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Parallel Patterns of Development in Jewish Neo-Aramaic and Modern Israeli Hebrew / קווי התפתחות מקבילים בארמית החדשה (של יהודי זאכו) ובעברית החדשה (הישראלית)
יונה צבר and Yona Sabar
Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects / לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה
Vol. סב, No. ג/ד (אלול התשנ"ט), pp. 333-344
Published by: Academy of the Hebrew Language
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24330584
Page Count: 12
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Although both Modern Israeli Hebrew (MIH) and Jewish Neo-Aramaic (JNA) are descendants of old Semitic languages, their history differs substantially. MIH was "revived" as a spoken language and as a secular written language only a little over a century ago. JNA, on the other hand, is more or less a direct uninterrupted continuation of older Aramaic dialects, whose development took place in its natural "habitat" and by "Semitic," not European-language speakers. JNA was primarily a spoken language, with limited written use (mostly translated biblical commentaries and hymns). Nevertheless, some of the typical features of MIH, assumed or even ascribed by some scholars to European influence, have parallels in JNA (and in Neo-Aramaic in general), as well as in other modern Semitic dialects, such as Ethiopic, whose contact with European languages was quite limited. The article treats parallel phonological features, such as pharyngeal ḥ, ʕ > x, and Ɂ, respectively; morphological features, such as minimal gender distinction in verbal and other forms, e.g., MIH yixtƏvu — JNA kaṯwi 'they (m. and f.) write'; syntactical features, e.g., introducing copulas 'is, am, are' and profuse use of the possessive article 'of' = MIH šel — JNA did; and lexical features such as calque translations for new items, e.g., MIH mxonat tfira — JNA makin xyata 'sewing machine'.
Lĕšonénu: A Journal for the Study of the Hebrew Language and Cognate Subjects / לשוננו: כתב-עת לחקר הלשון העברית והתחומים הסמוכים לה © 1999 Academy of the Hebrew Language