Are literary languages artificial? The case of the Aramaic of the Zohar

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Abstract

Few studies have focused on the Aramaic of the Zohar, and to this day, only one of these presents a completed grammatical analysis. Scholars have dealt at large, however, with the question of whether the Aramaic of the Zohar is artificial or not. I briefly review the history of the literature around this question, then propose my own criteria to examine whether a language of a given text is indeed artificial. Finally, I put this methodology into practice, as I investigate the nature of Zoharic Aramaic by examining specific linguistic phenomena in the relevant corpus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)124-145
Number of pages22
JournalAramaic Studies
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Aramaic
  • Artificial language
  • Dialect
  • Linguistic variation
  • Literary language
  • Zohar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language

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