Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic 9781463218195

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Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic
 9781463218195

Table of contents :
Table of Contents
List of Symbols
Foreword
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1. The Ethnic, Linguistic and Cultural Identity of Modern Assyrians
Chapter 2. Bilingualism: A Salient and Dynamic Feature of Ancient Civilizations
Chapter 3. ‘Bi-’ and ‘Multi-’ Situations in Writing Systems, Writing Mediums and Writing Implements
Chapter 4. Arab/Muslim Scientific Heritage: A Mono or Multi-Ethnic/Religious Enterprise?
Chapter 5. A Comparative Study of Petnames in English and Assyrian
Chapter 6. The Role of Aspiration in the Transliteration of Loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic
Chapter 7. Recent Demographic Changes in Aramaic- Speaking Population of Iraq: Return of some Phonological Features of Classical Aramaic
Chapter 8. Aspiration, Spirantization and Approximation in Neo-Aramaic: a more Refined Identification
Chapter 9. The Destiny of Modern Syriac
Chapter 10. Arabic and Spanish: Linguistic and Cultural Interactions
Chapter 11. Empowering Arabic Orthography for better Transliteration of Foreign Languages
Chapter 12. Word Inflation vs. Word Deflation: A Major Source of Mispronunciation among Arab Learners of English
Chapter 13. Formation of Sound Plurals and Duals in Arabic: A Phonetic/Phonological Approach
Chapter 14. An Aerodynamic, Proprioceptive and Perceptual Interpretation of Sībawayhi’s Misplacement of /ط/ and /ق/ with Majhūra Consonants
Chapter 15. The Sun or Moon Status of Arabic : A Descriptive Perspective
Chapter 16. Arabic /q ق/: A Voiceless Unaspirated Uvular Plosive
Appendix
Glossary
Index

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Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic

Gorgias Précis Portfolios

5

Gorgias Précis Portfolios gather the collected essays of established scholars into an easily accessible and durable format. Also included in this series are collections of essays in conference or Festschrift format from different scholars but united around a common theme.

Linguistic and Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic

Edward Y Odisho

9

34 2009

Gorgias Press LLC, 180 Centennial Ave., Piscataway, NJ, 08854, USA www.gorgiaspress.com Copyright © 2009 by Gorgias Press LLC

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise without the prior written permission of Gorgias Press LLC.

2009

‫ܝ‬

ISBN 978-1-60724-586-5

9 ISSN 1935-3871

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Odisho, Edward Y. Linguistic and cultural studies in Aramaic and Arabic / by Edward Odisho. p. cm. -- (Gorgias précis portfolios ; 5) Some text translated into modern Syriac or Arabic. 1. Syriac language, Modern--Phonology. 2. Syriac language, Modern--Phonetics. 3. Syriac language, Modern--Social aspects. 4. Arabic language--Phonology. 5. Arabic language--Phonetics. 6. Arabic language--Social aspects. I. Title. PJ5802.O33 2009 492'.315--dc22 2009036907 Printed in the United States of America

Linguistic & Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic

ΔϴϓΎϘΛϭ ΔϳϮϐϟ ΕΎγ΍έΩ ΔϴΑήόϟ΍ ϭ Δϴϣ΍έϻ΍ ϲϓ Edward Y. Odisho

This book is dedicated to the memory of the distinguished Beth Nahrainian (Mesopotamian) Suryaya physician, scholar and legendary translator, unayn ibn IsƗq 809-873 A.D. ϯήϛάϟ αήϜϣ ΏΎΘϜϟ΍ ΍άϫ Ζϴμϟ΍ ϊ΋΍άϟ΍ ϲϧΎϳήδϟ΍ ϲϨϳΪϓ΍ήϟ΍ ϢΟήΘϤϟ΍ϭ Δϣϼόϟ΍ϭ ΐϴΒτϟ΍ ϖΤγ΍ ϦΑ ϦϴϨΣ ƒ ¾åƒ…Íïß ¾ÁÿÜ ¿…~ ÍØ ¾Á†ûùâ ¿Ìãýâ ¾ÙæؘÌåÿÙÁ ¾ÙؘÍè~ ¾æãĘÿ⠀˜† ÀûÙòè ¾Ùè~ úÐéØ~ ûÁ çÙåÍÏ

Table of Contents List of Symbols ..................................................................................................... xi Foreword ............................................................................................................ xvii Acknowledgements .......................................................................................... xxiii Chapter 1 The Ethnic, Linguistic and Cultural Identity of Modern Assyrians .....................................................................................................1 1.1 Introductory Remarks ............................................................................1 1.2 A Spectrum of Views Relevant to the Connection ................................2 1.2.1 Political View .................................................................................. 2 1.2.2 Nationalistic View ........................................................................... 3 1.2.3 Academic View................................................................................ 3 1.3 The Assumptions ...................................................................................4 1.3.1 Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Conversions .............................. 4 1.3.2 Political System Collapse!!! ............................................................ 4 1.3.3 Proof Always Needed for a Judgement ........................................... 5 1.4 The Approach to the Solution ................................................................5 1.4.1 The Political Reshuffle. ................................................................... 5 1.4.2 The Linguistic Shift. ........................................................................ 6 1.4.2.1 Overlapping Geographic Borders ................................................. 6 1.4.2.2 Aramaic as a Lingua Franca ......................................................... 6 1.4.2.3 Dominance of Aramaic Alphabet ................................................. 7 1.4.2.4 Linguistic Similarity across Semitic Languages ........................... 7 1.4.2.5 Common Etymology ..................................................................... 7 1.4.3 The Religious and Cultural Conversions. ........................................ 7 1.5 Present Status of the Assyrians ..............................................................9 1.5.1 Ethnic Status. ................................................................................... 9 1.5.2 Linguistic Status ............................................................................ 10 1.5.3 Cultural Status................................................................................ 11 1.6 Conclusions ..........................................................................................11 1.7 Bibliography ........................................................................................12

Chapter 2 Bilingualism: A Salient and Dynamic Feature of Ancient Civilizations ..............................................................................................15 2.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................15 2.2 Political, Physical and Cultural Constituents of an Entity ...................16 2.2.1 Political .......................................................................................... 16 2.2.2 Physical .......................................................................................... 16 2.2.3 Cultural .......................................................................................... 17 2.3 Panorama of Shift and Survival of Languages in Mesopotamia..........18 2.3.1 Succession of Languages ............................................................... 18 2.3.2 Duration of Language Shift Cycle ................................................. 20 2.3.3 Periods of Bilingualism ................................................................. 21 2.3.4 Periods of Biliteracy ...................................................................... 22 2.4 Discussion ............................................................................................23

vi 2.4.1 Highlights of Discussion ................................................................ 23 2.4.1.1. Pivotal Aspect of Discussion ..................................................... 24 2.4.1.2 Most Pivotal Aspect of Discussion ............................................. 25 2.4.2 Contribution of Bilingualism to Understanding of Human Civilization ................................................................................ 27 2.4.2.1 Evidence on Dynamic Nature of Human Civilizational Interaction .................................................................................. 27 2.4.2.2 Aid in Deciphering Ancient Languages ...................................... 27 2.4.2.3 Evidence on Dynamic Nature of Human Languages as Live Entities ....................................................................................... 28 2.4.2.4 A Constant Component of Civilization....................................... 29 2.4.2.5 A Significant Tool of Identity Building and Changing............... 29 2.5 Conclusions ..........................................................................................32 2.6 Bibliography ........................................................................................34

Chapter 3 ‘Bi-’ and ‘Multi-’ Situations in Writing Systems, Writing Mediums and Writing Implements ........................................................37 3.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................37 3.2 Needed Terminology ...........................................................................38 3.3 Historical Sketch of Bi/Multilingualism and Bi/Multiliteracy ............39 3.4 Scope of Writing Mediums and Underlying Causes of Change ..........41 3.4.1 Volume and Size of Writing .......................................................... 41 3.4.2 Texture and Surface of Mediums ................................................... 41 3.5 Economics of Writing ..........................................................................42 3.6 Preservability of Written Texts ............................................................42 3.7 Salient Features of Bimedium and Multimedium Periods ...................43 3.8 Bi-implement and Multi-implement ....................................................45 3.9 Interaction between Writing Medium and Writing Implement ...........45 3.10 Conclusions ........................................................................................46 3.10.1 Concreteness to Abstraction ........................................................ 47 3.10.2 Less Economic to More Economic .............................................. 47 3.10.3 Non-Generative to Generative ..................................................... 48 3.11 Bibliography ......................................................................................49

Chapter 4 Arab/Muslim Scientific Heritage: A Mono or MultiEthnic/Religious Enterprise? ..................................................................51 4.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................51 4.2 Discussion ............................................................................................52 4.2.1 The Beginning of Greek Heritage Translation............................... 52 4.2.2 Performers or Sponsors? ................................................................ 53 4.2.3 Adeptness in Foreign Languages ................................................... 54 4.2.4 How was the National/Ethnic Identity of Translator/Scholars Determined? ............................................................................... 58 4.2.4.1 Arabization through Linguistic Conversion................................ 59 4.2.4.2 Disregard to Basic Parameters of National/Ethnic Identity ........ 60 4.2.4.3. Involuntary Assignment of National/Ethnic Identity ................. 61 4.3 Conclusions ..........................................................................................62 4.4 Bibliography ........................................................................................64

vii Chapter 5 A Comparative Study of Petnames in English and Assyrian ........67 5.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................67 5.2 Results ..................................................................................................74 5.3 Discussion ............................................................................................76 5.4 Conclusions and Implications for Future Research .............................77 5.5 Bibliography ........................................................................................78 Chapter 6 The Role of Aspiration in the Transliteration of Loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic ................................................................................79 6.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................79 6.2 Historical Background .........................................................................79 6.3 Salient Sound Differences between Greek and Aramaic/Arabic .........80 6.4 Aspiration/Non-Aspiration in Greek, Aramaic and Arabic .................81 6.5 Orthographic Evidence ........................................................................83 6.6. Discussion ...........................................................................................85 6.7 Conclusions ..........................................................................................87 6.8 Bibliography ........................................................................................89 Chapter 7 Recent Demographic Changes in Aramaic-Speaking Population of Iraq: Return of some Phonological Features of Classical Aramaic.....................................................................................93 7.1 Introductory Remarks ..........................................................................93 7.2 Historical Background of Events .........................................................93 7.3 Demographic Reshuffling of Aramaic-Speaking Population ..............94 7.3.1 Koiné #1......................................................................................... 96 7.3.2 Ashiret............................................................................................ 97 7.3.3 Plain ............................................................................................... 98 7.3.4 Koiné #2......................................................................................... 98 7.4 Linguistic Implications of the Demographic Changes.........................98 7.4.1 Linguistic Make-up of 1961-1991 Aramaic-speaking Migrants.... 99 7.4.2 Dominance of Ashiret and Plain Population in Kurdish Area ....... 99 7.4.3 Founding of Syriac-based Educational System ............................. 99 7.5 Conclusions ........................................................................................101 7.6 Bibliography ......................................................................................101

Chapter 8 Aspiration, Spirantization and Approximation in NeoAramaic: a more Refined Identification ..............................................103 8.1 Introductory Remarks ........................................................................103 8.2 Aspiration ...........................................................................................105 8.3 Spirantization and Approximation .....................................................108 8.4 Linguistic and Instructional Conclusions...........................................110 8.5 Bibliography ......................................................................................111 Chapter 9 The Destiny of Modern Syriac ........................................................113 9.1 Introductory Remarks ........................................................................113 9.2 Historical Background: Syriac the Descendant of Aramaic ..............113 9.3 Causes of Deterioration of Syriac ......................................................115

viii 9.3.1 Absence of a Political Entity........................................................ 115 9.3.2 Gradual Erosion and Shift in Ethnic and National Identity ......... 115 9.3.3 Loss of Population ....................................................................... 116 9.3.4 Domination of Arabic Language and Islamic Rule ..................... 117 9.3.5 Schisms within Christianity ......................................................... 119 9.4 Patterns of Deterioration ....................................................................119 9.4.1 Loss of Literacy Skills among Populace Prior to Oracy Skills .... 120 9.4.2 Faster Loss of Syriac in Urban vs. Rural Areas ........................... 121 9.4.3 Faster Loss of Syriac in Direct Contact with other Languages.... 121 9.5 Outcomes of Deterioration .................................................................121 9.6 Endangered Status of Syriac ..............................................................122 9.6.1 The Shrinking Domain of Syriac Circulation .............................. 123 9.6.2 Mass Immigration of Syriac Speakers ......................................... 123 9.6.3 Accelerated Syriac Language Loss in Countries of Diaspora...... 124 9.6.4 Absence of Guarantees for Human Rights of Ethnic Minorities . 125 9.7 What to Do? .......................................................................................126 9.8 A Model Project for Syriac Language Maintenance..........................127 9.8.1 Structural Nature of the Project and its Scale .............................. 127 9.8.2 Effectiveness of the Project for Language Revitalization ............ 129 9.8.3 Future Prospects of Project for Language Revitalization ............ 131 9.9 Conclusions ........................................................................................131 9.10 Bibliography ....................................................................................133

Chapter 10 Arabic and Spanish: Linguistic and Cultural Interactions .......137 10.1. Introductory Remarks .....................................................................137 10.2. Arabic and Spanish Contact ............................................................137 10.3. Why was the Article Borrowed? .................................140 10.3.1. Size of ‘al’-Prefixed Loanwords in Arabic ............................... 141 10.3.2. Qamari-Initiated Loanwords ..................................................... 143 10.3.3. Shamsi-Initiated Loanwords ..................................................... 144 10.4. What Justified the Borrowing?! ......................................................144 10.5 From Arabic to Spanish to English ..................................................149 10.6 Conclusions ......................................................................................150 10.7 Bibliography ....................................................................................150

Chapter 11 Empowering Arabic Orthography for better Transliteration of Foreign Languages ............................................................................153 11.1 Introductory Remarks ......................................................................153 11.2 Comprehensive Look at English-Arabic Transliteration .................154 11.3 Some Aspects of Inconsistency .......................................................155 11.4 Some Aspects of Incompatibility .....................................................156 11.5 Basic Matching and Mismatching between English and Arabic ...........................................................................................156 11.5.1 Consonant Matching .................................................................. 157 11.5.2 Vowel Matching ........................................................................ 157 11.6. Familiarity with Rules and Dynamics of Pronunciation .................159 11.7 Enhancing Consistency and Compatibility of Transliteration .........159 11.8 Practical Implications of SAO and AAO .........................................161

ix 11.9 Conclusions ......................................................................................163 11.10 Bibliography ..................................................................................164 Chapter 12 Word Inflation vs. Word Deflation: A Major Source of Mispronunciation among Arab Learners of English..........................167 12.1 Introductory Remarks ......................................................................167 12.2 Focus of this Study...........................................................................168 12.3 English and Arabic Vowel Systems .................................................168 12.3.1 English Vowel System ............................................................... 169 12.3.2 Arabic Vowel System ................................................................ 169 12.4 How Native Arab Learners of English Create Word Inflation ........170 12.4.1 Driving Forces behind Word Deflation in English .................... 170 12.4.2 Driving Forces behind Word Inflation in Arabic ....................... 171 12.4.2.1 The Arabic Vowel System ...................................................... 172 12.4.2.2 Stress Assignment Rules in Arabic ......................................... 172 12.4.2.3 Nature of Arabic Orthography ................................................ 173 12.5 Better Transliteration for better Pronunciation ................................175 12.6 Conclusions ......................................................................................178 12.7 Bibliography ....................................................................................179

Chapter 13 Formation of Sound Plurals and Duals in Arabic: A Phonetic/Phonological Approach .........................................................181 13.1 Introductory Remarks ......................................................................181 13.2 Discussion ........................................................................................183 13.3 Theoretical and Pedagogical Conclusions and Implications ...........191 13.4 Bibliography ....................................................................................192 Chapter 14 An Aerodynamic, Proprioceptive and Perceptual Interpretation of SƯbawayhi’s Misplacement of /ρ/ and /ϕ/ with Majhnjra Consonants .............................................................................195 14.1 Introduction Remarks.......................................................................195 14.2 What is Aspiration?..........................................................................197 14.3 Why the Terms ‘Majhnjra’ and ‘Mahmnjsa’? ...................................201 14.4 Conclusions ......................................................................................203 14.5 Bibliography ....................................................................................204 Chapter 15 The Sun or Moon Status of Arabic : A Descriptive Perspective ..............................................................................................207 15.1 Introductory Remarks ......................................................................207 15.2 Corpus and Testing ..........................................................................208 15.3 Results ..............................................................................................208 15.4 Discussion ........................................................................................209 15.5 Conclusions ......................................................................................212 15.6 Bibliography ....................................................................................216 Chapter 16 Arabic /q ϕ/: A Voiceless Unaspirated Uvular Plosive ...............217 16.1 Introductory Remarks ......................................................................217

x 16.2 Discussion ........................................................................................217 16.3 Conclusions ......................................................................................219 16.4 Bibliography ....................................................................................220 Appendix .............................................................................................................221 Chapter 1: Aramaic Version ....................................................................221 Chapter 2: Aramaic Version ....................................................................239 Chapter 14: Arabic Version .....................................................................275 Chapter 15: Arabic Version .....................................................................283 Chapter 16: Arabic Version .....................................................................291 Glossary ..............................................................................................................295 Index ..................................................................................................................303

List of Symbols The conventions and symbols of International Phonetic Association (IPA) and their acceptable substitutes have been used throughout the book. Standard Arabic alphabet letters and diacritics are included. Wherever necessary, some modified Arabic symbols or additional symbols used in languages whose orthography is based on Arabic are also included. Also, Aramaic and Greek alphabets are matched in a table to portray the historical similarity in letter names, their sounds and their order. The following is a list of the symbols and conventions: Vowels

Phonetic Description

K + G ' « C m 3 # b Q n W 7 ¡ ‹

Close front with spread lips Close front (somewhat centralized) to close-mid with spread lips Close-mid front with unrounded lips Open-mid front with unrounded lips Open-mid central with unrounded lips Open front with unrounded lips Near-open central vowel Near-open front with unrounded lips Open back with unrounded lips Open back with rounded lips Close-mid back with rounded lips Open-mid back with rounded lips Close back with rounded lips Near-close near-back with rounded lips Open-mid back with unrounded lips Mid central (neutral) vowel (schwa)

Consonants

Phonetic Description

D R R* F V V* Ì

Voiced bilabial plosive Voiceless unaspirated bilabial plosive Voiceless aspirated bilabial plosive Voiced alveolar plosive Voiceless unaspirated alveolar plosive Voiceless aspirated alveolar plosive Voiced palatal plosive

xii E E* I M M* S !  “ X H & 6 \ U < 5 ¯ : ž Í J 8 ˆ N L Y O P 0 4 T

Voiceless unaspirated palatal plosive Voiceless aspirated palatal plosive Voiced velar plosive Voiceless unaspirated velar plosive Voiceless aspirated velar plosive Voiceless (unaspirated) uvular plosive Glottal stop Voiced postalveolar affricate Voiceless postalveolar affricate Voiced labiodental fricative Voiceless labiodental fricative Voiced interdental fricative Voiceless interdental fricative Voiced alveolar fricative Voiceless alveolar fricative Voiced postalveolar fricative Voiceless postalveolar fricative Voiced uvular fricative Voiceless uvular fricative Voiced pharyngeal fricative Voiceless pharyngeal fricative Voiceless glottal fricative Voiced labio-dental approximant Voiced alveolar approximant Voiced alveolar lateral approximant Voiced palatal approximant Voiced labio-velar approximant Voiced bilabial nasal (approximant) Voiced alveolar nasal (approximant) Voiced velar nasal (approximant Voiced dental/alveolar tap Voiced dental/alveolar trill

Diphthongs in RP English CW CK QK

as in as in as in



xiii QW GK K‹ G‹ W‹

as in as in as in as in as in





Conventions / / [] Ö _* _¥ –ҕ C V

Phonemic transcription Phonetic transcription Vowel full length Vowel half-length Superscript indicating aspiration Superscript indicating primary stress Subscript dot under /F,V,&, U/ indicates /ν, ρ , υ , ι / the emphatic sounds of Arabic In syllable structure patterns, ‘C’ stands for a ‘Consonant’ and stands for a ‘Vowel’

Arabic Symbols: Consonants IPA ˯ Ώ Ε Ι Ν Ρ Υ Ω Ϋ έ ί α ε ι ν ρ υ

[!] [D] [V] [6] [] [Í] [:] [d] [&] [T] [\] [U] [5] [Uҕ] [F]ҕ [Vҕ] [&ҕ]

Phonetic Description glottal stop voiced bilabial plosive voiceless alveolar plosive voiceless interdental fricative voiced postalveolar affricate voiceless pharyngeal fricative voiceless uvular fricative voiced alveolar plosive voiced interdental fricative alveolar trill voiced alveolar fricative voiceless alveolar fricative voiceless postalveolar fricative voiceless alveolar emphatic fricative voiced alveolar emphatic plosive voiceless (unaspirated) alveolar emphatic plosive voiced interdental emphatic fricative

xiv ω ύ ϑ ϕ ϙ ϝ ϡ ϥ ˰ϫ ϭ ϱ ˰˰˷˰˰

[ž] voiced pharyngeal fricative [¯] voiced uvular fricative [H] voiceless labio-dental fricative [S] voiceless [unaspirated] uvular plosive [M] voiceless velar plosive [N] voiced alveolar lateral [O] bilabial nasal [P] alveolar nasal [J] voiceless glottal fricative [Y] central labio-velar approximant [L] central palatal approximant Superscript on consonant indicating geminated (double) consonant.

Additional Farsi Symbols ̟ ̧ ̫ ̱ ‫׃‬

[p] [“] [ which has a combination of two consonants, but it is not a cluster because the belongs to the first syllable and belongs to the second. Consonant clusters or the so-called

A Comparative Study of Petnames in English and Assyrian

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frequently geminated [doubled consonants as in , and ; however, non-identical abutting consonants are also familiar such as in , and . The second popular syllabic structure is the CV.CV such as in , and . Both CVC.CV and CV.CV syllabic structures imply that petnames in Assyrian are consistently initiated with a consonant [a glottal stop being assumed for any item that is initiated without a consonant] and closed with a vowel. Another interesting observation is pertinent to the process by which the petnames are formed. For convenience the process is called here truncation which simply means cutting off a section of the name. Although truncation is active in both languages, the manner in which it applies, the extent of its application and whether it is combined with other processes may vary. Truncation seems to apply in two different formats. At times, the anterior section of the name is truncated such as in the English examples of and “Anthony” when reduced to and and in the Assyrian examples of and when reduced to and , respectively. This format is described as front truncation in opposition to back truncation in which the posterior section of the name is truncated such as in the English examples of and when reduced to and and in the Assyrian examples of and when reduced to and , respectively. Back truncation is undoubtedly more pervasive in English than front truncation. Truncation is also active in Assyrian. Similar to English, back truncation is more active than front truncation; however, in Assyrian truncation does not seem to operate in the same, more or less, mechanical manner that it operates in English, i.e. cutting off a section of the name. There is clear indication that in Assyrian truncation tends to be heavily subject to a major constraint which is labeled here as root identity retention [RIR]. This is realized through the retention of at least two major consonants of the 3 or 4 consonants [radicals] of which the root/stem consists. As a further reinforcement of the RIR constraint, one of the consonants is often geminated. In fact, approximately 65% of the Assyrian petnames do have a geminated consonant. In considering the segmental [consonants and vowels] sound structure of the petnames, English hardly undergoes phonetic changes. Unlike English, in Assyrian there are several instances of segmental phonetic changes which do not have a direct representation in the original names. The in for , for or for ; and in for ; in for ; in for and in for all represent major phonetic changes. What is interesting, however, is that there may exist some underlying phonetic affinity between the newly emerging sounds and the original radicals. The phonetic affinity may assume the form of manner or place of articulation. For instance, the pairs /m/ and /b/ and /k/ and /x/ = in the examples cited above are related in the place of articulation.  consonant blends is a combination of consonants structurally belong to one syllable and is pronounced as one intact piece such as the /bl/ in (for details see Odisho 1979; 2003).

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5.3 Discussion As indicated above, the syllable is treated in this study as a generic yardstick [unit] of measurement regardless of the syllable size. This position is adopted because what is targeted is the word length or more accurately the name length. In light of such a decision, the English female names are longer than their male counterparts by 0.67 of a syllable. This is a relatively sizable difference and it seems to result from the frequent addition of a female suffix such as , , and as in , and . The trend is that with the addition of such suffixes an additional syllable emerges. Interestingly enough, in our randomly selected names, exactly the same difference is maintained between the female and male petnames. This latter difference is implicitly related to the original addition of a female suffix to the male names as a distinctive feature. Explicitly, however, nearly 60% of the female petnames end with suffix /i/ [graphically represented with or as in , , , , Debbie>, and ]. It is mainly due to the absence of such a marker in the male petnames that the overwhelming majority of them are monosyllabic. The picture in Assyrian seems to be different. Although the female names are also longer than their male counterparts, the difference is minimal and only about 0.2 of a syllable. This minimal difference cannot be accounted for in any terms other than being accidental and nonessential. In general, though the first names in Assyrian are slightly longer on average than in English, their reduction, however, is much more restricted. The only reason for this is the two-syllable length constraint imposed on the formation of petnames in Assyrian. It is assumed here that this constraint constitutes the major distinguishing factor in the formation of petnames in the two languages. Assyrian being a Semitic language tends to strictly retain the characteristic role of the consonants in the construction of the morphological identity of words. Krotkoff highlights such a relationship by stating that the concept of a consonantal root, so prominent in all Semitic languages, is a corollary of the existence of strict morphological patterning (1982:19). The consonantal radicals and the sequence in which they are arranged does not only signal “the general meaning of a root” (Bergstrasser 1983:5), they also signal its formal identity. In other words, there is more weight for the consonants in signaling the generic semantic and formal identity of lexical items in the Semitic languages including Assyrian. Certainly, in this study, meaning is not pertinent, but formal identity is. The absolute two-syllable constraint on the formation of petnames in Assyrian implies the presence of a minimum of two consonants which in turn implies a strong trend towards the retention of as much of the consonantal root identity as possible; it was this trend that was referred to earlier on as RIR, i.e. root identity retention. A monosyllabic pattern of petnames in Assyrian would be highly incompatible with and uncharacteristic of the Semitic languages. Monosyllabic structures in such languages are rare. Aside from some pronouns and general particles and some disyllabic words, the great majority of bases/roots appear to be

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77

trisyllabic (Gray, 1971:34; Bergstrasser, 1983:6). Unlike in Assyrian, in English, an Indo-European language, the concept of the consonantal root/base is less powerful in determining both the semantic and formal identity of the linguistic items. This characteristic of English is, perhaps, the primary reason behind the greater variety in the syllabic structures of petnames in English and greater freedom in implementing the truncation process. The rules of petname formation in Assyrian appear to be more powerful. They are operating very rigidly and consistently even with loan-names regardless of their source. For instance, , and strictly adhere to the CVC.CV syllabic structure and become , and , respectively. Besides this strong naturalization tendency, which is an indication of consistency in petname formation, uniformity is further portrayed through the absolute validity of the two-syllable structural constraint, the vocalic ending of the items and their predominant CVC.CV syllabic structure. As for the greater segmental phonetic discrepancy between the Assyrian names and petnames, it may be attributed to a greater baby-language [baby-talk] influence in Assyrian than in English. Apparently, such a hypocoristic influence in Assyrian is realized through phonetic changes within the segmental structure of the items concerned, whereas in English it is frequently realized through suffixation as in for , for and for .

