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3. Neo-Mandaic and Pre-Modern Aramaic

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Chapter Summary

Neo-Mandaic (NM) has inherited much of the common Aramaic lexicon dating back to the times of Old Aramaic inscriptions. NM shows a great deal of continuity with CM and post-classical M, yet this continuity, at least insofar as the lexicon is concerned, has been only partly and imperfectly recognised, since numerous NM lexical items of Aramaic antiquity that are attested in literary Mandaic have hitherto remained undocumented. Further knowledge on pre-modern Mandaic lexicon can be gleaned from Mandaic incantation bowls, dating back to the late Sassanian and early Islamic periods. This chapter discusses several NM lexical items which, are not recorded in literary Mandaic but can safely assumed to have been used in colloquial Mandaic in its pre-modern stages. These are divided into genuine Aramaic lexemes, early Iranian loanwords and Akkadian substrate words. Macuch mentioned 5 NM words which he regarded reflexes of unattested pre-modern Mandaic antecedents.

Keywords: Akkadian substrate words; Aramaic lexicon; early Iranian loanwords; Islamic periods; late Sassanian period; Neo-Mandaic (NM); pre-modern Mandaic lexicon

10.1163/9789004257054_004
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