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The Heritage of Imperial Aramaic in Eastern Aramaic

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Based on certain linguistic features, the varieties of Aramaic attested after the Persian period are usually divided into a Western and an Eastern branch. It is, however, less easy to pinpoint the origin of these two branches, since already the first textual witnesses of Aramaic exhibit a considerable amount of variation. This paper attempts to reconsider some traits often associated with Eastern Aramaic (less clearly defined than its Western counterpart) from a diachronic point of view and relates them to the distinctive features of Imperial Aramaic. Whereas some of them clearly antedate the fall of the Persian Empire, many others reflect later developments.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University

10.1163/147783508X371295
/content/journals/10.1163/147783508x371295
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/content/journals/10.1163/147783508x371295
2008-01-01
2016-12-10

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