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Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology
 9783110302271, 9783110302110

Table of contents :
Manuals of Romance Linguistics
List of abbreviations and symbols
0 Introduction
The languages of the Jews in the Latin West until the end of the 15th century
1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance
2 Judaeo-Portuguese
3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese
4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan
5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan
6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French
7 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Anglo-Norman
8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts
The Jews and the Romance languages in the modern era
9 Sephardic Bible translations
10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino
11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish
12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era
Judaeo-Spanish from the end of the 19th century until today
13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish
14 Judaeo-Spanish literature
15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish
16 Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish
17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish
18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish
19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish
20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon
List of contributors

Citation preview

Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology MRL 31

Manuals of Romance Linguistics Manuels de linguistique romane Manuali di linguistica romanza Manuales de lingüística románica

Edited by Günter Holtus and Fernando Sánchez-Miret

Volume 31

Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology Edited by Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

ISBN 978-3-11-030211-0 e-ISBN (PDF) 978-3-11-030227-1 e-ISBN (EPUB) 978-3-11-039415-3 Library of Congress Control Number: 2023932398 Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available on the internet at © 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston Cover image: © Marco2811/fotolia Typesetting: Integra Software Services Pvt. Ltd. Printing and binding: CPI books GmbH

Manuals of Romance Linguistics The international handbook series Manuals of Romance Linguistics (MRL) offers an extensive, systematic and state-of-the-art overview of linguistic research in the entire field of present-day Romance Studies. MRL aims to update and expand the contents of the two major reference works available to date: Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik (LRL) (1988–2005, vol. 1–8) and Romanische Sprachgeschichte (RSG) (2003–2008, vol. 1–3). It also seeks to integrate new research trends as well as topics that have not yet been explored systematically. Given that a complete revision of LRL and RSG would not be feasible, at least not in a sensible timeframe, the MRL editors have opted for a modular approach that is much more flexible: The series will include approximately 60 volumes (each comprised of approx. 400–600 pages and 15–30 chapters). Each volume will focus on the most central aspects of its topic in a clear and structured manner. As a series, the volumes will cover the entire field of present-day Romance Linguistics, but they can also be used individually. Given that the work on individual MRL volumes will be nowhere near as time-consuming as that on a major reference work in the style of LRL, it will be much easier to take into account even the most recent trends and developments in linguistic research. MRL’s languages of publication are French, Spanish, Italian, English and, in exceptional cases, Portuguese. Each volume will consistently be written in only one of these languages. In each case, the choice of language will depend on the specific topic. English will be used for topics that are of more general relevance beyond the field of Romance Studies (for example Manual of Language Acquisition or Manual of Romance Languages in the Media). The focus of each volume will be either (1) on one specific language or (2) on one specific research field. Concerning volumes of the first type, each of the Romance languages  – including Romance-based creoles  – will be discussed in a separate volume. A particularly strong focus will be placed on the smaller languages (linguae minores) that other reference works have not treated extensively. MRL will comprise volumes on Friulian, Corsican, Galician, among others, as well as a Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology. Volumes of the second type will be devoted to the systematic presentation of all traditional and new fields of Romance Linguistics, with the research methods of Romance Linguistics being discussed in a separate volume. Dynamic new research fields and trends will yet again be of particular interest, because although they have become increasingly important in both research and teaching, older reference works have not dealt with them at all or touched upon them only tangentially. MRL will feature volumes dedicated to research fields such as Grammatical Interfaces, Youth Language Research, Urban Varieties, Computational Linguistics, Neurolinguistics, Sign Languages or Forensic Linguistics. Each volume will offer a structured and informative, easy-to-read overview of the history of research as well as of recent research trends.


 Manuals of Romance Linguistics

We are delighted that internationally renowned colleagues from a variety of Romance-speaking countries and beyond have agreed to collaborate on this series and take on the editorship of individual MRL volumes. Thanks to the expertise of the volume editors responsible for the concept and structure of their volumes, as well as for the selection of suitable authors, MRL will not only summarize the current state of knowledge in Romance Linguistics, but will also present much new information and recent research results. As a whole, the MRL series will present a panorama of the discipline that is both extensive and up-to-date, providing interesting and relevant information and useful orientation for every reader, with detailed coverage of specific topics as well as general overviews of present-day Romance Linguistics. We believe that the series will offer a fresh, innovative approach, suited to adequately map the constant advancement of our discipline. Günter Holtus (Lohra/Göttingen) Fernando Sánchez-Miret (Salamanca) February 2023

Contents List of abbreviations and symbols 


Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg 0 Introduction   1

The languages of the Jews in the Latin West until the end of the 15th century Cyril Aslanov 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance  Devon L. Strolovitch 2 Judaeo-Portuguese 



Laura Minervini 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese  Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 


Cyril Aslanov 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan 


Julia Zwink 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French  David A. Trotter (†) 7 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Anglo-Norman  Michael Ryzhik 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 





The Jews and the Romance languages in the modern era F. Javier Pueyo Mena 9 Sephardic Bible translations 


F. Javier Pueyo Mena 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 




Laura Minervini 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish  Marcello Aprile 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era 



Judaeo-Spanish from the end of the 19th century until today Aldina Quintana 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish  Amor Ayala 14 Judaeo-Spanish literature 


Rafael D. Arnold 15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish 


Aitor García Moreno 16 Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish  Aldina Quintana 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish  Aldina Quintana 18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish  Aitor García Moreno 19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish  Haralambos Symeonidis 20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon  List of contributors  Index 









List of abbreviations and symbols ACA acc. AD adj. A.I.U. And. Angl.-Nor. approx. Ar. Aram. BnF Bul. c C c. CAHJP CE cf. Cl. Ar. cod. comp cons. cs def. art. ed. edd. e.g. esp. et al. etc. F f. fem. ff. Fig. fn. Fr. fut G ger. Gr. Heb. ibid. id. i.e. imp impf.

Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó accusative anno Domini adjective Alliance Israélite Universelle Andalusi, Andalusian Anglo-Norman approximately Arabic Aramaic Bibliothèque nationale de France Bulgarian circa consonant(al) century Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People Christian Era confer/conferatur Classical Arabic codex complementizer consonant construct state definite article editor editors exempli gratia/for example especially et alii/et aliae/et alia et cetera feminine folio feminine folios Figure footnote French future gender gerund Greek Hebrew ibidem idem id est/that is imperative imperfect


 List of abbreviations and symbols

ind. inf int ipfv It. J.-Aless. J.-Fer. J.-Flo. J.-Lat. J.-Liv. J.-Lugh. J.-Mant. J.-Mod. J.-Pie. J.-Pitigl. J.-Regg. J.-Rmc. J.-Sp. J.-Triest. J.-Tur. J.-Ver. J.-Vnz. JTS Lat. l.c. lit. M masc. Mod. Sp. Ms. M. Sp. Mss. N neut. O. Cat. O. Fr. O. It. O. Occ. O. Port. O. Sp. p. perf. pers. pfv pl./pl PN Port. pp. pres./pres

indicative infinitive interrogative particle imperfective Italian Judaeo-Alessandrino Judaeo-Ferrarese Judaeo-Florentine Judaeo-Latin Judaeo-Livornese Judaeo-Lughese Judaeo-Mantuan Judaeo-Modenese Judaeo-Piedmontese Judaeo-Pitiglianese Judaeo-Reggiano Judaeo-Romanesco Judaeo-Spanish Judaeo-Triestine Judaeo-Turinese Judaeo-Veronese Judaeo-Venetian Jewish Theological Seminary Latin loco citato/in the place cited literally masculine masculine Modern Spanish manuscript Medieval Spanish manuscripts number neuter Old Catalan Old French Old Italian Old Occitan Old Portuguese Old Spanish page perfect person perfective plural person-number Portuguese pages present

List of abbreviations and symbols 

pret ptcp r refl Rom. s. sbjv Serb. sg./sg Sp. ss. subj. s.v. TAM trans. Turk. TV v v. v./V viz. vol. vs. vv.

preterite participle recto reflexive pronoun Romanian et sequens/and the following subjunctive Serbian singular Spanish et sequentes, et sequentia/and the following subjunctive sub voce/under the specified entry tense-aspect-mood translator Turkish thematic vowel verso verse vowel/vocalic videlicet/namely volume, volumes versus verses

1 2 3

first person second person third person

~ < > = ≙ : ← →

coexisting etymologically derived from etymologically evolved to clitisized corresponds to contrasting with phonologically/morphologically derived from phonologically/morphologically evolved to


Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

0 Introduction

1 Aims and scope of this volume This volume of the series Manuals of Romance Linguistics offers a broad panorama of linguistic varieties and texts, historical and linguistic descriptions, and research histories related to the use of Romance languages and dialects by the Jews from the Middle Ages to the present time. Although the focus lies on linguistic descriptions, it goes far beyond the field of linguistics, as it also covers the study of literary and non-literary texts, importantly including the analysis and edition of manuscripts. While this motivates the part of the title that reads “linguistics and philology,” the modifying term “Judaeo-Romance” reflects a long-standing terminological dilemma. We refer to the fact that the linguistic varieties and texts that can be classified as Judaeo-Romance have quite heterogeneous statuses: on the one hand, Judaeo-Spanish, that is, the language of the Sephardim that developed in the Diaspora after the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula ( 11  The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish), is a group of distinct varieties of Spanish, frequently classified as a language in its own right. On the other hand, the texts produced by Romance-speaking Jews in the Middle Ages ( 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance) do not present enough evidence to justify the existence of independent Jewish varieties of languages such as Italian, French, Occitan, Catalan, Spanish, or Portuguese. If we want to find a common point that could justify the term “Judaeo-Romance” for the latter, it would be the fact that they are almost exclusively written in Hebrew script. Yet another case are the many varieties called “Modern Judaeo-Italian” ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era) that have been spoken in the ghettos, which reflect the various Italian dialects and are distinguished above all by many specific lexemes, especially Hebraisms. In view of these facts, the designation “Judaeo-Romance languages” introduced by Blondheim in the 1920s (see Blondheim 1923; 1924; 1925; for further discussion, see

Acknowledgments: The idea to dedicate a volume of the MRL series to the Judaeo-Romance languages and varieties was first brought to us by Ulrike Krauß of the publishing house De Gruyter. We would like to express our thanks to her and to everyone at De Gruyter, especially Christine Henschel. We are very grateful to the coordinators of the MRL series, Günter Holtus and Fernando Sánchez-Miret, for accepting our proposal. The concept of this volume has been elaborated in close consultation with Laura Minervini and Aldina Quintana, to whom we would like to express our deepest gratitude. We appreciate the patience and dedication of all colleagues who have authored the individual chapters of our volume, thanking them for their valuable contributions. Finally, we thank Leston Buell, Rachael Garcia, and Frank Seemann for their accurate proofreading and helpful comments, as well as Isabel Schmidt, Nina Hildebrandt, Luisa Robrecht, and Luca Refrigeri for helping us with the editing process.


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

Section 2.2) and used in the seminal article by Sala (1998)1 is not conclusive. We have therefore decided on a broad definition of the compound adjective Judaeo-Romance in the sense of ‘Romance language or variety spoken and/or written by the Jews’ or ‘Romance texts in Hebrew characters.’ This implies that specific Jewish elements manifest themselves in different ways: for example by a distinctive part of the lexicon, by the use of the Hebrew alphabet, or – in the case of Judaeo-Spanish – by a linguistic system of its own, strongly shaped through a process of koineization of the different Ibero-Romance languages and varieties as well as through situations of language contact. In view of this background, we have opted for the title Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology. This title takes into account the fact that – as far as the Middle Ages are concerned  – it is mainly a question of textual documents in Hebrew characters, which must be examined via philological methods, whereas in other contexts, such as that of Judaeo-Spanish, the researcher’s task is rather to represent and analyze a linguistic system. Under these considerations, we found that a division of the volume into three parts was a reasonable way to proceed: Part I, The languages of the Jews in the Latin West until the end of the 15th century, covered by Chapters 1 through 8, focuses on Romance texts written by Jews during the Middle Ages, mostly in Hebrew characters. 1492, the emblematic year of the discovery of the Americas, considered by many as the end of the Middle Ages, is also the year that the Jews were expelled from the Crowns of Castile and Aragon, followed by expulsions from Portugal in 1497, and from Navarre in 1498. As a result of these excruciating events, the production of Ibero-Romance texts written in the Hebrew alphabet in the Iberian Peninsula came to an abrupt end, while this period marks the starting point of a flourishing Sephardic culture abroad, permitting Judaeo-Spanish to develop. The expulsion of the Jews from the Crowns of Castile and Aragon was mirrored in 1493 in Sicily, which was under Aragonese rule at that time (see Sierra 2007, 543), and in 1510 the Jews were expelled from the Kingdom of Naples, after it had become part of Spain in 1495 (see Toaff/DellaPergola/Rocca 2007, 776). This led to the end of a blossoming Jewish culture and text production. In France, Jewish text production had ended earlier, with the expulsion of 1394, which also included the Languedocian Jews of the territories that already belonged to the French royal domain at that time. The Jews of Provence were expelled in 1498, after it was incorporated into France. Only in the papal enclave of Comtat Venaissin could the Jews continue living, and they actually had a lively community until the 18th century (see Blumenkranz et al. 2007, 151–152). The Romance languages treated in Part I are Old Occitan, Old and Middle French (Oïl varieties in northern France, the Rhineland, and England), Old (Southern) Italian, Old Catalan, Old Spanish including Navarro-Aragonese, and Old

1 “[C]e sont des idiomes romans ou des variantes d’idiomes romans parlés par des Juifs dans certaines conditions socio-historiques. Sous le nom de « langues judéo-romanes » sont réunies des réalités linguistiques différentes sous maints aspects [. . .]” (Sala 1998, 372).

0 Introduction 


Portuguese. Part II, The Jews and the Romance languages in the modern era is made up of Chapters 9 through 12, and covers the 16th century until today. Unlike the topics covered in Part I, the main criterion for the classification as “Judaeo-Romance” is not the use of the Hebrew alphabet but specific aspects of the linguistic system (phonology, morphology, and syntax) and the lexicon. Three chapters are dedicated to the language of the Sephardic Jews and text production in the Diaspora, including Ladino, a form of Judaeo-Spanish used in word-by-word translations of the Bible. One chapter deals with the modern Judaeo-Italo-Romance dialects spoken in the Jewish ghettos in northern and central Italy that were established after the papal bull Cum nimis absurdum of 1555 and subsisted until 1848, when the King of Piedmont and Sardinia granted the Jews civil and political equality, and the abolition of the ghetto in Rome in 1870. Part III, Judaeo-Spanish from the end of the 19th century until today is dedicated to the linguistic description of 20th- and 21st-century Judaeo-Spanish for its different subsystems (phonetics and phonology, graphemics, morphology, syntax), which is missing in most of the existing overviews,2 and its geographic distribution and dialectological classification, supplemented by a chapter on Judaeo-Spanish standardization and by descriptions of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon and the lexicographical tools at our disposal, as well by a sketch of the text production in Judaeo-Spanish including belles-lettres. Thus, differently from other handbooks, textbooks or overviews, which focus either on Judaeo-Spanish3 or on “Jewish languages” (also including non-Romance languages such as Judaeo-Arabic and Yiddish),4 this Manual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology covers a broad range of Jewish linguistic manifestations in the past and the present of the Romance-speaking world. The chapters of this volume were written by young researchers qualified by excellent dissertations and additional high-quality publications and by experienced reseachers who have dedicated many years of their lives to the relevant subject.5 Besides presenting overviews on the various topics, most of the chapters are based on the authors’ own research, be it through the analysis of (self-produced) corpora or the close examination of texts, including the authors’ own editions, thus providing a wealth of partially new linguistic data and adding to the state of research. In addition, some aspects, such as Judaeo-Spanish inflexional morphology 2 Such as those mentioned in footnote 3. An exception is Gabinskij (2011, originally published in Russian in 1992). More common are descriptions of the linguistic system of individual local varieties of JudaeoSpanish. See, e.g., Varol-Bornes (2008a) for Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish and for Thessaloniki Judaeo-Spanish Symeonidis (2002). 3 Such as Le judéo-espagnol (Séphiha 1986), Manuel de judéo-espagnol: Langue et culture (VarolBornes 1998; English translation Varol-Bornes 2008b) or Sephardisch by Hetzer (2001). 4 See, e.g., Handbook of Jewish Languages (Kahn/Rubin 2016; 22017), Languages in Jewish communities, past and present (Hary/Bunin Benor 2018), Jewish languages: Text specimens, grammatical, lexical and cultural sketches (Edzard/Tirosh-Becker 2021), Jewish languages from A to Z (Rubin/Kahn 2021). 5 All chapters are original contributions written especially for this volume, except for Chapter 2 by Devon L. Strolovitch, which we republish with minor modifications from Kahn/Rubin (22017) with the permission of Koninklijke Brill N.V.


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

( 18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish) or the French linguistic material in Hebrew script found in medieval England ( 7 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Anglo-Norman) are innovative descriptions not only from a variationalist point of view. Although the aim of this book is to offer a wide variety of state-of-the-art information related to Judaeo-Romance studies, it is nevertheless a publication that has to cope with the limited space of a one-volume manual with twenty chapters. For this reason, we had to make a selection that excludes many interesting aspects. For example, we did not include a chapter on the so-called (émigré) Judaeo-Portuguese spoken in places such as Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Livorno, as this is still an understudied subject and since the state of research summarized by Sala (1998, 383–384) is by and large still valid. However, some information on this subject is found in Devon Strolovitch’s chapter on the language of the Portuguese texts written by Jews in the Middle Ages ( 2 Judaeo-Portuguese) as well as in the chapter by Laura Minervini ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). Similarly, the little that is known on the JudaeoProvençal variety spoken in the Comtat Venaissin in southern France is included in Cyril Aslanov’s chapter on the Old Occitan used in Jewish texts in the Middle Ages ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan).6 For an interesting case of a connection between Portuguese Jews and southern France, the reader is referred to Nahon (2017; 2018; 2020), who examines the Gascon variety of the Portuguese Jews who settled in southwestern France in the 16th century. Finally, as for Romania and Moldova, no texts are known for which the classification “Judaeo-Romanian” could apply, and in the modern period, the Jewish population of Romania grew through immigration of Yiddish-speaking Ashkenazi Jews whereas Sephardi Jews used Judaeo-Spanish (cf. Lavi et al. 2007, in particular 383–385).

2 On the study of Judaeo-Romance texts and linguistic varieties In this section, we present the state of research, as it is relevant for understanding the present volume and its objectives. At the same time, we clarify some important terminological basics.

2.1 The beginning of Judaeo-Romance studies The starting point of Judaeo-Romance studies lies in the third quarter of the 19th century, when Arsène Darmesteter, already during his Tora studies at school, came across Old

6 On this subject, now see Nahon (2020).

0 Introduction 


French glosses in Hebrew characters in commentaries to the Bible and the Talmud ( 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French). He began to collect manuscripts and to study the Romance glosses, which he referred to as “Laazim” (Heb. leʻazim, plural of laʻaz ‘foreign language’). He published an initial article in the newly founded journal Romania (Darmesteter 1872; see also Bergougnioux 1986).7 The discovery of Old Occitan glosses in Hebrew characters ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan) can be traced back to the same period: Zotenberg (1866), in his compendium of the Hebrew manuscripts of the Bibliothèque Impériale, mentions the existence of “Provençale” glosses in a 14th-century Biblical commentary (see Mensching 2015, 245). Other Old Occitan glosses – alongside glosses in French and more rarely in Old Catalan ( 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan) – are mentioned, and partially edited, by Renan (1877). The existence of Old Italo-Romance words in the 15th century in the Hebrew–Italian–Arabic glossary Maqre dardeqe ( 8  Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts) is mentioned in Grünbaum (1882, 521–548). In addition to these occurrences of isolated Romance words and phrases, pieces of poetry were discovered. Darmesteter (1874) describes and edits an Old French elegy (Élégie de Troyes, 6  Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French), Neubauer/Meyer (1892) edited the Old Occitan Roman d’Esther by Crescas del Caylar, an adaptation of Biblical material from the Book of Esther to the verse format of a Provençal romance ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan), and Elia S. Artom discovered an Old Southern Italian elegy (Elegy for the 9th of the Av, see Artom 1913–1915; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts). In Spain, the knowledge of the existence of Old and Middle Spanish texts written in Hebrew letters must be of an older date, as in an inaugural discourse at the Royal Spanish Academy of History in 1875, the existence of Romance texts both in Arabic and in Hebrew letters is mentioned as a known fact.8 The Hebrew grammar by Viscasillas y Urriza (1895) features an appendix9 on the ‘Hebrew-Spanish aljamiado, that is, when the document or codex is written in Castilian with Hebrew characters.’10 Thus, the beginning of Judaeo-Romance studies was marked by philological approaches, focusing on linguistic material of the Middle Ages. Most of the findings such as those described above were made by scholars of oriental studies or Jewish studies. Not surprisingly, Old French and Old Occitan, the “classical languages” of Romance philology, were the first languages that scholars of this field took an interest in. The 7 His work was continued later by David S. Blondheim (see Darmesteter/Blondheim 1929). 8 La Rada y Delgado (1875, 81): “Desde luego se advierte en ellas que su eufonía es de una lengua distinta de la griega por mas que los caracteres sean griegos. Al contario de lo que acontece con el aljamiado hebreo y morisco, tan usados en España en los siglos XV y XVI, hay en nuestro cuadrante lengua semítica y escritura ariana.” Translation (GM and FS): ‘Of course, it is evident in these [inscriptions] that their euphony is that of a language other than Greek, even though the characters are Greek. Contrary to what happens with the Hebrew and Moorish aljamiado, used so much in Spain in the XV and XVI centuries, on our sundial we find a Semitic language and an Aryan script.’ 9 “Apéndice referente á la lectura del aljamiado hebráico” (Viscasillas y Urriza 1895, 793–803). 10 Viscasillas y Urriza (1895, 798): “[el] aljamiado-hebráico español, ó sea cuando el documento ó el códice está redactado en Castellano con caracteres hebreos” (our translation).


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

research in the different fields mentioned was usually made independently, and only on a few occasions did experts of Hebrew and of Romance languages work together, a famous case being the joint work on the Old Occitan Esther poem by Adolph Neubauer, Vice Librarian at the Bodleian Library and Hebraist at Oxford University, and by the French Romance philologist Paul Meyer.11 But often the findings of orientalists and scholars of Jewish studies would not be taken into account by Romance philology until sometimes even more than a century later. For example, the Moravian bibliographer and orientalist Moritz Steinschneider, in the last third of the 19th century, described a considerable number of Hebrew medical texts and glossaries containing Romance words and phrases (mainly medico-botanical terms; see, e.g., Steinschneider 1867–1868; 1893; 1895), most of which were not studied  – let alone edited  – by Romance philologists until the 21st century (see, e.g., Bos/Mensching 2000; 2015; Bos et al. 2011; Bos/ Mensching/Zwink 2017).12 The research history of Judaeo-Spanish, that is, of the linguistic varieties of the Sephardic Jews whose ancestors had been expelled from Spain and mostly settled in the Ottoman Empire, is quite different from that of the line of investigation that we have just sketched, as it first gained the attention of researchers that worked in the fields of dialectology and historical grammar. This can already be seen in the “pioneering work” (Schmid 2006, 9) by Moritz (Mordechai) Grünwald, Über den jüdisch-spanischen Dialekt als Beitrag zur Aufhellung der Aussprache im Altspanischen ‘On the Jewish-Spanish dialect as a contribution to elucidate the pronunciation of Old Spanish’ (Grünwald 1882). The study of Judaeo-Spanish experienced an initial heyday in the first decade of the 20th century, when several, mostly German-speaking, Romance philologists wrote articles on what they first called “Spaniolisch” in journals on Romance dialectology (Schmid 2006, 9).13 The most productive researcher of that period was Max Leopold Wagner (see, among others, Wagner 1909; 1914; 1923; 1930), who was already using the term Judenspanisch (Sp. judeoespañol). Among other things, Wagner formulated initial theories on a dialectal classification of Judaeo-Spanish (Sala 1998, 378; for the most recent state of research, 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish)14 and wrote a short article on Judaeo-Portuguese (Wagner 1924). 11 See the following description of this cooperation in Neubauer/Meyer (1892, 196): “M. Neubauer me lisait un texte qu’il ne comprenait pas, tandis que je m’efforçais de saisir au vol et de transcrire les paroles que j’étais incapable de lire, et auxquelles je faisais subir les modifications que l’usage de l’alphabet hébraïque permet, [. . .] jusqu’à ce que le sens se révélât. C’était la collaboration du paralytique et de l’aveugle” (also quoted in Mensching 2015, 250). 12 Steinschneider’s attempts to identify the Romance languages that appear in such texts are often incorrect. In particular, he was unaware of the fact that most medieval Hebrew medicals texts contain Old Occitan ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan). See, among others (Bos/Mensching 2001; 2005), Mensching/ Savelsberg (2004). 13 For a critical summary of the “rediscovery” of Judaeo-Spanish in Spain, see Schmid (2006, 9–10). 14 A thorough and comprehensive work on the geographic classification of Judaeo-Spanish variation would have to wait until the beginning of the 21st century (see Quintana 2006).

0 Introduction 


2.2 The 20th century While the philological line of investigation focusing on Romance contributions to medieval Jewish text production was continued (in particular through new editions),15 the 20th century was, above all, a highly productive phase of Judaeo-Spanish studies, which continues to the present day. Judaeo-Spanish has been studied within most subfields of linguistics, and, in addition, linguists followed – and even actively took part in – the standardization attempts initiated by Judaeo-Spanish intellectuals ( 16  Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish) and in initiatives to save what is today a highly endangered language. The issue of the origin of Judaeo-Romance varieties also became a topic of speculation and debate. Whereas the 19th-century philologists working on medieval Romance glosses and texts in Hebrew characters did not seem to have any doubt of the fact that they represented Hebrew transcriptions of the same Romance languages that were spoken by the Christians, Blondheim (1925) suggested that there had been a common Judaeo-Latin language, which had given rise to specific JudaeoRomance languages such as Judaeo-French and Judaeo-Spanish. Blondheim’s view was developed in a broader theoretical framework by Weinreich (1956), who used the term Jewish languages of Romance stock instead of Judaeo-Romance, and was taken up and further developed by P. Wexler (e.g., 1977; 1981; 1988; for more details and discussion, see Sala 1998, 373; 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan; 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). This line of reasoning has always been controversial and has not been accepted in Romance philology and linguistics. It seems that most scholars nowadays – including the authors that have contributed to the present volume – would more or less agree to Sala’s (1998, 372) opinon that the putative “Judaeo-Romance languages” (in particular those documented from the Middle Ages) are Romance languages spoken or written with a certain “color” by the Jews, without constituting well-defined linguistic varieties. Judaeo-Spanish is an exception, as the temporal and local distance from Peninsular Spanish, and contact with other Romance and non-Romance languages, has set it sufficiently apart from Modern Spanish.

15 Such as Sermoneta (1969; 1974) for Old Italo-Romance, Hilty (1982) for Old Portuguese, Minervini (1992) for Old Spanish and Navarro-Aragonese, Aslanov (2001) for Old Occitan, and Kiwitt (2001; 2013) and Zwink (2017) for Old French, to mention only a few. A quite spectacular finding was made by the orientalist Samuel Miklos Stern, who discovered and edited several kharjas, i.e., final verses of Arabic muwaššaḥa poetry in Old Southern Ibero-Romance (Mozarabic), in Hebrew script (Stern 1948; 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese). The continuous and still ongoing examination and classification of the Cairo Geniza documents has been bringing forth a wealth of Judaeo-Romance texts and fragments. Some recent publications are Olszowy-Schlanger/Bohak (2020) on a Hebrew–Old French Biblical glossary and Bos/Hajek/Mensching (2021) on the fragment of an Old Occitan medical text. A similar case are folios of Hebrew manuscripts reused as bindings for Christian codices or printed books. Some of these contain Judaeo-Romance material. For example, see the Old Catalan fragments of the Arxiu Històric de Girona (Valls i Pujol 2015) and parts of a Hebrew–Old French Bible glossary from the University Library of Tyrol in Innsbruck (Staller 2019).


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

A major figure in Judaeo-Spanish studies in the 20th century was Haïm Vidal Séphiha, who from 1984 to 1991 held the chair in Judaeo-Spanish linguistics at the Sorbonne. An important distinction that he introduced was that between Ladino, the language of religious writings and of Bible translations in particular ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations), and Djudezmo, the vernacular spoken Judaeo-Spanish language and its written variety (outside Biblical contexts). For the former, Séphiha also uses the term judéo-espagnol calque, because Ladino is largely based on a word-by-word translation from Hebrew into a Spanish that, according to him, seems to date back to the 13th century (Séphiha 1974, 160–161), whereas Djudezmo is derived from the languages of the Iberian Peninsula that the Jews of Spain spoke at the time of their expulsion in 1492 (Séphiha 1974, 163–164; see also Sala 1998, 373; for more details and discussion, 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). Most scholars inside Romance philology follow this terminology (often using Judaeo-Spanish instead of Djudezmo, as we do in the present volume), but it has to be noted that the term Ladino is frequently used outside Romance philology and by native speakers instead of Djudezmo/Judaeo-Spanish.

2.3 Research on Judaeo-Romance today At present, Judaeo-Romance studies are still flourishing in several parts of the world. In what follows we provide some examples of recent research, which of course cannot be exhaustive. In 2022, the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities approved a long-term project on Judaeo-French Bible glossaries, to be carried out by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and directed by Hanna Liss and Stephen Dörr.16 The activities of the editors of this volume and their colleagues of the University of Göttingen (in close cooperation with the Hebraist and orientalist Gerrit Bos, University of Cologne) on medieval Hebrew medical texts and glossaries containing medico-botanical terms in several Romance languages have already been mentioned in Section 2.1. But research today is mostly focused on Judaeo-Spanish. This also relates to publishing; see, for example, the series Sephardica of the international publisher Peter Lang (edited by Winfried Busse, Heinrich Kohring, and Moshe Shaul) and the series Sefardische Forschungen of the German publishing house Stauffenburg (edited by Winfried Busse).17 At the University of Basel, Beatrice Schmid founded a research group on Judaeo-Spanish,18 which has brought forth a considerable number of projects and

16 On this subject, see Liss/Dörr (2022). 17 The Stauffenburg series has been conceived as a follow-up to the 13 valuable special issues of the journal Neue Romania dedicated to Judaeo-Spanish, edited by Winfried Busse of the Freie Universität Berlin, starting with Judenspanisch I in 1991 (Busse 32004) to Judenspanisch XIII in 2011 (Busse 2011). For an overview on Judaeo-Spanish research in Germany, see Arnold (2017). 18 See .

0 Introduction 


publications (also by Yvette Bürki, Ángel Berenguer Amador, Sandra Schlumpf, among others),19 including the corpus MemTet (Corpus de textos publicados en Oriente entre 1880 y 1930, constructed between 2009 and 2013), a large textual corpus of modern written Judaeo-Spanish. More recent corpora that are still under construction are the Corpus Oral Anotado del Judeoespañol (CoOrAJe) and the Corpus Diacrónico Anotado del Judeoespañol (CoDiAJe), both by Aldina Quintana of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( 18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish), as well as the Corpus Histórico Judeoespañol (CORHIJE) by Aitor García Moreno and Javier Pueyo Mena of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Madrid. Aitor García Moreno is also directing the Diccionario Histórico del Judeoespañol (DHJE, 15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish) and runs the website e-sefardic, a digital portal that offers resources on Judaeo-Spanish, including the CORHIJE and the DHJE. Another online portal, which is dedicated to all of Judaeo-Romance, is the website of the Jewish Languages Project coordinated by Sarah Bunin Benor of the Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion, Los Angeles.20

3 Romance and Hebrew: Linguistic background 3.1 General remarks From Late Antiquity until its revitalization in the 19th century and its use as the official language of the State of Israel, Hebrew was largely restricted to rabbinic literature and ritual practice, although all Jewish boys had to learn Hebrew and were taught literacy with the Hebrew alphabet. In private and public life, the Jews mostly spoke the languages of the places they lived in. This includes complex linguistic situations, such as that of al-Andalus during a certain period, where Arabic dialects and Old Southern Ibero-Romance (Mozarabic) were spoken as “low varieties” and Classical Arabic was the “high variety”, alongside the liturgical languages Latin (for the Christians) and Hebrew (for the Jews); see Bossong (2007; 2008). During the invasions of the Almohads and Almoravides in the 11th and 12th centuries, many Andalusi Jews emigrated to the Christian northern parts of the Iberian Peninsula and to southern France, where they lost their knowledge of Arabic and adopted the local Romance languages, while at the same time reviving Hebrew as a scientific and literary language.

19 See, e.g., Schmid (2003), Bürki (2011), Schlumpf (2015), Berenguer Amador (2017). Yvette Bürki has also been collaborating with Carsten Sinner of the University of Leipzig; see, e.g., Bürki/Sinner (2012). 20 .


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

3.2 The Hebrew alphabet and the Romance languages The Jews have traditionally employed the Hebrew alphabet for writing all languages that they used. Therefore, most of the Jewish texts in Romance languages come across as so-called aljamiado texts. The term aljamiado (from Arabic ‫ع َجمِ يَة‬ َ [ʿajamiyah] ‘foreign language’) originally referred only to texts written by the Muslims who lived under Christian rule on the Iberian Peninsula (mudéjares) or by Muslims who had converted to Christianity (moriscos) after the conclusion of the so-called Reconquista. But today the term aljamiado is applied in an extended sense to the use of an alphabet for a language that is normally written in another alphabet and thus includes the use of the Hebrew alphabet for writing Romance languages. The Hebrew alphabet consists of 22 consonant letters, shown in Table 1 in two different types, the square script and the “Rashi” script, together with two transliteration systems that correspond to a stricter and a less strict interpretation, respectively:21 Hebrew is written from right to left. The shape of the Hebrew letters in the first column of Table 1 corresponds to the classical Hebrew square script. Alongside the square script, there are other script types, such as the Ashkenazi cursive script used in Modern Hebrew for handwriting. Judaeo-Spanish has been written and printed mostly in yet another type of script, the so-called Rashi script (see the second column of Table 1) stemming from a 15th-century Sephardic semi-cursive script (Naveh et al. 2007, 720). In this volume, we use the square script, with some minor exceptions. For some letters, transcription alternatives are indicated in the table. Note that for the letters bet, kaf, and pe, the transliterations b, k, and p refer to the stops [b], [k], and [p], respectively. However, these letters can represent a fricative pronunciation ([v], [x], [f]), and can then be transliterated with v, kh, and f (or ph), respectively. The non-fricative pronunciation can be explicitely indicated with a dot in the middle of the consonant sign (dagesh lene): ‫ּב‬, ‫ּכ‬, ‫ּפ‬. For writing Romance in Hebrew letters, the dagesh is not normally used. Instead, the fricative pronunciation can be marked with a horizontal bar over the letter (rafe) or an apostrophe-like sign after the letter (geresh). Both are often transcribed with the symbol ´ following the consonant letter. Almost all letters have been regularly used to represent Romance, except for the glottal fricative ‘ayin and the velar fricative ḥet. Romance [k] and [t] are mostly represented by qof and ṭet, whereas tav and kaf are more rarely used for these sounds. Hebrew spelling normally does not reflect the reinforcement or lengthening of consonants by doubling the consonant signs,22 so Romance words that are spelled with -ss-, -rr-, and so 21 Note that there are several traditional pronunciations of Hebrew that have been transmitted over a long period in the various Jewish communities (see Morag 2007) and are not necessarily reflected in the transliteration. 22 In Hebrew, the doubling of consonants is marked by the so called dagesh forte, except for the consonants alef, he, ḥet, ‘ayin, and resh, which cannot appear as geminates, and reinforcement in such contexts triggers the lengthening of the preceeding vowel.

0 Introduction 


Table 1: The 22 Hebrew consonant letters and their transliteration, modified and adjusted for our concerns from the Encyclopedia Judaica (Berenbaum/Skolnik 2007, vol. 1, 197–198). Hebrew letter Square script

“Rashi” script

‫א‬ ‫ב‬ ‫ג‬ ‫ד‬ ‫ה‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ז‬ ‫ח‬ ‫ט‬ ‫י‬ ‫כ‬, ‫ך‬ ‫ל‬ ‫מ‬, ‫ם‬ ‫נ‬, ‫ן‬ ‫ס‬ ‫ע‬ ‫פ‬, ‫ף‬ ‫צ‬, ‫ץ‬ ‫ק‬ ‫ר‬ ‫ש‬ ‫ת‬

‫א‬ ‫ב‬ ‫ג‬ ‫ד‬ ‫ה‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ז‬ ‫ח‬ ‫ט‬ ‫י‬ ‫כ‬, ‫ך‬ ‫ל‬ ‫מ‬, ‫ם‬ ‫נ‬, ‫ן‬ ‫ס‬ ‫ע‬ ‫פ‬, ‫ף‬ ‫צ‬, ‫ץ‬ ‫ק‬ ‫ר‬ ‫ש‬ ‫ת‬

Name alef bet (vet) gimel dalet he vav zayin ḥet/chet ṭet yod/yud kaf (khaf) lamed mem nun samekh ʿayin/ayin pe (fe) ṣade/tsade qof/quf resh shin (sin) tav

Transliteration Academic


ʾ b (v) g d h w z ḥ ṭ y k (kh) l m n s ʿ p (f) ṣ q r š (ś/s) t

b (v) g d h/v z ḥ/ch t y k (kh) l m n s p (f/ph) ts q r sh (s) t

forth in Latin script appear written with the corresponding single letter (but 16 Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish, for the Modern Judaeo-Spanish use of representing the alveolar trill [r] by a double resh). However, the Romance languages – especially in their medieval stages – have two classes of consonants that do not exist in Hebrew: these are the palatal sonorants ([ɲ] and [ʎ]), the post-alveolar fricative [ʒ], and ͡ and [dʒ]. ͡ The medieval spelling conventions are not uniform between the affricates [tʃ] languages or between writers and scribes, but there are some tendencies to represent the palatal sonorants with the bi- or trigraphs (‫( ני)י‬ny(y)) and (‫( לי)י‬ly(y)) and the mentioned fricative and affricates with letters for stops (in particular gimel and qof) supplemented by the diacritics rafe or geresh (see above). For details and variants of these practices, 2 Judaeo-Portuguese; 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan; 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts; 16 Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish, and others. Alef serves as a variable that indicates the presence of a vowel; in addition, it marks vocalic word onsets and can be used to indicate a (vowel-)hiatus word-internally. The letters yod and vav, apart from their consonantal values, are also used to render vowels. In Romance, alef often represents [a], the yod [i] or [e], and the vav [o] or [u]. Consonant


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

letters that are used to indicate a vowel – to which we can add word-final he, which usually stands for [a] – are called matres lectionis. The use of these letters is optional; so for a word such as Sp./Port. gatos ‘cats’, we can have the alternative spellings in (1):23 (1) Alternative spellings for gatos (part 1) a. b. c. d.

‫גטש‬ ‫גאטוש‬ ‫גטוש‬ ‫גאטש‬

Transliteration gtš g’twš gtwš g’tš

Besides this method of representing vowels, there is a notation called punctuation.24 The most important punctuation signs (niqqudot) are: ָ (qamats) or ַ (pataḥ) for [a], ֵ (tsere) and ֶ (segol) for [e]/[ɛ], ִ (ḥiriq) for [i], ֹ (ḥolam) for [o] and ֻ (qubbutz) for [u]. The sign ְ (shva) is used in Hebrew to render the sound [ə] (or [e] in the case of Sephardic pronunciation habits), but it can also mark the absence of a vowel (shva quiescens or “resting shva”). The punctuation is largely restricted to Biblical texts and has thus not been very frequent in the representation of Romance. The vowel signs are placed under the consonant sign after which they are pronounced (except for ḥolam, which is placed above it).25 They can appear on their own or in addition to a mater lectionis. This yields additional spelling variants for gatos, such as those in hypothetical examples in (2) (for expository reasons, in the transliterations, the vowel signs appear in italics): (2) Alternative spellings for gatos (part 2, including punctuation) a. b. c. d.

‫גַ טֹש‬ ‫גַ אטוֹש‬ ‫גַ טוֹש‬ ‫גַ אטֹש‬

Transliteration gatoš gaʾtowš26 gatowš gaʾtoš

23 To these, we could add more variants due to the different letters that can be used for s. 24 In what follows, it is the so-called Tiberian punctuation system that is described. For other systems, see Dotan (2007). 25 Another exception – restricted to the spelling of Hebrew – is the pataḥ furtivum, which is pronounced before the letters ‫ח‬, ‫ע‬, ‫ הּ‬at the end of a word. 26 Here and in examples (2c) and (2d) the signs ʾ and w in the transliteration are not pronounced but are rather used to represent the matres lectionis.

0 Introduction 


Punctuations as shown in (2) are mostly restricted to the Middle Ages and not used for Judaeo-Spanish, where the plene spelling was the norm (i.e., a full vocalization using matres lectiones, in our case the corresponding Rashi script form of (1b) ‫)גאטוש‬. For the spelling conventions used by the Jews for the different Romance languages, the reader is referred to the relevant chapters of this volume. Whereas Hebrew words, in this volume, are transcribed by the authors of all chapters according to Table 1, we have not unified the transcription of Romance, as there is no uniform transcription system for Judaeo-Romance aljamiado texts. In addition, the transcription may depend on what is going to be demonstrated in each individual case. For example, to illustrate spelling conventions or phonetic/phonological issues, a narrow transcription or even a letter-by-letter transliteration (such as that in (1) and (2)) may be necessary, whereas for lexical studies, it may suffice to provide a more or less close Latin-script equivalent for the words at issue. Finally, Judaeo-Spanish presents a special case. Having been written for centuries in Hebrew characters, the second half of the 20th-century text production is marked by a switch to the Latin (and occasionally Cyrillic) alphabet. This goes along with several standardization proposals, each with specific spelling conventions ( 16 Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish). Thus, the transcripton of Judaeo-Spanish written in Hebrew letters can also be made by using one of these systems, a method that the authors of some chapters recur to. Others use the academic transcription proposed by Hassán (1978), 16  Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish.

3.3 The special Jewish “color” of Judaeo-Romance As we said at the beginning (Section 1), we make use of the term “Judaeo-Romance” in two ways, first to designate primarily medieval texts in Hebrew script, but then also for the varieties used by Jews since the early modern period. Some of these bear a certain Jewish “color” regardless of the choice of script used to represent the texts. This “color” can already be detected in the Middle Ages in the presence of Hebraisms in the vocabulary, which continues in the early modern period. First and foremost, this Jewish “color” of the Romance languages and varieties concerns the adoption of Hebrew and, sometimes, Aramaic words from the religious sphere. In addition to lexical loans, calques and other processes of semantic transfer play a role. Here, for example, one might think of the designation of God, who in Old Spanish Jewish testimonies and then also in Judaeo-Spanish is named el Dio ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino), deviating from the common (Christian) usage (Sp. Dios) and following the pattern of the Hebrew periphrastic expression with the definite article (ha-shem, lit. ‘the name’). The impact of religion on the Judaeo-Romance lexicon can also be seen in other, sometimes quite idiosyncratic phenomena. For example, in Judaeo-Italo-Romance, God is referred to as Domedet Det (possibly derived from the Latin expression Dominus Deus,


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

where the spelling with tav has been interpreted as a means of emphasizing the sacral Hebrew character, since this letter is only sporadically used to spell Romance words; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts; 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance). The modern Judaeo-Italian varieties are especially rich in calques and other linguistic processes including word games ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern area). For further considerations on the impact of religion on Judaeo-Romance, 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan. In addition to the adoption of individual words and phrases and other influences, such as those in the form of analogous lexical formations in the Romance languages, however, Hebrew leaves traces on other aspects of the languages spoken by Jews beyond its function as a source and “template”: This can consist, for example, in the formation of hybrid expressions combining Hebrew and Romance lexical material, in the borrowing of Hebrew inflectional endings applied to Romance nouns ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era). But it can also have an effect deep in the syntactic structure, such as, in the extreme case of word-by-word translations of the Bible, in which Hebrew sentence structures are largely retained using Romance lexical material ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). However, as already mentioned, the distinctive feature of Judaeo-Spanish is not especially due to the influence of Hebrew, but the distinctively Jewish element rather consists of the unique koineization tendencies and new language contact situations, which are solely due to the sociocultural and geographic conditions of the Sephardic Diaspora. In this regard, Chapter 11 by Laura Minervini ( 11  The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish) and the entire third part of this volume provide ample evidence and discussion. Opposed to these tendencies of innovation, Judaeo-Romance is also characterized by a certain conservatism. Among the “archaisms” that several authors mention, we find the preservation of intervocalic Latin -d- as dalet in Old Occitan ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan), of the Latin third person singular ending -t in Jewish Old Spanish texts (Minervini 1993; 3  Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese) and of the consonant clusters pl-, fl-, cl- in Jewish Old Italo-Romance ( 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts) as well as the survival of the phonemic contrasts between voiced and unvoiced sibilants in Judaeo-Spanish ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish; 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish; 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). The fact that Judaeo-Spanish has preserved many features of pre-Exile Spanish may be seen as an expression of this conservatism on a more general level. Against this background, the question may be asked as to whether the small number of words that several Judaeo-Romance varieties have in common already observed by Blondheim (1925) are in reality archaisms that have been lost in the Christian sphere ( 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance; 3  Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese; 10  Linguistic aspects of Ladino; 15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish).

0 Introduction 


4 Outline of the volume 4.1 Part I: The languages of the Jews in the Latin West until the end of the 15th century Chapter 1 (Cyril Aslanov: “Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance”) is a survey of Romance glosses and texts written in Hebrew characters during the Middle Ages. The author describes the main characteristics of such glosses and texts in Old French, Old Occitan, Old Italo-Romance, and Old Ibero-Romance. He also discusses the theories mentioned in Section 2.2 of this Introduction, holding that the textual material at issue does not reflect separate Jewish varieties or even languages, but “is clearly reducible to the coterritorial Romance dialects,” emphasizing the fact that medieval texts written in a graphemic system other than Latin letters can add to our knowledge on the phonetics and phonology of the languages under consideration. The focus of Chapter 2 (Devon L. Strolovitch: “Judaeo-Portuguese”) lies on a small number of 15th-century Old Portuguese texts of different genres written in Hebrew characters. The chapter analyzes the lexicon, the morphosyntax, and the writing system used by medieval Portuguese Jews and concludes that the texts at issue provide an insight into “the phonological and morphological variability of contemporary late medieval Portuguese.” The chapter also contains some notes on the post-15th-century Judaeo-Portuguese texts produced in émigré communities (see Section 1 of this Introduction). In  Chapter 3  (“Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese”), Laura Minervini discusses medieval Ibero-Romance texts written in Hebrew characters in the linguistic varieties of Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran. In addition to the historical and cultural background, the sociolinguistic situation of the medieval Jewries in Christian Iberia, as well as the role played by the contact languages Hebrew and Arabic, she analyzes the linguistic system (phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon) that can be reconstructed from such texts.  The authors of Chapter 4 (“Jewish texts in Old Catalan”), Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer, provide information about the context, language, and linguistic culture of medieval Catalan Jews and then deal with some Old Catalan texts written by Jews in Hebrew characters (and to a far lesser extent also in Latin script) before focusing on some specific genres, in particular wedding songs and pleasant poetry. The chapter also contains an in-depth analysis of the linguistic features “of the everyday language of Catalan Jews that can be deduced from the documentation available,” with a special focus on the lexicon. Chapter 5, written by Cyril Aslanov and entitled “Jewish texts in Old Occitan,” describes the presence of the autochthonous language of southern France, Old Occitan, in Jewish texts, mostly in the Middle Ages, but a minor part is dedicated to Occitan written by Jews in early modern and modern times (see Section 1 of this Introduction). After some introductory remarks on the spelling of Occitan in Hebrew script


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

and special Hebrew-Occitan writing traditions and characteristics (such as a tendency towards archaism; see also Section 3.3), this chapter focuses on Occitan glosses in medieval Hebrew texts and glossaries, as well as continuous texts in Occitan written in the Hebrew alphabet.  Part I includes two chapters on Old (and Middle) French. The first one, Chapter 6 by Julia Zwink (“Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French”) presents the linguistic properties of Old French texts written in France in the domains of phonology, morphology, and the lexicon. Julia Zwink provides various examples of texts from different genres (religious glosses and glossaries as well as secular texts) and epochs and also discusses the diaphasic and diatopic linguistic variation that can be found in the texts, which mostly stem from the Lotharingian dialect area. The chapter finishes with some remarks on the writing of Old French in Hebrew characters. The second, shorter chapter on medieval French, Chapter 7, is by David Trotter and bears the title “Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Anglo-Norman.” It focuses on Jewish texts written in Anglo-Norman England and discusses three witnesses to “Judaeo-French in its Anglo-Norman form”: the glosses to Moses ibn Ezra’s homonym list, those to the Leviticus list of unclean birds, and a lapidary by Berakhya ben Natronai ha-Naqdan. The chapter also includes some remarks on a number of texts written in the Latin alphabet that bear witness to contact between Jews and Christians in England, and, accordingly, linguistic contact between Hebrew and Anglo-Norman French in writing.27 Part I concludes with Chapter 8, “Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts,” by Michael Ryzhik. This chapter is about Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts written in Hebrew characters from the 11th century to the first half of the 16th century, beginning with the marginal glosses in a manuscript of the Mishna (11th c.) and the first known literary text, the Elegy for the 9th of Av (13th/14th c.). These and other medieval texts are characterized by containing linguistic features of Central and Southern Italian dialects. The chapter includes sections on writing conventions, phonology, morphology, syntax, and the lexicon of the Old (Central/Southern) Italo-Romance language used in such texts. Finally, the author shows with specific text examples that, in the middle of the 16th century, this type of writing disappeared in favor of literary Italian and Hebrew.

