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Assyrian Neo-Aramaic

A language of Iraq

ISO 639-3aii

Population  30,000 in Iraq (1994). Population total all countries: 219,330. Ethnic population: 4,250,000 (1994).
Region  Northern Iraq, Baghdad, Basrah, Karkuk, Arbil. Also in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iran, Italy, Lebanon, Netherlands, New Zealand, Russian Federation (Europe), Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey (Asia), United Kingdom, United States.
Language map  Iraq
Alternate names   Aisorski, Assyrian, Assyrianci, Assyriski, Lishana Aturaya, Neo-Syriac, Sooreth, Suret, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya
Dialects  Urmi Assyrian (Urmi, Sipurghan, Solduz), Northern Assyrian (Salamas, Van, Jilu, Gavar, Qudshanis, Upper Barwari, Dez, Baz), Central Assyrian (Mar Bishu, Nochiya, Shamezdin, Tergawar, Anhar), Western Assyrian (Tkhuma, Lower Barwari, Tal, Lewin), Sapna (Aradhin, Tina, Daudiya, Inishke, Benatha). Similar linguistically to other Northeastern Aramaic varieties. Inherent intelligibility is difficult to estimate due to intense exposure throughout the Assyrian diaspora to many dialects, especially Urmi and Iraqi Koine. As a result, intelligibility between dialects is as high as 80%–90%. Urmian group subdialects: Urmi, Sipurghan, Solduz; Northern Group: Salamas, Van, Jilu, Gavar, Qudshanis, Upper Barwari, Dez, Baz; Central Group: Mar Bishu, Nochiya (Shamezdin), Tergawar, Anhar; Western Group: Tkhuma, Lower Barwari, Tal, Lewin; SapnaGroup: Aradhin, Tina, Daudiya, Inishke, Benatha. Standard literary Assyrian is based on Urmi. Many left original areas and developed a common spoken and written form based on the prestigious Urmi dialect as spoken in Baghdad, Chicago (USA), and elsewhere (Iraqi Koine). Most Christians understand it. This Urmi subdialect is different from Lishán Didán Urmi subdialect. All dialects of Western, Northern, and Central Assyrian are spoken in Syria.
Classification  Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern
A member of macrolanguage Syriac [syr] (Iraq).
Language development  Radio programs. Bible: 1852–1919.
Writing system  Cyrillic script. Syriac script.
Comments  Religious separation of Assyrian and Chaldean happened in the 16th century. Christian (Nestorian and other).

Also spoken in:

Armenia

Language name   Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Population  3,500 in Armenia (2001 census). Ethnic population: 15,000.
Region  Transcaucasia, Erevan and scattered.
Alternate names  Aisorski, Sooreth
Language use  Mainly older adults. Many also use Russian.
Comments  ‘Aisor’ is the Russian name for the people. The Assyrian and Chaldean separated denominationally during the 16th century. Christian (Nestorian).
 

Georgia

Language name   Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Population  3,000 in Georgia (1999). Ethnic population: 14,000.
Region  Erevan and scattered throughout Transcaucasia.
Alternate names  Aisorski
Language use  Mostly older adults. Many also use Russian.
Comments  ‘Aisor’ is the Russian name for the people. Christian (Nestorian).
 

Iran

Language name   Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Population  15,000 in Iran (1994). Ethnic population: 80,000 (1994).
Region  Reza’iyeh (Rizaiye, Urmia, Urmi). Most in Tehran.
Dialects  Iranian Koine (General Urmi).
Comments  Religious separation of Assyrian from Chaldean happened in the 16th century. Christian (Nestorian).
 

Syria

Language name   Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
Population  30,000 in Syria (1995). Ethnic population: 700,000.
Region  Over 30 villages on Khabur River banks, northern Syria.
Language map  Jordan and Syria
Alternate names  Aisorski, Assyrian, Assyriski, Lishana Aturaya, Neo-Syriac, Suret, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya
Comments  Christian (Nestorian).
 
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