Oni studu pli profunde la arabajn pruntojn en la moderna okcidenta aramea

  • Charles G. Häberl Rutgers University


Modern Western Aramaic is presently spoken in two villages in the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as a small but growing diaspora. All its speakers are bilingual in Arabic, and its phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon bear the hallmarks of this longstanding contact situation. These characteristics distinguish Modern Western Aramaic from all other surviving Aramaic languages, most of which evolved to their present forms in a similarly bilingual situation with Iranian languages such as Kurdish and Persian. Scholars have characterized these hallmarks as “corrupt,” “deep,” and even so numerous as to be “pointless to list,” but the degree of their influence has never truly been quantified. While no scholar has yet understated the degree of Arabic influence upon Modern Western Aramaic, evidence suggests that prior scholarship may have overstated it.


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Author Biography

Charles G. Häberl, Rutgers University

Charles G. Häberl is Professor of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures and Religion at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey at New Brunswick. His research focuses upon ancient and modern Aramaic languages and literatures, chiefly those of the Mandaean community formerly of Iraq and Iran, but also Christian communities in southern Türkiye and Syria. His latest book is a translation of and commentary on the Mandaean Book of Kings.

He can be reached at: haberl@amesall.rutgers.edu