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Were Ugarits Arabs!? 
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:57 PM   Post #1
Colin Wilson
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Question Were Ugarits Arabs!?

Very often romantic nationalists love to claim some folk with "accomplishements"(personally I think whole "accomplishement","ethnic pride due to some older historical folk happens to share linguistic affinity with someone" and "nationalism" concepts are illoigcal)that's why some Arab nationalists(ironically all those authors happen to be "arabised" arabs from syria+lebanon and I can guess that such claims are also popular amongst "hungarised hungarians","turkicized turks","iranized iranians" etc... and in the same times "true arabs" of arabia dont give interest in ugaritians since they are pre muslims of the "djahiliya" and both quran and hadith prohibited nationalism and ethnicism)consider Ugaritic as a form of proto Arabic.

The "accomplishement" of ugarits is their developpement of the first alphabet(ie with both consonants and vowels and not abjad which lacks vowels) in history.








But in the same times, according to my readings(see Lipinsky)Ugaritic seems to share many grammatical features and isoglosses with ancient and modern Arabic while is rather distant to the Canaanite sub-group(which includes hebrew,phoenician,punic...)but still Lipinsky does not group Ugaritic and old&modern Arabic under the same sub-group(like Canaanite)but he groups it with Eblaite,Mariic etc under a northern Semitic group and other linguists group Ugaritic together with Aramaic,Canaanite and Arabic under the western Semitic group.

I've read a paper of an Arab linguist*(who seems objective and anti nationalism)where he esteems Ugaritic as an older form of Arabic and wrotes(but without giving references)that "recently a consensus seems to be formed amongst semitist linguistis that Ugaritic can be treated as an old form/proto Arabic"??
And the French historian Claude Scheffer claims that "Ugaritic is the older form of Arabic"
If we compare old Persian with modern Persian they look as completly distinct non intelligible both in vocabulary and(especially)grammar(as modern Persian lost all cases and inflective system of old Persian as a result of elamite and other pre ie languages of Iran substratum??+Arabic adstratum??),same things could be said(but to a lesser extent than old/modern Persian)for old/new turkic and old/koine/new Greek so it looks rather complex.
But when you look at Ugaritic grammar it looks almost identical to modern Arabic grammar and very distinct from Aramaic&Canaanite grammar and nearly all Ugaritic words can be found in modern Arabic dictionnaries but only a part of the Ugaritic words can be found in Aramaic&Canaanite dictionnaries.


*
Quote:
http://wata1.com/vb/showthread.php?p=17218

حاشية في أصل كلمة /ترجمة/
يقول ابن منظور في "ترجمان" (لسان العرب، مادة /ترجم/): "الترجمان، بالضم والفتح،: هو الذي يترجم الكلام أي ينقله من إلى لغة أخرى، والجمع التَّراجم، والتاء والنون زائدتان ...". ويقول ابن منظور أيضاً في مادة /رجم/: "الرَّجْم: اللعن، ومنه الشيطان الرجيم ... والرَّجْم: القول بالظن والحدس ... وراجَمَ عن قومه: ناضلَ عنهم".

ويقول ابن دريد (الجمهرة في اللغة، طبعة البعلبكي، مادة "رجم"، صفحة 466 وما يليها): "ورَجَمَ الرجلُ بالغيب، إذا تكلم بما لا يعلم. وأَرْجَمَ الرجل عن قومه، إذا ناضل عنهم ... والمراجم: قبيح الكلام؛ تراجمَ القومُ بينهم بمراجمَ قبيحةٍ، أي بكلام قبيح".

وباستقراء الجذر /رجم/ في اللغات الجزيرية يتبين أن معناه الأصلي "الكلام، المناداة، الصياح، القول الغريب، التواصل". فكلمة "تُرْجمُانُ" في الأكادية ـ وهي أقدم
اللغات الجزيرية تدويناً ـ مشتقة فيها من الجذر /رجم/، والتاء والنون فيها زائدتان. أما في الأوغاريتية فيعني الجذر /رجم/ فيها "الكلام". ويوجد شبه إجماع بين دارسي اللغات الجزيرية أن الأوغاريتيين كانوا عرباً لأن أبجديتهم، بعكس أبجديات الجزيريين الشماليين الغربيين ـ وهم الكنعانيون والآراميون والعبران ـ تحتوي على كل الحروف الموجودة في العربية، ولأن مفردات لغتهم شديدة القرب من مفردات العربية بعكس لغات الكنعانيين والآراميين والعبران.

