re: Aramaic

Another factor which does not seem to have been taken into account is the
very real possibility of a true multi-lingualism in which there is not one
mother tongue as most of us conceive of it for ourselves (those of us who
have one language unless we learn others in school or other formal
settings).  As has already been pointed out, there are many reasons for
code-switching, many (if not most) of which have little to do with how
well other people speak the language.  In multi-lingual societies where
everyone is expected to know several distinct codes, there are still
appropriate domains in which codes are or are not used.  (Incidentally,
code-switching also happens in monolingual societies--its just that the
codes are not quite so obviously distinct.) Thus the question may not be a
matter of which single language is "mother tongue" or which language is
more familiar or in which language one has greater proficiency.  It may be
rather a matter of which of the available codes is demanded by the social
situation.  It is not at all obvious how one might acquire data relevant
to addressing this issue for 1st century Palestine. 

Philip Graber
Emory University