|ܡܠܚܬܝܐ Mlaḥsô, ܣܘܪܝܝܐ Suryô|
|Native to||Syria, Turkey|
|Region||Qamishli in northeastern Syria, two villages in Diyarbakır Province of southeastern Turkey|
|3 (1998) (date missing)|
Mlaḥsô (Syriac: ܡܠܚܬܝܐ), sometimes referred to as Suryoyo, is a 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 last speaker of Mlaḥsô, Ibrahim Ḥanna, died in 1998 in Qamishli. His daughters, Munira in Qamishlo, Shamiram in Lebanon, and son Dr. Isḥaq in Germany are the only left who can speak the language, but they have no one to converse with.
The village in which Mlaḥsô was spoken, the village of Mlaḥsô, was established by two monks from the Tur Abdin.
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.
On 3 May 2009, a historical event in the history of the Mlaḥsô Ṣurayt language took place. This day, the Suroyo TV program series Dore w yawmotho was about the village Mlaḥsô (and Tamarze). Dr. Isḥaq Ibrahim was a guest and spoke in the Ṣurayt of Mlaḥso with his siblings (sister Shamiram in Lebanon, and a sister Munira in Qamishlo) on the phone live. Turabdin Assyrians/Syriacs viewers and those present at the show could for the first time ever in modern time hear the language live.
Reasons for Extinction
The Mlaḥsô language has gone into extinction due to:
- The Syrian population shifting to Arabic
- 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.
|much, many, very||sāy|
|Where is my hen?||eyko-yo talġuntézi|
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- Jastrow, Otto. 1994. Der neuaramäische Dialekt von Mlaḥsô. Semitica Viva 14. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz
- Khan, Geoffrey. 1999. "The Neo-Aramaic Dialect Spoken by Jews from the Region of Arbel (Iraqi Kurdistan)." In Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 62, no. 2, 213-225.
- Khan, Geoffrey. 2003. "Some Remarks on Linguistic and Lexical Change in the North Eastern Neo-Aramaic Dialects." In Aramaic Studies 1, no. 2, 179-190.
- Mutzafi, Hezy. 2006. "On the Etymology of Some Enigmatic Words in northeastern Neo-Aramaic." In Aramaic Studies 4, no. 1, 83-99.
- Suroyo TV 2009-05-03 Dore w yawmotho - Mlaḥso & Tamarze
- Semitisches Tonarchiv: Dokumentgruppe "Aramäisch/Mlahsô" (text in German)
- Endangered Languages Project - Mlahso