A language of Turkey

Alternate Names
Ancient Syriac, Classical Syriac, Lishana Atiga, Suryaya, Suryoyo

No known L1 speakers. Ethnic population: No ethnic community.


Sanliurfa province.

Language Status

9 (Second language only).


Western Syriac, Eastern Syriac. Syrian churches: Eastern (Nestorian), Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite), and Syrian Catholic (Melkite, Maronite) developed a vast literature based on the Edessa (currently Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey) variety of the Syrian dialect. Assyrian group (see Assyrian Neo-Aramaic in Iraq and elsewhere) separated denominationally from Chaldean (see Chaldean Neo-Aramaic in Iraq) and Jacobite (see Turoyo in Turkey and Syria) in the Middle Ages. Neo-Eastern Aramaic languages spoken by Christians are often dubbed Neo-Syriac although not directly descended from Syriac.

Language Use

Was used in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria. Became extinct in the 10th to 12th centuries. Still used, but rarely, as a secular literary language among followers of the churches listed.

Language Development

Bible: 1645–1891.


Syriac script [Syrc].

Other Comments


Page Views Left: