Recent Studies in Neo-Aramaic Dialects

TitleRecent Studies in Neo-Aramaic Dialects
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsMacuch, R
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
KeywordsAramaic Studies Introduction

Since the beginnings of Neo-Aramaic studies in the second half of the last century, with the work of pioneers such as Stoddard (1855), Sachau (1865) and Noldeke (1868) in East-Neo-Syriac, Prym and Socin (1883) in West-Neo-Syriac (Tur ‘Abdln) and Parisot (1898–9) in West-Aramaic of Ma'lūla and related dialects, research in the field of Neo-Aramaic dialectology has never known such an intensive upsurge as there has been in the second half of this century. Although harsh religious persecution by the Muslims and other unendurable hardships, particularly in this century, exterminated a large proportion of the speakers of these dialects or drove them from their original sites to Russia, America, various European countries and even Australia, where their idioms are likely to die within the next few generations, the interest in their more or less modest remnants is increasing. It is as if Aramaists had finally responded to an earnest last-moment appeal and understood the need to save this linguistic heritage before it disappears totally. However, it is symptomatic that researchers trying to record a dying dialect in situ (Krotkoff, Aradhin in Iraqi Kurdistan 1959, published 1982; Jastrow, Hertevin in East Turkey 1970, published 1988) were unable to find more than a single reliable informant on the dialects of the villages of their respective research.

Citation Key5711