والمعنى الغالب للجذر /رجم/ في العربية هو الرجم بالحجارة إلا أن أهل التفسير يقولون إن "الرجم" في هذا المقام هو السباب. فالرجيم هو "المشتوم المسبوب". ويفسرون قوله تعالى "لَئِن لم تَنْتَهِ لأَرْجُمَنَّك" أي "لأَسُبَّنَّك". وهذا يعني أن "الرجم" فعل لساني (أي كلام) وليس فعلاً يدوياً (أي رجم بالحجارة أو بغيرها).

إذاً: المعنى الاشتقاقي الأصلي للاسم /ترجمان/ وللفعل /ترجم/ هو "الكلام غير المحدد"! فهو "الصياح" في الأكادية و"الكلام والقول" في الأوغاريتية "والظن" في العربية (الرجم بالغيب) وكذلك "السب والشتم والتَّراجُم أي التراشق بالكلام القبيح". وعندي أن "الكلام غير المحدد" بقي "كلاماً غير محدد" حتى اليوم لأن معنى "التُّرْجُمان" الأول هو المترجم الشفهي الذي يترجم كلاماً غير محددٍ سلفاً بين اثنين يتكلمان لغتين مختلفتين، وهو كذلك في الأكادية والعبرية والسريانية والعربية. إذاً معنى الترجمة الشفهية سابق لمعنى الترجمة التحريرية كما نرى وهذا ثابت في آثار الأكاديين والسريان والعبران والعرب كما يستشف من قول أبي الطيب المتنبي:

مَغاني الشَّعبِ طِيباً في المغاني ـــ بمنزلةِ الربيع مِـنَ الزّمـانِ
ولكنَّ الفتى العربيَّ فيــها ـــ غريبُ الوجهِ واليدِ واللسانِ
ملاعبُ جِنة لو سارَ فيـها ـــ سليمانُ لَسارَ بِتُرجمُــانِ

وقول الراجز:
ومَنْهَل وَردتُهُ التِقاطا ـــ لم ألقَ، إذ وَرَدْتُه، فُرّاطا
إلا الحمامَ الوُرْقَ والغطاطا ـــ فَهُنَّ يُلغِطنَ به إلغاطا
كالتُّرجمُان لَقِيَ أنباطا!

وليس للكلمة اشتقاق واضح في العبرية والسريانية، وعليه فإني أرجح كونها دخيلة فيهما من الأكادية أو من الأوغاريتية. وعن الساميين أخذ اليونان كلمة "ترجمان"، وعنهم أخذها الإيطاليون ثم الفرنسيون والإنكليز. وإليكم عرضا للكلمة في أكثر اللغات الموجودة فيها:

الأكادية: "تَرْجُمانُ" مثله، والواو فوق النون علامة الرفع في الأكادية ـ مثل العربية؛ الأوغاريتية: رجم غير معروف. ومعنى الجذر فيها: "الكلام"؛ العبرية: תרגמן تُرْجُمانْ؛ الآرامية القديمة: תרגמנא تُرْجِمانا (والألف في نهاية الكلمة للتعريف)؛ السريانية: ܬܪܓܡܢܐ تَرْجْمونُا (وقد اقلبت ألف التعريف الآرامية واواً في السريانية)؛ العربية: /تَرجمُان/ تُرْجُمان مثله؛ اليونانية: Δραγουμανος Dragoymanos؛ الإيطالية: Dragomano مثله؛ الفرنسية: Dragoman / Drogman مثله؛ الإنكليزية: Dragoman مثله.

وأول من مارس مهنة الترجمة في التاريخ هم الأكاديون الذين اضطروا إلى ترجمة بعض المصطلحات السومرية المرتبطة ارتباطاً وثيقاً بالكتابة المسمارية التي اخترعها السومريون، فترجموها إلى لغتهم الأكادية. ومما حفظ الدهر لنا من أوابد الأكاديين ألواحاً تحتوي على مسارد لغوية باللغتين السومرية والآكادية. وهكذا ترى أن علم صناعة المعجم ولد مع علم الترجمة وظلَّ يلازمه حتى اليوم!
Translation:
There is near unanimity among the semitists scholars that Ugaritians were Arabs because their alphabet, as opposed to North Westerners as the Canaanites and Arameans and Hebrews contains all the letters in Arabic, and also because the vocabulary of their language is close to the Arabic vocabulary unlike the languages of the Canaanites and Arameans and Hebrews.
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:43 PM   Post #2
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Their language's an isolate among the North western branch... Most of them were of Semitid stock (the majority I say).
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:30 AM   Post #3
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If you take a look at a book dealing with comprative Semitic grammar(it should be a recent book as Ugaritic was rather "lately" discovered), you will easily see how Ugaritic "looks" very similar to Arabic to an extent that an Arabic speaker would undesrstands an ugaritic text better,by far, than a hebrew one (also due to the fact that many semitic sounds merged in hebrew, while Ugaritic and Arabic kept much of the 29-30 proto Semitic sounds)
But even looking at wiki will be sufficient to see this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugaritic_grammar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_grammar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aramaic_language#Grammar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_grammar

