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In his early article on the , Kutscher used this linguistic shift, and many others like it, to determine the date of that scroll as being around the turn of the Common Era.Major points of comparison – or chronological anchors – for Kutscher were the earlier Aramaic of Daniel, and the later Aramaic of Targum Onqelos to the Pentateuch, between which he placed the .The cache of Aramaic literature that gradually emerged from the caves near Qumran provides us with an important new window onto Judaism of the Second Temple period.Some of these scrolls furnished early, original-language witnesses to books about which we had previously known only through later translations – for example, ).For Aramaic, this phenomenon is nicely illustrated by which form of the relative pronoun is used in a text.In our oldest Aramaic works, the relative pronoun was זי.

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Hundreds of other examples of this phenomenon may now be adduced from the Qumran texts, though it is important to stress that these changes seem to have taken place within a relatively fixed range of diversity.From that single article this sub-field has matured over nearly six decades to include such tools as reference grammars of Qumran Aramaic by Ursula Schattner-Rieser (2004) and Takamitsu Muraoka (2011), and Edward Cook’s recent (2015).Many articles, doctoral dissertations, and monographs can be found dedicated to the topic of Qumran Aramaic from researchers working in Israel, Europe, North America, and elsewhere.However, at some point the initial zayin shifted to a harder, dental sound and was replaced with a dalet, resulting in די.Eventually, something else happened to this word: It became optional to use a shortened form ד־, which was prefixed to the following word.

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