ARAMAIC (אַרָמָיָא _Arāmāyā_, Syriac : ܐܪܡܝܐ,
During its approximately 3100 years of written history, Aramaic has
served variously as a language of administration of empires and as a
language of divine worship, religious study and as the spoken tongue
of a number of Semitic peoples from the
It rose to prominence when it became the _lingua franca _ of the
Neo-Assyrian Empire (911–605 BC), and then the succeeding
Neo-Babylonian Empire (605–539 BC),
At its height it was spoken all over what is today
Aramaic was also the original language of the Bahrani people of Eastern Arabia , and of the Mandaeans and their gnostic religion, Mandaeism , as well as the language of the once widespread but now extinct religion of Manichaeism .
The major Aramaic dialect Syriac is the liturgical language of Syriac
Christianity , in particular the
Assyrian Church of the East , the
Chaldean Catholic Church , the
Saint Thomas Christian Churches in
India , the
Syriac Orthodox Church
Aramaic's long history and diverse and widespread use has led to the development of many divergent varieties, which are sometimes considered dialects , though they have become distinct enough over time that they are now sometimes considered as separate languages . Therefore, there is not one singular, static Aramaic language; each time and place rather has had its own variation. Aramaic is retained as a liturgical language by certain Eastern Christian churches, in the form of Syriac, whether or not those communities once spoke it or another form of Aramaic as their vernacular , but have since shifted to another language as their primary community language.
Neo-Aramaic languages are still spoken today as a first language by
many communities of
Syriac Christians ,
* 1 Etymology
* 2 Geographic distribution
* 2.1 Aramaic languages and dialects
* 3 Writing system * 4 History
* 5 Old Aramaic
* 5.1 Ancient Aramaic * 5.2 Imperial Aramaic * 5.3 Post-Achaemenid Aramaic * 5.4 Late Old Eastern Aramaic
* 5.5 Late Old Western Aramaic
* 5.5.1 Languages during Jesus\' lifetime
* 6 Middle Aramaic
* 6.1 Eastern Middle Aramaic
* 6.1.1 Syriac * 6.1.2 Jewish Middle Babylonian Aramaic * 6.1.3 Mandaic
* 6.2 Western Middle Aramaic
* 6.2.1 Jewish Middle Palestinian Aramaic * 6.2.2 Samaritan Aramaic * 6.2.3 Christian Palestinian Aramaic
* 7 Modern Aramaic
* 8 Phonology
* 8.1 Vowels * 8.2 Consonants * 8.3 Historical sound changes
* 9 Grammar
* 9.1 Nouns and adjectives
* 9.2 Verbs
* 9.2.1 Aspectual tense * 9.2.2 Conjugations or verbal stems
* 10 Word processors * 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 External links
"Aram" is used as a proper name of several people in the Torah (Hebrew Bible) including descendants of Shem (Genesis 10:22), Nahor (Genesis 22:21), and Jacob (1 Chronicles 7:34).
Ancient Aram , bordering northern
Interestingly, the Christian
Syriac inscription at the
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
During the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires ,
Arameans , the
native speakers of Aramaic, began to settle in greater numbers, at
The successor state of the Parthians and thus the new neighboring
archrival of the Roman -
The turbulence of the last two centuries (particularly the Assyrian
genocide ) has seen speakers of first-language and literary Aramaic
dispersed throughout the world. However, there are a number of sizable
Assyrian towns in northern
ARAMAIC LANGUAGES AND DIALECTS
Aramaic is often spoken of as a single language, but is in reality a
group of related languages. Some Aramaic languages differ more from
each other than the Romance languages do among themselves. Its long
history, extensive literature, and use by different religious
communities are all factors in the diversification of the language.
Some Aramaic dialects are mutually intelligible, whereas others are
not, not unlike the situation with modern varieties of
In addition to these writing systems, certain derivatives of the
The history of Aramaic is broken down into three broad periods:
* Old Aramaic (1100 BC–200 AD), including:
* Middle Aramaic (200–1200), including:
* Literary Syriac . * The Aramaic of the Talmudim , Targumim , and Midrashim . * Mandaic .
* Modern Aramaic (1200–present), including:
* Various modern vernaculars.
