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5. The Uniqueness of the Neo-Mandaic Lexicon within Neo-Aramaic

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Chapter Summary

Neo-Mandaic preserves a sizable number of unique inherited Aramaic lexemes that are unknown to exist in any other Neo-Aramaic variety. Some of these go back to the earliest (or very early) phases of the Aramaic language, viz. Old and Official Aramaic, while others first appear in later Aramaic phases. Some of these lexemes have undergone semantic shifts, but these shifts are seldom far-reaching. NENA has a specific verb for washing clothes and in many dialects also wool, msy, māse, which is in all likelihood ultimately borrowed from Akk. mesû 'to wash'.

Keywords: Neo-Aramaic variety; Neo-Mandaic lexicon; semantic shifts

10.1163/9789004257054_006
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