Covers the major languages, language families, and writing systems attested in the Ancient Near East
Filled with enlightening chapters by noted experts in the field, this book introduces Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) languages and language families used during the time period of roughly 3200 BCE to the second century CE in the areas of Egypt, the Levant, eastern Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Iran. In addition to providing grammatical sketches of the respective languages, the book focuses on socio-linguistic questions such as language contact, diglossia, the development of literary standard languages, and the development of diplomatic languages or “linguae francae.” It also addresses the interaction of Ancient Near Eastern languages with each other and their roles within the political and cultural systems of ANE societies.
Presented in five parts, The Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages provides readers with in-depth chapter coverage of the writing systems of ANE, starting with their decipherment. It looks at the emergence of cuneiform writing; the development of Egyptian writing in the fourth and early third millennium BCI; and the emergence of alphabetic scripts. The book also covers many of the individual languages themselves, including Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Pre- and Post-Exilic Hebrew, Phoenician, Ancient South Arabian, and more.
- Provides an overview of all major language families and writing systems used in the Ancient Near East during the time period from the beginning of writing (approximately 3200 BCE) to the second century CE (end of cuneiform writing)
- Addresses how the individual languages interacted with each other and how they functioned in the societies that used them
- Written by leading experts on the languages and topics
The Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages is an ideal book for undergraduate students and scholars interested in Ancient Near Eastern cultures and languages or certain aspects of these languages.