This classification is based on that used by Klaus Beyer.
Main article: Old Aramaic language
The term "Old Aramaic" is used to describe the varieties of the
language from its first known use until the point roughly marked by
the rise of the
The central phase in the development of Old Aramaic was its official
use by the
"Ancient Aramaic" refers to the earliest known period of the
language, from its origin until it becomes the lingua franca of the
There are inscriptions that evidence the earliest use of the
language, dating from the 10th century BC. These inscriptions are
mostly diplomatic documents between Aramaean city-states. The alphabet
of Aramaic at this early period seems to be based on the Phoenician
alphabet , and there is a unity in the written language. It seems
that, in time, a more refined alphabet, suited to the needs of the
language, began to develop from this in the eastern regions of Aram.
Due to increasing
Aramean migration eastward, the Western periphery of
From 700 BC, the language began to spread in all directions, but lost
much of its unity. Different dialects emerged in Assyria, Babylonia,
"Chaldee" or "Chaldean Aramaic" used to be common terms for the
Aramaic of the Chaldean dynasty of
* Aramaic language
* v * t * e
Around 500 BC, following the Achaemenid conquest of
Imperial Aramaic was highly standardised; its orthography was based
more on historical roots than any spoken dialect, and the inevitable
influence of Persian gave the language a new clarity and robust
flexibility. For centuries after the fall of the
One of the largest collections of Imperial Aramaic texts is that of
A group of thirty Aramaic documents from
Alexander the Great bearing an Aramaic language
inscription Bilingual inscription (Greek and Aramaic) by the
Indian king Ashoka , 3rd century BC at
The conquest by
Alexander the Great did not destroy the unity of
* Ezra 4:8–6:18 and 7:12–26 – documents from the Achaemenid period (5th century BC) concerning the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem. * Daniel 2:4b–7:28 – five subversive tales and an apocalyptic vision. * Jeremiah 10:11 – a single sentence in the middle of a Hebrew text denouncing idolatry. * Genesis 31:47 – translation of a Hebrew place-name.
Biblical Aramaic is a somewhat hybrid dialect. It is theorized that
Biblical Aramaic material originated in both
Under the category of post-Achaemenid is Hasmonaean Aramaic, the
official language of Hasmonaean Judaea (142–37 BC). It influenced
Biblical Aramaic of the
Babylonian Targumic is the later post-Achaemenid dialect found in the
Galilean Targumic is similar to Babylonian Targumic. It is the mixing
of literary Hasmonaean with the dialect of
Babylonian Documentary Aramaic is a dialect in use from the 3rd century AD onwards. It is the dialect of Babylonian private documents, and, from the 12th century, all Jewish private documents are in Aramaic. It is based on Hasmonaean with very few changes. This was perhaps because many of the documents in BDA are legal documents, the language in them had to be sensible throughout the Jewish community from the start, and Hasmonaean was the old standard.
Palmyrene Aramaic is the dialect that was in use in the Syriac city
Arsacid Aramaic, that in use during the
Parthian Empire (247 BC –
224 AD), represents a continuation of Achaemenid Aramaic, widely
spoken throughout the west of the empire. Aramaic continued as the
scribal basis for Pahlavi as it developed for the needs of Parthian :
using an Aramaic-derived script and incorporating many heterograms ,
or Aramaic words meant to be read as Parthian ones. The Parthians saw
themselves as a continuation of Achaemenid rule, and so Arsacid
Aramaic, more than any other post-Achaemenid dialect, continued the
tradition of the chancery of
Darius I . Over time, however, it came
under the influence of contemporary, spoken Aramaic and Persian .
After the establishment of the Persian-speaking
LATE OLD EASTERN ARAMAIC
Main article: Eastern Aramaic languages Mandaic magical "demon trap"
The dialects mentioned in the last section were all descended from Achaemenid Imperial Aramaic. However, the diverse regional dialects of Late Ancient Aramaic continued alongside these, often as simple, spoken languages. Early evidence for these spoken dialects is known only through their influence on words and names in a more standard dialect. However, these regional dialects became written languages in the 2nd century BC. These dialects reflect a stream of Aramaic that is not dependent on Imperial Aramaic, and shows a clear division between the regions of Mesopotamia, Babylon and the east, and Judah, Syria, and the west.
