The volume makes a major contribution to the field of Neo-Aramaic and significantly advances research. The articles present new analyses and new primary data from several endangered dialects, many of which have so far not been systematically documented, and in some cases have not been documented at all. It is good to see that the examples have been given glossing, so that this important material will be accessible more widely by general linguists. Many of the articles are written by leading scholars of the field. Particularly commendable is the fact that the authors include also early career scholars and native speakers of Neo-Aramaic dialects who are based in universities in Iraq and Europe. The volume, therefore, represents also a major stimulus to research in the future.
Prof Hezy Mutzafi, Tel Aviv University
The Neo-Aramaic dialects are modern vernacular forms of Aramaic, which has a documented history in the Middle East of over 3,000 years. Due to upheavals in the Middle East over the last one hundred years, thousands of speakers of Neo-Aramaic dialects have been forced to migrate from their homes or have perished in massacres. As a result, the dialects are now highly endangered. The dialects exhibit a remarkable diversity of structures. Moreover, the considerable depth of attestation of Aramaic from earlier periods provides evidence for pathways of change. For these reasons the research of Neo-Aramaic is of importance for more general fields of linguistics, in particular language typology and historical linguistics.
The papers in this volume represent the full range of research that is currently being carried out on Neo-Aramaic dialects. They advance the field in numerous ways. In order to allow linguists who are not specialists in Neo-Aramaic to benefit from the papers, the examples are fully glossed.