World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Western Aramaic languages

Article Id: WHEBN0014999242
Reproduction Date:

Title: Western Aramaic languages  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aramaic language, Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, Semitic people, Brittonicisms in English, Bathari language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Western Aramaic languages

Western Aramaic
Middle East
Linguistic classification: Afro-Asiatic
Glottolog: west2815[1]

Western Aramaic languages is a group of several Aramaic dialects developed and once widely spoken throughout the ancient Levant, as opposed to those from in and around Mesopotamia which make up what is known as the Eastern Aramaic languages. All of the Western Aramaic languages are today extinct, with the sole exception of Western Neo-Aramaic.


Following the rise of Islam and ensuing mass conversions of the local indigenous populations, cultural and linguistic Arabization of the new Muslims, but also the remaining Christians, soon followed, and the Arabic language displaced various Aramaic languages (including the Western Aramaic varieties) as the mother tongue of the majority of the people.

Despite this, Western Aramaic appears to have survived for a relatively long time at least in some villages in mountainous areas of the Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon (in modern Syria). In fact, up until the 17th century, travelers in the Lebanon still reported on several Aramaic-speaking villages.[2]


Today, Western Neo-Aramaic is the sole surviving remnant of the entire Western branch of the Aramaic languages, spoken by no more than a few thousand people in the Anti-Lebanon of Syria mainly in Maaloula. The speakers consists of both Muslims (despite their Islamization) and Christians who managed to escape cultural and linguistic Arabization due to the remote mountainous isolation of their villages.


  1. ^
  2. ^

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.