In the East, the dialects of Palmyrene and Arsacid Aramaic merged with the regional languages to create languages with a foot in Imperial and a foot in regional Aramaic. The written form of Mandaic , the language of the Mandaean religion, was descended from the Arsacid chancery script.
In the kingdom of
Osroene , centred on Edessa and founded in 132 BC,
the regional dialect became the official language: Old Syriac . On the
upper reaches of the
LATE OLD WESTERN ARAMAIC
Main article: Western Aramaic languages
The western regional dialects of Aramaic followed a similar course to those of the east. They are quite distinct from the eastern dialects and Imperial Aramaic. Aramaic came to coexist with Canaanite dialects, eventually completely displacing Phoenician in the first century BC and Hebrew around the turn of the fourth century AD.
The form of Late Old
Western Aramaic used by the Jewish community is
best attested, and is usually referred to as Jewish Old Palestinian.
Its oldest form is Old East Jordanian, which probably comes from the
Caesarea Philippi . This is the dialect of the oldest
manuscript of the
Book of Enoch (_c._ 170 BC). The next distinct phase
of the language is called Old Judaean into the second century AD. Old
Judean literature can be found in various inscriptions and personal
letters, preserved quotations in the
The Old East Jordanian dialect continued to be used into the first century AD by pagan communities living to the east of the Jordan. Their dialect is often then called Pagan Old Palestinian, and it was written in a cursive script somewhat similar to that used for Old Syriac. A Christian Old Palestinian dialect may have arisen from the pagan one, and this dialect may be behind some of the Western Aramaic tendencies found in the otherwise eastern Old Syriac gospels (see Peshitta ).
Languages During Jesus\' Lifetime
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Further information: language of
It is generally believed by Christian scholars that in the first
In addition to the formal, literary dialects of Aramaic based on
Hasmonean and Babylonian, there were a number of colloquial Aramaic
Western Aramaic varieties were spoken in the vicinity
of Judea in
The three languages influenced one another, especially Hebrew and Aramaic. Hebrew words entered Jewish Aramaic (mostly technical religious words but also everyday words like עץ _ʿēṣ_ "wood"). Conversely, Aramaic words entered Hebrew (not only Aramaic words like _māmmôn_ "wealth" but Aramaic ways of using words like making Hebrew ראוי _rā’ûi_, "seen" mean "worthy" in the sense of "seemly", which is a calque of Aramaic _ḥzî_ meaning "seen" and "worthy").
The Greek of the
* Some are Aramaic like _talitha_ (ταλιθα), which represents the noun טליתא _ṭalyĕṯā_ (Mark 5:41). * Others can be either Hebrew or Aramaic like רבוני _Rabbounei_ (Ραββουνει), which stands for "my master/great one/teacher" in both languages (John 20:16).
The 2004 film _ The Passion of the Christ _ used Aramaic for much of its dialogue, specially reconstructed by a scholar, William Fulco, S.J. Where the appropriate words (in first century Aramaic) were no longer known, he used the Aramaic of Daniel, fourth-century Syriac and Hebrew as the basis for his work.
The 3rd century AD is taken as the threshold between Old and Middle Aramaic. During that century, the nature of the various Aramaic languages and dialects begins to change. The descendants of Imperial Aramaic ceased to be living languages, and the eastern and western regional languages began to form vital, new literatures. Unlike many of the dialects of Old Aramaic, much is known about the vocabulary and grammar of Middle Aramaic.
EASTERN MIDDLE ARAMAIC
Only two of the Old Eastern Aramaic languages continued into this period. In the north of the region, Old Syriac moved into Middle Syriac. In the south, Jewish Old Babylonian became Jewish Middle Babylonian. The post-Achaemenid, Arsacid dialect became the background of the new Mandaic language .
