This lengthy article (93 pp.) together with Prof. M. Sokoloff on the subject of bilingualism in Babylonia critically reviews each of the 282 Akkadian words established by Von Soden as Aramaic loans and which have gained almost canonical status. Sokoloff mainly dealt with the Aramaic aspect and I with the Akkadian one. The strength of the article lies not only in its thorough and sound reassessment of von Soden's proposals from both the Aramaic and Akkadian perspective, but also in the clear definition of the criteria that we used to determine when a word should be considered a loan. We argue that of the 282 previously proposed Aramaic loanwords in Akkadian only a relatively small number should be accepted, since only 43 certainly and 42 possibly are loanwords. In other words, Aramaic only randomly influenced the Akkadian vocabulary. Akkadian, on the other hand, significantly influenced the Aramaic vocabulary and many Akkadian loanwords appear in Aramaic, as the studies of St. Kaufman and others amply show. The role Aramaic may have played in the death of Akkadian must be assessed on the basis of these new findings.
The authors would like to add as follows:
In a message that was posted March 21st, 2013 on the Agade mailing list the AfO redaction apologized “for the monstrous delay in publication”. In fact, we concluded our research on the Aramaic loanwords in Akkadian in 2006 and sent our manuscript to AfO in Januari 2007.