5.4 Conclusions and Implications for Future Research Petnaming appears to be a very common and pervasive sociolinguistic phenomenon in both English and Assyrian. The preliminary investigation tends to recognize it as a widely common phenomenon in most languages and cultures. Perhaps, it may turn out to be a universal feature of human culture. However, a final judgment in this respect should depend on further and more exhaustive research. This limited comparative study reveals some similarities and differences in the manner in which petnaming is functioning in English and Assyrian. A major similarity is displayed through the use of truncation which may not seem valid or equally valid for other languages. For example, in Arabic, petnames may be generated through internal restructuring without any change or deletion in the consonantal radicals such as converting , and into , and , respectively. Arabic may also introduce different petname variants for the above three names in the form of , and , respectively. It may also resort to some sort of truncation as in and from and , but truncation is very uncharacteristic of Arabic. Most likely, the rarity of truncation in the formation of petnames in Arabic is attributed to the fact that Arabic names are overwhelmingly derived from verb roots and bear well-defined meanings. This direct association of the Arabic names with the meaning and the form of the roots/bases could be the primary reason why petnaming through truncation is very rare. Such an interpretation is reminiscent of what was hinted at earlier on when

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RIR constraint was introduced for the formation of petnames in Assyrian, another Semitic language. As for the major differences between English and Assyrian, they reveal themselves in the greater rigidity and consistency for the latter. Such a difference is attributed here to the underlying and grossly different morphological rules of word formation that Assyrian, as a Semitic language, and English, as an IndoEuropean language, have. Finally, to pass more definitive judgments in this area of study requires further comparative studies and further investigation. For instance, one needs to account for the greater permissibility of truncation in Arabic loan-names in Kurdish, such as in , , , becoming , , and , respectively. Questions of this nature will, hopefully, be targeted in future.

5.5 Bibliography Ashley, L.R.N.(1989) What’s in a Name? Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Bergstrasser, G. (1983) Introduction to the Semitic Languages. (trans. P. Daniels). Winona/Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Dunkling, L. A. (1977). First Names First. Detroit: Gale Research Company. ———. (1986). The Guinness Book of Names. London: Guinness Books. Dunkling, L. A. and Gosling, W. (1983). The Facts on File Dictionary of First Names. New York: Facts on File Publications. Encyclopedia Americana. (1990) Nicknames. Vol., 20. Franklyn, Julian (1962). A Dictionary of Nicknames. New York: British Book Center. Gray, L. H. (1971). Introduction to Semitic Comparative Linguistics. Amsterdam: Philo Press. Hanks, P. and Hodges, F. (1990). A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Krotkoff, Georg (1982). A Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Kurdistan. New Haven/ Connecticut: American Oriental Society. Odisho, Edward Y. (1979). Consonant Clusters and Abutting Consonants in English and Arabic. System, Vol. 7, 205-210. ———. (1988). The Sound System of Modern Assyrian(Neo-Aramaic). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. ______. (1990). Phonetic and Phonological Description of the Labio-palatal and Labio-velar Approximants in Neo-Aramaic. Studies in Neo-Aramaic. (ed. Wolfhart Heinrichs) ______. (2003). Techniques of Teaching Pronunciation in ESL, Bilingual and Foreign Language Classes. Munich: Lincom Europa.

Chapter 6 The Role of Aspiration in the Transliteration of Loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic 6.1 Introductory Remarks At the very outset, there are several points that should be clarified. First, although the title of this study is aspiration, the bulk of the discussion will center around nonaspiration in certain sounds and the impact of that on their transliteration in Aramaic and Arabic. However, because an overall description of the phenomenon of aspiration is inevitable, using the term aspiration will be more inclusive and more convenient. Second, Aramaic and Syriac are used interchangeably because they are variants of the same language. Third, aspiration is defined in terms of the latest findings with regards to the phonetic nature of this phenomenon. Finally, therefore, it should not be confused with what some traditional Semitists (Stoddard, 1855: 10; Maclean, 1901: 4; Arayathinal, 1957:27, among others) have used the descriptive term ‘aspiration’ for. They used it to stand for the articulatory processes of qushƗya [hardness] and rukƗxa [softness] which represent the transformation of stops into fricatives known in modern phonetic jargon as ‘spirantization’ (Hyman, 1975: 62-3; Ohde and Sharf, 1992: 205). Nöldeke also uses the attributes ‘aspirated’ and ‘unaspirated’ in the context of his discussion of qushƗya and rukƗxa. However, elsewhere, Nöldeke makes it quite clear that he is aware of the specific meaning of aspiration. He does this precisely when he is describing the nature of the differences and similarities between the Greek t, k and Aramaic —, ‰ (1904: 15). His use of the attributes in connection with qushƗya/rukƗxa is only a casual citation of other writers’ descriptive terms. More recent studies of Aramaic, both classical and modern, distinctly identify qushƗya/rukƗxa as spirantization (Tsereteli, 1978: 33; Odisho, 1983: 15; Kiraz, 1995: 2). It is, therefore, important to stress the fact that this study attempts to explain some cross-language orthographical transformations to which loanwords are vulnerable and are associated partly with the presence or absence of aspiration. A typical case is the frequent appearance of ‰ — or ϕ ρ in the orthographic rendition of Greek loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic, respectively, representing sounds or letters which are not their phonological and orthographic cognates. The main purpose of this study is to explain the underlying causes of the above changes and transliterations.

6.2 Historical Background In the Middle East, historically Aramaic emerged as a significant language since the eleventh century BC. It remained in active circulation as a popular language of communication, administration and scholarship for over a millennium; in fact, it was the dominant language, at least, until the seventh century AD. Because of its popularity and pervasiveness, scholars have repeatedly

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labeled Aramaic as the lingua franca of the Middle East (Toynbee, 1947: 19; Robinson, 1962: 1; Frye, 1963: 99; Diringer, 1968: 200; and Rosenthal, 1974: 6; Versteegh, 1997: 9). Only Arabic, with the advent of Islam in the seventh century, was capable of competing with Aramaic and gradually supplanting it. However, even after the spread of Arabic as an important language of civilization, Aramaic remained a very significant language of scholarship and academic pursuit. Very specifically, it served as the first serious conduit for the exposure of, first, the natives of Aramaic and then the natives of Arabic to the Greek civilization and language. The earliest significant exposure of the Aramaic speakers to the Greek civilization and language goes back to the Hellenic invasion of the region by Alexander the Great around 331 BC (O’Leary, 1979: 6; Zuntz, 1994:26; Drijvers and Healey, 1999:32). Militarily and politically, the Greeks were a dominant occupation power until 65 AD. However, their religious and academic influence continued much longer after that. The Greeks were one of the earliest ethnic groups, besides the Aramaic speakers, to adopt Christianity as a religion. The influence of their language stretches from being regarded as the original language of the New Testament, either wholly or partially, to being a primary ecclesiastical and academic language besides Aramaic. This linguistic connection between Greek and Aramaic in the early centuries of Christianity continued, but was even further enhanced through greater civilizational interaction as the Aramaic speakers developed unlimited scholarly interest in Greek medicine, philosophy and sciences. It was this scholarly interest that later made Aramaic serve as a bridge between Greek and Arabic. In the long run, this academic connection between the three languages led to one of the most extensive translation movements in the history of human civilizations. There is evidence that one of the early works of translation from Greek into Aramaic was done at Edessa in the later fourth century (O’Leary, 1979: 51). In other words, the Aramaic speakers had seriously embarked on the translation of the Greek scientific heritage much earlier than the Islamic conquest and the establishment of the Arab caliphate. However, the translation was massively expanded during the Caliphate of Harun al-Rashid, 786-809 AD (Whipple, 1967: 24; O’Leary, 1979: 69; Gutas, 1998: 20). The peak of this movement came during the Caliphate of his son al-Ma’mun who, at the suggestion of the Nestorian physician Jibra’il Bakhtishu, founded the academy which was called Beit al-Hikmah, House of Wisdom. Incidentally, it is also interesting to note that there is unanimous agreement among all historians that the majority of the translators were Nestorian Christians (Whipple, 1967; O’Leary, 1979), a fact which has its own historical significance that is beyond the domain of this study.

6.3 Salient Sound Differences between Greek and Aramaic/Arabic Greek as an Indo-European language has some major phonetic and phonological differences from Aramaic and Arabic both of which are typical Semitic languages. Of specific interest in this regard is the fact that in the Semitic languages, the number of sounds whose primary or at least the secondary place of

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articulation is in the posterior section is relatively much higher than most of the languages of the world. For instance, phonologically, in the rear section of the vocal tract, especially in the post-velum area, Arabic has seven phonemes /˰ϫ ,˯ ,ω ,Ρ ,ύ ,Υ ,ϕ / with the primary place of articulation and four more phonemes / ν ,υ , ι ,ρ / with a secondary place of articulation in the same area of the vocal tract. The generation of the above phonemes involves phonetic processes such as emphasis, uvularization and pharyngealization all of which are subsumed here under the term gutturalization for brevity and convenience. Aramaic in its classical versions has had most of those phonemes of Arabic. Although throughout history, Aramaic lost or modified some of its guttural or gutturalized sounds, it has still maintained a strong core of such sounds. Because of this abundance of sounds in the rear section of the vocal tract, the section is the source of the most salient feature that shapes and colors the phonetics/phonology of such languages. In reality, it is this salient gutturalization feature of the Semitic languages that constitutes a major component of the articulatory setting of the Semitic languages (for details see Odisho, 1973, 1996, 2000). The term articulatory setting was first coined by Honikman (1964) and described as “The overall arrangement and maneuvering of the speech organs necessary for a facile accomplishment of natural utterance. Broadly, it is the fundamental groundwork which pervades and, to an extent, determines the phonetic character and specific timbre of a language.” (73). Since then, this phonetic phenomenon has been further described and elaborated on (Laver, 1980). The impact of gutturalization on shaping the articulatory setting of the Semitic languages does not only affect the phonological realization and production of the sounds of other languages; it affects their orthographic rendition, too. For Arabic, the orthographic gutturalization of loanwords has been outlined in an earlier study (Odisho, 1996) in which a brief reference was made to the role of aspiration in the overall gutturalization process and the orthographic rendition of loanwords. Because the focus here is on a better understanding of the role of aspiration, some explanation of its nature and a survey of its domain in a variety of languages including Greek, Aramaic and Arabic are inevitable.