_ Abun dbashmayo The Lord\'s Prayer , Abun dbashmayo_, sung in Syriac -------------------------
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Syriac (also "Middle Syriac") is the classical, literary, liturgical
and often spoken language of
Jewish Middle Babylonian Aramaic
Main article: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic
Jewish Middle Babylonian is the language employed by Jewish writers
Main article: Mandaic language
Mandaic language , spoken by the
WESTERN MIDDLE ARAMAIC
The dialects of Old Western Aramaic continued with Jewish Middle Palestinian (in Hebrew "square script" ), Samaritan Aramaic (in the old Hebrew script ) and Christian Palestinian (in cursive Syriac script ). Of these three, only Jewish Middle Palestinian continued as a written language.
Jewish Middle Palestinian Aramaic
In 135, after the
Bar Kokhba revolt , many Jewish leaders, expelled
Middle Judaean , the descendant of Old Judaean , was no longer the dominant dialect, and was used only in southern Judaea (the variant Engedi dialect continued throughout this period). Likewise, Middle East Jordanian continues as a minor dialect from Old East Jordanian . The inscriptions in the synagogue at Dura-Europos are either in Middle East Jordanian or Middle Judaean.
Main article: Samaritan Aramaic language
Samaritan Aramaic is earliest attested by the documentary
tradition of the
Christian Palestinian Aramaic
Sometimes referred to as "Melkite Aramaic", it is the language of Western-Aramaic-speaking Christians. It is evidenced from the 5th-6th century, but probably existed two centuries earlier. The language itself comes from Old Christian Palestinian Aramaic, but its writing conventions were based on early Middle Syriac , and it was heavily influenced by Greek . For example, the name Jesus, although ישוע _Yešua’_ in Jewish Aramaic, and _Išo_ in Syriac, is written _Yesûs_ (a transliteration of the Greek form) in Christian Palestinian.
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Main article: Neo-Aramaic languages
Western Aramaic languages of the
Western Aramaic language, Neo-Mandaean, is spoken by the
MODERN EASTERN ARAMAIC
Modern Eastern Aramaic exists in a wide variety of dialects and languages. There is significant difference between the Aramaic spoken by Jews, Christians, and Mandaeans.
The Christian varieties are often called Modern Syriac (or
Neo-Syriac, particularly when referring to their literature), being
deeply influenced by the literary and liturgical language of Middle
Syriac. However, they also have roots in numerous, previously
unwritten, local Aramaic varieties, and are not purely the direct
descendants of the language of
Ephrem the Syrian
Judeo-Aramaic languages are now mostly spoken in
Central Neo-Aramaic , being in between
Western Neo-Aramaic and
Eastern Neo-Aramaic) is generally represented by Turoyo, the language
of the Assyrians of
MODERN CENTRAL ARAMAIC
Main article: Central Neo-Aramaic
MODERN WESTERN ARAMAIC
Main article: Western Neo-Aramaic
Very little remains of Western Aramaic. It is still spoken in the
villages of Ma\'loula , al-Sarkha (Bakhah) , and Jubb\'adin on Syria
's side of the Anti-
Each dialect of Aramaic has its own distinctive pronunciation, and it
would not be feasible here to go into all these properties. Aramaic
has a phonological palette of 25 to 40 distinct phonemes. Some modern
Aramaic pronunciations lack the series of "emphatic" consonants, and
some have borrowed from the inventories of surrounding languages,
CLOSE i u
CLOSE-MID e o
OPEN-MID ɛ (ɔ )
OPEN a (ɑ )
As with most Semitic languages, Aramaic can be thought of as having three basic sets of vowels:
* Open _a_-vowels * Close front _i_-vowels * Close back _u_-vowels
These vowel groups are relatively stable, but the exact articulation of any individual is most dependent on its consonantal setting.
The open vowel is an open near-front unrounded vowel ("short" _a_, somewhat like the first vowel in the English "batter", ). It usually has a back counterpart ("long" _a_, like the _a_ in "father", , or even tending to the vowel in "caught", ), and a front counterpart ("short" _e_, like the vowel in "head", ). There is much correspondence between these vowels between dialects. There is some evidence that Middle Babylonian dialects did not distinguish between the short _a_ and short _e_. In West Syriac dialects, and possibly Middle Galilean, the long _a_ became the _o_ sound. The open _e_ and back _a_ are often indicated in writing by the use of the letters א "alaph" (a glottal stop ) or ה "he" (like the English _h_).
