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Aramaic is a language closely related to Hebrew both genetically and culturally. Are questions about Aramaic on-topic here?

Proposal: Hebrew Language

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My two cents: Aramaic is a different language from Hebrew, and as such, as a general rule, questions about Aramaic should be off topic in the future Hebrew Language SE. We should allow them only if they relate to the influence Aramaic had on Hebrew (such as origins of words).

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Here's what I posted last time:

There are only about 250 Aramaic verses out of 23000 in the Hebrew Bible, just over 1%.

Many sites judge that their topic area should be somewhat determined by the expertise of those who visit it. This site will probably have four or so divisions of expertise:

  • Biblical Hebrew
  • Mishnaic Hebrew
  • Medieval Hebrew
  • Modern Hebrew

Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic are closely related. A large portion of Biblical Hebrew scholars will be familiar with Biblical Aramaic to some extent. We would not expect the other periods to be familiar with Aramaic from their eras. (Though of course some would be, we all have multiple interests and expertises.)

Based on the principle of determining topic area by common expertise, I would like to propose that Biblical Aramaic only be considered a special exception and be on-topic.

  • 1
    What about Talmudic and Mishnaic Aramaic, which would correspond to the Mishnaic Hebrew period that you mention? – DonielF Apr 14 '17 at 1:08
  • @DonielF I'm not sure. If most experts of Mishanic Hebrew are also experts of Talmudic/Mishanic Aramaic then I'd say it should be on topic. But I don't know anything about either field. – curiousdannii Apr 14 '17 at 1:30
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As mentioned by @Mureinik, Aramaic is a separate language. Aramaic, however, is very important in terms of understanding Hebrew as it represents a closely related language that has, in turn, influenced Hebrew.

Aramaic should be on-topic only to the extent that it is relevant for understanding Hebrew. This is similar to how a discussion of the English language may delve into other languages that have influenced it, such as French, Danish, Welsh, and Gaelic.

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I agree with the perspective of those who have responded to this question. However, there may be Hebraicists who frequent this site who have training in Semitic languages generally. Perhaps the moderators of this site and those who use this site may consider allowing questions concerning Aramaic until such time as a separate project for Aramaic enters Beta.

The Latin Language site allows the posting of questions concerning the Greek language, in part because there is a Greek Language forum which has not yet reached the beta stage.

On the other hand, Aramaic is a very broad group of dialects. It includes Classical Syriac, which has the third-largest body of extant literature from the Classical and Late Antique Mediterranean, behind only Latin and Greek. To permit such questions here would distract from the focus of this project.

I would encourage the creation of a separate Aramaic forum on this site. If such a forum were inclusive of scientists and coders working on natural language processing and digital humanities in Aramaic, it may be a place where general users can post questions and get a wide range of expert answers.

I wish the Hebrew Language proposal great success!

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