6.4 Aspiration/Non-Aspiration in Greek, Aramaic and Arabic Traditionally, aspiration has been identified and defined as a ‘puff of air’ which follows the release of certain sounds, especially plosives. This way of identifying aspiration is true, but it is quite superficial and does not reflect the underlying supraglottal and glottal articulatory, aerodynamic and phonatory conditions that lead to the presence or absence of the ‘puff of air.’ After a series of very stimulating papers, Kim succeeded in developing a theory of aspiration (1970) which is now widely accepted. In those papers, he defines aspiration as the “function of the glottal opening at the time of the release of the supraglottal stricture.” (Kim, 1970:111) In other words, “if a stop is ‘n’ degree of aspiration it must have ‘n’ degree of glottal opening at the time of the release of the [supraglottal] closure” (Kim 1967:269). Thus, Kim identifies aspiration as the outcome of the articulatory, phonatory and aerodynamic

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adjustments and synchronizations between the glottal and supraglottal activities and apertures. The above synchronizations are equally accurately captured by the term voice onset time [usually abbreviated as VOT] (Ladefoged, 1982:259; Odisho, 1988: 48). There are three common patterns of VOT: before the release of closure, with the release of closure and after a noticeable delay. Sounds produced in terms of those synchronizations are described as voiced unaspirated, voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated, respectively. (Ladefoged, 1982:259; Catford, 1988:58-9) In terms of distinctive features, the three patterns of VOT may be distinguished as: [+ voiced, – delayed], [– voiced, – delayed] and [– voiced, + delayed], respectively. (for further details, see also Chapter 14). As a phonetic phenomenon, aspiration is quite common in many languages of the world; phonologically, however, its function might be viewed in three different forms. First, there are languages such as Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Sindhi, [a sub-continental Indian language] in which the presence and absence of aspiration is a contrastive feature and triggers semantic differences. In Vietnamese, for instance, [t*] and [t] are in contrast and trigger the difference between the lexical items [t*in] “silent” and [tin] “smart” (Avery and Erlich, 1997: 41). Second, there are other languages in which aspiration occurs autonomously [i.e., not as a contextual variant], but it does not constitute a phonological contrast with a cognate sound or set of sounds of the same place and manner of articulation. The plosive sounds of Spanish and French and Greek tend to be unaspirated, but they have no unaspirated counterparts. Aspiration may also be simply rendered redundant and its contrastive function assigned to another feature. The relationship among certain sounds in Arabic is typical of the latter condition. For example, / Ε /, a voiceless aspirated plain alveolar plosive, has always been contrasted with / ρ /, a voiceless unaspirated emphatic alveolar plosive, on the basis of emphasis ϢϴΨϔΘϟ΍ and that aspiration has never been invoked as a contrastive feature. As for /ϕ/ a voiceless unaspirated uvular plosive, because it does not have any cognate plosive to which it is contrasted, its unaspirated nature as a feature is rendered redundant. Third, in some languages, aspiration and its absence may be contextually triggered and it is hardly ever consciously recognized. The situation of aspiration/nonaspiration in English is a typical representative of this group (Avery and Erlich, 1997). Only in stressed syllables, especially in word-initial positions, the / p, t, k / of English are fully aspirated. Elsewhere, they are either weakly aspirated or fully unaspirated. An instance of the latter is consistently observed in word-initial stressed syllables when / p, t, k / are in consonant cluster formations with / s / as in < spit, stick, skin >. Due to articulatory and aerodynamic conditions of such clusters, the plosives are fully deaspirated (Gimson, 1970: 67; Roach, 1983: 30). In light of the above grouping of languages with regards to aspiration, any attempt of relating Greek, Aramaic and Arabic to those groups should take into consideration their contrastive phonological systems at the time when the linguistic contact and exchange among the three languages had been most intensive. Concerning Greek, research shows that there had been phonological contrasts based on aspiration/nonaspiration i.e., [p t k] Vs [p* t* k*]; however, there is no doubt that, as modern Greek shows, the aspirated plosives did eventually change to fricatives in the form of [ij ș Ȥ] (Allen,

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1968: 20). Allen places this change during the period from the second century BC to the first century AD with the latter being a more accurate date (1968: 21). This dating of the replacement of the aspirated plosives with fricatives [spirants] is of extreme significance because it coincides with the beginning of the most serious contacts of Aramaic with Greek. With the disappearance of the aspirated cognates, aspiration in Greek remained an autonomous feature, but with no contrastive weight. According to such specifications, Greek belongs to the second group of languages. In Arabic, both classical and standard, there is no historical evidence that it ever had contrasts of cognate plosives based solely on aspiration. Although Arabic has had unaspirated sounds, there is no indication, whatsoever, even in the oldest available linguistic descriptions of Arabic that aspiration versus nonaspiration had been cited or singled out as the basis for phonological contrast. In fact, the failure to even acknowledge the presence of this feature might be the only explanation for some of the inaccuracies in the phonetic description of some sounds by the most prominent Arab grammarians including Ibn Jinni and Sibawaihi. It has been strongly argued that one of the main reasons why they misplaced the sound / ρ ϕ / in the voiced category ΓέϮϬΠϣ instead of the voiceless category ΔγϮϤϬϣ was because those grammarians failed to recognize the absence of aspiration in such sounds (Odisho, 1988a: 88; see also Chapter 14). Consequently, the failure made those grammarians think that / ϕ ρ / were voiced rather than voiceless unaspirated (Odisho, 1977/a: 63; 1988: 87). The role of aspiration in Aramaic is quite identical with its role in Arabic. There has been no historical evidence of any linguistic contrasts based solely on aspiration in Old Aramaic. The only distinct nonaspiration, much like Arabic, is in the case of /‰ — /. What is typically unlike Arabic is the pervasive nature of aspiration in some of the modern dialects of Aramaic. In the Urmi variety of Assyrian Aramaic and the Iraqi koiné Assyrian (Odisho, 1988), there is ample evidence of the contrastive nature of aspiration/nonaspiration. In fact, it is so pervasive that it extends to cover two of its three affricates in addition to all the plosives (Osipov, 1913; Odisho, 1975, 1977a, 1977b, 1979).

6.5 Orthographic Evidence In Aramaic, there are numerous examples of loanwords in which the letters representing [t*] or [t] and [k*] or [k] sounds have been frequently assigned the letters / ‰ —/ instead of / š  / in spite of the fact that the latter pair is of greater historical and orthographical affinity and relevance to the letters of the loanwords. The conversion of those pairs of letters is best portrayed by the transliteration of the Greek / IJ ț/ letters as the Aramaic / ‰ — / in a wide variety of Greek loanwords including religious, philosophical and scientific terms as well as personal and geographical names most of which have been incorporated into Aramaic just before and after the advent of Christianity. List, 6/1 below is a collection of randomly selected Greek words and names which typically manifest a strong trend of phonetic and orthographic gutturalization of the non-guttural Greek sounds /ț/ and /IJ/ and rendering them as / — / and / ‰ / in their Aramaic linguistic environment.

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GìÁà΁íD ȐIJȠȝȠȢ; ȐIJȠȝȠȞ Atom GìQÁàÎóìÅDì ĮȞĮIJȠȝȓĮ Anatomy GìàÎoìD DZıȦIJȠȢ Prodigal GìpcàÎóoôD ıIJȠȚȤİȓȠȞ Element GìºÁàÎóoôD ıIJȩȝĮȤȠȢ Stomach Kì¾óoôD ȈIJȠȜȒ long robe GìQÉàνàÍlóoôD ĮıIJȡȠȜȠȖȓĮ Astrology GìQÁàÎÅàÍlóoôD ĮıIJȡȠȞȠȝȓĮ Atronomy Kì¾Êé ÅûlóoôD ıIJȡȠȖȖȣȜȩȢ Estrangelo R¶QóìÁùÔPkìD ĮȡȚșȝİIJȚțȒ Arithmetic Gì±àζpô±Eí ¹kíD ĮȡȤİʌȓıțȠʌȠȢ Archbishop ÈàζìÏhô¹kíD ĮȡȤȚįȚȐțȠȞȠȢ Archdeacon GìƶìÏâh±í ÎéÖ ȣʌȠįȚȐțȠȞȠȢ Subdeacon GìpØâ΁ ȉȪʌȠȢ Example GìÂQ ȉȚȝȒ Price Gìpdí ȉȐȟȚȢ Ritual DúlóQ½ ȁȓIJȡĮ weight (pound) GìóÙæÅ ȃȐijșĮ naphtha (oil) GìÅàÎóo ȈIJȣȜȠȢ Pillar G÷óoàζ÷óÆí± ʌİȞIJȘțȠıIJȒ Pentecost GìQÅàνàε ȀȠȜȦȞȓĮ Colony ràÎÅéhÅûε÷ țȓȞįȣȞȠȢ Danger ràξµàε ȀȪțȜȠȢ Circle Gì¶P¾µ țȜȘȡȚțȩȢ Clegyman §ì Ðì¾µô ȀȑȜȜĮ Cell qQp²ô¾µ ȑțȜİȚȥȚȢ Eclipse ßPhÆíµ ȀĮȞįȒȜĮ Candlestick GìÅàÎÆìµ ȀĮȞȫȞ Canon GõºÆíµ ȀȩȖȤȘ sanctuary (church) ÈàÍE÷¾²ì µ÷ țİijȐȜȚȠȞ Chapter GìpÐílíµ ȋȐȡIJȘȢ chart (certificate) K쾁 ì lôµ țȐȡIJĮȜȜȠȢ large basket R¶Q½àÍÔù µì țĮșȠȜȚțȒ Catholic ÈàÍlíDÓ÷ ĬȑĮIJȡȠȞ Theatre Table 6/1.Greek loanwords in Aramaic with Greek transliterated as

In Arabic, the transliteration of loanwords, without / ϕ ρ / sounds, with / ϕ ρ / is even more pervasive than in Aramaic. This trend in transliteration is clearly evidenced in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic [MSA] and almost all the modern dialects of Arabic. List, 6/2 below is a diversified token representation of such orthographic conversions from Greek and other foreign languages.

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ȆȜȐIJȦȞ ϥϮσϼϓ΍ ȈȦțȡȐIJȘ ρ΍ήϘγ DZȡȚıIJȠIJȑȘȢ Ϯτγέ΍ ȀĮȚıĮȡ ήμϴϗ ȂĮțİįȠȞȓĮ ΔϴϧϭΪϘϣ ȀȪʌȡȠȢ ιήΒϗ ȀȦȞıIJĮȞIJȚȞȠȪʌȠȜȚȢ ΔϴϨϴτϨτδϗ ȂĮȜIJĮ ΎτϟΎϣ ǿIJĮȜȓĮ ΎϴϟΎτϳ΍ TĮȡıȩȢ αϮγήσ ȀȫȜȠȞ ϥϮϟϮϗ ȀȑȞIJȡȠȞ ΓήτϨϗ ȀȓıIJȠȢ αΎτδϗ ȀȜȓȝĮ ϢϴϠϗ΍ ȀĮȡȣȩijȣȜȜȠȞ Ϟϔϧήϗ ȀȠȞįȒȜĮ ϞϳΪϨϗ ȆȑIJȡȠȢ αήτΑ ȂȐȡțȠȢ κϗήϣ Table 6/2.Greek loanwords in Arabic with Greek transliterated as

6.6. Discussion The absence of the / ϕ ρ , ‰ — / sounds in the native forms of loanwords and their distinct presence in their Aramaic and Arabic renditions has no reasonable and convincing interpretation other than in terms of the phonetic and phonological rules of naturalization of loanwords imposed by the articulatory settings of Aramaic and Arabic. Furthermore, the imposition seems to be so powerful that it permeates their orthographic renditions. However, there may be other underlying phonetic conditions that exist in the lender and borrower languages which also seem to function as catalysts in bringing about the above phonetic/phonological and orthographic transformations. Foremost among such conditions that facilitate the appearance of / ‰ — / and / ρ ϕ / in the above cited loanwords may lie in the phonetic nature of the original sounds in the lender languages, especially with regards to the feature of aspiration/nonaspiration or VOT. The assumption that ‘nonaspiration’ may be the culprit that facilitates the changes has some strong linguistic support in the background of the languages involved. For instance, the Greek plosives /IJ ț/ are both fully unaspirated. The Greek / IJ / traditionally stands for a voiceless unaspirated alveolar plosive, and its unaspirated nature gives it an acoustic quality that distances it from the conventional Aramaic / š / and Arabic / Ε / which are voiceless aspirated alveolar plosives, and makes them more readily associated with / ‰ / and / ρ / which share the Greek / IJ / its unaspirated nature. Similarly, the / ț / is phonetically a voiceless unaspirated velar plosive (Mackridge, 1985: 20). Its unaspirated nature makes its acoustic and perceptual quality sound more like the Aramaic / — / and Arabic / ϕ /

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both of which are identical and conventionally represent a voiceless unaspirated uvular plosive. Such a phonetic and orthographic association between the Greek /t k/ and Aramaic and Arabic /— ‰ / and / ϕ ρ / seems to be governed by the unaspirated nature of the sounds involved rather than by any other phonetic feature. There is also ample evidence in Andalusi Arabic of a similar trend of transcribing the unaspirated Hispano-Roman [t] and [k] with the Arabic letters / ρ ϕ/. (Corriente, 1977: 39-40, 53-54; Torreblanca, 1994: 53) In these transliterations, even the historical orthographic association between the protoSemitic alphabet and the Greek and Latin alphabets, the latter two being historical extensions of the former, is bypassed. It, thus, goes without saying that if the aspirated cognates of the unaspirated Greek plosives had not been lost, the frequency with which the orthographic transliteration of /IJ ț/ with ‰ — / would have been much less pervasive. Similarly, if the Hispano-Latin’s / t , k / had been aspirated in nature, they would have not been transcribed with Arabic /ϕ ρ/. At this juncture of the discussion, there is a need to go back to the three patterns of plosives which were labeled earlier on as voiced unaspirated, voiceless unaspirated and voiceless aspirated and marked in distinctive features as [+ voiced, – delayed], [– voiced,– delayed] and [– voiced, + delayed], respectively. The latter marking indicates that the first and the third patterns are maximally contrasted, whereas the second pattern [i.e., voiceless unaspirated] is minimally contrasted. It shares one feature with each of the other two patterns and, hence, places itself virtually half way on a perceptual/impressionistic continuum between the other two patterns. This explains the tendency among speakers of many languages in which aspiration does not enjoy an autonomous [contrastive] status to interpret unaspirated plosives as voiced (Allen, 1965:12). The zero VOT in the unaspirated sounds distances them perceptually from the voiceless aspirated sounds and brings them nearer to the voiced ones. It is this perceptual distance that gave the Arab grammarians no choice but to place them in the voiced category of sounds. If the Greek plosives were aspirated in nature, they would automatically be matched with Aramaic / š  / and Arabic / Ε ϙ / based on phonetic similarity and historical alphabetic affinity. However, the misplacement of the voiceless unaspirated plosives in Arabic explains the failure of the Arab grammarians in recognizing and reporting aspiration/nonaspiration as a phonetic phenomenon despite their extensive accomplishments and versatility in other aspects of phonetic studies. This failure may serve as evidence that nonaspiration was only intuitively sensed as a phonetic feature, but its phonological role was overshadowed by emphasis [ϢϴΨϔΘϟ΍]. To put it differently, / Ε /, in Arabic, has always been exclusively contrasted with / ρ / on the basis of emphasis with no contrastive weight assigned to aspiration although aspiration can be equally valid to emphasis in contrastive value. This suspension of the contrastive power of aspiration may be attributed to the pervasive phonological power of emphasis. Emphasis in Arabic yields a minimum of four contrasts; in fact, more contrasts are readily attested in various regional dialects of Arabic. It is also interesting to notice that orthographic gutturalization, with nonaspiration as a catalyst, does occur in native Arabic words through a process of deaspiration. In several triliteral roots that are without a / ρ /, derivations from

