Are literary languages artificial? The case of the Aramaic of the Zohar

Elitzur A. Bar-Asher Siegal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Few studies have focused on the Aramaic of the Zohar, and to this day, only one of these presents a completed grammatical analysis. Scholars have dealt at large, however, with the question of whether the Aramaic of the Zohar is artificial or not. I briefly review the history of the literature around this question, then propose my own criteria to examine whether a language of a given text is indeed artificial. Finally, I put this methodology into practice, as I investigate the nature of Zoharic Aramaic by examining specific linguistic phenomena in the relevant corpus.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)124-145
Number of pages22
JournalAramaic Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2020.


  • Aramaic
  • Artificial language
  • Dialect
  • Linguistic variation
  • Literary language
  • Zohar


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