Article published in:What is a verb? – Linguistic, psycholinguistic and developmental perspectives on verbs in Germanic and Semitic languages
Edited by Eva Smolka and Dorit Ravid
[The Mental Lexicon 14:2] 2019
► pp. 189–208
Personal indices in the verbal system of the Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho
The Jewish Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Zakho is a highly endangered dialect of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic which was spoken by the Jews of Zakho (northern-Iraq) up to the 1950s, when virtually all of them left Iraq for Israel. Thanks to documentation efforts which started in the ’40s at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as well as the interest of native speakers, we possess a rich textual documentation of this dialect today (Cohen, 2012; Y. Sabar, 2002; Avinery, 1988). These resources, together with recently conducted fieldwork, are used in order to analyze the linguistic status of the verbal personal indices in this dialect, following the concepts presented by Bresnan & Mchombo (1987) as well as Corbett (2003). For each person marker, its status as a pronominal affix or as an agreement marker is established. The synchronic situation is compared with the known historic situation in older strata of Aramaic, such as Classical Syriac. The resulting analysis shows that the same apparent person marker may behave differently in different syntactic environments. Another conclusion is that there is no clear-cut dichotomy between pronominal affixes and agreement markers, as transitional cases exist.
Keywords: North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic, endangered languages, Jewish languages, Zakho, Iraq, verbal system, agreement, pronominal affix, incorporated pronouns
Published online: 15 January 2020
(2011) Towards a corpus of Jewish Zakho. Handout distributed in the Cambridge Neo-Aramaic Conference, July 2011.
Bresnan, J. & Mchombo, S.
Corbett, G. G.
Doron, E. & Khan, G.
Downing, L. J.
Fox, S. E.
Gutman, A. & van Peursen, W. T.
Hoberman, R. D.