Meroitic – an Afroasiatic language?

Meroitic – an Afroasiatic language?

A pdf  looking at Meroitic. Saving everyone a long read, the conclusion is….

This paper has contributed to this line of research by specifically outlining that there is no strong evidence against Meroitic not being a member of Afroasiatic, and that on the contrary, the investigation into consonantal compatibility restrictions shows a strong possibility for its inclusion, as this phonological process is a distinctive trait amongst Afroasiatic languages. This paper does not make any claims as to the likeliest individual candidate for relatedness with Meroitic, but hopes to redirect this research with promising results.

So, Meroitic may well be Afro Asiatic.


5 responses to “Meroitic – an Afroasiatic language?

  1. FYI
    The classification of Meroitic has long been uncertain due to the scarcity of data. Kirsty Rowan (2006) argued for an Afro-Asiatic classification of Meroitic, based on compatibility constraints and patterns of consonantal dissimilation that is characteristic of Afro-Asiatic languages.[1] Claude Rilly [ʁij] (2007) convinced the annual Nilo-Saharan Conference that Meroitic is an Eastern Sudanic language, closest to Nubian and other similar languages. Wikipedia

  2. I would really be surprised if it is. I was under the impression that “Nubians” or “Nehesi” as spoken by Ancient Egyptians were a number of different groups some speaking Nilo-Saharan and some such as the Beja/Medjay surely spoke Afro-Asiatic as they still do now. Other Nubian “Southerner” groups were listed as Rtjet, Yam, Wawat, etc.

    I am sure that Wawat was in lower Nubia closer to Southern Egypt – 2nd Cataract, but Yam is seen to be in Upper Nubia – closer to the 6th Cataract. The depictions of these specific Nubians show striking similarity to modern Southern Sudanese and Nilotic groups, Think of the Nubian wrestlers and the tradition still carried on by the Nuba Wrestlers who speak Nilo-Saharan. With all this said I was under the impression that the Meroites were more southernly groups speaking Nilo-Saharan – True Nilotes probably carrying Haplogroup B-M60. Even populations in the Western Sudan that have M78 seen as an Afro-Asiatic Marker speak Nilo-Saharan.

    NOW- If the written language can be classified as something different compared to the spoken language then that is something all together different. Some African languages in Mali or Senegal for instance have used Afro-Asiatic (Arabic) characters to write down their own NON-Afro-Asiatic (Mande) tongue. The same way Oromofa/Oromic is written using Western or Roman letters.

    Of course Oromic is still Cushtic and Mande is still Niger-Kordofan/Congo.

    The main problem I think is no-one really speaks Meroitic and it has not been translated into anything. But it was derived from Ancient Egyptian which IS Afro-Asiatic. Looking at the Characters you SEE Afro-Asiatic, if we were able to translate it we would probably HEAR Nilo-Saharan.

  3. Actually, this was a neat idea but has been rendered fairly untenable by:
    Podzniakov, K. and G. Segerer. 2007. Similar Place Avoidance: A Statistical Universal, Linguistic Typology, 12, 2, 2007, p.307-348. It turns out that the consonantal compatibility restrictions she claims as evidence for it being AA are widespread in other families in Africa and worldwide. Rilly’s arguments for it being NS, based on comparison of basic words rather than phonological typology, seem more convincing, though I don’t know much about Eastern Sudanic.

  4. u answer was afull and plz answer it more clearly pllzz thxxxxxx\

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