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The Neo-Aramaic Dialect Spoken by Jews from the Region of Arbel (Iraqi Kurdistan)

Geoffrey Khan
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Vol. 62, No. 2 (1999), pp. 213-225
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3107487
Page Count: 13
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The Neo-Aramaic Dialect Spoken by Jews from the Region of Arbel (Iraqi Kurdistan)
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Abstract

Various dialects of Aramaic continued to be spoken by Jewish communities in Kurdistan until the early 1950s, when most of the Jews of the region emigrated to the State of Israel. These dialects are now spoken only by elderly members of the immigrant communities in Israel and will become extinct within a few years. In this article a brief overview is given of the Neo-Aramaic dialect that was spoken by Jewish communities in the plain of Arbel in northern Iraq. This region lay on the south-western periphery of the neo-Aramaic speaking area. Comparison with other known dialects shows that it was closer in structure to the Jewish neo-Aramaic in the north-east of Kurdistan (e.g. Urmia) than in the north-west (e.g. Zakho).

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