Everyday Communication in Medieval Russia
A Study of Variation and Change in the Modal Systems of World Englishes
Mohamed A. H. Ahmed
The main aim of this study is to introduce a model of TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) annotation of Hebrew elements in Judeo-Arabic texts, i.e., code switching (CS), borrowing, and Hebrew quotations. This article will provide an introduction to using XML (Extensible Markup Language) to investigate sociolinguistic aspects in medieval Judeo-Arabic texts. Accordingly, it will suggest to what extent using XML is useful for investigating linguistic and sociolinguistic features in the Judeo-Arabic paradigm. To provide an example for how XML annotation could be applied to Judeo-Arabic texts, a corpus of 300 pages selected from three Judeo-Arabic books has been manually annotated using the TEI P5. The annotation covers all instances of CS, borrowing, and Hebrew quotations in that corpus.
This article discusses the notion of ‘Jewish surnames,’ considering it to be synonymous to the expression ‘surnames borne by Jews.’ This can be particularly helpful if we want the definition to add real value for the search of etymologies. The article describes most important peculiarities of Jewish surnames, categories of names that are exclusively Jewish, and various cases when a surname is shared by both Jews and non-Jews. It shows that certain alternative definitions of the notion of ‘Jewish surnames’ (such as surnames found in all Jewish communities, surnames used by Jews only, surnames based on specifically Jewish linguistic elements) either have internal inconsistencies or are useless and sometimes misleading for the scientific analysis of the etymologies of these surnames.
The present article presents new findings related to Jewish Neo-Aramaic (JNA) innovations in the framework of North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA). The dialectal spectrum of JNA is so wide and variegated, that some geographically distant JNA varieties are markedly different from each other on all levels of language structure. Despite this great heterogeneity, the JNA dialects share supra-regional features that bind these varieties together to the exclusion of all, or the vast majority of, the Christian NENA (C.NENA) dialects. There appear to be no grounds, however, for a genetic classification of NENA into two principal branches, JNA and C.NENA. Distinct Jewish versus Christian NENA isoglosses have, rather, most plausibly emerged by gradual diffusion of innovations throughout NENA-speaking communities of the same confession (Jewish or Christian), while skipping geographically adjacent, but religiously distinct, NENA-speaking communities.
New Issues in the Study of Language Change
All contributions, written by leading experts in the fields of grammaticalization and discourse markers, explore issues such as: the impact of Construction Grammar into language change; cyclicity as a driving force of change; the importance of positions and discourse units as predictors of grammaticalization; a renewed way of thinking about philological considerations, or the role of Experimental Pragmatics for hypothesis checking.