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such roots undergo certain phonetic changes that result in the emergence of / ρ / and the further enhancement of gutturalization. For instance, ϰϔτλ΍ is a modification of ϰϔΘλ΍ from the root ϰϔλ in which the / ι / as a fricative deaspirates the / Ε / [t*] and transforms it into an unaspirated [t] which, in turn, is emphaticized under the influence of the emphatic /ι/ and consequently converted into a / ρ / (for details of this process see Odisho, 1988a). The same interpretation applies in the case of many other derivations, such as ϊϨτλ΍΍ ΢Ϡτλ΍ ΩΎτλ΍ ήΒτλ΍ from ϊϨλ ήΒλ Ϊϴλ ΢Ϡλ . This deaspiration and concomitant emphaticization is also observed in loanwords such as ρ΍ήγ Ώϻήτγ΍ ϞΒτγ΍ which orthographically alternate with ρ΍ήλ Ώϻήτλ΍ ϞΒτλ΍ . A similar, but limited, trend of deaspiration is attested in some Aramaic loanwords as in or and or . A similar explanation of gutturalization in conjunction with nonaspiration is equally tenable in many instances of loanwords from other languages. Many loanwords from Spanish, Italian and French have entered Arabic first with the Arab invasion of Spain and then with the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt and the subsequent opening of the Arab world to the western civilization. The manner in which geographic names such as ΎϴϧΎτϳήΑ ,ΎϴϟΎτϳ΍ are pronounced and orthographically rendered in Arabic is strong evidence that those names and many other words entered Arabic through the Latin languages rather than English. It is pertinent to note that in all those Latin languages, the plosives tend to be unaspirated (Allen, 1965: 12; Zuntz, 1994: 28), a feature quite reminiscent of the Greek unaspirated plosives and their conversion into / ‰ — / and / ρ ϕ/.

6.7 Conclusions There seems to be ample evidence in support of the assumption that the rear section of the vocal tract has a very significant role in shaping the articulatory setting in Aramaic and Arabic. The frequent conversion of non-guttural sounds in loanwords from Greek and other languages into guttural or gutturalized ones substantiates the significant role of the articulatory setting beyond any doubt or controversy (Odisho, 1973; 1996). There is also ample evidence that in Arabic the gutturalization trend is comparatively more pervasive in influence than in Aramaic. This may be accounted for as follows. First, Arabic tends to be more archaic in nature and resistant to hosting loanwords without strictly imposing its rules of naturalization and indigenization so as to make the loanwords conceal their etymology. (Chejne, 1969: 9; Beeston, 1970: 114) To state it differently, Arabic has always been more archaic and prescriptive in nature, perhaps because of its much stronger intimacy with religion. Second, its archaic nature has helped the language maintain its systems and structures more intact than Aramaic. For instance, MSA and most of the Arabic dialects (with the exception of some, Corriente, 1977; 1997) have maintained almost completely all their uvular, pharyngeal and emphatic sounds. Third, since the contact of Aramaic with other languages, especially Greek, had been much earlier than Arabic, it is likely that Aramaic had, somewhat, set the precedence in transliterating Greek sounds / IJ ț/, and the like in other languages, into / ‰ — /. Words such as ,

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were first admitted and transliterated in Aramaic prior to their admission and naturalization in Arabic as ϞϳΪϨϗ ϥϮϧΎϗ ΓήτϨϗ βϘσ ϢϴϠϗ΍. Stated differently, there seems to be some orthographic crossover from Greek to Arabic through Aramaic. Perhaps, the crossover intensified with the massive translation movement of the Abbasid period, since many of the Greek treatises in medicine, science and philosophy had already been translated into Aramaic prior to being translated into Arabic. It is highly conceivable that many of the Greek scientific terms were already gutturalized in Aramaic and thus encountered hardly any resistance when transliterated into Arabic. However, for more definitive conclusions in this regard, and the overall cross-linguistic phonetic and orthographic conversion, more comprehensive and supportive evidence is required. Another interesting dimension of this study is the noticeable role aspiration plays in the phonetic and orthographic shaping of loanwords. The unaspirated nature of / — ‰ or ϕ ρ / seems to be very influential in the manner in which loanwords are phonologically recognized and orthographically rendered in their naturalization and transliteration. Their unaspirated nature which has never been singled out as a primary and contrastive feature of manner of articulation is so intuitively powerful that it forces foreign sounds drift away from their most likely expected phonological and orthographic cognates. The alternative is to match them with others based on another phonetically viable feature which happens to be nonaspiration in this instance (see Figure 6/1 for a schematic representation of the expected matching and the actual matching). This implies that even though nonaspiration has never been recognized as a phonological [contrastive] feature in the classical and standard varieties of Aramaic and Arabic, it still seems to have been intuitively sensed by the native speakers of these two languages. It is, therefore, plausible to conclude that even though nonaspiration has no contrastive role in the intra-phonetics/phonology of Aramaic and Arabic, it does have a distinct role in cross-linguistic borrowings, their naturalization and transliteration. Finally, in the hierarchical significance of factors governing the naturalization of loanwords in Aramaic and Arabic, it is the gutturalizationdominant articulatory setting that is of primary significance. Other factors, such as aspiration, do play a role, but only as a catalyst and hence of secondary significance.

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Voiceless aspirated alveolar plosive = [t*] (Aram)

Voiceless Unaspirated Alveolar Plosive = [t]

Voiceless aspirated alveolar plosive = [t*] (Arab)

Voiceless unaspirated (emphatic) alveolar plosive = [] (Aram)

Voiceless unaspirated (emphatic) alveolar plosive = [] (Arab)

GREEK Voiceless aspirated velar plosive = [k*] (Aram)

Voiceless Unaspirated Palatal/Velar Plosive = [c]or [k]

Voiceless aspirated velar plosive = [k*] (Arab)

Voiceless unaspirated uvular plosive = [q] (Aram)

Voiceless unaspirated uvular plosive = [q] (Arab)

Figure 6/1. Schematic representation of expected matching [ ] vs. actual matching [ ] of alphabetic symbols in the Aramaic and Arabic transliteration of Greek loanwords

6.8 Bibliography Akdikmen, Resuhi (1986). Langenscheidt’s Standard Turkish Dictionary. New York: Langenscheidt. Allen, W.S. (1965). Vox Latina: The Pronunciation of Classical Latin. Cambridge: At the University Press. ———. (1968). Vox Graeca: A Guide to the Pronunciation of Classical Greek. Cambridge: At the University Press. Arayathinal, Thomas (1957). Aramaic Grammar. Kerala: St. Joseph Press. Avery, P. and Erlich, S. (1997). Teaching American English Pronunciation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Catford, J.C. (1988). A Practical Introduction to Phonetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Corriente, F. (1977). A Grammatical Sketch of the Spanish Arabic dialect Bundle. Madrid: Instituto Hispano-Arabe de Cultural. ———. (1997) A Dictionary of Andalusi Arabic. Leiden: Brill. Drijvers, Han J.W. and Healey, John F. (1999). The Old Syriac Inscriptions of Edessa and Osrhoene. Leiden: Brill. Easton, Stewart (1970). The Western Heritage. New York: Holt, Reinhart & Winston. Frye, R.N. (1963). The Heritage of Persia. Cleveland: World Publishing Co. Gimson, A.C. (1970). An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English. London: Arnold.

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Gustas, Dimitri (1998). Greek Thought, Arabic Culture. London: Routledge. Honikman, Beatrice (1964). Articulatory Settings. In Honour of Daniel Jones. Abercrombie, D., D.B. Fry, P.A.D. MacCarthy, N.C. Scott (eds.) London: Longmans. Hyman, L. (1975). Phonology. New York: Holt Rinehart &Winston. Kykkotis, I. (1957). English-Greek and Greek-English Dictionary. London: Lund Humphries. Kim, C.W. (1967). Cineradiographic Study of Korean Stops and a Note on Aspiration. Quarterly Progress Report, 86, 259-271. ———. (1970). A Theory of Aspiration. Phonetica, 21: 107-116. Kiraz, George A. (1995). Introduction to Syriac Spirantization. Nederland: Bar Hebraeus Verlag. Ladefoged, P. (1982). A Course in Phonetics. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Laver, John (1980). The Phonetic Description of Voice Quality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mackridge, Peter (1985). The Modern Greek Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Maclean, Arthur (1971). Grammar of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Amsterdam: Philo Press. ———. (1972). Dictionary of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Amsterdam: Philo Press. Nöldeke, Theodor (1904). Compendious Syriac Grammar. London: Williams & Norgate. Odisho, Edward Y. (1973). The Role of the Rear Section of the Vocal Tract in Baghdadi Arabic. Unpublished M.Phil thesis, Leeds University. ———. (1975). The Phonology and Phonetics of Neo-Aramaic as Spoken by the Assyrians in Iraq. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Leeds University. ———. (1977a). Was Sibawayhi Right in Describing Certain Sounds as Voiced? (in Arabic) Afaaq Arabiyya, 1977, 62-65. ———. (1977b). The Opposition / tœ / vs. / tœ* / in Neo-Aramaic. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 7, 79-83. ———. (1979). An Emphatic Alveolar Affricate. Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 9, 67-71. ———. (1983). A Phonetic and Phonological Identification of the Alphabet Characters in Aramaic. Voice from the East, Vol. 1, 15-18. ———. (1988a). Sibawayhi’s Dichotomy of Majhura/Mahmusa Revisited. AlArabiyya, Vol. 21, 81-90. ———. (1988b). The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ———. (1992).Transliterating English in Arabic. Journal of Arabic Linguistics, Vol. 24, 21-34. ———. (1996) Emphasis: A Salient Feature of the Articulatory Setting of Arabic. Manuscript.

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———. (2000). The Role of Gutturalization in the Transliteration of Loanwords in Aramaic. Paper presented at The 8th International Congress for Syriac Studies. Sydney, Australia. Ohde, R.N. and Sharf, D.J. (1992). Phonetic Analysis of Normal and Abnormal Speech. New York: Merrill. O’Leary, De Lacy (1979). How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs. Chicago: Ares Publishers Inc. Osipov, S. (1913). Siriæk, Le Maitre Phonétique, 28, 79-80. Pring, J.T. (1982). The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Greek. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Roach, Peter (1988). English Phonetics and Phonology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press Robinson, Theodore (1962). Paradigms and Exercises in Syriac Grammar. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Rosenthal, F. (1974). A Grammar of Biblical Aramaic. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Steingass, F. (1994). A Learner’s Arabic English Dictionary. Gauvar Publishing House. Stoddard, D.T.(1855). A Grammar of the Modern Syriac Language. New Haven. Torreblanca, M. (1994). On Hispano-Arabic Historical Phonology: Latin and Romance Evidence. Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics VI (eds. Eid, Cantarino and Walters). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Toynbee, Arnold (1947). A Study of History [abr. D.C. Somervell]. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Tsereteli, K.G. (1978). The Modern Assyrian Language. Moscow: NAUKA Publishing House. Versteegh, Kees (1997). The Arabic Language. New York: Cambridge University Press. Whipple, Allen O. (1967). The Role of the Nestorians and Muslims in the History of Medicine. American Schools of Oriental Research. Zuntz, Günther (1994). Greek: A course in Classical and Post-Classical Greek Grammar from Original Texts. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic.

Chapter 7 Recent Demographic Changes in AramaicSpeaking Population of Iraq: Return of some Phonological Features of Classical Aramaic 7.1 Introductory Remarks As a native speaker of Neo-Aramaic [Syriac], I am not simply interested in the history of Syriac language and its role as a medium of Middle Eastern civilizations and Eastern Christians faiths, liturgies and literatures; I am equally interested in its actual survival today and in its success in overcoming any threats to its survival. As far as the teaching of Syriac and the promotion of its status as a live language is concerned, I have focused my attention during the last decade on the founding and progress of the Syriac schools in the north of Iraq. Equally importantly, I have focused attention on the on-going linguistic changes incurred as a result of dialect mixing among different speakers of Syriac resulting from the demographic changes and population intermingling. Concurrently with my observation of those schools and the on-going demographic reshuffling, I have tried in a series of articles (Odisho, 2001; 2004) to document both the progress of language teaching and population reshuffling and their impact on the survival status of Syriac. However, to highlight some of the most important points, a brief review of events leading to the demographic reshuffling during the last four decades is indispensible.

