Chaldean Neo-Aramaic

Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
ܟܠܕܝܐ Kaldāyâ, ܣܘܼܪܲܝܬ Sōreth
Sureth.png
Sûret in written Syriac
(Madnkhaya script)
Pronunciation [kalˈdɑjɑ], [sorɛθ]
Spoken in

Iraq, Iran, Turkey

Region Iraq; Mosul, Ninawa, now also Baghdad and Basra.
Native speakers 220,000  (no date)
(110,000 in Iraq in 1994)
Language family
Writing system Syriac (Madenhaya alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cld

Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is a Northeastern Neo-Aramaic dialect. Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is spoken on the plain of Mosul in northern Iraq, as well as by the Chaldean communities worldwide. Most speakers are Chaldean Catholics. Historically, the dialect was divided from Assyrian Neo-Aramaic as a result of the schism of 1552.[citation needed] Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is to a considerable extent mutually intelligible with Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and to a lesser extent with Turoyo.

Contents

History

Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is one of a number of modern Northeastern Aramaic languages spoken in the region between Lake Urmia in Iranian Azerbaijan and Mosul in northern Iraq. Jews and Christians speak different dialects of Aramaic that are often mutually unintelligible. The Christian dialects have been heavily influenced by Classical Syriac, the literary language of Syriac Christianity in antiquity. Therefore Christian Neo-Aramaic has a dual heritage: literary Syriac and colloquial Eastern Aramaic. The Christian dialects are often called Soureth, or Syriac. In Iraqi Arabic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is sometimes called فلّيحي, or Fallîħî. The term "Fallihi" is considered offensive by some speakers of the language. The term literally refers to those who speak the language as peasants for most of them were working in agriculture. The term typically highlights the social differences among various groups of the community.

Before the schism of 1552, most Christians in this region were members of the Church of the East.[1] When schism split the church, most of the Christians of the region opted for communion with the Roman Catholic Church and became members of the Chaldean Catholic Church.[2] Despite having a different name, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is very close to Assyrian Neo-Aramaic[3]

Dialects

Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is the Soureth language of the Plain of Mosul and Iraqi Kurdistan. It has a number of identifiable dialects, each corresponding to one of the villages where the language is spoken. The village/dialects are: Alqosh, Aqrah, Mangesh, Tel Keipeh, Baghdeda, Tel Skuf, Baqofah, Batnaya, Bartella, Sirnak-Cizre (Bohtan), Araden and Dahuk. Because of its historical importance, the dialect of Alqosh has become the basis for standardisation of Chaldean Neo-Aramaic.

Script

Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is written in the Madenhaya version of the Syriac alphabet, which is also used for classical Syriac. The School of Alqosh produced religious poetry in the colloquial Chaldean Neo-Aramaic rather than classical Syriac, in the 17th century, and the Dominican Press in Mosul has produced a number of books in the language.

See also

FlagofAssyria.svg Assyrians portal

References

  1. ^ Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar Winkler: The Church of the East: A Concise History. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. pages 5, 19, 30, 79, 89, 103-104
  2. ^ Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar Winkler: The Church of the East: A Concise History. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. page 112
  3. ^ Compare the various charts in Otto Jastrow, 1997, "The Neo-Aramaic Languages", The Semitic Languages, pp. 334-377 to see the similarities and differences between Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, represented by the dialect of Aradhin, and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, represented by the dialect of Urmi.
  • Heinrichs, Wolfhart (ed.) (1990). Studies in Neo-Aramaic. Scholars Press: Atlanta, Georgia. ISBN 1-55540-430-8.
  • Maclean, Arthur John (1895). Grammar of the dialects of vernacular Syriac: as spoken by the Eastern Syrians of Kurdistan, north-west Persia, and the Plain of Mosul: with notices of the vernacular of the Jews of Azerbaijan and of Zakhu near Mosul. Cambridge University Press, London.
  • Chaldean Neo-Aramaic at Ethnologue

External links


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