Syriac Language

(redirected from Classical Syriac)

Syriac Language


from the fifth century A.D., the written language of the Aramaic-speaking Christians of Southwest Asia; today, the language of worship among the Nestorians and Jacobites of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and other countries. Syriac is derived from the East Aramaic dialect of the area around the city of Edessa, in southeastern Turkey. Syriac literature flourished from the fifth to 17th centuries.

There are three varieties of Syriac script: “estrangelo” (the oldest), Nestorian, and Jacobite (serta or send). The Nestorian and Jacobite traditions in the pronunciation of texts have different vowel systems. The phonetics and morphology of Syriac are similar to those of Aramaic and Hebrew. The stress invariably falls on the final syllable (posttonic vowels have been dropped). The emphatic state of the noun (ending in -ā, -o) has lost its specific meaning and has almost displaced the absolute state. The system of verb forms has been simplified and regularized. Syriac has many loanwords, including loanwords from Middle Persian and, especially, Greek.


Brockelmann, C. Syrische Grammatik. Leipzig, 1955.
Brockelmann, C. Lexicon Syriacum. Halle, 1928.
References in periodicals archive ?
(22.) In Syriac, the focusing function of the pronoun brings to prominence "the immediately preceding clause constituent"; Takamitsu Muraoka, Classical Syriac: A Basic Grammar with a Chrestomathy (2nd rev.
Summary: What could be the world's earliest example of a question mark has been identified in Classical Syriac manuscripts dating from the fifth century.
Among the topics are the conceptualization of internal organs in Basque, an indigenous perspective on the Korean conceptualization of heart, and expressions concerning the heart in Northeastern Neo-Aramaic in relation to a classical Syriac model of the temperments.
Performative Utterances in Classical Syriac. JSS 46: 243-50.
In the first third of this monograph concerned with linguistic borrowings from Iranian languages into Classical Syriac (a literary and liturgical Aramaic dialect attested from the first to thirteenth century CE) discusses features of Syriac and various historical moments of contact between the language and Old and Middle Iranian languages, Parthian, Greek, and Middle Persian.
John Healy's thorough article is on linguistic variety in early Classical Syriac and its context in contemporary Aramaic, e.g., (in orthography): sam 'he put' (instead of sam.); (in morphology): yiqtul (instead of neqtul), etc.
For example, with the deictic element h' it forms the adverb hkh or h(')k' "here, hither," (3) which appears in Classical Syriac in a dissimilated variant hrk' (4) and in modern West Aramaic (e.g., Ma'lula) on account of phonetic change as hoxa.
At the end of the fourth volume of this work is an addendum, written in classical Syriac, which includes a reminiscence about the author's father, Anton Kiraz, who was involved in negotiations with E.
2 The book is completely bilingual (Classical Syriac and English) and contains a Syriac forward by the Syrian patriarch of Damascus and an English one by Dr.
Some NENA dialects have reintroduced h as a borrowing from Kurdish or Arabic or from Classical Syriac or Hebrew.(5) However, the inherited vocabulary consistently shows x.
See also the latter's contribution to the problem in Classical Syriac for Hebraists (Wiesbaden: Harassowitz, 1987).