Neo-Aramaic morphosyntax in its areal-linguistic context


The North-eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) dialects are a highly diverse family of dialects spoken by Christian and Jewish communities across northern Iraq and neighbouring countries. They are members (together with neighbouring dialects of Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish and Persian etc.) of a linguistic area, where languages in long-term contact have converged over time. All the dialects have undergone intense structural changes as a result of areal influence, whilst showing great diversity from dialect to dialect in the precise effects of this influence.The objectives of this project are to document and investigate the morpho-syntax of a selection of North-eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects from an areal-typological perspective, and to make the findings accessible to a wider linguistic audience. In this I will be focusing on structures in the dialects that have developed to replicate structures already existing in neighbouring languages, looking at the mechanisms by which such developments arise as well as the motivations behind this kind of change. Work on NENA is urgent as the dialects are highly endangered. Many dialects are now spoken exclusively by older people in the diaspora and are expected to disappear within a few years.&

  • Department of Linguistics
Funding sources
Name Finanzierungstyp Kategorie Project no.
Exzellenzinitiative third-party funds research funding program 497/10
Further information
Period: 01.05.2010 – 31.10.2011