Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-13, 0:49

księżycowy wrote:Lookie what I found!
http://www.surayt.com
It's not complete yet, but it looks pretty complete up to an A2 level. And it seems they're going to be adding a B1 level too.

Looks pretty awesome to me so far! :D
I've poked around the website, and it looks like they intend to publish lessons up to a C2 level. And also print textbooks based on the online lessons. I would buy a textbook from this project in a heart beat. I only hope they accomplish all this!


Nice!

Are you learning Turoyo?

I've always focused more on Assyrian, but I do want to learn Turoyo too!

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby księżycowy » 2017-08-13, 0:57

I intend to pick up a bit of both, but I'm not learning either at the moment.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-28, 19:44

Coincidentally came across this thread, when today I'm going to start to try to learn a nearly extinct Jewish dialect of NENA. Should be pretty cool. I'm glad there are people I can chat with about it. I already have a fairly good familiarity with Biblical Aramaic and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic.

Also, neo-Aramaic is neither ancient, classical, nor extinct. So why is this thread in "Ancient, Classical and Extinct Languages"?
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby księżycowy » 2017-08-28, 19:57

Drink wrote:Also, neo-Aramaic is neither ancient, classical, nor extinct. So why is this thread in "Ancient, Classical and Extinct Languages"?

I made a similar comment a while back. :lol:

I'd guess because it's in danger of extinction? Plus there isn't a better place to put it? (Aside from the "Other languages" section.)

Be the way, what is NENA?

I'm also glad that we have a group of people interested in these languages. It's cool that you know some Biblical Aramaic too, by the way. I plan to learn some shortly after I finish my beginning Biblical Hebrew studies. I'm not sure if I'll Branch out into Jewish Babylonian Aramaic or not. I'll probably pick up some Mishnaic Hebrew though.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-28, 20:00

księżycowy wrote:Be the way, what is NENA?


Northeastern Neo-Aramaic

It's a grouping that includes Assyrian and Chaldean (and other small dialects), but not Turoyo.
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby księżycowy » 2017-08-28, 20:26

Ah, I should have guessed. :P

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-28, 22:27

There's nowhere else to put this :D

Drink wrote:It's a grouping that includes Assyrian and Chaldean (and other small dialects), but not Turoyo.


Eek, I still want to have a very strong conversation with whomever named these dialects "Assyrian" and "Chaldean" for giving them a religious sectarian identity.

Anyway, which Jewish dialects? Lishana Deni? I honestly can't hear much difference between the Jewish dialects, except that some sound extremely similar to "Chaldean" while others sound a bit closer to Urmi Assyrian.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-29, 14:57

n8an wrote:There's nowhere else to put this :D

Well there is "Other Languages"...

n8an wrote:Anyway, which Jewish dialects? Lishana Deni? I honestly can't hear much difference between the Jewish dialects, except that some sound extremely similar to "Chaldean" while others sound a bit closer to Urmi Assyrian.

A particular subdialect of Lishana Deni. I honestly have not heard any of them spoken by native speakers so I can't speak to how they "sound" in relation to one another. But from the few things I know so far, even subdialects of Lishana Deni have significant differences (even though they are mutually intelligible). For example, the dialect of Zakho (the largest subdialect of Lishana Deni, from what I can tell) has > s and > z, while the dialect of Amədya (the one I'm learning, because I happen to have access to the book) retains , but has > d. Since these are pretty important phonemes, I have to imagine they make a significant difference.


Anyway, last night I got through the chapters on phonology, nominal morphology, and pronouns (all of which also contained some spoilers from later chapters). Pretty easy so far, and it's amazing how many words are recognizable from the older forms of Aramaic I know. I even surprised myself at being able to translate some of the simpler (but non-trivial) example sentences without looking at the translation.
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-29, 15:13

Drink wrote:For example, the dialect of Zakho (the largest subdialect of Lishana Deni, from what I can tell) has > s and > z, while the dialect of Amədya (the one I'm learning, because I happen to have access to the book)


Which book is this???

