- Language: Assyrian Neo-Aramaic
- Alternate names: Lishana Aturaya, Suret, Sooreth, Sureth, Suryaya Swadaya, Assyrian, Neo-Syriac, Assyriski, Aisorski, Assyrianci
- SIL-code: Ethnologue:aii
- Language family: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern
- Number of speakers: 210,231
- Script: Syriac script
Aramaic is a Semitic language with a 3,000-year history. It has been the language of administration of empires and the language of divine worship. In Judaism, it was the day-to-day language of Israel in the Second Temple period (and was therefore the mother tongue of Jesus of Nazareth), the original language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and is the main language of the Talmud.
Modern Aramaic is spoken today as a first language by many scattered, predominantly small, and largely isolated communities of differing Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups of the Middle East — most numerously by the Assyrians in the form of Assyrian Neo-Aramaic—that have all retained use of the once dominant lingua franca despite subsequent language shifts experienced throughout the Middle East. The Aramaic languages are considered to be endangered.
A Neo-Aramaic verb has a very large number of inflectional forms, as many as 981 for an ordinary transitive verb, in special cases even more.
Verbs inflect by
- person, number, and gender
- tenses, aspect, mood
- transitivity and intransitivity
- voice; active or passive
The following forms are just a few of inflections of the verb p-t-x 'open'.
- Hoberman, Robert D.. The syntax and semantics of verb morphology in Modern Aramaic. New Haven. 1989.