7.2 Historical Background of Events The Kurdish revolt against the central Iraqi government in 1961 did not only trigger a series of military and political upheavals; indeed, it had a farreaching domino effect on the demographic and linguistic situation of all dwellers of the Kurdish region, especially the Kurds themselves and the Assyrian Chaldean Suryani People identified hereafter, for brevity, as Aramaic-speakers or Syriacspeakers. With regard to Kurds, the two most significant demographic and linguistic changes were the following: a) Massive movement of population from the Kurdish villages to the Kurdish urban areas and, in turn, equally massive relocation of population from Kurdish urban areas to the Arabic-speaking urban areas, especially Baghdad and Mosul. b) For those Kurds who stayed in their region, especially those who were involved in the revolt and the subsequent longlasting guerrilla fighting, they underwent wide scale of linguistic leveling of their dialects, especially of Bahdinani [Duhok province and part of Nineveh province] and Sorani [Suleimaniya and Erbil provinces] dialects. In the context of this study, linguistic leveling technically denotes the ‘movement toward greater uniformity in variations among dialects” (Fromkin and Rodman, 1998: 524). It is of significance to point out that linguistic leveling is not a process that is always

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imposed; rather, in many instances, it evolves gradually through dynamic and large scale forces such as population intermingling assisted by a public educational system. With respect to Kurdish, it was clear that the greater uniformity that emerged between the two major dialects of Kurdish, Bahdinani and Sorani was not forced; rather it emerged as a consequence of greater intermingling between the two varieties and the dominance of Sorani due to its strong literacy history and potential. The linguistic leveling was effected as a result of: a) considerable intermingling between the speakers of the two major dialects; b) greater opportunities for a burgeoning literary movement and publications especially during the intermittent peaceful intervals throughout almost thirty (30) years of on/off guerrilla fighting; c) the gradual and eventual institution and consolidation of almost complete cross-curriculum Kurdish language schooling system in the Kurdish region. The latter was implemented to a large extent in terms of Sorani dialect simply because it was more consolidated and standardized medium of education. Most of the text-books were authored by distinguished and experienced Sorani writers with the help of some Bahdinani writers. Almost identical demographic and linguistic changes seem to have forced themselves on Aramaic speakers. They, too, underwent massive relocation from their northernmost villages in the Kurdish region to more southerner ones and/or from their villages to the larger urban areas especially of Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk and Basrah. Similarly, for Aramaic-Speakers their relocation within the Kurdish region created massive opportunities for intermingling of the so-called speakers of tribal dialects [Mclean’s, Ashiret dialects e.g., Upper and Lower Tiari etc… usually dwellers of more mountainous areas] with the Southern dialects [e.g. Mclean’s, Plain of Mosul dialects such as Alqosh, Telesquf, Telkepe, Baghdede, Keremlis and Zakho to their north]. In addition to this forced relocation of various speakers of Aramaic, the creation of the so-called Safe Haven zone in the Kurdish region after the second Gulf War (1991) resulted in even greater intermingling and brought the remaining speakers of Aramaic dialects in greater intimate contacts. All this intermingling of diverse dialects of Aramaic seems to have gradually led to tangible linguistic leveling which, in turn, seems to have been further dynamically reinforced by the creation of an official crosscurriculum schooling system through the medium of Aramaic [Syriac]. This large scale promotion of literacy in the native tongue and the equally large scale social interaction among the learners and speakers of different dialects of Modern Aramaic resulted in considerable leveling of Aramaic dialects especially with some salient phonological characteristics that distinctly mark its overall pronunciation. The rest of this study will highlight those salient phonological features.

7.3 Demographic Reshuffling of Aramaic-Speaking Population As pointed out earlier on, the Aramaic-speaking community in Iraq has been in a state of continuous movement, displacement and resettlement since 1961. During those four decades or more, many catastrophic events have taken

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place including the Gulf War I [Iraq-Iran War], which lasted eight years followed by Gulf War II [Iraq-Allies War]. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 created the worst living conditions for the Aramaic-speaking community in Iraq. During those four decades almost 50% of the population of Aramaic speakers left their villages in the north of Iraq and migrated southward mostly to Baghdad. Many of those Aramaic speakers who had already been in the urban areas such as Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Basrah were already actively engaged in a massive immigration movement overseas to the countries of Europe, North America and Australia. For a general representation of the above population displacement, movement and reshuffling notice the schematic diagram in figure 7/1, below.

Figure 7/1. An approximation of Syriac-speaking population concentration between 1961 and present time. In order to better understand the general linguistic map of the Aramaicspeaking population of Iraq especially during the second half of the 20th century, one can identify the major linguistic varieties as follows:

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1. Koiné #1 [mainly Assyrians in urban Areas]. 2. Ashiret [mainly Assyrians in rural areas]. 3. Nineveh Plain [mainly Chaldeans & Suryanis in rural areas]. 4. Koiné #2 [recently emerging variety resulting from linguistic leveling of Ashiret and Nineveh Plain varieties] 5. Arabic-Aramaic Code-Switchers [mainly Chaldeans & Suryanis in urban areas, especially Baghdad and Mosul]. As the focus is on the first four varieties, it suffices to say that the last variety labeled as ‘Arabic-Aramaic Code-Switchers’ refers to those speakers of Nineveh Plain who have settled in large urban areas such as Mosul, Baghdad and Barsah for more than two (2) generations. The third generation of this group has lost its Aramaic and converted predominantly into Arabic as the medium of daily communication, while the second generation practices very distinctly a mixing of Arabic and Aramaic. In other words, it is an Aramaic that is laden with Arabic lexical items as well as with some Arabic morphological and syntactical devices. The other four varieties need some brief characterization of their classical phonological features under discussion in this paper. 7.3.1 Koiné #1 According to Odisho (1988: 23), Koiné#1 is a lingua franca dialect that gradually emerged after the settlement of the Assyrian refugees from Turkey and Iran in Iraq after World War I. In its linguistic structure, Koiné#1 is an entity that is influenced by the Urmia region dialects where the missionaries inaugurated a modern literacy medium for a wide range of local and tribal Assyrian dialects. It took at least two generations for Koiné#1 to establish itself as the dominant variety of Modern Aramaic spoken by the Assyrians in the urban areas of Iraq. Phonologically, Koiné#1 has three major sound features that are common with Urmi dialect, but different from Ashiret and Plain dialects (Tsereteli, 1978: 30-31; Krotkoff, 1982: 3; Odisho, 1988: 57-61). These features are: Word Koiné Pronunciation Ashiret/Plain Pronunciation Silver [UKÖOC] [UGÖOC] Head [TKÖ5C] [TGÖ5C] Wolf [FKÖYC] [FGÖYC] Year [5KÖVC] [5GÖVC] Table 7/1. Two variant renditions of zlƗma in Koiné and Ashiret/Plain.

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1. The traditional (Old Aramaic) zlƗma yarƯxa (¾Ćã߇ [GÖ]) has moved upward (closer) to occupy the XwƗsa [KÖ] vowel slot. In other words, zlƗma yarƯxa and xwƗa in Koiné#1 have now identical phonetic values. For example, the words in table 7/1, below represent the two variant pronunciation patterns of Koiné#1 vs. Ashiret or Plain dialects. 2. Parallel to the above shift, there has been a twin shift in Koiné#1 vs. Ashiret or Plain in the form of the frequent replacement of the traditional RwƗxa ( [QÖ]) with RbƗsa ( [WÖ]) as in the examples in table 7/2, below. Word Koiné Pronunciation Ashiret/Plain Pronunciation Brother [!C:WÖPC] [!C:QÖPC] Son [DTWÖPC] [DTQÖPC] Murderer [SCWÖNC] [SCQÖNC] person’s name [!KÖ5W] [!KÖ5Q] Table 7/2. Two variant renditions of rwƗxa in Urmi/Koiné #1 vs. Ashiret/Plain 3. In the realm of consonants, the interdental pair of /7/ and /'/, so typical of Old Aramaic, has disappeared in Koiné#1 and it has been systematically replaced by the alveolar pair of plosives /t/ and /d/, respectively, as in table 7/3, below. Word Koiné Pronunciation Ashiret/Plain Pronunciation String [gda:la] [g'a:la Fly [didwa] [di'wa] Book [kta:wa], [k7a:wa] House [be:ta] [be:7a] Table 7/3. The replacement of interdental pair of /7/ and /'/ with /t/ and /d/.

7.3.2 Ashiret Typically, of the dialects that fall under the rubric of Ashiret group are the Upper Tiari, Lower Tiari, and Tkhuma etc…. Probably because of the isolation of such dialects originally in Hakkari mountains of Turkey in pre-World War I and in the North of Iraq after World War I, they have retained some of the most archaic features of Aramaic, especially the classical [traditional] zlƗma [GÖ], rwƗxa [QÖ] and the interdental pair /7/ and /'/. For example, in Ashiret dialects, the words , , and are still consistently pronounced as [se:ma], [bro:na], [g'a:la] and [k7a:wa] not as in Koiné’s [si:ma], [bru:na], [gda:la] and [kta:wa], respectively.

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7.3.3 Plain The Plain group is also collectively identified as the Alqosh dialects spoken in the plain of Mosul (Maclean, 1971: xiv) equally known as Nineveh plain where a large cluster of historically significant Syriac-speaking towns and villages are located. Generally, the dialectal varieties in this group have the following characteristics: a) Retention of traditional zlƗma [GÖ] and rwƗxa [QÖ]; b) Retention of the interdental pair of /7/ and /'/; c) Additionally, they also manifest a tendency to retain the pharyngeal fricative pair of /Ò/ = /Ρ/ and /¸/ = /ω/. Unlike the other dialects of Neo-Aramaic almost all of which lost the pharyngeal fricatives, their retention in Plain group is most likely attributed to the adjacency of the settlements of these speakers to the Arabic-speaking communities in the city of Mosul and its neighboring towns. 7.3.4 Koiné #2 Koiné #2 is a newly emerging variety of modern Aramaic whose life span is a mere three decades which coincides with the beginning of the armed struggle of the Assyrian Democratic Movement [ADM] that began as a small group of political activists and guerilla fighters which gradually snowballed into a broadbased political movement whose leadership and rank-and-file were predominantly speakers of Ashiret and Plain varieties. Many of the originally Ashiret speakers have lived in urban areas and became familiar with Koiné#1; however, because with the guerilla war they retreated to the Ashiret towns and villages in the Kurdish region, their Ashiret dialect was reinforced and a new era of bidialectalism began through their exposure to the Plain dialect. The rest of this study will focus on the circumstances that led to the emergence of Koiné #2 as well as its early most characteristic phonological features.

7.4 Linguistic Implications of the Demographic Changes For a systematic discussion of the linguistic implications of the demographic changes three factors have to be considered: 1. The linguistic makeup of the Aramaic-speakers who left Iraq, especially between 1961 and 1991 versus those who remained behind. 2. The prevalence of security and stability among the Ashiret and Plain speaking populations residing in the Kurdish Safe Haven region since 1991 and later becoming the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG]. 3. The founding of the Syriac-based educational system in the Kurdish region and later, and to a lesser scale, in Mosul and Kirkuk.

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7.4.1 Linguistic Make-up of 1961-1991 Aramaic-speaking Migrants In discussing the first point, it would be more practical to address the immigrating masses in terms of their specific identities as Assyrian, Chaldean and Suryani and identify their Aramaic proficiency and the variety of Aramaic they used. The majority of the urban Assyrians who left Iraq were Koiné #1 speakers. In contrast, the majority of immigrating urban Chaldeans and Suryanis, especially those in Baghdad, Mosul and Basrah for more than two generations, were Arabicdominant with nominal proficiency in Aramaic. It was this group that was identified earlier on as ‘Aramaic-Arabic code-switchers’ However, those Chaldeans and Suryanis who moved from north of Iraq to the Arabic-speaking urban areas in Iraq or left Iraq still used Aramaic, albeit loaded with Arabic. This strictly implies that a large percentage of those Aramaic speakers who remained in Iraq, especially in the autonomous Kurdish region were predominantly speakers of Ashiret and Plain varieties and used Aramaic as their primary means of home and community interaction. 7.4.2 Dominance of Ashiret and Plain Population in Kurdish Area With regard to the prevalence of stability and social openness in the Kurdish region from 1991 onwards, it gave the Ashiret and Plain speakers of Aramaic some sense of security and stability for a while. All those social and political circumstances helped them think inwards and reflect more consciously on their ethnic and national identity, especially in matters pertinent to their history as the indigenous people of the region and their native Aramaic language which has long been the medium of Christianity and the tool of civilization in the Middle East for over a millennium. Most important of all, they initiated serious involvement in the political life of KRG as well as the political and armed opposition to Saddam Hussein’s regime. In the midst of this political struggle they cultivated their own social, educational and linguistic uniqueness as a People with a well-defined ethnic identity different from the Arabs and Kurds. 7.4.3 Founding of Syriac-based Educational System As part of the above educational and linguistic identity, they pursued the founding of the Syriac-based educational system. It is worthwhile drawing an outline of the nature and size of the educational system. The RKG granted the ethnic minorities, coexisting with the Kurdish population, some significant linguistic and cultural rights including the right to assist in the planning and administration of complete educational programs in their native languages. Thus, the Syriac schooling system began to operate with a few schools which gradually increased into scores of them; besides, the schooling system is now complete with 1st through 12th grades with approximately more than 8,000 students involved.

