The Semitic languages are a group of related languages originating in the Near East whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. They constitute a branch of the Afroasiatic language family. The most widely spoken Semitic languages today are Arabic (206 million native speakers), Amharic (27 million), Hebrew (about 7 million), Tigrinya (6.7 million), and Aramaic (about 2.2…
Tigrinya (ትግርኛ) is a member of the Ethiopic branch of Semitic languages with about 6 million speakers mainly in the Tigre region of Ethiopia and in Central Eritrea. Tigrinya is written with a version of the Ge'ez script and first appeared in writing during the 13th century in a text on the local laws for the district of Logosarda in southern Eritrea. (...)
The Ugaritic script is a cuneiform used from around either the 1400/1300 BC for Ugaritic, an extinct Northwest Semitic language, and discovered in Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra), Syria, in 1928. It has 30 letters. Other languages (particularly Hurrian) were occasionally written in the Ugaritic script.
The Sabaean or Sabaic alphabet is one of the south Arabian alphabets. The oldest known inscriptions in this alphabet date from about 500 BC. Its origins are not known, though one theory is that it developed from the Byblos alphabet. The Sabaean alphabet is thought to have evolved into the Ethiopic script. Sabaean, an extinct Semitic language once spoken in Saba, the biblical Sheba, in southern Arabia.
Akkadian language (lišānum akkadītum) was a semitic language spoken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Syria) between about 2,800 BC and 500 AD. It was named after the city of Akkad and first appeared in Sumerian texts dating from 2,800 BC in the form of Akkadian names. (...)
The history of the alphabet began in Ancient Egypt, more than a millennium into the history of writing. Under this theory, the alphabet was invented to represent the language of Semitic workers in Egypt, and was at least influenced by the alphabetic principles of the Egyptian hieratic script. The table below shows hypothetical prototypes of the Phoenician alphabet in Egyptian hieroglyphs.