The close front vowel is the "long" _i_ (like the vowel in "need", ). It has a slightly more open counterpart, the "long" _e_, as in the final vowel of "café" (). Both of these have shorter counterparts, which tend to be pronounced slightly more open. Thus, the short close _e_ corresponds with the open _e_ in some dialects. The close front vowels usually use the consonant י _y_ as a mater lectionis .
The close back vowel is the "long" _u_ (like the vowel in "school", ). It has a more open counterpart, the "long" _o_, like the vowel in "low" (). There are shorter, and thus more open, counterparts to each of these, with the short close _o_ sometimes corresponding with the long open _a_. The close back vowels often use the consonant ו _w_ to indicate their quality.
Two basic diphthongs exist: an open vowel followed by י _y_ (_ay_), and an open vowel followed by ו _w_ (_aw_). These were originally full diphthongs, but many dialects have converted them to _e_ and _o_ respectively.
The so-called "emphatic" consonants (see the next section) cause all vowels to become mid-centralised.
LABIAL INTERDENTAL ALVEOLAR PALATAL VELAR UVULAR PHARYNGEAL GLOTTAL
STOP VOICELESS p
FRICATIVE VOICELESS f θ s sˤ ʃ x
VOICED v ð z
The various alphabets used for writing Aramaic languages have twenty-two letters (all of which are consonants). Some of these letters, though, can stand for two or three different sounds (usually a stop and a fricative at the same point of articulation). Aramaic classically uses a series of lightly contrasted plosives and fricatives:
* Labial set: פּפ _p_/_f_ and בּב _b_/_v_, * Dental set: תּת _t_/_θ_ and דּד _d_/_ð_, * Velar set: כּכ _k_/_x_ and גּג _g_/_ɣ_.
Each member of a certain pair is written with the same letter of the alphabet in most writing systems (that is, _p_ and _f_ are written with the same letter), and are near allophones .
A distinguishing feature of Aramaic phonology (and that of Semitic languages in general) is the presence of "emphatic" consonants. These are consonants that are pronounced with the root of the tongue retracted, with varying degrees of pharyngealization and velarization . Using their alphabetic names, these emphatics are:
* ח Ḥêṯ, a voiceless pharyngeal fricative , /ħ/, * ט Ṭêṯ, a pharyngealized _t_, /tˤ/, * ע ʽ Ayin (or ʽE in some dialects), a pharyngealized glottal stop (sometimes considered to be a voiced pharyngeal approximant ), or , * צ Ṣāḏê, a pharyngealized _s_, /sˤ/, * ק Qôp, a voiceless uvular stop , /q/.
_ The emphatic consonants of Aramaic -------------------------
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Ancient Aramaic may have had a larger series of emphatics, and some Neo-Aramaic languages definitely do. Not all dialects of Aramaic give these consonants their historic values.
Overlapping with the set of emphatics are the "guttural" consonants. They include ח Ḥêṯ and ע ʽAyn from the emphatic set, and add א ʼĀlap̄ (a glottal stop ) and ה Hê (as the English "h").
Aramaic classically has a set of four sibilants (ancient Aramaic may have had six):
* ס, שׂ /s/ (as in English "sea"), * ז /z/ (as in English "zero"), * שׁ /ʃ/ (as in English "ship"), * צ /sˤ/ (the emphatic Ṣāḏê listed above).
In addition to these sets, Aramaic has the nasal consonants מ _m_ and נ _n_, and the approximants ר _r_ (usually an alveolar trill ), ל _l_, י _y_ and ו _w_.
HISTORICAL SOUND CHANGES
Six broad features of sound change can be seen as dialect differentials:
* VOWEL CHANGE occurs almost too frequently to document fully, but
is a major distinctive feature of different dialects.
* PLOSIVE/FRICATIVE PAIR REDUCTION. Originally, Aramaic, like
Tiberian Hebrew , had fricatives as conditioned allophones for each
plosive. In the wake of vowel changes, the distinction eventually
became phonemic; still later, it was often lost in certain dialects.
