Discuss results - Arabic & Hebrew proximity

Arabic & Hebrew
Posted by: A.K. on Jan. 9, 2015, 5:42
In the calculator, a comparison between Arabic & Hebrew brings 23 points. This is OK as to the dregree of proximity I feel myself, but at the same time, you suggest that up to 30 points, compared languages have a common ancestor up to 2000 years ago. Historical reality definitely suggests the common ancestor of Arabic and Hebrew is much older!
Posted by: Vincent on Jan. 11, 2015, 23:47
The suggested correlation between the points obtained in the calculator and the age of the common ancestor is a very approximate one and has to be taken with great care, as a rough indication. However, in the case of Arabic and Hebrew, you have to take into account that both languages as we know them today have had long periods of slow or stopped evolution for historical reasons: today's official Arabic, on the one side is very close to classical Arabic - so its today's state for its core part hasn't change much in 1500 years, wheareas spoken Arabic (dialectal) in the various regions did. On the other hand, Hebrew has not been a really spoken language between appr. the 3rd and 19th centuries, being used mostly as a lingua franca for liturgy and intra-Jewish matterrs. It was revived in the 19th century to be in use today as the common language of the Jews coming from many different countries with various languages. In both cases, Arabic and Hebrew have highly symbolic and historical values. We can consider that this led to a 1500 years period of evolution stop in both cases - in this context, the 24 proximity points have a different meaning!
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