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Portuguese, Hebrew Loanwords in

(248 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Portuguese as distinct from the specifically Jewish variant known as Judeo-Portuguese, has no loanwords borrowed directly from Hebrew. As in many European languages, Biblical Greek functioned as an intermediary for the integration of Jewish or Hebrew Kulturwörter. Such words as sábado ‘Saturday’ and maná ‘manna’ are adaptations of Hebrew שַׁבָּת šå̄bbaṯ and מָן må̄n, respectively, through the mediation of Biblical Greek σάββατον and μάννα and Biblical Latin sabbatum and manna. Other words, like perícopa (or perícope) ‘reading section’ and ázimo ‘unleavened bread’ are calque-…

Lingua Franca: In the Mediterranean

(1,297 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Lingua Franca refers to the pidgin language used for trade throughout the Mediterranean during medieval and early modern times. The language incorporated elements from Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Greek, Turkish, and Arabic—with an occasional Hebrew element, e.g., the verb malsinar ‘to slander’, from Hebrew מַלְשִׁין malšin ‘slanderer’. The subject of Lingua Franca in the Mediterranean has enjoyed renewed interest, because it includes such fashionable concepts as hybridization, variationism, extra-European linguistics, and heteroglossia …

French Loanwords

(586 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Most of the French loanwords in Modern Hebrew have in fact been mediated by other languages: Yiddish, Russian, German, and English. This may be due to the fact that the revival of Hebrew occurred far from areas where French was used as a spoken or reference language. In the Russian Empire at the time of the Haskalah, knowledge of French was a status symbol among the aristocratic ruling classes, but in general not among the Jews. The hegemonic languages to which Eastern European Jews were exposed…

Romanian, Hebrew Loanwords in

(592 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Although Jews have lived in Romania since at least the 14th century, to the best of our knowledge they at no time evolved a distinct Judeo-Romanian dialect or language, even after the creation of Romania as a political entity in 1859. Before this date, Romanian was an ethnic rather than national language; this explains why the Jews, who were one component of the region’s ethnic mosaic, did not identify with this language. Moreover, in the sovereign state of Romania Jews were granted citizenship …

Judeo-Alsatian, Hebrew Component in

(642 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Judeo-Alsatian is a peripheral form of Western Yiddish (Zuckerman 1969) in a Low Alemannic dialectal area. It was spoken in the Alsatian countryside until approximately 1930, and (scarce) documentation on the language goes back to the 18th century. Alsatian Jews led a traditional and very pious way of life, which may explain the many Kulturwörter from the realm of religion in their language. However, these words were adapted to the specific Alsatian tradition of pronouncing the ‘holy tongue’ (see below) in Alsace, as well as to the specific phoneti…

Judeo-Slavic, Hebrew Component in

(621 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
Judeo-Slavic, the language(s) of the Slavic-speaking Jews who lived in Eastern Europe before the arrival of the Ashkenazim at the end of the Middle Ages, has been completely absorbed by Yiddish, the language of the newcomers. The only way to reconstruct Judeo-Slavic is to analyze the Slavic component of Eastern Yiddish, a language which is probably the result of the encounter between immigrants from Germany and local Slavic-speaking Jews. It is therefore very difficult to identify the Hebrew component of the extinct Judeo-Slavic, a language which may not have dif…

Latin Influence on Hebrew

(616 words)

Author(s): Aslanov, Cyril
In the Roman period a small number of Latin loanwords entered Hebrew, through the mediation of Greek (Krauss 1898–1899), for example: טירון ṭiron ‘beginner’ < Latin tiro (the final -ן -n of the Hebrew form is due perhaps to the Hellenized form τίρων tiron); מטרונית maṭronit ‘lady’ < Latin matrona (with an added Hebrew feminine suffix); ספסל sap̄sal ‘bench’ < Latin subsellium; טריקלין ṭriqlin or טרקלין ṭraqlin ‘salon’ < Latin triclinium; קופסה / קופסא qup̄sa ‘box’ < Latin capsa; and קרון qaron ‘cart’ < Latin carrum (accusative of carrus, probably through the mediation of the Greek a…