Semitic Languages

Research at Uppsala University in Semitic Languages is mainly divided between the fields of Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew and Assyriology. Within the field of Arabic Studies, the focus is on studies of syntax, modern Arabic dialects, textual criticism (critical comparisons of manuscripts), literature and media. Within the field of Hebrew Studies, the focus is on Biblical Hebrew syntax and North-West Semitic. Research on Aramaic encompasses both ancient and modern varieties, in particular Surayt/Turoyo and North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic, as well as Classical Syriac literature. Research in Assyriology is described in detail here.

Research Areas


  • North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic: documentation, morphosyntax, language contact (Coghill)
  • Diachronic change in Aramaic (Coghill)
  • Development of the begadkefat (fricativization) in Surayt/Turoyo (Sina Tezel, Aziz Tezel)
  • Neologisms in Surayt/Turoyo (Sina Tezel)
  • Flora and fauna in Surayt/Turoyo lexicon (Aziz Tezel)
  • Syriac grammar (Eskhult, Aydin)
  • Syriac lexicon (Aydin)
  • Syriac and Ethiopic literature with emphasis on apocryphal, historiographic and monastic genres (Witakowski)
  • Syriac philosophy and science, Syriac zoology (Aydin)


  • Arabic dialectology and documentation, especially dialects of the Levant, Iraq and Anatolia (Agbaht, Souk, Coghill)
  • Christian Arabic (Eskhult)
  • Arabic blogging in Egypt, Lebanon and Kuwait (Ramsay)
  • Ecology and environmental concerns in Arabic literature (Ramsay)
  • Arabic literature, primarily modern (Ramsay)
  • Syntax in Media Arabic (Lundin)
  • Classical Arabic text linguistics (Isaksson)
  • The diachronic perspective of Biblical Hebrew (Eskhult)

Hebrew and North-West Semitic

  • Classical Hebrew text linguistics and philology (Eskhult, Isaksson, Baranowski, Petersson)
  • Biblical Hebrew in diachronic and dialectal perspectives (Eskhult, Isaksson, Petersson)
  • Comparative North-West Semitic Linguistics (Petersson)
  • Hebrew literature, primarily modern (Månsson)

General Semitic

  • Expressions of reflexivity and reciprocity in Semitic languages (Baranowski)
  • Hypotactic clause linkage in Semitic languages (Isaksson)
  • Comparative Semitic Linguistics (Sjörs)
  • The verbal system in Semitic: its semantics and historical development (Baranowski)


  • Ancient Near Eastern inscribed private objects (Andersson)
  • Sargonic period personal names (Andersson)
  • Babylon: digital model and topographical study, the South Palace archive, artefacts from the German exacvations (Pedersén)
  • The ancient Near East on Google Earth with integration of textual, archaeological, and geographical evidence (Pedersén)
  • Aramaic loanwords in Neo-Assyrian (Cherry)
  • Peripheral Akkadian: its linguistic status and history (Baranowski)

Currrent Research Projects

Seminars and Symposia

Semitic Languages Seminars

Seminars are held between 4:00–6:00 pm (usually on Tuesdays) in the conference room (9-3042) at the Department of Linguistics and Philology, English Park Campus, if not otherwise specified. Individual seminars are listed in the department calendar.