Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA), which is a subgroup of dialects of vernacular Neo-Aramaic, exhibits considerable internal diversity. In this paper, I describe the diversity that exists in the form of the copula in this subgroup. The paradigms of the copula in the various dialects exhibit different degrees of convergence with verbal inflection. There is an areal progression in verbalization from the western periphery to the eastern periphery. The incipient verbalization of the copula can be correlated with semantic properties of the subject and the clause that would be expected typologically to be most compatible with verbal predicates. Close correlations, however, can be identified with the distribution of pronominal and verbal inflections of copulas in the languages with which the NENA dialects have been in contact in the region. It is likely, therefore, that the realization of the internal potential verbalization of the NENA copula was induced by language contact.


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Keyword(s): copula; Gorani; Iranian; Kurdish; language contact; Neo-Aramaic; Semitic
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