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Abstract

This article presents vocabulary and approaches for expressing LGBTQ+ identities and practices, which derive from Jewish tradition used by queer Jews in the Seattle area. From thirty-four semi-structured interviews with affiliates of Seattle Jewish life, the authors identify eight tokens of queer Jewish English vocabulary, including multilingual wordplay used to construct new terms for queer concepts, the mechitza as a spatial idiom for transgender identity, and “Talmudic genders” being reclaimed as contemporary nonbinary identities. Additionally, queer Jews utilize a variety of approaches to navigate Hebrew, from formal efforts like the Nonbinary Hebrew Project to invoking low-proficiency-driven circumlocution. These approaches demonstrate that queer Jews draw on a range of linguistic and cultural resources to describe their identities and experiences, and the distribution of queer language reflects the continued challenge cis-heteronormatively gendered religious practices present for queer Jews and the corresponding need for queer Jewish vocabulary to make space within them.

In: Journal of Jewish Languages
Author: Marco Mancini

Abstract

This paper addresses the long-neglected question of the tradition of the conexiones, a tool of the Haggādic hermeneutics applied to the acronymic alphabetical order. A novel analysis of data from the Midrāšic literature and the onomastica sacra is provided and the principles underlying the conexiones-technique are explained. In addition, the paper clarifies the mechanisms by which the Fathers of the Church reused the Haggādic grid while readapting it to Christian contents.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages
Author: Michela Cennamo

Abstract

This article discusses the distribution of anticausativization strategies in Latin and one early Italian vernacular, Old Florentine, in light of the current debate on the role played by the event structure of verbs in determining argument realization. It is shown that the root (including also templatic entailments) and event structure template aspects of verb meaning play an important role in shaping the syntax of the anticausative alternation in Latin and Old Florentive, interacting with changes in the encoding of voice and argument structure in the transition from Latin to Romance.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages

Abstract

In this paper, we identify three patterns of verbal prefixation that are shared by ancient Greek and Latin, and explain them in a unitary model, in which valency change and actionality variation appear to be causally related. Moreover, we discuss the results of our study in relation to evidence from other ancient Indo-European languages and from modern Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages of Europe, in order to address the question of whether and how verbal prefixation in the languages of Europe can be related to contact phenomena, genetic inheritance or typologically natural tendencies. Finally, we propose an account in which verbal prefixation in ancient Greek and Latin is considered in relation to the categories of applicative and causative, here represented as gradients defined by the same parameters, which are manifested in different degrees.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages

Abstract

This paper analyzes the aspectual properties of direct perception complements in a comparative perspective. We will show that internal variation within the Indo-European family may offer relevant insights on the well-known typological and cognitive issue regarding the way perception involves aspectual and temporal features. Three languages, namely Greek, Latin and Middle Irish, will be discussed, which display slightly different morpho-syntactic strategies to represent visual perceptions. When one considers this kind of internal variation within the Indo-European family, the aspectual properties of perceived events appear to be very fine grained and differently encoded, despite the common morphological inheritance of the general structure.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages

Abstract

This article discusses epigraphic documents from the area of Nijmegen (Netherlands, Germania Inferior). They are investigated according to different methods, highlighting the need for a multi-factorial analysis that treats the evidence with contextual sensitivity, considering the writing material/object, the types of linguistic/graphemic features demonstrated and the possible backgrounds of the authors. This might help us understand levels of Latinization and which factors might have influenced linguistic choices. To achieve these results, evidence from theonyms, writing materials and phonological features is considered.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages
Author: Artemij Keidan

Abstract

The paper deals with a morpho-syntactic innovation shared by a group of IE languages: the grammaticalisation of the pronominal linkers in verbless relative NPs as markers of nominal dependency. Three goals are pursued: 1) defining a parametrised framework for a unified description of the highly variable outcomes that this pattern has produced in the historically attested languages (for the first time all collected together); 2) critically revising the existing partial assessments of this isogloss (starting from Benveniste, 1966), in order to exclude some languages whose data are too scarce or inconsistent (e.g. Hittite, Latin), and to reassess some other data under a new viewpoint (e.g. the two competing verbless relatives in Greek); 3) suggesting some possible new members of the isogloss by applying the parametrised approach to previously unnoticed data (e.g. Khotanese, Middle Indo-Aryan, Carian). In conclusion, after a typological comparison with a parallel development in some Semitic languages, an attempt is made to describe and explain the grammatical motivations that could have initiated this phenomenon.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages

Abstract

This paper investigates the Indo-European (IE) spatial Frames of Reference (FoRs) within the framework of Cognitive Linguistics. Previous studies on typology of spatial expressions have traditionally been based on the universal status of the egocentric or relative FoR found in modern IE languages, in which the relation between figure and ground is specified by the deictic observer’s viewpoint. However, if one takes a historical perspective, spatial cognition in ancient IE languages seems to be initially different from that found at a later stage. By investigating the contexts of use of spatial terms of front, behind, left, right in Vedic Sanskrit and Ancient Greek in a historical-comparative perspective, this paper shows that the egocentric relative FoR was not the primary orientation system. These languages made indeed use of the binary intrinsic FoR, as is expected in a typological perspective (Palmer, 2015), but also revealed traces of an absolute FoR. In fact, the close association between those spatial terms and east and west cardinal directions implies a projection of the front-back axis onto spatial relations according to the positions of the sun. These findings suggest that introducing a third entity like the deictic observer’s viewpoint was not necessary in the earlier coordinate systems, since i) the spatial grounds used in existing FoRs were not ‘unfeatured’ entities, and ii) the relationship between figure and ground was also defined by referring to fixed bearings, such as the positions of the sun.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages

Abstract

This paper aims at providing a very general overview of the written tradition of bi- or tri-lingual texts in many genres of the multilingual Hittite culture, on the one hand, and, on the other, on methodological debates concerning interplay and results of multilingualism. After sketching a typology of multilingualism considering the different expression of spoken vs written types, I here discuss, in the different contexts, the historical premises and the theoretical framework for multilingual and multidirectional contact.

In: Variation, Contact, and Reconstruction in the Ancient Indo-European Languages