This Proto-Semitic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Semitic edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Proto-Afroasiatic *-t (feminine suffix). The semantic extension from feminine to abstract/collective is comparable (albeit in reverse) to the one of Proto-Indo-European *-h₂, *-eh₂.

Suffix edit

*-at- f

  1. Feminine-forming suffix.
    1. Abstract/collective-forming suffix.
    Synonym: *-ay- (on certain words)

Inflection edit

Notes edit

  • Syncopation of unstressed vowels caused the form *-t to appear in many nouns; in some descendants, this distinction became lexicalized.
  • Proto-Semitic numerals from three to ten were formed adding the abstract/collective suffix *-at- to the root. The bare root morpheme continued to be used with feminine nouns, which led to a phenomenon of gendered numerals in various Semitic languages.

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • East Semitic:
    • Akkadian: -𒌈 (-(a)tum, feminine suffix)
  • West Semitic:
    • Central Semitic:
      • Arabic: ة (-ah, -at-)
        • Gulf Arabic: ـة (-a)
        • Maltese: -a
      • Northwest Semitic:
        • Aramaic:
        • Canaanite:
          • Hebrew: ־ָה (-a, -â, feminine suffix)
            • Yiddish: ־ה (-e)
          • Hebrew: ־ִית (-ít, -îṯ, feminine suffix)
          • Hebrew: ־וּת (-út, -ûṯ, abstract/collective and feminine suffix)

References edit

  • Huehnergard, John (2019) “Proto-Semitic”, in Huehnergard, John and Na'ama Pat-El, editors, The Semitic Languages, 2nd edition, Routledge, →ISBN