Syriac Language

(redirected from Syriac Aramaic)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She added that many of the Iraqi Christian children were capable only in their local language of Syriac Aramaic.