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In order to assess the linguistic weight of this Syriac schooling system, one has to understand the political and the nationalistic philosophy behind the founding of the schooling system. The philosophy could be outlined as follows: 1. Native language maintenance and revitalization are of the highest political, nationalistic and cultural priority. 2. Maintenance and revitalization of what has been identified as the Standard Written Language [for further details on SWL see Odisho, 1988]. This is the formal written language that began emerging and developing after the European missionaries’ attempt at Syriac [Assyrian] language revival and standardization early in 19th century. 3. Any attempt at SWL maintenance and revitalization should benefit from the richness of the Old language and be, as much as possible, in linguistic interaction with it, especially with regard to the lexical revival and its enrichment. (Syriac Education, 2000: 25). 4. For the sake of national, linguistic and cultural unity and uniformity, any maintenance and revitalization of SWL should seriously take into consideration all the varieties [dialects and accents] of Syriac and use any positive linguistic enrichment they can offer. 5. Any attempt at language leveling [i.e. minimizing the differences among different dialects and enhancing their similarities] should be guided by the principle that each language dialect [variety] has its own linguistic merits in the overall process of language leveling and standardization. With the above political and nationalistic principles, promoting a more linguistically uniform variety of Syriac is of the highest pragmatic priority. It is also distinctly evident that the uniformity has different sources foremost of which is the alignment of Modern Syriac with Classical Syriac as much as possible and in line with modern linguistic guidelines. Also Modern Syriac should enrich itself with the linguistic treasures, especially in the domain of vocabulary, of various dialects in order to promote Syriac as the medium of literacy in schools, churches and other social institutions. Such vital steps are not imposed; rather, they are promoted, publicized and supported through actual interaction among the masses of the people whether at home, in schools and in community at large. With continuous 18 years of solid teaching of Syriac in those schools and with approximately 8,000 learners thus far, a new literate generation of Syriac speakers is emerging in whose pronunciation the traditional [classical] zlƗma and rwƗxa and the interdental fricative pair of [7] and ['] constitute very salient phonological features. In fact, even the pharyngeal fricative pair of /Ò/ = /Ρ/ and /¸/ = /ω/ seems to be slowly, but steadily making its way into active intellectual and academic interactions as well as in social daily communication. Also the extensive and diverse opportunities for the intermingling of the speakers of the Ashiret and Plain dialects are actively leading to the leveling of these two

Recent Demographic Changes in Aramaic-Speaking Population of Iraq 101 varieties. The early pronunciation and lexical [vocabulary] indications, especially in the language of the younger generation who attended the Syriac schooling system point in the direction of the emergence of a leveled dialectal variety with two characteristic features: first, the return of the above classical phonological phoneme pairs; second, extensive exchange of lexical cognates and synonyms specific to each variety and their circulation in both daily and academic usage such as the use of the synonyms ‘morning’ and ‘catch’ of Ashiret side-by-side with and of Plain interchangeably.

7.5 Conclusions Concerning the demographic reshuffle of the Aramaic-speaking people in Iraq, in general, the number of the speakers of Ashiret-Plain dialects as opposed to the speakers of Koiné#1 became proportionately much higher than before 1961, the beginning of the Kurdish revolt. This rise in the number of the speakers of the former group is the direct outcome of the fall in the number of the speakers of the latter group due to immigration. This latter observation implies that some of the more archaic/traditional [i.e. more compatible with the Old language] phonological features, associated with Ashiret/Plain varieties, are gradually receiving higher circulation and, hence, enjoying better linguistic stability. Among such pronunciations are those related to the vowels of zlƗma and rwƗxa, and the inter-dental voiceless/voiced fricative pair /7, '/. There are also some early indications that the pharyngeal fricative pair of /Ò/ = /Ρ/ and /¸/ = /ω/ is making some headway back into circulation. This trend in the retrieval of those three major phonological features is a diametric reversal of the trend that overwhelmed after the 19th century missionaries’ attempt at literacy revival among Aramaic speakers based primarily on Urmi dialect which, in turn, led to the emergence of a Koiné #1 dialect in Iraq. The above phonological reversal seems to be the early indication of the emergence of a Koiné #2 as the outcome of a merger of Ashiret and Plain varieties. The future progress, stability and maintenance of Koiné #2 may be determined by the following two factors. Firstly, maintain the linguistic philosophy of keeping Modern Aramaic as much as possible consistent with Classical Aramaic and the infusion of such consistency in the curricula of the Aramaic language schooling system. Secondly, retain the Aramaic-speaking population concentration as much as possible in the areas where the Ashiret and Plain speakers dwell (i.e., Kurdish region). No doubt, the validity of the above two factors hinges on the overall security and stability in Iraq and on the genuine adoption of the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] of a democratic stand with respect to other non-Kurdish minorities in the region, especially with regard to the promotion of their native languages in education. Recently, there have been several covert and overt political and economic indices pointing to a gradually diminishing tolerance of KRG of the free will of the ethnic minorities in planning their political future and consolidating their ethnic identities.

7.6 Bibliography

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Fromkin, V. and Rodman, R. (1998). An Introduction to Language. New York: Harcourt Brace. Krotkoff, Georg (1982). A Neo-Aramaic Dialect of Kurdistan. New Haven, Conn.: American Oriental Society. Maclean, A.J. (1971). Grammar of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Amsterdam: Philo Press. ———. (1972). Dictionary of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Amsterdam: Philo Press. Odisho, Edward Y. (1988). The Sound System of Modern Assyrian (NeoAramaic).Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. ———. (1989). The Vowel System in Modern Assyrian. Journal of the Assyrian Academic Society, Vol. 3, P. 2-19. ———. (2001). ADM’s Educational Policy: A Serious Project of Assyrian Language Maintenance and Revitalization. Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies. Vol. 15:1, P. 1-28. ———. (2004). The Second Koiné of Modern Syriac (Aramaic). Mediterranean Language Review, Vol. 15, P. 48-62. Syriac Education in the North of Iraq: Facts and Figures (2000). San Diego/Calif.: Friends of Syriac Language. Tsereteli, Konstantin G. (1978). The Modern Assyrian Language. Moscow: NAUKA Publishing House.

Chapter 8 Aspiration, Spirantization and Approximation in Neo-Aramaic: a more Refined Identification 8.1 Introductory Remarks In developing very accurate and refined identification and description of human sounds and sound systems within and across languages, encoders [writers] and decoders [readers] in this field encounter some inconsistencies and misinterpretations which may interfere with the conveyance of a targeted phonetic and/or phonological code that, in turn, may interfere with the semantic rendition of the overall message. Some such inconsistencies may be attributed to four major reasons foremost of which are the following. Firstly, the encoder and decoder may belong to different language schools and linguistic orientations. Many researchers in the field still use the traditional transcription of Semitists in which diacritical marks are prevalent, especially in marking the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of vowels. This transcription style, common among Semitists, is drastically different from the style used by linguists who have been trained in the tradition of IPA [International Phonetic Alphabet], a tradition which favors using minimum diacritical marks. IPA distinctly states: “diacritical marks should be avoided, being trying for the eyes and troublesome to write”(Handbook of the International Phonetic Alphabet, 1999, p. 196). Take for example, the symbols commonly used by Semitists and Arabists to indicate the glottal stop [ϩΰϤϫ Hamza] and the voiced pharyngeal fricative [Ϧϴ˴ϋ]. They are marked by raised and reversed commas: [’] for ϩΰϤϫ and [‘] for Ϧϴ˴ϋ. These symbols do not only reduce major consonants into diacritics, but they also act as a major source of visual confusion. Moreover, IPA’s style and conventions of shunning diacritics seriously protect the reader from unwanted complex vertical and horizontal eye movements needed for decoding. Traditionally, the Latin alphabet and its script tend to be mono-dimensional along a horizontal line, whereas the Arabic alphabet and its script– when fully marked– create so much visual density that is only decodable through additional vertical and horizontal eye movements. Notice the following demonstration in Figure 8/1, below. It is clear that the English word has only one layer of representation which requires only horizontal eye movement, whereas its Arabic rendition , when fully marked, demands complicated horizontal and vertical eye movements. In reality, the fully marked represents six layers of symbols: one at the baseline, three above the baseline and two below it. The visual density can truly be very demanding on native children as well as non-native adults learning the Arabic script.

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Linguistic & Cultural Studies in Aramaic and Arabic = V C C V C C C V C = … „ „ … „ „ „ … „ 1 ΰ͉ Θ˴ Α˸ · v c v . . º C C C C . c v

ƒ ‚ ‚ º „„„„ ‚ ƒ

Figure. 8/1. Indicates complexity of eye movements in Arabic due to the abundance of diacritics (reproduced, Odisho 2004).

Secondly, the encoder may be using a different phonetic transcription system with which the decoder is not familiar. For instance, a voiceless postalveolar affricate may be represented differently such as [“], [tš] or [þ], among others. Similarly, the emphatic sounds of Arabic may be transcribed differently such as [], [T], [] and [VÏ]2 depending on the transcription tradition adopted. Thirdly, there may be new developments in the descriptive accuracy of a given phonetic phenomenon that requires either the coinage of a new term or the redefinition of an old one. The term approximant is a relatively new one. According to Abercrombie (1967), Ladefoged was the first one to suggest the term as a substitute for the unsatisfactory terms of semivowel and frictionless continuant. In other words, it was meant to cover both the glides and liquids [L, Y, N, ˆ]. By definition, the term is so appropriate and comprehensive that sounds other than just the traditional glides and liquids can be subsumed under its rubric. The recent history of this term is substantiated by its absence in the early versions of the principles of the IPA. Beginning with late 1970s, major changes have been brought about in the IPA chart and its conventions including the elevation of click sounds from the peripheral notation on the chart to the very core of the chart as well as the introduction of other descriptive terms such as the ‘approximant’ to function as primary classificatory labels for the manner of articulation. This all seems to have happened when Ladefoged, who was one3 of the most innovative modern phoneticians, was a member of the IPA executive committee or its chair. In Odisho (1988b; 2003) the approximants were introduced to include the nasals in addition to glides and liquids. It is, therefore, only those phoneticians who are familiar with the works of Abercrombie, Ladefoged and the IPA principles and  1

C = Consonant marked „ ; V = Vowel marked … ; c = non-dot diacritic [superscript or subscript] marked ƒ ; . = any dot diacritic marked . ; v = vowel diacritic marked ; º = absence of vowel diacritic. 2 It is [] with a tilde [~] superimposed on it. 3 Passed away recently.

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conventions tend to use the term approximant as a descriptive label. Finally, the encoder and the decoder may not be thoroughly trained in the field of phonetic sciences resulting in some generic and unsystematic description and identification of the targeted phonetic phenomena. For instance, some may know the plosive [stop] consonants only as sounds in which the airflow is completely obstructed and then suddenly released. Thus, such consonants are called either stops because the airflow is stopped completely, or are called plosives because after the stoppage the air is suddenly released with a plosion. Those phoneticians who have undergone extensive articulatory, aerodynamic and acoustic exposure to the formation and production of plosive consonants understand them in a more refined manner. For such phoneticians, a stop has many more production phases beginning with stricture formation [closing gesture], pressure buildup, transient [indicating release of stricture], frication [generation of strong turbulence noise] followed by aspiration [generation of milder noise]. For the sake of descriptive simplicity and brevity, the phases of ‘transient, frication, aspirated’ are traditionally collapsed together under the generic label of ‘aspiration’. However, phoneticians with the above phonetic sophistication are very much eager in identifying those plosives as ‘aspirated’ or ‘unaspirated’ since the absence or presence of this feature may be phonetically and phonologically significant. If it is phonologically distinctive it will not only contribute to a change in meaning, but it will also cause a phonetic accent. If, however, it is not phonologically significant, it certainly will be the source of phonetic accent in cross-language acquisition and learning of sounds. As a peripheral objective of this paper, an invitation will be made for the adoption of the IPA style in sound transcription which is gradually gaining ground among most linguists and scholars working in the field of languages. However, the primary objective of this work is the propagation of more accuracy and consistency in the identification and description of some phonetic and phonological phenomena in Syriac, in general, and Aramaic, in particular. Among such phenomena are aspiration, spirantization and approximation which will be elaborated on below.

8.2 Aspiration Aspiration technically defined in terms of the latest findings in the field of phonetic sciences stands for the “function of the glottal opening at the time of the release of the supraglottal stricture (Kim, 1970:111). More commonly, aspiration is identified as the puff of air that immediately follows the release of a plosive. Unfortunately, some traditional Semitists have used the descriptive term ‘aspiration’ to label a totally different phonetic phenomenon (Stoddard, 1856: 10; Arayathinal, 1957:27; Maclean, 1971; 1972). They associated the use of the term ‘aspiration’ for the articulatory process of transforming plosive [stop] consonants into ‘fricative’ consonants commonly known as S75CÖLC [hardness = qushaya]4 and T7M*CÖ:C [softness = rukaxa]. Such a phonetic transformation is known in  4

qushaya and rukaxa will be used for ease of transcription.

