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William J. Fulco, S.J. (born February 24, 1936) is a Jesuit priest and National Endowment for the Humanities Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California in the United States.
He was hired to translate the dialogues for The Passion of the Christ into a hypothetical reconstructed form of Aramaic, the Aramaic that Jesus spoke, making him one of the few professional historical linguists specializing in the production (or more precisely translation) of texts in unattested or poorly attested languages known to have existed, with a focus on the needs of the movie industry. Fulco does not reconstruct grammars (open generative structures) of poorly attested or unattested language forms known to have existed, he reconstructs finite texts in such language forms and the reconstruction is limited to the necessities of the production of such texts. His reconstructed Aramaic used in the film incorporated elements of the Biblical Aramaic of the Book of Daniel, fourth-century Syriac, and Hebrew. Fulco has also worked on such films as The Nativity Story and Constantine.
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