4.2 Part II: The Jews and the Romance languages in the modern era Part II starts with two chapters by F. Javier Pueyo Mena. The first one, Chapter 9 (“Sephardic Bible translations”), provides an overview of the Bible translations produced in Judaeo-Spanish from the 16th to the end of the 19th century. After an introduction into the origin of these translations and the different social contexts in which they

27 Sadly, David Trotter passed away in 2015, so we are publishing his text with minor modifications.

0 Introduction 


were written, in a first step, the translations in Latin script originating from Italy and Holland are described and studied. In a second step, the chapter discusses the aljamiado translations, that is, those in Hebrew script, mostly stemming from the Ottoman Empire. And in a third step, F. Javier Pueyo Mena considers translations into Judaeo-Spanish made by Christian missionaries for the eastern Sephardic population. F. Javier Pueyo Mena’s second contribution, Chapter 10 (“Linguistic aspects of Ladino”) analyzes the Ladino language (see Section 2.2 for this term) and the translation method used in the Judaeo-Spanish Bible translations described in Chapter 9. It first discusses lexical aspects such as the use of archaisms, lexical creation and semantic readjustment, Hebraisms, and lexical consistency in the translations. It then proceeds to consider morphology, showing the maintenance of all Hebrew grammatical categories as well as the readjustment of tense, aspect, and mood to accommodate the Biblical Hebrew verbal system. Finally, the author turns to syntax, focusing on the preservation of word order and on the translation of specific Hebrew syntactic structures into Ladino.  In Chapter 11 (“The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish”), Laura Minervini presents the social and cultural history of the Judaeo-Spanish varieties that developed in the Ottoman Empire and Morocco from the 16th to the 19th century. The chapter also provides an overview of the most important linguistic features in phonology, morphology, syntax, and the lexicon. Some final considerations are dedicated to Spanish (and Portuguese) varieties used by the Jews of Livorno, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and other cities of the western Sephardic Diaspora. Chapter 12, “Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era” by Marcello Aprile, describes the modern Judaeo-Italian varieties that took shape in the northern and central Italian ghettos. While the phonetic and morphological systems of these varieties are almost identical with those of the respective local Italian dialects, the author shows that the influence of Hebrew and Aramaic has led to the development of some distinctive features. The chapter first focuses on the integration of numerous Hebraisms into the Central and Northern Italian morphological systems and then turns to the adaptation of Semitic inflectional and derivational morphemes in the Judaeo-Italian varieties. The chapter closes with a look at the lexicon discussing geolinguistic aspects and phenomena of loss and preservation of distinctive Judaeo-Italian words, as well as calques and other forms of interaction between Romance and Hebrew. 

4.3 Part III: Judaeo-Spanish from the end of the 19th century until today Part III starts with Aldina Quintana’s Chapter 13, entitled “Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish.” After some initial considerations on the history of Judaeo-Spanish and its vitality today, Aldina Quintana first focuses on the Judaeo-Spanish spoken in the communities of the former Ottoman Empire  (Oriental Judaeo-Spanish), showing how it can be divided into three regional varieties on the basis of several pho-


 Guido Mensching and Frank Savelsberg

nological and morpho-syntactic parameters as well as lexical differences. Special attention is paid to the Judaeo-Spanish varieties spoken in Bitola and Pristina, which have been classified in previous research as mixed varieties combining Judaeo-Spanish and Portuguese. The chapter then discusses the Judaeo-Spanish of Northern Africa (Hakitia), identifying the most important features that distinguish it from Oriental Judaeo-Spanish. The aim of Chapter 14, “Judaeo-Spanish literature” by Amor Ayala, is to describe the Judaeo-Spanish literary production in the period from the late 19th century until the present time. The chapter shows that, during this period, modern literature in JudaeoSpanish flourished, with Sephardic intellectuals being inspired by the predominant prestigious cultures, especially French culture. The author derives this heyday of JudaeoSpanish literature from the exponential increase of published texts and cultural renovation, which led to the emergence of new topics of interest and textual genres, in particular press, novel, theater, and poetry. Rafael D. Arnold’s Chapter 15 on “The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish” offers an overview of lexicographical activities in the field of Judaeo-Spanish from its appearance until the present day. The chapter provides a thorough description and typology of existing glossaries, word lists, and dictionaries of varying quality. The author argues that factors such as linguistic variation, the multiplicity of writing systems and the lack of standardization have been obstacles for compiling a “global dictionary of J.-Sp.” Finally, new perspectives on and tools for lexicological research that will be useful for future Judaeo-Spanish lexicography and lexicology are presented. Chapter 16, written by Aitor García Moreno, is entitled “Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish.” The chapter shows that writing systems of Judaeo-Spanish in the 20th and 21st centuries are characterized by the progressive abandonment of the Hebrew aljamiado script and its substitution by the use of Latin (and marginally also Cyrillic) characters. This chapter first presents the main graphical characteristics of Judaeo-Spanish texts written in the first half of the 20th century. It then discusses the various attempts made to Romanize Sephardic texts until the present. Chapter 17 by Aldina Quintana is dedicated to “Phonetics and phonology of JudaeoSpanish.” It describes the phonemes of Judaeo-Spanish and their distribution, as well as the major phonological processes, focusing on the varieties of Thessaloniki and Istanbul. A final part is dedicated to prosody (stress and intonation). The author shows that, although Judaeo-Spanish shows some of the phonetic and phonological features that characterize the Ibero-Romance languages including Peninsular and Latin American Spanish, other phenomena, resulting mostly from isolation, testify to the independent development of Judaeo-Spanish. This is not so much due to the expected development of inherited elements, but rather to the preservation of features that no longer exist in Spanish and the impact of lexical borrowing from the contact languages on the consonant system, leading to the development of an independent phonological diasystem. The same author, Aldina Quintana, in Chapter 18 (“The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish”), provides a thorough description of the inflectional morphology of Judaeo-Spanish. It becomes clear from this chapter that the morphology of Judaeo-Spanish preserves the

0 Introduction 


basic characteristics of the Ibero-Romance languages: several grammatical functions are expressed morphologically through nominal or verbal inflectional endings, especially person, tense, and number for verbs, and gender (masculine and feminine) and number (singular and plural) for nouns. In the verbal system, tense, person, number, and mood are generally distinguished by verbal suffixes. However, the author shows that, in recent generations, the paradigms of compound verbal forms composed of the auxiliary tener and the past participle have developed secondary, mostly aspectual, meanings.  Aitor García Moreno’s second contribution in this volume, Chapter 19 on “The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish,” is organized according to three different levels of analysis: a) phrases, b) simple sentences, and c) complex sentences. The focus lies on those constructions that are not shared with Modern Standard Spanish.  The chapter includes information on the inventory and use of pronouns, on different forms of agreement, and on explicit versus non-overt subjects. Some important structures on the clausal level include ellipsis of the copula, comparative constructions, negation, interrogative clauses, and cleft sentences. The volume closes with Chapter 20 (“The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon”) by Haralambos Symeonidis. Speakers of Judaeo-Spanish have preserved a considerable amount of Old Spanish vocabulary – more than 50% – but, as the author shows, the language has also undergone many changes in the original semantics of the words and altered the form of many preexisting ones. In addition, the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon is characterized by numerous loanwords from other languages (such as Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Hebrew, and Arabic), which are systematically discussed in this chapter.

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0 Introduction 


Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007), edited by Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik, 2nd ed., 22 vol., Detroit, Macmillan. e-sefardic = García Moreno, Aitor (dir.), e-sefardic, Madrid, CSIC, . Edzard, Lutz/Tirosh-Becker, Ofra (edd.) (2021), Jewish Languages. Text specimens, grammatical, lexical, and cultural sketches, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz. Gabinskij, Mark A. (2011), Die sefardische Sprache, Tübingen, Stauffenburg. Germano, Pedro da Silva (1968), A língua portuguesa usada pelos judeus sefarditas no exílio, Ph.D. thesis, Lisbon, University of Lisbon. Grünbaum, Max (1882), Jüdisch-deutsche Chrestomathie. Zugleich ein Beitrag zur Kunde der hebräischen Literatur, Leipzig, Brockhaus. Grünwald, Moritz (1882), Über den jüdisch-spanischen Dialekt als Beitrag zur Aufhellung der Aussprache im Altspanischen, Das jüdische Centralblatt 1.4, 39–48; 1.5, 54–58. Hary, Benjamin/Bunin Benor, Sarah (edd.) (2018), Languages in Jewish communities, past and present, Berlin/ Boston, De Gruyter. Hassán, Iacob M. (1978), Transcripción normalizada de textos judeoespañoles, Estudios Sefardíes 1, 147–150. Hetzer, Arnim (2001), Sephardisch, Judeo-español, Djudezmo. Einführung in die Umgangssprache der südosteuropäischen Juden, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz. Hilty, Gerold (1982), A versão portuguesa do “Livro comprido”, Biblos 58, 207–267. Kahn, Lily/Rubin, Aaron D. (edd.) (2016), Handbook of Jewish Languages, Leiden/Boston, Brill. Kahn, Lily/Rubin, Aaron D. (edd.) (22017), Handbook of Jewish Languages, revised and updated edition, Leiden/Boston, Brill. Kiwitt, Marc (2001), Der altfranzösische Fiebertraktat “Fevres”. Teiledition und sprachwissenschaftliche Untersuchung, Würzburg, Königshausen und Neumann. Kiwitt, Marc (2013), Les gloses françaises du glossaire biblique B.N. hébr. 301. Édition critique partielle et étude linguistique, Heidelberg, Winter. La Rada y Delgado, Juan de Dios de (1875), Antigüedades del Cerro de los Santos en término de Montealegre. Discurso del señor D. Juan de Dios de La Rada y Delgado, in: Discursos leidos ante la Academia de la Historia en la recepción pública del señor D. Juan de Dios de La Rada y Delgado, el día 27 de junio de 1875, Madrid, Imprenta de Fortanet, 7–110. Lavi, Theodor/Palmor, Eliezer/Kraus, Naftali/Herscovici, Lucian-Zeev/Volovici, Leon (2007), Romania, in: Michael Berenbaum/Fred Skolnik (edd.), Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 17, Detroit, Macmillan, 375–397, d=bookmark-GVRL&asid=d1ffee6d . Liss, Hanna/Dörr, Stephen (2022), Hebrew–French Bible glossaries and the question of Jewish–French cultural exchange in the High Middle Ages: A reevaluation, Corpus Masoreticum Working Paper 2, 22–50, doi 10.48628/cmwp.2022.1.89053 . Mensching, Guido (2015), Éléments lexicaux et textes occitans en caractères hébreux, in: David Trotter (ed.), Manuel de la philologie de l’édition, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter, 237–264. Mensching, Guido/Savelsberg, Frank (2004), Reconstrucció de la terminologia mèdica occitano-catalana del segle XIII a través de llistats de sinònims en lletres hebrees. Edició i anàlisi del vint-i-novè llibre del “Sèfer ha-Ximmuix” de Xem Tov ben Isaac de Tortosa, in: Actas del I congrès per a l’estudi dels jueus en territori de llengua catalana, Barcelona i Girona, el 15, 16 i 17 d’octubre del 2001, Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, 69–81. Minervini, Laura (1992), Testi giudeospagnoli medievali (Castiglia e Aragona), 2 vol., Naples, Liguori. Minervini, Laura (1993), Tracce della desinenza di 3a pers. sing. in testi aljamiadi giudeospagnoli (con particolare riferimento al giudeonavarro), in: Gerold Hilty (ed.), Actes du XXe Congrès International de Linguistique et Philologie Romanes, vol. 2, Tübingen, Francke, 489–502. Minervini, Laura (2011), El componente léxico árabe en la lengua de los judíos hispánicos, in: Winfried Busse/ Michael Studemund-Halévy (edd.), Lexicología y lexicografía judeoespañolas, Bern et al., Lang, 33–52.


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Morag, Shelomo (2007), Pronunciations of Hebrew, in: Michael Berenbaum/Fred Skolnik (edd.), Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 16, Detroit, Macmillan, 547–562, ib6055&id=GALE%7CCX2587516112&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-GVRL&asid=fad65b10 . Nahon, Peter (2017), Diglossia among French Sephardim as a motivation for the genesis of “Judeo-Gascon”, Journal of Jewish Languages 5.1, 104–119. Nahon, Peter (2018), Gascon et français chez les Israélites d’Aquitaine. Documents et inventaire lexical, Paris, Classiques Garnier. Nahon, Peter (2020), La singularisation linguistique des juifs en Provence et en Gascogne: deux cas parallèles ou opposés ?, La linguistique 56.1, 87–113. Naveh, Joseph/Birnbaum, Solomon Asher/Diringer, David/Federbush, Zvi Hermann/Shunary, Jonathan/ Maimon, Jacob (2007), Alphabet, Hebrew, in: Michael Berenbaum/Fred Skolnik (edd.), Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 1, Detroit, Macmillan, 689–728, 6055&id=GALE%7CCX2587500876&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-GVRL&asid=b6939e53 . Neubauer, Adolf/Meyer, Paul (1892), Le roman provençal d’Esther par Crescas du Caylar, médecin juif du XIV ème siècle, Romania 21, 194–227. Olszowy-Schlanger, Judith/Bohak, Gideon (2020), A Hebrew–Old French Biblical Glossary from the Cairo Genizah. Manuscript, text, and Old French le‘azim, Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur 130.3, 234–284. Quintana, Aldina (2006), Geografía lingüística del judeoespañol: Estudio sincrónico y diacrónico, Bern, Lang. Renan, Ernest (1877), Les rabbins français du commencement du quatorzième siècle, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale. Rubin, Aaron D./Kahn, Lily (2021), Jewish languages from A to Z, London, Routledge. Sala, Marius (1998), Die romanischen Judensprachen / Les langues judéo-romanes, in: Günter Holtus/Michael Metzeltin/Christian Schmitt (edd.), Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik, vol. 7, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 372–395. Schlumpf, Sandra (2015), Condicionalidad y concesividad en judeoespañol moderno escrito. Teoría y análisis de corpus, Lausanne, Sociedad Suiza de Estudios Hispánicos. Schmid, Beatrice (dir.) (2003), “Sala de pasatiempo”. Textos judeoespañoles de Salónica impresos entre 1896 y 1916, Basel, Romanisches Seminar. Schmid, Beatrice (2006), Ladino (Judenspanisch) – eine Diasporasprache, Bern, Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, Publikationen/Akademievortraege/Akademievortrag_15_BSchmid.pdf . Séphiha, Haïm Vidal (1972), Langues juives, langues calques et langues vivantes, Linguistique 8.2, 59–68. Séphiha, Haïm Vidal (1973), Le ladino, judéo-espagnol calque. Deutéronome. Versions de Constantinople (1547) et de Ferrare (1553). Édition, étude linguistique et lexique, Paris, Centre de Recherches Hispaniques/Institut d’Études Hispaniques. Séphiha, Haïm Vidal (1974), Problématique du judéo-espagnol, Bulletin de la Societé de Linguistique de Paris 69,159–189. Séphiha, Haïm-Vidal (1986), Le judéo-espagnol, Paris, Entente. Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (1969), Un glossario filosofico ebraico italiano del XIII secolo, Rome, Olschki. Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (ed.) (1974), Un volgarizzamento giudeo-italiano del Cantico dei Cantici, Florence, Sansoni. Sierra, Sergio Joseph (2007), Sicily, in: Michael Berenbaum/Fred Skolnik (edd.), Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 18, Detroit, Macmillan, 542–543, LE%7CCX2587518455&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-GVRL&asid=35c4fae9 . Spolsky, Bernard (2014), The languages of the Jews. A sociolinguistic history, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

0 Introduction 


Staller, Franz (2019), Kritische Edition und sprachhistorische Analyse der Innsbrucker Fragmente eines hebräischaltfranzösischen Bibelglossars (ULB Tirol, Frg. B 9), Innsbruck, Studia. Steinschneider, Moritz (1867–1868), Donnolo. Pharmakologische Fragmente aus dem X. Jahrhundert, nebst Beiträgen zur Literatur der Salernitaner, hauptsächlich nach handschriftlichen hebräischen Quellen, Virchow’s Archiv für Pathologische Anatomie 38, 65–91; 39, 296–336; 40, 80–124; 42, 51–112. Steinschneider, Moritz (1893), Die hebräischen Übersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher, Berlin, Kommissionsverlag des Bibliographischen Bureaus. Steinschneider, Moritz (1895), Die hebräischen Handschriften der königlichen Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in München, 2nd edition, Munich, Palm. Stern, Samuel Miklos (1948), Les vers finaux en espagnol dans les muwaššaḥs hispano-hébraïques. Une contribution à l’histoire des muwaššaḥs et à l’étude du vieux dialecte espagnol « mozarabe », Al-Andalus 13, 299–348. Symeonidis, Haralambos (2002), Das Judenspanische von Thessaloniki. Beschreibung des Sephardischen im griechischen Umfeld, Bern, Lang. Toaff, Ariel/DellaPergola, Sergio/Rocca, Samuele (2007), Naples, in: Michael Berenbaum/Fred Skolnik (edd.), Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd edition, vol. 14, Detroit, Macmillan, 775–777, do?p=GVRL&u=wib6055&id=GALE%7CCX2587514526&v=2.1&it=r&sid=bookmark-GVRL&asid=1fda8671 . Valls i Pujol, Esperança (2015), Els fragments hebreus amb aljamies catalanes de l’Arxiu Històric de Girona: estudi textual, edició paleogràfica i anàlisi lingüística, Ph.D. thesis, Universitat de Girona, handle/10803/387552 . Varol-Bornes, Marie-Christine (1998), Manuel de judéo-espagnol: Langue et culture, Paris, Langues et Mondes/Asiathèque. Varol-Bornes, Marie-Christine (2008a), Le judéo-espagnol vernaculaire d’Istanbul. Étude linguistique, Bern, Lang. Varol-Bornes, Marie-Christine (2008b), Manual of Judeo-Spanish: Language and culture, Bethesda, University Press of Maryland. Viscasillas y Urriza, Mariano (1895), Nueva gramática hebrea comparada con otras semíticas: precedida de una larga reseña histórica: y seguida de un manual práctico, un resumen de dicha gramática y una breve gramática caldea, vol. 2, Madrid, Sucesores de Rivadeneyra. Wagner, Max Leopold (1909), Los judíos españoles de Oriente y su lengua. Una reseña general, Bulletin de Dialectologie Romane 1, 53–63. Wagner, Max Leopold (1914), Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Judenspanischen von Konstantinopel, Vienna, Höfler. Wagner, Max Leopold (1923), Algunas observaciones generales sobre el judeoespañol de Oriente, Revista de Filología Española 10, 225–244. Wagner, Max Leopold (1924), Os judeus hispano-portugueses e a sua lingua no Oriente, na Holanda e na Alemanha, Arquivo de história e bibliografía 1, 3–18. Wagner, Max Leopold (1930), Caracteres generales del judeoespañol de Oriente, Madrid, Hernando. Weinreich, Max (1956), The Jewish languages of Romance stock and their relation to earliest Yiddish, Romance Philology 9, 403–428. Wexler, Paul (1977), Ascertaining the position of Judezmo within Ibero-Romance, Vox Romanica 36, 162–195. Wexler, Paul (1981), Jewish interlinguistics: Facts and conceptual framework, Language 57, 99–149. Wexler, Paul (1988), Three heirs to a Judeo-Latin legacy. Judeo-Ibero-Romance, Yiddish and Rotwelsch, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz. Zotenberg, Hermann (1866), Catalogues des manuscrits hébreux et samaritains de la Bibliothèque Impériale, Paris, Imprimerie Impériale. Zwink, Julia (2017), Altfranzösisch in hebräischer Graphie. Teiledition und Analyse des Medizintraktats “Fevres”, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter.

The languages of the Jews in the Latin West until the end of the 15th century

Cyril Aslanov

1 Medieval Jewish textual production in  Romance Abstract: This article proposes a survey of the various texts written in Romance languages by means of Hebrew letters throughout the Middle Ages. It briefly describes the main characteristics of the most significant representatives of those corpora that consist either in fragmentary glosses or in continuous, fully-fledged literary or didactic texts. The main point of the article is its reluctance to consider such specimens of medieval Romance languages written in Hebrew letters as separate Jewish languages in the sense that has been advocated by the founders of Jewish interlinguistics (Solomon Birnbaum; Max Weinreich). Those early witnesses of the Jews’ proficiency in the Romance languages are clearly reducible to the coterritorial Romance dialects, which, by the way, greatly help pinpoint the geographical origin of these texts. It is important to stress that Jewish texts written in Romance languages are frequently among the first attestations of a given Romance language. Moreover, the fact that these text samples are written with a graphemic system other than Latin letters often casts a new light on the phonetic dimension of the Romance languages in an early phase of their attestation. Keywords: Judaeo-Romance glosses, early Romance literary texts, early Romance documentary texts, translation of prayer books, vulgarization of scientific texts

1 Introduction Since at least the High Middle Ages, Jewish presence has been attested in the countries where Romance languages were about to emerge after the Latin diglossia began to be reinterpreted as a Romance/Latin bilingualism. The Romance varieties used by Jews are only dialects of the Romance languages, since at such an early stage of European Jewish history, no independent Jewish language had emerged as an autonomous system clearly distinguished from the matrix wherefrom it was derived. Birnbaum and Weinreich’s attempts to differentiate a Zarphatic, Shuadit, or Italkic language clearly reflect their ideological-methodological agendas rather than a sober consideration of Jewish linguistic identity in the Middle Ages (Birnbaum 1942; Weinreich 1980, 45–174; 0  Introduction; 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan; 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French). Like Christians – and perhaps in a more acute way than Christians – medieval Jews were well aware that the various Romance languages or dialects were nothing more than specifications of a loose concept that the former called vulgaris and the latter la‘az (related to the participle lo‘ez ‘Barbarian’ used in Psalms 114,1 in order to refer to a


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nation whose language is incomprehensible) (Aslanov 2002). Needless to say, the undifferentiated perception of the Romance languages was probably even more undifferentiated in the eyes of the Jews, whose cultual and cultural language was more remote from the Romance vernaculars than Latin was. This of course does not mean that specific Jewish languages emerged. The only irrefutable thing that can be said about Jewish linguistic identity in the medieval West is that Jews probably had a broader linguistic horizon than their Christian surroundings (Aslanov 2009, 53–55). In other words, the linguistic difference of Jews pertained to the sociolinguistic level rather than to the linguistic one.

1.1 The geography of Jewish presence in Romance-speaking countries in the middle ages Before the waves of expulsion that affected European Jewries, starting with the 1182 expulsion of French Jews from the royal domain, Jewish communities were coextensive with most of the Romance-speaking lands in the West. The origin of those communities was quite variegated. Besides the French-speaking Ashkenazi communities settled in a space that stretched from the western fringes of the Holy Roman Empire to AngloNorman Britain, Mediterranean Jews connected with Arabic language and culture; nevertheless, Jews proficient in Romance languages were present in Spain and Sicily. Other communities seem to have been neither of Ashkenazi nor of Sephardic stock. This is the case of Italian communities, the origin of which might go back to Palestine, either directly (as a result of the captivity of Judaean aristocrats brought back after the siege of Jerusalem) or indirectly, through the mediation of the Byzantine Greek-speaking Jewry that was well represented in Byzantine-dominated Apulia. Lastly, the Jewish communities of Languedoc and Provence probably had a non-Ashkenazi, non-Sephardic origin, although culturally speaking they were eventually absorbed within the Sephardic area, especially because many Andalusi Jews sought refuge in Languedoc after the unleashing of Almohad persecutions against the dhimmis in 1148 ( 0 Introduction). During the High and Central Middle Ages, Jewish settlement was present even in remote areas of the Romance-speaking territorial continuum. The fact that many French or Occitan villages still have a street remembering the former Jewish inhabitants (rue des Juifs; carriero de la Jutarié) is a clear indicator of the osmosis between little communities and the network of small-sized towns. To be sure, this evidence has been envisioned with caution by Chazan (1973, 208) and even with skepticism by Jordan (1989, 6–8). But the same Jordan gives a detailed account of the Jewish presence in northern France and Occitania, as well as in the neighboring countries, not only in absolute figures but also in terms of density or percentage (Jordan 1989, 8–10, 52–55, 58–61, 112–114, 155–176). The consultation of Gallia Judaica (Gross/Schwarzfuchs 1969) confirms the wide dispersion of little communities in the network of small towns throughout the territory

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of the lands of Oïl and Oc. Further detailed data on the extent and density of Jewish presence in northern France have been provided by Chazan (1973, 10–11, 31–33, 207–220). The same is partly true as far as Italy and the Iberian Peninsula are concerned. The monumental series Hispania Judaica completed under the direction of Yom Tov Assis of blessed memory clearly demonstrates that each and every Spanish province provides a rich harvest of Jewish and non-Jewish sources about the local Jewish communities. Only after 1148 – with the beginning of the aforementioned Almohad persecution – did the territories of Muslim Spain lose a considerable part of their Jewish population, who sought refuge in the Christian Kingdoms on both sides of the Pyrenees. After the repeated expulsions that marked Jewish history since the beginning of the Late Middle Ages, the center of gravity of Jewish Europe moved eastwards as far as the Ashkenazi world is concerned and southwards with regard to Spanish Jewry. At the beginning of early modern times, Romance-speaking Jewish communities only remained in parts of Italy, in the Pontifical possessions of Comtat Venaissin and in some cities of Lorraine, by then still part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, although the Jews of Metz and Nancy were fluent in French, their vernacular language throughout early modern times and beyond was a German dialect (a local variety of Fränkisch).

1.2 Blondheim and the Judaeo-Latin legacy In his celebrated Les parlers judéo-romans et la Vetus Latina, David S. Blondheim assumed that the roots of the Romance languages spoken by Jews in the Middle Ages went back to a hypothetic Judaeo-Latin (Blondheim 1925). As this point is difficult to prove, it might be preferable to rely on tangible documents witnessing the use of Romance languages by medieval Jews. Blondheim’s assumption as to the continuity from a hypothetic Judaeo-Latin to the so-called Judaeo-Romance languages is challenged by several historical facts. The study of Jewish inscriptions (Noy 1993–1995) in the Western Mediterranean has revealed that the Jewish Diasporas settled in Latin-speaking lands were first and foremost connected to Hellenism with the exception of North Africa, where Greek seems to be blatantly absent. However, North Africa has not produced any Romance language since it was lost to Romania as a result of the Arab invasion in the second half of the 17th century. Blondheim himself recognizes this linguistic situation whereby, apart from the African communities, the Jews of the western part of the Roman Empire were first and foremost Greek-speaking (Blondheim 1925, XXII–XXXIV). Moreover, the boundaries between the ethno-religious identities in the frame of ancient diasporic Judaism were blurred by the huge amount of proselytes, as well as by the fact that it is quite difficult to distinguish among Jews of Palestinian or Alexandrian origin, sympathizers of Judaism (the so-called θεοφοβείς ‘Godfearers’), Judaeo-Christians, and Christians without Jewish origins. Due to this gradual continuum between real Jews and proselytes from various backgrounds, it does not seem likely that the complex and heterogeneous identity that


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characterized western Jewish Diasporas ever produced a specific blend of language called Judaeo-Latin, unless we consider in a broader sense that a Jewish language could be nothing more than a religiolect, that is, a sociolect connected more with a religious identity than a truly ethnic one. Moreover, the question of the transition from Late Latin to Early Romance is so complex and the boundaries between the two states of language are so blurred that it would be useless to assume a direct connection from a putative Judaeo-Latin to the languages eventually used by Jews in Romance-speaking lands. One of the arguments used by Blondheim to corroborate this theory is the existence of specific terms such as the verb meldar ‘to read; to pray’ in Judaeo-Spanish and meauder/miauder ‘to study’ in the Old French used by Jews (Blondheim 1925, 75–79; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino; 20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon). This verb obviously continues the Latinized Greek verb ✶meletare < μελετᾶν. However, the fact that meldar goes back to a Greek etymon is not so much an indicator of the Jewish nature of the Latin spoken by Jews in the western provinces of the Roman Empire as it is signal of their link with Hellenism and the Greek language. Therefore, it is better to consider the emergence of the Jewish varieties of Romance languages a relatively late innovation rather than the continuation of a putative JudaeoLatin. This is all the likelier in that a non-negligible part of Romance-speaking Jews were probably newcomers who arrived in the West from Palestina or Babylonia at a time when the various Romance languages had already emerged from Late Latin. One thinks of the aforementioned Apulian Jews of Byzantine origin or of the history of Spanish Jewries, part of which settled in the Peninsula as a result of the Arab conquest. The assertion as to the high antiquity of Jewish presence in the West does not take into account the assumption that there might have been solutions of continuity or discontinuous cumulative waves in the dynamics of Jewish presence from the Roman Empire until medieval Europe.

2 Jews in Oïl and Oc During the Middle Ages, the territory corresponding to ancient Gaul or modern France was far from being homogeneous politically and linguistically speaking. The realm of Oïl was divided between the domaine royal stretching out from Valois to Berry and various entities either infeudated to the King of France (Counties of Champagne and Burgundy) or depending on other political entities: Normandy first belonged to the King of England and was conquered by Philip-Augustus only in 1204; the province of Lorraine belonged to the Holy Roman Empire. As for Occitania, it was divided between Provence, also a possession of the Empire, Languedoc, and the County of Toulouse that were nominal possession of Aragon, and Gascony, a part of the Plantagenet possession on the Continent.

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A similar heterogeneity is felt as far as the Jews were concerned. Whereas the Jews settled north of the Loire spoke Old French and were part of the Ashkenazi cultural area that stretched itself from Czech and German lands in the East to Anglo-Norman Britain in the West, the Jews of Occitania spoke Old Occitan and were part of the Sephardic cultural area. In spite of the clear-cut division between Mediterranean Occitan-speaking Jews and their northern French-speaking coreligionists, some contact must have taken place between the two Jewries. Menahem ben Ḥelbo (c1015–c1085), who came from Provence to northern France and propagated a new approach to Jewish exegesis among French Jews, and his contemporary Moshe ha-Darshan from Narbonne both influenced the great exegete Rashi, the founder of the northern France school of Biblical and Talmudic exegesis. Banitt probably exaggerated the dependence of northern French Jewish exegesis on the Narbonne center (1963, 267), presumably because he wanted to minimize the interaction and interdependence between medieval French Jewry and the Jewish centers of the Rhineland. Whatever it may be, the role of Narbonne as a center of Jewish lore in the High Middle Ages is as difficult to evaluate as the origin of the Jews of Narbonne themselves, whose history is shrouded in mystery.

2.1 Old French in Jewish setting from isolated glosses to  continuous texts The survey of Judaeo-Romance texts has to begin with the Gallo-Romance area, which is also the first one to provide testimonies of written vulgar in general. It is interesting that the first known Jewish glosses come from the border between German and French, a situation reminiscent of the 842 Strasbourg Oaths, which also reflect the situation of German-Romance bilingualism. These glosses are commonly attributed to the founder of Ashkenazi Jewry, Rabbenu Gershom “the Light of the Exile” (c960–1028), and were edited by Louis Brandin in 1901. Whether erroneous or not, this attribution is quite significant for it confirms the impression that French linguistic identity was probably a constitutive part of the Ashkenazi legacy, as revealed by the presence of a consistent lexical stock of Old French origin in Yiddish (together with words of Italo-Romance origin) (Aslanov 2013a). The intrication between the Old French known by a significant portion of German Jews – especially in the Rhineland – and the Middle High German occasionally referred to by French Jews is a vivid demonstration of the cultural proximity of French and German Jewries. It is not fortuitous that many of the Jews expelled in 1306 or in the subsequent waves of expulsion from the Kingdom of France chose to settle in German lands. It is worthy to ask whether a strange feature of the Old French glosses found in French Jewish texts written in Hebrew or in continuous Old French texts written using Hebrew letters may find an explanation in this intricacy between Middle High German and Old French in the medieval Jewish contexts of both France and Germany. From


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Rashi’s glosses ( 7 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French) until the early 14th century (date of the composition of the elegy in honor of the martyrs of Troyes burned on the stake in 1288), there is an occasional tendency to note voiced affricates by means of Hebrew graphemes normally used for the representations of unvoiced phonemes or, the other way round, to note unvoiced affricates with graphemes that would have been expected to represent voiced phonemes. Thus, in Rabbenu Gershom’s gloss ‫ – ייברונש‬yybrwnš we can recognize the form chevrons ‘rafters’ with a notation of [tʃ] by means of the digram ‫ יי‬that usually notes the voiced postpalatal affricate [ʤ] (Brandin 1901, 77). Likewise, the word chevalers ‘knights’ (a Norman form for chevaliers) was spelled ‫ – ייְ וַ ֵל ְירש‬yyəwaleyrš with the double yod noting the unvoiced affricate [tʃ] (Mathews 1896, 239; Aslanov 2019, 41). Conversely, the elegy in honor of the martyrs of Troyes contains the form ‫וונקירא‬ ֿ – wwnq̄yr’ for vengere ‘avenger’ (Einbinder 1999, 205, 228), where the voiced postpalatal [ʒ] resulting from the leveling of the voiced affricate [ʤ] is represented by a quf with a diacritic geresh, a graphemic combination that is supposed to note the unvoiced affricate [tʃ] or its leveled allophone [ʃ]. This occasional blurring of the correlation of voicing is a typical feature of Middle High German. Admittedly, Old French phonetism in general was probably much more Germanized, as shown by similar variations between voiced and unvoiced consonants, especially for words of Germanic origin, e.g., confanon/ gonfanon ‘gonfalon’ < Old High German gundfano ‘war banner’ (FEW 16, 102). However, in Jewish French texts, this tendency seems to have been stronger than in texts emanating from the Christian surroundings. It does not mean, of course, that medieval French Jews had a more Germanized accent than their Christian neighbors; we may rather assume that the use of another writing system was more idoneous for the expression of some phonetic subtleties regarding the realization of the consonants in Old French. Similar differences in resolution are observable in other cultural contexts in which a Germanic-like slight aspiration that was accompanying the realization of Old French stops were duly noted whenever Old French was noted by means of Armenian, Coptic, or Arabic writings (Aslanov 2006, 65–67). If these apparent anomalies are only a matter of spelling, then Menahem Banitt’s skepticism as to the existence of a specific JudaeoFrench dialect in the Middle Ages may be justified (Banitt 1963). The French school of Jewish scholarship initiated by Rashi and his continuators, the Tosaphists, produced a rich harvest of Old French glosses inserted in the commentaries of the Bible and the Talmud. In medieval France there was also a practice of writing Biblical glossaries, such as the Sifre Pitronot conserved in the libraries of Basle and Leipzig and edited by Menahem Banitt (1972; 2002). Besides those glosses, the Jews of France in the Middle Ages also used to write with Hebrew letters continuous texts in Old French, such as the aforementioned seliḥa in honor of the martyrs of Troyes, some other paraliturgical poetic compositions (Stal/Aslanov 2019), as well as vulgarizations of scientific material (Zwink 2017) and even some incantations in Norman retrieved from the Cairo Geniza (Mesler 2013, 182–184).

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2.2 Old Occitan in Hebrew garb: The presence of vulgar in  religious and scientific literature In the 12th century, Old French Jewish glosses were paralleled by the Occitan glosses interspersed in Rabbi David Qimḥī’s (1160–1235) commentaries of the Prophets and Hagiographs. The same tradition was continued by other Provençal Jewish authors, including Joseph Kaspi (1280–1347) and Gersonides (1288–1344). The presence of Occitan written in Hebrew letters also characterizes medical, pharmaceutical, or other scientific texts translated from Latin to Hebrew. Since many of the terms found in the Latin Vorlage had no known equivalents in Hebrew, they appear in the Hebrew target language as slightly vulgarized equivalents of the Latin original (Aslanov 2013b; 2013c; 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan). The blurring of the boundaries between Latin, the high language of medieval diglossia, and the Romance vulgars is characteristic of the aforementioned indistinct perception of the languages of the Gentiles considered from a Jewish perspective or from the vantage point of another diglossia  – the Jewish diglossia whereby the high languages were Hebrew and Arabic (in Spain and in those areas of Provence and Languedoc where Spanish Jews fleeing from al-Andalus contributed to the propagation of Andalusi culture beyond the Pyrenees). Besides blurring the vertical contrast between Latin and Occitan, the Jews of Languedoc and Provence tended to minimize the difference between Occitan and neighboring Catalan. The two languages are very similar, and they were even more so in the Middle Ages, especially when they were written in Hebrew letters. Admittedly, the occasional Catalanization of the Occitan linguistic material provided by the glosses found in the writing of the representatives of the Provençal Jewish lore may be due to the transmission of the manuscripts in the Iberian context. But the mere fact that this transmission was so easy  – even when the Old Occitan glosses were, so to say, an alien element in the body of the Hebrew texts  – shows that Provence and Languedoc and the territories of the Crown of Aragon were part of the same cultural continuum, whereby Occitan and Catalan tended to converge to each other once written in Hebrew letters. The Occitan glosses of Joseph Kaspi’s Šaršot Kesef ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan) provide a good example of the blurring of the boundaries between the two neighboring languages once Occitan is written using Hebrew letters and integrated into the frame of a Hebrew text (Aslanov 2001, 1–90). However, the traces of Occitan in medieval Jewish literature are not limited to isolated glosses. Occitan-speaking Jewries also produced a continuous text written around 1327 by Crescas del Caylar (Israel Qaslarī). This narrative poem inspired by the Book of Esther is usually known as Roman d’Esther, a modern appellation that reflects the fact that the Provençal Jewish rewriter of the Megilla adopted the formal frame of the few Provençal narrative poems that were extant in a place where the bulk of literature consisted in lyrical poetry: the Roman de Jaufre (end of the 12th century or beginning of the 13th century) and Flamenca, usually known as the Roman de Flamenca (c1250–1270).


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When Paul Meyer published the text in 1892, he was aware of Crescas’s indebtedness to already-existing Old Occitan forms, and he coined the biblically inspired narrative poem Roman d’Esther (Meyer/Neubauer 1892; 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan). Lastly, medieval Provençal Jewry produced some literal translations of the ritual ( 5  Jewish texts in Old Occitan). One of them is contained in a codex from the 14th century (Leeds University Library, Roth Collection, 32) and has briefly been described by Moshé Lazar (1970). This rich volume was given as a wedding present by a brother to his young sister in honor of her wedding. By itself, this circumstance sheds light on the function of the translation of Biblical or liturgical texts into Romance languages. It seems that they were intended to help women who knew the Hebrew letters but not the Hebrew language follow the prayers performed in the sacred tongue. Unlike the tradition of writing Old French in Hebrew letters, which was brutally interrupted by the repeated expulsions of the Jews from the Kingdom of France from 1306 to 1394, the practice that consists in representing spoken Occitan by means of Hebrew letters persisted until early modern times, thanks to the perpetuation of Jewish presence in the pontifical enclave of Comtat Venaissin.

3 The Italian exception Throughout the Middle Ages and beyond, Italy allowed Jewish presence in almost every region of the Peninsula (Roth 1946, 66–193). This relative tolerance is partly due to the lack of a central authority able to perpetrate a large-scale expulsion of the Jewish inhabitants. Whenever such expulsions occurred, they were restricted to small political entities and were usually short-termed. After all, the broad frameworks of the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal States were more benevolent to Jews than most of the Western European kingdoms were. Only in southern Italy did Jewish presence come to an end after 1492 with the application of an expulsion decree in the local possessions of the Spanish crown. This provoked an immigration of southern Italian Jews to other areas of Italy ( 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts) or even to places such as Corfu, which was a Venetian colony until 1797. As mentioned above, the Jews of Byzantine Italy were initially vectors of Hellenism rather than Romance-speaking people. Likewise, the Ashkenazi immigration to northern Italy in the 14th and 15th centuries brought German-speaking populations to the region. This linguistic heterogeneity was eventually resorbed with the Romanization of southern Italian Jewries in the High Middle Ages and the Italianization of Ashkenazi settlers in the Late Middle Ages or early modern times. Nevertheless, the extreme variation within the Italo-Romance dialects themselves makes it difficult to consider the Jewish varieties of local dialects a part within a broader entity allegedly called Judaeo-Italian. Despite the attempts to assume the existence of a Judaeo-Italian koiné, it would be sounder to consider each and every manifestation of Jewish linguistic

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specificity in Italy a local variation of the dialect of the surroundings, although those surroundings may have changed due to the relative mobility of Italian Jews throughout history. What is common among the various Italian Jewish dialects is the Hebrew component, but even this component underwent different modalities of adaptation to the morphophonemic schemes of the various dialects ( 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts).

3.1 The glosses of the ‘Arukh The Italo-Romance vulgar was committed to writing in Hebrew letters at a relatively early stage of Italian Jewish history. One of the earliest attestations of such a practice are the Romance glosses interspersed in the ‘Arukh by Rabbi Nathan ben Yeḥiel of Rome (c1035–1106). This encyclopedical dictionary (completed by 1101) gathers the difficult terms of the Talmud and the Midrashim and glosses them in various languages, some of which seem to have been partially known by the author (as Greek and Arabic) while others were probably added during the process of transmission of this lexicon. Whatever it may be, the Italo-Romance glosses extant in the ‘Arukh were probably added by Rabbi Nathan himself. These Italo-Romance glosses have been thoroughly studied by Luisa Ferretti-Cuomo (1998). They seem to represent a meridional blend of Italo-Romance, although Central Italian dialects are also partially represented therein. The dialectal eclecticism of the Italo-Romance glosses contained in the ‘Arukh might be the result of a complicate transmission or, alternatively, it could bear the mark of Rabbi Nathan ben Yeḥiel’s openness to southern Italian horizons. A similar coexistence of Central Italian and Southern Italian linguistic features has been noted in the Judaeo-Italian elegy ( 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts).

3.2 The Judaeo-Italian elegy for the Ninth of Av At a date that is difficult to determine (from the second half of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th century), an elegy of 120 verses in honor of the Ninth of Av was written either in a Central Italo-Romance dialect slightly influenced by Southern Italian features (maybe due to the hand of the copyist) (Cassuto 1929, 381–382) or in an emerging Judaeo-Italian koiné (Cassuto 1929, 381). This text conserved in three manuscripts is one of the first attestations of a literary text ever written in Italo-Romance. Its importance has been duly recognized not only by linguists in search of the most ancient attestations of Italo-Romance vulgars but also by specialists of literature who have indicated its high literary quality (Spitzer 1959; Collura 2013). It is worth noting that the text of the elegy was found in prayer books, which means that it was organically integrated in the local liturgical traditions of Italian Jewry. The narrative part of the elegy (vv. 49–93) describes a brother and a sister from a sacerdotal lineage sold as slaves to different persons – the brother to an innkeeper and the sister


 Cyril Aslanov

to a prostitute. Eventually, the innkeeper and the prostitute decide to match their two slaves. Once brought into the nuptial room, the brother and the sister discovered their true identities and decided to let themselves die instead of perpetrating incest. The motif of the newly married couple brought into the nuptial room but unable to consummate the marriage is strongly reminiscent of a late-12th-century Christian narrative poem known as Ritmo di Sant’Alessio. This poem of 257 verses was written in the Marche in rhyming couplets according to a prosodic structure known as ritmo giullaresco ‘jester rhyme’ that also appears in the Judaeo-Italian elegy. The formal and thematic likeness between the two parareligious compositions was already noted by Cassuto in the article referred to above, and it provided him an argument to locate the origin of Judaeo-Italian elegy in the Marche rather than in Umbria or in Lazio (Cassuto 1929, 381–382; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts).

3.3 Judaeo-Italian translations of the Bible or of the ritual The issue of the translations of the Bible into Judaeo-Italian is connected with that of the translation of the ritual, given the importance of Biblical quotes in many parts of Jewish liturgy. Cassuto already pointed out that the various translations of the Bible into Judaeo-Italian all represent a common tradition that was specifically Jewish and not necessarily connected with the Vetus Latina, as thought by Blondheim (Cassuto 1930). However, Cassuto’s skepticism toward Blondheim’s theory was eventually challenged by Sermoneta, who called attention to the blatant likeness of the traditional translation of the Psalms into Judaeo-Italian with various versions of the Vetus Latina and even with Jerome’s translation of the Psalms juxta Hebraeos (Sermoneta 1978). Whatever the relationship of the Judaeo-Italian tradition of translation might be, one thing is beyond doubt: the various translations that are attested at a rather late period (15th century) display only very slight variation of a common Vorlage that was revised only in the 16th century with the substitution of the traditional Judaeo-Italian theonym Domedet Det ‘The Lord God’ (probably a taboo-dictated corruption of ✶Domedeo Deo ‘YHWH Elohim’) by Iddio ‘The God’ (Ryzhik 2006, 165; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts). Toward the end of the Middle Ages, a Hebrew-Arabic-Italian dictionary entitled Maqre Dardaqe ‘Teacher of Kids’ was printed in Naples in 1488. It contains the glosses of  the difficult terms found in the Bible (Ferretti-Cuomo 1988; 8  Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts; 15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish).

4 Iberian Jews: A late beginning In the Iberian Peninsula, the use of Romance vulgars in Hebrew letters began later, probably because of the Arabic-speaking background of many Sephardic Jews, even in the

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kingdoms of Christian Spain ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese). Let us take, for instance, the case of Yehuda Al-Ḥarīzī, who was probably born in Toledo in 1165, 80 years after the conquest of the city by the Christians. And yet two or three generations did not blur the knowledge of Arabic in his family, as shown by his belonging to the Arabic-speaking Andalusi cultural horizon. He translated Al-Ḥarīrī’s maqāmāt into Hebrew and wrote Hebrew maqāmāt of his own that are known as Taḥkemoni. His eventual emigration to the Middle East confirms the impression that despite his birth in a Christian-dominated city, Al-Ḥarīzī still felt perfectly at home in Arabic-speaking countries. When considering the Romance language spoken in Muslim Spain, we cannot reasonably view the kharjas, i.e., the last two verses of some Hebrew qaṣā’id, as a specimen of Judaeo-Romance. They rather illustrate another kind of Romance vulgar, the Romandalusí used indistinctly by Christian Mozarabs or Muslim muladíes and not by Andalusi Jews who were part of the Arabic-speaking elite (Wasserstein 1991). The fact that those kharjas appear at the very end of Arabic or Hebrew poems as a kind of transgressive pointe is an almost iconic illustration of the fact that the Romandalusí was at the bottom of Andalusi diglossia, either in Arab or in Jewish milieus. This local Romance language strongly hybridized with vernacular Arabic was only good to be attributed to women of light behavior, whereas the bulk of the qaṣīdah ended by the kharja was written in the high languages of Andalusi diglossia, either in Classical Arabic or in a kind of Hebrew that constituted the adaptation of the best standards of Arabic prosody to the sacred language of the Jews ( 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan).

4.1 Castilian documentary and literary material Documentary or literary texts written toward the end of the Middle Ages in the local vulgars using Hebrew letters ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese) constitute sufficient evidence in favor of the integration of Iberian Jews into their Romance-speaking surroundings. The letters from the 13th century studied by Laura Minervini (Minervini 1992) cannot really be considered a specimen of an emerging Judaeo-Spanish. Neither the use of Hebrew letters to write down the local Ibero-Romance vernaculars (Castilian and Aragonese) nor the occasional occurrence of Hebrew terms provides a sufficient argument in favor of the assumption as to the existence of a distinct Jewish language in the Christian kingdoms of Spain in the Middle Ages. David M. Bunis, the renowned specialist of Modern Judaeo-Spanish, considers that the crystallization of Judaeo-Spanish predated the expulsion (Bunis 2004). However, the occasional expression of Jewish identity within the language does not necessarily mean that late medieval Spanish Jews spoke differently from their Christian neighbors. Moreover, in his article on this debated issue, Bunis mostly relied on post-expulsion materials. Even the translation of the prayer book (MS Paris BnF Hébreu 668) to which he massively refers (Lazar 1995) is preserved in a manuscript


 Cyril Aslanov

that was most likely recopied a long time after the expulsion, probably in Italy (Minervini 1998; Schwarzwald 2010, 38). A synthesis of the question of the existence of JudaeoSpanish before the expulsion is found in Elaine R. Miller’s book (2000, 39–43). The most famous monument of Jewish writing in Castilian is the late-14th-century or early-15th-century Coplas de Yosef, reedited by Luis M. Girón-Negrón and Laura Minervini (Girón-Negrón/Minervini 2006). It is difficult to consider this text an early monument of a hypothetic pre-expulsion Judaeo-Spanish, because the testimonies part of the Coplas has been recopied after the expulsion (as the MS Vatican Neofiti 48, for instance). Even so, the language displays features that differ from the characteristic shibboleths of Judaeo-Spanish. Thus, in spite of occasional rimes that have been considered as evidence for the presence of yeísmo in the language of the coplas (Girón-Negrón/ Minervini 2006, 92), such spellings as ‫אבה‬ ָ ‫ ְליי ָֹר‬lloraba ‘he cried’, ‫ ְלייַ נְ טוֹ‬llanto ‘weeping’, and ‫ ַפלייַ ַא ָבה‬fallaba ‘he spoke’ (stanza 18) are clear indications of the conservation of the palatal [ʎ], a feature that is in sharp contrast with the eventual development of Judaeo-Spanish after the expulsion. A more convincing manifestation of the Jewish identity of the text is its versification that is directly adapted from the Hebrew metric of the Golden Age of Hebrew poetry in al-Andalus (Girón-Negrón/Minervini 2006, 48–52).