The Zakho Christian language is pretty much a "Chaldean" dialect as far as I know, but Amadiya is more of an "Assyrian" one...I think. My friends from Amadiya are all ACOE, but I know there are some Catholics there too (not that they would speak different dialects in the same town, but anyway). Is Lishana Deni more of a "Chaldean" dialect?

Pretty easy so far, and it's amazing how many words are recognizable from the older forms of Aramaic I know. I even surprised myself at being able to translate some of the simpler (but non-trivial) example sentences without looking at the translation.


My Jewish Aramaic from the bible sucks, but Hebrew and Arabic help me understand a lot of Assyrian as is. Even Farsi helps a bit, especially in the Urmi dialect.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-29, 16:41

n8an wrote:Which book is this???

The Jewish Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Amədya

n8an wrote:The Zakho Christian language is pretty much a "Chaldean" dialect as far as I know, but Amadiya is more of an "Assyrian" one...I think. My friends from Amadiya are all ACOE, but I know there are some Catholics there too (not that they would speak different dialects in the same town, but anyway). Is Lishana Deni more of a "Chaldean" dialect?

I have no idea. I don't know much about the Christian dialects. What would you say are the biggest differentiating factors between what's called Chaldean and what's called Assyrian?
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-29, 21:37

Wow, thanks! :D

Drink wrote:I have no idea. I don't know much about the Christian dialects. What would you say are the biggest differentiating factors between what's called Chaldean and what's called Assyrian?


For me, since I'm not an expert in the grammar or vocab, I hear the biggest differences in phonology.

I'm sorry, I don't know IPA so everything I type may not make sense if you don't know Aabic :)

People usually classify a standard "Assyrian" dialect as the Urmi dialect or the Iraqi Koine dialect, but there are lots of other dialects which differ from these and are still called "Assyrian".

"Chaldean" is usually based on the Nineveh dialects and other Catholic towns. "Assyrian" is definitely the prestige dialect - especially Urmi, which has started to change towards Iraqi Koine - even if Chaldean has almost as many speakers (maybe even more these days).

"Chaldean" contains ح and ع, both of which are usually pronounced as "kh" and "a" in Assyrian (like Hebrew). It also contains ث and ذ, which are pronounced "t" and "d" in Urmi and Iraqi Koine (though some Assyrian dialects do have ث as "th" - not sure about "dh", though). This makes Chaldean sound much closer to Arabic than Assyrian does. Urmi Assyrian has a "v" sound that I think all other (both Assyrian and Chaldean) dialects use "w" for.

This means that Chaldean usually says "mshee7a" for "Jesus/Messiah", but Assyrian has "msheekha" and "7ubba" instead of "khubba".

As I've mentioned, the "ث" sound is "th" in Chaldean but also in many Assyrian Iraqi dialects (but not Urmi and not Iraqi Koine). This means the language is called "Suret" in many "Assyrian" dialects but "Sureth" in Chaldean and many other Assyrian Iraqi dialects. So, in Chaldean and many Assyrian dialects you get "bshena THelookh", but in Iraqi Koine, Urmi and other Assyrian dialects you get "bshena Telookh".

In terms of vocabulary, I'm no expert but I've noticed a few things. Some people say Chaldean is more conservative in its core vocabulary, despite being full of Arabic loanwords as well. In Chaldean they seem to often say "randa" for "good", where Assyrians say "spay". "Why" is often something like "qamo" in a few Assyrian dialects, but in Chaldean I think it's usually "ta maha" or something. "With" is often the same word as "from" - "min" - in Assyrian (and often Chaldean too), but Chaldean sometimes uses "imm" as well (with you = minookh/immookh).

Obviously Iraqi Assyrian and Chaldean share a bit more in terms of vocabulary than Urmi (which is quite influenced by Farsi), but sometimes Chaldean is spoken with such Arabisation that it literally sounds like an Aramaic/Arabic hybrid language with all these Arabic words used in every way (verbs conjugated, nouns, adjectives, idioms). Iraqi Assyrian is noticeably less Arabised.

