Aramaic and Syriac both belong to the North-West group of Semitic languages and have a vast literary heritage stretching over almost two millennia. The aim of this course - in combination with GLOR 1641 - is to introduce students to the linguistic systems of the Aramaic dialects and of Syriac in particular, to the writing systems and the reference tools (dictionaries, grammars and studies). By the end of both courses, students should be able to use the common reference tools to read and translate various difficult classical Syriac texts.
Aramaic and Syriac are Semitic languages. The use of Aramaic dates back to the 1st millenium B.C. and evolved into a number of different dialects. The most important of these was Syriac, which predominated in the Orient as the Jewish and Christian language of culture and politics. It played a key role in linking the Coptic and Palestinian world on the one hand with the Caucasian world on the other and expanded far beyond the Near-East (into Asia and India). These courses (GLOR 1641and 1642) will teach students the alphabet, linguistic system and morphological and syntactic structure of Syriac.
Content and teaching methods
Aramaic and Syriac both belong to the North-West group of Semitic languages. The aim of these courses (GLOR 1641 and 1642) is to study the Syriac language and its evolution within the evolution of Aramaic between the 3rd and 16th centuries in Syro-Mesopotamia. These courses will address the following topics: history of the language - writing system - linguistic system - morphology - lexis - syntax - reference tools - critical analysis of original texts (vocalised and not vocalised).
Other information (prerequisite, evaluation (assessment methods), course materials recommended readings, ...)
Course entry requirements: none.
Evaluation: continuous assessment. The end-of year oral examination involves reading and translating a text and grammatical explanation.
Course material: exercises and course handout provided by the lecturer, or recommended course manual.
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