Aziz Tezel

junior fellow
EURIAS cohort 2012/2013
discipline Linguistics

Research project

(i) Quadriradical Verbal Formations in Şūrayt/Ţūrōyo: Their Origin and Etymology; (ii) Foreign Words in Ţūrōyo: Their Origin and Etymology; (iii) Etymological Studies in the Names of Flora in Ţūrōyo


The project has the ūrayt/ ūrōyo language as its base. ūrayt/ ūrōyo is one of the few living Neo-Aramaic languages; hence its importance, for it is in a living language that one can follow the organic continuation of a language. ūrayt/ ūrōyo occupies the second place after North-eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) dialects in terms of number of speakers in the world. Like the other Neo-Aramaic languages, ūrayt/ ūrōyo is fighting for its existence. In its original home ūr‘ Abdīn, ūrayt/ ūrōyo is spoken only by a few thousand people today, leading thus a languishing life. Its speakers are instead scattered in the Diaspora, where the new generation ūrōyo-speaking people has lost much of the basic vocabulary of the language and is thus already semi-lingual. ūrayt/ ūrōyo belongs thus among the endangered languages in the world. Documenting the language and describing the constant changes it is undergoing worldwide are thus urgent tasks. Three current studies (i) Quadriradical Verbal Formations in ūrayt/ ūrōyo: Their Origin and Etymology; (ii) Foreign Words in ūrōyo: Their Origin and Etymology; (iii) Etymological Studies in the Names of Flora in ūrōyo will form the basis of my research project at the institute. Since all my research is carried out in a comparative context, including all the Semitic languages and non-Semitic languages in the region, each of these studies will make a valuable contribution not only to ūrayt/ ūrōyo but also to the other languages in the region. 



Aziz Tezel holds a Ph.D. in Semitic Languages from the Uppsala University. In 2005-2010 he was researcher in Semitic languages for a project from Swedish Research Council administered by Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Stockholm office.

Selected publications


‘The Turkish Lexical Influence on the Western Neo-Syriac (ūrōyo); a Primary Attempt with a Choice of Examples’, (article presented at the conference) Aramaic – the language of Jesus, Istanbul and Tur Abdin, 2004.


Comparative Etymological Studies in the Western Neo-Syriac (ūrōyo) Lexicon. With Special Reference to Homonyms, Related Words and Borrowings with Cultural Signification, Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, Studia Semitica Upsaliensia, vol.18, Uppsala, 2003.


Words of Syriac Origin in Arabic Dialects of bilād aš-Šām  presentation of sources and discussion of selected words, Uppsala, 1992. [in Swedish]


The home language situation of the assyrian schoolchildren in Sweden; history and inventory problems, Department of Education at the Stockholm Institute of Education, Stockholm, 1985. [in Swedish]


The education, task and activity field of the home-language teacher, Stockholm, 1984. [in Swedish]


The immigrant children and the language, Stockholm, 1983. [in Swedish]


senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2018/2019
Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)
discipline Southeast Asian Studies
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2014/2015
Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)
discipline Indian Philosophy and Intellectual History
senior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2013/2014
Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)
discipline Religious Studies
junior fellow
EURIAS promotion 2016/2017
Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS)
discipline History