Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic
name=Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic
nativename=לשניד דינן "Lišānîd Jānān"
Jerusalem, originally from Bijil in Iraqi Kurdistan
speakers=20 second-language speakers, effectively extinct
Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic is a modern
Jewish Aramaic language, often called "Neo-Aramaic" or " Judeo-Aramaic". It was originally spoken in three villages near Aqrahin Iraqi Kurdistan. The native name of the language is "Lishanid Janan", which means 'our language', and is similar to names used by other Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialects ( Lishan Didan, Lishanid Noshan).
Origin and use today
The Jewish inhabitants of a wide area from northern
Iraq, eastern Turkeyand north western Iranmostly spoke various dialects of modern Aramaic. The turmoil near the end of the First World Warand resettlement in Israelin 1951(when eight families from Bijil moved to the new Jewish state) led to the decline of these traditional languages. This particular and distinct dialect of Jewish Neo-Aramaic was spoken in the villages of Bijil, Barzan and Shahe. It was known as "Bijili" until recently.
The last native speaker of Bijil Neo-Aramaic died in
1998. The remaining second-language speakers are all related and over seventy years of age, and most from Barzan. The first language of these speakers is either Hebrew or Kurdish, and some also speak Arabic or another Neo-Aramaic dialect. Thus, the language is effectively extinct.
Not enough evidence about Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic has been gathered to establish a connection with other Neo-Aramaic dialects. It may be related to
Lishanid Noshan, which has clusters around Arbilto the south east of Barzan. There maybe some similarities between Barzani and the subdialect of Lishanid Noshan formerly spoken in the village of Dobe, 50 km north of Arbil. The Sandu dialect of Jewish Neo-Aramaic is quite similar to Barzani. However, studies suggest that it has more in common with Lishana Deni. There is evidence that the language was also spoken in the near-by village of Nerim, but no speaker from that village remains.
There are no known texts written in Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic.
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=bjf Ethnologue report for Barzani Jewish Neo-Aramaic] .
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