Betanure Jewish Neo-Aramaic
|Betanure Jewish Neo-Aramaic|
|lišānā deni / lišā́n huðāye / huðəθ~huðəθkí / amrāni~amrāní|
|Region||Israel, previously Betanure|
|at most 3 dozen (2008)|
Betanure Jewish Neo-Aramaic, the local dialect of Betanure, is among the rarest and most seriously endangered varieties of Aramaic spoken at the present time. It is also one of the most conservative of the Jewish Neo-Aramaic languages, and among the Northeastern Aramaic languages.
In the 1940s, Betanure Jewish Neo-Aramaic was spoken by seventeen large families in the Jewish village of Betanure. The community migrated in its entirety to Israel in 1951. Ever since the dialect has been facing erosion from Israeli Hebrew and from other Neo-Aramaic varieties spoken in Israel.
|Plosive/Affricate||p (ṗ) b (ḅ)||t ṭ d (ḍ)||č č̣ j||k g||q||ʼ|
|Fricative||f (v)||θ ð (ð̣) s ṣ z (ẓ)||š ṣ̌ ž (ẓ̌)||x ɣ||ḥ ʻ||h|
|Liquid||w||n l ḷ r ṛ||y|
The literary register of the dialect has some differences in vocabulary, e.g. ʼāhu for ʼāwa 'he', ʼāhi for ʼāya 'she', məskenūθa for faqirūθa 'poverty'.
A secret register called lišanəd ṭəšwa was used to make speech unintelligible to adjacent Muslims and Christians. This involved using a special set of 'cryptic' words to replace their regular counterparts.