A Conversational Text in the Neo-Mandaic Dialect of Ahvaz

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Hezy Mutzafi



Neo-Mandaic is among the rarest and most seriously endangered languages of the world. Two extant Neo-Mandaic dialects, those of the cities of Ahvaz and Khorramshahr in southwestern Iran, are spoken by a few hundred adherents of Mandaeism, an indigenous gnostic religion of Lower Mesopotamia. Previous transcribed texts in the dialect of Ahvaz mostly deal with Mandaean culture and include Classical Mandaic vocables that are not used in the vernacular. The present annotated text is entirely colloquial, being a sample of daily speech amongst speakers of the dialect and reflecting a typical conversation between two Neo-Mandaic speakers in a situation where one is receiving his relative as a guest. It is, moreover, the first Neo-Mandaic text that involves a female informant.

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