ISSN / EISSN : 1477-8351 / 1745-5227
Published by: Brill Academic Publishers (10.1163)
Total articles ≅ 314
Latest articles in this journal
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-11; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10032
This paper is a study of the reflexes of historically interdental consonants in the Neo-Aramaic dialects spoken in the region of Aqra in northern Iraq. These dialects can be classified broadly into those of the villages lying to the north of the Aqra mountain and those of the inhabitants of the region to the south of the mountain. It is shown that there are a wide range of reflexes in the various dialects of this region. Moreover, within individual dialects there is some degree of variation in the reflexes. Most of these can be explained as the result of articulatory phonetic processes. Some of the variations give us insight into the historical layering of the reflexes. There are a few cases of variation that are likely to be the result of dialect mixing.
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10031
Perfect verbs in the Passive-Qal (qetil) and Hufʿal (huqtal or hoqtal) stems are attested in both Biblical (BA) and Middle Aramaic. This paper contests the claim of BA grammars that the Hufʿal imperfect is unattested in BA. Moreover, some scholars have doubted the authenticity of the Masoretic vocalisation of some Hufʿal and Passive-Qal occurrences, postulating that the Hufʿal preformative vowel was changed from a to u under the influence of the Hebrew Hufʿal. This paper discusses the most problematic occurrences from morphological, syntactic, and contextual viewpoints, and concludes that the Masoretic vocalisation of the forms in question is generally reliable. Lastly, a form that was mistakenly identified as a disguised Passive-Qal form is shown to be a Qal (active) form. It appears that the marking of human direct objects by lamed accusativi in BA has fewer exceptions than previously thought.
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-28; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10030
This article presents nine Syriac graffiti which until now have been overlooked in the literature on the well-known inscriptions at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These additional graffiti attest to known and unknown Syriac pilgrims who visited the church. Some can be located within the Ottoman period while the date of others is less clear. Several of the graffiti are of particular interest. One attests to the visitation of a well-known East Syriac cleric, and another provides a clue to the architectural history of the closed eastern door at the southern entrance.
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-8; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10028
The word samminē (pl) appears to be a hapax legomenon in Syriac, being attested only in Mēmrā 10 ‘On Stephen’ of Narsai (d. ca. 500), where it seems to refer to grapes and perhaps, more specifically, to pomace. Though the available manuscripts are unanimous in transmitting samminē (pl), Brockelmann emended the word to yasminē ‘jasmine’. This emendation is, however, contextually difficult. In addition, a possible cognate to Syriac samminē (pl) is to be found in Akkadian sammīnu, which occurs in lists of foodstuffs in several Old Babylonian letters as well as in the Uruanna plant list. The Akkadian cognate, which has not previously been noted in the Syriac lexicographical literature, all but assures that samminē (pl) is a genuine Syriac word.
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-6; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10029
The curse found in the Sefire Treaty inscription I A 24 (
KAI 222) has resisted a consensus interpretation. A recent study by J. Dušek points the way to a more accurate understanding. Further refinement yields a coherent curse, focused on the reversal of the masculinity of the treaty-breakers’ army and the consequent neutralisation of its martial effectiveness.
Aramaic Studies, Volume -1, pp 1-28; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10027
The fable of an insect and a mouse (or some other animal), who marry and embark on a life together, only to end in tragedy, is widely disseminated from the Mediterranean region to India. One version involving a beetle (Ṭuroyo keze, Kurmanji kêz) circulates throughout Anatolia and Iraq. The following Ṭuroyo and Kurmanji version was recorded during the 2020 summer field season of the Russian expedition to Ṭur Abdin in the village of Dērqube from a speaker of the Bequsyone dialect. She relates the narrative portions of the fable in Ṭuroyo, but switches to Kurmanji for its versified portions. In addition to the text and a translation, this study includes an interlinear glossing. It also discusses the motifs of the fable according to the standard classification scheme, as well as its relationship to other attested versions collected in various languages including Arabic, Kurmanji, and Turkish.
Aramaic Studies, Volume 19, pp 225-278; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10026
The article asks whether the morphosyntax of embedded direct object clauses and purpose clauses in Western Neo-Aramaic reflects retention from older stages of Aramaic, or innovation under the influence of contact Arabic. To this end, direct object clauses and purpose clauses are analysed in Western Neo-Aramaic, in older stages of Aramaic, namely, Old, Official, Biblical and Qumran Aramaic, as well as Syriac, the three Western Late Aramaic dialects (CPA, JPA, SA), and in contemporaneous Syrian Arabic. The analysis considers the embedded verb form, the formal means of linking the embedded clause to the matrix clause, and the co-referentiality of the matrix and embedded subjects, and relates these features to tense-aspect-mood. The article compares the constructions in the various sources of Aramaic and Syrian Arabic and finds features that Western Neo-Aramaic has retained from Late Aramaic, which differ from Syrian Arabic, despite the well documented influence of the latter.
Aramaic Studies, Volume 19, pp 198-214; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10025
This article contains the unpublished Syriac text of the Story of the Mystery Hidden in the Eucharistic Offering, an anonymous hagiographical composition that tells the story of the conversion of a Muslim king. The text of the Story, published on the basis of two manuscripts (Birmingham, Cadbury Research Library, Mingana Syr. 71, and Manchester, John Rylands Library, Syr. 59), is accompanied by an English translation and discussion of its message.
Aramaic Studies, Volume 19, pp 215-224; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10024
As shown in recent studies, East Syriac colophons were rather standardised, at least in the Ottoman period, and they incorporated into the main colophon body not only prose passages, but also poetic ones. The current article discusses one such passage that occurs in both prose and poetic forms in various manuscripts, namely the topos of ‘the five twins that pulled a yoke from the forest through the white field’. It provides a fascinating example of the trope’s transmission over the centuries, as well as the poetic creativity of East Syriac scribes as manifested in the Ottoman period.
Aramaic Studies, Volume 19, pp 177-197; https://doi.org/10.1163/17455227-bja10023
The verb √šmt and noun šamata, attested in the dialects of Eastern Aramaic in the Sasanian period, would seem at first to be synonymous with the Palestinian term nidui, ‘excommunication’. However, a closer examination reveals that šamata has a different semantic value. It is not simply conceived as a social sanction of excommunication but is understood as a curse involving divine violence; is closely associated with binding; and is often perceived as the property of powerful agents. In this article I argue that √šmt is derived from the Akkadian šamātu, ‘to mark’, ‘to brand’, especially in its more restricted sense ‘to brand temple slaves’ and ‘to dedicate a person to a deity’. Understanding the Mesopotamian roots of šamata might help us better explain its unique regional features, shared by the Aramaic speaking groups in the Sasanian Empire.