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Presenting and reciting the Pshitta. A request....
Shlama John,

Welcome to!

If the word is spelt YOD-SHIN-WAW-AIN can I please ask why:

1. The YOD is pronounced as an EE, doesnt the consonant come first and then the vowel? Hence it would be YISHOO wouldn't it?

Originally, Aramaic writers followed the ancient Egyptian practice of not using vowel signs in their writing. At a later date, probably sometime in the first centuries B.C. they began using the consonants Alap, Waw, and Yod, to indicate the long vowels /a/, /o/, and /i/ in places where confusion might arise. At a still later date, around the 6th or 7th centuries A.D., several different schemes of real or complete vowel markings where invented.

In the case of Jesus??? name, the initial yod was probably originally pronounced as the consonant /y/ with a short or long /e/ sound, as is testified to by the Greek transliteration. In Eastern Aramaic pronunciation, however, it is unusual to begin a word with the consonant /y/. Since in consonant only writing, yod can be pronounced either /y/ or long /i/ (like the /i/ in /machine/), Eastern Aramaic speakers could pronounce the name with what to them was the more natural sounding initial /i/ without doing any violence to the written text.

2. Why is the AIN at the end not pronounced?

The letter Ain, ??eA in Eastern Aramaic, represents a glottal stop, a sound not used in American English. A glottal stop is made by stopping the air flow in the back of the throat, Since many Westerners can???t pronounce it, some modern books recommend treating it as a silent letter.

As for your project, here are a couple of points:

1. There is no edition of the Eastern Peshitta text encoded for computers, either in Aramaic script or Roman transliteration, which is publicly available. You would have to buy a printed copy, learn to read Swadaya, and make your own transliteration.

2. Even if there was, it would be an extraordinary person who could master a plausibly realistic pronunciation in a short period of time, without special expert training.

3. Your best bet would be to try and get a sample recording from a native speaker which you could play for your audience. For instance, the Assyrian Languages page has a recording of the Our Father/Lord???s Prayer. You need the permission of its owner, Alan Aldawood, to use it publicly, though.

4. You should be aware that, to most English speakers, Aramaic sounds about the same as Arabic. So, if you reside in the U.S. be prepared for an antagonistic reaction when some people here it.

John Marucci

Messages In This Thread
[No subject] - by gbausc - 11-13-2004, 04:03 PM
[No subject] - by John - 11-13-2004, 09:44 PM
[No subject] - by gbausc - 11-14-2004, 01:36 PM
[No subject] - by John - 11-14-2004, 07:47 PM
[No subject] - by AramaicScribe - 11-15-2004, 08:23 AM
[No subject] - by John - 11-15-2004, 09:35 PM
[No subject] - by AramaicScribe - 11-16-2004, 06:22 AM

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