Syriac today

Trevor & Julie Peterson spedrson at
Sat Dec 23 12:46:41 EST 2000

And even SIL is somewhat ambiguous about where the lines should be drawn
between languages that can still be classifed as Syriac and those that are
merely its descendants.  Notice too that a number of the entries identify it
as a literary or kitchen language.  I'm not trying to deny that it is still
a living language, or that a significant number of Christian communities
still speak it.  But its use today hardly compares with its use in the early
Christian period as anything but "limited."  (I hope it's understood on all
sides that we're basically just splitting hairs over what can be called
"limited use."  I'd be willing to retract the characterization if it deeply
offends anyone.)

Finally, my original point centered mainly on the grammar of classical
Syriac, so I suppose we would have to throw into the hopper with everything
else the question of whether and how these various modern dialects that
claim descent from Syriac affect the original issue.

Trevor Peterson

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:Peter_Kirk at]
> Sent: Saturday, December 23, 2000 10:47 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Syriac today
> Use to the present day is not all that limited. SIL Ethnologue
> (
> estimates 200,000 speakers of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and 70,000 speakers of
> Turoyo or Suryani, which are just two of a considerable number of
> languages
> in current use directly descended from classical Syriac. Of course these
> languages have changed in 2000 years.
> Peter Kirk
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Trevor & Julie Peterson [mailto:spedrson at]
> Sent: 21 December 2000 09:29
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: wa, fa, and questions about pronunciation
> Again, speaking out of my ignorance, I don't think Syriac (a
> popular dialect
> of Aramaic during the early Christian period and continuing in limited use
> to the present day) uses any comparable construction.  Of course,
> Syriac has
> lost or buried a lot of elements that historically were a part of Aramaic,
> so that may not be saying a lot anyway.
> Trevor Peterson
> CUA/Semitics
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jonathan Bailey [mailto:jonathan.bailey at]
> > Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 2:43 PM
> > To: Biblical Hebrew
> > Subject: Re: wa, fa, and questions about pronunciation
> ---
> You are currently subscribed to b-hebrew as: [spedrson at]
> To unsubscribe, forward this message to
> $subst('Email.Unsub')
> To subscribe, send an email to join-b-hebrew at

____________NetZero Free Internet Access and Email_________
Download Now
Request a CDROM  1-800-333-3633

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list