On the Etymology of Some Enigmatic Words in North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic

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The present article seeks to clarify the etymologies of several selected North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) lexical oddities of unknown or uncertain origin. All lexical items in question are proven to be of Aramaic provenance, yet mere recourse to Classical Aramaic is inadequate for uncovering the origins of these puzzling words due to far-reaching diachronic changes that have distanced them from their precursors. Missing links, based on interdialectal studies within NENA, are therefore crucial for securing well-founded etyma for these lexical enigmas. In addition to adducing missing links found in cognate dialects, each etymological discussion specifies the diachronic processes involved in the development of the lexical item under consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalAramaic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Comparative dialectology
  • Dialectal cognate words
  • Etymological reassessments
  • Missing links
  • NENA
  • Prototypical forms


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