Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Syriac became extinct in the 10th to 12th centuries. Still used as a literary secular language among followers of the churches listed, although rarely.
The Syrian churches (Eastern (Nestorian), Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite), Syrian Catholic (Melkite, Maronite) developed a vast literature based on the Edessa (currently Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey) variety of the Syrian dialect. The Assyrian group (see Assyrian Neo-Aramaic in Iraq and elsewhere) separated denominationally from the Chaldean (see Chaldean Neo-Aramaic in Iraq) and Jacobite (see Turoyo in Turkey and Syria) in the Middle Ages.
Neo-Eastern Aramaic languages spoken by Christians are often dubbed 'Neo-Syriac', although not directly descended from Syriac.
- Ungnad, Arthur. Syrische Grammatik. München. 1913.