See for example the identical mood endings and nearly identical verb paterns and pronouns.
Interestingly in the Arabic dialect of that Syrian region too they said "atta" (you) identically with Ugaritic but distinct from the standard Arabic form "anta" (you).
The 3 rd person pronouns are identical with Arabic but different from Canaanite and Aramaic

Ugaritic/Arabic
huwe/huwe(he)
hiya/hiya(she)
huma/huma(they dual)
hum/hum(them)

While Babylonian/Hebrew/Aramaic
shu/huw/huw(he)
shi/hiy/hiy(she)
-/-/-(there is no dual pronouns in Babylonian&Aramaic&Hebrew)
shunu/hem/hinnun(them)
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:24 PM   Post #4
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The majority of Ugaritic lexicon ressembles Hebrew and Aramaic more than Arabic.

The same cannot be said about the way words are stressed.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:44 PM   Post #5
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Have you sources or some examples
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:51 PM   Post #6
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http://www.bibleandscience.com/languages/ugaritic.htm
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:08 PM   Post #7
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Those are also Arabic words
For example:
Ugaritic/Hebrew/Arabic
hykl/hkl/hykl(palace)
But in another case the Ugaritic word is closer to the Hebrew one
lshwn/lshn/lsn(tongue)

There was a discussion on the web between linguists about Ugaritic/Arabic/Hebrew affinities, the author wrotes of a closer Ugaritic/Arabic lexical affinity than Ugaritic/Hebrew

http://www.mail-archive.com/ancient_.../msg00058.html

Quote:
Firstly, it's well known amongst Semitists that the Hebrew language is an
'evolved' language, and that it has lost much of the original proto-Semitic
features, which we find present in other languages, especially Ugaritic and
Arabic.

The first issue is that of phonology, the Hebrew language has lost many of the
original Semitic sounds such as thaa (merged into shin) and thal (merged into
zayn) and ghayin (merged into ayin) and Haa (merged into Khaa) etc.

So for instance in your page about animal names, you mention that Aramaic
corrupts the Hebrew shin into taa, whereas in reality both Hebrew and Aramaic
merge (corrupt is not a nice word in comparative linguistics) the original
Semitic thaa into other letters. Hebrew merges thaa into shin and Aramaic
merges thaa into taa. Since both Arabic and Ugaritic retain the original thaa
phoneme, we find they both use this same letter for ox (th-r in Ugaritic and
thor in Arabic, the middle vowel unknown for Ugaritic).

We find this phenomenon even causes entirely different words to be merged into
one word in Hebrew, so for instance the Semitic root for plow is H-r-th. So in
Ugaritic we have H-r-th, in Arabic Haratha, whilst in Hebrew we have Kharash
(the Haa has merged into Khaa and the thaa has merged into shin). But wait,
Hebrew has two meanings for the root Kharash, the other meaning is to be
silent. This is because there's another Semitic root Kh-r-s which means to be
silent. In Hebrew sin and shin have also switched places, so we have in Hebrew
Kharash for being silent also, which in Arabic is Kharasa.

The second issue is that of grammar. The Hebrew language has almost completely
lost the case system, which only remains in vestiges of some words. Arabic is
the only surviving Semitic language which still retains the proto-Semitic case
system. Likewise for the dual number, which all Semitic languages lost, except
for Arabic and Ugaritic again. Only in certain natural-pair nouns do dual cases
exist in Hebrew. Although some linguists have shown that in the earlier parts
of the Tanakh it's quite possible that some of the verbs still retained the
dual, but have been mistaken for plurals.

Ugaritic merged sod/dod (as did Hebrew, but Arabic did not) and sin/shin,
whilst Arabic merged sin/samek, whilst Biblical Hebrew and Ugaritic did not,
although modern Hebrew did (phonetically anyway, the separate graphemes still
exist).
Please note also that a proto indo-european root for plow is *Harth (H is a laryngeal sound-similar to Semitic laryngeals-that was lost in all the descendant indo-european languages except Anatolian)similar to Semitic Haratha also a word for bull in proto indo-european is *taur similar to Semitic thawr

Last edited by Colin Wilson; 07-27-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:14 PM   Post #8
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Interesting. The alphabet was actually one of the biggest contribution of the semitic peoples to the world.
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