4.2 The Iberian peripheries: Catalan and Portuguese in  Hebrew garb Catalonia and Portugal also provided some texts written in the local languages using Hebrew letters. One is a 15th-century Hebrew-Catalan hybrid wedding song, where the intertwining of both languages seems to reflect a farcesque intention (Riera i Sans 1974; Baum 2016; 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan). The coexistence of the two languages in the frame of a bilingual literary artifact does not constitute a sufficient base to view the two linguistic components of the text  – Catalan and Hebrew  – as ingredients within a fusion language. The two languages clearly preserve their autonomy and the comic effect results precisely from their incongruous matching. As for the Judaeo-Portuguese material, it mainly consists in scientific, technical, or liturgical texts written in Portuguese by means of Hebrew letters between the 13th and 15th centuries (Strolovitch 2013; 2 Judaeo-Portuguese). However, the textual specimens brought by Strolovitch exemplify a Judaeo-Portuguese writing system, that is, a way of writing Portuguese using Hebrew letters rather than a fully-fledged Judaeo-Portuguese. The translation of the Passover Haggada with its numerous Hebrew lexemes (Strolovitch 2013, 290–291) cannot be considered a sample of Judaeo-Portuguese either; it is rather a common Portuguese full of Hebrew Kulturwörter reflecting the pressure of the original text on its translation.

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5 Conclusion Throughout this article, we recurrently raised the question of whether the specimens of Romance languages left by medieval Jews represent a specific Jewish dialect or the common language written in Hebrew letters. Since the notion of official language is quite anachronistic before the emergence of the nation-states, the Jewish linguistic difference in the Middle Ages has probably not been perceived the way it was since early modern times. First, the dialectal variety characterizing the Romance-speaking countries diluted the specificity of the language used by local Jews. Second, the emergence of a fully-fledged Jewish language very different from the languages spoken by the Gentile surroundings is precisely the result of the expulsions that provoked a shift of European Jewish populations from western Europe to central-eastern Europe or the Eastern Mediterranean. Only in Italy might we face the constitution of a specifically Jewish koiné, and even in this case, it is most probably a tradition of translation of the Bible or liturgical texts influenced by Biblical formulations rather than a fully-fledged Jewish language. After all, the various Jewish dialects that developed in modern time in Italy, from Piedmont to Lazio, have little in common apart from the Hebrew component. As mentioned above, even this common denominator underwent considerable regional variations, depending on the dialectal surroundings in which the Judaeo-Italian dialects developed.

References Aslanov, Cyril (2001), Le provençal des juifs et l’hébreu en Provence. Le dictionnaire « Šaršot ha-Kesef » de Joseph Caspi, Leuven/Paris, Peeters. Aslanov, Cyril (2002), Quand les langues romanes se confondent. . . La Romania vue d’ailleurs, Langage et société 99, 9–52. Aslanov, Cyril (2006), Le français au Levant, jadis et naguère. À la recherche d’une langue perdue, Paris, Champion. Aslanov, Cyril (2009), The juxtaposition Ashkenaz/Tsarfat vs. Sepharad/Provence reassessed, Simon-DubnowInstitut Jahrbuch Yearbook 8, 49–65. Aslanov, Cyril (2013a), The Romance component in Yiddish. A Reassessment, Journal of Jewish Languages 1.2, 261–273. Aslanov, Cyril (2013b), Latin in Hebrew letters. The transliteration of a compendium of Arnaldus de Villa Nova’s “Speculum medicinae”, in: Resianne Fontaine/Gad Freudenthal (edd.), Latin-into-Hebrew. Texts and studies, vol. 1: Studies, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 45–58. Aslanov, Cyril (2013c), From Latin into Hebrew through the Romance vernaculars. The creation of an interlanguage written in Hebrew characters, in: Resianne Fontaine/Gad Freudenthal (edd.), Latin-into-Hebrew. Texts and studies, vol. 1: Studies, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 69–84. Aslanov, Cyril (2019), The Old French glosses of an anonymous “Peshat” commentary on the Song of Songs, Jewish Quarterly Review 109, 38–53. Banitt, Menahem (1963), Une langue-fantôme – le judéo-français, Revue de Linguistique Romane 27, 245–294. Banitt, Menahem (1972), Le glossaire de Bâle, Jerusalem, Israel, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities.


 Cyril Aslanov

Banitt, Menahem (2002), Le glossaire de Leipzig, Jerusalem, Israel, Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Baum, Ilil (2016), Jewish-Catalan. On the satirical functions of the Hebrew component and other linguistic aspects in five wedding songs from medieval Catalonia, Journal of Jewish Languages 4.2, 1–37. Birnbaum, Salomo (1942), Jewish languages, in: Isidore Epstein/Ephraim Levine/Cecil Roth (edd.), Essays in honour of the very rev. Dr. J.H. Hertz Epstein, London, Goldston, 51–67. Blondheim, David S. (1925), Les parlers judéo-romans et la Vetus Latina. Étude sur les rapports entre les traductions bibliques en langue romane des juifs au Moyen Âge et les anciennes versions, Paris, Librairie Ancienne Édouard Champion. Brandin, Denis (1901), Les gloses françaises (Loazim) de Gerschom de Metz, Revue des Études Juives 42, 48–75, 237–252; 43, 72–100. Bunis, David M. (2004), Distinctive characteristics of Jewish Ibero-Romance, circa 1492, Hispanica Judaica Bulletin 4, 105–137. Cassuto, Umberto (1929), Un’antichissima elegia giudeo-italiana, in: Graziadio Isaia Ascoli/Aron Benvenuto Terracini/Giacomo Devoto, Silloge linguistica dedicata alla memoria di G.I. Ascoli, Turin, Chiantore, 349–408. Cassuto, Umberto (1930), La tradizione giudeo-italiana per la traduzione della Bibbia, in: Comitato nazionale delle tradizioni popolari (ed.), Atti del I Congresso Nazionale delle Tradizioni Popolari (Firenze, Maggio 1929), Florence, Rinascimento del libro, 114–121. Chazan, Robert (1973), Medieval Jewry in Northern France. A political and social history, Baltimore/London, The Johns Hopkins University Press. Collura, Alessio (2013), Oltre Spitzer: “La bellezza artistica dell’antichissima elegia giudeo-italiana”, Critica del testo 16.1, 10–27. Einbinder, Suzan (1999), The Troyes laments. Jewish martyrology in Hebrew and Old French, Viator 30, 201–230. Ferretti-Cuomo, Luisa (1988), Preliminari per una rivalutazione linguistica del “Maqré Dardeqé”, in: Dieter Kremer (ed.), Actes du XVIIIe Congrès International de Linguistique et de Philologie Romanes, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 5, 159–167. Ferretti-Cuomo, Luisa (1998), Le glosse vulgari nell’ “Arukh” di R. Natan Ben Yehi’el da Roma. Dal testo del “Talmud” e del “Midrash” alla glossa volgare. Incontri e scontri sui fondi bizantino, romanzo e germanico, Contributi di filologia dell’Italia mediana 12, 169–235. FEW = Wartburg, Walther von (ed.) (1922–2002), Französisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch. Eine Darstellung des galloromanischen Sprachschatzes, 25 vol., Bonn/Heidelberg/Leipzig/Basel, Zbinden. Girón-Negrón, Luis M./Minervini, Laura (2006), Las Coplas de Yosef. Entre la Biblia y el Midrash en la poesía judeoespañola, Madrid, Gredos. Gross, Henri/Schwarzfuchs, Simon (1969), Gallia Judaica. Dictionnaire géographique de la France d’après les sources rabbiniques, revised edition, Amsterdam, Philo Press. Jordan, William C. (1989), The French monarchy and the Jews. From Philip Augustus to the last Capetians, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press. Lazar, Moshé (1970), La traduction hébraïco-provençale du rituel (manuscrit inédit du XV e siècle), in: Mélanges de langue et littérature du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance offerts à Jean Frappier, Geneva, Droz, 575–590. Lazar, Moshé (1995), Siddur Tefillot. A woman’s Ladino prayer book, Culver City, CA, Labyrinthos. Mathews, Henry John (1896), Anonymous commentary of the Song of Songs, edited from a unique manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, in: Moritz Steinschneider, Festschrift zum achtzigsten Geburtstage Moritz Steinschneider’s, Leipzig, Harrassowitz, vol. 1, 238–240; vol. 2, 164–185. Mesler, Katelyn (2013), The Three Magi and other Christian motifs in Medieval Hebrew medical incantations. A study in the limits of faithful translations, in: Resianne Fontaine/Gad Freudenthal (edd.), Latin-into-Hebrew. Texts and studies, vol. 1: Studies, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 161–218. Meyer, Paul/Neubauer, Adolf (1892), Le Roman provençal d’Esther par Crescas du Caylar, médecin juif du XIVe siècle, Romania 21, 194–227.

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Miller, Elaine R. (2000), Jewish multiglossia. Hebrew, Arabic, and Castilian in medieval Spain, Newark, DE, Juan de la Cuesta. Minervini, Laura (1992), Testi giudeospagnoli medievali (Castiglia e Aragona), Naples, Liguori. Minervini, Laura (1998), Review of Moshe Lazar’s edition of Siddur Tefillot. A woman’s prayer book, Romance Philology 31, 404–419. Noy, David (1993–1995), Jewish inscriptions of Western Europe, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Riera i Sans, Jaume (1974), Cants de noces dels jueus catalans, Barcelona, Curial. Roth, Cecil (1946), The history of the Jews in Italy, Philadelphia, The Jewish Publication Society of America. Ryzhik, Michael (2006), Lessico delle traduzioni dei testi liturgici ebraici in dialetti giudeo italiani, in: Emanuela Cresti (ed.), Prospettive nello studio del lessico italiano (Atti SILFI 2006), Florence, Firenze University Press, 165–172. Schwarzwald, Ora (Rodrigue) (2010), Two sixteenth-century Ladino prayer books for women, European Judaism 43.2, 37–51. Sermoneta, Giuseppe B. (1978), La traduzione giudeo-italiana dei Salmi e i suoi rapporti con le antiche versioni latine, in: Roberto Bonfil et al. (edd.), Scritti in memoria di Umberto Nahon, Jerusalem, Foundations Sally Mayer and Raffaelle Cantoni, 196–239. Spitzer, Leo (1959), La bellezza artistica dell’antichissima elegia giudeo-italiana, in: Giuseppina Gerardi Marcuzzo (ed.), Studi in onore di Angelo Monteverdi, vol. 2, Modena, Società tipografica editrice modenese, 788–806. Stal, Yaakov Israel/Aslanov, Cyril (2019), “Yišlaḥ malki ’iš malakhi”. A bilingual Hebrew-Old French wedding song, Massorot 19–20, 175–181 [in Hebrew]. Strolovitch, Devon (2013), Hebrew writing and medieval Jewish vernaculars, in: Ondřej Bláha/Robert Dittmann/ Lenka Uličná (edd.), Knaanic language. Structure and historical background (Proceedings of a conference held in Prague on October 25–26, 2012), Prague, Academia, 282–302. Wasserstein, David (1991), The linguistic situation of Al-Andalus, in: Alan Jones/Richard Hitchcock (edd.), Studies on the Muwaššaḥ and the Kharja, Oxford, Oriental Institute Monograph, 1–15 [reprint in: Maribel Fierro/Julio Samsó (edd.), The Formation of Al-Andalus, Aldershot, Ashgate Variorum, 1998, II, 3–17]. Weinreich, Max (1980), History of the Yiddish language, translated by Shlomo Noble, Chicago/London, The University of Chicago Press. Zwink, Julia (2017), Altfranzösisch in hebräischer Graphie. Teiledition und Analyse des Medizintraktats “Fevres”, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter.

Devon L. Strolovitch

2 Judaeo-Portuguese Abstract: Judaeo-Portuguese is the now-extinct Luso-Romance variety attested in a small number of texts written in Hebrew script, all dating from the 15th century and earlier in the Iberian Peninsula, as well as a larger number of post-15th-century Roman-letter texts, all produced in émigré communities. The known peninsular corpus consists of eight texts, ranging from vernacular instructions in Hebrew maḥzorim to works on astrology and manuscript illumination. The Judaeo-Portuguese variety evidenced in these pre1497 texts largely conforms to the profile of non-Hebraicized late medieval Portuguese and presents little in the way of overtly Judaic features beyond its Hebrew script and lexical borrowings demanded by the religious context of some of the texts. Nevertheless, the writing system itself presents a mature hybrid of orthographic conventions imported and adapted from Hebrew and contemporary Romance writing. The texts and their unconventional writing system also offer insight into the phonological and morphological variability of contemporary late medieval Portuguese. Peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese was transmitted through a convivência of language and script that within a century of the production of the extant texts would disappear from the Iberian Peninsula. Keywords: Portuguese, medieval Ibero-Romance, aljamiado, Hebraicization, writing systems, historical linguistics

1 Introduction Judaeo-Portuguese is the Luso-Romance language attested in a small number of texts written in Hebrew script, all dating from the 15th century and earlier, as well as a number of post-15th-century Roman-letter texts, all produced in émigré communities outside the Iberian Peninsula (northern Germany, Holland, France, Italy, England, and the Americas). The earliest archaeological evidence of Jewish settlement in the region of modern-day Portugal – indeed, in the entire Iberian Peninsula – is a recently-discovered marble slab inscribed with a Hebrew name, which has been dated to around 390 CE (Graen 2012). Other early Hebrew inscriptions date from several centuries later, but no Portugueselanguage Jewish writing is known prior to the 13th century. Though no self-conscious

Note: This chapter was originally published in Handbook of Jewish languages, edited by Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin, Leiden, Brill, 2016, 552–592 (revised and updated edition 2017, 553–593). We are republishing the version of the 2017 edition with minor changes (mostly due to the format of this manual) with the permission of Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

reconquista was undertaken in Portugal, the country was fully under Christian rule by the end of the 13th century. Thus, unlike Jews in some regions of what would become Spain, the Jews of Portugal lived amidst a firmly Latin culture. Indeed, beyond their unconventional script, peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese texts do not indicate a range of variation beyond that which is expected of Old Portuguese. The sociolinguistic situation of Judaeo-Portuguese differed in other significant ways  from that of Judaeo-Spanish ( 3  Jewish texts in Old Castilian and NavarroAragonese; 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). Unlike Spanish Jews, Portuguese Jews were not expelled at the end of the 15th century but rather were converted en masse by royal decree in 1497, and possession of Hebrew books was banned. Moreover, while Jewish emigration from Spain – often to Portugal – occurred throughout the 15th century and accelerated with the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, emigration from Portugal did not begin in earnest until the establishment of a Portuguese Inquisition in 1536 (Tavares 1997). Thus, not only did a more persistent crypto-Jewish tradition take hold in Portugal, but the Portuguese marranos or conversos who left the Iberian Peninsula had a linguistic profile less distinct from majority norms than the Spanish-speaking Sephardim. For example, in the most significant study of émigré Judaeo-Portuguese, Germano (1968, 21) specifically avoids the term, referring instead to “the Portuguese language used by Sephardic Jews.” Portuguese continued to be used into the 19th century in some communities, which finally shifted completely to co-territorial languages such as Spanish, Dutch, and English, thereby eliminating Portuguese from the Sephardic linguistic repertoire.

2 Documentation The following section introduces and describes the texts that constitute the known corpus of peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese, i.e., Old Portuguese written in Hebrew script. For a discussion of the system of Romanization, please see Section 6.

2.1 Parma Ms. 1959 (O livro de komo se fazen as kores) The text known as ‫ או ליברו די קומו שי פאזין אש קוריש‬O libro de komo se fazen as kores ‘The book on how to make colors’ (henceforth As kores) is the best-known Hebrew-letter Portuguese manuscript, though the first substantial study of the text was not undertaken until well into the 20th century. Based on a photograph of the manuscript at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, the text was transcribed and translated by Blondheim (1929), with a Romanization appearing a year later. However, this edition contained only a few notes of commentary, along with a number of hesitations with respect to individual transcriptions, transliterations, and translations. A complete crit-

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


ical edition was published in Strolovitch (2005), and more recently the manuscript has been the subject of multi-disciplinary work by scholars at the University of Lisbon (Afonso 2010). As kores, now housed in the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma, contains 45 chapters, varying in length from single sentences to several folios, each of which provides instructions for the preparation of inks and dyes, as well as practical information on how best to apply them in manuscript illumination. The text is bound together with ten other manuscripts which, based on similarities of format, justification, number of lines, and other features – and in spite of their varied subject matter – were probably designed as a unified volume (Metzger 1977). Although a colophon reveals the name of Abraham ben Judah ibn Ḥayyim writing at Loulé in Portugal, the year of composition or copy is given only as “22”. Blondheim takes this to be the year 5022 in the Hebrew calendar, that is 1262 in the Gregorian, a date that would place the text among the earliest examples of Judaeo-Romance (beyond individual glosses). Yet the writing style and language clearly places the extant copy later than the 13th century (Castro 2010).

2.2 Bodleian Ms. Laud Or. 282 (O livro de maḡika) and Ms. Laud Or. 310 (O livro kunprido) At over 800 pages, each containing between 29 and 31 lines, the astrological text known as ‫ או ליברו די מאֿגיקא‬O libro de maḡika ‘The book of magic’ (see Figure 1 on p. 47) is by far the largest work of the Judaeo-Portuguese corpus. The earliest reference appears in a brief article by González Llubera (1953), outlining the salient features and textual history of this and a shorter Bodleian astrological text, ‫או ליברו קונפרידו אינוש ֿגויזוש דאש אישטרילאש‬ O libro kunprido enos ḡuizos das estrelas, ‘The Complete Book on the Decrees of the Stars’. In a subsequent suite of articles, Hilty (1957–1958) makes further reference to the manuscript, although his primary object of study is O libro kunprido, a translation of the Castilian version of Kitāb al-Bāri by Abū l-Hasan Ibn Abī al Riǧāl (Vicente García 2002). A critical edition of the Hebrew-letter O libro kunprido was reported to be in preparation by Hilty (1982), but it has yet to appear. The provenance and authorship of the two manuscripts has also been addressed by Levi (1995), though like Hilty his main focus remains on O libro kunprido. The most recent and extensive study of O libro de maḡika is by Duchowny (2007), who offers a transcription and linguistic analysis of the first 84 folios. Based on the note at the end of the manuscript, the text of O libro de maḡika was composed by an astrologer whom the scribe identifies as ‫ ֿגואן ֿגיל די בורגוש‬ḡoan ḡil de burgos. Silva (1924) offers the only concerted investigation into this alleged author of O libro de maḡika, and identifies him as an Aragonese court official, João Gil de Castiello, whose 14th-century work on astronomy is cited in the Livro de Montaria of the Portuguese King D. João I (1357–1433). The identity of the copyist of the Hebrew-letter manuscript itself remains unknown (Duchowny 2007).


 Devon L. Strolovitch

2.3 Bodleian Ms. Can. Or. 108 (Passover I) The other texts in the corpus are all significantly shorter than either the Bodleian astrological texts or As kores, comprising no more than a handful of folios in their respective manuscripts. Two of them consist of vernacular instructions for the Passover seder contained within Hebrew maḥzorim. In addition to this religious setting, the Passover texts share several other distinguishing features. First, they both consist of discontinuous text, with the vernacular passages interrupted by Hebrew-language blessings. They are also the only texts to feature substantial Hebrew material in the Portuguese portions, and the only texts to make a systematic use of vowel pointing (niqqud). The first Passover text appears in the physically smallest manuscript in the corpus, a pocket-size Hebrew maḥzor (see Figure 2 on p. 48). Metzger (1977) notes that when Neubauer (1886) catalogued this manuscript, he believed it to be a maḥzor from Spain, with vernacular instructions in Spanish. A major cause of his mistake was no doubt the frequency with which the scribe has used final ‫( ן‬n) on third-person plural verbs and certain determiners. This is most likely just a conservative or archaizing spelling, not unlike the of the Modern Portuguese language. Indeed, despite the progress of phonological nasalization, the use of ‫( ן‬n) in the spelling of word-final syllables is a characteristic alternant in Judaeo-Portuguese writing.

2.4 Brotherton Roth Ms. 71 (Passover II) The second Passover text (see Figure 3 on p. 49), now in the Brotherton Library in Leeds, stands apart from the other items in the corpus in several respects. First, it consists only of a trio of individual folios from a lost manuscript. It is also the only Hebrew-letter Portuguese text written in the square Hebrew script rather than the cursive Rashi script typical of most Iberian and later Sephardic writing. In addition, it is probably the oldest manuscript in the corpus, having been dated by its previous owner, Cecil Roth, to the late 13th century (Salomon 1980). The age and wear of the manuscript makes many elements of the niqqud difficult to distinguish, notably the placement of the dot above or to the left of ‫( ו‬w) to differentiate /o/ and /u/, as well as the distinction between the single sub-scribed dot ḥireq (representing /i/) and the two dots of a ṣere or the three of a segol (both representing /e/). The Brotherton text is also the only one in the corpus to have systematically deleted nasal consonant letters in word-final positions and spelled them with vowel letters only.

2.5 Cambridge Ms. Add. 639.5 The shortest text in the corpus consists of a half-page prescription in a 27-folio manuscript containing notes on diseases and remedies, bound together with six other manu-

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Figure 1: Ms. Laud Or. 282, f. 1r. The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

scripts. These other texts deal with a variety of non-Judaic issues (chiefly pharmacology and astrology), and contain passages in a variety of languages written in Hebrew script: Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Italian. This short prescription is written in a hand distinct from some of the Hebrew-language paragraphs that immediately surround it, though all are written in the cursive Rashi script. Unlike the Passover texts, there is no diacritic vocalization, and the only niqqud used is the super-scribed rafe ( 0 Introduction).


 Devon L. Strolovitch

Figure 2: Ms. Can. Or. 108, f. 228r. The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford.

2.6 Other texts Sharon (2002) reports on two other peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese texts: a medical treaty of ophthalmology in Hebrew-letter Portuguese from 1300 (located in Biblioteca Publica Municipal 14 in Porto, Portugal), and a treaty of medical astrology containing a part in Portuguese from the 15th century (Ms. 2626 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, recently viewed by Aaron Rubin). In addition, Hugo Crespo has been examining a set of private documents, currently held in the Inquisition archive of the Torre do Tombo in Lisbon, concerning an important family of conversos in northern Portugal before the forced conversion of 1497. The texts are written in a variety of cursive Rashi

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Figure 3: Ms. Roth 71, f. 5v. Leeds, Brotherton Library. Reprinted with the permission of special collections, Leeds University Library.

scripts and feature a great number of the ligatures characteristic of less formal writing. Aaron Rubin has found a Hebrew-Portuguese glossary, ‫ אור טוב‬ʾOr Ṭoḇ (see Figure 4 on p. 51), first published in Amsterdam in 1675, and published in at least one subsequent edition (Amsterdam, 1726). The Portuguese component, written in square Hebrew letters with vowel pointing, contains several apparent errors (e.g., ‫ ַמאוֹנְ ׂש‬maons for manos ‘hands’) but no otherwise obvious Judaic features. Judaeo-Italian and Judezmo (Ladino) versions of this glossary are also known. See section 2.2 of Rubin (2017) for discussion of that version.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

3 Linguistic characteristics 3.1 Hebrew component 3.1.1 Lexicon The presence of Hebrew elements can be argued to be a de facto indicator of the Judaic character of a text or language variety. Yet the obvious and immediate question about the Jewish character of the language contained in the peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese corpus is difficult to address, given its small size and thematically constrained nature. If we take the technical recipes in O libro de komo se fazen as kores as our starting point, for instance, we find no indication of Hebraic influence beyond script itself. Similarly, amidst the 800 pages of Christian astrology in O libro de maḡika we find no lexical items of Hebrew origin (Duchowny 2007, 41). On the other hand, the Cambridge medical recipe has the distinction of being the only Judaeo-Portuguese text to contain a Hebrew term unrelated to religious ritual, when it calls for ‫ אואה בהמה קרניירו‬uah behema karneiro ‘a horned animal’. Note that this grammatically feminine word is (apparently) modified by a masculine adjective, and as such the phrase might also be read as an apposition, i.e., ‘an animal, (a) ram’. It is in the religious setting of the Passover texts that we find the largest number of lexical items of Hebrew origin integrated into the text. In the Bodleian manuscript these fall into three categories: i. Passover items: ‫ מצות‬maṣṣot, ‫ חרוסת‬ḥaroset, ‫ אפיקומין‬ʾapī qomin ii. Ritual terms: ‫ קדוש‬qidduš, ‫ שהחיינו‬šeheḥeyanu, ‫ ברכת מזון‬birkat mazon iii. General Judaica: ‫ בית הכנסת‬bet hak-kǝneset, ‫ שבת‬šabbat, ‫ ברכה‬bǝraḵa The Brotherton Passover text also contains lexical items of Hebrew origin, including whole expressions used with no paraphrase: ‫יוֹתר‬ ֵ ‫לֹא ַֿפחוֹֿת וְ לֹא‬ lo p̄aḥot wǝ-lo yoter ‘no less and no more’

Like the lone Hebraism in the Cambridge prescription, this phrase is most intriguing for the fact that it shows Hebrew as a source of expression for ideas not strictly related to a Judaic context.

3.1.2 Morphosyntax The sole potential Hebraism in O libro de maḡika occurs in the colophon, where the scribe spells the name of God as ‫ דיאו‬deu (‫ דיאוש‬deus being the form in the body of the text). It is conceivable that this might correlate with the Judezmo characteristic of

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Figure 4: ʾOr Ṭoḇ (Amsterdam, 1675), a Hebrew-Judaeo-Portuguese glossary for students, f. 5r.

referring to God as el Dio, the -s of this semi-vernacular term having been construed as a plural marker and so dropped in deference to the Judaic conception of one God. However, this being the only occurrence in the text of an s-less form, it could be no more than a copyist’s error. More intriguingly, the Brotherton Passover text contains a number of phrases where the Portuguese word order imitates Hebrew-language syntax, such that the calqued phrases are unidiomatic from a Romance point of view. Examples are:


 Devon L. Strolovitch

‫אאה‬ ָ ‫ָדֿה ַמ ָצֿה ָא ָש‬ dah maṣṣa a-saah ‘from the intact matzah’ (lit. ‘from-the matzah the-intact’) ‫ָדא ַמ ָצֿה ְאאוֹייְ ְט ָרא ָאאינְ ֵטייְ ָרא‬ ḏa maṣa a-oytra a-enteira ‘from the other unbroken matzah’ (lit. ‘from-the matzah the-other the unbroken’)

Such calques are frequent in Judaeo-Romance translations of religious texts, where the morphosyntax often emulates that of its Hebrew source ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). Whether they represent a feature of the vernacular language on the basis of these short ritual prescriptions, however, is difficult to assess.

3.1.3 Orthography The most prominent Hebrew element in peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese is, of course, the writing system itself. The adaptation of Hebrew script for writing medieval Portuguese was informed by both the Hebraic tradition and contemporary Roman-letter writing. The following sections illustrate the strategies deployed by Jewish Portuguese to negotiate this contact of conventions. Adaptations from Hebrew Some patterns in Judaeo-Portuguese writing may be characterized as innovative carryovers from Hebrew writing, in that they have neither Roman-letter analogues nor Romance-language motivation. For example, all of the texts exhibit allography in the spelling of /a/ in word-final syllables: ‫ אואה‬uah ‫ דואש‬duas ‘one/two’ ‫ ָש ָא ָאה‬saah ‫ ָש ָא ָאש‬saas ‘whole-f’ ‫ שיג׳ה‬seḡaah ‫ שיג׳אן‬seḡan ‘be’ (3sg./3pl. present subjunctive)

This is in direct imitation of the Hebrew pattern in which word-final /a/ is almost always spelled by the glottal fricative ‫( ה‬which in other positions represents /h/), even though this alternation has no motivation in Portuguese phonology nor in Roman-letter Portuguese spelling. The glottal stop ‫ א‬also has a diacritic use in Judaeo-Portuguese that has no Romanletter analogue. Since word-initial vowels do not historically occur in Hebrew, a single ‫( י‬y) or ‫( ו‬w) in word-initial position is read as a consonant in written Hebrew unless it is preceded by an unpointed ‫א‬, which indicates that the following ‫ ו‬or ‫ י‬is vocalic. With rare exceptions this convention is strictly preserved in Judaeo-Portuguese writing (indeed in Judaeo-Romance more generally as well):

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 

‫אואוטבא‬ ‫טודו אין אואו‬ ‫איאו נון ֿפאלייאי‬

outaba todo en uo eu non falei


‘eighth’ ‘all at once’ ‘I did not find’

This convention in fact applies more broadly in Judaeo-Portuguese to syllable initial vowels other than /a/ as well as to a vocalic ‫ ו‬or ‫ י‬that occurs in hiatus. In these instances the letter is usually preceded by a diacritic ‫ א‬to indicate the vocalic reading: ‫ויראאוש‬ ‫אאוטונוש‬ ‫או נוֿביאו סיאו‬ ‫אקומיסי די קונפואיר‬

veraos autonos o nobio çeo akomeçei de konpoer

‘summers’ ‘autumns’ ‘the ninth heaven’ ‘I began to compose’

In fact, so conventionalized is the digraph that a second ‫ א‬is necessary to indicate the diphthong in autonos above, even though the ‫ו‬-‫ א‬sequence is the letter-for-letter equivalent of . Independence from Hebrew Like most other adaptations of Hebrew script, Judaeo-Portuguese ignores one of the most salient features of Semitic-language writing, namely the lack of vowel letters. In Judaeo-Portuguese, three Hebrew characters ‫א‬, ‫ו‬, and ‫ י‬do the work of five Roman vowel letters, and absence is the exception, with only /a/ left unspelled with any frequency (e.g., ‫ פרנטש‬pranetas ‘planets’ alternating with ‫ פראניטאש‬pranetas throughout O libro de maḡika). Yet unlike the progressive trend that Minervini (1999) discerns in pre-expulsion Judaeo-Spanish texts, it is difficult to perceive in the small Judaeo-Portuguese corpus any developmental history of vowels tending to be spelled with letters rather than diacritics (or with no vocalization at all). In all the extant texts, peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese writing is, unlike its Hebrew-language source, a fully alphabetic system. Moreover, as noted above, diacritic niqqud is deployed only in the religious setting of the Passover texts, where it more often than not redundantly complements the de facto vowel letters: ‫אס ָא‬ ָ ‫ַא ְל ָֿפ‬ ‫ֶּבי ֹוֶ ָיר ָאן‬ ‫קוֹמינְ ָס ָארן‬ ֵ

alfaça(a) bevera(a)n komença(a)ran

‘lettuce’ ‘(they) will drink’ ‘(they) will begin’

Indeed, since lettering and vowel-pointing were often delegated to separate individuals in the production of Hebrew manuscripts, it is not surprising to see that the diacritics, while not fundamentally wrong  – the naqdan (pointer) was surely a Portuguese speaker – do not play a crucial role in the writing system. Judaeo-Portuguese also disfavors one of each pair of letters whose phonetic values are identical in the community’s pronunciation of Hebrew. Thus /k/ is rendered exclusively by ‫ ק‬and never ‫כ‬, while ‫ ט‬is used to represent /t/ to the complete exclusion of ‫ת‬. In the case of /v/, which is the sound represented by ‫ ו‬and ‫ב‬, a semi-systematic division of orthographic labor is put into effect (see below). Other letters, such as the historical


 Devon L. Strolovitch

pharyngeal fricatives ‫ ח‬and ‫ע‬, are rejected entirely and do not appear in peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese. Adaptations from Roman-letter writing Beyond the categorical adoption of vowel letters, the clearest way in which the Portuguese adaptation of Hebrew script was informed by Roman-letter writing is the use of Hebrew letters to preserve distinctions (usually etymological but often phonological) in Romance vocabulary items that were not necessarily maintained in speech nor, curiously enough, in the contemporary Roman-letter spelling of Portuguese. Portuguese /v/ may be spelled by ‫ו‬, double ‫וו‬, as well as by plain and diacriticallyaugmented ‫( ב‬i.e., ‫ ב׳‬or ‫ֿב‬, depending on scribal preference). In some cases this variation is attested across occurrences of a single word, such as vaso ‘cup’ in the Brotherton Passover text, which first occurs spelled ‫ באשו‬baso and later in the text as ‫ וואשו‬vaso. In one instance (f. 5v), the writer even appears to have begun the word with ‫ בא‬ba-, but stopped to begin anew with ‫ ווא‬va, leaving his hesitation unemended. This correction conforms to the basic pattern: ‫ב‬, the historical Hebrew b, and ‫ו‬, itself a historical Semitic w, are used as analogues to Roman and respectively – despite having identical phonetic realizations in Hebrew pronunciation. Moreover, they generally reflect the etymology of Portuguese /v/: where its source is Latin /b/ (or /p/) it is spelled with ‫ב‬, while Portuguese /v/ < Latin /w/ is spelled with ‫( ו‬either doubled or as a singleton). The effect of this “‫ = ב‬b, ‫ = ו‬v” equivalence appears to be independent of the sound ostensibly being indicated: ‫לאב׳ראר‬ ‫דיאב׳לו‬ ‫אינביבידו‬

laḇrar < labōrāre diaḇlo < diabolu enbebido < in-bibitu

‫וירמילייא‬ ‫וידרו‬ ‫דיוירשאש‬

vermelya < vermicula vidro < vitru deversas < dīversas

‘to work’ ‘devil’ ‘drunk’ ‘red-f’ ‘glass’ ‘various-f-pl’

This division of orthographic labor is not, however, perfectly consistent. For instance, it is curiously difficult to find a medial /v/ derived from Latin /w/ that is spelled with ‫;ו‬ instead, ‫ ב‬is normally used: ‫אוב׳ו‬ ‫ויב׳ו‬ ‫קאב׳ידארטאש‬

oḇo < ōvu viḇo < vīvu caḇidartas < ✶cavitāre te habēs

‘egg’ ‘live’ (adj.) ‘(you) will be wary (of)’

There are also several cases in which ‫ ו‬is used to spell a /v/ that derives from an etymological or borrowed /b/: ‫אלווא‬ ‫ֶּבי ֹוֶ ָיר ָאן‬ ‫אלוואייאלדי‬

alva < alba beveran < bibere habent alvaialde < Arabic ‫ البياض‬al-bayāḍ

‘white’ ‘(they) will drink’ ‘white lead’

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


These exceptions can be seen as an orthographic strategy for avoiding an internal ‫ ו‬that stands for /v/ near /o/ or /u/, since the same letter is used to spell those vowels. In fact, a form like ‫ אוב׳ו‬oḇo may be seen as using a strategy to avoid spelling the word with three identical letters in succession, i.e., ‫✶אווו‬. In contrast, the distribution of ‫ ש‬and ‫ ס‬tends to reflect an etymological distribution in Roman-letter writing that does not adhere to the letters’ normal Hebrew use. Overall, Judaeo-Portuguese orthography favors ‫ ש‬as the “default” sibilant letter (i.e., for Portuguese /s/ that derives directly from Latin /s/), while reserving ‫ ס‬for sibilants that derive from another source: ‫ָש ִא ֶירין‬ ‫יא ֶרין‬ ָ ‫ֶס‬ ‫שי פ׳אסא‬ ‫אקונטיסיר‬

sairen < salīre çearen < cenāre se faça < se faciat aconteçer < ad+contingescere

‘(they) leave’ (future subjunctive) ‘(they) dine’ (future subjunctive) ‘make-3sg’ (subjunctive) ‘to happen’

A third option elsewhere in Judaeo-Romance writing, ‫ צ‬ṣ, is used only sporadically, and only in As kores. The fact that Judaeo-Portuguese generally avoids this letter in the native vocabulary suggests that the deaffrication of Portuguese sibilants, which Galmés de Fuentes (1962, 103–113) considers to have begun as early as the 13th century, was well underway. ‫ ס‬also serves to spell the Portuguese sibilants that occur in nativized loanwords, even when their source is not strictly a sibilant-type sound: ‫אלפאסא‬ ‫איר וואנסוש‬ ‫אש׳ידריס‬

alfaça < Arabic ‫ الحس‬al-ḥass er vanços < Greek ἐρέβινθος as̄edreç < Arabic ‫الشترنج‬

‘lettuce’ ‘chickpeas’ ‘chess’

In rare instances, ‫ ס‬does infect the spelling of the plain /s/ plural marker on nouns already containing this letter, e.g., ‫ אונסאס‬onçaç ‘ounces’, ‫ קאביסאס‬kabeçaç ‘heads’. In addition, some words spelled in the texts with ‫ ס‬do have in modern Portuguese orthography, e.g., ‫ סומו‬çumo < Arabic ‫ زوم‬zūm, Modern Portuguese sumo ‘juice’. Nevertheless, the use of ‫ ס‬corresponds quite robustly to the distribution of ( before a non-front vowel) in the Roman-letter orthography of Portuguese, while ‫ ש‬represents only those sibilants that were spelled by a single in Latin orthography. Further illustrating the contact of orthographic conventions, O libro de maḡika also contains proper names and astrological terms that alternate between what appears to be an innovated vernacular form and a more conservative spelling: ‫אריסטוטיליס‬ ‫איריסוטיל‬ ‫אקאריאו‬ ‫אקאיירו‬

ariçtoteleç ereçotel akario akayro

‘Aristotle’ ‘Aquarius’

While it is possible that these quasi-classicizing spellings reflect variants in the speech or perception of the scribe, it would be underestimating the Judaeo-Portuguese writer


 Devon L. Strolovitch

to ascribe the alternation to a fleeting pronunciation rather than variability in the writing system. Adaptations from Arabic Perhaps unsurprisingly, the influence of Arabic writing is restricted to lexical items of Arabic origin, which are largely confined to As kores (see Section 4.2.5). Nevertheless, certain patterns attest to the same multi-literate play of conventions that characterizes other aspects of Judaeo-Portuguese writing, enabled here by the genealogical relationship between Arabic and Hebrew. Some Arabic loanwords show an interesting clash of conventions with respect to /a/. Although the orthography of peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese is overwhelmingly alphabetic, variants such as the following pairs occur in close proximity to one another in the text: ‫קרמין‬ ‫אספראאו‬ ‫אלוויילדי‬

‫קארמין‬ ‫אסאפראאו‬ ‫אלוואייאלדי‬

k(a)rmin aç(a)frao alv(a)yalde

‘carmine’ ‘saffron’ ‘white lead’

In these cases, the absence of vowel letters in words of Arabic origin seems to be licensed by the lack of overt vowel letters in the Arabic source, similar to the ‘Arabicized’ orthography of Judaeo-Arabic (Hary 1996). The fusion of Romance and Semitic tradition is most strikingly illustrated on folio 240v of the Bodleian Passover text, in the following variants of another Arabic loanword: ‫אסא‬ ָ ‫ַא ְל ָֿפ‬ ‫ַא ְל ָֿפ ָסה‬

alfaça alfaçah


The Hebrew cognate of the Arabic source ‫ الحس‬al-ḥass is ‫ חַ ּסָ ה‬ḥassa. In both Portuguese variants, the phonological adaptation of Semitic ḥ to f is spelled as such – even in the second instance, where the word lacks any vowel letters (apart from the agglutinated article), as if based on a typical – though etymologically inaccurate – Semitic root .‫ס‬.‫ס‬.‫ֿפ‬. f.s.s., or even .‫ה‬.‫ס‬.‫ֿפ‬. f.s.h. Because of its mixture of kindred components, however, Judaeo-Portuguese orthography tolerates such un-nativized spellings that arise from the contrasting conventions of alphabetic writing and Semitic-language borrowing.

4 Relationship to (non-Jewish) Old Portuguese The orthographic variation in the peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese corpus, while unique in terms of manifesting the principles of its unconventional writing system, does not generally indicate a range of variation beyond that expected in late medieval Portuguese. Below I illustrate the ways in which some of the characteristic sound changes

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


that transformed Latin into Portuguese (particularly those that distinguish Portuguese from the other Romance languages) are  – or are not  – reflected in the Hebrew-letter orthography of Judaeo-Portuguese. In many cases, sound changes known to have already occurred in the period of peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese are not reflected in the Hebrew-letter spelling.

4.1 Phonology 4.1.1 l-clusters Many Portuguese words contain consonant clusters whose second element /r/ derives from an etymological /l/ (e.g., Old Portuguese praneta < planeta; cf. Williams 1962, 62–63). Peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese contains numerous examples of vernacular spellings whose etymological /l/ was later restored (e.g., Modern Portuguese planeta), but still appears as in Roman-letter Portuguese of the same period: ‫פראניטא‬ ‫רישפראנדיסינטי‬ ‫קונפרידא מינטי‬

praneta < planeta resprandeçente < ✶resplendkonprida mente < complēt-

‘planet’ ‘resplendent’ ‘completely’

Similarly, while some words both in the texts and elsewhere preserve the shift of bl > br (e.g., ‫ בראנקו‬branko ‘white’ < ✶blancu, a Germanic loanword), others show a vernacular outcome that was later re-Latinized: ‫פובריקו‬ ‫פובראמינטוש‬

pubriko < pūblicu pobramentos < ✶populamentu

‘public’ ‘populatings’

A similar change attested but later restored involves l-clusters whose initial element is /k/ (cf. Nunes 1975, 96, 156): ‫קרארו‬ ‫קראריֿפיקאר‬ ‫מיסקראר‬ ‫קריפשיש‬

kraro < clāru krarifikar < ✶clarificāre meçkrar < misculāre kripses < Greek ἔκλεψις

‘clear’ ‘to clarify’ ‘to mix’ ‘eclipses’

In the case of words that show the parallel change of gl > gr, Judaeo-Portuguese texts also preserve the vernacular development (e.g., ‫ גרודי‬grude ‘glue’ < glūtine), as they do for words with fr < fl (e.g., ‫ ֿפראקא‬fraka ‘weak’ < flacca). Other sound changes involving l-clusters that yield Portuguese /ʃ/ (Williams 1962, 63, 101) are represented in Judaeo-Portuguese and spelled with ‫( ג‬g) plus diacritic: ‫ֿגיאה‬ ‫אינֿגיר‬ ‫ֿגאמאדו‬

ḡeah < plēna enḡer < implēre ḡamado < clāmātu

‘full-f’ ‘to fill’ ‘called’


 Devon L. Strolovitch

4.1.2 Deleted consonants Though some Judaeo-Portuguese texts contain the vernacular spellings noted above that have since been re-Latinized, there are no instances of the opposite pattern – that is, of conservative spellings in which one of the above clusters is spelled etymologically with ‫ ל‬in the text but with in its modern form (e.g., there is no Judaeo-Portuguese ‫ ✶פלאטא‬plata for Modern Portuguese prata ‘silver’). Yet there are other environments in which Judaeo-Portuguese appears to favor spellings that could be considered conservative or restorative as compared to the Roman-letter orthography of the same period. /l/ In addition to the normal lenition of some intervocalic Latin consonants, Portuguese normally deletes a single intervocalic /l/ and /n/. Yet these deletions are not always indicated in the orthography of peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese. The following occur in Roman-letter orthography lacking but in Judaeo-Portuguese with an intervocalic ‫ל‬: ‫פאלו‬ ‫שאל‬ ‫מולי‬ ‫קולוראר‬ ‫איסינסיאליש‬ ‫אנימאליש‬

palo < pālu sal < salit mole < molit kolorar < colorāre eçençiales < essentiāles animales < animāles

‘stake’ ‘comes out’ ‘grinds’ ‘to color’ ‘essential-pl’ ‘animals’

These spellings could be construed as influenced by Castilian. Indeed, Teensma (1993) notes how confusion between Spanish and Portuguese was characteristic of later émigré Judaeo-Portuguese writing. Given the occurrence of similar forms with in Roman-letter Portuguese of the period, however, it may not be necessary to posit borrowing per se, if the conservative spelling was available due to analogical, dialectal, or learned influence (cf. Williams 1962, 124). Note also that the last two forms above are the exceptions to the general pattern for plurals containing an etymological /l/ (such as adjectives based on -ales), which are generally spelled without any letter l (e.g., ‫אנימאאיש‬ animais). Other words with an etymological /l/ are not spelled with ‫ ל‬in the texts, but are spelled in such a way as to indicate the hiatus from the deleted /l/ that has coalesced in later times but that is also often preserved in Roman-letter spellings of the day (cf. Nunes 1975, 65): ‫פואוש‬ ‫דואור‬ ‫אנֿגיאוש‬ ‫וואונטאדי‬ ‫קאינטי‬ ‫לינסואואוש‬

poos < ✶pulvos door < dolōre anḡeos < angelos vountade < voluntāte kaente < calente lençouos < linteolos

‘powder’ ‘pain’ ‘angels’ ‘will’ ‘hot’ ‘bedsheets’

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Other words whose etymological /l/ has been restored in the modern orthography occur in the texts without this /l/ spelled, as in Roman-letter writing of the period (cf. Nunes 1975, 99, 108): ‫קאבידואר‬ ‫אאומי‬ ‫קאבידוש‬ ‫אימינטוש‬ ‫טואון‬

kabidoar < capitulāre aume < alumine kabidos < capitulōs ementos < elementōs toun < talone

‘to capitalize’ ‘alum’ ‘chapters’ ‘elements’ ‘heel’ /n/ The most recurrent example of conservative or learned spelling in Judaeo-Portuguese is the presence of nasal consonant letters in word-final position (3pl. verb inflections, nouns based on -tione, the preposition ‫ קון‬kon ‘with’, etc.), which generally alternate with vowel-only spellings. As with /l/, then, there are some instances of words spelled conservatively in Judaeo-Portuguese with a letter ‫( נ‬n) ‫אונה‬ ‫מאנו‬ ‫שולאנו‬ ‫פרישיאוניש‬ ‫באקונוש‬ ‫קאברונוש‬ ‫ֿגימיני‬

unah < una mano < manu solano < solanu prisiones < prehensiōnes bakunos < ✶vaccunos kabronos < ✶caprunos ḡemini < gemini

‘a-f’ ‘hand’ ‘hot sun’ ‘prisons’ ‘bovine-m-pl’ ‘goat-related-m-pl’ ‘Gemini’

The feminine indefinite article alternates throughout the corpus between forms with and without an overt ‫נ‬. While the in Modern Portuguese uma is a restored spelling that serves the same diacritic purpose as this ‫( נ‬namely to signal the nasalized vowel), the ‫ נ‬in mano no doubt has the same status; but modern conventions are such that nasalization is not indicated there by a restored consonant. Roman-letter Portuguese nonetheless restores the nasal consonant in a variety of contexts in which no letter appears in Judaeo-Portuguese spelling. In many cases these are pre-consonantal coda nasals that were deleted early in Ibero-Romance and were not likely available as active orthographic variants (Alkire/Rosen 2010, 218): ‫טיֿגיר‬ ‫שישוש‬ ‫מיאוש‬ ‫קונפרישואיש‬ ‫שיטריטיאון‬ ‫אסידינטי‬ ‫פירנוסיאר‬

tiḡer < tingere sesos < sensos meos < minus konpresoes < comprehensiōne setreteon < septentriōne açedente < ascendente pernuçiar < pronuntiāre

‘to dye’ ‘senses’ ‘less’ ‘understandings’ ‘north’ ‘ascendant’ ‘to pronounce’

Other cases involve an intervocalic /n/ that was deleted later, often leaving an overtlyspelled hiatus (in the following cases the /n/ has been restored in the modern spelling):


 Devon L. Strolovitch

lumiares < lūminares seestro < sinistru saidade < sānitāte termio < terminu razoar < rationāre

‫לומיאריש‬ ‫שיאישטרו‬ ‫שאידאדי‬ ‫טרמיאו‬ ‫ראזואר‬

‘lights’ ‘left’ ‘health’ ‘limit’ ‘to reason’