The grammar seems a bit different but I'm not qualified to speak on that. I have noticed the way "what are you doing?" can sound very different between dialects:

Chaldean: mot wadha? / ma kawdhit?
Iraqi Koine: mot wada?
Urmi: moo vadet?
Syrian Assyrian: malokh wadha?

I can ask my friends for more info about it, actually.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-29, 22:43

Yes, I know Arabic, as I indicate on my profile.

Remember when I wrote this?:
Drink wrote:For example, the dialect of Zakho (the largest subdialect of Lishana Deni, from what I can tell) has > s and > z, while the dialect of Amədya (the one I'm learning, because I happen to have access to the book) retains , but has > d. Since these are pretty important phonemes, I have to imagine they make a significant difference.

If you didn't understand what that meant, and are standard transliteration characters for Semitic languages, especially Hebrew and Aramaic. The line just indicates it is a fricative variant, so = ث ("th") and = ذ ("dh"). The ">" is standard linguistic notation to indicate a change in pronunciation, so > d means that what used to be pronounced ذ ("dh") is now pronounced د ("d"). These transliteration characters are much easier to work with than IPA, so I suggest you learn them. IPA is really only needed when getting into finer details of pronunciation.

Now from what I've learned so far about Amədya, the native Aramaic ع and ح sounds became ء and خ, respectively, except for a few cases where they remained (and I think that's true of all Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects). However, new ع and ح sounds came in from Arabic, Kurdish, and liturgical Hebrew. So when you say that Chaldean has the word mshee7a, rather than msheekha, I would think that it must be a borrowing from liturgical Syriac or influenced by the Arabic word masee7, or it's one of those few cases where the sound simply remained and didn't shift. Incidentally, Amədya uses the word masheeya7 (borrowed from Hebrew). Since you say that Chaldean uses the preposition "immookh", this word would originally have had the ع sound "3immookh", but my guess is that it is pronounced "2immookh" in Chaldean (2 = ء in case you didn't know that one), am I right about that? You can also test out the word for "eye". Is it "ena" or "3ena"?

I think that in Amədya, "What are you doing?" would be "ma godət?", but maybe it could also be "mat 2wada?".
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-30, 2:48

Drink wrote:Now from what I've learned so far about Amədya, the native Aramaic ع and ح sounds became ء and خ, respectively, except for a few cases where they remained (and I think that's true of all Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects). However, new ع and ح sounds came in from Arabic, Kurdish, and liturgical Hebrew. So when you say that Chaldean has the word mshee7a, rather than msheekha, I would think that it must be a borrowing from liturgical Syriac or influenced by the Arabic word masee7, or it's one of those few cases where the sound simply remained and didn't shift. Incidentally, Amədya uses the word masheeya7 (borrowed from Hebrew). Since you say that Chaldean uses the preposition "immookh", this word would originally have had the ع sound "3immookh", but my guess is that it is pronounced "2immookh" in Chaldean (2 = ء in case you didn't know that one), am I right about that? You can also test out the word for "eye". Is it "ena" or "3ena"?

I think that in Amədya, "What are you doing?" would be "ma godət?", but maybe it could also be "mat 2wada?".


Chaldean pronounces ܚ as both "kh" and "7" natively as well as "7" with Arabic loanwords. It's not very easy to predict which is used when, but sometimes the words that have very similar Arabic equivalents use "7".

As for 3, it's also a bit complicated. There's definitely an 3 sound in Chaldean that isn't found in Assyrian, but since some speakers of Chaldean Arabise it so much that it's basically a hybrid language, it's really hard to say where a word comes from. I have a book that says they use "imm", but the Chaldean speakers I know usually say "min" anyway.

It's interesting what you say about Amadiya - my friend's family is from there, and they speak Assyrian and follow the ACOE. I'll have to ask him about it.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby voron » 2017-08-30, 12:45

n8an wrote:Some people say Chaldean is more conservative in its core vocabulary, despite being full of Arabic loanwords as well. In Chaldean they seem to often say "randa" for "good", where Assyrians say "spay".

