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Edomite language

The Edomite language is the extinct Hebrew Canaanite language of the Edomites in southwestern Jordan in the first millennium BC. It is known only from a very small corpus. In early times, it seems to have been probably written with a Canaanite alphabet; like Moabite, it retained feminine -t. However, in the 6th century BC, it adopted the Aramaic alphabet, and specifically Arabic elements such as whb "gave" (in names) and tgr "merchant" began showing up in texts.

Biblically, since "Edom" is an alternate name of Esau, who was a descendant of Eber through Abraham, the Edomites are regarded as being a Hebrew people, as are the Moabites and Ammonites. For this reason, the four closely related south Canaanite languages are sometimes termed "Hebrew languages".


  • F. Israel in D. Cohen, Les langues chamito-sémitiques. CNRS:Paris 1988.
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