Western Neo-Aramaic

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A language of Syria

Alternate Names
Loghtha Siryanoytha, Maalula, Neo-Western Aramaic, Siryon
Population

24,000 (2014 J. Leclerc).

Location

Rif Dimashq governorate: Al-Qutayfah district, Bakh’a, Jubb ’Adin, and Ma’lula villages; Qalamoun mountains, 50 km north of Damascus.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).

Dialects

Ma’lula (Maaloula, Maalula, Ma’lu:la), Bakh’a (Bax’a), Jub-’adin (Jubb ’Adi:n). Little dialect variation.

Language Use

Home, and as literary and religious language. All also use North Levantine Spoken Arabic [apc], as a second mother tongue (Arnold 2007).

Writing

Unwritten [Qaax], efforts to introduce a writing system with old Aramaic characters and with Hebrew were not successful.

Other Comments

Christian.

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