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Spanish, Hebrew Loanwords in

(2,641 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
The Jewish communities of medieval Spain were among the most productive and influential in Europe. Documents preserved from those communities demonstrate that Iberian Jews employed numerous Hebraisms in their Ibero-Romance vernaculars, at least in writing. Among their descendants, the written as well as oral use of Hebraisms is widely documented in the Judezmo (Judeo-Spanish) of the Ottoman Empire and Ḥaketía of North Africa into the modern era. And yet, unlike the Hebraisms employed in the lang…

Judeo-Spanish (Judezmo), Hebrew Component in

(4,459 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
In medieval Iberia the Jews used Hebrew, and to a lesser degree Aramaic, as their primary languages of liturgy, high-level rabbinical writing, and communal record-keeping. In Muslim Spain they commonly spoke and wrote Judeo-Arabic. Perhaps from as early as the 11th century, as parts of Iberia under Muslim domination were retaken by Ibero-Romance-speaking Christians, Judeo-Arabic-speaking Jews in those regions judaized the Ibero-Romance—primarily Castilian—they had adopted as their everyday langu…

Turkish Influence on Hebrew in the Ottoman Empire

(922 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
At the end of the 15th century, one way in which the Sephardim who arrived in the Ottoman Empire after the expulsions from Iberia began to acclimate themselves in their new home was by acquiring some familiarity with Turkish—the official language of the Ottoman administration and that of the empire’s Turkish Muslim population, as well as the principal lingua franca enabling communication between members of the empire’s linguistically diverse minorities. From the rabbinical responsa in Hebrew as …

Diglossia: Medieval and Modern Hebrew

(1,632 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
In both the Middle Ages and the modern era, varieties of Hebrew existed in states of diglossia (Ferguson 1959) with other varieties of Hebrew, as well as in states of ‘out-diglossia’ (Kloss 1966) or ‘extended diglossia’ (Fishman 1967) with Jewish Diaspora languages. 1. Biblical and Other Varieties of Hebrew Throughout medieval and modern Jewish history, the text of the Bible was read and studied in synagogues and study halls. The Torah in particular was chanted in each community according to its interpretation of the Masoretic טעמים ṭeʿamim ‘accents’, which were included in medie…

Judezmo and Slavic

(7 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
forthcomingDavid M. Bunis
Date: 2020-12-23


(2,967 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
Jüdische Sprache, die sich im mittelalterlichen Spanien durch Kontakt zwischen Juden, iberoromanischen Spaniern und arabischsprachigen Mauren entwickelte ( Sepharad). Nach der Vertreibung der Juden von der Iberischen Halbinsel 1492 verbreitete sich ihre Sprache im Osmanischen Reich, in den Ländern Nordafrikas und anderen islamischen Ländern sowie in Teilen Europas. Infolge innerer Entwicklungen und durch den Einfluss der in den neuen Siedlungsgebieten geläufigen Landessprachen entfernte sie sich zusehends von ihrem spanischen Ursprung. 1. Sprachbezeichnungen Mit der…


(2,930 words)

Author(s): Bunis, David M.
A Jewish language that developed in medieval Spain as a result of contact between Jews, Ibero-Romance-speaking Spaniards, and Arabic-speaking Moors (Sepharad). After the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, their language spread to the Ottoman Empire, North-African and other Islamic lands, and to parts of Europe. As a result of internal developments and the influence of languages native to these new settlement areas, it became markedly different from its Spanish origin. 1. Names for the languageWith the diffusion of the Jews outside of Spain, their I…
Date: 2020-05-12