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The Fable of the Beetle in Contemporary Aramaic and Kurmanji

In: Aramaic Studies
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  • 1 Rutgers UniversityDepartment of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL)USANew Brunswick, NJ
  • | 2 HSE UniversityFaculty of Humanities, Institute for Oriental and Classical StudiesRussian FederationMoscow
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Abstract

The fable of an insect and a mouse (or some other animal), who marry and embark on a life together, only to end in tragedy, is widely disseminated from the Mediterranean region to India. One version involving a beetle (Ṭuroyo keze, Kurmanji kêz) circulates throughout Anatolia and Iraq. The following Ṭuroyo and Kurmanji version was recorded during the 2020 summer field season of the Russian expedition to Ṭur Abdin in the village of Dērqube from a speaker of the Bequsyone dialect. She relates the narrative portions of the fable in Ṭuroyo, but switches to Kurmanji for its versified portions. In addition to the text and a translation, this study includes an interlinear glossing. It also discusses the motifs of the fable according to the standard classification scheme, as well as its relationship to other attested versions collected in various languages including Arabic, Kurmanji, and Turkish.

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