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Julia G. Krivoruchko


The article presents fourteen case studies of the Judeo-Greek lexemes of Hebrew and Aramaic origin that have passed into the dialects and sub-standard sociolects of Modern Greek, and aims at improving their lexicological and etymological analysis. Starting with a brief description of the sources, it continues with a reconstruction of the semantic development of Hebrew/Aramaic loanwords and their derivatives on the background of typological parallels from other Jewish and non-Jewish languages.

Lea Schäfer


This article shows what we can learn from Vienna Jewish cabaret, so-called Jargontheater ‘jargon theater’ and the language situation of Vienna Jews at the end of the 19th century. By analyzing one of the most popular plays of this genre, we can see how structures from Yiddish dialects fused with Viennese German and what may have caused ‘Vienna Jewish speech,’ a Judeo-German city variety in the First Austrian Republic (1920s and 1930s).

Yishai Neuman


Oral transmission of the Tannaitic Hebrew double genitive vocative ribbono šella‘olam ‘Master of the Universe’ maintains the definite article in the Hebrew component of two ancient Jewish vernaculars: Jewish Neo-Aramaic and Judeo-Arabic in Djerba. The textual transmission of the phrase, changed it graphemically from the Tannaitic original רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁלָּעוֹלָם into medieval רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם. The new spelling was the source of its final formation in Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish, without the definite article. The decategorialization of this double genitive phrase from a theocentric vocative to a semantically bleached interjection in these Jewish languages, especially Yiddish, was the point of departure for its meaning and pragmatic function in nascent spoken Modern Hebrew, as evidence from Mendele’s bilingual oeuvre indicates. It may be tentatively proposed that further grammaticalization and broadening of this substrate component structure-function pairing may have led to the emergence of a new category of analogically constructed discourse markers in Modern Hebrew.

Habib Borjian


This article studies the native language of the Isfahani Jewish community. A description of the provenance of the community is followed by the sociolinguistic situation in the diaspora. The language description includes phonology and morphosyntax, with an emphasis on poorly studied features. The article is supplemented with texts and a glossary. The data was collected in Isfahan and from the diaspora community in New York City.

Dov Cohen and Ora (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald


It is commonly accepted that Hilkhot Sheḥiṭa u-Vdika (literally, ‘The Laws of Ritual Slaughter and Examination’—Constantinople ca. 1510) was the first publication ever printed in Judeo-Spanish. Yet scholars possessed no evidence that the work actually existed, and no information was available regarding its contents or language. Recently, however, the first four pages of the publication were discovered among the remnants of the Cairo Genizah. The current study is a preliminary description of this publication’s historical bibliography, halakhic sources, structure and contents, orthography and spelling (which reflect untrained writing and inconsistent pronunciation), and its special vocabulary, including the Hebrew component, which specifically relates to religion.

Gabi Abramac


The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (1992) seeks to protect and promote regional and minority languages in Europe. The objectives and principles defined by the Charter include the recognition of regional and minority languages as cultural assets. The Charter also commits the signatories to promote the study of, and research on, regional and minority languages. Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the Charter in 2005 and officially ratified it in 2010, applying it to seventeen regional and minority languages including Ladino and Yiddish. This paper examines the disparity between the obligations entered into and the actual state of affairs. It also investigates the linguistic repertoire and language ideologies of the Jewish community in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the extent and nature of its interest in revitalizing Ladino.

Tamari Lomtadze and Reuven Enoch


The Judeo-Georgian language has not yet been fully studied. Up to the end of the 20th century, only religion, traditions, and customs had been considered key identity markers of Georgian Jews. The first comprehensive scholarly works relating to Judeo-Georgian appeared at the turn of the century. This article builds on previous research on the speech varieties of Georgian Jews. The purpose of the present article is to demonstrate that alongside religion, customs, traditions, and culture, language was one of the main identity markers of the Jews in Georgia. The variety of Georgian spoken by the Jews differed from standard Georgian in prosodic (intonational), grammatical, and lexical features. The sociocultural and ethnolinguistic distinctiveness of their speech was reflected primarily in the use of Hebraisms.

Bryan Kirschen


This study implements the Leipzig-Jakarta list as a word-elicitation task among speakers (n=20) of Judeo-Spanish in South Florida. Data demonstrate that while entirely different lexemes may be used to express similar meanings for a given token, variation is most demonstrable through phonological processes. An analysis of responses (n=2,000) reveals variation and innovation in the production of vowels (mid-vowel raising, apheresis, prothesis), consonants (de/voicing or palatalization of sibilants, preservation of etymological f–, metathesis), and stress (proparoxytonic vs. oxytonic). Data also reveal that of the basic lexicon in Judeo-Spanish (e.g., function words, body parts, living creatures, etc.), only 5% is of non-Hispanic origin. In addition, this study examines the sociolinguistic organization of Sephardim in South Florida, accounting for the vitality and endangerment of Judeo-Spanish in this diasporic community, while also exemplifying the linguistic ramifications of contact with other languages.