A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic. The dialect of the Jews of Arbel by Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic at the Faculty of Oriental

By Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic at the Faculty of Oriental Studies Geoffrey Khan

Being direct descendants of the Aramaic spoken via the Jews in antiquity, the nonetheless spoken Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects of Kurdistan deserve targeted and shiny curiosity. Geoffrey Khan's A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic is a special list of 1 of those dialects, now at the verge of extinction. This quantity, the results of broad fieldwork, includes a description of the dialect spoken via the Jews from the quarter of Arbel (Iraqi Kurdistan), including a transcription of recorded texts and a word list. The grammar comprises sections on phonology, morphology and syntax, preceded by means of an introductory bankruptcy studying the location of this dialect when it comes to the opposite recognized Neo-Aramaic dialects. The transcribed texts list folktales and money owed of customs, traditions and studies of the Jews of Kurdistan.

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Extra info for A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic. The dialect of the Jews of Arbel

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G. jwim [zwan] 'beautifully' (Y:183), jamafta [zremrer't're] 'community' (Y:195). g. jar [dzre· r] 'time' (B:33), jarit tremin ['zre:rrt 'tre:mrn] 'the second time' (B:158), fajben [rrez'be·n] 'I am surprised' (B:lOO), tajmld [t'rez'mi:d] 'confiscation' (B:57), Sujda [J uz'dre] 'prostration' (B:36). g. jwäbeu [<ßwa:'be·u:] 'his answer' (L:76), jw{m [<ßwan] 'beautiful' (L:l), jiräne [<ßi:ra:'ne:] 'neighbours' (S:60), ju/Le [d3Yl'le:] 'clothes' (B:6). g. läjine [la:d~i:'ne:] 'refugees' (Y: 113), mahäjirne [mre'hre:d~rr'ne:] 'refugees' (B:8).

8. t lhl [21, /f/ [r] 1/JI [J:l] m [h] I? I is normally a glottal stop. g. e < *mayye) the f is a fixed lexicalized feature. e. g. iie (Hoberman 1997: 317), andin Jewish Urmia the word is 'flat' (emphatic) (Garbell 1965: 320). amra 'she says'. In the speech of informant B IJ:t! g. J:tatta [hret't're] (B:62) but J:tatta [~ret't're] (B:93). This sporadic weakening is not represented in the transcription for the sake of Orthographie consistency. zl 'for sure' (L:435). g. J:talil 'he profanes' : xalil 'he washes'.

The dictionaries that I consulted were mainly of Kurmanji Kurdish (Jaba 1879, Kurdo 1960, Rizgar 1993). Kurdish words are cited in the conventional Kurmanji orthography that appears in most dictionaries (the main distinctive features are: e = short [a], a = long [a], ~ = s, c = j, c; = C). 14 INTRODUCTION The presentation of the phonology and morphology is based on the model of Otto Jastrow's Neo-Aramaic grammars (especially Jastrow 1988 and 1994). The section on syntax describes the structure of phrases, clauses and complex sentences.

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