Jewish Neo-Aramaic Innovations

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The present article concerns salient Jewish Neo-Aramaic (jna) innovations in the framework of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (nena). jna is such a wide spectrum of varieties that in some cases geographically distant dialects are fundamentally different from each other on all levels of language structure and are mutually incomprehensible. Nevertheless, all these dialects share some typical or unique traits which transcend dialectal boundaries and bind the jna varieties together to the exclusion of all or the vast majority of neighboring Christian nena dialects. Ethnolectal divisions and separate Jewish as opposed to Christian isoglosses in nena have likely emerged due to diffusional patterns dominated by the force of communal and confessional cohesiveness that has overridden convergence and affinity with geographically proximate, but religiously distinct, nena-speaking communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-108
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Jewish Languages
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Aramaic language -- Dialects
  • Jews -- Languages
  • Christians -- Languages
  • Anthropological linguistics


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