By Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic at the Faculty of Oriental Studies Geoffrey Khan
Being direct descendants of the Aramaic spoken by means of the Jews in antiquity, the nonetheless spoken Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects of Kurdistan deserve unique and bright curiosity. Geoffrey Khan's A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic is a distinct list of 1 of those dialects, now at the verge of extinction. This quantity, the results of wide fieldwork, features a description of the dialect spoken through the Jews from the zone 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 way 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 reviews of the Jews of Kurdistan.
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Extra info for A Grammar of Neo-Aramaic. The dialect of the Jews of Arbel
G. ), fiidita 'custom' (Kurd. ), jiida 'road' (Kurd. ). g. ir 'he returns (transitive)', twire 'he broke' - lii twire 'he has broken'. ll has occurred in other Jewish NENA dialects. These were spoken mainly to the East or North East ofArbel. It is not found in the Jewish dialects in the region of Zakho lying to the North West of Arbel nor in Christian dia)ects. The extent of the shift across lexical items is wider in Jewish Arbel than in most dialects in which it occurs. Its distribution in Arbel appears to be the same as is found in the neighbouring dialects of Dobe and Koy Sanjak.
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'. g. la-J:taqen [lrerre·qe·n] 'I am talking' (L:261). 3. 1. 1. *b The reflex of the soft allophone of *bin earlier Aramaie is the semi-vowel Iw/. g. g. Jii (cf. BTA N~71]) < *J:talal1ii (cf. Heb. ~) < *didllii (cf. / and keeping the two vowels clearly separated. We may compare the strengthening of etymological *h to 1;, which is found in the 3rd person pronominal suffixes of some Christian NENA dialects (-el; m.
Afillu 'even' (Hebrew). In final position it is sometimes pronounced voiced when in contact with a voiced consonant: kef gollwa [k'e:v go:'li:wa] 'they had a good time' (Y:3), zarlt zar'if [zreri:v zreri:f] 'very well' (B:112). It has a phonemic status independent of lp/, as demonstrated by minimal pairs such as: kefox 'your pleasure' : kepox 'your stone'. Iw/ In most contexts this is a labio-velar [ w]. It is often realized differently, however, in the environment of the close front vowels Iei or Ii/.