Turoyo has mostly lost /p/, using /f/ instead, like
Arabic; other dialects (for instance, standard
Aramaic words based on the triliteral root _k-t-b_ -------------------------
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As with other Semitic languages, Aramaic morphology (the way words are formed) is based on the consonantal root . The root generally consists of two or three consonants and has a basic meaning, for example, כת״ב _k-t-b_ has the meaning of 'writing'. This is then modified by the addition of vowels and other consonants to create different nuances of the basic meaning:
* כתבה _kṯāḇâ_, handwriting, inscription, script, book. * כתבי _kṯāḇê_, books, the Scriptures. * כתובה _kāṯûḇâ_, secretary, scribe. * כתבת _kiṯḇeṯ_, I wrote. * אכתב '_eḵtûḇ_, I shall write.
NOUNS AND ADJECTIVES
Aramaic nouns and adjectives are inflected to show _gender_, _number_ and _state_.
Aramaic has two grammatical genders: masculine and feminine. The feminine absolute singular is often marked by the ending ה- _-â_.
Nouns can be either singular or plural, but an additional "dual" number exists for nouns that usually come in pairs. The dual number gradually disappeared from Aramaic over time and has little influence in Middle and Modern Aramaic.
Aramaic nouns and adjectives can exist in one of three states. To a certain extent, these states correspond to the role of articles and cases in the Indo-European languages :
* The _absolute_ state is the basic form of a noun. In early forms of Aramaic, the absolute state expresses indefiniteness, comparable to the English indefinite article a(n) (for example, כתבה _kṯāḇâ_, "A handwriting"), and can be used in most syntactic roles. However, by the Middle Aramaic period, its use for nouns (but not adjectives) had been widely replaced by the emphatic state. * The _construct _ state is a form of the noun used to make possessive constructions (for example, כתבת מלכתא _KṯāḇAT malkṯâ_, "the handwriting of the queen"). In the masculine singular the form of the construct is often the same as the absolute, but it may undergo vowel reduction in longer words. The feminine construct and masculine construct plural are marked by suffixes. Unlike a genitive case , which marks the possessor, the construct state is marked on the possessed. This is mainly due to Aramaic word order: POSSESSED POSSESSOR are treated as a speech unit, with the first unit (possessed) employing the construct state to link it to the following word. In Middle Aramaic, the use of the construct state for all but stock phrases (like בר נשא _bar nāšâ_, "son of man") begins to disappear. * The _emphatic_ or _determined_ state is an extended form of the noun that functions similarly to the definite article . It is marked with a suffix (for example, כתבתא _kṯāḇtâ_, "THE handwriting"). Although its original grammatical function seems to have been to mark definiteness, it is used already in Imperial Aramaic to mark all important nouns, even if they should be considered technically indefinite. This practice developed to the extent that the absolute state became extraordinarily rare in later varieties of Aramaic.
Whereas other Northwest
Semitic languages , like Hebrew, have the
absolute and construct states, the emphatic/determined state is a
unique feature to Aramaic. Case endings , as in
Adjectives agree with their nouns in number and gender but agree in state only if used attributively. Predicative adjectives are in the absolute state regardless of the state of their noun (a copula may or may not be written). Thus, an attributive adjective to an emphatic noun, as in the phrase "the good king", is written also in the emphatic state מלכא טבא _malkâ ṭāḇâ_—king good. In comparison, the predicative adjective, as in the phrase "the king is good", is written in the absolute state מלכא טב _malkâ ṭāḇ_ — king good.
"GOOD" MASC. SG. FEM. SG. MASC. PL. FEM. PL.
ABS. טב ṭāḇ טבה ṭāḇâ טבין ṭāḇîn טבן ṭāḇān
CONST. טבת ṭāḇaṯ טבי ṭāḇê טבת ṭāḇāṯ
DET./EMPH. טבא ṭāḇâ טבתא ṭāḇtâ טביא ṭāḇayyâ טבתא ṭāḇāṯâ
The final א- _-â_ in a number of these suffixes is written with the letter aleph . However, some Jewish Aramaic texts employ the letter he for the feminine absolute singular. Likewise, some Jewish Aramaic texts employ the Hebrew masculine absolute singular suffix ים- _-îm_ instead of ין- _-în_. The masculine determined plural suffix, יא- _-ayyâ_, has an alternative version, _-ê_. The alternative is sometimes called the "gentilic plural" for its prominent use in ethnonyms (יהודיא _yəhûḏāyê_, 'the Jews', for example). This alternative plural is written with the letter aleph , and came to be the only plural for nouns and adjectives of this type in Syriac and some other varieties of Aramaic. The masculine construct plural, _-ê_, is written with yodh . In Syriac and some other variants this ending is diphthongized to _-ai_.