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modern phonetic jargon as ‘spirantization’ (Hyman, 1975: 62-3; Ohde and Sharf, 1992: 205). With regards to Neo-Aramaic, Tsereteli was the first to recognize this transformation as spirantization (1978:33). Subsequently, the term was used by Odisho (1983: 16) and Kiraz (1995). Later, (Odisho, 1990: 31) briefly noted that the qushaya ˆ rukaxa conversion may not exclusively be a process of spirantization; it may involve what is to be called ‘approximation’, which will be one of the focal points of this study. Approximation is meant to stand for the conversion of stops into approximants. Nöldeke uses the attributes ‘aspirated’ and ‘unaspirated’ in the context of his discussion of rukaxa and qushaya (1904:15). His use of the two attributes in connection with rukaxa/qushaya seems to be only a casual citation of other writers’ descriptive terms. However, elsewhere in the book, Nöldeke makes it quite clear that he was aware of the specific meaning of aspiration. In his description of the Syriac and Arabic sounds of [S ϕ] and [ ρ], he points out that they share the feature of the absence of aspiration as is the case with the Greek plosives [IJ = t] and [ț = k] (1904: 4). Even though Kiraz’s description of the process of spirantization (1995: 8) and his use of the phonetic symbols to identify the rukaxa sounds are accurate and phonetically compatible with IPA style (p.6), his transcription of rukaxa in the context of words with a superscript [*]5 marking rukaxa sounds (p.8) may be a source of confusion; in reality, its use may mislead the reader [decoder] into thinking that Kiraz confuses aspiration with spirantization. If Kiraz were to avert rendering his transcription vulnerable to confusion, he should have avoided mixing the traditional Semitist style of transcription with that of IPA or any systematic phonetic style associated with IPA. See table 8/1, below, for specimens of Kiraz’s style of transcription compared to that of IPA. Kiraz’s Rukaxa Symbols in Isolation X Ƥ

IPA Kiraz’s Rukaxa IPA Symbols Symbols in Context Transcription X ƗD*â #ÖX# or #ÖY# ¢ Uy Ɨ I*â Uy #Ö¢# & & UnjTƗF*â sWÖr #Ö&# Z Z OaM*TG\ O#:T+\ H H yaƯR* â yaKÖH# 6 6 ˵ Ɨ V*â !#Ö6# Table 8/1. Confusion of different styles of sound transcription.

All the sounds that Kiraz has marked with a superscript [*] to indicate their Rukaxa nature [i.e., spiratization] would strictly phonetically be interpreted as aspirated sounds; thus his phonetic transcription would have been far more  5

[*] which is linguistically the typical marker of the feature of aspiration.

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accurate and more compatible with IPA if [b*], [g*], [d*], [k*], [p*] and [t*] had been transcribed as [X/w], [¢], [&], [:], [H], and [6]. Marking the Rukaxa with a superscript [*] gives the impression of a traditional interpretation of this phonetic phenomenon as ‘aspiration’ rather than ‘spirantization’. Aspiration is attested in all Neo-Aramaic dialects. The reason why this general statement is made is because all those dialects do have the sounds of /— ,ϕ / and / ρ ‰ / = [S], [], respectively, which involve the absence of aspiration as opposed to other sounds. However, the difference is whether its presence or absence is of phonetic or phonological relevance. Phonetic relevance simply implies that its presence or absence in two lexical items does not result in semantic change. Let us take an example from English. In English, the plosives /RVM/ are usually aspirated in non-cluster formation as in = [R*bV, V*+N, M*+P] , but when they are preceded by an /s/ as in , they lose their aspiration [are deaspirated] and should, therefore, be transcribed as [URbV, UV+N, UM+P], respectively. However, when learners of English as a Second Language [ESL] mispronounce the latter cluster formations with aspiration [UR*bV, UV*+N, UM*+P], their mispronunciation does not result in a change of meaning. Such a mispronunciation is what I have recently labeled as ‘phonetic accent’ as opposed to phonological accent when the mispronunciation results in a change of meaning as in Thai language where [VC+] means ‘kidney’, while [V*C+] means ‘a citizen of Thailand’. To go back to Neo-Aramaic, further elaboration is needed. Take, for example, the case of / ‰ ρ /. It is often mistakenly thought that / ‰ ρ / is the direct emphatic counterpart of / Ε š/ implying that they are solely distinguished by the feature of emphaticness [ϢϴΨϔΘϟ΍]. This is untrue because / ‰ ρ / is different from / Ε š/ in two features: emphaticness and aspiration (1988a). In other words, / Ε š / is plain and aspirated, whereas / ‰ ρ / is emphatic and unaspirated. Notice the feature distinction between the two sounds in table 8/2, below. Features Sound Voice Alveolar Aspiration Emphasis / ρ ‰/ + + / Ε š/ + + Table 8/2. Features that distinguish / ρ ‰/ and / Ε š /. Consequently, if a foreign learner of Neo-Aramaic or Arabic wants to produce a genuine /‰ ρ / sound, he has to master both features: deaspiration and emphaticness. Both features are significant for a native or near-native articulation of / ‰ ρ /; however, if a foreign learner of Arabic faces difficulty in the articulation of / ‰ ρ / it is more important for him to master the deaspiration process because it is more significant to set it perceptually apart from / Ε š/.

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Thus, in the case of / ‰ ρ / and / Ε š/ aspiration does seem to play a phonological role in setting them apart as two phonemes (Odisho, 1981: 277). By the same token, /— ϕ / is different from /  ˰ϛ/ in two features: the unaspirated nature and the uvular place of articulation for the former vs. the aspirated nature and the palatal/velar place of articulation for the latter as demonstrated in table 8/3, below (Odisho, 1977:343). If a learner fails to notice the unaspirated articulation of /— ϕ /, he is seriously vulnerable to mispronounce it and subsequently fails to distinguish it from /  ˰ϛ/ Features Sound Voice Aspiration Place /—ϕ/ Uvular /  ˰ϛ/ + Velar Table 8/3. Features that distinguish / — ϕ / and /  ˰ϛ/. Obviously, the extent of aspiration goes beyond the / ‰ ρ / and /— ,ϕ /. For instance, in the Urmia dialect of Neo-Aramaic and the so-called Koiné NeoAramaic dialect of Iraq, the feature has been established as phonologically significant (Odisho, 1988b:41). In fact, the aspiration-based contrast in those two dialects is not confined to the plosives [stops] /R, V, M/ as it is commonly attested in linguistic studies; rather, it spreads to a pair of affricates– namely /“/ vs. /“*/ (Odisho, 1977b; 1988b).

8.3 Spirantization and Approximation The term ‘spirant’ is a less common synonym for a ‘fricative’ sound (Fromkin and Rodman, 1998: 230). The only rationale for using it here is the convenience of deriving the process noun of ‘spirantization’ from ‘spirant’, which is already coined and used rather than coining another one from the term ‘fricative’. A fricative sound is the one in which a narrow constriction [stricture] is formed somewhere along the vocal tract through which the airflow is forced resulting in noisy turbulence which a salient feature of fricative sounds. However, when the airflow is completely stopped to build up the needed oral pressure and the pressure is suddenly released, the resulting sound is known as a ‘stop’ or ‘plosive’. In this study, the term spirantization is used to label the process of transforming stops into fricatives, which is a common phonetic process across many languages. For instance, although the Spanish words ‘to know’, ‘nothing’ and ‘lake’, are written with , they are not pronounced as stops, but rather as fricatives [spirants] [$, &, (], respectively (Hyman,1975: 62). Spirantization has been, and still is, a salient feature of Classical Syriac and Modern Syriac (Neo-Aramaic). Traditionally, it has been repeatedly pointed out that the overall transformation of qushaya sounds to rukaxa is a process of spirantization. In fact, Kiraz has devoted a complete and interesting

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book on this phenomenon titled Introduction to Syriac Spirantization (Kiraz, 1995). When dealing with the two categories of sounds, Kiraz affirms that all hard letters of [qushaya, my insertion] are plosives and all soft letters of [rukaxa, my insertion] are fricatives (p.12). It is true that all qushaya sounds = / D, R*, V*, F, k*, g / are plosives, but those of rukaxa N N  may not necessarily all be fricatives. This latter statement may be too controversial to let it pass without further elaboration. However, this study does not aim at raising an extremely radical controversial issue with relevance to spirantization. It simply aims at focusing the study on Neo-Aramaic and highlighting the observation that not all Neo-Aramaic qushaya stops are rendered exclusively rukaxa fricatives. There is enough phonetic evidence that at least, in the case of qushaya plosive /D/ its transformation to rukaxa does not necessarily render it a /v/ = [X] sound i.e., a voiced labio-dental fricative; it is certainly the case in the so-called Assyrian Neo-Aramaic in which this particular rukaxa sound is realized in different phonetic variants including [w] a labio-velar approximant, [8] a labio-dental approximant, or [Ä] a labio-palatal approximant. In fact, after conducting some impressionistic assessment of the rukaxa version of the qushaya [D] pronounced by some speakers of Western varieties of Neo-Aramaic, I did not recognize a fricative [X]; instead, it was more of an approximant [Y]. Thus, if [D] does not become a [X] then the qushaya transformation to rukaxa cannot be labeled spirantization in totality. In other words, the uniformity of the transformation is breached. In Neo-Aramaic dialects, there is a wide range of phonetic realizations for the rukaxa version of [D], ranging from fricatives to approximants. Due to the recent introduction of the term ‘approximant’ as a descriptive label, some further description of it is inevitable. From the stricture point-of-view, compared to a fricative, the stricture of an approximant is wider and is more precisely labeled as ‘open approximation’. Compare the two strictures in Fig. 8/2, below. The wider stricture allows for a smooth and mellow flow of air without causing any turbulence noise as is the case with fricatives

1)

2)

ΔϴϛΎϜΘΣϻ΍FricativesHX6&U\5. 4. If the trend toward replacing short English vowels with long Arabic ones is restrained, then there should be some conventions to transliterate the short vowels, especially those that do not have one-to-one counterparts in Arabic. Foremost of such short vowels is the schwa [‹], which indeed is the most frequently occurring vowel in spoken English (McKenzie-Brown, 2006: 2). The most convenient and approximate substitute recommended for a schwa

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[‹] in this study is a lax version of Arabic Kasrah = to be pronounced somewhat lower and less fronted as it is usually pronounced in some dialects of Arabic rather than in Standard or Classical Arabic; also, a somewhat lax FatHa would be an acceptable substitute. There are two reasons to replace the schwa with either a lax Arabic FatHa or Kasrah. First, shortening the FatHa or the Kasrah and relaxing them somewhat will render them phonetically the nearest sounds to schwa and the phonetic difference is very difficult to detect by phonetically inexperienced individuals; second, using these two short vowels to replace the schwa is the best device to deter any tendency to replace it with one of the three long Arabic vowels a tendency so predominantly pervasive in traditional transliteration. If this approximation is established as a convention, both Arabic transliteration and pronunciation of English would be tremendously improved. Imagine, hundreds of names in the form of which are traditionally transcribed as should really be replaced by the following renditions < Ϧ˶δϟ˶ϭ ˬϦ˶Θγϭ˰ɴ Α ˬϦ˶ΘϨ˶η΍ϭ ˬϦ˶δϛΎΟ >. Once again, the latter rendition with a Kasra = instead of a Waw = in the above names secures considerable consistency, which, in turn, results in enhanced accuracy of both transliteration and pronunciation.

11.4 Some Aspects of Incompatibility Generally speaking, incompatibility is attributed to several reasons, foremost of which are: 1. The basic differences between the two sound systems. 2. The extent of the familiarity and knowledge of the transliterator with the rules and dynamics that govern the grapheme-phoneme [letter-sound] correspondence within one language and across the two languages. 3. The availability of appropriate graphemes [symbols] to match the existing phonemes [sounds]. Each of the above three reasons needs further elaboration supported by examples and other evidence.

11.5 Basic Matching and Mismatching between English and Arabic The basic difference between the sound and the script systems of English and Arabic could be portrayed in terms of their consonants, vowels and other prosodic features [e.g., stress placement and rhythm], and the graphic symbols available to represent them.

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11.5.1 Consonant Matching English has 24 consonantal sounds of which 18 have, more or less, accurate graphic representations in SAO. Table 11.1, below, shows the matching:

1 2 3 4 5 6

English Phoneme D V F M H 6

Example Ban Tab Dam Can Fat Thor

Arabic Grapheme Ώ Ε Ω ϙ ϑ Ι

Example ϥΎΑ ΏΎΗ ϡ΍Ω ϥΎϛ ΕΎϓ έϮΛ

& that Ϋ Ε΍Ϋ ʔ U 8 Sam α ϡΎγ \ 9 zap ί Ώ΍ί 5 10 sheen ε Ϧϴη T 11 ream έ Ϣϳέ N 12 lamb ϝ ϡϻ O 13 mat ϡ ΕΎϣ P 14 noon ϥ ϥϮϧ Y 15 win ϭ ϥ˶ϭ [ [L] 16 ya(h)! ϱ Ύϳ J 17 hat ˰ϫ ΕΎ˰ϫ  18 jar Ν έΎΟ Table 11.1. Matching of equivalent English-Arabic graphemes and Phonemes The remaining six English consonants without graphic representations in SAO are =R?=I?=X?=