[b-hebrew] Aramaic

Jack Kilmon jkilmon at historian.net
Sat Mar 12 18:50:56 EST 2005

There was no "Galilean Aramaic" during the time of Jesus who spoke Judean 
Aramaic but, perhaps with a Galilean "twang" which included dropped glotta 
stops, softer consonants and pharygeal fricatives.  This is a pronounciation 
issue, however, and not a dialect.  Galilean Aramaic came about later during 
the Mishnaic period and was probably influenced by Syriac.  There were about 
7 different dialects of Aramaic in use in Palestine during the time of 
Jesus, given its "crossroads" nature. Jewish Old Palestinian, Old East 
Jordanian, Old Judean, (The dialect of the ossuarial inscriptions, Jesus, 
Josephus, Wadi Suwenit, Masada ostraca and Qumran receipts.   ) as examples. 
Middle Judean and Galilean were 2nd and 3rd century dialects.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <cmeadows3 at verizon.net>
To: "Trevor Peterson" <abuian at access4less.net>; "b-hebrew" 
<b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:41 PM
Subject: Re: Re: [b-hebrew] Aramaic

> Thanks Trevor!
> My biggest problem is that I don't have access to any of these - and they 
> seem uncommon enought that I cannot find book reviews whereby I might get 
> a basic idea of what they contain.  For instance the "Galilean Aramaic" by 
> Levias - is that a later form of Aramaic?
> My main interest would be the Bible, DSS and the early targums.
> Thanks again.  That was very helpful.
> C Meadows
>> From: Trevor Peterson <abuian at access4less.net>
>> Date: 2005/03/12 Sat PM 02:36:51 CST
>> To: b-hebrew <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
>> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Aramaic
>> cmeadows3 at verizon.net wrote:
>> > Greetings,
>> >
>> > Anyone here familiar with David Marcus' grammar or the volume on 
>> > "Galilean Aramaic" by Caspar Levias?  Perhaps the Bergstrasser and 
>> > Brockelmann give a good overview of Aramaic?
>> Are you talking about Bergstrasser's Introduction to the Semitic
>> Languages? It's good, but obviously not as thorough as you'd get from a
>> book-length grammar.
>> >
>> > I feel pretty confident with Hebrew and I'm mostly concerned with the 
>> > biblical era (non-Syriac) Aramaic.  It seems that most of the available 
>> > grammar just concentrate on the small portions of Aramaic in the bible 
>> > and ignore the DSS, Targums, and other important writings.
>> There seems to be some confusion here. (Maybe it's on my part.) You ask
>> about Brockelmann (his grammar of Syriac, I assume), then you say that
>> you're not interested in Syriac. You're interested in the biblical era,
>> which you clarify by saying "non-Syriac," but Galilean Aramaic would be
>> roughly the same era as Syriac. You also reference the Targums, which is
>> a bit vague, since the Targums span a rather wide period of time,
>> overlapping quite a bit with Syriac. I would classify BA as a type of
>> Standard Literary Aramaic, which also includes Qumran material and the
>> Targums of Onqelos and Yonatan. Bauer & Leander is the only real
>> reference grammar on BA, and that's about as good as it gets for SLA in
>> general. There are some good articles you could read to fill in some of
>> the gaps. Also, I wouldn't completely discount studying the later
>> dialects. Since they tend to have the largest bulk of evidence, they
>> provide a lot of useful comparisons. That's actually a lot of the reason
>> that I didn't restrict the Aramaic list (already referenced by Peter) to
>> any subset of Aramaic.
>> Trevor Peterson
>> CUA/Semitics
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