Possessive phrases in Aramaic can either be made with the construct state or by linking two nouns with the relative particle --_. As the use of the construct state almost disappears from the Middle Aramaic period on, the latter method became the main way of making possessive phrases.
_ Different variations of the possessive construction in Aramaic -------------------------
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For example, the various forms of possessive phrases (for "the handwriting of the queen") are:
* כתבת מלכתא KṯāḇAṯ MALKṯâ – the oldest construction, also known as סמיכות səmîḵûṯ : the possessed object (כתבה kṯābâ, "handwriting") is in the construct state (כתבת kṯāḇaṯ); the possessor (מלכה malkâ, "queen") is in the emphatic state (מלכתא malkṯâ) * כתבתא דמלכתא KṯāḇTâ D(î)-MALKṯâ – both words are in the emphatic state and the relative particle --_ is used to mark the relationship * כתבתה דמלכתא KṯāḇTāH D(î)-MALKṯâ – both words are in the emphatic state, and the relative particle is used, but the possessed is given an anticipatory, pronominal ending (כתבתה kṯāḇtā-h, "handwriting-her"; literally, "her writing, that (of) the queen").
In Modern Aramaic, the last form is by far the most common. In Biblical Aramaic, the last form is virtually absent.
The Aramaic verb has gradually evolved in time and place, varying between varieties of the language. Verb forms are marked for person (first, second or third), number (singular or plural), gender (masculine or feminine), tense (perfect or imperfect), mood (indicative, imperative, jussive or infinitive) and voice (active, reflexive or passive). Aramaic also employs a system of conjugations , or verbal stems, to mark intensive and extensive developments in the lexical meaning of verbs.
Aramaic has two proper tenses : perfect and imperfect . These were originally aspectual , but developed into something more like a preterite and future . The perfect is unmarked , while the imperfect uses various preformatives that vary according to person, number and gender. In both tenses the third-person singular masculine is the unmarked form from which others are derived by addition of afformatives (and preformatives in the imperfect). In the chart below (on the root כת״ב K-T-B, meaning "to write"), the first form given is the usual form in Imperial Aramaic, while the second is Classical Syriac .
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* Languages portal
* ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank,
Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Aramaic". _
Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck
Institute for the Science of Human History.
* ^ Beyer (1986: 11) suggests that written Aramaic probably dates
from the 11th century BC, as it is established by the 10th century, to
which he dates the oldest inscriptions of northern Syria. Heinrichs
(1990: x) uses the less controversial date of the 9th century, for
which there is clear and widespread attestation.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Aramaic language". _Encyclopædia Britannica_.
* ^ _A_ _B_ Allen C. Myers, ed. (1987). "Aramaic". _The Eerdmans
* Beyer, Klaus (1986). _The Aramaic language: its distribution and
subdivisions_. Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht. ISBN 3-525-53573-2 .
* Casey, Maurice (1998). _Aramaic sources of Mark's Gospel_.
Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-63314-1 .
* "Aramaic". _The Eerdmans
_ ARAMAIC EDITION _ of , the free encyclopedia
_ ASSYRIAN NEO-ARAMAIC TEST _ of at Wikimedia Incubator
_ TUROYO TEST _ of at Wikimedia Incubator
_ JEWISH BABYLONIAN ARAMAIC TEST _ of at Wikimedia Incubator
_ Wikimedia Commons has media related to ARAMAIC LANGUAGE _.
* Ancient Aramaic Audio Files: contains audio recordings of
* Aramaic Designs – website offering various designs based on
historical Aramaic scripts.
* Aramaic Dictionary – search the online dictionary using English
or Aramaic words, including many other options.