- Saturday, September 14 2013, 4:53:03 (UTC)|
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It's an evasion to say we don;t have enough facts to form intelligent theories or even opinions based on what we do know, filling in the blanks with our best reasoning powers.
The argument made by Frye, Parpola and others that Aramaic is "similar" to Akkadian and hence Aramaic is really the "same as" Akkadian and since we know that Akkadian was the language of the ancient Assyrians, therefore it somehow follows that Aramaic is the language of the modern assyrians, is silly.
Certainly there are loan-words, as there are among many languages...hell, Portuguese is VERY similar to Spanish, but I don;t see any of either group switching languages or dropping one in favor of the other because they are "similar". The Spanish word for white is "blanco"...in Portuguese it's "branco". Could they BE any more "similar"? Yet which Spaniard will give up his version just because it's so close to the Portugeuse...so, "what's the big deal"?
It IS a big deal because pride is involved, and history and culture and continuity....a woman doesn;t leave her lover for a new one because the new one is "similar" to the old one...usually she leaves only if he is NOT similar.
If Akkadian and Aramaic were similar, why the hell would Assyrians give up Akkadaian completely and Arameans NOT adopt Akkadian? especially when you consider that the Assyrians defeated the Arameans. Why would the winners adopt anything belonging to the losers? Where's the racial pride in that?
Unless. Unless Aramaic was SO different from Akkadian that it's obvious advantages and superiority made it too attractive and sensible to ignore.
That's one clue. Also that besides the Assyrians, the Babylonians, Hebrews, Egyptians, Hittites and who knows who else, all adopted Aramaic....why? Why would independent kingdoms all adopt the language of another people? Obviously because that language was so DIFFERENT, in many good ways, than their own.
The Arameans and Assyrians were mortal foes, fighting wars for 300 years until the Arameans were finally defeated and absorbed....how could their languages have been "similar"? And besides, just comparing the two you quickly see just how different they were.
To learn to read and write Akkadian took a lifetime of study...few people mastered it and among kings only Ashurbanipal managed it, as he brags. It was not easy to do...there were hundreds of combinations in cuneiform...but Aramaic had 20 some letters....not hundreds of combinations of scratches...cuneiform served its purpose for a long time, but Aramaic was a more compact, superior, language, easy to master and everyone in the ancient world took to it...because it was DIFFERENT, significantly different, or else they wouldn't have bothered.
What further damns this notion and raises questions about Assyrians "surviving" in any meaningful sense, is that they apparently forgot to translate their rich history and mythology and medicine texts and so on, into their new language of Aramaic. How could that be? If they indeed remembered, why didn't they remember to translate their heritage and pass it down? Why did they let all those texts in Ashurbanipal's library fall to ruin and be buried for centuries, forgotten to all?
And, finally, to put the nail in this coffin once and for all, what do our parents tell the children they take to live in foreign countries? Don't they all say.."don't ever forget your language or you will FORGET WHO YOU ARE"! What they don;t realize as they say this is that it already happened, long ago. Long ago the Assyrians forgot their language and with it any memory of who they had been...not until the Euros dug up the cuneiform texts and deciphered the language that none of us, or anyone else, could read did the world, and we, discover the ancient Assyrians in depth...till then we, and everyone else, only knew what the bible said of the Assyrians....
How come the Jews, using the same Aramaic, kept their ancient mythology, history and religion and even taught it to US...but we forgot ours? If Akkadian is "similar" to Aramaic, how did we forget that vast treasure of history written in an Akkadian language, so "similar" to Aramaic?
Just look at the script of each language and you'll see how different they are.
The ancient Assyrians did what our parents warn us not to do...they forgot their mother tongue and on top of that didn;t even bother to translate their ancient history into their new language...and the result was the same as what our parents warn us today...they FORGOT who they were...as our children do when they forget their Aramaic.
....you can form opinions and theories without waiting for or knowing "all the facts"...but not very good ones if you are determined ahead of time to MAKE things come out the way you want them to....if you do it honestly, without an axe to grind or a dog in the fight, but just for the knowledge, for the best "truth" you can get...you can do a pretty good job of it....but not the way Taco and the rest do it.
They don't think...they just chant.
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