Hello All,

After some research and a round of discussion on Aramaic with Anthony Aristar, this is what we propose:

> [oar] Old Aramaic (up to 700 BCE); additional name: Ancient Aramaic
> [arc] Official Aramaic (700 - 300 BCE); additional name: Imperial Aramaic
> PROPOSED code element: [avm] Middle Aramaic (300 BCE - ca. 200 CE)
> [tmr] Talmudic Aramaic (ca. 200-1200 CE) CHANGE NAME BACK TO ETHNOLOGUE DESIGNATION: Jewish Babylonian Aramaic
>
> (There are no identifiers available in [am-] or [ar-] ranges and only 4
> total available [m--]
> [adm] is available, but it seems likely that it would readily get confused
> as [amd]--the latter being more mnemonic for Aramaic, Middle-- but it is
> already assigned.)
>In addition:

> PROPOSED code element: [jpa] Jewish Palestinian Aramaic (ca. 200-1200 CE)
> to designate the Aramaic found in the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan,
> as well as the Palestinian Talmud and Midrashim.

The return of [tmr] to the specific designation of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic is significant because to consider a single "Talmudic Aramaic" really would be proposing a collection (which we do not want to do), as the Aramaic languages of the 4th period (as listed here) are definitely distinct languages and are well attested. Classical Syriac and Classical Mandaic are others in this bunch that have their own code elements already (and are not affected by this proposal).

Have a great week,

Joan

----- Forwarded by Joan Spanne/IntlAdmin/WCT on 03/12/2007 10:01 AM -----
Anthony Aristar <[log in to unmask]>

03/09/2007 12:43 PM

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Re: 639 issues: Aramaic





You are precisely accurate, Joan.  Up to around 200 AD the varieties of
Aramaic were similar enough at each time-period to be called dialects.  
But then the divergence of dialects which diachronic change naturally
brings about, accompanied by the sharp political division between the
Roman Empire and the Parthian (and later Persion) Empires, started to
bring about such substantial changes that it becomes more reasonable to
talk about distinct languages forming in different regions at the same
time.   It shouldn't have a single code, unless this code is clearly a
collection.

If the code-set is to be used in a scholarly fashion, keep the
Ethnologue designation Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, and add at least one
more code for Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, to designate the Aramaic
found in the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, as well as the
Palestinian Talmud and Midrashim, which is closely related to the
Onkelos/Jonathan dialect.  Talmudic Aramaic is emphatically a
collection, and is not written in a single language: we require at
least two language codes here, one the Jewish Palestinian Aramaic
mentioned here, and the other the Aramaic found in the Babylonian
Talmud. And the idea that the Talmudic material of the early period is
somehow the "same" as the material from almost a 1000 years later...

This is a very strange process, isn't it?

Anthony

Quoting [log in to unmask]:

> Hi Anthony and Peter,
>
> I am trying to nail down the Aramaic situation for a concrete proposal to
> the JAC. I have one remaining problem, which has not really come up
> explicitly yet, but I am concerned it will eventually.
>
> In a simple world, I would propose:
> [oar] Old Aramaic (up to 700 BCE); additional name: Ancient Aramaic
> [arc] Official Aramaic (700 - 300 BCE); additional name: Imperial Aramaic
> PROPOSED code element: [avm] Middle Aramaic (300 BCE - ca. 200 CE)
> [tmr] Talmudic Aramaic (ca. 200-1200 CE)
>
> (There are no identifiers available in [am-] or [ar-] ranges and only 4
> total available [m--]
> [adm] is available, but it seems likely that it would readily get confused
> as [amd]--the latter being more mnemonic for Aramaic, Middle-- which is
> already assigned.)
>
> However, with my gift for making simple things complex, I am bothered by
> the last entry:
> [tmr] Talmudic Aramaic (ca. 200-1200 CE)
> which in the Ethnologue is called Jewish Babylonian Aramaic.
>
> My limited research tells me that this 4th period in the history of the
> Aramaic languages is not as uniform as the 1st and 2nd (nor is Middle
> Aramaic, but it has far less extant material and therefore no settled
> designations). The 4th period may be divided between Eastern and Western
> groups. Jewish Babylonian Aramaic (the Ethnologue designation of [tmr]) is
> a member of the Eastern group. Now we are proposing that [tmr] encompasses
> more than that variety. The reason this bothers me is that [syc] Classical
> Syriac and [myz] Classical Mandaic are the other two members of this
> Eastern Group, but they both still have their own identifiers. So also
> does Samaritan Aramaic of the Western group.
>
> I think it would be more sensible to retain the Ethnologue designation
> Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and possibly add appropriate code elements other
> members of the Western group (Jewish Palestinian Aramaic and
> Syro-Palestinian Christian Aramaic), if warranted.
>
> As it is in the simple proposal, Talmudic Aramaic looks more like a
> collection to me. You know this topic far better than I, Anthony. Am I off
> base with my concern?
>
> -Joan



               **************************************
Anthony Aristar, Director, Institute for Language Information & Technology
                  Professor of Linguistics
Moderator, LINGUIST               Principal Investigator, EMELD Project
Linguistics Program
Dept. of English                  [log in to unmask]
Eastern Michigan University            2000 Huron River Dr, Suite 104
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
U.S.A.

URL: http://linguistlist.org/aristar/
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