 'his houses'
  • rū3ē 'the evils of', rū3ê 'the friends of'

Many instances of long and overlong vowels resulted from dropped aleph and he and instances of lost gemination in grammatical affixes. For example: 'come! (' (from *būʔ < *buʔ, Tiberian Hebrew /bo:/)







  • 1sg: hani, ni
  • 2sg: hatta, ta (m); hatte, te (f)
  • 3sg: (m); (f)
  • 1pl: haħnu
  • 2pl: hattemma, temma (m); hattenna, tenna (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 corresponds to the Biblical feminine singular ending *-ā. -t was a much less common ending than in Biblical Hebrew. Eventually stress shifted away from gender/number suffixes across the board: The regular masculine and feminine plural endings were unstressed -īn and unstressed -ūt, ~ Biblical Hebrew *-ī́m and *-ṓt.

Often is found where Hebrew has -t.

The construct state was much more predictable than in Tiberian Hebrew.

Other inflections

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 (' (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 Knench used all 7 binyanim of Biblical Hebrew; another stem (the L-stem; TibH פולל polėl and polal) remained fully productive in Ancient Knench.

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)
  • imperative
  • cohortative -a
  • infinitive construct
  • participles

The following verb forms lost their productivity:

  • emphatic 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 'not', him 'if; definitely not', ha- 'question particle', 'when', (wa)hinni 'but; but then'). This is similar to Old Irish verbal allomorphy between independent and dependent forms.

Independent vs. dependent forms: example
independent dependent
preterite waw-preterite: wayyūγal
'he ate'
perfect: lū haγal
'he did not eat'
present waw-stative: wōhaγal
'he eats'
imperfect: lū yūγal
'he does not eat'

Binyan faȝal (paʕal)

samar 'he kept'
→ Person
↓ Tense
1s 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1p 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp
preterite indep. wêsmur waθθesmur waθθesmurī wajjesmur waθθesmur wannesmur waθθesmurū waθθesmurna wajjesmurū waθθesmurna
dep. samarθi samarθa samarθe samar samarō samarnu samarθem samarθen samarū
present indep. wassamarθi wassamarθa wassamarθe wassamar wassamarō wassamarnu wassamarθem wassamarθen wassamarū
dep. hesmur θesmur θesmurī jesmur θesmur nesmur θesmurū θesmurna jesmurū θesmurna
imperative - simur! simurī! - - - simurū! simurna! - -
active participle sūmḗr
passive participle samȳ́r
infinitive simṓr

Binyan nivȝal (nifʕal)

nixθab 'it was written'
→ Person
↓ Tense
1s 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1p 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp
preterite indep. wêxxaδib waθθixxaδib waθθixxaδibī wajjixxaδib waθθixxaδib wannixxaδib waθθixxaδibū waθθixxaδibna wajjixxaδibū waθθixxaδibna
dep. nixθabθi nixθabθa nixθabθe nixθab nixθabō nixθabnu nixθabθem nixθabθen nixθabū
present indep. wannixθabθi wannixθabθa wannixθabθe wannixθab wannixθabō wannixθabnu wannixθabθem wannixθabθen wannixθabū
dep. hixxaδib θixxaδib θixxaδibī jixxaδib θixxaδib nixxaδib θixxaδibū θixxaδibna jixxaδibū θixxaδibna
imperative - hixxaδib! hixxaδibī! - - - hixxaδibū! hixxaδibna! - -
participle nixθōb
infinitive hixxaδib

Binyan fiȝȝil (piʕʕel)

kittil 'he grew (sth)'
→ Person
↓ Tense
1s 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1p 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp
preterite indep. wôgattil waθθagattil waθθagattilī wajjagattil waθθagattil wannagattil waθθagattilū waθθagattelna wajjagattilū waθθagattelna
dep. kittelθi kittelθa kittelθe kittil kittilō kittelnu kittelθem kittelθen kittilū
present indep. wakkittelθi wakkittelθa wakkittelθe wakkittil wakkittilō wakkittelnu wakkittelθem wakkittelθen wakkittilū
dep. hagattil θagattil θagattilī jagattil θagattil nagattil θagattilū θagattelna jagattilū θagattelna
imperative - kattil! kattilī! - - - kattilū! kattelna! - -
participle mugattil
infinitive kattil

Binyan fuȝȝal (puʕal)

Binyan hivȝīl (hifʕil)

hibdīl 'he separated'
→ Person
↓ Tense
1s 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1p 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp
preterite indep. wôbdīl waθθabdīl waθθabdīlī wajjabdīl waθθabdīl wannabdīl waθθabdīlū waθθabdelna wajjabdīlū waθθabdelna
preterite dep. hibdelθi hibdelθa hibdelθe hibdīl hibdīlō hibdelnu hibdelθem hibdelθen hibdīlū
present indep. wêbdelθi wêbdelθa wêbdelθe wêbdel wêbdelō wêbdelnu wêbdelθem wêbdelθen wêbdelū
present dep. habdīl θabdīl θabdīlī jabdīl θabdīl nabdīl θabdīlū θabdelna jabdīlū θabdelna
imperative - habdel! habdelī! - - - habdelū! habdelna! - -
participle mabdīl
infinitive habdīl

Binyan huvȝal (hufʕal)

