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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter discusses Barwar and its Assyrian Christian communities, the neo-Aramaic dialect, and informants and texts, and the grammar and lexicon. It presents insights into this book, which is a description of the neo-Aramaic dialect spoken by Assyrian Christians from a district in the Dihok province of Iraq lying adjacent to the border of Turkey known as Barwari Bala. The chapter talks about the description of the neo-Aramaic dialect spoken by the Assyrian Christian communities in the group of villages situated along the river Be-Xelape. In the Assyrian villages storytellers told several such stories in their original Kurdish versions as well as in the NENA dialect. The majority of the folktales in the corpus are told in prose form, with occasional poetic sections that were sung. The stories from the Qatina legend contain a large number of sung sections since this was originally transmitted almost entirely in poetic form.

Keywords: Assyrian Christian communities; Barwari Bala; Nena dialect; neo-Aramaic dialect; Qatina legend; river Be-Xelape



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