There is "rind" in Kurdish which means "beautiful" and is often used in songs (for example in this song "Rinda min" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iafZddqbIVY). I wonder if they are related.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-30, 14:10

voron wrote:There is "rind" in Kurdish which means "beautiful" and is often used in songs (for example in this song "Rinda min" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iafZddqbIVY). I wonder if they are related.


It's quite possible.

One of the most famous Kurdish words in Assyrian has to be "jaareh" (zhaareh) - meaning "poor thing!".

There is also the word "miskeena" (which is either a native word, or borrowed from Arabic "maskeen" or Hebrew "misken"), but as far as I've experienced "jaareh" is used by all, from Assyrian speakers in Urmia to Chaldean speakers in Alqosh. It's super prevalent!

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-08-30, 15:04

n8an wrote:It's interesting what you say about Amadiya - my friend's family is from there, and they speak Assyrian and follow the ACOE. I'll have to ask him about it.

Don't forget that I was referring to the Jewish dialect of Amədya, which may be similar to the local Christian dialect, or may be entirely different.


By the way I found a bunch of recordings from various dialects on Cambridge University's NENA website with transcriptions and translations, including three recordings of the Jewish dialect of Amədya (you'll notice they throw in a few Modern Hebrew words, because all the speakers live in Israel, e.g. ʾavál, bǝʾemét, datí). Let me know whether you think it sounds more Assyrian or more Chaldean.
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby n8an » 2017-08-31, 2:43

Drink wrote:Don't forget that I was referring to the Jewish dialect of Amədya, which may be similar to the local Christian dialect, or may be entirely different.


By the way I found a bunch of recordings from various dialects on Cambridge University's NENA website with transcriptions and translations, including three recordings of the Jewish dialect of Amədya (you'll notice they throw in a few Modern Hebrew words, because all the speakers live in Israel, e.g. ʾavál, bǝʾemét, datí). Let me know whether you think it sounds more Assyrian or more Chaldean.


WOW, thank you so much. This is so useful and interesting!

I really loved the Hebrew words!

So I asked my Assyrian (Assyrian Church of the East) friend about the Jewish Amedia dialect, and he told me it sounds like a mix of Assyrian and Chaldean with Hebrew words that he obviously couldn't understand (but I told him). I personally felt it was more of an "Aturaya" dialect, but I'm definitely no expert.

It's so interesting listening to all these dialects and their differences. Listening to the "Chaldean" dialects, I realised there are differences there too; Ankawa sounds less Arabised than Telkeppe, for example. Telkeppe really does have a reputation for being extremely Arabised, so I guess it makes sense. Alqosh also didn't sound as Arabised. Then again, I guess there are variations within every town; some speakers probably Arabise their speech much more than others.

The Iranian dialects sound very heavily influenced by Farsi in their intonation. One of the Jewish ones (Sanandaj) sounded like Suret with a Farsi accent.

The Jewish dialect of Zakho did sound more "Kaldaya" than "Aturaya", to my ear anyway.

What a beautiful resource. Thank you again!

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby eskandar » 2017-08-31, 20:40

Thought I'd leave this here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qW1zc-jdLM

The same channel also has three long lecture videos on northeastern neo-Aramaic dialects.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-09-01, 21:15

So I've been noticing that in Jewish vs. Christian NENA dialects, the suffixes for the third-person masculine singular and the third-person plural are reversed. For example, in Jewish dialects, "his voice" = qale and "their voice" = qalu, but in Christian dialects, it seems to me "his voice" = qalu and "their voice" = qale. Is this true for all Christian dialects?

Also, the Jewish dialects seem closer to older Aramaic in this regard, where "his voice" = qālēh and "their voice" = qālᵊhōn > qālᵊhū. So I'm a little puzzled as to how these suffixes developed in the Christian dialects.
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Re: Assyrian neo-Aramaic (and other neo-Aramaic dialects)

Postby Drink » 2017-09-06, 15:53

Here is a meeting of Lishana Deni speakers in Israel (I think most or all of them are speaking the Zakho dialect or similar). The same channel has plenty of videos of these meetings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpliLmHABSE
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