|ܡܠܚܬܝܐ Mlaḥsô, ܣܘܪܝܝܐ Suryô|
|Native to||Syria, Turkey|
|Region||Qamishli in northeastern Syria, two villages in Diyarbakır Province of southeastern Turkey|
Mlaḥsô or Mlahsö (Syriac: ܡܠܚܬܝܐ), sometimes referred to as Suryoyo or Surayt, is an extinct Modern West Syriac language, a dialect of Aramaic. It was traditionally spoken in eastern Turkey and northeastern Syria by members of the Assyrian people. Additionally, many Mlaḥsô speakers residing in Mlaḥsô village were Christians of Jacobite faith. Aside from their native language, Mlaḥsô, speakers were fluent in Turkish, Arabic, Armenian, Kurdish, and Zaza.
The village in which Mlaḥsô was spoken, the village of Mlaḥsô, was established by two monks from the Tur Abdin mountain range.
On 3 May 2009, a historical event in the history of the Mlaḥsô Ṣurayt language took place. The Suroyo TV television station aired the program series Dore w yawmotho, which was about the village Mlaḥsô (and Tamarze). Dr. Isḥaq Ibrahim was a guest and spoke in the Mlaḥsô language with his sisters Shamiram in Lebanon and Munira in Qamishli on the phone live. Turabdin Assyrians/Syriacs viewers and those present at the show could for the first time ever in modern times hear the language live.
Reasons for extinction
The Mlaḥsô language has gone into extinction due to:
- The Syrian population shifting to Arabic as a result of the Arab Muslim conquests
- The location of the Assyrian genocide was in the area where Mlaḥsô was strongest, resulting in a disproportionate loss of speakers compared to Turoyo and Aramaic.
Mlaḥsô is more conservative than Turoyo in grammar and vocabulary, using classical Syriac words and constructions while also preserving the original Aramaic form. However, it is phonologically less conservative than Turoyo. This is particularly noticeable in the use of s for classical θ and y (IPA /j/) for ġ. Mlaḥsô renders the combination of vowel plus y as a single, fronted vowel rather than a diphthong or a glide.
The name of the village and the language is derived from the earlier Aramaic word mālaḥtā, 'salt marsh'. The literary Syriac name for the language is Mlaḥthoyo. The native speakers of Mlaḥsô referred to their language simply as Suryô, or Syriac.
|much, many, very||sāy|
|Where is my hen?||eyko-yo talġuntézi|
- Mlaḥsô at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
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- Jastrow, Otto (1985). "Mlaḥsô: An Unknown Neo-Aramaic Language of Turkey". Journal of Semitic Studies. 30: 265–270. doi:10.1093/jss/xxx.2.265.
- "Mlahsö". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
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