Assyrian language


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Assyrian language,

East Semitic dialect that evolved from AkkadianAkkadian
, extinct language belonging to the East Semitic subdivision of the Semitic subfamily of the Afroasiatic family of languages (see Afroasiatic languages). Also called Assyro-Babylonian, Akkadian (or Accadian) was current in ancient Mesopotamia (now Iraq) from about 3000
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 after 1950 B.C. The term Assyrian is sometimes incorrectly used for the Akkadian language as a whole because the first inscriptions in Akkadian to be found in modern times were discovered in the region that was Assyria in antiquity.

Assyrian (Neo-Syriac) Language

 

a collective name for the modern East Aramaic dialects (such as Urmia, Salamass, Jilu, Tiari, and Mosul), belonging to the family of Hamito-Semitic languages. It is spoken by the Assyrians (Syrians) in Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and Syria and by immigrants from these countries in the USSR and United States. The Urmia dialect was the basis of the literary Assyrian language that developed in the 1840’s. It is used in newspapers, literature, and church and pedagogical writings. Assyrian is structurally very different from the general Semitic type. Substantial changes have taken place at all levels under the influence of the surrounding languages—in phonology, morphology, and syntax. Several ancient Semitic phonemes have disappeared, and new ones have appeared. Vowel harmony has increased. Conjugations of the verb have changed, with aspect conjugation giving way to tenses. Verbal nouns (participles, infinitives) are used as personal verbal forms. Synthetic forms are often replaced by analytical ones. The vocabulary contains many foreign loan words (Turkic, Persian, Arabic).

REFERENCES

Iushmanov, N. V. “Assiriiskii iazyki ego pis’mo.” In Pis’mennost’ i revoliutsia, collection 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933.
Tsereteli, K. G. Sovremennyi assiriiskii iazyk. Moscow, 1964.
Tsereteli, K. G. Materialy po arameiskoi dialektologii. Vol. 1: Urmiiskii dialekt. Tbilisi, 1965.
Kalashev, A. Russko-aisorskii i aisorsko-russkii slovar’. Tiflis, 1894.
Friedrich, J. “Neusyrisches in Late nschrift aus der Sowjetunion.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1959, vol. 109, part 1.
Maclean, A. J. A Dictionary of the Dialects of Vernacular Syriac. Oxford, 1901.

K. G. TSERETELI

References in periodicals archive ?
As often as possible, Marsh would include the Assyrian language in the church services.
Emanuel Isho, pastor of the 400-family congregation where the liturgy is conducted in the Assyrian language.
Iraqi Supreme Election Commission initiated an information campaign by handing out brochures and making announcements in Arabic, Kurdish, Turkish and Assyrian languages to encourage people to participate in the upcoming parliament elections actively.
With the new institute, Artuklu University will be able to offer programs in Kurdish, Persian, Arabic and Assyrian languages.