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Media: Smithsonian Magazine Article on Documenting Aramaic

Submitter: Anna Belew

Submitter Email:
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation

Language Family: Aramaic

Media Body: 'It was a sunny morning in May, and I was in a car with a linguist and a tax preparer trolling the suburbs of Chicago for native speakers of Aramaic, the 3,000-year-old language of Jesus.

The linguist, Geoffrey Khan of the University of Cambridge, was nominally in town to give a speech at Northwestern University, in Evanston. But he had another agenda: Chicago’s northern suburbs are home to tens of thousands of Assyrians, Aramaic-speaking Christians driven from their Middle Eastern homelands by persecution and war. The Windy City is a heady place for one of the world’s foremost scholars of modern Aramaic, a man bent on documenting all of its dialects before the language—once the tongue of empires—follows its last speakers to the grave.'

Full article:
Issue Number: 24.745
Date Posted: February 07, 2013