Attributive constructions in North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic

Ariel Gutman  


This study is the first wide-scope morpho-syntactic comparative study of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects to date. Given the historical depth of Aramaic (almost 3 millennia) and the geographic span of the modern dialects, coming in contact with various Iranian, Turkic and Semitic languages, these dialects provide an almost pristine "laboratory" setting for examining language change from areal, typological and historical perspectives. While the study has a very wide coverage of dialects, including also contact languages (and especially Kurdish dialects), it focuses on a specific grammatical domain, namely attributive constructions, giving a theoretically motivated and empirically grounded account of their variation, distribution and development. The results will be enlightening not only to Semitists seeking to learn about this fascinating modern Semitic language group, but also for typologists and general linguists interested in the dynamics of noun phrase morphosyntax.

Ariel Gutman

Ariel Gutman defended his PhD thesis at the University of Konstanz in 2016, where he was researching Neo-Aramaic dialects as an associate fellow of the Zukunftskolleg interdisciplinary institute. His curriculum includes a master's degree in Linguistics awarded by the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle and a master's degree in computer Science awarded by the École Normale Supérieure, following a B.Sc. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has conducted fieldwork on Neo-Aramaic in France and Israel, as well as fieldwork on an Austronesian language in West Papua, Indonesia. He has published numerous articles about Neo-Aramaic and Language Acquisition.  His first book (co-authored with Wido van Peursen) entitled "The Two Syriac Versions of the Prayer of Manasseh" was published by Gorgias Press in 2011. Currently he is working as a software engineer specialized in computational linguistics at Google, Zurich.


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