The Neo-Aramaic Verbal Root gšq 'To Look' and Its Middle Iranian Origin

Hezy Mutzafi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The Neo-Aramaic verbal root gšq 'to look', known since the 19th century to occur in the Christian NENA (North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic) dialects of Urmi and Salmas in Iranian Azerbaijan, has thus far remained without an established, or at least plausible, etymology. The etymology proposed in this paper considers gšq to be inherited from an earlier NENA layer, in which it was a denominative derivative of a noun akin to Mandaic gušqa 'spy', a Middle Iranian loanword. This etymology is buttressed by parallel cases in Neo-Aramaic and other languages of the world as regards semantic changes and affinities between the meanings 'to spy' and 'to look', as well as similar processes of word-formation in NENA, namely denominative verbs derived from borrowed nouns and inflected in the neo-pa"el verbal pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMuseon
Volume133
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

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