The Origin of the Neo-Aramaic Verb d'r 'To Return' and its Cognates: A New Proposal

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The Neo-Aramaic verbal root d'r 'to return' in Turoyo and Mlahso, as well as its cognates d'r, dyr, dyr etc. in the North-Eastern Neo- Aramaic (NENA) dialects, have thus far remained without a consensus amongst scholars as regards etymology. The etymology proposed in this paper is based on the assumption that d'r 'to return', attested already in Bar 'Ali's mediaeval lexicon, is related to Syriac d'r 'to rebuke', and that the latter is an irregular reflex of g'r. More precisely, the etymon is postulated as pre-modern Aramaic g'r in etp'el, attested as ?etge? ar, ?egge? ar 'to be rebuked, be chided away, driven out, driven back', while the paper also accounts for the phonological, morphological and semantic processes which affected that etymon and adduces parallel developments, mainly in classical and modern Aramaic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-525
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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