Other words that contain a restored /n/ in their Roman-letter forms are spelled in Judaeo-Portuguese with no indication of hiatus from the deleted consonant: ‫פירטיסין‬ ‫גירו‬

perteçen < ✶pertinescunt gero < ✶generu

‘(they) pertain’ ‘type’ Other lenitions In addition to deleted /l/ and /n/, Judaeo-Portuguese texts show inherited or semilearned forms with voiced consonants similar to Roman-letter Portuguese of the period in words that have restored the etymological segments in later re-Latinization: abonegar < ✶ad+beneficāre laguçta < locusta segolares < saeculāres maduran < mātūrant

‫אבוניגאר‬ ‫לאגוסטא‬ ‫שיגולאריש‬ ‫מאדוראן‬

‘to fix up’ ‘locust’ ‘laypeople’ ‘to mature’

Similarly, there is a small number of words whose modern forms contain a voiced consonant that was lenited to Ø in the normal development: ‫אינדיאה‬ ‫דיליש‬

indiah < indica deles < dēbiles

‘indigo’ ‘weak-pl’

By contrast, other words in Judaeo-Portuguese show a hiatus from a similar deletion that may also appear in Roman-letter writing but that has since coalesced to a monophthong (cf. Nunes 1975, 106–107): ‫וואי‬ ‫שאיטא‬ ‫דיאירון‬ ‫מאישטריאש‬ ‫פוֹאוֹש‬

vae < vādit saeta < sagitta deeron < dēdērunt maestrias < magisterias poos < posuit

‘(he/she/it) goes’ ‘arrow’ ‘(they) gave’ ‘skills’ ‘(he/she/it) placed’

4.1.3 r-migration There is an assortment of Portuguese words whose normal form contains consonant clusters with /r/ in which this sound has ‘migrated’, e.g., preguiça ‘laziness’ < pigritia, quebrar ‘break’ < crepāre, alcrevite ‘sulphur’ < Arabic ‫ الكبریت‬al-kibrīt. Along with such words, peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese features a profusion of other r-migrations that do not appear to be attested in Roman-letter Portuguese of the period. Some of these are the result of straightforward consonant metathesis:

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 

‫ֿפרול‬ ‫ֿפרולינו‬ ‫ֿגירינאסון‬ ‫לובריגוש‬

frol < flōre frolino < ✶flōrine ḡerenaçon < generātiōne lubrigos < lūgubros


‘powder’ ‘florin’ ‘growth’ ‘dark-m-pl’

In other cases, the /r/ has metathesized with the other member of its own cluster, resulting in a new coda-onset sequence: ‫אינבינרו‬ ‫אונראדא‬ ‫אורנאדא‬ ‫אלארגייא‬

invenro < hibernu onrada < ornāta ornada < honōrāta alargya < alacrita

‘winter’ ‘ornate-f’ ‘honored-f’ ‘happiness’

In some instances, the /r/ has migrated from an onset cluster to create a cluster in the onset of the following or preceding syllable. Although this was standardized in some forms (cf. preguiça, etc., above), it also appears as an archaic form in Roman-letter writing of the same period (Nunes 1975, 157): ‫פרוביזא‬ ‫שיטרינטיאון‬ ‫פידריקאר‬

probeza < pauperitia setrention < septentriōne pedrikar < predicāre

‘poverty’ ‘north’ ‘to predict’

In other cases, the /r/ in a syllable coda has migrated backward to the onset, often creating a new cluster: ‫בראניץ‬ ‫אישפרימא‬ ‫גרילאנדאש‬ ‫אינירֿגאש‬ ‫שוברי‬

braniṣ < Medieval Latin veronice esprema < sperma grelandas < Old French guerlande enreḡas < Greek ἐνέργεια sobre < ✶sub+ierit

‘varnish’ ‘seed’ ‘garlands’ ‘energies’ ‘(he/she/it) rises’ (future subjunctive)

By contrast, the /r/ (unetymological in the first case below) has migrated forward from an onset cluster to the syllable coda: ‫פירניטש‬ ‫אישטורמינטוש‬

pernetas < planetas estormentos < īnstrūmentos

‘planets’ ‘instruments’

Similarly, in some words with an etymological pro-prefix the /r/ has shifted from the word-initial cluster to the syllable coda, resembling a phenomenon noted by Silberstein (1973, 101) in Judaeo-Occitan (Judaeo-Provençal): ‫פורֿפונדאדי‬ ‫פורפיאיסיאון‬ ‫פור פוש‬

porfundade < profunditāte porpeeçion < prōportiōne por pos < prōposui

‘profundity’ ‘proportion’ ‘(I) proposed’

Another frequent pattern, particularly characteristic of O libro de maḡika, is a form of r-migration in words containing a suffix derived from -ariu in which the /r/ and the palatal segment have metathesized. Although this is part of the normal development of this suffix (which does appear with other words in the text, e.g., ‫ פרימיירו‬primeiro


 Devon L. Strolovitch

< primāriu, ‫ אגוריירו‬agoreiro < ✶augurāriu), the vowel usually remains /a/, particularly in words that have restored the r-yod sequence in their modern forms: ‫נוטאיירוש‬ ‫ניסישאיירא‬ ‫קונטראיירו‬ ‫וולונטאיירש‬ ‫אקאיירו‬ ‫אייראש‬

notayros < notārios neçesayra < necessāria kontrayro < contrāriu volontayras < voluntārias akayro < aquāriu ayras < ariēs

‘notaries’ ‘necessary-f’ ‘contrary’ ‘voluntary-f-pl’ ‘Aquarius’ ‘Aries’

Note that the would-be parallel ‫ ✶שאֿגיטאיירו‬saḡetayro < sagittāriu (Modern Portuguese sagitário) does not occur, but instead is consistently spelled ‫שאֿגיטארי)א(ו‬, with a Latinizing suffix. Minervini (1999) and others have noted that ‫ א‬did not exclusively stand for /a/ in early Hebrew-letter Romance writing. Though it is conceivable that the ‫ א‬here is used in deference to the etymology of the suffix, this would be the only environment in which it would be serving the same diacritic function in a non-onset position as it does in syllable-initial position (cf. Section A final pattern, related to the r-l metatheses above, involves r-l dissimilation (cf. Nunes 1975, 154–156): r>l ‫ראלו‬ ‫קארטיליש‬ ‫סיליברו‬ ‫פיליגיראסואיש‬

ralo < rāru karteles < carceres çelebro < cerebru pelegeraçoes < peregrīnātiōnes

‘thin’ ‘jails’ ‘brain’ ‘peregrinations’

l>r ‫מארפ׳יל‬ ‫ג׳אב׳ארי‬ ‫שינארדאדי‬ ‫ארגולייאש‬

marfil < Arabic ‫( )عزم( الفيل‬ʿaẓm) al-fil ḡaḇari < Arabic ‫ جبلي‬jabalī senardade < senilitāte argolyas < Arabic ‫ الجلة‬al-julla

‘ivory’ ‘peccary’ ‘senility’ ‘hooped jewels’

The ‫( ט‬t) in ‫ קארטיליש‬is a scribal error for what should be ‫( ס‬ç). Note that in the l > r group, the sound change appears to be spontaneous in two instances (i.e., not conditioned by the presence of another /r/ or /l/). In the case of ḡaḇari it is possible that the /l/ of the Arabic definite article (which, as in many other Arabic loanwords, may have been part of the borrowed form) played a role in this dissimilation. There is the occasional r-l assimilation as well, e.g., ‫ אלאסיל‬alaçel < Arabic ‫العصير‬ al-ʿaṣīr (Modern Portuguese alacir), ‫ ֿגיגריריאש‬ḡegrerias ‘jesterliness’, based on Portuguese joglar < ioculatore, though perhaps this was influenced by other native words with /gr/ < gl or cl, e.g., regra < rēgula, Old Portuguese segre < ✶secule < saeculu (Modern Portuguese século).

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


4.1.4 Palatals Along with the first series of yod-induced palatalizations in early Romance, Portuguese underwent other sound changes that yielded the palatal phonemes /ʎ/ and /ɲ/, indicated respectively by the trigraphs ‫ ליי‬and ‫ ניי‬in Judaeo-Portuguese. In the texts, some of these segments are not spelled as such when they are expected, which in some cases simply correspond to a Castilian-esque spelling: ‫בארילה‬ ‫פירגאמינו‬ ‫אמאניסיר‬

barilah < Spanish barilla pergamino < pergamīnu amaneçer < ✶ad+manescēre

‘lye’ ‘parchment’ ‘become dawn’

In other cases the spelling indicates a palatal segment that may or may not appear in Roman-letter writing of the time (cf. Williams 1962, 72, 84; Nunes 1975, 113, 117): ‫אינשינייאר‬ ‫אורדינייארון‬ ‫אפרימייאדוס‬ ‫דיוינייאליש‬

ensinyar < ✶insignāre ordinyaron < ōrdinārunt aprimyados < ✶apprimiatos divinyales < ✶diviniales

‘to teach’ ‘ordered’ ‘oppressed-m-pl’ ‘divine-pl’

Latin -gn- generally yields Portuguese /ɲ/ (e.g., ‫ פונייאדו‬punyado ‘fistful’ < pugnatu), and other forms in the corpus that involve this cluster either delete the /g/ (e.g., ‫ דינידאדי‬dinidade < dignitāte) or preserve the ‫ ג‬as a conservative Latinate spelling (e.g., ‫ שיגנו‬signo < signu; cf. the Modern Portuguese doublet signo ‘sign’ and sino ‘bell’). The first two verbs could, however, like the third one (Judaeo-Portuguese ‫ אפרימייאר‬apremyar < ✶apprimiāre vs. Modern Portuguese apremer < apprimere), simply represent the reflexes of Vulgar Latin verbs in -iāre (as opposed to the classical forms in -āre) that have been re-Latinized in the modern language.

4.1.5 oi vs. ou Williams (1962, 85–86) notes that in the 16th century the diphthong oi spread to words that originally had ou (e.g., coisa for cousa < causa) and vice versa (e.g., couro for coiro < coriu). Even into the 20th century, with some aspects of Portuguese orthography still in flux, some oi~ou variants were largely interchangeable. Like their Roman-letter counterparts, Judaeo-Portuguese writers often spelled these words with vowels that differ from their later Roman-letter forms (Nunes 1975, 56, 76, 146). The following are words with yod-migration resulting in oi (spelled ‫ )ויי‬but that occur with in their modern forms: ‫קויירו‬ ‫טישוייראש‬ ‫אגוייראש‬

koyro < coriu tesoyras < tōnsōria agoyros < auguriu

‘leather’ ‘scissors’ ‘auguries’


 Devon L. Strolovitch

Other words later spelled do not contain a historical yod segment but are nonetheless further evidence of the orthographic confusion and are also spelled with the ‫ויי‬ variant: ‫אויירו‬

oyro < auru


By contrast, some forms that opt for the variant in Roman script occur in Judaeo-Portuguese with a spelling that indicates either a long /o/ or an /ow/ diphthong, which may or may not represent the correct etymological spelling: ‫קואושא‬ ‫אואוטבא‬ ‫קואוס‬

kousa < causa outaba < octava kouç < calce

‘thing’ ‘eighth-f’ ‘heel’

Note that kousa is a frequent enough word for the variant ‫ קויישא‬koisa to occur in several instances in the longer texts, including in As kores one occurrence of ‫ קושא‬kosa, spelled Castilian-style with a single vowel letter.

4.1.6 ‫ א‬a vs. ‫ י‬e The Hebrew writing system makes it impossible in principle to recognize e~i and o~u confusion in peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese, since both pairs are spelled with one and the same letter. Yet there are many instances where ‫ א‬occurs where a non-low vowel is expected (cf. Paiva 1988, 34): ‫קולייאר‬ ‫סאראדא‬ ‫טולייארא‬ ‫בארניץ‬ ‫אייטראנייוש‬ ‫אינשאנייאר‬ ‫שינארדאדי‬ ‫לאגוסטא‬ ‫קוראנא‬

kolyar çarada tolyara barniṣ aytranyos ensanyar senardade laguçta korana

colher < cochleare cerrada < ✶ serata tolher < tollere verniz < Medieval Latin veronice estranho < extrāneu ensinar < ✶ insignare senilidade < senīlitāte locusta < locusta coroa < corōna

‘spoon’ ‘sealed-f’ ‘(he/she/it) will remove’ ‘varnish’ ‘foreign-m-pl’ ‘to teach’ ‘old age’ ‘locust’ ‘crown’

By the same token, some words in the corpus are spelled with ‫ י‬where another vowel, usually a, would be expected. This pattern, though more frequent overall, is confined to O libro de maḡika: ‫אישטרולוגיאה‬ ‫טרימודאסואיש‬ ‫ארישמטיקא‬ ‫טריאידור‬ ‫טריאיסויש‬ ‫מיריניירוש‬

estrologiah tremudaçoes erismatika treedor treeçoes merineiros

astrologia < astrologia trasmudação < transmutatiōne aritmética < Greek ἀριθμητικά traidor < trāditōre traição < traditiōne marinheiro < ✶marinariu

‘astrology’ ‘movements’ ‘arithmetics’ ‘traitor’ ‘treasons’ ‘sailors’

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 

‫טישטיורנאן‬ ‫ריאינייאש‬ ‫אירמאטיקו‬ ‫טריבילייאדור‬ ‫ֿגיגריריאש‬ ‫אישפיטאלידאדיש‬

testornan reenyas ermatiko trebelyador ḡegrerias espetalidades

trastornam < ✶transtornant rainha < rēgīna aromático < Greek ἀρωματικός travalhador jogral < Portuguese joglar hospitalidade < hospitālitāte


‘(they) revolve’ ‘queens’ ‘aromatic’ ‘worker’ ‘jesterly’ ‘hospitalities’

4.1.7 Mono- vs. diphthong Judaeo-Portuguese contains a number of words with diphthongs that developed from vocalization of a velar consonant, which also appear in some Roman-letter writing but have since coalesced to a monophthong (cf. Williams 1962, 39; Nunes 1975, 126): ‫טראוטאר‬ ‫לויטאדור‬

trautar < tractāre luitador < lūctātōre

tratar lutador

‘to treat’ ‘fighter’

Other words with no historical diphthong or vowel hiatus are spelled with multiple vowel letters in the corpus: ‫קומיינסא‬ ‫אינטיאינדי‬ ‫ֿגיאימיני‬ ‫מאנדואו‬

komeinça < cum+initiat enteende < intendit ḡeemini < gemini mandou < mandō

começa entende Gêmeos mando

‘(he/she/it) begins’ ‘(he/she/it) understands’ ‘Gemini’ ‘(I) send’

Since there is no etymological basis for the extra vowel letters, ‫ אינטיאינדי‬could also be construed as a Castilianism, i.e., entiende. The lack of ‫ א‬makes a similar interpretation for ‫ קומיינסא‬above it unlikely. By the same token, there are several words spelled with single vowels in the corpus that appear with a diphthong in Roman-letter writing: ‫פיסיש‬ ‫קוֿפא‬ ‫אוריֿביז‬ ‫אגוריירו‬ ‫ֿגוליאו‬

peçes < pisces kofa < ✶cuffia oriḇez < aurifices agoreiro < augurāriu ḡulio < genuculu

Peixe coifa ourives agoureiro joelho

‘Pisces’ ‘headdress’ ‘goldware’ ‘augury’ ‘knee’

4.2 Lexicon Judaeo-Portuguese also contains many lexical items that differ from Roman-letter forms for reasons other than phonological change or morphological refashioning.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

4.2.1 Replacement In a few rare instances, inherited forms attested in peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese were replaced by direct borrowing from Latin not attested elsewhere in Old Portuguese, e.g. ‫ אלב׳אג׳ין‬alḇaḡen ‘egg white’ < ✶albagine (cf. Portuguese albumen). In most other cases, Judaeo-Portuguese shows inherited forms similar to those found in Roman-letter writing of the period and later replaced by Latinisms: kaḇidar < cavitāre deestro < dexteru akaeçer < ✶ad+cadescere esteos < aestīvos aparilyados < ✶appariculatos

‫קאב׳ידאר‬ ‫דיאישטרו‬ ‫אקאיסיר‬ ‫אישטיאוש‬ ‫אפרילייאדוש‬

cuidar direito acontecer verãos equipados

‘to (take) care’ ‘right’ ‘to happen’ ‘summers’ ‘equipped-m-pl’

4.2.2 Romance cognates Peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese sometimes presents us with lexical items having a cognate in another Romance language but which have since disappeared, replaced by either an inherited form or a Latinism. Not surprisingly, Romance borrowings such as these are most common in the larger astrological texts, though several also occur in As kores: ‫קרי‬ ‫וידוש‬ ‫ֿגאלדי‬ ‫בינדיזיש‬ ‫קורוסואמינטוש‬ ‫קריאניש‬ ‫דוזיאדש‬ ‫רינייואיש‬

kri < creta vidos (cf. Old French vuide) ḡalde (cf. Old French jalne) bendezes (cf. Italian vendetta) koroçoamentos (cf. French courroucement) krianes (cf. Old French crieme) doziadas (cf. Italian doccia) renyoes < rēniōnes

giz mijada amarelo vingança ira preocupação orvalho rim

‘chalk’ ‘urine’ ‘yellow’ ‘vendettas’ ‘wraths’ ‘worries’ ‘dewfall’ ‘kidneys’

In other instances, we find inherited forms that were replaced by a related loanword or remodeled under the influence of a cognate form (usually French): ‫ברונייאר‬ ‫פ׳ייסאאו‬ ‫קאמינייוש‬ ‫ליאֿגין‬

brunyar < Germanic brūn feiçao < factiōne kaminyos < camīnōs liaḡen < ✶lineagine

brunir confecção chaminé linhagem

‘to burnish’ ‘concoction’ ‘chimneys’ ‘lineage’

Given the limited size and scope of the corpus, it is difficult to ascertain how typical this kind of outright borrowing was of peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese, i.e. whether they alternated freely with the inherited terms.

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


4.2.3 Castilianisms Although many of the forms noted above (particularly in relation to l- and n-deletion) suggest the influence of Spanish orthography, Peninsular Judaeo-Portuguese contains many forms that less ambiguously owe their form to Spanish influence. In most cases these consist of orthographic elements that have less motivation as conservative or learned forms and more directly represent the Spanish development of an otherwise Portuguese word: ‫קושא‬ ‫פ׳ואיגו‬ ‫אלונברי‬ ‫ליג׳י‬ ‫קאבילדוש‬ ‫נומבראר‬ ‫לימברושוש‬

kosa < causa fuego < focu alunbre < alumine leḡe < lacte kabildos < capitulos nombrar < nomināre lembrosos < lūminōsu

coisa fogo alume(n) leite cabido nomear luminoso

‘thing’ ‘fire’ ‘alum’ ‘milk, sap’ ‘chapters’ ‘to name’ ‘luminous’

Others differ more substantially and so seem to be more direct lexical imports (or available alternants that have since fallen out of use). Most of these occur only once, or else alternate with the expected forms: ‫איג׳א‬ ‫דישאסי‬ ‫נינגון‬ ‫האזיש‬

eḡa < iāctat desaçe < ✶disfacit ningun < nec ūnu hazes < Greek φάσις

jeta desfaze nenhum fases

‘(he/she/it) pours’ ‘(he/she/it) dissolves’ ‘no(ne)’ ‘phases’

Regarding hazes (here used in reference to the phases of the moon), the use of non-final ‫ ה‬is extremely rare in Judaeo-Portuguese, and there is no reason to expect it to serve as the initial /f/ of the Portuguese form; so the spelling can only be considered a Castilianism. There is, however, another word whose spelling might appear to be modelled on the convention associated with Old Spanish initial , which had lost its phonetic content but was maintained as a conservative spelling, later replaced by : ‫ֿפאלייאי‬ ‫ֿפאלאדו‬

falye falado

achei < ✶aflavi achado < ✶aflatu

‘(I) found’ ‘found’ (past participle)

At first blush this might seem to be a Castilian loanword in which the scribe has borrowed the convention of using the normal letter for /f/ to spell an aspirated or even silent initial consonant. Yet there are no other instances in Judaeo-Portuguese of initial ‫ ֿפ‬spelling what might appear in Roman-letter writing as or Ø, nor does Domincovich (1948) note any parallel uses of . Moreover, native forms of Portuguese achar occur as expected in both O libro de maḡika (‫ אֿגארידיש‬aḡaredes ‘you-pl will find’) and As kores (‫ אג׳אדו‬aḡado ‘found’ and other conjugated forms). The verb thus appear to be a semi-Castilianizing doublet of ‫ אג׳אר‬aḡar, preserving the initial fricative à la portugaise but spelling the medial consonant more à l’espagnole.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

In fact, the word recalls the Judezmo form fayar cited by Penny (2002, 23). In the Judezmo texts compiled by Pascual Recuero (1988), forms of this verb appear as ‫אלייַ אר‬ ְ ‫ַה‬ halyar (1584), ‫אליַ אר‬ ְ ‫ ַה‬haliar (1713), ‫ ַפ׳אייָ אדוֹ‬fayado (1897), ‫ פ׳אייַ אנְ ֶטיס‬fayantes (1897), and ִ‫ ַפ׳איי‬fayi (1909). In a curious twist of conventions, then, since Judezmo initial /f/ did not disappear as in Castilian, it is possible that the earlier occurrences do indeed use initial ‫ ה‬as a conservative spelling (albeit to reflect a more recent convention).

4.2.4 Hypercorrection Distinct from Castilianisms are forms in Judaeo-Portuguese that betray a scribe’s awareness of Spanish practice through an outright error in his Portuguese. The words in the table below normally contain a diphthong, but since this is the feature that distinguishes some Spanish nouns from their Portuguese cognates (e.g., dente > Spanish diente, Portuguese dente), the scribe has spelled each one with a simple vowel only: ‫אובידינטיש‬ ‫אורינטאאיש‬ ‫פיריסושאש‬

obedentes orentais pereçosas

obedientes < oboedientes orientais < orientāles preciosas < pretiōsas

‘obedient-pl’ ‘eastern-pl’ ‘precious-f-pl’

In a similar context, while the scribe of As kores spells ‫ אינג׳ינייו‬inḡenyo ‘method’ as expected, the scribe of O libro de maḡika seems to have considered the palatal segment in that word as a sign of a Spanish versus Portuguese form (e.g., annu ‘year’ > Spanish año, Portuguese ano; caballu ‘horse’ > Spanish caballo, Portuguese cavalo) and avoided it. In fact both texts contain would-be palatals where the spelling corresponds to neither Portuguese nor Spanish: ‫אינֿגינושו‬ ‫בירמילאאו‬ ‫אזינאברי‬ ‫ויאיש‬ ‫מיאור‬ ‫ארא‬ ָ ‫ילא‬ ַ ‫ִפ‬

inḡenoso bermelao azinabre vees meor pilaara

engenhoso < ingeniōsu vermelhão < vermiculazinhavre < Arabic ‫ الزنجار‬az-zinjār velho < vet(u)lu melhor < meliore pilhar < ✶piliare

‘ingenious’ ‘vermilion’ ‘verdigris’ ‘old’ ‘better’ ‘(he/she/it) will take’

In another instance of hypercorrection, scribes seem to have construed a /b/ as akin to the epenthetic /b/ than occurs in the Spanish but not Portuguese forms of other cognates (e.g., nominare > Spanish nombrar, Portuguese nomear), and chose not to spell it: ‫נימרוש‬ ‫לומרושוש‬ ‫ארינימימראר‬

nemros lumrosos arenememrar

membro < membru luminoso < lūminōsu lembrar < memorāre

‘members’ ‘luminous-m-pl’ ‘remember’

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


4.2.5 Arabisms Both As kores and the astrological texts contain many words of Arabic origin, some of which occur largely unchanged elsewhere in Portuguese. Others, however, preserve etymological elements not indicated in the Roman-letter orthography, e.g., the reflex of the emphatic lateral ‫ ض‬ḍ in ‫( אלוייאלדי‬cf. Corriente 1992, 50): ‫אלוייאלדי‬ ‫מארפ׳יל‬ ‫אלאסיל‬ ‫ארגולייאש‬ ‫אלביטיריאה‬

alvayalde < ‫ البياض‬al-bayāḍ marfil < (‫( عزم( الفيل‬ʿaẓm) al-fil alaçel < ‫ العسير‬al-ʿaṣīr argolyas < ‫ الجلة‬al-julla albeteriah < ‫ البيطار‬al-baiṭār

‘white lead’ ‘ivory’ ‘harvest’ ‘hooped jewels’ ‘animal healing’

alvaiade marfim alacir argola alveitaria

In some cases, the Arabic definite article is also borrowed and integrated into the Judaeo-Portuguese form where it has been ignored or de-accreted in Roman-letter writing: ‫אש׳ידריש‬ ‫אלאקאר‬ ‫אזרקאו‬ ‫אנוש׳טאר‬

asēdreç < ‫ الشترنج‬aš-šitranj alakar < ‫ اللك‬al-lakk azarkao < ‫ الزرقون‬az-zarqūn anost̄ar < ‫ النشادر‬an-nušādir

xadrez laca zarcão nochatro

‘chess’ ‘lac’ ‘zircon’ ‘sal ammoniac’

Other loanwords from Arabic differ from the more commonly attested Roman-letter forms, and in some cases appear to be obsolescent: ‫אלפאדידא‬ ‫אלקריב׳יטי‬ ‫אלמארטאקי‬ ‫אלגידאר‬ ‫אטאלמיאה‬ ‫ֿפלאגוש‬ ‫אלקיידיש‬

alfadida < ‫ الحدیدة‬al-ḥadīda alkreḇite < ‫ الكبرت‬al-kibrit almartake < ‫ المرتق‬al-martaq algidar < ‫ الجدار‬al-jidār atalmiah < ‫ ✶حلتمية‬ḥaltamiyya falagos < ‫ حلق‬ḥalaq alakeides < ‫ القاض‬al-qāḍi

azinhavre enxofre litargírio testo tigela lisonja prefeito

‘verdigris’ ‘sulphur’ ‘litharge’ ‘bowl’ ‘ceramic bowl’ ‘flatteries’ ‘prefects’

The modern reflex alcaide survives with specific reference to the medieval ruler of a castle or province, or to the Spanish equivalent of a modern prefeito ‘mayor’ (still called alcalde in Castilian).

4.3 Morphosyntax Several developments unique to the Portuguese verbal system among the Romance languages are well attested in Judaeo-Portuguese. The first is the future subjunctive, which resulted from the merger of two Latin tenses, the future perfect indicative and perfect subjunctive. It appears throughout the corpus, as in the modern language, after conjunctions that imply future action or circumstance:


 Devon L. Strolovitch

‫שואה ְסעודֿה‬ ַ ‫קומיר‬ ֵ ‫ישפוֹאיש ֵקי‬ ְ ‫ֵאי ֵד‬ e despoes ke komer suah sǝʿuda ‘and after one eats one’s meal’ ‫קוֹמוֹ ָש ִא ֶירין ֵדי ֵּביֿת ַה ֶּכנֶ ֶסֿת ִד ַירן‬ komo sairen de beṯ hak-kǝneseṯ diran ‘when you leave synagogue say’

The other major innovation in the Portuguese verbal system is the so-called inflected infinitive, derived ultimately from the Latin imperfect subjunctive. Though much less frequent in the corpus than the future subjunctive, it is attested in As kores: ‫פארא ֿפאזיריש וירמיליון‬ para fazeres vermelyon ‘in order to make red’ ‫טי דואו פארא או קונוסיריש‬ te dou para o konoçeres ‘I give you [this sign] so that you recognize it’

Another Luso-Romance characteristic attested in Judaeo-Portuguese is the preference to place clitic object pronouns between the stem and desinence of the historically periphrastic future tense (which often alternates with imperative forms in As kores and the Passover texts, though the latter contain no clitic pronouns; cf. Section 3.3.6 of Bunis 2017): ‫אי דייטאלואש נא קולייאר אי פואילאש שוברי אש ברשאש‬ e deita-lo-as na kulyar e poe-l-as sobre as brasas ‘and put it in the spoon and place it over the embers’ ‫אדונאר שיליאן בישטאש די קֿבאלגאר‬ adonar se-le-an bestas de kabalgar ‘riding animals will be given to him’

Perhaps not surprising in a corpus that consists of religious directives, astrological projections, and instructions for manuscript illumination, there are relatively few pasttense forms and even fewer periphrastic tenses (past-present-future perfect and their subjunctive/conditional counterparts). It is worth noting, however, that aver ‘have’ is used in a variety of tenses and has clearly maintained a lexical meaning, as it would until at least the late 16th century before being generally replaced as both an auxiliary and a lexical verb of possession by têr < tenēre: ‫פור קי אוש אומיאיש אוימוש אלמאש דא ראזון‬ por ke os omees avemos almas da razon ‘because [as] men we have souls of reason’ ‫שי קונטראיירו אואובישי נון שיריאה פודירושו‬ si kontrayro oubese non seriah poderoso ‘if [God] had contradiction[s] he would not be almighty’

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


5 Further study With such a relative shortage of material there have been few linguistic studies devoted to Judaeo-Portuguese as a whole. The most in-depth survey is a doctoral dissertation by Germano (1968), which takes 18th- and 19th-century texts from Amsterdam and Hamburg as its corpus. Teensma (1993) presents further observations on confusion of Spanish and Portuguese in Amsterdam Jewish writing of the same period. Tavani (1959; 1988) offers surveys of the Portuguese spoken in the Jewish community of Livorno (Italy), while Campagnano (2007) adds further detail by focusing on the Livornese bagito dialect. In addition to Jewish sources, depictions of Jewish speech by non-Jewish Portuguese writers may offer insights into Judaeo-Portuguese, e.g., Artola/Eichengreen (1948), who discuss a passage in the work of the 15th-century Portuguese dramatist Gil Vicente. Wexler (1982; 1985) further proposes that the language of marranos/conversos who remained in Portugal may be an underappreciated source of information about (earlier) Judaeo-Portuguese, and provides a wealth of references to potential sources of material. Individual Judaeo-Portuguese manuscripts have been described and analyzed in varying degrees of detail by Blondheim (1929; 1930), González Llubera (1953), Hilty (1957–1958; 1982), Salomon (1980), Duchowny (2007), and Marques de Matos (2011). Strolovitch (2005) presents critical editions of several of these, along with the Cambridge manuscript, which had been previously misidentified as Judezmo (Reif 1997). Taking a multi-disciplinary approach to a single text, Afonso (2010) offers numerous studies focused exclusively on O livro de komo se fazen as kores by scholars in philology, art history, and chemistry. For a general history of the Jews in Portugal see Tavares (1992) and Martins (2006). Numerous studies of émigré Portuguese Jewish communities can be found in Benbassa (1996), Gampel (1997), Katz/Serels (2000), and Levi (2002), though these do not offer discussions of Judaeo-Portuguese language per se. Sed-Rajna (1970) and Metzger (1977) catalogue the Hebrew-language manuscripts produced by Jews in Portugal. Raizman (1975) presents a more general study of Jewish literary output in Portugal and Brazil, while Mendes dos Remedios (1911) provides a compendium of Roman-letter Portuguese texts from the Jewish community of Amsterdam. For insights into the Judaeo-Portuguese writing system, studies by Pascual Recuero (1988) and Minervini (1999) of pre- and post-expulsion Judaeo-Spanish/Judezmo respectively provide a useful parallel. Hary (1996) offers a survey of the historical practice of adapting Hebrew script for writing languages other than Hebrew, which Wellisch (1978) also discusses in the broader context of script conversion. In this connection, the reader may be interested in the medieval Portuguese texts written in Arabic script, first collected and discussed by Lopes (1897) and further investigated by Teyssier (1978) in the context of Portuguese linguistic history. Corriente (1992) and Machado (1997) offer further explorations of the linguistic interaction between Arabic and Portuguese in the


 Devon L. Strolovitch

medieval period. For a recent discussion of the interaction between Hebrew and Portuguese, see Germano (2014).

6 Appendix: Romanization Given the small number of texts written in Hebrew-letter Portuguese, no standard has yet emerged for rendering Judaeo-Portuguese forms in Roman script. Thus it may be worth explaining the system used in the present chapter, since the goal has not been to represent hypothesized phonetic forms as such (as might be expected). Rather, the objective has been to preserve the distribution of graphemes in the original texts in a manner that clashes minimally with the expectations of a modern Roman-literate audience. Individual strategies are discussed below.

6.1 Vowels Wherever the Portuguese Jewish writer has used a mater lectionis as a vowel-letter, I have reproduced it in the transliterated form, including ‘silent’ final ‫ ה‬as . When two ‫ א‬occur in succession (e.g., in hiatus from a deleted consonant), I normally transliterate both unless the second serves as the diacritic for a following vocalic ‫ ו‬or ‫י‬. The Romanization of ‫ ו‬and ‫ י‬themselves usually involves a choice between / and / respectively, which I have based on a combination of etymological and phonological considerations. When a vowel is not explicitly spelled, I have transliterated it as a superscript, even if it is indicated by niqqud. I base this decision on the fact that Hebraicized Portuguese writing is emphatically alphabetic – that is, vowel letters are the norm and the niqqud that is used rarely if ever disambiguates forms that would otherwise be homographic. Thus all deviations from this norm are indicated by the most suitable analogy in transliteration, i.e., superscribed Roman vowel letters.

6.2 Semivowels (‫ו‬/‫)י‬ A single ‫ ו‬is rendered as where it has a consonantal value, and as or (depending on etymological and phonological considerations) where it serves to represent a vowel (double ‫ וו‬, which is almost exclusively consonantal, is indicated by an underscored ). The same applies to ‫י‬, which is rendered as when it serves as a consonant, and as or (again based on etymology) when it represents a vowel; double ‫ יי‬is rendered as when it follows ‫ ל‬or ‫ נ‬to indicate palatalization (or else indicating the semivowel), but as when it indicates a vocalic diphthong.

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


6.3 ‫ בגדקפת‬bgdkft (stops/spirants) ‫ פ‬is rendered as

or depending on the presence or absence of a diacritic to indicate the stop (unaugmented or with dagesh) or spirant (rap̄e, haček, or apostrophe) value, though no diacritic is added to either of the Roman letters. By contrast, ‫ ג‬and ‫ ב‬are rendered as / and / depending on the absence or presence of a diacritic on the Hebrew letter. Individual texts are more or less internally consistent in terms of which diacritic they employ on a given Hebrew letter, so distinguishing amongst them in Roman script is not necessary.

6.4 Sibilants With ‫ ש‬the default sibilant letter in Judaeo-Portuguese writing, this letter is rendered simply as in my Romanization (except in Hebrew words themselves, or in the few instances in As kores where it is augmented by a diacritic), despite its historical and modern Hebrew value as /š/, as well as the widespread occurrence of this sound in Portuguese. Similarly, since ‫ ס‬represents sibilants that almost exclusively derive from sources other than simple Latin /s/, it is transcribed as here, giving it approximately the same distribution as (and before and ) in Portuguese orthography (as noted in Section, deaffrication had begun to merge this grapheme’s pronunciation with /s/). I do not exploit the convention of ‘soft-c’ in Roman-letter Portuguese (where the cedilla is not required before and ) and avoid the unadorned altogether in my Romanization.

6.5 Velar stop ‫ ק‬is always rendered by , despite the fact that this convention follows neither the Semitic philological tradition nor traditional Portuguese orthography, where [k] is written as either or the digraph , and the letter is generally avoided. Using this character is the most efficient way to indicate the appropriate phoneme while preserving the single-grapheme choice of the Judaeo-Portuguese writer. It is worth noting that most systems of modern (Romanized) Judezmo use where modern Spanish orthography has or , perhaps for the very reason that it may be the only feature to distinguish some forms in written Judezmo from those in standard Castilian.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

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2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Hary, Benjamin (1996), Adaptations of Hebrew script, in: Peter T. Daniels/William Bright (edd.), The world’s writing systems, New York, Oxford University Press, 727–734. Hilty, Gerold (1957–1958), Zur judenportugiesischen Übersetzung des “Libro conplido”, Vox Romanica 16, 296–325; 17, 129–157, 220–259. Hilty, Gerold (1982), A versão portuguesa do “Livro cunprido”, Biblos 58, 207–267. Katz, Israel J./Serels, M. Mitchell (edd.) (2000), Studies on the history of the Portuguese Jews, New York, The American Society of Sephardic Studies. Levi, Joseph A. (1995), Afonso X, o Sábio, as ciências “islâmicas”, o papel de Afonso X na difusão dessas ciências e o “Liuro Conplido en o[s] Juizos das Estrelas”. Possíveis conexões entre o “Livro conplido en los iudizios de las estrelles” e uma versão portuguesa do século XV escrita em caracteres hebraicos, o Bodleian Library MS. Laud Or. 310, Torre de Papel 5, 119–191. Levi, Joseph A. (ed.) (2002), Survival and adaptation: The Portuguese Jewish diaspora in Europe, Africa, and the New World, Brooklyn, Sepher-Hermon. Lopes, David (1897), Textos em aljamia portuguesa, estudo filológico e histórico, Lisbon, Imprensa Nacional. Machado, José P. (1997), Ensaios arábico-portugueses, Lisbon, Notícias Editorial. Malkiel, Yakov (1992), The designations of Jews in the Luso-Hispanic tradition, in: Isaac Benabu (ed.), Circa 1492: Proceedings of the Jerusalem Colloquium “Litterae Judaeorum in Terra Hispanica”, Jerusalem, Magnes, 11–35. Marques de Matos, Débora (2011), The Ms. Parma 1959 in the context of Portuguese Hebrew illumination, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Lisbon. Martins, Jorge (2006), Portugal e os judeus. Volume I: Dos primórdios da nacionalidade à legislação pombalina, Lisbon, Vega. Mendes dos Remedios, Joaquim (1895), Os judeus em Portugal, Coimbra, F. França Amado. Mendes dos Remedios, Joaquim (1911), Os judeus portugueses de Amsterdam, Coimbra, F. França Amado. Metzger, Thérèse (1977), Les manuscrits hébreux copiés et décorés à Lisbonne dans les dernières décennies du XVe siècle, Paris, Centro Cultural Português. Minervini, Laura (1999), The development of a norm in the aljamiado graphic system in medieval Spain, in: Yedida K. Stillman/Norman A. Stillman (edd.), From Iberia to Diaspora: Studies in Sephardic history and culture, Leiden, Brill, 416–431. Miranda de Boer, M. H. (1986), An inventory of undescribed Portuguese and Spanish manuscripts in the Biblioteca Rosenthaliana, Studia Rosenthaliana 20, 176–190. Mitchell, Bruce (2000), Language usage in Anglo-Sephardic Jewry: An historical overview of Spanish, Portuguese and Judeo-Spanish in England from the expulsion to the present day, European Judaism: A Journal for the New Europe 33, 99–108. Neubauer, Adolf (1886), Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and in the college libraries of Oxford, Oxford, Clarendon. Nunes, José J. (1975), Compêndio de gramática histórica portuguesa: Fonética e morfologia, Lisbon, Clássica Editora. Paiva, Dulce de Faria (1988), História da língua portuguesa. II. Século XV e meados do século XVI, São Paulo, Editora Ática. Pascual Recuero, Pascual (1988), Ortografía del ladino: Soluciones y evolución, Granada, Universidad de Granada. Penny, Ralph (2002), A history of the Spanish language, 2nd edition, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Raizman, Itzhak Z. (1975), ‫[ יידישע שעפערישקייט אין לענדער פון פארטוגאלישן לשון‬Yiddish: Jewish creativity in Portuguese-speaking countries], Safed, Muzeʾon lǝ-ʾomanut ha-defus. Reif, Stefan (1997), Hebrew manuscripts at the Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Rubin, Aaron D. (2017), Judeo-Italian, in: Lily Kahn/Aaron D. Rubin (edd.), Handbook of Jewish languages, revised and updated edition, Leiden, Brill, 553–593.


 Devon L. Strolovitch

Sá, A. Moreira de (1960), Abraão B. Judah Ibn Hayyim, “O livro de como se fazem as cores”, Revista da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa 4, 210–223. Salomon, Herman P. (1974), The “Last Trial” in Portuguese, in: Elio Toaff (ed.), Studi sull’ebraismo italiano: In memoria di Cecil Roth, Rome, Barulli, 161–184. Salomon, Herman P. (1980), A fifteenth-century Haggada with ritual prescriptions in Portuguese aljamiado, Arquivos do Centro Cultural Português 15, 223–234. Schmelzer, Menahem (1997), Hebrew manuscripts and printed books among the Sephardim before and after the expulsion, in: Benjamin R. Gampel (ed.), Crisis and creativity in the Sephardic world: 1391–1648, New York, Columbia University Press, 257–266. Sed-Rajna, Gabrielle (1970), Manuscrits hébreux de Lisbonne: Un atelier de copistes et d’enlumineurs au XVe siècle, Paris, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Sharon, Miriam (2002), Judeo-Portuguese, . Silberstein, Susan Milner (1973), The Provençal Esther poem written in Hebrew characters c. 1327 by Crescas du Caylar: Critical edition, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pennsylvania. Silva, Luciano P. da (1924), O astrologo João Gil e o “Livro da Montaria”, Lusitania 2, 41–49. Strolovitch, Devon L. (1999a), Passover in Medieval Iberia II: Two Portuguese “Maḥzorim”, Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 17, 50–59. Strolovitch, Devon L. (1999b), Selections from a Portuguese treatise in Hebrew script: “Livro de como se fazen as cores”, Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 17, 184–186. Strolovitch, Devon L. (2005), Old Portuguese in Hebrew script: Convention, contact, and convivência, Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University. Strolovitch, Devon L. (2009), Old Portuguese in Hebrew script: Beyond “O livro de como se fazen as cores”, in: Luís Urbano Afonso (ed.), Materials of the Image/As Matérias da Imagem, Lisbon, Cátedra de Estudos Sefarditas, 29–44. Strolovitch, Devon L. (2013), Hebrew writing and medieval Jewish vernaculars: The case of Judeo-Portuguese, in: Ondřej Bláha/Robert Dittmann/Lenka Ulčiná (edd.), Knaanic language: Structure and historical background, Prague, Academia, 282–302. Tavani, Giuseppe (1959), Appunti sul giudeo-portoghese di Livorno, Annali dell’Istituto Orientale di Napoli: Sezione Romanza 1, 61–99. Tavani, Giuseppe (1960), Di alcune particolarità morfologiche e sintattiche del giudeo-portoghese di Livorno, Boletín de filología 19, 283–287. Tavani, Giuseppe (1988), A expressão linguística dos judeus portugueses de Livorno, in: Giuseppe Tavani, Ensaios portugueses: Filologia e linguística, Lisbon, Imprensa Nacional, 453–490. Tavares, Maria José Ferro (1982), Os judeus em Portugal no século XV, Lisbon, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Tavares, Maria José Ferro (1992), Los judíos en Portugal, Madrid, Mapfre. Tavares, Maria José Ferro (1997), Expulsion or integration? The Portuguese Jewish problem, in: Benjamin R. Gampel (ed.), Crisis and creativity in the Sephardic world: 1391–1648, New York, Columbia University Press, 95–103. Tavares, Maria José Ferro (1999), Os judeus em Portugal no século XIV, Lisbon, Guimarães Editores. Teensma, Benjamin N. (1993), The suffocation of Spanish and Portuguese among Amsterdam Sephardi Jews, Dutch Jewish History 3, 137–177. Teyssier, Paul (1978), Les textes en “aljamia” portuguaise: ce qu’ils nous apprennent sur la prononciation du portugais au début du XVIe siècle, in: Alberto Varvaro (ed.), Atti del XIV Congresso Internazionale di Linguistica e Filologia Romanza, Naples, Macchiaroli, 181–196. Vicente García, Luis M. de (2002), La importancia del “Libro conplido en los iudizios de las estrellas” en la astrología medieval, Revista de literatura medieval 14, 117–134. Wellisch, Hans (1978), The conversion of scripts: Its history, nature, and utilization, New York, Wiley.

2 Judaeo-Portuguese 


Wexler, Paul (1982), Marrano Ibero-Romance: Classification and research tasks, Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 98, 59–108. Wexler, Paul (1985), Linguistica Judeo-Lusitanica, in: Isaac Benabu/Joseph Sermoneta (edd.), Judeo-Romance languages, Jerusalem, Misgav Yerushalayim, 189–208. Wexler, Paul (1988), Three heirs to a Judeo-Latin legacy: Judeo-Ibero-Romance, Yiddish and Rotwelsch, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz. Wexler, Paul (1989), Judeo-Romance linguistics: A bibliography, New York, Garland. Williams, Edwin B. (1962), From Latin to Portuguese, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Laura Minervini

3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese Abstract: This chapter discusses the medieval Romance texts written by Jews in the Central Ibero-Romance dialects Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran and the characteristics of the language used in these texts. It takes into account different typologies of vernacular texts written by these Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran Jews, examining their linguistic features (phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon) and the historical and cultural background of their production. Finally, the chapter points to some problematic issues of research on this topic. The sociolinguistic situation of the medieval Jewries in Christian Iberia is also considered, as well as the role played by the contact languages Hebrew and Arabic. Keywords: Medieval Castilian, Medieval Navarro-Aragonese, Hebrew script, aljamiado texts, sound-grapheme correspondences, Jewish linguistic identity

1 Introduction The history of the Jews in Christian Iberia is, from the linguistic as well as from other viewpoints, a complex and dynamic one that cannot be reduced to a smooth, linear model of development. The reconstruction of this history can draw on a relatively large number of sources: historical documents of various kinds help place the speakers in their social background, and texts written by the Jews – preferably in Hebrew script – help define the main features of the languages used within the community (aljama). In this respect, the situation of Castilian, Navarran, and Aragonese Jewries is particularly favorable, since most of the Judaeo-Romance texts from the Iberian Peninsula are written in the Central Ibero-Romance dialects Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran (or Navarro-Aragonese,1 i.e., dialects used in Old and New Castile, Aragon, and Navarre) – in political terms, reference is made to the kingdoms of Castile and Leon (later the Crown of Castile), the kingdom of Aragon (as of 1137 united to the County of Catalonia, later called the Crown of Aragon), and the kingdom of Navarre.2 No Judaeo-Leonese or Judaeo-Asturian text has as of yet been identified, while the number of Judaeo-

1 Whether Navarran and Aragonese should be considered two separate entities or a single one is a highly debated question (Hilty 1995, 513–515; González Ollé 1996, 305–307; Fernández-Ordóñez 2011a, 36– 37, 89–90; Sánchez-Prieto Borja 2012, 50–56; Saralegui Platero 2012, 161–162; Enguita Utrilla 2019, 534). 2 The centers of royal authority were Burgos, Valladolid, and Toledo for the Crown of Castile, Saragossa, Barcelona for the Crown of Aragon, and Pamplona for the kingdom of Navarre.


 Laura Minervini

Portuguese ( 2 Judaeo-Portuguese) and Catalan texts ( 4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan) is considerably smaller than in the languages at issue here. This chapter is organized as follows: in Section 2, the sociolinguistic situation of the medieval Jewries in Christian Iberia is sketched out, pointing to its hallmarks  – the role played by Hebrew and Arabic in the linguistic repertoire of the community, and the irrelevance (or at least the limited weight) of Latin. In Section 3, the different written sources available to researchers are listed and commented upon. In Section 4, the main linguistic features of the texts are examined, at all levels (phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon). Special attention is devoted to graphic features that may affect our interpretation of the words’ phonetic realization. Section 5 deals with some knotty problems that affect all research in the field of historical linguistics, especially the reliability of written sources.

2 The sociolinguistic situation of the Jews in  Christian Iberia The available sources suggest that the Jews were fairly well integrated into the communicative networks of the Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran societies they lived in. Needless to say, their conditions varied greatly, since the level of Jewish economic success, intellectual productivity, and social status could rise and fall at different times and places. But other elements are also worth considering – contrary to Moorish communities (mudéjares), Jewish communities often exhibited sharp economic, social, and  educational stratification (Lourie 1990, 35–51) that had heavy repercussions on individual language habits. The currently much celebrated convivencia, i.e., peaceful coexistence of members of the three faiths in the Christian Iberian kingdoms, was not established on an equal footing: Muslims and Jews were to all effects second-class subjects, whose legal status was different from that of the local Christian population, and “violence was a central and systemic aspect of the coexistence of majority and minorities” (Nirenberg 1996, 245). Still, personal interactions were frequent and, in many areas of social existence, boundaries were rather porous; some experiences, customs, and values were commonly shared, but, as the demarcation of differences reinforced the unity of each group, erosion of barriers and assimilation were feared by all alike (Ray 2005; 2009). Whether dwelling in cities, towns, or villages, the Iberian Jews lived in a multilingual world, where several languages were in use according to social contexts and functions, but were not yet perceived as “symbolic markers” or core elements of group identities.3 Jews were usually conversant in the local vernaculars, apparently with

3 The symbolic relevance of languages in medieval society has been considered from different per-

3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese  


no relevant peculiarities save a few lexical items (cf. Sections 3 and 4). And yet their language repertoire differed from that of the Christian majority in two respects: first, Hebrew instead of Latin was their high language, whose use was restricted to the domains of religious practice, formal education, literature, and so forth. Hebrew was nobody’s mother tongue, but a basic knowledge of it was widespread among (male) Jews of all socioeconomic levels (Gutwirth 2013, 137–140); and since literacy was usually acquired on Hebrew texts, acquaintance with Hebrew script was almost universal, while access to Latin script was limited to professional and intellectual elites. Second, active or passive knowledge of Arabic persisted among the Jews for a long time after the transition from Muslim to Christian rule ( 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance). There are many reasons that can account for this persistence: – – –

the stream of Jewish migration from Moorish Spain (al-Andalus), especially in the 12th and 13th centuries; commercial and family ties with Jews residing in Islamic lands (either in southern Spain or in Northern Africa); the presence of an impressive body of texts written in Arabic in Hebrew script (Judaeo-Arabic) by Jewish authors, in fields such as philosophy, theology, grammar, medicine, and astronomy; the diffused attachment of the Jews to their Andalusian past, considered for some good reasons a Golden Age in Jewish cultural, economic, and social history.

