Western Neo-Aramaic: The Dialect of Jubaadin
Western Neo-Aramaic is the last surviving branch of the Western Aramaic language, once the primary spoken language of Syria and the Levant. Other branches of Western Aramaic, including Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, Palmyrene Aramaic, and Nabatean Aramaic, are now extinct. Hidden in the Qalamun Mountains and shielded by layers of snow and fog, the village of Jubaadin has kept this language alive for thousands of years. With a population of about four to five thousand, Jubaadin is the largest of three Syrian villages that speak Western Neo-Aramaic. Years of war and decades of exposure to other languages have placed the language at a great risk of extinction. This book explores the Western Neo-Aramaic language as spoken in the village. It includes a detailed analysis of Western Neo-Aramaic grammar and many texts and poems written by native speakers. The final section of the book is a thorough etymological dictionary of the Western Neo-Aramaic vocabulary.
Anas Abou-Ismail is a board-certified nephrologist and author. He obtained his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medicine, Qatar, and completed his training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA. His other publications include fiction, poetry, and medical articles. His main areas of interest include linguistics, medicine, history, and education. His primary linguistic interests are Old Aramaic, Classical Arabic, and Western Neo-Aramaic.
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