Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Spoken in Cyprus
Total speakers 1,300 (1995)[1]
Language family Afro-Asiatic
  West Semitic
   Central Semitic
    South Central Semitic
      Cypriot Maronite Arabic
Writing system Arabic alphabet
Official status
Official language in none
Regulated by none
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 acy

Cypriot Maronite Arabic (also known as Cypriot Arabic, Maronite, or Sanna) is one of the most divergent of Arabic varieties, spoken in Cyprus, especially by the Maronite community. Most speakers are situated in the capital, Nicosia, but others are located in Kormakiti and Limassol. The majority of speakers are over 30 years of age,[2] as many in the younger generations only speak Cypriot Greek, partially because of inter-marriage with Greek-speaking Cypriots.[3] The language was first introduced to the island by Arab Maronites fleeing Lebanon or Syria in the 8th century. The dialect of Arabic has been very heavily influenced by Greek in both phonology and vocabulary, while retaining certain unusually archaic features in other respects.


  1. Ethnologue entry
  2. Raymond G. Gordon, Jr,, ed (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (15th edition ed.). Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics. .
  3. Haji Roussos, Antonis, "The Maronite community of Cyprus", The Journal of Maronite Studies


  • Ethnologue entry for Cypriot Arabic
  • Alexander Borg. A Comparative Glossary of Cypriot Maronite Arabic (Arabic-English). Brill 2004. ISBN 90 04 13198 1
  • Alexander Borg. Cypriot Arabic Phonology. In Kaye, Alan S., editor, Phonologies of Asia and Africa (including the Caucasus), volume 1, chapter 15, pp. 219--244. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 1997. ISBN 1-57506-017-5
  • 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 Morgenländische Gesellschaft, 1985. ISBN 3515039996
  • Tsiapera, M. A Descriptive Analysis of Cypriot Maronite Arabic, The Hague: Mouton & Co., N.V., 1969.

See also

External links

Template:Varieties of ArabicTemplate:AfroAsiatic-lang-stub Template:Cyprus-stub

als:Kormakiti ar:لهجة عربية قبرصية br:Arabeg Kiprenezhr:Cipriotski arapski ko:키프로스 마론파 아랍어 ru:Кипрско-арабский язык th:ภาษาอาหรับมาโรไนต์

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