Knowledge of Arabic within Jewish communities, still thriving in the 13th century, shrank throughout the 14th century, but until the expulsions of the 1490s there were individuals who, mostly due to their profession, were able to speak and/or read Arabic, such as physicians, merchants, interpreters, scribes, and diplomats.4 It is noticeable that, with the decline of Mozarabic communities (13th century), this ability was an exclusive asset of the religious minorities, unaffected by the cultural reaction that, in the wake of the Reconquista, tried to erase all Islamic traces in the Christian environment.5

spectives by philologists and historians; for the Iberian world, cf. Glick (1979, 165–166), López-Morillas (1995), Ferrando (2000, 47–48), Molénat (2001, 122), Moreno Fernández (2005, 218–221), Sánchez Méndez (2009), Cano Aguilar (2009), Sáenz-Badillos (2010), García Martín (2012). 4 The Arabic manuscripts copied in Christian Spain only circulated among mudéjares and moriscos (converts) if of religious content, and among Jews if of secular (scientific) content (van Konigsveld 1992, 100–102). For the preservation of Arabic art, lore, and language among the Jews cf. Dodds (1992), Molénat (1994), Assis (1995), García Ballester/Vázquez de Benito (1990), Gutwirth (1998), Brann (2002), Gampel (2002), Scheindlin (2002), Zonta (2006), Freudenthal (2011). However, the appreciation of Arabic culture and language was not uncontested, even among Jewish literates (cf. Assis 1995, 117–120; Nirenberg 1996, 167–168; Freudenthal 2011, 104). 5 The condition of the Jews as a tolerated minority made them resistant to the myth-making of Reconquista – a powerful ideological engine and an essential instrument for political propaganda in the Christian kingdoms (Ladero Quesada 2003). Nevertheless, individual Jews, and even Jewish communities, participated in the process of settlement in the newly conquered lands (Ray 2006).


 Laura Minervini

The peculiar structure of the Jewish linguistic repertoire had important consequences: because Hebrew was the prestige language of the community, the Romance vernaculars used by the Jews, in both writing and speech, incorporated many Hebrew loanwords, with varying degrees of adaptation.6 They were equally receptive to Arabisms, often preserved in Jewish texts in forms closer to their etyma – in contemporary texts written by Christians in Latin script, borrowings from Arabic underwent more formal modification or were soon displaced by Romance competitors (Corriente Córdoba 1999; 2008a, 23–95; García González 2008). While some scholars, especially in the 15th century, studied and translated Latin philosophical and medical texts, in Jewish communities as a whole knowledge of and esteem for Latin was rather poor.7 The Jews were thus less influenced by the latinizing vogue of the 14th and 15th centuries that enriched the Ibero-Romance languages with hundreds of cultismos  – borrowings from written Latin that either filled conceptual gaps in the lexicon or replaced inherited words (Dworkin 2010; 2012, 157–181; Pountain 2011, 628–643). In the Jewish milieu, Latin played a weaker role not only as a source for lexical borrowings but also as a model for syntax and style – though it can be argued that this role only affects cultured written registers of the language, in the long term it also has an effect on the spoken language through mechanisms of “downward migration” (Penny 1999, 50–51; Pountain 2011, 635–636, 644–645). Overall, among the Iberian Jews the Romance vernaculars did not experience – or experienced to a lesser degree – the process of Ausbau (elaboration) that characterized the first attempts at standardization, and even institutionalization, in Latin scriptoria under royal, ecclesiastical, or municipal patronage. Such a process began early in the kingdoms of Navarre, Castile, and Aragon and caused the successful spread of some regional or supra-regional scriptae (writing traditions) (Fernández-Ordóñez 2011b, 327, 348–354; Sánchez-Prieto Borja 2012, 58–61). In Jewish society, conversely, the production and propagation of books was “essentially a matter of private enterprise” (Beit-Arié 2003, 83), although yeshivot (academies) could sometimes function as copying centers (Riegler 1997). Communities had their public officers (soferim), who were able to draw up Hebrew and, whenever required, Romance documents, but the process of creation and diffusion of vernacular scriptae was slow and unsteady, and it was hardly supported by any powerful sponsor. Finally, the aforesaid preference for the Hebrew script, whatever the language used, did not necessarily mean that the writer was unable to write in Latin (or Arabic) script; it rather reflected the writer’s target audience, which was his own religious com6 The use of Hebrew lexical items was not limited to written texts: Hebrew words are often mentioned in testimonies to the Inquisition as allegedly pronounced by New Christians (conversos) on trial (García Casar/Carrete Parrondo 2003; Gutwirth 2013, 138–139; Gutwirth 2022). 7 The diffusion of Latin in Jewish learned circles is discussed and exemplified in the essays collected by Fontaine/Freudenthal (2013). The fact that Latin was the language of the Roman church obviously reduced its attractiveness within Jewish communities.

3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese  


munity (Khan 2011, 824). Hence, the Hebrew script became, and was commonly perceived as, “an outward and visible sign of the religious and cultural cohesion” of the group (López-Morillas 1995, 200); the same applies to the Arabic script among mudéjares and moriscos.

3 The sources: documentary and literary texts  written by Castilian, Aragonese, and  Navarran Jews Romance texts in Hebrew script (referred to as aljamiado texts)8 are certainly of Jewish authorship and readership – such texts were accessible only to the group who wrote them – and are therefore the most reliable source for characterizing Jewish (written) vernaculars. Apart from the short and highly conventional sentences inserted in Hebrew muwashshaḥāt ( 1 Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance),9 the first aljamiado texts are dated to the 13th century and their quantity grew from the 14th century on  – but even in the 15th century, when the lengthiest ones were recorded, they constituted only a tiny portion of all Jewish texts, which, in medieval Iberia, were mainly written in Hebrew and in Arabic (for discussion 1  Medieval Jewish textual production in Romance). Isolated Romance words or sentences might be inserted in basically Hebrew and Arabic texts: this is the case of the muwashshaḥāt mentioned above, of prayer-books (siddurim and maḥazorim) with vernacular ritual instructions, of poems (piyyutim) supplying the incipit of vernacular songs to suggest the melody (laḥan), and of different scientific, religious, or philosophical works, with marginal or interlinear glosses (lǝ‘azim).10 Glosses could be collected in glossaries or multilingual lists, as was often the case in pharmacology (cf. Bos/Mensching 2006; 2015), but such collections were less frequent among the Iberian Jews than in other communities of the Romance-speaking world. Full-fledged Romance texts might be more or less faithful transcriptions in Hebrew script of texts originally written in Latin characters – such as the anonymous Danza de

8 Such a label was first applied by scholars to Romance texts written in Arabic script and was later used also in reference to those in Hebrew script. 9 Most authors of Hebrew muwashshaḥāt containing Romance words or sentences – like Moshe ibn Ezra, Yehuda Halevi, Todros Abulafia – lived in Christian Iberia. The manuscripts date mainly from the 12th to the 13th centuries, but later manuscripts are also found (cf. Benabu/Yahalom 1986). 10 See, e.g., Corriente Córdoba (2009, 125–127) for Romance sentences in Hebrew muwashshaḥāt; Quintana/Révah (2004) for ritual instructions in Aragonese in a Hebrew siddur; Seroussi (2005) for incipits of Castilian and Catalan songs in two collections of Hebrew poems; Del Barco (2011), Alfonso (2012), Alfonso/Del Barco (2021) for Castilian glosses in a Hebrew exegetical manuscript.


 Laura Minervini

la muerte or Petrus Hispanus’s Tesoro de los pobres, both dated to the 15th century.11 More often, however, the aljamiado texts found are original, consisting of either creative writing – as with Shem Tov’s Proverbios morales or the anonymous Coplas de Yosef – or practical literacy – such as the bylaws (Taqqanot) of the communities of Castile (1432) or wine tax collection regulations for the aljamas of Puente de la Reina (1343) and Saragossa (1462–1466).12 Texts of a more private character were also common: wills, contracts, payrolls, quitclaims, merchants’ notebooks, recipes, personal letters, and the like. Of great historical relevance is the (apparently) isolated case of an aljamiado inscription in Aguilar de Campoo (1381) commemorating the building of a tower by a Jewish couple (Cantera Burgos/Millás Vallicrosa 1956, 329–331).13 Since in literate societies, public inscriptions are the highest degree of written expression (Petrucci 1997, 45–46), their linguistic and graphic code is particularly meaningful: from this perspective, this short aljamiado text points to a self-confident Jewish elite, sharing and displaying some sort of municipal pride. On the whole, the number of juridical and administrative texts is prominent in the Jewish aljamiado tradition from Christian Iberia and sets it apart from the contemporary textual production of Provençal, French, and Italian Jews ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan; 6 Jewish texts in Oïl varieties: Old Continental French; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts). These texts were often replete with Hebrew words and sentences  – a natural outcome of the fact that Hebrew was commonly used for legal deeds, so that its technicalities and formulas were simply transferred to aljamiado texts.14 This innovative linguistic use aimed at a fuller understanding of such texts and possibly mirrored the early employ of vernacular languages in the chanceries of the Christian kingdoms – first in Navarre, later on in Castile and Aragon (Fernández-Ordóñez 2011b); but the Judaeo-Arabic tradition was also a powerful model in this respect (Gallego 2003; Khan 2007). Artistic literature was recorded mainly in the 15th century, but some of the texts were originally written in the 13th and 14th centuries and were preserved and copied long after their composition. It is possible to identify some features that characterized medieval Castilian Jewish poetry, such as use of homoioteleuton rhyme and alphabetical acrostics, a liking for Biblical themes and rabbinic exegesis, and para-liturgical functions.15 Only a

11 See Hamilton (2012; 2014, 205–248); Manrique (2019); Soares de Carvalho Mendes (1999). Exceptionally, aljamiado texts may be translations of Hebrew texts, e.g., the responsum (teshuva) of R. Jacob Canpanton discovered and published by Arad/Glick (2013). 12 Cf. Díaz-Mas/Mota (1998); Girón-Negrón/Minervini (2006); Minervini (1992, vol. 1, 180–255); Assis/ Magdalena Nom de Deu/Lleal Galcerán (2003, vol. 2, 85–91); Blasco Orellana et al. (2010). 13 A Castilian inscription in Latin script, now almost illegible, is placed above the aljamiado one; the latter is written on two vertical granite plates; between them, a short Hebrew text is inserted – a quotation from Isa. 35,10. A carved portrait of the two patrons is found in the center. 14 Hebrew texts, on the other hand, were usually replete with Romance terms, and there are also texts written in a mixture of Hebrew and Romance. For the use of the Romance in 15th-century Jewish legislation see Gutwirth (1992, 62–65). 15 Cf. Cid (1992); Díaz-Mas (1993; 2001); Lacarra/Cacho Blecua (2012, 121–124); González-Blanco García (2012); Girón-Negrón (2016).

3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese  


few examples of this poetry (so called clerecía rabínica) have survived, but the tradition of this poetry was carried on by the Sephardic exiles and flourished later in the communities of the Ottoman Empire and Morocco. Once more, we can suppose that clerecía rabínica was influenced by the development, in the Christian environment, of a prestigious vernacular literature from the 13th century on; but Jewish authors drew from their own Hebrew and Arabic sources and appreciated the educational value of these literary writings for the sake of their own community. However, some of these poems also circulated outside the Jewish milieu: Shem Tov dedicated his Proverbios morales to the king of Castile Peter I (1350–1369) – the text is indeed preserved in four manuscripts in Latin script and one aljamiado manuscript; and shorter poems like El Dio alto or La lamentación del alma are known only via copies in Latin script.16 It is therefore not advisable to restrict the sources for the study of Jewish vernaculars to aljamiado texts: even if their audience was not necessarily Jewish and their authorship is more uncertain, texts written in Latin script can also provide relevant information. Among the most interesting ones, let us name the vernacular translations (romanceamientos) of the Hebrew Bible, usually exhibiting an extremely literal style and peculiar lexical choices (cf. Bunis 2004, 131–135; Morreale 2006, 48–52; Schwarzwald 2010; Pueyo Mena/Enrique-Arias 2015). The technique of oral word-by-word translation of the Holy Book was common in Jewish schools, but it was conceived as a tutorial tool for young students and its results were seldom written down (Gutwirth 1988; Bunis 2015, 102–104). Still, since Jews and New Christians had direct access to the hebraica veritas, they could be employed in Bible vernacularization projects, sponsored by Christian (often aristocratic) patrons ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino).17 The same participants – Jewish or converso translators and Christian patrons – were involved in the 15th-century Castilian translations of Hebrew philosophical and scientific works, such as Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed or Abraham Zacuto’s astronomical treatises (Lazar 1989; Girón-Negrón 2019). Other interesting samples of Jewish texts in Latin script include testimonies to the Inquisition of conversos suspected of secretly observing Judaism (see above) and Romance translations of Hebrew legal records – even in transactions and proceedings among Jews, one of the parties could require documents suitable for royal tribunals.18 Obviously, Jewish texts in Latin script need to be considered with great caution, since we can never rule out the possibility of adaptations of various kinds made by Christian scribes.

16 Cf. Cid (1992); Gómez Redondo (1996, 403–406); Díaz-Mas (2001, 46–50). 17 The entire corpus of medieval Spanish Bibles, together with information on the manuscripts, is now available online (Enrique-Arias 2004–). For the manuscripts, cf. Sánchez-Prieto Borja (2002), Pueyo Mena/ Enrique-Arias (2013). 18 Within the system of Jewish self-government, the plaintiff could choose whether to be judged in Jewish tribunals according to rabbinical law or to appeal to the law of the kingdom (dina de-malkuta) before royal courts (Motis Dolader 2010; Ray 2005, 8–9).


 Laura Minervini

4 Linguistic features The graphic system used in aljamiado texts is relatively consistent, though differences are found between the earliest texts and those of the late 15th century, whose orthography is much more standardized. Texts are usually not vocalized: the notation of vowels relies on the use of the Hebrew matres lectionis yod (for /e/ and /i/), vav (for /o/ and /u/), alef and he (for /a/).19 There is a clear trend towards a full notation of vowels, but defective spelling is not uncommon – alef is often also omitted in the latest records. Equally ambiguous is the notation of the prepalatal affricates /tʃ/ : /dʒ/ (or [ʒ]) and the fricatives /s/ : /z/, which does not distinguish between voiced and voiceless. The former are represented by gimel with a diacritic (a dot or a short bar), frequently neglected by scribes, and the latter by shin (which, with a diacritic, could also stand for /ʃ/). The opposition /ɾ/ : /r/ (usually -r- vs. -rr- in Latin script) is also disregarded, since both are represented by a single resh – one of the few Hebrew letters that never has a diacritic of gemination (dagesh ḥazaq). These graphic ambiguities severely limit the phonological analysis of aljamiado texts. The correspondence between sounds and letters is particularly problematic in the domain of the sibilant consonants: given the Old Castilian, Aragonese, and Navarran phoneme pairs /s/ : /z/ and /ts/ : /dz/, Hebrew shin was used – as just mentioned – for both fricatives, samekh for the voiceless affricate and zayin for the voiced one, as shown in Table 1: Table 1: Sound-grapheme correspondences of sibilants. O. Sp. phoneme





Hebrew letter

‫( ש‬shin)

‫( ש‬shin)

‫( ס‬samekh)

‫( ז‬zayin)


‫שינייור‬ ‫ריאליש‬ (O. Sp. señor reales)

‫פודירושה‬ ‫פרישינטי‬ (O. Sp. poderosa presente)

‫ֿפואירסה‬ ‫סיאינטו‬ (O. Sp. fuerça çiento)

‫ֿפאזין‬ ‫ראזון‬20 (O. Sp. fazen razón)

What is surprising here is not only the divergent treatment of the two pairs regarding the voiced vs. voiceless relation, but also the selection of letters traditionally interpreted as representing Hebrew palatal (shin) and dental (samekh and zayin) fricative

19 Yod and vav are also used for the glides [j] and [w]; the letter he is used for /a/ in word-final position, alef for /a/ in word-initial and word-medial position; moreover, alef as a purely graphic element precedes any vowel in word-initial position and is often inserted in diphthongs and hiatus. 20 The aljamiado words are taken from the Castilian Taqqanot of 1432 (Minervini 1992, vol. 1, 218–221 and vol. 2, 90–94).

3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese  


sibilants, i.e., /ʃ/, /s/, and /z/.21 The riddle can possibly be solved considering the similarity with the Arabic aljamiado system, that is, Romance texts written in Arabic script: it has been convincingly argued that the Arabic letter shīn was chosen because of the alveolar articulation of Spanish fricative /s/, while Arabic sīn and zāy could stand for /ts/ and /dz/ because of their dental quality (Ariza 2004, 216; Corriente Córdoba 2008a, 104–105; 2008b, xxviii–xix, xxiv–xxvi).22 We can therefore conclude either that the Hebrew aljamiado system was shaped after its Arabic counterpart or that both followed the same path independently, considering the point of articulation (alveolar vs. dental) more meaningful than the manner (fricative vs. affricate) (cf. Bunis 2015, 87–88). Another interesting issue on the border between the graphic and phonemic/phonetic levels is that of the transcription of sounds unfamiliar to Romance speakers, that is, in Arabic loanwords. Such transcription is often more accurate in aljamiado texts than in those written in Latin script. In particular, medieval Ibero-Romance dialects borrowed several Arabic lexical items with the velar, pharyngeal, and laryngeal voiceless phonemes /x/, /ħ/, and /h/. In texts in Latin script, different graphic solutions are found to represent these sounds, namely (most frequently) f, sometimes c, g, and h; or the consonant remains graphically unexpressed (Corriente Córdoba 2008b, xxxix–xli).23 In aljamiado texts, on the other hand, ḥet is commonly used for Ar. /ħ/, e.g., alḥad, alḥaje ḥata, ḥorro, but the letters he and pe with a diacritic may also be found,24 e.g., alhabaqa, fasta; he, pe with a diacritic, and ḥet are used for Ar. /x/, e.g., badeha, alforjas, Farḥ; and finally, he and pe with a diacritic are both used for Ar. /h/, e.g., alihara, aljohar, aljofar, tamarhindi.25 On the whole, the aljamiado spelling system exhibits a certain amount of variability, but less than the one in Latin script, see Table 2:26

21 The Hebrew letter ṣade was seldom used for Romance /ts/ instead of samekh (Minervini 1992, vol. 1, 34). For a survey of this and other graphic features of Judaeo-Romance texts, possibly going back to Talmudic traditions for representing loanwords and foreign words, see Kiwitt (2013, 66–74). 22 Likewise, Arabic loanwords with /s/ and /z/ usually appear in Latin script written with ç and z, respectively, e.g., açequia < Andalusi Ar. al-sáqya < Classical Ar. al-sāqiyah, azeite < Andalusi Ar. al-záyt plaja) (Cullell 1997, 9).


clavari ‘treasurer, in charge of finances’ (from the Latin clāvarĭu, DCVB 3, 202a–b).


‘county, of the count’ (the Hebrew form seems to be a scribal error, otherwise comtlas is inexplicable and makes no sense; the context shows, with no possible confusion, that it should be sous comtals or diners comtals ‘coin issued at the time of the Counts’ (Balaguer 1999, 221).


corton (d’oli) (cf. DCVB 9, 28a–b [s.v. quartó], and DCVB 3, 617a [s.v. cortó]: a unit of oil equivalent to a quarter or twentieth part of the content). This occurrence is the oldest documentation of the word (found in a text from 1523).


comun (comú ‘common’ with the presence of the etymological -n).


en (article or personal title).


octoritat ‘authority’ (from the Latin auctōrĭtāte). The word appears documented in an undated text in the DCVB (VII, 858b).


vells (the sheared fleece of a sheep or goat); the Hebrew form of representing the palatal l with l’ is a little surprising, but the context makes the meaning of the text very clear.

Eduard Feliu (1988–1989) made a compilation of the Catalan words that appeared in the rulings in Hebrew made by the great Catalan Jewish legal advisor Salomó ben Adret (Barcelona, c1253–1310). The following Catalan words were discovered in his wideranging legal work: ’yšṭh

aixeta or eixeta ‘manual valve that adapted to the orifice of a container or at the end of adriving regulates the output of a fluid’, which is the first documentation of the word (cf. DCVB 1, 370a–b; first documentation 1386).


argenç ‘unit of weight equivalent to the sixteenth part of an ounce’ (DCVB 1, 852b).


astrolau ‘instrument where the terrestrial sphere was represented, and which was used to observe the stars and determine their position and movement’ < astrolabe (with a metathesis undocumented until this occurrence, from the Latin astrolabĭus; DCVB 2, 101b, s.v. astrolabi).

4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 



caneles, old form of candeles ‘candles’ (DCVB 2, 908b).


comanador ‘gentlemen entrusted with looking after someone or something’ (DCVB 3, 308b).


Corpocrist ‘Feast of Corpus Christi’, documented a year earlier (1463) for the first time in Mallorca (DCVB 3, 565b).


cot ‘a warm garment with sleeves, like a jacket, worn by men and women in olden days’ (DCVB 3, 666a–b).


curador ‘person responsible for adminstration and defense of the goods and rights of someone who is under the age of consent or disabled’ (DCVB 3, 858b).

dyṣ’ m’r

deçà mar ‘on this side of the sea’ (DCVB 4, 49a–b, s.v. deçà).

dyl’ m’r

dellà mar ‘(the lands that are) on the other side of the sea’ (DCVB 4, 110a–b, s.v. dellà).


destre ‘a measurement of length that was equivalent to twelve spans of a Barcelona unit or right hand spans, that is, 2.79 meters’ (DCVB 4, 347b–348b).


l’enbut ‘funnel’ (a graphic variant of embut; DCVB 4, 750b–751b, s.v. embut).


estopaci ‘topaz’ (the name of this precious stone appears documented in this same form of estopaci in a text by Ramon Llull from 1299 (Miralles 2006, 50) and in a document from 1342 published by M. Olivar (1991, 188).


galotges ‘galotxes, shoes with wooden soles’ (DCVB 6, 140b–141a, s.v. galotxa).


gonella ‘item of clothing worn by men and women, composed of bodice and skirt of varying lengths’ (DCVB 6, 336a–b).


morabatins (name of various medieval currencies) (DCVB 7, 564a, besides morebetí, cf. DCVB 7, 564a–b).


moret seems to refer to the name of a fabric; this is a hapax.


neuler ‘mould for making neules or traditional pastries’ (DCVB 7, 745a–746a, s.v. neula).


nous ‘knots’ (from the Latin nōdu) (DCVB 7, 810b–812b, s.v. nus and nu).


ostages or ostatges (this is the form generally documented in Catalan medieval texts; cf. Old French ostage (DCVB 8, 73a).


paers ‘in towns in the region of Lleida, name given to the magistrates given governing and executive powers’ (DCVB 8, 106a–b).


patins ‘sandal worn mainly by women and made of fine fabric with a thick cork sole placed between two others of leather.’ This is the oldest Catalan documentation of the word (DCVB 8, 328b–329a, documented in a text from 1366).


portadora ‘recipient formed by wooden pieces, with two handles on either side of the largest point of the mouth, used for carrying grapes or wine and also other fruit, water, soil, etc.’ (DCVB 8, 771a–b).

pryn my gṭ ’w r’ypmy gṭ dmwn mryṭ pren-me get o rep-me get de mon marit, phrases spoken by a woman, when she feels ashamed of receiving her husband’s act of repudiation in person, to the messenger who has to carry out the mission on her behalf; Ben Adret says that the phrases have to be said to the messenger in front of valid witnesses (get is the Hebrew name for the act of repudiation; it is a legal technical term that was maintained in Catalan).


 Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer


ràncir variant of ranci ‘rancid (referring to a fatty substance that becomes chemically altered and acquires a distinctive and unpleasant smell and taste)’ (DCVB 9, 131b–132a; this form with final -r is a hapax in Catalan; Ben Adret’s text refers to a salted meat that has gone off.


rapes ‘woody part of the vine; the vine after removing the grapes.’ This occurrence is the first documentation in Catalan of the word (DCVB 9, 142a–b, s.v. rapa, documented by Onofre Pou in the 16th century).


sendat ‘fine cloth, of silk, used for making dresses, linings, bed linen, etc.’ (DCVB 9, 822a).


senescal ‘butler of a great medieval lord’ (DCVB 9, 824a).


siga or ciga, old form of sitja (‘underground cavity to store products harvested in the field, especially cereals’) (DCVB 9, 936a–b).


sínia ‘machine for raising water from underground, consisting of a horizontal wheel with arms, moved by a beast turning it round’ (DCVB 9, 825a–828b, s.v. sènia or sínia).

ṭwdwr, ṭwdwry’

tudor, tudoria (medieval forms of tutor, tutoria).


violari ‘a type of contract peculiar to Catalan civil law, granting one or two people the right to receive a regular monetary pension throughout their lives in exchange for handing over a capital sum’ (DCVB 10, 827a–b).


volta ‘archway, construction in the shape of an arch’. This occurrence is the oldest documentation of the word in Catalan, which appears as the first occurrence of this in a text from 1464 (DCVB 10, 873a–875a).

A relatively short time ago, the edition of a fascinating document was published, which turned out to be of particular interest for the purposes at hand. It is the record book of payments and receipts kept by the treasurer of the Jewish community in Girona, dating from January 1, 1443 to January 1, 1444.19 The 10-page notebook remained intact because a notary had it bound inside a book of protocols from 1445.20 If it had not been for this stroke of luck, it would probably have met the same fate as many other Hebrew documents in Girona, which were turned into material for the parchment covers used for 15th-century notary documents.21

19 Edited by Feliu (2004–2005) with an appendix by J. Ferrer, “Algunes observacions filològiques sobre els mots catalans que apareixen en el document,” which is the basis for the information and interpretations given here. 20 Historical Archive of Girona, Notarial Gi-2, vol. 212. 21 Professor Mauro Perani from the University of Bologna has examined the importance of this discovery, describing, somewhat exaggeratedly, the set of documents contained in the Girona notarial protocol files as “the Geniza of Girona.” Many of the documents recovered are available on the Internet (https:// ). The detailed study of these texts is the topic of a major doctoral thesis by Esperança Valls i Pujol (Valls i Pujol 2015, supervisor: J. Ferrer).

4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 


One of the entries in the notebook, paragraph 70, is especially significant:

Illustration 5: Historical Archive of Girona, Notarial Gi-2, vol. 212. lšwcrym mhmwšbcym crwbt nd’l lprwc lhm nyblyš wqlyryyh wṭwrqš (‘To the doorkeepers of the courts of justice, as a Nadal [‘Christmas’] tip, pay neules, clareia and torrocs.’)

Following the disturbances of 1391, the situation of Jewish communities in Catalonia was extremely precarious (Baer 1961, II, 99–110; Planas 2002, 75–77).22 The text shows that relations between Jews and Christians had returned to peaceful coexistence: it is striking that the treasurer of the Jewish community paid bonuses for the Christian festival of Christmas and that traditional Christian food for this festival is mentioned. Treasurer Zabara has written nine words in Hebrew letters, four of which are Catalan: nd’l

nadal ‘Christmas’. It is unusual for the name of the festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ to appear in a Catalan Jewish text. The word comes from Latin (dies) natalis ‘day of birth’ and appears documented for the first time, according to historical dictionaries of Catalan (DCVB 7, 687a–688b; DECLC 5, 903b11–27) in the 14th century in the Crònica of James I.


neules ‘a pastry product traditionally eaten at Christmas time’. The word is documented in many archaic texts from the pre-literary period. From the Latin word nebula, applied to smooth, flour-based dough (DECLC 5, 920b35–921a3).


clareia ‘a drink made with wine, honey and aromatic spices’. From the adjective clar ‘clear’ with the old Catalan suffix -ea (< from the Latin -itia). The i has an antihiatic function, like the one that appears in the popular Catalan pronunciation of words such  as paiella (for paella), and teiatro (for teatre ‘theatre’). (DCVB 3, 189b–190a, s.v.  clarea; DECLC 2, 737a51–b11). This word was first documented in the works of Friar Francesc Eiximenis (1327–1409) from Girona. The DCVB lists the documentation of clareya in the Llibre dels Secrets de Agricultura by Fray Miquel Agustí (1617).

22 The Jewish quarters or calls in Barcelona and other towns were assailed in 1391 by Christians raised against the Jewish population, with serious consequences: a great number of Jewish perished, the Jewish community was fragmented, and their continuity disrupted forever.


 Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer


torrocs: Coromines documented the word torroc in the Vall de Boí area with the meaning “grumoll endurit de farro o d’una pasta semblant”, ‘a hard lump of porridge or a similar kind of paste’. The distinguished etymologist considered that the word must have come from terra with the derivative suffix -oc from pre-Roman times (DECLC 8, 446a–447a. The Christmas theme seems to suggest that it refers here to the typical Christmas sweet torró (a kind of almond-based nougat). The form torroc, a hapax in the text shown here, is probably the popular medieval form used in Girona to describe the sweet that eventually became known as torró.

In a seminal study on the siddurim or book of prayers of Catalan Jewish converts written in Catalan using the Latin alphabet, Riera i Sans (1971–1975; see also 1975; 1988) uncovered a small number of words that are not recorded in the DCVB or have a different use to the one defined there.23 These words and word forms are listed here, together with their meaning, etymology, and relevant phonetic changes: emparall

(enperall in the manuscript), a word not registered in the historical dictionaries of Catalan, means ‘protection’. It is formed on the verb emparar ‘to protect’ and the suffix -all, which expresses a relationship with the action of the verb (< Latin -acumulum, Bruguera 1996, 58)


‘sacrifices’, a non-documented word in the historical dictionaries of Catalan. It should be derived from Latin laniare ‘to tear’, cf. Riera i Sans (1971–1975, 77, note 10).


‘goodness’, a non-documented form in the historical dictionaries of Catalan, from Latin bonitate(m), which usually appears as bontat or bondad in Old Catalan (DCVB 2, 574a).


(vesellies in the manuscript) ‘vassalage’, a word documented in 15th-century texts, formed upon a derived form of Medieval Latin vassallus, ‘vassal’ (DCVB 10, 673b, s.v. vassallia).


(planisme in the manuscript), believed to mean ‘plenitude, fullness’, a word that is not registered in the historical dictionaries of Catalan, formed upon the adjective ple ‘full’ and the suffix -isme (< Latin -ismus).


‘mercies’, non-registered in the historical dictionaries of Catalan, derived from Latin pietas ‘piety’.


(piatar in the manuscript) ‘to be pious’, not found in the historical dictionaries of Catalan and derived, as the previous word, from Latin pietas ‘piety’.


(triula in the manuscript) ‘tribulation’, a non-registered word in the historical dictionaries. It should derive from late Latin tribulatio, -onis, with internal syncope and loss of the final syllable.

According to Riera i Sans (1971–1975, 66, “nearly all these hitherto unrecorded words in Catalan texts [. . .] can also be found in the translation of the siddur into Provençal, in Hebrew letters, in the late 15th century” (our translation). The text where these words appear might then “be connected with a Provençal tradition, that is, they are an adaptation into Catalan – complete in morphological terms, incomplete in lexical terms” (ibidem). Or

23 At that time, the DECLC was still unavailable.

4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 


else “it may be that these fragments come from a Catalan Jewish tradition linked closely to the Provençal” (ibidem) ( 5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan). Although this last suggestion could have a bearing on the topic dealt with in Section 6, Riera i Sans was extremely cautious about how to describe the linguistic reality of medieval Catalan Jews: “We could put forward many different hypotheses, but the only certain conclusion is that current evidence, at the moment, does not allow us to make a definitive statement” (ibidem).

6 On Jewish languages, Judaeo-Catalan, and Catalan Jews’ everyday language in medieval Catalonia Two separate yet interlinked issues should be highlighted in the Jewish languages debate, specifically on the subject of Judaeo-Catalan: (i) Were any specific Judaeo-Romance languages spoken on the Iberian Peninsula before the expulsion, specifically a form of Judaeo-Catalan? (If so, what were their origins?) (ii) What did Catalan Jews speak in everyday life before the expulsion? The lexical, grammatical, textual, and authorial evidence presented in the preceding paragraphs put forward sufficient arguments in response to the second question; they have the strength of reasonable circumstantial evidence and the weakness of the scarce documentation available in an attempt to resolve the issue conclusively. With this reservation, one can only arrive at a conclusion similar to the one that has been reached for Spanish by many scholars of Judaeo-Spanish, including Séphiha (1982; 1985): “The Jews in Spain spoke, in common with the Christians and Moslems, the different Spanish varieties spoken in the country” (1985, 179–180). Question (i) is usually posed in linguistic – and therefore systemic – terms. Hence, the problem is the difficulty in putting forward a definitive description of an autonomous system. In the case dealt with here, this does not appear to have been resolved (Sala 1998, 372). However, sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, and ideological criteria, which will be addressed below, have also been added. In the second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica (22007), Cyril Aslanov added the following paragraph to the article on Jewish languages written by Solomon Asher Birnbaum: The other great language of European classical antiquity, Latin, played a certain role in Jewish linguistic history. However, Blondheim’s theory according to which the Judaeo-Romance languages sprang from a common Judaeo-Latin stock proved to be farfetched. The Jewish communities of Late Antiquity were Greek-speaking even after they settled in Rome and in the western provinces of the Empire. The crystallization of a specifically Jewish counterpart of the various Romance vulgars goes back to a far later period. Moreover not every scholar of Jewish languages would add the determiner ‘Judaeo-’ to the Romance languages spoken by Medieval Jews in the Romance


 Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer

country. The Old French used by Rashi in 11th-century France and the Old Spanish used by Iberian Jews before the expulsion do not seem to have differed from the languages of the Christian surroundings. Indeed, the use of Hebrew letters in order to commit the Romance vernaculars to writ does not constitute a sufficient criterion to consider a Jewish variety of Romance vulgar (la’az) a full-fledged Judaeo-Language (Jewish Languages, in Encyclopaedia Judaica 22007, vol. 11, 301).

David Simon Blondheim (1925) had come up with the hypothesis that Jews living in the Roman Empire spoke a particular kind of koiné that developed into various Jewish dialects of the Romance languages.24 In a review of the problem, Elaine R. Miller (2009) suggests that an analysis of the two opposing views leads to the conclusion that “[t]he language of the Jews was ‘more or less’ the same as the Christians.” However, having presented the sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic arguments made by Fishman (1985), which, according to her, include the confirmation of “the relevance of the speakers’ beliefs in determining language boundaries,” Miller (2009, 181) concludes that “[a] group’s beliefs and attitudes about their language reflect who they are and how they identify as a community.” In minority situations, defining the boundaries of the group itself turns into an anxious process. It seems likely that if the Jews’ specific ways of speaking set them apart from Christians to a certain extent, to that same extent it identified them as local “speech communities” (Hymes 1972). However, from this should not be inferred that there was a “dialect” of the Gentiles’ language that merits the prefix of Judaeo- or that it is a new “linguistic system.” The perception and beliefs of speakers were undoubtedly part of the way that Jews, and Christians, interpreted the relationship between languages and social life, but this is not a valid criterion to ascertain whether there was a Judaeo-Catalan “language system.” The definition of this system cannot be linked to speakers’ beliefs. Certainly, speech is closely linked to identity and it is quite true that this had a different linguistic basis to that of Christians, starting with the undeniable difference between liturgical and literary languages, and the difference between script practices. But one may ask whether the documentary evidence can really show this. As an example, let us return to the documents published by Llobet i Portella (1993) (cf. 3.1). As mentioned in Section 3.1, no linguistic differences can be found with respect to the Catalan used by the Christians. What distinguishes Catalan Jews from their Christian neighbors is not the way they speak, but their religious culture, as testified by two beautiful references (Llobet i Portella 1993, 435 and 437, respectively): Dictus vero iudeus dixit: ‘No·m plau lo tirar de disapte’ (Cervera, July 14, 1458). (‘And the aforesaid Jew declared: ‘I do not wish to dispatch it on a Saturday [on the Sabbath day]’.’) Et dictus Içach Sutlam dixit: ‘No gos responre ni dir res, que vuy és dissapte’ (Cervera, June 25, 1460). (‘And Isaac Sutlam said: ‘I dare not answer or say anything at all, because today is Saturday’.’)

24 Blondheim’s theses did not receive general approval from the scholars of his day and were harshly criticized by Umberto Cassuto and Salomone Fiorentino. Cf. M. Bannit, Blondheim, David Simon, in Encyclopaedia Judaica (22007, vol. 3, 771).

4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 


In her review, Miller reports the following argument by Schwarzwald (1993) (Miller 2009, 181): “Since Jews constituted a speech community with a unique social and religious identity, wherever they lived they created their own vernacular ethnolects.” One thing cannot necessarily be deduced from the other; the consequence is plausible, but the argument is circular: Schwarzwald asserts that Jews see themselves as a distinct “linguistic community” according to non-linguistic features and infers from this that they created what set them apart as a vernacular linguistic community. Now, the question is what should be understood by “ethnolect,” and the problem is to what extent does linguistic particularity come from ethnic and religious particularity?25 The term “ethnolect” refers to a linguistic variety used by individuals by virtue of their membership of an ethnic group, but this “variety” can take a number of forms, as seen in examples of another ethnical and linguistic groups, for example, the Roma. Here one finds, under various circumstances, the maintenance of Romani, the development of mixed or calque Para-Romani languages (Bakker 1995, 134–137; Matras 2002, 242–249), and the peculiar Catalan spoken by Catalan gypsies in the south of France, which became an ethnic language in as much as they kept it alive, while people around them gave it up and adopted French. One thus has three different linguistic responses to (more or less) one ethnic identity. Fishman’s argument (1981, 10–11; 1985, 13–15) rejects ethnogenic and linguocentric explanations. Instead, he favors a sociological explanation similar to the usual language shift pattern with further endogenic processes of Jewish language emergence via calque translations. Even assuming that this hypothesis were true, it asserts that the emergence of a Jewish language implies the previous existence of calque translations (a practice enacted by Catalan Jews, indeed, as seen in Section 3.1), but not vice-versa. The philological debate is not well supported by conclusive documentary evidence. There is another way of understanding what speaking involves: instead of giving priority to a notion of language as a bounded system separate from its speakers (or as a cognitive system of an ideal speaker) or linking this system with their beliefs, one should consider the existence of real speakers as agents unevenly sharing a set of verbal resources and using them according to their expressive needs and social position during the ongoing exchange. Argenter (2001) suggested tackling the problem in terms of “code” as it is understood today in linguistic anthropology. Although the term has been used in linguistics since Jakobson/Halle (1956), in a comparable sense to “language” or “linguistic variety,” defined in internal terms, a code, as we understand it, is not defined in this way. A code is an emerging linguistic reality that speakers create from verbal resources available to them, which reflects certain ideological positions on the part of the speakers and marks out social allegiances and cleavages. In this sense, it could be possible to accept that there were specific codes that identified speakers as belonging to Hebrew communities beyond the use of the inherited liturgical and literary language.

25 The author herself refers to this vernacular variety as a “religiolect” in a note.


 Joan A. Argenter and Joan Ferrer

Speaking involves taking responsibility for what you choose to say and not to say. It has been said that Jews borrowed pejorative words from the Hebrew lexicon (Sala 1998) and that a number of “Christianisms” and “Arabisms” were avoided (Séphiha 1991). These and other choices form a “code.” The fact that such codes have jelled into Jewish languages in the case of Judaeo-Spanish and Yiddish does not necessarily say that Jews living under the Aragonese-Catalan Crown spoke Jewish languages before the expulsion. It is well known that Judaeo-Spanish is a language that was formed and jelled after the banishment (Séphiha 1974, 170). Therefore, the question is whether this eventual ability to manage verbal resources that Catalan Jews could use as real speakers in a real context enables one to assert the existence of a Judaeo-Catalan or distinctive and documented linguistic system within the context of Romance languages. In any case, as Aslanov warns, what should be rejected outright is the confusion that sees the signs of a specific Romance Jewish language in every aljamia-spelled Romance text (e.g., Magdalena 1993b). We believe that an assessment of the linguistic data addressed in this study enables one to seriously question the hypothesis of a Judaeo-Catalan as a well-defined and documented linguistic entity and support the hypothesis of its nonexistence. Catalan Jews spoke the same language as the Christians in their cultural community – that is, Catalan – with the typical dialectal properties of the region where they lived. The analysis of the rich collection of Catalan words that appear with Hebrew graphemes in the set of texts studied as well as the Jewish Catalan voices reported in Latin script reinforce this hypothesis and expand our knowledge of the history of Catalan.

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4 Jewish texts in Old Catalan 


Batlle Prats, Luís (1954), Ordenaciones relativas a los judíos gerundenses, in: Consejo superior de investigaciones cientificas (ed.), Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa, Barcelona, CSIC, vol. 1, 83–92. Baum, Ilil (2016), Hebrew-Catalan medieval wedding songs: Satirical functions of the Hebrew component and other linguistic aspects, Journal of Jewish Languages 4, 1–37. Bauman, Richard (1975), Verbal art as performance, American Anthropologist, New Series 77, 290–311. Blasco, Meritxell (2003), Manuscrito hebraicoaljamiado de la Biblioteca Nacional de Cataluña, “Codex Soberanas” (Ms n° 3090, siglo XIV), Barcelona, Edicions Universitat Barcelona. Blasco, Meritxell (2004), Lèxic català en un manuscrit hebraicoaljamiat del segle XIV (Còdex Soberanas, Ms. 3090 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya), in: Actes del I Congrés per a l’estudi dels jueus en territori de llengua catalana, Barcelona-Girona, del 15 al 17 d’octubre de 2001, Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, 139–145. Blasco, Meritxell (2006), Manuscrito hebraicocatalán de farmacopea medieval. Edición paleográfica. Ms. Firkovitch I Heb-338 de la Biblioteca Nacional de Rusia, Barcelona, PPU. Blasco, Meritxell/Calders, Tessa/Magdalena, José Ramón (2005), Els documents hebraics de l’Arxiu Comarcal de Cervera, in: Actes del II Congrés per a l’estudi dels jueus en territoris de llengua catalana, BarcelonaCervera, del 25 al 27 d’octubre de 2004, Barcelona, Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània, 175–186. Blasco, Meritxell/Magdalena, José Ramón (2002), Una ketubbá inédita catalana de Santa Coloma de Montbui (siglo XIV), in: Elena Romero (ed.), Judaísmo hispano. Estudios en memoria de José Luis Lacave Riaño, Madrid, CSIC, 575–584. Blasco, Meritxell/Magdalena, José Ramón (2005), Aljamías hebraicoromances en los responsa de Rabí Yishaq bar Seset (RYBA’S) de Barcelona, Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona. Blasco, Meritxell/Magdalena, José Ramón (2010), Oraciones de Yom Kipur de conversos valencianos en un ms. fragmentario de finales del siglo XV, Hispania Judaica 7, 101–135. Blondheim, David Simon (1925), Les parlers judéo-romans et la “Vetus Latina”. Étude sur les rapports entre les traductions bibliques en langue romane des juifs au Moyen Âge et les anciennes versions, Paris, Librairie ancienne Édouard Champion. Boaçà, François Asprer de (1868), Note sur quatre documents en langue hébraïque conservés aux Archives du Département des Pyrénées Orientales, Société Agricole, Scientifique et Littéraire des Pyrénées-Orientales 17, 169–202. Bos, Gerrit/Mensching, Guido (2005), Hebrew medical synonym literature. Romance and Latin terms and their identification, Aleph 5, 169–211. Bos, Gerrit/Mensching, Guido (2006), A 15th century medico-botanical synonym list (Ibero-Romance-Arabic) in Hebrew characters, Tribuna Histórica 24, 261–268. Bos, Gerrit/Mensching, Guido (2015), Arabic-Romance medico-botanical glossaries in Hebrew manuscripts from the Iberian Peninsula and Italy, Aleph 15, 9–61. Bossong, Georg (2010), Poesía en convivencia. Estudios sobre la lírica árabe, hebrea y romance en la España de las tres religiones, Gijón, Trea. Bruguera, Jordi (1996), Diccionari etimològic, Barcelona, Enciclopèdia Catalana. Colón, Germà/Soberanas, Amadeu-Jesús (1986), Panorama de la lexicografia catalana. De les glosses medievals a Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Enciclopèdia Catalana. Cortès, Enric (1983), Un curiós fragment hebreu de l’Arxiu Històric “Fidel Fita d’Arenys de Mar”, Estudis Franciscans 84, 215–217. Cortès, Enric (1984), A propòsit d’un manuscrit fragmentari hebraico-arameu de l’Arxiu Diocesà de Vic, Butlletí de l’Associació Bíblica de Catalunya 25–26, 10–15. Cullell, Josep (1997), Una vila del nou-cents – Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Editorial Rourich. DCVB = Alcover, Antoni Maria/Moll, Francesc de Borja (1950–1968), Diccionari català-valencià-balear, Palma de Mallorca, Moll. DECLC = Coromines, Joan (1980–2001), Diccionari etimològic i complementari de la llengua catalana, Barcelona, Curial Edicions Catalanes.


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La Catalunya jueva (2002), Barcelona, Museu d’Història de Catalunya. Lacave, José Luis (2002), Medieval Ketubot from Sefarad, Jerusalem, The Hebrew University. Lazar, Moshé (1970), Catalan-Provençal wedding songs (14th–15th Century), in: Shraga Abramson/A. Mirsky (edd.), Hayyim (Jefim) Schirmann. Jubilee volume, Jerusalem, Schocken Institute for Jewish Research, 159–177. Levy, Emil (1909), Petit dictionnaire provençal–français, Heidelberg, Winter. Llobet i Portella, Josep Maria (1993), El català parlat pels jueus de Cervera a la segona meitat del segle XV, Espacio, tiempo y forma, serie 3, Historia medieval 6, 425–446. Llop, Irene (2000), Una ketubà inèdita a l’Arxiu Episcopal de Vic, Ausa 144, 55–60. Loeb, Isidore (1885), Actes de vente hébreux originaires d’Espagne, Revue des Études Juives 10, 108–122. Magdalena, José Ramón (1988–1989), Judeorromances “marginales” de Sefarad, Miscelánea de Estudios Árabes y Hebreos 37–38, 41–53. Magdalena, José Ramón (1993a), Un glosario hebraicoaljamiado trilingüe y doce “aqrabadin” de origen catalán (siglo XV), Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona. Magdalena, José Ramón (1993b), Las otras judeolenguas de Sefarad antes de la expulsión, in: Actes del Simposi internacional sobre cultura sefardita, Barcelona, Universitat de Barcelona, 73–82. Magdalena, José Ramón (2000), A fifteenth-century Hebrew manuscript from the aljama of Perpignan, Hispania Judaica 3,145–183. Masiá, Ángeles (1953), Aportaciones al estudio del call gerundense, Sefarad 13, 287–308. Matras, Yaron (2002), Romani. A linguistic introduction, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Millàs, Josep (1927), Documents hebraics de jueus catalans, Barcelona, Institut d’Estudis Catalans. Miller, Elaine R. (2009), The debate over pre-expulsion Judeo-Spanish. Status quaestionis, in: David M. Bunis (ed.), Languages and literatures of Sephardic and Oriental Jews, Jerusalem, The Bialik Institute/Misgav Yerushalayim, 167–187. Miralles, Joan (2006), Antologia de textos de les Illes Balears, vol. 1, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat. Miret, Joaquim/Schwab, Moïse (1914), Documents sur les juifs catalans aux XIe, XIIe, et XIIIe siècles, Revue des Études Juives 68, 49–83, 174–197. Moran, Josep/Batlle, Mar/Rabella, Joan-Anton (2002), Topònims catalans. Etimologia i pronúncia, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat. Olivar, Marçal (1991), Obra dispersa, Barcelona, Biblioteca de Catalunya. Olmo, Gregorio del/Magdalena, José Ramón (1980), Documento hebreo-catalán de farmacopea medieval, Anuario de Filología 6, 159–187. Pagis, Dan (1970), A collection of Hebrew poems from Provence, in: Shraga Abramson/Aaron Mirsky (edd.), Hayyim (Jefim) Schirmann. Jubilee volume, Jerusalem, Schocken Institute for Jewish Research, 257–284. Peri, Hiram (1960), Un glosario médico-botánico en judeo-español medieval, Tesoro de los judíos sefardíes 3, lxi–lxxi. Planas, Sílvia (2002), Les comunitats jueves de Catalunya. L’àrea de Girona, in: La Catalunya jueva, Barcelona, Museu d’Història de Catalunya, 58–85. Planas, Sílvia/Forcano, Manuel (2009), Història de la Catalunya jueva, Girona, Ajuntament de Girona. Puig i Tàrrech, Armand (2001), Les traduccions catalanes medievals de la Bíblia, in: El text: lectures i història, Barcelona, Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 107–231. Pujol i Canelles, Miquel (1990), Dues tabes hebraiques de l’aljama de Castelló d’Empúries, Calls 4, 7–52. Reynolds, Dwight F. (2007), Arab folklore. A handbook, Westport (Connecticut)/London, Greenwood. Riera i Sans, Jaume (1971–1975), Un recull d’oracions en català dels conversos jueus (segle XV), Estudis Romànics 16, 49–97. Riera i Sans, Jaume (1974a), Cants de noces dels jueus catalans, Barcelona, Edicions del Mall. Riera i Sans, Jaume (1974b), Literatura en hebreu dels jueus catalans, Miscellanea Barcinonensia 37, 33–47.


