|ܟܠܕܝܐ Kaldāyâ, ܣܘܼܪܲܝܬ Sōreth|
Sûret in written Syriac
|Region||Iraq; Mosul, Ninawa, now also Baghdad and Basra.|
|Native speakers||unknown (undated figure of 220,000)
(110,000 in Iraq in 1994)
|Writing system||Syriac (Madenhaya alphabet)|
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is a Northeastern Neo-Aramaic dialect. Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is spoken on the plain of Mosul in northern Iraq, as well as by the Chaldean communities worldwide. Most speakers are Chaldean Catholics.
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is one of a number of modern Northeastern Aramaic languages spoken in the region of Kurdistan, between Lake Urmia in Iranian Azerbaijan in northern Iraq near Dohuk and near the Turkish border. Jews and Christians speak different dialects of Aramaic that are often mutually unintelligible. The Christian dialects have been heavily influenced by Classical Syriac, the literary language of Syriac Christianity in antiquity. Therefore, Christian Neo-Aramaic has a dual heritage: literary Syriac and colloquial Eastern Aramaic. The Christian dialects are often called Soureth, or Syriac in Iraqi Arabic. The Aramaic speak new Chaldean, mostly in the mountainous regions of Iraq, as well as the Chaldean language spoken in Basra, Babil, Baghdad and other Iraqi and Syrian provinces
Before the schism of 1552, most Christians in this region were members of the Church of the East. When the schism split the church, most of the Christians of the region opted for communion with the Roman Catholic Church and became members of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is the Soureth language of the Plain of Mosul and Iraqi Kurdistan. It has a number of identifiable dialects, each corresponding to one of the villages where the language is spoken. The village/dialects are: Ankawa, Alqosh, Aqrah, Mangesh, Tel Keipeh, Baghdeda, Tel Skuf, Baqofah, Batnaya, Bartella, Sirnak-Cizre (Bohtan), Araden and Dahuk.
Chaldean Neo-Aramaic is written in the Madenhaya version of the Syriac alphabet, which is also used for classical Syriac. The School of Alqosh produced religious poetry in the colloquial Chaldean Neo-Aramaic rather than classical Syriac, in the 17th century, and the Dominican Press in Mosul has produced a number of books in the language.
- Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac people
- Aramaic language
- Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
- Chaldean Christians
- Chaldean Catholic Church
- Syriac alphabet
- Syriac language
- Chaldean Neo-Aramaic reference at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
- Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar Winkler: The Church of the East: A Concise History. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. pages 5, 19, 30, 79, 89, 103-104
- Wilhelm Baum and Dietmar Winkler: The Church of the East: A Concise History. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003. page 112
- Heinrichs, Wolfhart (ed.) (1990). Studies in Neo-Aramaic. Scholars Press: Atlanta, Georgia. ISBN 1-55540-430-8.
- Maclean, Arthur John (1895). Grammar of the dialects of vernacular Syriac: as spoken by the Eastern Syrians of Kurdistan, north-west Persia, and the Plain of Mosul: with notices of the vernacular of the Jews of Azerbaijan and of Zakhu near Mosul. Cambridge University Press, London.
- Eastern Syriac script for Chaldean Neo-Aramaic at Omniglot
- Semitisches Tonarchiv: Dokumentgruppe "Aramäisch/Neuostaramäisch (christl.)" (text in German).