This book provides a description of Classical Syriac phonology based on fully vocalized biblical texts and the detailed comments by medieval Syriac grammarians. In addition to a description of Syriac consonants and vowels (including vowel quantity and stress), there are chapters on the compararive Semitic background of Syriac phonology and the grammatical features of the pre-classical inscriptions, and comparison with both eastern and western varieties of Jewish Aramaic. The modern dialect of Turoyo is also examined, and two appendices discuss the traditional pronunciation of West Syriac and the pronunciation of Modern Literary Syriac, and offer a sketch of Turoyo phonology.
This book is the culmination of the Turabdin Project, the goal of which is to monitor the development of Modern Literary Syriac from the 1980s to the present. The approach is descriptive and contrastive relative to the Classical language, significant differences between Modern Literary Syriac and Classical Syriac are noted. The main focus is on neologisms and new developments in the lexicon.
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