Jewish Languages in Historical Perspective

Editor: Lily Kahn
Jewish Languages in Historical Perspective is devoted to the diverse array of spoken and written language varieties that have been employed by Jews in the Diaspora from antiquity until the twenty-first century. It focuses on the following five key themes: Jewish languages in dialogue with sacred Jewish texts, Jewish languages in contact with the co-territorial non-Jewish languages, Jewish vernacular traditions, the status of Jewish languages in the twenty-first century, and theoretical issues relating to Jewish language research. This volume includes case studies on a wide range of Jewish languages both historical and modern and devotes attention to lesser known varieties such as Jewish Berber, Judeo-Italian, and Karaim in addition to the more familiar Aramaic, Judeo-Arabic, Yiddish, and Ladino.

"On top of Brill’s Journal of Jewish Languages and a number of recent publications providing systematic overviews of Jewish languages as well as related theoretical discussions, this volume is a valuable addition to the increasing interest in Jewish languages and linguistics."
-Wout van Bekkum, Groningen, Bibliotheca Orientalis LXXVI 3-4 (2019)

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Lily Kahn, Ph.D. (2008), UCL, is Reader in Hebrew and Jewish Languages at UCL. Publications include A Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale (Brill, 2015) and Handbook of Jewish Languages, co-edited with Aaron D. Rubin (Brill, 2016).
Notes on the Contributors

Lily Kahn

Part 1: Jewish Languages and Sacred Texts

1 The Aramaic of the Zohar: The Status Quaestionis
Alinda Damsma
2 Translation of the Tanakh into Crimean Karaim: History, Manuscripts, and Language
Henryk Jankowski

Part 2: Jewish Languages in Contact

3 Single-Script Mixed-Code Literary Sources from the Cairo Genizah and Their Sociolinguistic Context
Meira Polliack
4 Yiddish in the Hungarian Setting
Szonja Ráhel Komoróczy

Part 3: Jewish Vernacular Traditions

5 Jewish Berber: A Brief Linguistic Sketch
Rachid Ridouane
6 Modern Judeo-Italian in the Light of Italian Dialectology and Jewish Interlinguistics through Three Case Studies: Judeo-Mantuan, Judeo-Venetian, and Judeo-Livornese
Maria Maddalena Colasuonno

Part 4: The Status of Jewish Languages in the Twenty-First Century

7 Mind the Gap! The Schism between Perceptions of the Yiddish Language and Yiddish Cultural Realities
Helen Beer
8 Ladino: Past and Present
Hilary Pomeroy

Part 5: Theoretical Approaches to Jewish Languages

9 Judeo-Arabic Language or Jewish Arabic Sociolect? Linguistic Terminology between Linguistics and Ideology
Esther-Miriam Wagner
10 Jewish Languages and Their Typology: Issues and Models
Frank Alvarez-Pereyre

All interested in the history or use of Jewish languages or minority languages, and language contact in general.