|native to||canaan; later spoken in coastal outposts and islands throughout the mediterranean.|
|era||attested in phoenicia proper from the 11th century bce to the 2nd century ce|
distribution of the phoenician language
phoenician was a language originally spoken in the coastal (mediterranean) region, then called "pūt" (in phoenician and egyptian), "canaan" (in biblical hebrew, old arabic, and aramaic), "phoenicia" (in greek and latin). it is a part of the canaanite subgroup of the northwest semitic languages. other members of the family are hebrew, ammonite, moabite, and edomite.
the area in which phoenician was spoken includes greater syria and, at least as a prestige language, anatolia, specifically the areas now including lebanon, coastal syria, coastal northern israel, parts of cyprus and some adjacent areas of turkey. it was also spoken in the area of phoenician colonization along the coasts of the southwestern mediterranean sea, including those of modern tunisia, morocco, libya and algeria as well as malta, the west of sicily, sardinia, corsica, the balearic islands and southernmost spain.