Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Cypriot Arabic, known as Cypriot Maronite Arabic, is a variety
Varieties of Arabic
The Arabic language is a Semitic language characterized by a wide number of linguistic varieties within its five regional forms. The largest divisions occur between the spoken languages of different regions. The Arabic of North Africa, for example, is often incomprehensible to an Arabic speaker...

 of Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 spoken by the Maronite
Maronites in Cyprus
The Maronites in Cyprus are members of the Maronite Church whose ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Middle Ages. They traditionally speak their own variety of Arabic in addition to Greek...

 community of Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. Most speakers are situated in the capital, Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

, while others are located in Kormakitis
Kormakitis is a small village in Cyprus, part of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus . Kormakitis is one of four traditionally Maronite villages in Cyprus, the other three being Asomatos, Ayia Marina and Karpaseia...

 and Limassol
Limassol is the second-largest city in Cyprus, with a population of 228,000 . It is the largest city in geographical size, and the biggest municipality on the island. The city is located on Akrotiri Bay, on the island's southern coast and it is the capital of Limassol District.Limassol is the...

. The majority of speakers are over 30 years of age, as many in the younger generations only speak Cypriot Greek
Cypriot Greek
The Cypriot dialect of Modern Greek, known as Kypriaka , Cypriot Greek is spoken by 750,000 people in Cyprus and diaspora Greek Cypriots.Cypriot Greek is distinct enough that it can be classified as a distinct dialect of the Standard Greek....

, partially because of intermarriage with ethnic Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots
Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

. The language was first introduced to the island by Maronites
Maronite Church
The Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See of Rome . It traces its heritage back to the community founded by Maron, a 4th-century Syriac monk venerated as a saint. The first Maronite Patriarch, John Maron, was elected in the late 7th...

 fleeing Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 and Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in the 8th century.


Cypriot Arabic shares a large number of common features with Mesopotamian Arabic
Iraqi Arabic
Iraqi Arabic is a continuum of mutually intelligible Arabic varieties native to the Mesopotamian basin of Iraq as well as spanning into eastern and northern Syria, western Iran, southeastern Turkey, and spoken in respective Iraqi diaspora communities.-Varieties:Iraqi Arabic has two major varieties...

; particularly the northern variety
North Mesopotamian Arabic
North Mesopotamian Arabic is a variety of Arabic spoken north of the Hamrin Mountains in Iraq, in northwestern Iran in northern Syria, and in southeastern Turkey...

, and has been reckoned as belonging to this dialect area. It also shares many traits with Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic
Levantine Arabic is a broad variety of Arabic spoken in the 100 to 200 km-wide Eastern Mediterranean coastal strip...

. It is believed these common features go back to a period in which there was a dialect continuum
Dialect continuum
A dialect continuum, or dialect area, was defined by Leonard Bloomfield as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the...

 between the Mesopotamian dialects and the Syrian dialect area.

The Cypriot dialect of Arabic has also been influenced by Syriac
Syriac language
Syriac is a dialect of Middle Aramaic that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. Having first appeared as a script in the 1st century AD after being spoken as an unwritten language for five centuries, Classical Syriac became a major literary language throughout the Middle East from...

, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, and Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, and in a lesser degree by French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 in its phonology
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...

 and vocabulary
A person's vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually develops with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge...

, while retaining certain unusually archaic features in other respects.

Transcription notes

All letters loosely represent their IPA values, with some exceptions:
Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

Ĉ or ĉ is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing the sound .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets...

δ  ð
Ĵ or ĵ is a letter in Esperanto orthography representing the sound .While Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for its four postalveolar consonants, as do the Latin-based Slavic alphabets, the base letters are Romano-Germanic...

S is the nineteenth letter in the ISO basic Latin alphabet.-History: Semitic Šîn represented a voiceless postalveolar fricative . Greek did not have this sound, so the Greek sigma came to represent...

X is the twenty-fourth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet.-Uses:In mathematics, x is commonly used as the name for an independent variable or unknown value. The usage of x to represent an independent or unknown variable can be traced back to the Arabic word šay شيء = “thing,” used in Arabic...

Y is the twenty-fifth letter in the basic modern Latin alphabet and represents either a vowel or a consonant in English.-Name:In Latin, Y was named Y Graeca "Greek Y". This was pronounced as I Graeca "Greek I", since Latin speakers had trouble pronouncing , which was not a native sound...



Ismi o Kumetto! Ayşo ismak l-id? My name is Kumetto! What is your name?
Ismi l-ana o Pavlo! Ayşo ismik l-idi? My name is Pavlo! What is your name? (fem.)
L-aδa aş pikulullu? What is his name?
L-ism tel l-yapati o Antoni! My father's name is Antoni!
Xmenye u tisca aşka pisawnna? What do eight and nine make?
Pisawnna caşra u sapca. They make seventeen
Aş xar kan imps? Imps kan Yamuxmis! What day was yesterday? Yesterday was Thursday
-Aş xar tte kun pukra? Pukra tte kun Yamussift! What day is tomorrow? Tomorrow is Saturday
Yamuxxat marrux fi li knise! On Sunday we go to church
Kilt xops ma zaytun, xaytċ casel u şraft xlip tel pakra! I ate bread with olives, some honey and drank some cow's milk
Ye! Yes!
La! No!

See also

  • Maronites in Cyprus
    Maronites in Cyprus
    The Maronites in Cyprus are members of the Maronite Church whose ancestors migrated from the Levant during the Middle Ages. They traditionally speak their own variety of Arabic in addition to Greek...

  • Cypriot Maronite Arabic Swadesh List

External links

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