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Riera i Sans, Jaume (1975), Oracions en català dels conversos jueus. Notes bibliogràfiques i textos, Anuario de Filología 1, 345–367. Riera i Sans, Jaume (1988), Un siddur en català dels conversos jueus (segle XV), Butlletí de la Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi 2, 59–152. Riera i Sans, Jaume (2006), Els poders públics i les sinagogues. Segles XIII–XV, Girona, Patronat Call de Girona. Riera i Sans, Jaume (2012), Els jueus de Girona i la seva organització. Segles XII–XV, Girona, Patronat Call de Girona. Riera i Sans, Jaume/Udina i Martorell, Frederic (1978), Els documents en hebreu conservats a l’Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó, Miscellanea Barcinonensia 49, 21–36. Romano, David (1974), Documentos hebreos del siglo XIV de Cataluña y Mallorca, Sefarad 34, 289–312. Romano, David (1991), Les juifs de Catalogne aux alentours de l’an mil, in: Xavier Barrali Altet et al., Catalunya i França meridional a l’entorn de l’any mil, Barcelona, Generalitat de Catalunya, 317–331. Sala, Marius (1998), Die romanischen Judensprachen, in: Günter Holtus/Michael Metzeltin/Christian Schmitt (edd.), Lexikon der Romanistischen Linguistik, vol. 7, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 372–395. Schwab, Moïse (1903), Un acte de vente hébreu du XIVe siècle, Revue des Études Juives 47, 57–61. Schwab, Moïse/Miret i Sans, Joaquim (1915), Le plus ancien document à présent connu des juifs catalans, Boletín de la Real Academia de Buenas Letras de Barcelona 8, 229–233. Schwab, Moïse/Miret i Sans, Joaquim (1916a), Nouveaux documents des juifs barcelonnais au XIIe siècle, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 68, 563–578. Schwab, Moïse/Miret i Sans, Joaquim (1916b), Documents des juifs barcelonnais au XIe siècle, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 69, 569–583. Schwarzwald, Ora (Rodrigue) (1993), Morphological aspects in the development of Judeo-Spanish, Folia Linguistica 27, 27–44. Séphiha, Haïm V. (1974), Problématique du judéo-espagnol, Bulletin de la Société de linguistique de Paris 69, 159–189. Séphiha, Haïm V. (1982), Le Ladino (Judéo-Espagnol Calque). Structure et évolution d’une langue liturgique, Paris, Association Vidas Largas, 2 vol. Séphiha, Haïm V. (1985), “Christianisms” in Judeo-Spanish (calque and vernacular), in: Joshua A. Fishman (ed.), Readings in the sociology of Jewish languages, Leiden, Brill, 179–194. Shatzmiller, Joseph (1985), La collecta de Perpignan (1412), Archives Juives 11, 20–24. Silverstein, Michael (1996), The secret life of texts, in: Michael Silverstein/Greg Urban (edd.), Natural histories of discourse, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 81–105. Udina Martorell, Federico/Millás Vallicrosa, José María (1947), Dos documentos latino-hebraicos del Archivo del Monasterio de San Pedro de las Puellas de Barcelona, Sefarad 7, 123–136. Valls i Pujol, Esperança (2015), Els fragments hebreus amb aljamies catalanes de l’Arxiu Històric de Girona: estudi textual, edició paleogràfica i anàlisis lingüística, Ph.D. thesis, Universitat de Girona, handle/10803/387552 . Yahuda, Abraham S. (1915), Hallazgo de pergaminos en Solsona, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 67, 513–549.

Cyril Aslanov

5 Jewish texts in Old Occitan Abstract: This chapter describes the presence of the Occitan vernacular in Jewish texts, mostly in the Middle Ages. Although the focus of this chapter is situated in the time before the expulsions out of the territories under French rule, a minor part is dedicated to Occitan written by Jews in early modern and modern times, due to the perpetuation of the Jewish presence in the Papal territories. After some introductory remarks on the spelling of Occitan in Hebrew script and special Hebrew-Occitan writing traditions and characteristics (such as a tendency towards archaism), this chapter first focuses on Occitan glosses in medieval Hebrew texts and glossaries, as well as continuous texts in Occitan written in the Hebrew alphabet. The latter are mainly the Roman d’Esther by Crescas del Caylar and translations of the Jewish prayer book into Provençal. Finally, the chapter turns to (early) modern texts in “Judaeo-Provençal,” which has been dubbed chuadit in the literature, a term that will be discussed. Keywords: Occitan, Provençal, Languedocian and Provençal Jews in the Middle Ages, Comtadine Jews, David Qimḥī, Doeg the Edomite, Joseph Kaspi, Crescas del Caylar, Harcanot e Barcanot, Shuadit

1 Introduction This chapter deals with Occitan in the Jewish context during the Middle Ages. However, since Provençal Jewry provides an example of continuity from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period and beyond, the post-medieval destinies of Jewish linguistic identity in Provence will be considered as well. It should be stressed that Occitan is the generic term for the language sometimes termed Provençal. As a matter of fact, Occitan is divided into several dialects, among which Provençal stricto sensu and Languedocian played an important role in the history of the language. However, the difference between Languedocian and Provençal in the strict sense may have been partially levelled by the existence of a literary koiné (the language of the troubadours), as well as by the emergence of an Occitan scripta toward the late Middle Ages. Until the expulsions of the Jews from France between 1306 and 1394, Occitan-speaking Jewries were found in both French-controlled Languedoc (with the important center of Narbonne) and Provence. However, after the expulsions, the Occitan-speaking Jews were concentrated only in the regions where Provençal stricto sensu was spoken (east of the Rhône). There is another reason for stepping outside the bounds of the chronological frame. There was probably nothing like Judaeo-Occitan or Judaeo-Provençal during the Middle Ages. The only impact of Jewish identity on the language has to do with the use of Hebrew script to write down medieval Occitan. Maybe because of the nature of the


 Cyril Aslanov

linguistic material (mainly isolated glosses) or due to the integration of Languedocian and Provençal Jews in their linguistic surroundings, it is extremely difficult to view the remnants of Occitan texts produced in Jewish contexts (such as Crescas del Caylar’s Roman d’Esther; see Section 3.1) as specimens of a specific Jewish dialect of Occitan, let alone as a specific Jewish language. We have to wait until early modern times to find a distinct blend of Provençal associated with life in the carriero, the ‘streets’ (mefilot nn or the use of the word agino for ‘speedily’, but did not contain more specific local dialect traits. The whole history of the Italian dialects used by Jews may be divided into two main stages, which differ in (almost) all their general and particular purely linguistic and socio-linguistic traits. The first stage, which can be called “Classical” or “Medieval” Judaeo-Italian – the subject of the present chapter –, is represented mostly by volgarizzamenti (translations into Italo-Romance) of classical Hebrew texts, such as the Bible and the Talmudic and liturgical literature. The language of these texts (written in the Hebrew alphabet) is generally homogenous, it represents Central-Southern Italian dialects, according to its characteristic linguistic traits, and – socio-linguistically – it may be characterized as “high” or “written” which is not surprising taking into consideration the content of these texts. In contrast, later or “Modern” Judaeo-Italian dialects had the function of “low” varieties, representing different ghetto dialects or “jargons.” They are heterogeneous, as they belong to different zones, almost all belonging to the Northern Italian dialect area as they were spoken in the northern Jewish communities ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era). This chapter focuses on “Classical” or “Medieval” Judaeo-Italian as defined above. An important question that must be asked is: when did Medieval Judaeo-Italian end and give rise to Modern Judaeo-Italian, i.e., the dialects spoken in the ghettos? Differently from the Iberian Peninsula ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish), in the case of Judaeo-Italian the changes and their character are not due to the transfer to totally different cultural and linguistic environments,1 but to changes that occurred 1 Note that the situation is different from that of Yiddish and Judaeo-Spanish ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). First, in the case of these languages, the changes occur with the changing of the linguistic milieu: they became “alloglossic” (meaning that they were spoken in a linguistically divergent environment) after the eastward migration in the case of Yiddish and with the expulsion from Spain in the case of Judaeo-Spanish, while Judaeo-Italian remained in the same “homoglossic,” i.e.,

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


within the Italo-Romance context. There were two main factors for this change: the establishment of the ghettos on the one hand and the Tuscanization of written Italian on the other. The spoken ghetto dialects emerge with the establishment of the ghettos in the middle of the 16th century (the first one, in Rome, was established in 1555). This is also the time of the expulsion of the Jews from southern Italy, which began in 1493, almost simultaneously with their expulsion from Spain ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era; 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). Southern Italy was governed by members of the Spanish royal family and was thus practically under Spanish rule. The shift of Jewish life from south to north marks the difference between the central-southern character of Medieval Judaeo-Italian and the (slightly) northern character of later/Modern Judaeo-Italian.2 But the real reason for the death of Medieval Judaeo-Italian, which was used in the translation of sacred texts, seems to be the same one that caused the uniformization of all written forms of language in 16th-century Italy – the debates around the Questione della Lingua, which led to the Tuscanization of written Italian. In the case of the Jewish communities, Judaeo-Italian gave way not only to literary (Tuscan) Italian, but also to Hebrew, whose cultivation was always very strong among the Italian Jewry. As Bonfil (1994) has demonstrated, the switch to these two literary languages, Tuscan Italian and Hebrew, occurred in the middle of the 16th century; it can also be demonstrated that the texts lost their (southern) Judaeo-Italian character in the course of the 16th century. For these reasons, the end of “Classical” Judaeo-Italian does not coincide with the end of the Middle Ages, but its use extends until around 1550, and it should thus more properly be called “Medieval and Early Modern” or “Classical Judaeo-Italian.” The chapter is organized as follows: Section 2 gives an overview of the sources of Medieval Judaeo-Italian. Section 3 (graphemics) shows how Hebrew characters correspond to the Italian sounds. We then turn to the phonology of Medieval Judaeo-Italian in Section 4, to morphology and syntax in Section 5, and to some brief notes on the lexicon in Section 6. Section 7 examines some text samples mostly from the 16th century to show how the use of Classical Judaeo-Italian came to an end.

Italian, surrounding. Second, both Yiddish and Judaeo-Spanish remained important written languages for the Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews, respectively, while written Judaeo-Italian ceased to exist in the modern period. 2 We have no clear written evidence of Medieval Judaeo-Italian from northern centers of the Italian Jewry. But even 16th-century texts have clear southern traits (Ryzhik 2008a; 2018). It seems that in the Middle Ages the central-southern version of Judaeo-Italian was common to all Italian Jewry as a written language.


 Michael Ryzhik

2 Sources The earliest textual witnesses of Judaeo-Italian are Romance glosses to the Mishna, written in Salento. As Cuomo (1977) has demonstrated, these glosses, found on the margins of the manuscript known as Mishna codex Parma A (Parma, Biblioteca Palatina Ms. 3173, De Rossi 138), were written in the 11th century in the Otranto dialect (or in some dialect very close to it). They constitute not only the first pieces of writing of an Italo-Romance dialect, but also one of the earliest cases of writing in a Salentino local dialect. An important source of earlier Judaeo-Italian are the Italian glosses by Nathan ben Yeḥiel (Rome, c1035–1106), the author of the Sefer he-‘Arukh, the above-mentioned dictionary of post-Biblical Hebrew (see Cuomo 1974). Other sources are translations of the Bible (see Cassuto 1930b; 1934; 1937; and especially Cuomo 1988a) and of the Maḥzor (the annual Hebrew prayer book,3 see Cassuto 1930a; Ryzhik 2013). One of the earliest poetical texts in the Central-Southern Italian dialects is written in Hebrew characters. It is an elegy for the 9th of Av, written in the 13th or 14th century4 and edited by Cassuto (1929). Due to its literary quality, this elegy, which marks the beginning of Judaeo-Italian literature in a proper sense, has been perceived as a gem of Italian literature in general and has therefore been included in many anthologies of Old Italian and Old Romance literature (e.g., in Contini 1960, vol. 1, 37–42; Sampson 1980, 181–183). Here the beginning of the Elegy from Cassuto (1929, 392 and 396)5 is quoted together with the transliteration of Contini (1960): 1


La ienti de Sïòn plange e lutta; dice: “taupina, male so’ condutta em manu de lo nemicu ke m’ao strutta”.

‫אילּוטא‬ ָ ‫דציוֹן ַפ ְלנְ גיִ י‬ ִ ‫נט‬ ִ ֵ‫ַלאי‬ ‫טאּופ׳ינָ א ָמ ֵלי סוֹ קוֹנדּוטא‬ ִ ‫דיצי‬ ֵ ‫טרּוטא‬ ְ ‫אוֹׁש‬ ְ ‫ימקּו ֵקי ָמ‬ ִ ְ‫אמאנּו ִדלוֹנ‬

La notti e la die sta plorando, li soi grandezi remembrando, e mo pe lo mundu vao gattivandu.

‫יאי ְׁש ַטא ְפלוֹרנְ דוֹ‬ ֵ ‫אלא ִד‬ ָ ‫נוֹטי‬ ִ ‫לא‬ ‫ימ ַראנְ דוֹ‬ ְ ‫רנדיצי ְר ֵמ‬ ִ ְ‫לי סוֹאי ג‬ ‫גאּט ַיבנְ דוֹ‬ ִ ‫ִאימוֹ ְפילוֹמּונְ דּו ָבאוֹ‬

Sopre onni ienti foi ‘nalzata e d’onni emperio adornata; da Deo santo k’era amata. 10

E li signori da onni canto gianu ad offeriri a lo templo santo, de lo grandi onori k’avea tanto.



‫אל ָצטא‬ ְ ַ‫פוֹאי נ‬ ִ ‫סוֹפרי אוֹני יִ יִ נְ טי‬ ִ ‫ד׳וֹרנָ ָטא‬ ְ ‫אידוֹנִ י ֶאינְ ֵפ ִריאוֹ ֲא‬ ‫אטא‬ ָ ‫אדיאוֹ ַסנְ טוֹ ֵק ָירא ֲא ָמ‬ ֵ ‫ַד‬ ‫יוֹרי ָדאוֹּנִ י ַקנְ טוֹ‬ ִ ְ‫ִא ִילי ִסינ‬ ‫ימ ְפלוֹ ַסנְ טוֹ‬ ְ ‫לוֹט‬ ֶ ‫דוֹפ ִר ִירי ַא‬ ְ ‫יאנּו ֲא‬ ֲ ִ‫י‬ ‫יאה ַטנְ טוֹ‬ ָ ‫אוֹנוֹרי ָקא ְב‬ ִ ‫ְדלוֹגַ ַרנְ ִטי‬


3 In this period, there was no great difference between the terms Siddur (‘prayer book’) and Maḥzor (‘prayer book for the whole year’). Practically, almost only Makzhorim are preserved from this period. 4 For its dating, see Contini (1960, vol. 1, 35–36): ‘the archaic minstrel style and its similarity to the Ritmo di Sant’Alessio have suggested to Cassuto (an opinon not followed by all scholars) to date it to the early 13th century or even to the preceeding century; but it is not possible to date it earlier than the 13th century’ (translation M.R.). 5 Without the additional vowel signs reconstructed by Cassuto.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 



Li figlie de Israel erano adornati de sicerdoti e liviti avantati, e d’onni ienti foro ‘mmediati.

‫ד׳וֹרנָ ִטי‬ ְ ‫יפ ְיליֵ י ְדיִ ְש ָר ֵאל ֵא ָירנוֹ ֲא‬ ִ ‫ִל‬ ‫יטי ַאוָ ונְ ָט ִטי‬ ִ ִ‫דוֹטי ֵא ִילי ו‬ ִ ‫יצ ְיר‬ ְ ‫ְד ִס‬ ‫יא ִטי‬ ָ ‫ּפוֹרוֹמ ִד‬ ְ ‫ֵאד׳וֹנִ י יֵ ינְ ִטי‬

Li nostri patri mali pinzaru ke contra Deo revillaru: lu beni ke li fici no remembraro.

‫נוֹׁש ְט ִרי ַפ ְט ִרי ָמ ִלי ִפינְ ָצארּו‬ ְ ‫ִל‬ ‫׳ילרּו‬ ַ ‫ְקיקוֹנְ ְט ָרא ֵדיאוֹ ְר ִיב‬ ‫מרארוֹ‬ ָ ‫׳יצי נוֹ ְר ֶמ‬ ִ ‫יפ‬ ִ ‫לּובינִ י ְק ִיל‬ ֵ

Pi quisto Deu li foi adirato e d’emperiu loro foi caczato, ka lo Soo nome àbbero scordatu.

‫׳יראטוֹ‬ ָ ‫יפ׳וֹאי ֲא ִד‬ ִ ‫יׁשטוֹ ֵדיאּו ִל‬ ְ ִ‫ִפי ְקו‬ ‫פוֹאי ַק ָצאטוֹ‬ ִ ‫ֶא ְידנְ ֵפריּו‬ ‫קוֹר ָדאטּו‬ ְ ‫נוֹמי ַא ְּבירוֹ ְס‬ ְ ‫סוֹאי‬ ִ ‫ָקאלוֹ‬

Sopre isse mandao sì grandi osti, ki foi sì dura e ssì forti ke roppe mura e ‘nfranzi porti. [. . .]


E li leviti e li sacerdoti como bestiaglia foro venduti e ‘nfra l’altra iente poi sperduti. Tanto era dura loro signoria, la notte prega Dio ke forsi dia, la dia la notte, tanto scuria.





‫אוֹׁש ִטי‬ ְ ‫יסי ַמנְ ָראוֹ ִסיגַ ְרנְ ִדי‬ ְ ‫סוֹפ ְרי ִא‬ ְ ‫פוֹר ִטי‬ ְ ‫יּסי‬ ִ ‫דּורא ִא‬ ָ ‫פ׳וֹאי ִסי‬ ִ ‫ִקי‬ ‫פוֹר ֵטי‬ ְ ‫מּורא ֶאינְ ַפ ַרנְ ִצי‬ ָ ‫ירוֹפי‬ ְ ‫ְק‬ [. . .] ‫דוֹטי‬ ִ ‫יס ְצ ְיר‬ ַ ‫ֵא ִל ְילי וִ ִטי ֵא ִל‬ ‫ינדּוטי‬ ִ ‫יש ִטי ֲא ְליָ יא פוֹרוֹ ְב‬ ְ ‫קוֹמוֹ ְּב‬ ‫דּוטי‬ ִ ‫פוֹאי ְס ְפ ְר‬ ִ ‫ינטי‬ ֵ ֵ‫אל ֽט ָרא י‬ ְ ‫ר־ל‬ ַ ‫ינפ‬ ַ ‫ֶא‬


‫יאה‬ ָ ‫יוֹר‬ ִ ְ‫דּורא לוֹרוֹ ִסינ‬ ָ ‫ַטנְ טוֹ ֵא ָירא‬ ‫יאה‬ ָ ‫פוֹר ִסי ִ׳ד‬ ְ ‫נוֹטי ְפ ֵריגָ א ִדיאוֹ ְקי‬ ְ ‫ַל‬ ‫ּוקר ָאה‬ ִ ‫נוֹטי ַטנְ טוֹ ְס‬ ִ ‫׳יאה ַל‬ ָ ‫ַל ִד‬

English translation: ‘The people of Zion cry and grieve; / they say: “Taupina, I have badly been led / into the hands of the enemy that has destroyed me.” // Day and night they are crying / remembering their former greatness / and now they wander about in the world. // Above all peoples they were exalted / and adorned with all sovereignty / because they were loved by the holy God. // And the lords from all corners / went to make sacrifices at the holy temple / because they had so many great honors. // The sons of Israel were adorned / and praised by priests and Levites / and by all the peoples they were envied. // Our fathers thought wrong / because they rebelled against God: / they did not remember the good he had done to them. // Therefore God became enraged against them / and they were chased from their kingdom / because they had forgotten his name. // He sent such a huge enemy against them / who was so hard and so strong / that it broke walls and cracked doors. // [. . .] // And the Levites and priests / were sold like cattle / and then dispersed among the other peoples. // So hard was their slavery / that they prayed to God that the night become day / and the day as dark as the night. //’

The complete elegy contains several stories that are found in the tractate Nidda (fols. 57a–58b of the Babylonian Talmud) and in the parallel text in the Midrash Ekha Rabba, among other stories about the destruction of the Second Temple and the successive expulsion and captivity. This text already contains features that would later turn out to be very typical for the Italianized Jewish culture: on the one hand, not only the theme of the elegy, but also its metrics (four stressed words in each verse)7 and the rhyme structure (e.g., the monorhyme tercets), are typical traits of the Hebrew elegies. On the other

6 Read: ‫מנְ ָדאוֹ‬. ַ 7 One of the stresses may be secondary in polysyllabic words or may fall on the proclitic.


 Michael Ryzhik

hand, there are multiple similarities to the contemporary Italo-Romance poetry of the Marche region, such as the Ritmo di Sant’Alessio or the Ritmo Laurenziano. Importantly for us, the language has many traits of the Central-Southern Italian dialects, above all of Old Marchigiano and the dialect of Rome (Old Romanesco) (see Sections 4 and 5 for details), e.g., in the quoted fragment: the change of the sibilant [s] to the affricate [ts] in the cluster -ns- (pinzaru ‘they thought’, v. 16); the conservation of the clusters labial + l (plange ‘cries’, v. 1; plorando ‘crying’, v. 4; templo, v. 11 < Lat. plangit, plorando, templum);8 the result of Lat. ge- is /ʝ/ (v. 1: ienti ‘people’ < Lat. gentem); the interchangeability of the final -i and -e: porti ‘doors’ (v. 24, as compared to It. porte), but figlie ‘sons’ (v. 13, vs. It. figli), isse ‘they, them’ (v. 22, vs. It. essi); for these and other phenomena, see Contini (1960, vol. 1, 37–42).9 Apart from the elegy in Marchigiano/Romanesco and the Salentine glosses of the Mishna, the remaining sources of Medieval Judaeo-Italian are not of high literary value. They are mostly translations of the Bible and of the Siddur (both listed by Cassuto 1930a; 1930b; 1934; 1937). For these translations (in particular those of the Siddur), also see Ryzhik (2007; 2013) and the sources cited there. Important from the linguistic point of view are some other sources, such as glossaries (e.g., see Debenedetti Stow 1990 and the bibliography mentioned there), with the trilingual Bible dictionary Maqre dardeqe by Perez Trebot, printed in Naples in 1488 (Hebrew, Judaeo-Italian, Arabic; see Fiorentino 1937; 1951–1952; Cuomo 1988b) being of special significance. This dictionary comprises the whole lexicon of the Bible. There are no medieval translations of the Tora and of the Writings (a full Bible translation is conserved in 16th-century manuscripts, and it seems that it was made in the same period), but there are translations of the Ritual, which comprise many passages from these parts of the Bible (especially from the Psalms), which are equally important. There are also collections of excerpts from the Midrash (see Cuomo 1985; 1986), from grammatical treatises (cf. Sermoneta 1967), philosophical glossaries (cf. Debenedetti Stow 1990), and some other translations and some original texts (Mayer Modena 2001; but they are somewhat late in their language). In what follows, particular attention will be paid to the Siddur translations (cf. Ryzhik 2013). The Siddur contains texts of different origin (Bible passages, excerpts of the Mishnaic Literature, prayers written in different periods of Jewish History). These translations, made explicitly for women but also used by men, are based on the common tradition. They were not canonized, and their language changes from one manuscript to another. Three manuscripts from the 15th century are known, as well as three identical printed editions from the 16th century. Here mostly the editio princeps by Fano (1506)

8 But also (elsewhere) pianto ‘cried (past participle)’ (< Lat. planctum). 9 But there are signs of learned spelling, so the assimilation of the cluster -nd- to -nn- mentioned in Section 4.2 is rare, though not totally absent from the elegy (bennerelli ‘to sell them’, vs. It. venderli, v. 72). See the preservation of -nd- in the quoted fragment in grandi, plorando, remembrando, etc.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


will be used, which is also called Rito di Fano (‘Rite of Fano’). The following abbreviations are used: Q1 Q2 Q3 F

Ms. Parma, Biblioteca Palatina 1989 (De Rossi Ital. 7), written in 1484 (according to the colophon) in Florence or in close vicinity to it. Ms. London, British Library 625 (Or. 2443), written in 1483 in Montalboddo, modern-day Ostra, according to the colophon. Ms. New York, Jewish Theological Seminar Mic. 4076, written in the 15th century in the same area (Tuscany-Umbria); there is no colophon. Editio princeps, Fano 1506 (‘Rite of Fano’).

Some extracts from these sources will be analyzed in Section 7.3.

3 Graphemics This section is dedicated to the grapheme–phoneme correspondences between the Hebrew characters and the Italian sounds and the transliteration system used in this chapter (which largely corresponds to the modern Italian orthography). The inventory is mostly made on the basis of the Siddur translations, but it is equally valid for other sources.

3.1 The representation of Italian consonants In what follows, the representation of the consonants in Medieval Judaeo-Italian is described following the order of the Hebrew alphabet. –

– – – – – –

Bet with dagesh (‫ )ּב‬represents the sound /b/; bet with the rafe sign (‫ )ֿב‬corresponds to /v/; the letter bet (‫ )ב‬without any diacritic may either be read as /b/ or as /v/, e.g., ‫יצייוֹנֵ י‬ ִ ‫( ֵבינֵ ִיד‬benedizione), ‫אב ֵירי‬ ֵ (avere). Gimel (‫ )ג‬represents /g/ (spelled in Italian before the front vowels /e/ and /i/), e.g., ‫אר ִאי‬ ַ ַ‫( ֵליג‬legarai), ‫גוֹב ְירנַ ה‬ ֵ (governa), ‫ֿגּורה‬ ַ ‫( ַל ְר‬largura), ‫יטי‬ ִ ‫ואר ֵד‬ ְ ַ‫( גְ ו‬guardeti), ‫( ַא ְל ֶב ְירגֶ ַיר ִאי‬albergherai), ‫( ֵליגִ י‬leghi). The letter dalet (‫ )ד‬represents /d/. Vav (‫ )ו‬is used as a consonant sign for /v/ or as the velar glide in diphthongs. Zayin (‫ )ז‬is almost never used in Italian words (see Cuomo 1976, 30–33). The letter ḥet (‫ )ח‬is not used at all. The letter ṭet (‫ )ט‬corresponds to /t/. Yod (‫ )י‬stands for the palatal fricative /ʝ/ as well as for the affricate /dʒ/ (the distinction between the two latter uses is very difficult to make, so in this chapter the sign has been used for transliteration): ‫( אוֹיִ י‬oji, It. oggi); ‫( ֵליֵ י‬leje, It. legge); ‫ַראייוֹנַ אר‬ (rajjonar). Yod is also used together with nun and lamed to represent the palatal phonemes /ɲ/ and /ʎ/, e.g., ‫( ֵסינְ ייוֹ‬senjo), ‫יוֹלי‬ ִ ‫( ִֿפ ְיל‬filjoli). In this chapter, these palatal


– – – – –

– –

 Michael Ryzhik

consonants are transcribed as and respectively instead of using the Italian spelling and as in segno and figlioli. Kaf (‫ )כ‬is very rarely used for /k/ in Italian words. In the Siddur translations, it is found only in Q2 and almost only for the Italian word che ‘that’10 (spelled ‫) ְּכי‬, which is regularly used to translate the homographic Hebrew conjunction ‫‘ ִּכי‬because, that’ in Judaeo-Italian. Lamed (‫ )ל‬is the lateral /l/. Mem (‫ )מ‬and nun (‫ )נ‬represent the nasal consonants /m/ and /n/ respectively. Samekh (‫ )ס‬is used for the unvoiced alveolar sibilant /s/. The letter ‘ayin (‫ )ע‬is not used in Italian words. Pe (‫ )פ‬with dagesh (‫ )ּפ‬represents the plosive /p/, with rafe (‫ )ֿפ‬it stands for the fricative /f/, ‫ פ‬without any diacritic can be read as /p/ or as /f/, e.g., ‫( ַּפ ְט ִרי‬patri, It. padre), ‫( ְֿפ ַרה‬fra), ‫( ֵאינְ ֵפ ִיריאוֹ‬enperio, It. impero), ‫אקּול ַטה‬ ְ ‫( ַפ‬faculta, It. facoltà). The letter tsade (‫ )צ‬can either stand for the dental affricate /ts/ or the prepalatal affricate /tʃ/. In the first case it is transliterated with , in the second case with or , following the Standard Italian orthography, e.g., ‫יצאר‬ ַ ‫( ִר‬rizar, It. rizzare), ‫צוֹלי‬ ִ ְ‫( ַלנ‬lanzoli, It. lenzuoli), ‫( ִציֵ ִילי‬cieli), ‫יאציר‬ ֵ ַ‫( י‬jacer, It. giacere). Qof (‫ )ק‬is regulary used for /k/, spelled in Italian before /a/, /o/, /u/, before [wa], [we], [wi] and before /e/ or /i/, e.g., ‫אסה‬ ָ ‫( ָק‬casa), ‫( אּונִ יקוֹ‬unico), ‫טוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫יא‬ ַ ‫קּוד‬ ִ ‫( ְס‬scudiatore), ‫ואלי‬ ֵ ַ‫( ְקו‬quale), ‫ויסטוֹ‬ ְ ֵ‫( ְקו‬questo), ‫ויס ַטאטוֹר‬ ְ ִ‫( ַא ְקו‬aquistator), ‫( ֵקי‬che), ‫יקי‬ ִ ‫( ַאנְ ִט‬antichi). The consonant resh (‫ )ר‬corresponds to /r/. Shin (‫ )ש‬represents the palatal fricative /ʃ/, spelled in Italian: ‫שוֹליִ י‬ ְ (sciolji, It. sciogli), ‫ישי‬ ִ ‫( גְ וַ ִר‬guarisci), ‫ישינְ ֵדיר‬ ֶ ‫( ִד‬discender). This sound does not occur before consonants in Standard Italian, so the sign will be used to transcribe it in such cases,11 e.g., ‫נוֹש ְטרוֹ‬ ְ (noštro). Finally, tav (‫ )ת‬is rarely used for /t/ in Italian words. It is found in the Judaeo-Italian name of God, ‫דוֹמ ֵדת ֵדית‬ ֵ (Domedet Det; cf. Section 6). Apart from this name, tav (‫)ת‬ is found only in Q2, in the words ‫נוֹׁש ְת ָרא‬ ְ (noštra), ‫ּתוֹרנָ א‬ ְ (torna), ‫מורתורי‬ ְ (muratore), ‫יאתי‬ ְ ָ‫אסינְ י‬ ְ (assinjate), ‫( ְתינְ פוֹ‬tenpo, It. tempo), and ‫א]ס[תי‬ ִ ‫( ַל ָס‬lassasti).

Consonant gemination is phonemic in the Central-Southern Italian dialects, so it must find expression in the transliteration of Medieval Judaeo-Italian manuscripts belonging to the central-southern tradition (koiné, in the terminology of Cuomo 1976 and Sermoneta 1976, see Section 1). The gemination in these sources is often marked by the dagesh forte ( ּ ), e.g., ‫( טּוּטוֹ‬tutto), ‫קוֹמּנוֹ‬ ַ (comanno, It. commando, showing the development nd > nn, cf. Section 4.1). But in many cases (even mostly) the dagesh is ommitted.12

10 Besides ‫כי‬, ‫ּכוֹמי‬ ְ (kome) occurs just once, also in Q2. 11 Preconsonantal shin (‫ )ש‬is found (and widespread in the 15th-century manuscripts Q1, Q2, Q3) only before t. 12 In the 17th-century Siddur translation (see Section 7.3), the dagesh sign is totally absent. This manuscript was written in northern Italy and presents many linguistic features of this region. One of the main

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


3.2 The representation of Italian vowels Some Hebrew consonant letters are also systematically used as vowel signs (matres lectionis): Following the Hebrew conventions, words that begin with a vowel need an alef (‫ )א‬in initial position: ‫( ֵאנְ ֵטינֵ י‬entenne, It. intende); ‫( ֵאינְ ֵפ ִיריאוֹ‬enperio, It. impero); ‫אב ֵירי‬ ֵ (avere).13 In other positions, alef usually represents the Italian vowel /a/ (‫יאציר‬ ֵ ַ‫י‬, jacer, It. giacere). Word-finally, the Italian /a/ can also be represented by he (‫)ה‬, especially in feminine words, e.g., ‫( ֶט ַיּרה‬terra). Besides their consonant values, vav (‫ )ו‬is used as a mater lectionis for /o/ and /u/, and yod (‫ )י‬for /i/ and /e/. Besides this systematic representation of vowels by Hebrew letters, parallel Hebrew notation with sub- and superlinear vowel signs is also used ( 0 Introduction). The vowel signs qamats ( ָ ) and pataḥ ( ַ ) represent /a/; tsere ( ֵ ) and segol ( ֶ ) correspond to /e/; ḥiriq ( ִ ) is /i/; ḥolam ( ֹ ) is [o]; shuruq (‫ )ּו‬and qubbuts ( ֻ ) stand for [u]. The shva ( ְ ) has a twofold character: (i) In fully vocalized texts,14 a consonant preceding another consonant without the intercession by a vowel is vocalized, namely by the shva. This shva is the so-called shva quiescens. It is not pronounced and has thus no correspondance in the transliteration, e.g., ‫נוֹׁש ְטרוֹ‬ ְ = noštro. (ii) The shva may also be a sign for the vowel /e/, frequently even with a mater lectionis yod after it, e.g., ‫קוֹרי‬ ְ (core, ‘heart’, It. cuore), ‫פוֹר ְטי‬ ְ (porte, ‘gates’), ‫יווֹלי‬ ֵ ‫יט‬ ֵ ‫ויר‬ ֵ ְ‫( ו‬veretevole ‘faithful’), ‫יקי‬ ִ ‫יֿפ‬ ְ ‫( ָר ֵּב‬rabbefechi, ‘revive.pres.2sg’), ‫יאי‬ ְ ‫ְמ‬ (mee, It. mie); use without mater lectionis can be seen in the first shva of ‫יס ְרי‬ ְ ‫( ֵא‬essere).15

4 Phonology This section describes the phonological features of Judaeo-Italian, in particular with respect to dialectal features and historical sound-shift phenomena.

4.1 Vowels The development of the vowels mostly shows the phonological traits of the Central-Southern Italian dialects. The most elaborate analysis of the stressed vowel system is given by phonological traits of the northern Italian dialects is the complete loss of gemination, so the omission of dagesh is not merely graphical, e.g., ‫( טּוטוֹ‬tuto, for Standard Italian tutto, ‘all’), ‫( ַאנִ י‬ani, for Standard Italian anni, ‘years’). 13 As can be seen in the second word, alef is also used to mark the hiatus word-internally. 14 In the Judaeo-Italian translation of the Siddur, all letters are vocalized, i.e., each one has a vowel sign. In reality, most extant Medieval Judaeo-Italian texts, such as Bible translations, are also vocalized, but glossaries, such as Maqre Dardeqe or the glosses in the ‘Arukh, are not. 15 This type of shva is especially frequent in Q2 (there it is used more than tsere or segol), but it is frequent in F, Q1, and Q3 as well.


 Michael Ryzhik

Cuomo (1988a, 28–34) with respect to the language used in the translation of the Book of Jona: Latin ū always yields u (e.g., annunzia < annūntiat, flumo16 < flūmen, dejuno o with final -a, -e, or -o (opera, misericordia, sorta u with final -i (furza < fŏrsit, cf. It. ‘forse’, umeni < ✶hŏmini) and -u (pupelo < pŏpulum, turto < tŏrtum). Stressed ĭ and ē always yield e, independently of the final vowel (secca < sĭcca, furtezza < fortis + ĭtia, pescio < pĭscem, cenera < cĭnerem, temo < tĭmeo, celi < ✶cēli, scese < descēnsit, quvesto [e]; [wɔ]/[wɛ] > [u]). If this explanation is right, it is important as a witness to the fact that the writers strove towards “high language” (Cuomo 1988a, 32). However, u is dominant in accented syllables, but never found in the final position (cf. Cuomo 1988a, 34–37). In other vocalized sources, such as the Siddur translations, the picture is much more similar to the general Tuscan scheme. So, in the Rite of Fano, ŏ appears as o in popoli < pŏpuli (5r), stressed ĭ as e in comenza u, while there is no respective change ĭ/ē > i. These multiple differences in the vowel system are evidently due to the influence of different dialects.

4.2 Consonants The development of the consonant system is also best described by Cuomo (1988a, 37–42). Here, too, most of the features belong to the central-southern dialect area. 1. Lat. -nd- > nn: granna < grandem, munna < munda, segunna < secunda. This is also always the case in the Rite of Fano, and – mostly – in the sermons of Rabbi Samuel ben Rafael Modena (year 1535, cf. Section 7.2).20 2. An important phenomenon seems to be the conservation of preconsonantal l, as in alzaro, vultato, multo, etc., whereas central-southern dialects generally show velarization or palatalization of l in such positions (Cuomo 1988a, 37; Ernst 1970, 75–80).21 Preconsonantal l is preserved in all Judaeo-Italian texts, beginning from the lə‘azim in the ‘Arukh studied by Cuomo (1974, see in particular p. 137). 3. Latin l is maintained in “Classical” Judaeo-Italian texts including in the postconsonantal position, e.g., in the Book of Jona: clama < clamat, flumo < flumen, plu < plus, sometimes with an epenthetic vowel (see below, number 6), e.g., tenpelo, schelarire (for sclarire). According to Cuomo, it is one of the characteristic traits of central-southern Judaeo-Italian texts, with the exception of the Maqre Dardeqe. In the 15th-century manuscripts of the Siddur translations, the l is still retained: l-ocli < def. art. + oc(u)li (also with epenthetic vowel: occheli [Q3]), lo-flore < def. art. + florem, florire. By contrast, in the Rite of Fano, l in such a position is mostly palatalized, e.g., l-occhiu (F 5v),

19 And also ŭ > u in the final position: avesseru, essu, sianu (cf. Tuscan avessero, esso, siano). 20 But already with some exceptions in learned Latinized forms, such as onorandissimo, indotto (184b). 21 But there is also some evidence of the conservation of l in this position in some local non-Jewish texts that cannot always be explained as a scholarly correction.


 Michael Ryzhik

fiore, fiorire (F 27r), but then again injenoclare (F 57v, cf. It. inginnocchiare, a derivation from Lat. ✶genuc(u)lum for geniculum). While in this example we can perhaps see the beginning of Tuscanization, even as late as 1535, in the sermons by Samuel Modena, l is mostly conserved: plu, declarato, declarare (184v), declareremo (185r), with metathesis: replubbeca (184v, It. repubblica), besides some cases of palatalization: chiara nz, rz, lz. This is seen in all medieval Judaeo-Italian texts, except for the ‘Arukh (cf. Cuomo 1974, 137; 1988a, 26 and 39). Thus, in the Rite of Fano we read: la-perzone (F 6v, It. la persona), reverzeno (F 169r, It. riversino), reconzola (F 5v, It. riconsola), penzava (F 169r, It. pensava), falzitade (F 32v, It. falsità), ravvolze (F 48r, It. ravvolse).22 5. All consonant clusters that became the affricate /dʒ/ in the Tuscan dialects, yielded the palatal fricative /ʝ/ in Medieval Judaeo-Italian (cf. Cuomo 1988a, 24–25, 39). This fricative is represented by yod or by double yod (‫ י‬/ ‫יי‬, cf. Section 2).23 6. A general phonological phenomenon that characterizes Medieval Judaeo-Italian is the epenthetic vowel -e- that appears in clusters consisting of consonant + r/l ( 2 Judaeo-Portuguese). This feature regularly appears in the translation of the Book of Jona (cf. Cuomo 1976, 36), where Cuomo finds it astonishing for its regularity. It appears always in posttonic position (libero, supera, ventera, senpere for It. libro, supra, ventre, sempre), while in pretonic position it appears when a cons. + r/l cluster is preceded by a third consonant (ingheluttire, schelarire for It. ingluttire and sclarire, but clama, sacrifizio). This trait is present in some other medieval Judaeo-Italian texts, although not with such consistency. It is well documented in the Judaeo-Italian passages of the Hebrew Siddur: lu-pateri, alteri, but it is almost absent in the 15th-century translations of the Siddur. In the Rite of Fano we find almost only patre, nostri, nostra, nostro (passim); an isolated example is colpi nosteri (F 33a), but on the same page we find nostri several times. According to Cuomo (1988a, 42), this trait is somewhat peculiar when compared with certain central-southern dialects, especially of Lazio, where an epenthetic -e- is present in cons. + l clusters, but not cons. + r.

22 But there are also several cases with the beginning of Tuscanization: consigliamo (F 32v), consiglio (F 33v). 23 Note that in the 17th-century translation of the Siddur (cf. Section 7.1), this sign already represents a voiced palatal affricate, as is clear from spellings such as abrujjava (It. abbrucciava), where jj must represent /dʒ/. In the very late Italian translation of the Pirqe ’Avot written in Hebrew characters (Venice, 1710) – it can be hardly named “Judaeo-Italian,” as the language is very normative – this sound is represented by the digraph gimel + yod (‫)גי‬, under the influence of the common Italian orthography, e.g., ‫ ַראגְ ּיוֹנֵ י‬ragjone.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


5 Morphology and syntax This section discusses some morphological and syntactic features that seem to be characteristic of medieval Judaeo-Italian texts. Sections 5.1–5.3 are devoted to nominal morphology, possessive adjectives, and verbal morphology, respectively. This is followed by some notes on syntax in Section 5.4.

5.1 Nominal morphology In some texts we observe so-called metaplasms, in particular the redistribution of nouns of the Latin 3rd declension (with the ending -e in Tuscan) to the 1st and 2nd declensions: feminine nouns receive the ending -a, e.g., cittada (< civitatem, Tuscan cittade), salvaziuna (salvationem, Tuscan salvazione), while masculine nouns take the ending -o, e.g., pescio (< piscem, Tuscan pesce) and granno (< grandem, Tuscan grande). As in the case of the epenthetic e discussed in 4.2, this trait is generalized to a strict rule in the Book of Jona studied by Cuomo, from which these examples are taken (1988a, 42–44), with the sole exception of the monosyllable re (< rex). The metaplasm is well documented in other Judaeo-Italian texts as well, such as in the Rite of Fano: lo nome tuo granno ‘your great name’ (F 22r), but cannot be considered a general rule of Medieval Judaeo-Italian. For instance, the Rite of Fano is not homogeneous in this respect, showing forms such as fine ‘end’ (e.g., F 18v, 70r) and jente ‘people’ (e.g., F 77r). However, in the parts of the hoshanot, i.e., the ancient piyyutim (religious poems) for the Festival of Sukkot, that are translated in a somewhat more archaic and southern language (cf. Ryzhik 2014), we find more cases of the metaplasm than in the other parts of the Siddur translation, e.g., fina (F 175v) and jenta (F 176r). The plural endings of words stemming from the Latin 1st declension is -i instead of -e, e.g., opera (sg.) → operi (pl.). This trait has been considered a particularly constant characteristic of Judaeo-Italian (Terracini 1956–1957, 254), but it can be explained differently in different sources, partly as a phonological phenomenon (shift from [e] to [i]), partly as a consequence of analogical morphological processes (see the discussion in Cuomo 1988a, 46–47). It seems to be obviously non-phonological in the Rite of Fano, as the -i in such forms (e.g., li stradi, F 18v for It. le strade) exists alongside the generally preserved -e in the singular of nouns stemming from the Latin 3rd declension (pastore, nome, F 18v) and from the 5th declension ending -ities (la grannezze ‘the greatness’, F 18v, see below). Like the form grannezze (It. grandezza) just mentioned, Judaeo-Italian preserves many abstract nouns with the ending -ezze in the singular, e.g., in the Rite of Fano: fortezze mea ‘my strength’ (F 5r), allegrezze (F 5v, translating the singular ‫‘ שמחה‬joy’ of the Hebrew original), la tristezze ‘the sadness’ (F 7r), la altezze ‘the height’ (F 17r), among others. These remnants of nouns of the Latin 5th declension ending in -ities are widespead in the southern dialects (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §355).


 Michael Ryzhik

Nouns formed from verbs with the suffix -isc- are common in Judaeo-Italian, e.g., in different 15th-century translations of the Siddur: fioriscimento ‘flourishing’, guariscitore ‘healer’, libertiscemento ‘liberation’, entaljetiscemento ‘intellect’ (Ryzhik 2013, 250– 251). Such forms, too, are characteristic of Southern Italian dialects (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §524). Plural forms with the ancient and mostly southern dialect ending -ora (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §370) are particularly widespread in the previously mentioned translation of hoshanot in the Rite of Fano: trivora (for Hebrew ‫‘ שבטים‬tribes’, F 161v), albergora (for Hebrew ‫מחנים‬, ‘camps’, F 167v). There is a variant ending with -e instead of -a: li albergore toi ‘your camps’ (F 176v); a development from -ora > -orae is well documented in the Salentine dialects (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §370). The latter is one of those features that shows the affinity between the extreme Southern Italian dialects and Judaeo-Italian.

5.2 Possessive adjectives Table 1 shows the system of the possessive adjectives as described by Cuomo (1988a, 48–50) for the Book of Jona: Table 1: Possessive adjectives.





mio tuo suo

tui sui

mea toa soa

tui -

This paradigm, as Cuomo concludes, is most similar to that described by Ernst (1970, 128) for the “high” forms of the ancient Roman dialect. Other Medieval Judaeo-Italian texts have slightly different paradigms, e.g., the Rite of Fano: mio (F 5r), tuo (F 18v), suo (F 5v), mea (F 5r), toa (F 5r), toi (masc. F 5b, fem. F 28v), soi (masc. F 17r, fem. F 5r). This is also the paradigm in the other (manuscript) 15th-century Siddur translations with only one exception, which clearly shows that there are dialect differences within JudaeoItalian: in Q3 we find the 2nd person sg. possessive adjective tuu (instead of tuo), typical of the Marchigiano dialect (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §427). According to Rohlfs, this form is found in Ancona, a city with a long Jewish tradition. However, the language in Q3 is not purely Anconan: tuu and suu are used systematically, but by contrast, the same text shows the ‘standard’ form mio for 1st person sg. masc., while the Anconan dialect has miu (Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §427).

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


5.3 Verbal morphology Verbal morphology is described and analyzed in detail by Sermoneta (1967), and especially by Cuomo (1988a, 56–71). Not surprisingly, it is central-southern in its general traits. Here we will consider some of the most salient features. The Old Romanesco had 3rd person sg. present indicative forms such as ao ‘have.3sg’, fao ‘do.3sg’, dao ‘give.3sg’, stao ‘stay.3sg’, vao ‘go.3sg’ (Ernst 1970, 144). These forms are well represented in Judaeo-Italian texts (cf. Cuomo 1988a, 58): ao, vao, fao in the Elegy for the 9th of Av (but also sta); vao, stao in the Book of Jona; veo in the translation of the Song of Songs (but: fa and sta) (cf. Sermoneta 1974, 84); fao in the translation of the Psalms (Sermoneta 1978, 215). We see that the distribution is lexically determined but is not uniform across the texts (fao / sta or stao in the Elegy, veo / fa, sta in the translation of the Psalms), so that dialectal differences are visible between the language of different sources. These dialectal differences also exist between the different 15th-century translations of the Siddur. The form fao is the only one used in F, as in the following examples: “fao fiatare lo uento e fao scennjere la-pjojja”24 (‘he makes the wind blow and the rain fall’); “fao fiorire a-noi saluezione en appresso” (‘he makes quickly flourish the salvation for us’).25 This form is found also in Q3, e.g., “e fao uenire sconperatore”26 (‘and he makes a redeemer come’), but it is otherwise very rare in Q3, where, in other occurrences, fa is used. Q1 and Q2 also have only fa (cf. Ryzhik 2013, 251). According to Ernst (1970, 144), these forms begin to recede in the Romanesco dialect during the 14th century, giving way to short forms (fa, de, vo) and they disappear in the 16th century, the last cited source being the 15th-century Anedotti, written between 1476 and 1478 and edited by Vattasso (1901), cf. Cuomo (1988a, 58). But in Judaeo-Italian we find such forms as late as 1535 in the sermons of Samuel Modena (cf. 7.2), e.g., fao (196v), vao (188v); they do not disappear until in the second half of the century (Ryzhik 2012). The 1st person sg. present indicative of sapere ‘to know’ is saccio (cf. Cuomo 1988a, 67). This form is found in the Rite of Fano (F 6v, 127r) and in all other 15th-century translations of the Siddur. The form is southern and has remained in Judaeo-Romanesco through to the 20th century (Del Monte 1955, 10, 45; Calò 1990, 36). The ending of the 1st person sg. future indicative is the southern -rajo (Cuomo 1988a, 59). Examples from the Rite of Fano are: “e darajo erva nel canpo tuo” (‘and I will give grass on your field’, F 23r); “e da li-nemici mei serajo salvato” (‘and I will be saved from my enemies’, F 70r); “e darajo essi e farajo moltepecare essi e darajo lo santovario mio en fra-essi a-senpre” (‘and I will give them and I will make them multiply and I will give my sanctuary among them forever’, F 76v).

