World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Languages of Iraq

Article Id: WHEBN0014766384
Reproduction Date:

Title: Languages of Iraq  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Languages of Asia, Economy of Iraq, Languages of Kazakhstan, Koreanic languages, Languages of Brunei
Collection: Languages of Iraq
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Languages of Iraq

Languages of Iraq
Official languages (Standard) Arabic, Kurdish, Syriac-Aramaic, Armenian
Main languages Mesopotamian Arabic
Regional languages Syriac-Aramaic, South Azeri ("Turkmen" in the constitution)[1]
Minority languages Neo-Aramaic languages, Armenian, South Azeri
Main foreign languages English
Sign languages Iraqi Sign Language

There are a number of languages spoken in Iraq, but Mesopotamian Arabic (Iraqi Arabic) is by far the most widely spoken in the country.

Contents

  • Contemporary languages 1
    • Official languages 1.1
  • History 2
  • References 3

Contemporary languages

Arabic is the majority language, Kurdish is spoken by approximately 15-20% of the population, South Azeri (called Turkmen locally),[2] Neo-Aramaic languages and others by 5%.[3] Other smaller minority languages include Mandaic, Shabaki, Armenian, and Persian.

Arabic, Kurdish, Persian, and South Azeri are written with versions of the Arabic script, the Neo-Aramaic languages in the Syriac script and Armenian is written in the Armenian script.

Official languages

Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages,[4] while Assyrian Neo-Aramaic and South Azeri (referred to as respectively "Syriac" and "Turkmen" in the constitution) are recognized regional languages.[5] In addition, any region or province may declare other languages official if a majority of the population approves in a general referendum.[6]

History

The language with the longest recorded period of use in Iraq is Aramaic, which has a written tradition dating back for 3200 years or more and survives today in its descendants, the Neo-Aramaic languages.

The earliest recorded languages of Iraq were Sumerian and Akkadian (including ancient Assyrian-Babylonian). These languages are now extinct. Sumerian was displaced by Akkadian by 1700 BCE, and Akkadian was displaced by Aramaic gradually, from 1200 BCE to 100 CE. Sumerian and Akkadian (including all Assyrian and Babylonian dialects) were written in the cuneiform script from 3300 BCE onwards. The latest positively identified Akkadian text comes from the first century CE.[7]

References

  1. ^ Ethnologue; David Dalby. 1999/2000. The Linguasphere Register of the World's Languages and Speech Communities (Observatoire Linguistique), p. 346
    Hendrik Boeschoten. 1998. "The Speakers of Turkic Languages," The Turkic Languages, ed. Lars Johanson and Éva Ágnes Csató, Routledge, pp. 1–15, see p. 5
  2. ^ Constitution of Iraq.
  3. ^ "Iraq, CIA World Factbook". CIA. 31 July 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 (1st)
  5. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 (4th)
  6. ^ Constitution of Iraq, Article 4 (5th)
  7. ^ John Huehnergard and Christopher Woods, 2004 "Akkadian and Eblaite", The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World's Ancient Languages ISBN 0521562562, p. 218.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.