A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cypriot Maronite Arabic, Again

The National has a piece on Cypriot Maronite Arabic, the dialect of Arabic which survives among the Maronites of Cyprus. This article quotes local claims that the local Arabic is rooted in Aramaic, which seems doubtful though the Maronite liturgy retains some Aramaic parts.

I posted last year on Cypriot Maronite Arabic, including a video in which some of it is heard, and comments by a linguist. That's probably a bit more reliable on the alleged Aramaic links, but still, the survival of Arabic on Cyprus is a fascinating subtext in its own right.

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