24 Translation of Heb. ‫משיב הרוח ומוריד הגשם‬. 25 Translation of Heb. ‫מצמיח לנו ישועה בקרוב‬. 26 Translation of Heb. ‫ומביא גואל‬.


 Michael Ryzhik

The ending of the 3rd person sg. preterite (passato remoto) is the central-southern -ao / -avo. These forms are also present in the translations of the Siddur, as in the Rite of Fano: scanpao (‘rescued-pret.3sg’, F 5r), amao (‘loved-pret.3sg’, F 7r).

5.4 Some notes on syntax Generally, the syntax of Judaeo-Italian translations strictly follows the Hebrew original ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). But this procedure is not “mechanical,” there are at least a few interesting phenomena in play as translators searched to find a compromise between Hebrew and Italian syntactic structures (Cuomo 1988a, 73–98). Here brief mentions will be made of four different traits related to the verb. Firstly, Hebrew does not use a verbal copula (‘to be’) – at least in the present tense –, whereas in Italian, use of such a copular verb is practically obligatory (cf. Cuomo 1988a, 85–86). The lack of the copula in Hebrew can be observed, for instance, in the concluding formula of the benediction: (1)

‫ברוך אתה ה׳‬ barukh ata ha[-šem] blessed.ptcp you the-name ‘Blessed are you, oh Lord!’

The translators were faced with the questions of how the nominal clause ‫ברוך אתה‬, lit. ‘blessed.ptcp you’ should be translated (with or without a verbal copula, cf. Ryzhik 2009). The copula is present in F and Q2 (benedetto sii tu ‘blessed be.pres.subjv.2sg you’) and is absent from Q1 and Q3 (benedetto tu, lit. ‘blessed.ptcp you’).27 Secondly, this formula is usually followed by a participle that describes some quality of God (such as ‘who creates’, ‘who loves’, ‘who heals’). The question here was in which person the verb that translates the Hebrew participle at the end of the formula should appear (2nd person sg., referring to ‫‘ אתה‬you’, or 3rd person sg., agreeing with ha-šem)? It appears that both these possibilities are realized in the different Siddur translations. The verb that translates the participle is in the 2nd person in F (e.g., che fai fiorire ‘that make.pres.ind.2sg flourish’) and appears in the 3rd person in Q1, Q2, and Q3 (fa / fao), cf. Ryzhik (2009). Thirdly, the Hebrew perfective may potentially be translated with the Italian preterite or by the compound perfect (for these Italian past tenses, see Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 3, §672). In Medieval Judaeo-Italian, the Hebrew perfect is usually translated with the passato remoto:

27 A further example of the omission of the copula can be found at the beginning of example (3a, b) vs. the presence of the copula in (3c).

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 



‫אני ה׳ אלהיכם אשר הוצאתי אתכם מארץ מצרים‬ (Num. 15,41, Shəma’ Yisrael) ani ha[-šem] elohekem ašer hoṣeti etkem meereṣ I the-name that led.out-1sg from-land ‘I am the Lord, your God, who led you out of the land of Egypt’ a.




miṣrayim Egypt

‫בוֹאי ְד ַל ֵט ַירה ֵדי ִמ ְצ ַריִם‬ ִ ‫אסי‬ ִ ‫בוֹש ְטרוֹ ֵקי ְט ַר‬ ְ ‫דוֹמ ֶדת לוֹ ֵדית‬ ֵ ‫( ִאיאוֹ‬Q1) io Domedet lo Det voštro che trassi voi della-terra I Lord the God that led-out.1sg of-the-land de miṣrayim of Egypt ‫בוֹאי ַד ַל ֵט ָירה ְד ִמ ְצ ָריִם‬ ְ ‫אסי‬ ְ ‫בוֹׁש ְטרוֹ ְקי ַט ַר‬ ְ ‫דוֹמ ֵדיד ֵדיד‬ ְ ‫( ִאיאוֹ‬Q2) io Domeded Ded voštro che trasse voe dalla-terra I Lord God that led-out.1sg from-the-land de-miṣrayim of-Egypt ‫ווֹאי ַד ַּל ֵט ָירה ְד ִמ ְצ ַריִם‬ ִ ‫אסי‬ ֵ ‫יט ַר‬ ְ ‫ווֹׁש ְטרוֹ ֵק‬ ְ ‫דוֹמ ֵדת ֵדית‬ ֵ ‫( ִאיאוֹ סוֹ‬Q3) io so Domeded I am Lord de-miṣrayim of-Egypt

Det God


che-trasse that-led-out.1sg


dalla-terra from-the-land

In most parts of northern Italy, the passato remoto began to lose ground in favor of the passato prossimo from the 14th century onwards (cf. Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 2, §567). However, Late Medieval/Early Modern Judaeo-Italian, based on Southern Italian dialects, preserved the passato remoto, which can therefore still be found in the Rite of Fano.28 Fourthly, the past subjunctive (congiuntivo passato) is not used in the Judaeo-Italian translations, as it has no Hebrew counterpart. But in original Judaeo-Italian texts, as in the short Judaeo-Italian brans in the Hebrew prayer books (see 5.1 and 7.1), past subjunctive forms are found: fusseru posti ‘be.past.subjv.3pl put’, avesseru posti ‘had.past. subjv.3pl put’.

6 Lexicon Generally, the Judaeo-Italian Romance lexicon is not very different from that of the medieval central-southern dialects, but there are some lexemes that are used (almost) exclusively in Judaeo-Italian, and some of them are important keywords (as they are

28 In contrast, the passato prossimo is found in the 17th-century Siddur translation (cf. Section 7.3), e.g., in Num. 15,41: ‫ווֹאי ַדה ַלה ֶט ָירה ֵדי ִמ ְצ ָריִם‬ ִ ‫אוֹקאֹוַ ואטוֹ‬ ַ ‫ווֹס ְטרוֹ ְקוַ ואל‬ ְ ‫( ִאיאוֹ ִאיל ִסינְ ייוֹר ִא ִידיאוֹ‬io il Sinjor Idio uostro qual o cauato uoi da la tera de miṣrayim). Note that the verb has changed, too (from trarre to cavare).


 Michael Ryzhik

characteristic for Medieval Judaeo-Italian and frequently represent theologically and ideologically important words; see Cuomo 1988a, 99–103; Ryzhik 2008b).29 Here several words will be mentioned that are peculiar to Judaeo-Italian. The verb nescere ‘to teach’.30 This is one of the most characteristic verbs for Medieval Judaeo-Italian (Cuomo 1976, 49). It appears, for instance, in the Rite of Fano: “e per la lejje toa che nescesti noi” (‘for your law that you taught us’, F 179v); “tu cordolji all-omo sapere e nesce all-omo intelletto” (‘You mercifully give to a man knowledge and teach him intellect’, F 78a); or in the 16th-century sermons: “la Tora ennesce a lo ben adam” (‘the Tora teaches the men’, Ryzhik 2008a, 539). In non-Jewish sources this verb is extremely rare and is documented only scarcely in 13th-century texts written in the Old Romanesco dialect.31 The verb semonire ‘to seduce, to tempt’ is found only in Judaeo-Italian sources, such as in Yudah Romano’s glosses edited by Debenedetti Stow (1990, 246) and in the Maqre Dardeqe (s.v.). Both sources translate the Hebrew root ‫‘ פתה‬to let oneself seduce’ with the noun ‫( סימונימנטו‬simonimento) and – as a Biblical example – properly quote Deut. 11,16, where the Hebrew verb form ‫יִפ ֶּתה‬ ְ ‘’ from the Shəma‘ Yisra’el (‫השמרו לכם פן יפתה לבבכם וסרתם‬, ‘But be careful not to let yourselves be seduced, so that you turn aside’) is translated with the verb semonire in all translations:32 (4)

a. b. c. d.

‫ריטי ֹוֵ וי‬ ְ ‫יס‬ ָ ‫ווֹס ְטרוֹ ֵאי ֵצ‬ ְ ‫קוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫יס ַקה לוֹ‬ ְ ִ‫ווֹאי ְאין ְקוָ ונוֹ ְסימּונ‬ ִ ‫יטי ַא‬ ִ ‫ואר ֵד‬ ְ ַ‫( גְ ו‬F) guardeti a-uoi en quanno semonisca lo core uostro e cessarete-ue ‫יס ֵרי‬ ַ ‫אצ‬ ֵ ‫בוֹש ְטרוֹ‬ ְ ‫לוֹקוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫יס ַקה‬ ְ ִ‫יסימוֹנ‬ ֵ ‫בוֹאי ֵאינְ ְקוַ אּנוֹ ֵס‬ ִ ‫יטי ַא‬ ִ ‫אר ֵד‬ ְ ַ‫( גְ ו‬Q1) guardeti a-voi enquanno se-semonisca lo-core voštro a-cessare ‫יטי ֹוְ וי‬ ְ ‫יצ ְס ִר‬ ְ ‫בוֹׁש ְטרוֹ ֵא‬ ְ ‫לוֹקוֹרי‬ ְ ‫יס ָקא‬ ְ ִ‫יסימוֹנ‬ ִ ‫( גְ וָ ַור ְד ְטי ָאבוֹיְ י נוֹן ְקוָ ואנוֹ ְס‬Q2) guardete a-voje non quanno se-simonisca lo-core voštro e-cesserite-ue ‫יט ֵיֿבי‬ ִ ‫יס ֵר‬ ַ ‫ווֹׁש ְטרוֹ ֵאי ֵצ‬ ְ ‫לוֹקוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫יס ָקה‬ ְ ִ‫ווֹאי ֵקינוֹן ֵסי ֵסימוֹנ‬ ִ ‫יט ֵיֿבי ַא‬ ִ ‫( גְ וַ ְור ֵד‬Q3) guardeti-ve a-uoi che-non se semonisca lo-core uoštro e cessareti-ve ‘Be on your guard that your heart not be seduced and you turn aside (Q1: to turn aside)’

In the Christian translations other words are used in this verse.33 In spite of the evident Christian origin of the verb semonire (from ecclesiastic Latin simonia ‘trade of sacred objects’, from the name of Simon Magus or Simon the Sourcerer from the Acts of the Apostles), the Italian verb semonire in the general sense of ‘to seduce’ is completely absent from Christian sources. It seems strange that the word with such a clear Chris29 See Cuomo (1988a, 99–103) and Ryzhik (2008b). 30 Perhaps from Lat. indĭcěre, cf. Incarbone Giornetti (2006, 39), s.v. annescere, anescere. 31 E.g., in the Storie de Troia e de Roma (1252/1258): “Et a li cavaleri novilemente nescea cavallaria”; “Questo [i.e. Adriano imperatore] fece granne spesa ad nescere lectera greca.” (Ryzhik 2008b, 168). 32 Including the 17th-century translation (cf. Section 7.3): ‫יס ַקה ִאיל קוֹר‬ ְ ִ‫ווֹאי ֵקי נוֹן ]וִ וי[ ִסימוֹנ‬ ִ ‫אטי ֹוִ וי ַא׳‬ ֶ ‫ואר ַד‬ ְ ַ‫גְ ו‬ ‫יטי‬ ֶ ‫ואר‬ ֵ ַ‫ווֹס ְטרוֹ ֶאי וִ וי ֵלי ֹו‬ ְ (guardate-ui a’ uoi che non [ui] simonisca il cor uostro e ui leuarete). 33 The Vulgata Sixto-Clementina translates: “cavete ne forte decipiatur cor vestrum et recedatis,” and the non-Jewish Italian versions read as follows: “Guardatevi ne per ventura il vostro cuore sie ingannato (Bibbia Volgare, 1471); “guardatevi che talora il vostro cuore non sia sedotto” (Diodati 1607); “Guardateui dunque, che perauentura il vostro cuore non sia disuiato” (Brucioli 1562).

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


tian etymology is used in Jewish translations of sacred texts. But the total absence of this verb from the Christian sources may explain its use by Italian Jews. Another specific Judaeo-Italian word, which is absent in Christian sources, is the noun sconperatore and its variants. This word is the traditional Judaeo-Italian translation of the Hebrew word ‫גואל‬, ‘redeemer’. Examples are found, for instance, in the first benediction of the prayer Shəmona‘ ‘esre (‫ומביא גואל לבני בניהם למען שמו באהבה‬, ‘and brings a redeemer to their children’s children for His Name’s sake, with love’): (5)

a. b. c. d. e.

‫מוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫נוֹמי סּואוֹ ֵאין ָא‬ ֵ ‫יוֹלי לוֹרוֹ ֵפיר לוֹ‬ ִ ‫יוֹלי ְדי ִלי ִֿפ ְיל‬ ִ ‫טוֹרי ַא ְלי ִֿפ ְיל‬ ֵ ‫אי ַֿפ ִאי וֵ וינִ ֵירי לוֹ ְסקוֹנְ ֵפ ַיר‬: ֵ (F) e fai uenire lo sconperatore alle filjoli de li filjoli loro per lo nome suo en amore ‫מוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫לוֹנוֹמי סּואוֹ קוֹן ַא‬ ֵ ‫יוֹלי לוֹרוֹ ֵפיר‬ ִ ‫יוֹלי ְד ִלי ִפ ְיל‬ ִ ‫יסקוֹנְ ֵפ ַיראטוֹרי ַאלי ִפ ְיל‬ ְ ‫יפא וֵ ינִ ֵירי ֵא‬ ָ ‫( ֵא‬Q1) e-fa uenire esconperatore alli filjoli delli filjoli loro per lo-nome suo con amore ‫מוֹרי‬ ְ ‫לוֹנוֹמי סּואוֹ קוֹן ַא‬ ְ ‫ייוֹלי לוֹרוֹ ִפיר‬ ִ ‫יפ ְל‬ ִ ‫ייוֹלי ְד ִל‬ ִ ‫יפ ְיל‬ ִ ‫אטוֹרי ַא ִּל‬ ְ ‫יסקוֹנְ ָפ ָר‬ ְ ‫]אי ַפא וְ וינִ ִירי[ ְא‬ ֵ (Q2) [e fa uenire] esconparatore alli-filjoli delli-filjoli loro per lo-nome suo con amore ‫מוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫נוֹמי סּואּו קוֹן ָא‬ ֵ ‫יוֹלי לוֹרוֹ ֵפיר לוֹ‬ ִ ‫יוֹלי ֵד ִיּלי ִֿפ ְיל‬ ִ ‫טוֹרי ַא ִּלי ִֿפ ְיל‬ ֵ ‫( ֵאי ָֿפאוֹ וֵ ינִ ֵירי ְסקוֹנְ ֵפ ָיר‬Q3) e fao uenire sconperatore alli filjoli delli filjoli loro per lo nome suu con amore ‫מוֹרי‬ ֵ ‫נוֹמי סּואוֹ קוֹן ַא‬ ֶ ‫ייוֹלי לוֹרוֹ ֶפיר ִאיל‬ ִ ‫ייוֹלי ֵדי ִלי ִפ ְיל‬ ִ ‫קוֹמ ֶפ ַיראטוֹר ַא׳ ִלי ִפ ְיל‬ ְ ‫דּוצי ְס‬ ֶ ְ‫( ֶאי קוֹנ‬S) e conduce scomperator a’ li filjoli de li filjoli loro per il nome suo con amore ‘and brings a redeemer to their children’s children for His Name’s sake, with love’

This word is very common in Judaeo-Italian, as is the verb scomparare ‘to redeem’, and the form ‫ = סקונפיראו‬sconperao ‘redeem.pret.3sg’ is found also in the Maqre Dardeqe as a translation of the root ‫‘( גאל‬redeem’; Cuomo 1985, 111). The noun is still documented at the end of the 16th century in the Judaeo-Italian elegy edited by Roth (1950, 155). But in Christian sources, the noun is not documented and the verb is found only in some Venetian documents written in 1371 (cf. Ryzhik 2008b).34 The use of Hebrew and Aramaic loans in Medieval Judaeo-Italian is very frequent (cf. Mayer Modena 1999). Examples of Hebrew words commonly used in Jewish languages and thus also in Judaeo-Italian are the term for Egypt, miṣrayim, see examples (2) and (3) in Section 5.4, and ben ’adam ‘human person’; see the sentence quoted above: “la Tora ennesce a lo ben adam” ‘the Tora teaches the men’ (Ryzhik 2008a, 539). However, Hebrew and Aramaic loanwords do not usually occur in Bible translations, where every word is translated into Italian, with very rare exceptions, such as ‫תפילין‬, təfillin, for the Hebrew ‫‘ טוטפת‬phylacteries’, a translation based on the ancient tradition. Another interesting case in which one Hebrew word translates another is the Hebrew word ‫תימן‬ teman ‘south’, which is translated by another Hebrew word with the same meaning (‫דרום‬, darom, F 18v). There are more Hebrew-based words in the translations of the Siddur, most of them hybrid verbs, such as inqawwanarsi, with the reflexive pronoun si, ‘to think intensily’ from the Hebrew ‫ התכוון‬hitkawwen (which has also a reflexive

34 E.g., “Nui, Johann de Bona, rector di Ragusa, iudesi, consilieri et comun dela dita terra, a vui, misser lo consolo deli Viniciani in Salonich, et ser Lucha Pençin dela dita çitade de Vinesia, over a çaschuno altro de qualchuncha stado over condicion si sia che vorra’ scomparar Çugno de  Sorgo, nostro çintil homo de Ragusa, da carçere” in a letter by the Rector of Ragusa, Johann de Bona, ed. Gelcic (1896, 129).


 Michael Ryzhik

meaning), or mahlare ‘to forgive’, from the Hebrew ‫( מחל‬maḥal, idem) ( 11 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). A final interesting case with respect to the lexicon concerns the names used to translate the name of God, Domedet and Det (cf. Sermoneta 1969, 393–394). These seem to be intentional changes to the Latin Dominus Deus or the Italian Domino Deo as an attempt of the Jews to set themselves apart from Christian religious terms; in addition, the use of the Hebrew letter tav (‫)ת‬, otherwise very rare in Judaeo-Italian texts, may be interpreted as a device for maintaining the hieratic character of the Jewish names of God.

7 The end of Medieval Judaeo-Italian This section will show, through a comparison of different texts belonging to the same genres or of translations of the same texts, how Classical Judaeo-Italian loses its character in the course of the 16th century. This will be shown using three examples: (i.) a Judaeo-Italian extract from the Hebrew Maḥzor (i.e., the original Maḥzor written in Hebrew, but with short Judaeo-Italian sections), which was changed to a Hebrew version (Section 7.1), (ii.) changes in the language of sermons (7.2), and (iii.) changes in the language of the Siddur translations (7.3).

7.1 The Maḥzor As was already explained in Section 4.1, each medieval manuscript of the Maḥzor according to the Italian rite contains three short prayers in Judaeo-Italian. The three prayers, located after the Passover liturgy, are composed in a mixture of Judaeo-Italian and Hebrew (for details, see Scazzocchio Sestieri 1988; Ryzhik 2010; 2018). The fixed liturgical formulas common to all rites are mostly written in Hebrew, while expressions that are exclusive to the Italian rite figure in the vernacular Judaeo-Italian. The texts of these prayers are (almost) identical in all manuscripts, we quote here from Leeds, Brothertorn Library, Ms. Roth 58 (15th century):35 (6) Seder hattarat qəlalot (‘Order of annulation of curses’): ‫וילי‬ ִ ֵ‫יאל ֵמינְ ֵטי ְקו‬ ַ ‫יצ‬ ֶ ‫יאה ֵאי ְס ֵפ‬ ָ ‫יוֹד‬ ֵ ‫יּודיאוֹ אוֹ‬ ִ ‫אסה ְדנּולוֹ‬ ָ ‫פוֹס ִטי ִאינְ ָק‬ ְ ‫ֿפּוסירּו‬ ְ ‫[ ֵקי‬. . .] ‫טּוטי ֲח ָר ִמים‬ ִ ‫יאנוֹ‬ ַ ‫ׂשול ִטי ִס‬ ְ ‫יסי‬ ִ ‫פּוס ִטי ַא ְל ֵט ִרי ַא ֶא ִסי אוֹ ֶא‬ ְ ‫יסרּו‬ ֵ ‫יא ֵב‬ ַ ‫סוֹאה ְק ָללוֹת ֵק‬ ָ ‫סוֹפ ֵרי נּולוֹ ְד ַיק ָסה‬ ְ ‫[ או‬. . .] ‫סוֹפ ֵרי ְר׳ ְפלוֹ׳‬ ְ ‫פוֹס ִטי‬ ְ ‫יֿפּוסירּו‬ ֵ ‫ֵק‬ ‫יאנּו ְב ֵט ִלים‬ ַ ‫טּוטי ְקוַ ואנְ ִטי ִס‬ ִ [. . .] ‫יסי‬ ִ ‫ַא ַא ְל ְט ִירי אוֹ ֶא ִסי ִאינְ ֵפ ַרא ִסי ְס ֶט‬ Sciolti siano tutti ḥaramim [‘the curses’] [. . .] che fusseru posti in-casa de-nullo judio o jodea e special mente quelli che-fusseru posti sopre r[abbino] pəlo[ni] [‘so-and-so’] [. . .] o sopre nullo de-casa soa qəlalot [‘curses’] che-avesseru pusti alteri a-essi o essi a-alteri o essi infera se stessi [. . .] tutti quanti sianu bətelim [‘canceled’]. 35 The folios are unnumbered.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


‘Lifted be all the curses that were put upon the house of any male or female Jew and especially those that were put on Rabbi X or on anybody of his house, curses that others have put on them or that they have put on others or that they have put among themselves. All these shall be canceled.’ (7) Mi še-bərakh (‘He that blessed’): ‫יוֹלי‬ ִ ‫מּוליֵ ֵירי ֵא ִילי ִפ ְיל‬ ְ ‫בוֹתינּו ָש ָרה ִר ְב ָקה ַר ֵחל וְ ֵל ָאה הּוא ַיְב ֵרך ְר׳ ְפלּונִ י ֵאיסּו ֵאי ַל‬ ֵ ‫ִמי ֶש ֵב ַרך ַא ְב ָר ָהם יִ ְצ ָחק וְ יַ ֲעקֹב ֲא‬ ‫יטּוטי‬ ִ ‫סוֹאי ֵא‬ ִ ‫ארינְ ִטי‬ ֵ ‫יפ‬ ַ ‫טּוטי ִל‬ ִ ‫יּפּוטי ֵאי‬ ִ ְ‫אטי ֵאי ִלינ‬ ִ ָ‫יאי ֵא ִיליקּונ‬ ִ ‫יצ‬ ִ ‫יסוֹרוֹרי ֵאי ִל‬ ִ ‫אטי ֵא ִיל‬ ִ ‫יפר‬ ַ ‫לּופ ֵט ִרי ֵא ַיל ַמ ֵט ֵרי ֵא ִל‬ ַ ‫ֵא‬ ‫[ ֵאי ֵדייֵ לי ָבנִ ים‬. . .] ‫דּומ ֶידית לּו ַס ְלוָ וה ֵאי ְבינִ ִיד ָיקה ֵא ְידיֵ ִילי ְב ַר ָכה‬ ֶ ‫ארה ֲא ֶשר יִ ְד ֵבּנּו ִלבוֹ ֵפיר ֵצ ָד ַקה‬ ַ ‫יִ ְׂש ָר ֵאל ֵק ָיד‬ [Beginning in Hebrew, translated] He that blessed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah will bless Rabbi so-and-so essu e la-muljere e lu-pateri e li-frati e li-sorori e li-zii e li-cunati e li-niputi e tutti li-parenti soi e tutti Yisra’el che-darà ašer yiddevennu libbo, [‘as much as he wants’] per ṣədaqa [‘donation’]. Dumedet lu salva e benedica e dieli bəraka [‘blessing’] e dieli banim [‘children’] ‘He that blessed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah will bless Rabbi X, himself, his wife, his father, his brothers, his sisters, his uncles, his brothers-in-law, his nephews and all his relatives, and the whole of Israel; he will give as much as he wants as a donation. May God the Lord save and bless him and give him his blessing and give him children.’ (8) Hazkarat nəšamot (‘Commemoration of the souls [of the deceased]’): ‫בוֹתינּו ֵקי ָד ָרה ְר׳‬ ֵ ‫עוֹלם ַה ָבא ִעם נֶ ֶפש ַא ְב ָר ָהם יִ ְצ ַחק וְ יָ ֲעקֹב ַא‬ ַ ‫טוֹבה ֶאת נֶ ֶפש ְר׳ ְפלוֹנִ י ֶש ָה ַלך ְל ַחיֵ י ָה‬ ָ ‫יִ זְ ּכוֹר ייי ְל‬ ‫יא ַל ַפ ִמ ְיליַ יא‬ ַ ‫טוב׳ ֵאי ּגַ ן ֶע ֶדן ֵאי ַא ְר׳ ְפלונִ י ֵא‬ ַ ‫נּוחה‬ ָ ‫דּומ ֶידית ְמ‬ ֵ ‫[ ַא ֵאיסּו ֵדייַ ה‬. . .] ‫ְפלוֹנִ י ֵפיר לּונֶ ֶפש סּואוֹ ַכך ִל ְצ ָד ַקה‬ ‫סוֹאה ָׂש ַכר טוֹב‬ ָ ‘[Beginning in Hebrew, translated] Remember well, oh Lord, the soul of Rabbi so-and-so, who passed to the life of the world to come with the soul of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our fathers, che dara R[abbi] pəloni [‘Rabbi so-and-so’], per lu nefeš [‘soul’] suo kakh le-ṣədaqa [‘so much for donation’] a essu dea Domedet menuḥa [‘rest’] e a familja soa sakhar tov [‘good reward’] ‘Remember well, oh Lord, the soul of Rabbi X, who passed to the life of the world to come with the soul of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, for whom Rabbi Y will give a donation of . . . for his soul; to him may God give rest and to his family a good reward.’

To follow the withdrawal of Judaeo-Italian and the shift towards Hebrew, it is important to see what happens in the printed editions of the 16th century. In the first printed editions of the Maḥzor according to the Italian rite (Soncino, 1486; Fano, 1506), these texts are written in Judaeo-Italian, like in medieval manuscripts. But in the Rimini edition of 1521, alongside the usual Judaeo-Italian text, its Hebrew version is also included, as is also the case in the famous Bologna Maḥzor from 1540. By contrast, in the next edition of the Maḥzor (Mantua, 1560) only the Hebrew version appears, and so in all the following editions (Venice, 1587, 1606, 1626 and so on), to this day (cf. Ryzhik 2018, 113).

7.2 Sermons Although the rabbinical sermons in Italy were printed in Hebrew, they were pronounced in the vernacular, i.e., in Judaeo-Italian, up to the second half of the 16th century. Some


 Michael Ryzhik

of these vernacular versions of the sermons are, nevertheless, conserved in manuscripts. The comparison of the vernacular sermons that were written in the first half of the 16th century with the sermons written in the second half reveals a clear difference in their language, which became much more Tuscanized, following the general trend in Italy in this era (cf. Ryzhik 2008a; 2018, 106–108). Let us see first some short fragments in one sermon of Rabbi Samuel ben Rafael Modena, from the year 1535, according to Moscow Russian State Library, Ms. Guenzburg 1317: (9) Extract from Rabbi Samuel ben Rafael Modena, f. 196b: ‫אצילינטיסימי סינייורי מבואר נגלה קי אינטוטי לי קוסי קי לואומו פאו אינטיני קי לו פאצה די בין קונסידירארי אי פינצארי‬ ‫קי לותכלית דקווילה פעולה סיאה אלונורי אי אלריווירינציאה די לו אלקים ית׳ קוואנו קוויסטו סיאה סי ביני אינקווילה‬ ‫פעולה ניסוייריסה אלקונה עבירה או ווירו אלקונה קוסה קי נילקוספיטו דילוולגי פאריסי אינקונוויניאינטי איסינו קי‬ ‫אינקווילה עבירה או אינקווילו אינקווניאינטי ניריסולטה לריווינציאה אי לואונורי דאלקים ית׳ אין ספק קי סימילה פעולה‬ [. . .] ‫ אי קוויסטו סיווידי פיר קווילו קי דרשינו חכמ׳ במ׳ ברכות‬.‫אי מולטו גארטה אי מולטו אציטו איננצי הב״ה‬ Eccelentissimi signori məvo’ar nigle [‘it is absolutely clear’] che in-tutti le cose che lo-omo fao intenne che lo faccia di ben considerare e penzare che lo takhlit [‘scope’] di quella pə‘ulla [‘action’] sia all-onore e all-areverenzia de lo Eloqim yit[barakh] [‘God, he shall be blessed’] quanno questo sia se bene in-quella pə‘ulla ne-suggerissa alcuna ‘avera [‘sin’] o vero alcuna cosa che nel-cospetto dello-volghe paresse inconveniente essenno che in-quella ‘avera o in-quello incoveniente ne-risulta la-revenzia e l-onore d’Eloqim yit[barakh] ’en safeq [‘without doubt’] che simila pe‘ulla è molto grata e molto accetto inanzi H[a] B[arukh] H[u] [‘blessed be He’]. E questo si-vede per quello che daršeno hakhamim bə-m[asekhet] Bərakhot [‘the sages in the tractate Berakhot’] [. . .] ‘Most excellent sirs, it is absolutely clear that, in all the things that man does, he tries to do it with good consideration and thinking that the scope of this action would be to the honor and the reverence of the blessed God, even if there were something sinful in this action or something that seemed improper in the view of people, being that from this sin or from this impropriety results the reverence and the honor of the blesssed God. Without any doubt, such an action is very welcome and much accepted before the Holy One. And this is seen by what the scholars wrote in the tractate Berakhot [. . .]’

Here we clearly see the mostly central-southern traits that characterize Medieval JudaeoItalian (cf. Sections 4 and 5), which are underlined in (9): the assimilation -nd- > -nn(intenne, quanno, essenno, vs. It. intende, quando, essendo), the change of the sibilant to the affricate in the cluster -ns- (penzare; also ls > lz: volze, f. 188v, for volse ‘’), the 3rd person sg. pres. ind. form fao (in other parts of the sermons also ao, vao), the masculine article lo (in other parts of the sermon also plural li). Other traits are found in other parts of Samuel Modena’s sermons, such as the conservation of the clusters labial + l (plu, f. 184v, ‘more’), the epenthetic vowel in the word patere (for patre ‘father’, f. 185v), onne instead of ogni (< Lat. omnem, f. 184v and passim). A significant part of the lexicon is constituted by untranslated Hebrew words, mostly fixed and wellknown formulas, which would later enter the Judaeo-Italian dialects of the ghettos ( 12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era) and are mostly common to different

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


Jewish languages. In the quoted fragment we also see the mixed Hebrew-Italian verb daršeno ‘they explain’, with the Hebrew root ‫( דרׁש‬DRŠ) and Italian suffixes. Samuel Modena’s sermons also contain very specific words proper to Medieval Judaeo-Italian (cf. Section 6), such as the verb nescere, ennescere ‘to teach’: “che la Tora ennesce a lo ben ’adam a ingegnarsi” (‘that the Tora teaches man to exert himself’ (f. 190v). If we compare this language to the sermons of R. Ya‘aqov ben Mordechai Pogetto, written in 1579, we see that their language is very different (New York, Jewish Theological Seminary, Ms. 1588): (10) Extract from R. Ya‘aqov ben Mordechai Pogetto, f. 45r: ‫דואי קונסולאציוני גראנדיסימי דיבאנו אוירי אי סואי אונוראטיסימי מאדרי פראטילי אי סורילה נילה מורטי‬ ,‫ אונה פארטיקולארי אי לאלטרה אוניוירסאלי‬,‫די קויסטי דואי קדושי‘ אה אי קואלי וי אנו דאוירי ריגווארדו‬ ‫לה פארטיקולארי ליסירי )א( מורטי אמבדואי ייוויני די טינירה איטה פירציוקי מורינדו אה טינפו איממאטורו‬ ‫[ מה‬. . .] ‫ דיקאנו רז״ל פ״ק דחגיגה‬, [. . .] ‫נון סי פו דירי סי נון קי סיאנו איליטי די דיאו אי סינצה פיקאטי‬ ‫לה קונסולאציוני אוניווירסאלי אי לה תחיית המתים לה קואלי אה ד׳איסירי אה טוטי לי איליטי די לה אומה‬ ‫ אולטרה אל פיליציסימו ביני קי אנו קוילי‬,‫הישראלית אליבא דכ״ע קי טוטי ציאבייאמו אה ריוידירי אינסיימי‬ ‫אנימי בינדיטי די סטארי פיר אין סינו אה קויל טימפו אין קומפאנייאה איטירנה די בייאטי ספירטי כמו‬ ‫[ קנטימפלארי אי וידירי לאינפיניטה סואה ביליצה אי די קוילה‬. . .] ‫[ דווי פוסאנו‬. . .] ‫שאמ׳ המלאך ליהושע‬ ‫[ דיצי במדרש ב״ר‬. . .] ‫אינפיניטאמינטי גודירי‬ Due consolazioni grandissime debbano avere e sui onoratissimi madre fratelli e sorella nella morte di questi due qədoši[m] [‘saints’] a i quali vi hanno d-avere riguardo, una particolare e l-altra universale, la particolare l-essere morti ambedue giovani di tenera età percioche morendo a tenpo immaturato non si po dire se non che siano eletti di Dio senza peccati [. . .] ma la consolazione universale è la təkhiyyat ha-metim [‘resurrection of the dead’] la quale ha d-essere a tutti li eletti de la ‘umma ha-yisra’elit alibba di-khule ‘alma [‘the Israeli people according to all opinions’] che tutti ci-abbiamo a rivedere insieme, oltra al felicissimo bene che hanno quelle anime benedette di stare per in sino a quel tempo in compagna di beati spirti kemo še-amar ha-mal’akh li-yəhošua’ [‘as the angel said to Joshua’] [. . .] dove possano [. . .] cntemplare e vedere l-infinita sua bellezza e di quella infinitamente godere [. . .]. ‘The most honorable mother, brothers, and sister must have two great consolations in the death of these two holy persons that they have to take into account, one particular consolation and one universal, the particular being the fact that both died young, at a tender age, because dying at a premature time cannot be said unless they have been chosen by God as being without sin [. . .] but the universal consolation is the resurrection from the dead, which will happen to all the chosen ones of the Israel people according to all opinions, where all of us will see each other again together, in addition to the most fortunate good that those blessed souls have, namely to stay until that time in the company of blissful spirits as said the angel to Joshua [. . .] where they can [. . .] contemplate and see His infinite beauty and infinitely rejoice in it.’

All the southern and ancient traits that we have seen in the sermon of Samuel Modena are absent in this passage (e.g., grandissime, morendo without assimilation of -nd- to -nn-; in other parts of the sermon also conserva and not conzerva, f. 42b; fa, and not fao, f. 43a; il and not lo, passim). In addition, the period became much more complex, in contrast to the simple medieval style.

‫‪ Michael Ryzhik‬‬

‫ ‪200‬‬

‫‪7.3 (Judaeo-)Italian Siddur translations‬‬ ‫‪The language of the Siddur translations of the 15th century, including the Rite of Fano‬‬ ‫’‪(F, 1506), changes from one manuscript to another, but they are all written in ‘Classical‬‬ ‫‪(medieval-style) Judaeo-Italian. In contrast, the 17th-century version preserved in Ms.‬‬ ‫‪London, British Library Or. 10517 (S) is Tuscanized with some clear northern traits. To‬‬ ‫‪illustrate the difference, here two parallel brans from the Mishna (Shabbat 2,2–4, Ba-me‬‬ ‫‪madliqin) are cited from F and S, respectively:‬‬ ‫‪(11) Ba-me madliqin‬‬ ‫‪S37‬‬


‫‪Non si deve inpicciar con olio di təruma‬‬ ‫‪che deve esser bruggiato nianco di yom‬‬ ‫‪tov, Rabbi Yishmael dice non si inpiccia‬‬ ‫‪con ulio di pece per onor del shabbat, e‬‬ ‫‪li ḥakhamim concedono con ogni sorte di‬‬ ‫‪olio, con olio di papavero. con olio di noce,‬‬ ‫‪con olio di ravizon con grassa di pesce,‬‬ ‫‪con olio di fonghi, e con pece e termintina.‬‬ ‫‪Rabbi Tarfon dice non s’inpiccia salvo con‬‬ ‫‪olio d’oliva, solamente.‬‬

‫‪E non accenneno nello olio che è arza nello‬‬ ‫‪yom tov: Rebbi Yishmael dice non accen‬‬‫‪neno nello olio petrolio per cascione de lo‬‬ ‫‪onore de lo sabbeto: E ḥakhamim danno‬‬ ‫‪hetter en tutti li oliora: Nello olio de linora‬‬ ‫‪nello olio de li noci: Nello olio de li radici‬‬ ‫‪nello olio de pesce nello olio de zucchi‬‬ ‫‪salvatichi nello olio petrolio e nella pece:‬‬ ‫‪Rebbi Tarfon dice non accenneno se-nno‬‬ ‫‪nello olio de la uliva sola mente:‬‬


‫ירקׁשוֹנֵ י ְדי לוֹ ‪36‬‬ ‫רוֹליוֹ ֵפ ַ‬ ‫יט ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ֵפ ְ‬ ‫יצי נוֹן ַא ֵצינְ ינוֹ נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ְקי ֵאי ַא ְר ַצה נְ ילוֹ יוֹם טוֹב‪ְ :‬ר ִּבי יִ ְׁש ָמ ֵעאל ִד ֵ‬ ‫ב‪ֵ .‬אי נוֹן ַא ֵצינֵ ינוֹ נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫יצי‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ְדי ִלי ַר ִד ִ‬ ‫נוֹצי‪ :‬נְ ילוֹ ִ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ די ִלי ִ‬ ‫ינוֹרה נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ְדי ִל ַ‬ ‫יוֹרה‪ :‬נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫אוֹל ַ‬ ‫טוטי ִלי ְ‬ ‫אוֹנוֹרי ְדי לוֹ ַס ְביטוֹ‪ֵ :‬אי ֲח ָכ ִמים ַדנוֹ ֵה ֵּתר ְאין ִ‬ ‫ֵ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ‬ ‫יצי נוֹן ַא ֵצינְ ינוֹ ְסינוֹ נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫יצי‪ְ :‬ר ִּבי ַט ְרפוֹן ִד ֵ‬ ‫רוליוֹ ֵאי נֵ ַילה ְפ ֵ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ֵפ ְט ְ‬ ‫וטיקי נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫אלוָ ִ‬ ‫צּוקי ַס ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ְדי ִ‬ ‫יׁשי נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ְדי ֵפ ֵ‬ ‫נְ ילוֹ ְ‬ ‫ילּוטה‬ ‫יסי ֵדי לוֹ ִלינוֹ נוֹן ְאין ֵפ ַ‬ ‫יסי ְדי לוֹ ִלינוֹ נוֹן ַא ֵצינֵ ינוֹ ְאין ֵאיסוֹ ְסינוֹ נְ ילוֹ ִלינוֹ אוֹנֵ י ְקי יֵ ְ‬ ‫סוֹלה ֵמינְ ִטי‪:‬ג‪.‬אוֹנֵ י ְקי יֵ ְ‬ ‫אּולי ֹוַ וה ַ‬ ‫ְדי ַלה ִ‬ ‫יצי‬ ‫יעזֶ ר ִד ֵ‬ ‫רּוׁשווֹ ֵאיסוֹ ְר ִּבי ֱא ִל ֶ‬ ‫יסי ֵאיסוֹ ֵאי נוֹן ַא ְּב ַ‬ ‫טוֹר ֵצ ִ‬ ‫לּוצינְ יוֹ ְדי לוֹ ַפאנוֹ ְקי ְ‬ ‫ויליוֹנִ י ְסינוֹ נְ ילוֹ ִלינוֹ‪ :‬לוֹ ִ‬ ‫ילּוט ֵמינְ טוֹ ְדי ִלי ַפוֵ ְ‬ ‫לוֹ ְאין ֵפ ַ‬ ‫פור ֵרי לוֹ אומוֹ‬ ‫יסה‪:‬ד‪.‬נוֹן ֵדיאוֹ ַ‬ ‫יא ְצינֵ ימוֹ ְאין ֵא ַ‬ ‫יסה ֵא ַ‬ ‫יצי מּונַ ה ֵאי ֵא ַ‬ ‫יסה ֵאי נוֹן ַא ֵצינְ ינוֹ אין ֵאיסה‪ְ :‬ר ִבי ֲע ִק ָיבא ִד ֵ‬ ‫ילּוטה ֵאי ֵא ַ‬ ‫ְאין ְפ ַ‬ ‫גוֹצה ֵאי ַא ֵב ְיר ִסי‬ ‫יסה ַ‬ ‫בוֹקה ְדי ַלה ַקנֵ ַילה ֵפיר ַקׁשוֹנֵ י ְקי ֵא ַ‬ ‫סוֹפ ֵרי ַ‬ ‫יסה ְ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ֵאי ְדיַ יה ֵא ַ‬ ‫יסה ְדי ְ‬ ‫ַלה קוֹצה ְדי לוֹ אוֹבוֹ ֵאי ֵאינְ ְפיָ ה ֵא ַ‬ ‫מּוּתר ֵפיר ַקׁשוֹנֵ י ְקי ְאיסוֹ‬ ‫ימה ֵאי ַ‬ ‫יט ְיליַ ירוֹ ַדה ְפ ִר ַ‬ ‫יסה לוֹ ִפ ִ‬ ‫אסי ֵא ַ‬ ‫יצ ְ‬ ‫הּודה לוֹ ֵאי ַמ ִּתיר‪ַ :‬מה ְסי ַא ִפ ַ‬ ‫יט ְיליוֹ ֵאי ְר ִבי יְ ַ‬ ‫יפ ִ‬ ‫יסה ֵאי ֵד ִ‬ ‫ְקי ֵא ַ‬ ‫גוֹצה‬ ‫יסה ַ‬ ‫יסה ַא ְפ ֵריסוֹ ַא ַלה ַקנֵ ַילה ֵפיר ַקשוֹנֵ י ְקי ֵא ַ‬ ‫אוֹליוֹ ֵאי ְדיַ יה ֵא ַ‬ ‫קּוד ַילה ְדי ְ‬ ‫ושילוֹ אּונוֹ‪ :‬נוֹן ֵדיאוֹ ֵאינְ ְפיִ ֵירי לוֹ אוֹמוֹ ַלה ְס ֵ‬ ‫ֵאי וַ ֵ‬ ‫הּודה ֵלי ַמ ִּתיר‪:‬‬ ‫ֵאי ְר ִּבי יְ ָ‬ ‫יצי נוֹן ס׳ ‪37‬‬ ‫יאנְ קוֹ ִדי יוֹם טוֹב‪ַ ,‬ר ִבי יִ ְש ַמ ְע ֶאל ִד ֶ‬ ‫יסיר ְברּויַ יאטוֹ נִ ַ‬ ‫רּומה ֵקי ֶדי ֹוֵ וי ֶא ֶ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ִדי ְת ַ‬ ‫יצאר קוֹן ְ‬ ‫ב‪ .‬נוֹן ִסי ֵדי ֹוֵ וי ִאינְ ִפ ַ‬ ‫אברוֹ‪,‬‬ ‫אפ ְ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ִדי ַפ ַ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ‪ ,‬קוֹן ְ‬ ‫סוֹר ֶטי ִדי ְ‬ ‫יצי ֶפיר אוֹנוֹר ֶדיל ַש ַבת‪ֶ ,‬אי ִלי ַח ַכ ִמים קוֹנְ ֵצידוֹנוֹ קוֹן אוֹנְ יִ י ְ‬ ‫אּולייוֹ ִדי ֶפ ֶ‬ ‫יצה קוֹן ְ‬ ‫ִאינְ ִפ ָ‬ ‫יצי‬ ‫יצי ֶאי ֶט ְיר ֶמינְ ִטינַ ה‪ַ ,‬ר ִבי ַט ְרפוֹן ִד ֶ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ִדי פוֹנְ גִ י‪ֶ ,‬אי קוֹן ֶפ ֶ‬ ‫ישי‪ ,‬קוֹן ְ‬ ‫אסה ִדי ֶפ ֶ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ֵדי ַראֹוִ ויצוֹן קוֹן גְ ַר ַ‬ ‫נוֹצי‪ ,‬קוֹן ְ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ִדי ֶ‬ ‫קוֹן ְ‬ ‫יצאר‬ ‫טּופינִ י‪ֶ ,‬פיר ִאינְ ִפ ַ‬ ‫ישי ַדה ֶלינְ ייוֹ נוֹן ִסי נֶ י ַפה ְס ִ‬ ‫קוֹסה ֵקי ֶא ֶ‬ ‫אמינְ ֶטי‪ ,‬ג‪ִ .‬די אוֹנְ יִ י ַ‬ ‫סוֹל ֶ‬ ‫״אוֹלי ֹוַ וה‪ַ ,‬‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ִד ִ‬ ‫אלווֹ קוֹן ְ‬ ‫יצה ַס ְ‬ ‫״אינְ ִפ ַ‬ ‫נוֹן ִס ִ‬ ‫אצייוֹנִ י ְקוַ ואנְ דוֹ וִ וי ֶאי אוֹן‬ ‫אד ְילייוֹנֵ י נוֹן ִאינְ מוֹנְ ַדאנוֹ ִאינְ מוֹנְ ַד ִ‬ ‫ישי ִדי ֶלינְ ייוֹ ֶאי ֵקי ֵסי נֶ י ַפה ַפ ִ‬ ‫קוֹסה ֵקי ֶא ֶ‬ ‫סוֹלוֹ ִדי ִלינוֹ‪ֶ ,‬איט אוֹנְ יִ י ַ‬ ‫יעזֶ ר‬ ‫ויסי ְס ְט ִרינַ אטוֹ ַר ִבי ֱא ִל ֶ‬ ‫ל«אוֵ ֵ‬ ‫טוֹרטוֹ ֶאי נוֹן ַ‬ ‫ויסי ְס ְ‬ ‫טוֹפינוֹ ִדי ַפאנוֹ ֵקי לוֹ ַאוֵ ֶ‬ ‫אד ְילייוֹנֵ י סוֹלוֹ ִדי ִלינוֹ‪ ,‬אּון ְס ִ‬ ‫מוֹרטוֹ ִאין ְקוֵ וילוֹ ַפ ִ‬ ‫ְ‬ ‫וילה‪,‬‬ ‫יצאר קוֹן ְקוֵ ַ‬ ‫יציטוֹ ִאינְ ִפ ַ‬ ‫יקוֶ וילה ֶאיט ֶאי ֶל ִ‬ ‫פּורה ֶא ְ‬ ‫יצי ַ‬ ‫וילה‪ַ ,‬ר ִבי ֲע ִק ַיבה ִד ֶ‬ ‫יצה קוֹן ְקוֵ ָ‬ ‫״אינְ ִפ ָ‬ ‫וילה ֶאי נוֹן ִס ִ‬ ‫יצי ִאינְ מוֹנְ ַדה ֶאי ְקוֶ ָ‬ ‫ִד ֶ‬ ‫ל״אוֹרלוֹ ד״אּונַ ה‬ ‫ְ‬ ‫סוֹפ ַרה‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ ֶאי פוֹנֵ ְיר ָלה ְ‬ ‫ימ ִפ ְיר ַלה ִדי ְ‬ ‫אשי נֵ יל ַפאנְ ַטאנוֹ ֶאיט ִא ְ‬ ‫פוֹראר ל״אוֹמוֹ אּונַ ה ַקאנַ ה ֵקי נַ ֶ‬ ‫ד‪ .‬נוֹן ֵדי ֹוֶ וי ַ‬ ‫אקאטוֹ ִאיל‬ ‫ויסי ַא ַט ַ‬ ‫ל״אוֵ ֶ‬ ‫הּודה קוֹנְ ֵצ ֵידי‪ַ ,‬מה ֶסי ַ‬ ‫פוֹסר ִדי ֶט ַירה‪ֶ ,‬אי ַר ִבי יְ ַ‬ ‫יסה ַקאנַ ה ֵ‬ ‫ייא ֵסי ַאנְ קוֹר ֶבין קי ֶא ַ‬ ‫גוֹצ ַ‬ ‫לּומי ַאיִ צייוֹ ֵקי ִ‬ ‫ֶ‬ ‫אוֹלייוֹ‬ ‫קּוד ַילה ִדי ְ‬ ‫ימ ִפ ֵירי אּונַ ה ְס ֶ‬ ‫ימאנְ ַדה טּוטוֹ אּון וַ ואסוֹ‪ ,‬נוֹן ֵדי ֹוֵ וי ל״אוֹמוֹ ֶא ְ‬ ‫פוֹאי ֵקי ִסי ִד ַ‬ ‫יציטוֹ‪ִ ,‬‬ ‫יפייוֹ ֶאי ֵל ִ‬ ‫אלירוֹ ַדה ְפ ִרינְ ִצ ִ‬ ‫בוֹק ֶ‬ ‫ַ‬ ‫ל״אוֹלייוֹ‬ ‫ְ‬ ‫פוֹצה ֶאי ִט ִירי‬ ‫קּוד ָילה ַא ִצייוֹ ֵקי ְס ָ‬ ‫וילה ְס ֶ‬ ‫טוֹפינוֹ ִאין ְקוֵ ַ‬ ‫לּומי ֶאי פוֹנֶ יר ִאיל ַקאפוֹ ֵדיל ְס ִ‬ ‫ֶאי פוֹנֶ ְיר ַלה ַאל ַלאטוֹ ִדי אּונַ ה ֶ‬ ‫הּודה לוֹ קוֹנְ ֶצ ֵידי‪.‬‬ ‫ֶאיט ַר ִבי יְ ַ‬

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 



Onne che iesse de lo lino non accenneno en esso se-nno nello lino. Onne che iesse de lo lino non en pelluta lo en pellutamento de lo paviglioni se-nno nello lino: Lo lucigno de lo panno che torcessi esso e non abbrusciavo esso Rebbi Eliezer dice en pelluta è essa e non accenneno en essa: Rebbi Aqiva dice munna è essa e accenneno en essa:

Di ogni cosa che esce da legno non si ne fa stupini, per inpicciar solo di lino, et ogni cosa che esce di legno e che se ne fa padiglione non inmondano inmondazione quando vi èon morto in quello padiglione solo di lino, un stopino di panno che lo avesse storto e non l’avesse strinato. Rabbi Eliezer dice inmonda è quella e non s’inpiccia con quella, Rabbi Aqiva dice pura è quella et è lecito inpicciar con quella.