Binyan hiðvaȝȝil (hithpaʕʕel)

hiθnaᴋᴋim 'he resented'
→ Person
↓ Tense
1s 2ms 2fs 3ms 3fs 1p 2mp 2fp 3mp 3fp
preterite indep. wôθnaᴋᴋim waθθiθnaᴋᴋim waθθiθnaᴋᴋimī wajjiθnaᴋᴋim waθθiθnaᴋᴋim wanniθnaᴋᴋim waθθiθnaᴋᴋimū waθθiθnaᴋᴋemna wajjiθnaᴋᴋimū waθθiθnaᴋᴋemna
preterite dep. hiθnaᴋᴋemθi hiθnaᴋᴋemθa hiθnaᴋᴋemθe hiθnaᴋᴋim hiθnaᴋᴋimō hiθnaᴋᴋemnu hiθnaᴋᴋemθem hiθnaᴋᴋemθen hiθnaᴋᴋimū
present indep. wêθnaᴋᴋemθi wêθnaᴋᴋemθa wêθnaᴋᴋemθe wêθnaᴋᴋim wêθnaᴋᴋimō wêθnaᴋᴋemθnu wêθnaᴋᴋemθem wêθnaᴋᴋemθem wêθnaᴋᴋimū
present dep. haθnaᴋᴋim θiθnaᴋᴋim θiθnaᴋᴋimī jiθnaᴋᴋim θiθnaᴋᴋim niθnaᴋᴋim θiθnaᴋᴋimū θiθnaᴋᴋemna θiθnaᴋᴋimū θiθnaᴋᴋemna
imperative - hiθnaᴋᴋim! hiθnaᴋᴋimī! - - - hiθnaᴋᴋimū! hiθnaᴋᴋemna! - -
participle muθnaᴋᴋim
infinitive hiθnaᴋᴋim

Object suffixes

  • 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 Knench/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 Knench syntax is similar to Bibical Hebrew but appears more streamlined from an IE perspective. Basic word order was retained as VSO (unlike in spoken Biblical Hebrew).

Tense constructions

Ancient Knench 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: 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:

  1. la + IC may be used to indicate purpose
  2. there were many verbs after which either la + IC or bare IC were commonly used
  3. ba- or xa- + IC + NOUN = "when possessor VERBs/VERBed..."
  4. 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).

Hypothetical example:

wajjê faȝm wattê lāħamō, būdīkō smô. wattê ȝazzat tessuᴋō, hinni hajōt rū-ħūljat 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'.

ħajjūt hō-hasirūt wa jagallū niᴛafūt ham-mumallihūt bō-harc kullô wa bat-tūruκō 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 Knench vocabulary was mostly Semitic, but with many Azalic loans and a few 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. ᴋVᴛalīn (ᴋuᴛl is often used for nouns of quantity and quality)
  • feminine segolates: ᴋaᴛlō, ᴋiᴛlō, ᴋuᴛlō, pl. ᴋVᴛalūδ
  • ᴋaᴛalō (paraγō 'good fortune, auspiciousness')
  • ᴋaᴛilō
  • ᴋaᴛulō (kadulō 'magnificence', zaruħō 'radiance')
  • ᴋaᴛalᴛal(ō) = diminutive
  • meᴋᴛal(ō) = often place
  • maᴋᴛel(ō) = instrument
  • meᴋᴛūl
  • meᴋᴛul(ō)
  • θaᴋᴛilō, θeᴋᴛulō
  • ᴋaᴛlūn
  • ᴋiᴛᴛalūn
  • ᴋaᴛᴛal(ō) = agentive
  • ᴋaᴛᴛelō = disease
  • ᴋaᴛᴛulō
  • θaᴋᴛelō
  • θeᴋᴛulō = system of, art of, study of


  • (feminine -īyō): adjective-forming affix
  • -ȳδ: abstract noun suffix
  • hī-: un-, non-

Examples of Celtic vocabulary

Sample texts

An incantation

The following incantation has 4 stressed syllables per line (Prosody in Ancient Knench poetry is based on the number of stressed syllables per line):


A ritual

An excerpt


TODO: weight sensitive stress after stress shift to penultimate and final vowel loss; verbs have earlier stress than nouns

hāzī́nū, has-samḗm, bi-dábbirī; súmȝī, hā-harc, jūt millū́lē fî.
tésᴛuf líᴋħī dum lam-maᴛár, tézzal hímratī dum laᴛ-ᴛal,
dum la-natz ȝálē dās, ka dum la-rubb-neᴛī́fō ȝálē ȝiśb.



  • hōbō = love
  • hilû (pl. hiūhīm) = an animistic spirit, like a Japanese kami
  • hasírō = the spirit of a tree
  • hinni = but


  • bēt = house





  • zadō = injustice, wrong (זדה is a hapax legomena in the Siloam inscription)
  • zaruħō = radiance


  • ħabab = to love (stative)
  • ħabaᴋ = to hug, to embrace
  • ħawō = to live
    • ħawe! = hail! (u > a after a guttural first consonant) (Source of Latin ave in Irta)



  • k-b-d
    • kabed 'liver'
    • kabid 'heavy'
    • kabūd 'honor'
    • kibbid 'to honor'
    • kabudō 'esteemed position'
      • hak-kabudō 'sir, ma'am'
    • makped 'scale, balance'
  • kin, ka- 'and'




  • n-ᴛ-f
    • níᴛfō = spiritual intuition or inspiration (from a root meaning 'dropping, prophecy' in BH)



  • ȝarábō = willow


  • párrō = cow



  • rimmūn = pomegranate