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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects form one of the surviving branches of the Aramaic language family. Extremely diverse, they are or were spoken by Christian and Jewish minorities originating in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. They have been in intense contact with other languages of the region, most notably Kurdish, but also Arabic, Turkic languages and Persian. As a result, they show a great deal of contact influence, not only in lexicon and phonology but also in morphology and syntax. The precise forms of the borrowings, as well as their behavior, usually reflect the local dialects of the donor language, showing how important fine-grained dialectal data is in a study of language contact. While some of the languages in contact, namely Kurdish, Turkish and Persian, are structurally very different to NENA, structural congruence or compatibility plays at best a fluctuating role in facilitating borrowings.

Keywords: Neo-Aramaic, language contact, borrowing, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Semitic, endangered languages, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Persian

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