Probably the most divergent of all Arabic dialects is Cypriot Maronite Arabic, still spoken by most of the 130 elderly Maronite Catholics in Kormakiti (Korucam) in Northern Cyprus, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Brought to the island by Maronites fleeing Lebanon at least 700 years ago, this unique variety of Arabic has been very heavily influenced by Greek in both phonology and vocabulary, while retaining certain unusually archaic features in other respects.
Alexander Borg. A Comparative Glossary of Cypriot Maronite Arabic (Arabic-English). Brill 2004. (http://www.brill.nl/m_catalogue_sub6_id11385.htm)
Alexander Borg. Cypriot Arabic: A Historical and Comparative Investigation into the Phonology and Morphology of the Arabic Vernacular Spoken by the Maronites of Kormakiti Village in the Kyrenia District of North-Western Cyprus, Stuttgart: Deutsche Morgenlandische Gesellschaft, 1985.
Tsiapera, M. A Descriptive Analysis of Cypriot Maronite Arabic, The Hague: Mouton & Co., N.V., 1969.
The Spoken Arabic Dialect Of The Maronites Of Cyprus (http://www.cypnet.co.uk/ncyprus/people/cypmaronites/dialect.html), George Thomas 2000.
Categories: Arabic languages | Arab | Cyprus | Endangered languages
Maronites (Marunoye ܡܪܘܢܝܐܶ; in (Aramaic) Syriac, Mâruniyya مارونية in Arabic) are members of an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Little was heard from the Maronites for 400 years, as they quietly escaped the Muslim invasions in the mountains of Lebanon, until the Crusader Raymond of Toulouse discovered the Maronites in the mountains near Tripoli, Lebanon on his way to conquer Jerusalem.
The Maronites, because of their monastic origin, were able to withstand intense pressure and even persecution to preserve their Church, not just by the Muslims, but also by separated brethren such as the Orthodox and Churches of the East, as well as efforts at Latinization from Rome.
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