Non deo forare lo omo la cozza de lo ovo e enpia essa de olio e dia essa sopre bocca de la cannella per cascione che essa goccia e abersi che essa è de-fitiglio e Rebbi Yehuda lo è mattir: Ma se appicciase essa lo fitigliaro da prima è muttar per cascione che esso è vascello uno: Non deo inpiire lo omo la scudella de olio e dia essa appresso alla cannella per cascione che essa goccia e Rebbi Yehuda le mattir:

Non deve forar l’omo una canna che nasce nel pantano et inpirla di olio e ponerla sopra l’orlo d’una lume acciò che gocciasse ancor ben che essa canna fosser di terra, e Rabbi dimanda tutto un vaso, non deve l’omo empire una scudella di olio e ponerla al lato di una lume e poner il capo del stopino in quella scudella acciò che spozza e tiri l’olio et Rabbi Yehuda lo concede.

English translation of the Hebrew version (from The William Davidson Talmud)38: ‘(2) One may not light with oil set for burning on festivals. Rabbi Yishmael says: Out of respect for Shabbat, one may not light with tar, but the Sages permit all [of the following] oils: Sesame oil, nut oil, radish [seed] oil, fish oil, gourd [seed] oil, tar, and naphtha. Rabbi Tarfon says: One may only light olive oil. (3) Of tree products, one may light only with flax. Of tree products, only flax [fashioned into a] shelter can contract impurity [if it surrounds a corpse]. [If] a slip of cloth has been folded but not singed, Rabbi Eliezer says it is subject to impurity and one may not light with it. Rabbi Akiva says: It is not subject to impurity [literally: it is pure], and one may light with it. (4) One may not perforate an eggshell, and fill it with oil, and place it over the lamp, so that it [oil] drips [therein], even if it is [made] of earthenware, but Rabbi Yehuda permits it. But if the potter had originally joined it, it is permissible because it is one utensil. One may not fill a bowl [with] oil and place it beside the lamp, and put the end of the wick into it, so that it draws [the oil], but Rabbi Yehuda permits it.’

It can be seen that the 15th-century translation documented in the 1506 print edition F is, again, rich in Medieval Judaeo-Italian (southern-central) traits, such as nd > nn (accenneno, cf. It. accendino), mn > nn (onne instead of ogni), rs > rz (arza for arsa), the analogical 3rd person sg. present verb form deo, the verbal form iesse (instead of esce), the perfect form abbrusciavo, the plural noun form in -ora (oliora ‘oils’) (cf. Sections 4 and 5). By contrast, the 17th-century translation is Tuscanized with some northern traits, as, e.g., the word ravizon ‘radish’ or the apocope of final -e (onor for onore, the infinitives inpicciar, forar, and esser),39 the absence of gemination (stopino for stoppino 38 . 39 The language of S is very Tuscanized and normalized. So the dialectal northern traits are very attenuated, and, e.g., the elimination of the final vowel mostly concerns -e and occurs almost only after [r],


 Michael Ryzhik

‘wick’), the form fonghi (instead of Tuscan and Central-Southern funghi). Elsewhere in this text we can see intervocalic sonorization (cf. Rohlfs 1966–1969, vol. 1, §201, e.g., ‫יפ ִידי‬ ִ ‫ = ְס ִט‬stipidi instead of stipiti ‘posts, stakes’). The Hebrew component is richer in the 15th-century translation (in the 17th-century translation only yom tov and ḥakhamim) and not directly dependent on the Hebrew text.40

8 Summary and conclusions The term Medieval Judaeo-Italian refers to Italo-Romance dialects which were spoken by the Italian Jews and appear in texts written in Hebrew characters. The earlier testimonies of this type of writing are the marginal glosses in the Hebrew manuscript known as Mishna codex Parma A and are written in a Salentine dialect (close to the variety of Otranto). The first known Judaeo-Italian literary text is the Elegy for the 9th of Av and was written in a form of Marchigiano or Romanesco. In written production of the late Middle Ages, Judaeo-Italian served mostly for the translation of sacred Hebrew texts, such as the Bible or the Siddur and the Maḥzor. In this period we also find some glosses or glossaries, such as a glossary to Maimonides’s works or glosses found in the dictionary of post-Biblical Hebrew, ‘Arukh. The most important among these glossaries is the trilingual dictionary Maqre Dardeqe (1488). The Judaeo-Italian used in this period is characterized as a central-southern koiné, as it shows many traits common to Central and Southern Italian dialects, without a possibility of more precise localization. Notably, all the observable grammatical traits of Judaeo-Italian are found in some or other Italian dialects, and only their combination may be seen as (weak) characteristic feature of Judaeo-Italian. In the field of the lexicon, Judaeo-Italian contains a certain number of Hebrew lexemes as well as some Romance words that seem to be specific to Judaeo-Italian. This type of writing still exists in the first half of the 16th century, but in the middle of the century it disappears and in its place literary Italian or Hebrew began to be used. In the 17th and especially in the 18th century, the writing system switched from the Hebrew to the Latin alphabet, with the result that written Judaeo-Italian would cease to exist, while the center of Jewish life in Italy shifted to the north, due to expulsion from southern Italy under Spanish rule. Thus, as for the spoken language, the Central-Southern Judaeo-Italian varieties were replaced by the mostly northern varieties spoken in the ghettos ( 12  Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era).

thus affecting, above all, infinitives. Other examples are found in the prayer Shəma’ Yisrael, Deut. 6,4–9: ‫[ ֵס ֵידיר טּואוֹ‬. . .] ‫וילי‬ ִ ֶ‫( ַראייוֹנַ אר ְקו‬rajjonar queli [. . .] seder tuo), ‫יאציר טּואוֹ ֶאי‬ ֵ ַ‫[ נֵ יל י‬. . .] ‫אמינַ אר טּואוֹ‬ ִ ‫נֵ יל ַק‬ ‫יצאר טּואוֹ‬ ַ ‫( נֵ יל ִר‬nel caminar tuo [. . .] nel jacer tuo e nel rizar tuo). 40 E.g., ‫( וחכמים מתירים‬we-ḥakhamim mattirim ‘and the sages permit’) is translated as e hakhamim danno hetter (hetter is Hebrew ‫‘ היתר‬rabbinic allowance’); Mishna, Shabbat 2.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


References Aprile, Marcello (2012), Grammatica storica delle parlate giudeo-italiane, Galatina, Congedo. Bibbia Volgare (1471) = La Bibbia sacra del testamento Vecchio e Nuovo in lingua volgare tradotta, Venice, N. Jenson. Bonfil, Robert (1994), Changing mentalities of Italian Jews between the periods of the Renaissance and the Baroque, Italia 11, 61–79. Brucioli, Antonio (1562), La Bibia, che si chiama Il vecchio Testamento, nuouamente tradutto in lingua volgare secondo la verità del testo Hebreo, Geneva, F. Durone. Calò, Mirella (1990), Chiacchere alla giudia, Rome, Carucci. Cassuto, Umberto (1929), Un’antichissima elegia in dialetto giudeo-italiano, Archivio Glottologico Italiano 22–23 (Silloge linguistica in onore di G.I. Ascoli), 349–408. Cassuto, Umberto (1930a), Les traductions judéo-italiennes du Rituel, Revue des études juives 89, 260–281. Cassuto, Umberto (1930b), La tradizione giudeo-italiana per la traduzione della Bibbia, in: Atti del I Congresso nazionale delle tradizioni popolari, Florence, Rinascimento del libro, 114–121. Cassuto, Umberto (1934), Saggi delle antiche traduzioni giudeo-italiane della Bibbia, Annuario di studi ebraici 1, 101–135. Cassuto, Umberto (1937), Bibliografia delle traduzioni giudeo-italiane della Bibbia, in: Salomo Rappaport/M. Zikier (edd.), Festschrift Armand Kaminska zum siebzigsten Geburtstage, Vienna, Verlag des Wiener Maimonides Instituts, 129–141. Contini, Gianfranco (1960), Poeti del Duecento, 2 vol., Milan/Naples, Ricciardi. Cuomo, Luisa (1974), Le glosse volgari dell’Arukh di R. Nathan ben Jechi’el da Roma, doctoral dissertation, Jerusalem, Hebrew University. Cuomo, Luisa (1976), In margine al giudeo-italiano. Note fonetiche, morfologiche e lessicali, Italia 1, 30–53. Cuomo, Luisa (1977), Antichissime glosse salentine nel codice ebraico di Parma, De Rossi 138, Medioevo romanzo 4, 185–271. Cuomo, Luisa (1982), Italkiano versus giudeo-italiano versus 0 (zero), una questione metodologica, Italia 3.1–2, 7–32. Cuomo, Luisa (1985), Pesicheta Rabbati: un florilegio midrascico giudeo-italiano al confine tra Toscana e Umbria nel XVI sec., in: Isaac Benabu/Giuseppe Sermoneta (edd.), Judeo-Romance Languages, Jerusalem, Misgav Yerushalayim and Hebrew University, 69–126. Cuomo, Luisa (1986), Pesicheta Rabbati. Une traduction en judéo-italien, Massorot 2, 81–92. Cuomo, Luisa (1988a), Una traduzione giudeo-romanesca del libro di Giona, Tübingen, Niemeyer. Cuomo, Luisa (1988b), Preliminari per una rivalutazione linguistica del Maqre Dardeqe, in: Dieter Kremer (ed.), Actes du XVIII e Congrès International de Linguistiques et de Philologie Romanes, vol. 5, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 159–167. Debenedetti Stow, Sandra (ed.) (1990), Yehuda ben Moshe ben Daniel Romano, La chiarificazione in volgare delle “espressioni difficili” ricorrenti nel Mishneh Torah di Mose Maimonide: glossario inedito del XIV secolo, Rome, Carucci. Del Monte, Crescenzo (1955), Sonetti postumi giudaico-romaneschi e romaneschi, Rome, Israel. Diodati, Giovanni (1607), La Bibbia, cioè, I libri del Vecchio e del Nuouo Testamento nuouamente traslatati in lingua Italiana da Giovanni Diodati, di nation Lucchese, Geneva, Jean de Tournes. Ernst, Gerhard (1970), Die Toskanisierung des römischen Dialekts im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, Tübingen, Niemeyer. Fiorentino, Giuliana (1937), Note lessicali al Maqre Dardeqe, Archivio Glottologico Italiano 29, 138–159. Fiorentino, Giuliana (1951–1952), The general problems of the Judeo-Romance in the light of the Maqre Dardeqe, Jewish Quarterly Review 42, 57–77. Gelcic, Josephus (ed.) (1896), Monumenta Ragusina. Libri Reformationum, vol. 4: A. 1348–1396, Zagreb, Academia scientiarum et artium Slavorum meridionalium.


 Michael Ryzhik

Incarbone Giornetti, Rosella (2006), Tractati della vita et delli visioni di Santa Francesca Romana. Testo redatto da Ianni Mattiotti, confessore della santa, in volgare romanesco della prima metà del secolo XV, vol. 2: Glossario, Rome, Aracne. Maqre Dardeqe = Trebot, Perez (1488), Sefer Maqre Dardeqe, Naples, s.n. Mayer Modena, Maria Luisa (1997), Le parlate giudeo-italiane, in: Corrado Vivanti (ed.), Gli ebrei in Italia, vol. 2: Dall’emancipazione a oggi (Storia d’Italia, Annali 11), Turin, Einaudi, 939–963. Mayer Modena, Maria Luisa (1999), La composante hebraïque dans le judéo-italien de la Renaissance, in: Shelomo Morag/Moshe Bar-Asher/Maria Luisa Mayer Modena (edd.), Vena Hebraica in Judaeorum Linguis, Milan, Università degli studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità, 93–107. Mayer Modena, Maria Luisa (2001), La Masseket Hamor di Gedalya ibn Yahia, Italia 13–15, 303–342. Milano, Attilio (1963), Storia degli ebrei in Italia, Turin, Einaudi. Rohlfs, Gerhard (1966–1969), Grammatica storica della lingua italiana e dei suoi dialetti, 3 vol., Turin, Einaudi. Roth, Cecil (1950), Un’elegia giudeo-italiana sui martiri di Ancona (1556–7), Revista Mensile di Israele 16, 147–156. Rubin, Aaron D. (2017), Judeo-Italian, in: Lily Kahn/Aaron D. Rubin (edd.), Handbook of Jewish languages, revised and updated edition, Leiden, Brill, 553–593. Ryzhik, Michael (2007), The linguistic traits of the Judaeo-Italian prayer book translation according to the Fano edition, 1506, Italia 17, 7–17 [in Hebrew]. Ryzhik, Michael (2008a), I cambiamenti nel giudeo-italiano in corso del Cinquecento: le prediche, in: Francesco Aspesi et al. (edd.), Il mio cuore è a Oriente. Studi di linguistica storica, filologia e cultura ebraica dedicati a Maria Luisa Mayer Modena, Milan, Cisalpino, 527–545. Ryzhik, Michael (2008b), Lessico delle traduzioni dei testi liturgici ebraici in dialetti giudeo-italiani, in: Emanuela Cresti (ed.), Prospettive nello studio del lessico italiano. Atti del IX Congresso della Società Internazionale di Linguistica e Filologia Italiana, Firenze, FUP, 165–172. Ryzhik, Michael (2009), La proposizione nominale nelle traduzioni giudeo-italiane dei formulari di preghiera e della Bibbia, Medioevo Romanzo 33, 121–149. Ryzhik, Michael (2010), The language and the prayer traditions in the Judaeo-Italian prayer book translations, Italia 20, 7–28 [in Hebrew]. Ryzhik, Michael (2012), The prayer book according to the Italian rite, the Soncino edition and the tradition of the vocalization, in: Angelo Mordecai Piatelli (ed.), Studies on the Maḥzor according to the Italian Rite (Italia, Supplement Series 4), Jerusalem, The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 115–144 [in Hebrew]. Ryzhik, Michael (2013), Preliminaries to the critical edition of the Jewish-Italian translation of the Siddur, Journal of Jewish Languages 1.2, 229–260. Ryzhik, Michael (2014), La traduzione delle poesie antiche per la festa delle Capanne (Hosh‘anot) nei volgarizzamenti del libro di preghiere ebraico in giudeo-italiano, in: Ivano Pavoncello/Elisa Gregori (edd.), Lingue, testi, culture. L’eredità di Folena, vent’anni dopo (Atti del XL Convegno Interuniversitario, Bressanone-Brixen, 12–15 luglio 2012), Padua, Esedra, 173–184. Ryzhik, Michael (2017), La lingua dei calendari ebraici veneziani cinquecenteschi, Rassegna Mensile di Israel 83.2–3, 119–131. Ryzhik, Michael (2018), Judeo-Italian in Italy, in: Benjamin Hary/Sarah Bunin Benor (edd.), Languages in Jewish communities, past and present, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter, 94–128. Sampson, Rodney (1980), Early Romance texts. An anthology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Scazzocchio Sestieri, Lea (1988), Un breve testo in giudeo-italiano, in: Haim Beinart (ed.), Jews in Italy. Studies dedicated to the memory of U. Cassuto on the 100th anniversary of his birth, Jerusalem, The Hebrew University Magnes Press, 94–102. Sermoneta, Giuseppe (1967), Il “Libro delle forme verbali”. Compendio volgare del Mahalakh Sevile ha-daʕathdi M.R.J. Qimchi, in: Daniel Carpi/Attilio Milano/Aleksander Rofe (edd.), Scritti in memoria di L. Carpi, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Fondazione Sally Mayer/Scuola Superiore di Studi Ebraici, 59–100. Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (1969), Un glossario filosofico ebraico italiano del XIII secolo, Rome, Olschki.

8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts 


Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (ed.) (1974), Un volgarizzamento giudeo-italiano del Cantico dei Cantici, Florence, Sansoni. Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (1976), Considerazioni frammentarie sul giudeo-italiano, Italia 1, 1–29. Sermoneta, Josef (Giuseppe) B. (1978), La traduzione giudeo-italiana dei Salmi e i suoi rapporti con le antiche versioni latine, in: Robert Bonfil et al. (edd.), Scritti in memoria di U. Nahon. Saggi sull’ebraismo italiano, Jerusalem, Fondazione Sally Mayer, 196–239. Terracini, Benvenuto (1956–1957), Review of Max Berenblut, A comparative study of Judaeo-Italian translations of Isaiah, Romance Philology 10, 243–258. Vattasso, Marco (ed.) (1901), Aneddoti in dialetto romanesco del sec. XIV tratti dal cod. vat. 7654, Rome, Tipografia Vaticana. Vulgata Sixto-Clementina (1598) = Biblia Sacra Vulgatae editionis, Sixti V Pontificis Maximi jussu recognita et edita, Vatican City, Typographus Vaticanus.

The Jews and the Romance languages in the modern era

F. Javier Pueyo Mena

9 Sephardic Bible translations Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of the Biblical translations produced in Judaeo-Spanish from the expulsion to the end of the 19th century. It begins with a historical and cultural introduction of their origin and the different social contexts in which they were written. The translations made by the western Sephardic communities (Italy, Holland) in Latin script are then described and studied. Afterwards, the aljamiado translations in Hebrew script carried out by the eastern communities (some in Italy, most in the Ottoman Empire) are introduced and analyzed, as well as the translations into Judaeo-Spanish made by Christian missionaries for the impoverished eastern Sephardic population. The conclusion summarizes the textual relationships between the different traditions examined. Keywords: Bible translations, Ladino, Judaeo-Spanish, aljamiado texts, Ferrara Bible, Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch, Protestant Bible translations, targum

1 Introduction After the year 1492, Ladino, the linguistic variety of Judaeo-Spanish used in vernacularizations of the Hebrew Bible, became sacralized in such manner that even those Jews fleeing Portugal in 1497 and later – and who spoke and wrote in Judaeo-Portuguese in other communication registers – chose Judaeo-Spanish to read, translate, and publish the Bible in the vernacular. This chapter1 describes and discusses the extant written testimonia, either as printed books or as hand-written manuscripts, of the Sephardic2 Biblical translations. The texts portrayed here merely represent exceptional snapshots of a translation and linguistic tradition that was transmitted orally over many generations. These written glimpses of the tradition would ultimately allow the Sephardic Biblical translations and their particular language to be preserved over the centuries ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino).

1 This work is part of the Research Project “Sefarad 2.0: Edición, estudio y aprovechamiento digital de textos sefardíes” [ref. num. PID2021-123221NB-I00], funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. 2 This chapter uses the term Sephardim (and Sephardic) to refer to the Jews exiled from the Iberian Peninsula and their descendants, in contrast to the expression Hispano-Jews, which refers to the Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula before the expulsion. Regarding the language used in the Biblical translations made by the Hispano-Jews and the Sephardim, the term medieval Spanish will be used for the translations made before the Expulsion and Biblical Judaeo-Spanish or Ladino for the particular register of Judaeo-Spanish used by the Sephardic translators.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

This chapter is organized as follows: It begins with a historical and cultural overview of the origins and the different social contexts in which the Biblical translations into Judaeo-Spanish were drawn up (Section 2). The translations made by the western Sephardic communities (Italy, Holland) in Latin script are then described and studied in Section 3. Afterwards, the aljamiado translations in Hebrew script carried out by the eastern communities (some in Italy, most in the Ottoman Empire) are introduced and analyzed, as well as the translations into Judaeo-Spanish made by Christian missionaries for the impoverished eastern Sephardic population (Section 4). The conclusion summarizes the textual relationships between the different traditions examined (Section 5).

2 Historical and cultural background While translating the Hebrew Bible into a vernacular language is an old tradition dating back to the Babylonian Exile, the Sephardic tradition of ladinar, that is, ‘to translate the Bible into a Romance vernacular’, originated more as a teaching process than as a scholarly translation endeavor. The origin and oral transmission of the Ladino Biblical translations can be linked to the liturgical function of some of the Biblical books.3 In order to learn and fulfill their liturgical duties, traditional Jewish communities would send their children to religious schools where they were taught how to read the Hebrew Bible, and ultimately required to learn the liturgical passages by heart. The vernacular was used by religious primary school teachers to help the young recite and understand the traditional and mandatory chanting passages from the Bible. As documented by Gutwirth (1988, 126–130), focusing on medieval testimonia, or by Bunis (1996), who explores this procedure in literary and historical sources, students would learn to recite each Biblical verse word by word; their teacher would elicit each Biblical word from them, sequentially, first in Hebrew and then in Ladino. Once they had learned all the 3 The 24 books of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh are grouped into the following sections: the Tora (‘Pentateuch’), the Nevi’im Rishonim (‘Former Prophets’ including the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings), the Nevi’im Aḥaronim (‘Latter Prophets’, including the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve or Minor Prophets), and the Ketuvim (‘Writings’, including the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the Five Scrolls or Ḥamesh Megillot, that is, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther, as well as the books of Daniel, Ezra-Nehemiah and 1 and 2 Chronicles). The liturgical or synagogal role of the Bible revolves around the weekly reading of the Sefer Tora, which is divided into fifty-four parashiyot (‘pericopes’), one for each week of the year, and it is read throughout the entire year. Each parasha is then complemented by a reading from the Prophets (haftarot, sing. haftara) that is related to the passage being read. Other books with a synagogal function include the Megillat Ester (‘Scroll of Esther’), which is read during the feast of Purim. The remaining four scrolls are also read on certain holidays (either at home or in the synagogue, as a complement to the mandatory prayers): the Song of Songs in Passover, Ruth in Shabuot, Lamentations in Tisha Be-Av, and Ecclesiastes in Sukkot. Some other Biblical passages, especially from the book of Psalms, are also integrated throughout the liturgy.

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


words in a verse, they were required to recite the entire passage, again first in Hebrew and then in Ladino. Later, students were instructed in the traditional system of translation in order for them to be able to apply its rules to subsequent Biblical fragments. This learning and teaching model became an act of stylistic and linguistic creation so well adapted to their cultural and religious relationship with the Bible that the Sephardim ended up sacralizing not only the Ladino text (which is why the traditional lexicon endured through the centuries), but even the model itself. During the Middle Ages, the Bible was most certainly translated into Spanish and orally transmitted among the Jewish communities. The oldest evidence of this tradition is documented in the writings of Nahmanides in the 13th century, as he discusses whether or not it was acceptable to read the book of Esther in the vernacular, as was done in some parts of the Iberian Peninsula, in fulfillment of the obligation to read the Scroll in Purim. In the 14th century, the same discussion was reflected in the responsa of Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet (Ribash, Barcelona, 1326–Algiers, 1408; see Benabu 1985, 4–5; Bunis 1996, 340). Evidence of this tradition can be also found in some testimonies of the inquisitorial trials against the conversos and in some medieval documents found in the Cairo Geniza containing Biblical fragments.4 However, not a single testimony of Jewish intra-communitarian Biblical manuscripts in medieval Spanish has survived the turmoil of prosecution, and thus we can only conjecture how these translations might have looked (or sounded). If they were ever written, they would probably have been transmitted in aljamiado script (Hebrew letters) and thus easily recognized as Jewish and burned under one of the several decrees prohibiting translating the Bible into the vernacular or owning copies of such translations (cf. Enciso 1944; Pueyo Mena 1996; Fernández López 2003). However, there do exist a few medieval manuscripts containing Jewish Biblical translations into medieval Spanish, usually referred to as romanceamientos, all of which were written in Latin script.5 All of them were commissioned by noble Christian patrons and preserved in rich codices that ultimately avoided censure and destruction. Their language and translation style were adapted, to varying

4 For example, some passages of a vernacular siddur (‘prayer book’) were incorporated into the inquisitorial trial against Manuel González in Guadalupe in 1485 (Fita 1893, 314–343). Fragments of another medieval siddur, probably from the Cairo Geniza and now unfortunately lost, and which includes five complete psalms, were also published by Fita (1900) and can be consulted in the corpus Biblia Medieval (Enrique-Arias/Pueyo Mena 2010). See also Gutwirth (1988, 131–133) for Biblical examples of spontaneous oral translations from Hebrew by Jews and conversos that were transcribed by the Inquisition. 5 All medieval translations can be consulted online, see Enrique-Arias/Pueyo Mena 2010 for the corpus Biblia Medieval, providing paleographic transcriptions of all the manuscripts, and Enrique-Arias/Pueyo Mena 2019 for the corpus Biblias Hispánicas, providing normalized editions of the different translations. The following abbreviations will be used to refer to them: E3 = Escorial I.i.3; E4 = Escorial I.i.4; Ajuda = Biblioteca de Ajuda, Lisboa, 52-xii-1; E5 = Escorial I.i.5; Evora = Biblioteca Pública, Évora, Ms. cxxiv/12; E7 = Escorial I.i.7; E19 = Escorial I.ii.19; BNE = Biblioteca Nacional de España Ms. 10288; RAH = Real Academia de la Historia Ms. 87; Arragel = Palacio de Liria, Madrid; Oxford = Bodleian Library, Canon. Ital. 177, Oxford.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

degrees, to their intended Christian public. Even though the vocabulary still reflects the lexical pool of the Sephardic tradition, other aspects of the language were relaxed in order to make the language accessible to an audience who did not know the underlying Hebrew text. After comparing the different medieval sources (cf. Lazar 1995, xxv–xlii; Pueyo Mena 2008, 235–237; Pueyo Mena/Enrique-Arias 2015), we can conclude that the medieval text that best represents the oral tradition of the medieval Jewish communities of the Kingdom of Castile is the translation contained in the Escorial codex I.i.3 (E3). On the other hand, the Bible translated by Moshe Arragel (the Arragel Bible, also known as the Alba Bible) shows a greater adaptation to the language of those commissioning the translation. This accommodation to a non-Jewish audience is reflected in much less Hebraizing solutions in the syntax as well as in the abundant use of Latinisms (at times borrowed from the Vulgate), learned words, and more paraphrastic translations. The Santillana Bible – translated by the converso Martín de Lucena and preserved in parts of the Escorial codex I.i.4 (E4) and in BNE (cf. Pueyo Mena/Enrique-Arias 2013, 210– 215; Pueyo Mena/Enrique-Arias 2015, 381–382) – stands in the middle, as a very literal translation regarding syntactic structures, just like E3, while also providing a more innovative 15th-century lexicon, much like Arragel’s translation. E19 shows the same adherence as E3 to the traditional Sephardic lexicon, but it also presents a more interpretative text, on many occasions following the Targum Onqelos6 (Amigo Espada 1981, 65–68). The Bible contained in mss. E7/E5 also falls into the group of those that use a traditional lexicon, but its translator tends to provide many lexical variants or synonyms for the same Hebrew word, something which goes against one of the main rules of the traditional Sephardic method of translation.7 Finally, the Oxford manuscript, which is essentially a traditional version, also incorporates several learned words, including Latinisms, but in a more contained manner than Arragel’s or Lucena’s translations. Driven by the Edict of Expulsion, most of the Jewish population of Spain settled either in the Ottoman Empire, in North Africa, or in some European country, mainly in Italy or Portugal. All of them established traditional Jewish communities and continued to use the aljamiado script to write in Spanish. Those who remained in the Christian 6 Onqelos’s targum (‘interpretative translation’) of the Pentateuch into Aramaic is a rather periphrastic and explicative translation made at the beginning of the first century. It is a reverenced translation that was traditionally recited once during the weekly service after twice reading the corresponding Hebrew parasha. There are other Aramaic translations or targumim of the Bible: Targum Yerushalmi for the Pentateuch and Targum Yonatan for the Former and Latter Prophets, as well as for most of the individual books of the Writings (the book of Esther has an additional targum sheni ‘second targum’). 7 The adjective traditional will be used to indicate that these translations did not originate as a mere scholarly endeavor but rather as a pedagogical and orally transmitted technique and lexicon passed from generation to generation. It will be defined as Sephardic, not as a religious term (in contrast to Askenazic), but to indicate that the Sephardim inherited this tradition from their Hispano-Jewish ancestors, sacralized both the language and the translation method, and finally put it into print in Ladino throughout their Diaspora ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino).

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


Kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula became conversos (converted Jews). Most of them were anusim, that is, they were forced to abandon Judaism against their will. During the centuries following these forced conversions, many of their descendants departed from the Iberian Kingdoms and returned to the practice of Judaism, something which happened primarily in Italy and in the Netherlands. These exiled generations who had been raised as conversos had lost all knowledge of the Hebrew language and its script, and their Spanish was already different from the Judaeo-Spanish spoken by the first generation of exiles ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). Due to their differing religious backgrounds, their dissimilar level of knowledge of Hebrew, and their different exposure to the cultural environment of the Peninsula, the Sephardim developed two distinct lines of Ladino Biblical translations: the so-called western and eastern traditions. There are two prominent formal differences between the western and eastern versions of the Ladino Bibles: a) the former were printed in Latin letters, while the latter were printed in Hebrew script or aljamiado Judaeo-Spanish; and b) in the eastern tradition the Ladino text always appeared printed in parallel to, and synchronized with, the Hebrew Bible, and was often accompanied by the commentary of Rabbi Shelomo ben Isaac (Rashi, Troyes, 1040–1105) and by the targumim (which sometimes were also translated into Judaeo-Spanish), whereas the Ladino text of the western Bibles always appeared without a parallel Hebrew original (at least until the Proops edition of 1762). Although these differences are purely formal and external to the Ladino text, they reflect the existing differences between editors and readers of each tradition (more questionable would be to include the translators here). Obviously, this also reflects the fact that there were two different types of Sephardic communities inhabiting those cities at the time the editors decided to publish the Bible in Ladino: one raised in the traditional Judaism and educated in religious schools, and the other raised as conversos and not formally educated in the reading of the Hebrew Bible.

3 The western tradition of the Ladino Bibles in Latin script 3.1 The Ferrara Bible The first complete edition of the Bible in Judaeo-Spanish is the well-known Ferrara Bible, which was published in Italy in 1553. The city of Ferrara had become a sanctuary for many Jews fleeing the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal decades after the expulsions. Some of them had settled in the kingdom of Naples and others in the Papal States, particularly in Rome, but, after being prosecuted and finally expelled from Naples (1541) and after being restricted to live only in Rome and Ancona within the Papal States (1569), they sought refuge in the Duchy of Ferrara. In this small state, under


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

the protection of the Dukes, the Ferrara Bible was published by Jerónimo de Vargas and Duarte Pinel, whose Jewish names were Yom Tob Atías and Abraham Usque (for a detailed account of the settlement of the Sephardim in Ferrara, see Toaff 1994). The Ferrara Bible was edited in recent times by Lazar (1992a and 1996), and also received a facsimile edition in 1992 (Macías Kapón 1992). It has also been studied from historical, social, linguistic, bibliographic, and many other points of view in a comprehensive collective volume (Hassán/Berenguer 1994).8 However, there are two common misconceptions that need further explanation. First, it has repeatedly been said that the Ferrara translation was textually based on the medieval romanceamientos (Lazar 1994a, 354–358; 1995, xix–xxi). This claim is certainly debatable, and it most likely derives from the following passage from the preface to the book: “Fue forçado seguir el lenguaje que los antiguos hebreos españoles usaron” (‘It was necessary to follow the language used by the ancient Spanish Hebrews’, in: Al letor, p. II). Despite this common interpretation of the passage, there is no actual evidence of a systematic textual relationship between Ferrara and any of the medieval romanceamientos that are known. In addition, the translation method is not exactly the same, since in Castile the medieval versions were intended for Christian noblemen and kings, for whom a particular linguistic adaptation was provided. It is quite possible that these “ancient Spanish Hebrews” mentally and orally used the same language, as the Ferrara editors claim, but that they also managed to shape it for a different audience. As Bunis (1996) and Hassán (2004) have proposed, in order to find a link between the different versions one has to turn more to the oral transmission than to the use of old manuscripts brought from Spain by the exiles – and even less to manuscripts written in Latin script, which all belonged to the Castilian nobility. Secondly, it has been proposed that the Ferrara translation is also textually related to the previous eastern ladinamientos (‘Ladino translations’) made in the Ottoman Empire. Although both belong to the same Sephardic tradition and both use a similar translation model, there are, however, some key linguistic differences (Sephiha 1994) that can be linked directly to the audiences for which they were intended.

3.2 The Amsterdam editions The Ferrara Bible was reprinted and adapted in Amsterdam starting in 1611 and continuing throughout the 17th century, culminating in the bilingual edition of Solomon Proops in the 18th century. There were at least six full editions (1611, 1630, 1646, 1661,

8 For the language see Álvarez/Ariza/Mendoza (1994), Conde (1994), Delgado (1994), Morreale (1994), and Sephiha (1994); for the translation, see Bunis (1994), Lazar (1994a), and Fernández Marcos (1994); for a historical and bibliographic perspective see Boer (1994), Lazar (1994b), Segre (1994), and Toaff (1994). Also, an introductory and fundamental study by Hassán (1994) summarizes many key aspects about this remarkable translation.

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1726, and 1762) and nine of the Pentateuch with Haftarot (‘readings of corresponding passages from the books of Prophets’; 1627, 1643, 1655, 1691, 1697, 1705, 1718, 1724, and 1733). In addition, we know of four editions of the Psalms (1628, 1650, 1723, and 1733). While the Amsterdam edition of 1611 was a faithful reproduction of the Ferrara text, other editions included small variations, starting with the 1630 edition, which in its colophon states that “fue reformada” (‘it was reformed’), that is, it was somehow editorially amended. In order to exemplify some of the linguistic and textual changes that were made throughout the centuries, Figure 1 presents the first chapter of the Ferrara Bible’s Song of Songs (1553), considering all variants for three of the aforementioned Amsterdam editions (1646, 1726, and 1762; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino): 1 1] Cántico de los cánticos, que a Selomoh. 2] Besásseme de besos de su boca, porque mejores tus querencias más que vino. 3] Por olor de tus olios buenos, (como) olio vaziado tu nombre, por tanto moças te amaron. 4] Sontráeme, empós ti correremos; trúxome el rey a sus cámaras; agradarnos hemos y alegrarnos hemos en ti, membraremos tus querencias más que vino; derechedades te amaron. 5] Negra yo y desseable, hijas de Yerusaláim, como tiendas de Kedar, como cortinas de Selomoh. 6] No me catedes porque yo denegrida, que me ennegresció el sol; hijos de mi madre son airados en mí, pusiéronme guardadora a las viñas; mi viña que a mí, no guardé. 7] Denuncia a mí, quien amó mi alma, a dó apascientas, a dó fazes yazer en las siestas; que ¿por qué seeré como embolviense cerca rebaños de tus compañeros? 8] Si no sabes a ti, ¡o hermosa en las mugeres!, sal a ti en rastros de las ovejas, y apascienta tus cabritas cerca moradas de los pastores. 9] A yegua en cuatreguas de Parhoh, te asemejé mi compañera. 10] Afermosiguáronse tus mexillas con joyas, tu cuello con sartales. 11] Joyas de oro faremos a ti, con pinturas de plata. 12] Mientras que el rey en su rescobdo, mi nardo dio su olor. 13] Atadero de la mirra, mi querido a mí; entre mis tetas manirá. 14] Razimo de alcanfor, mi querido a mí, en viñas de Hen-gedi. 15] He tú hermosa, mi compañera; he tú hermosa, tus ojos palominos. 16] He tú hermoso, mi querido, también suave; también nuestro lecho florido. 17] Vigas de nuestras casas alarzes, nuestros corredores abetos.


3 vaziado] es vaziado 1762. 4 empós] tras 1646 1726 1762. | a sus cámaras] (a) sus cámaras 1762. 6 me catedes] me miréis 1646 1726 1762 | ennegresció] enegreció 1646 1726 1762. | en mí] contra mí 1726 1762. 7 adó] dónde 1646 1726 1762. | apascientas] apacientas 1646. | adó] dónde 1646 1726 1762 | fazes yazer] hazes yazer 1646; yazes 1726 1762. | seeré] seré 1646 1726 1762. 8 apascienta] apacienta 1646. | tus cabritas] a tus cabritas 1646; a tus cabritos 1726 1762. 9 a yegua] a mi yegua 1646 1726 1762. | Parhoh] Parho 1726 1762. 10 Afermosiguáronse] Hermoseáronse 1646 1726 1762. 11 faremos] haremos 1646 1726 1762. 12 rescobdo] rescodo 1646 1726 1762. 14 de alcanfor] del alcanfor 1726 1762. | Hen-gedi] En-gedi 1726 1762.

Figure 1: Song of Songs 1,1–17 from the Ferrara Bible (1553) with a critical apparatus showing the variants of the Amsterdam editions (1646, 1726, 1762).

From the variants to the original Ferrara edition collected in the small fragment above, one notes some of the different types of textual changes that were introduced: a) spelling or phonetic updates, such as the shift from initial f- to initial h-: fazer to hazer ‘to make’ (vv. 7 and 11), afermosiguar to hermosear ‘to become beautiful’ (v. 10); b) substitution of some archaic words with more modern synonyms: empós to tras ‘after’ (v. 4), catar to mirar ‘to look’ (v. 6), adó to dónde ‘where-int’; c) some changes in the morphology, updating the medieval endings to the modern Peninsular Spanish ones: for example,


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

the old verbal 2nd person plural ending -edes to -éis (v. 6), or the causative -iguar to -ear (v. 10), although these changes were not applied systematically; and d) the correction of some literalisms, such as en mí (Heb. bi, lit. ‘in me’) to contra mí ‘against me’ (v. 6). The most systematic corrections appeared in the latter editions (1661 and 1726), which show spelling, lexical, and syntactic updates throughout, for example some cases of excessive Hebraizing syntax, such as “en la tierra la essa” (Heb. ba-’areṣ ha-hiv ‘in that land’, lit. ‘in-the-land the-that’), which was slightly modified to conform to Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish syntax by eliminating the article preceding the demonstrative, to “en la tierra esa” (Gen. 26,12). See Boer (1994) for a more detailed analysis of these changes. By the time the bilingual edition of Proops appeared in Amsterdam in 1762, the western Sephardic communities had surely acquired enough command of the Hebrew language to read the original Hebrew and the Ladino translation side by side. This is explained in the 1762 prologue as a justification for a bilingual edition, since a nonbilingual one ‘would not have provided any immediate benefit to those who meditating about the Hebrew Bible, and having doubts about the meaning of a word, would not have been able to find a prompt answer to their doubts’ (“no servía de provecho inmediato a los que meditando en la Biblia hebraica y dudando el sentido de alguna palabra no podían luego hallar la respuesta de su duda,” p. ii). Regarding the editions of independent sections of the Bible published in Amsterdam, it is worth mentioning the Pentateuch by Menasse ben Israel (1655), which underwent many re-editions. Another example is the also frequently reprinted Parafrasis caldaica (‘Aramaic Paraphrase’) by Mosseh Belmonte, which provides a Ladino translation, in Latin script, of both the Song of Songs and its targum (at least eight reprints of this edition are known).

4 The eastern tradition of Ladino Bibles in aljamiado script In contrast to the western Sephardim, the eastern Jewish communities had never left their religious practices and customs, and neither had they abandoned the use of the Hebrew alphabet. Although the eastern tradition was developed mostly in the Ottoman Empire, some Italian presses, such as those of Venice and Livorno, also produced Ladino Biblical texts in Hebrew letters. The cases of Venice or Livorno are special (Bunis 1994), because despite having taken in many former converso Sephardic Jews, the two cities had also received a large number of Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire who had moved from the East to the West for various reasons. Therefore, besides the ancient Judaeo-Italian and the Ashkenazi communities, we also find a mixed population of Sephardic Jews in these cities: the ponentinos (i.e., western ex-conversos) and the levantinos (i.e., descendants of the first generations expelled from the Iberian Peninsula; 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish).

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This section will briefly describe the most representative Biblical testimonies of the Ladino eastern tradition: the Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch (1547), the Former Prophets (Constantinople, 1580), the Latter Prophets and Writings of Thessaloniki (1583–1585), Abraham Asá’s Bible (Constantinople, 1739–1745), which was adapted later by Yisra’el Bajar Ḥayyim (Vienna, 1813–1816), and several editions of independently printed Biblical books from the 16th century to the 20th century. Although not strictly a Bible, we will also consider a short description and example of the Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo (Venice, 1588), not only because its translator supplies a rather complete Biblical text, but also because it provides clues about the translation model itself and its transmission, as well as revealing many particular and interesting lexical variants.

4.1 The aljamiado Bible of the 16th century 4.1.1 The Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch (Constantinople, 1547) The very first Biblical text printed in the Ottoman Empire was not a complete Bible, not even one of its major divisions, but a Book of Daniel (Thessaloniki, c1514), followed by a Book of Psalms (Constantinople, c1545). Only fragments of these editions have survived.9 Some years later, a polyglot Pentateuch came off the presses of Constantinople in 1547. It was a multilingual edition, since the Hebrew text (in the middle of the page) and the Judaeo-Spanish translation (right side of the page) are accompanied by a Neo-Greek version (on the left-hand side). Neo-Greek and Ladino were the two languages spoken by the Jewish communities in Constantinople, as the editors explain in Hebrew on the front-page: ‘We thought [it would be a good idea] to print the translation of the Bible both in Greek and in Ladino, being the two customary languages used by the sons of our people’ (“nos ha parecido [oportuno] estampar en él la traducción de la Biblia en lengua griega y lengua la’az [ladino] las dos lenguas acostumbradas en los hijos de nuestro pueblo”, Lazar 1994b, 375; translation J.P.M.). Besides the Biblical text, it also includes the Targum Onqelos in Aramaic, occupying the top

9 In a recent work, Cohen (2019) gives notice of some fragments of four previously unknown editions that have been recently discovered in the Cairo Geniza: Daniel (Thessaloniki, c1514), Psalms (Constantinople, c1545), Esther (Thessaloniki, c1570), and Esther (Constantinople, c1595). Cohen also discusses the edition of the book of Psalms, preserved in a unique copy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York, which had erroneously been described by Lazar (1994b) as published in Constantinople, c1540. After examining the printing characteristics of the volume, Cohen concludes that it was actually published in Thessaloniki (c1570) and that it was part of the series of Biblical books published in that city between 1568 and 1572 (cf. Section 4.1.2).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

part of the page, and Rashi’s commentary in Hebrew, at the bottom. Figure 2 shows the opening verses of Genesis 1,1–10:10 1] En prencipio crió el Dio a los cielos y a la tierra. 2] Y la tierra era vagua y vacía, y escuridad sobre faces de abismo, y viento de el Dio esmoviénse sobre faces de las aguas. 3] Y dijo el Dio: «Sea luz», y fue luz. 4] Y vido el Dio a la luz que buena y apartó el Dio entre la luz y entre la escuridad. 5] Y llamó el Dio a la luz día, y a la escuridad llamó noche; y fue tarde y fue mañana, día uno. 6] Y dijo el Dio: «Sea espandedura entre las aguas, y sea apartán entre aguas a aguas». 7] Y hizo el Dio a la espandedura, y apartó entre las aguas que de abajo a la espandedura y entre las aguas que de arriba a la espandedura; y fue ansí. 8] Y llamó el Dio a la espandedura cielos; y fue tarde y fue mañana, día segundo. 9] Y dijo el Dio: «Sean apañadas las aguas que debajo de los cielos a lugar uno, y sea aparecido lo seco»; y fue ansí. 10] Y llamó el Dio a lo seco tierra, y a apañamiento de las aguas llamó mares; y vido el Dio que bueno. 11] Y dijo el Dio: «Hermollezca la tierra hermollo de yerba, asimentán simiente, árbol de fruto hacién fruto a su manera, que su simiente en él, sobre la tierra»; y fue ansí.

Figure 2: Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch (Constantinople, 1547), Genesis 1,1–10, transcribed from Hebrew characters.

This brief initial fragment already includes many of the linguistic features and the translation method characteristic of the Ladino Bibles: elision of required Judaeo-Spanish articles (“En prencipio” ‘In beginning’ instead of “En el prencipio” ‘In the beginning’), reproduction of Hebrew particles, normally ungrammatical in Judaeo-Spanish, and of Hebrew nominal number (“a los cielos” ‘to the heavens’ instead of “el cielo” ‘the heaven’), the use of the apocopated present participle to render the Hebrew active participle (“apartán” ‘separating-3-sg-pres-part’), calque of the Hebrew polyptoton (“asimentán simiente,” lit. ‘seeding seed’), and the use of the traditional Ladino vocabulary (“el Dio” ‘God’, “faces” (pl.) ‘(sur)face’, “esmoverse” ‘to move oneself’, “espandedura” ‘expanse’, “hermollecer, hermollo” ‘to sprout, sprout’, among others; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino).

4.1.2 Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings (Thessaloniki, 1568–1572) The next edition of the Bible (also partial and also in aljamiado script) includes only the Latter Prophets and the Writings. It was completed in Thessaloniki between 1568 and 1572 and printed in separate installments throughout those years.11 Most of the 10 For the transcriptions of aljamiado Ladino, this author usually follows the system proposed by Hassán (1978). However, since no orthographic or phonetic issues are addressed in this chapter, here a simplified system has been adhered to, also proposed by Hassán (1988, 137), in which such diacritics are omitted. 11 They appeared in the following order: Isaiah and Jeremiah (1568), Job and Daniel (1570), Psalms (c1570; Lazar 1994b, 379 thought that no copies of this volume had survived, but see above note 7), Twelve Prophets (1571), Proverbs (1572), and Ezekiel (1572). This edition was also reprinted in Thes-

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volumes appeared in two columns, with the Ladino on the left side and the Hebrew on the right. Both Hebrew and Ladino were typeset in vocalized square letters. It seems clear that the editors were trying to complete the Pentateuch of 1547, as they claim on the front page.12 In Figure 3, we provide a first example from Isa. 7,10–14: 7 10] Y eñadió Adonay hablar por ‘Aḥaz, por decir: 11] «Demanda a ti señal de con Adonay tu Dio; aperfunda demanda, o enaltece a arriba». 12] Y dijo ‘Aḥaz: «No demandaré y non probaré a Adonay». 13] Y dijo: «Oíd agora, casada de David: Si poco de vós hacer cansar varones, ¿qué hacedes cansar a mi Dio? 14] Por tanto, dará Adonay Él a vós señal; hec, la moza preñada y parirá hijo, y llamarás su nombre ‛Immanu’el». Figure 3: Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings (Thessaloniki, 1568), Isa. 7,10–14, transcribed from Hebrew characters.

This fragment was not chosen at random, but specifically to show the Jewish reading of the controversial verse of Isa. 7,14. As it is expected, the Hebrew word ‛alma was not translated as virgen (‘virgin’),13 nor was the Hebrew word left untranslated as in some runs of the Ferrara Bible, but rather the traditional reading moza (‘young woman’) was chosen. This is a clear example of how the socio-cultural context in which the Biblical text was published conditioned the translations. Figure 4, an additional example from Writings (Ps. 118,1–6) in comparison to the fragment of a medieval Siddur, as transcribed by Fita (1900, 88), shows that after almost a century between the two versions the traditional lexicon and the translation style remained quite close.

saloniki by David Azubeb between 1583 and 1585, but only copies of the Psalms (1583) and the Twelve Prophets (1585) have been preserved. 12 “Y agora nos ha parecido comenzar de los Nebi’im ’aḥaronim y acabados que serán, el Dio b”H [‘con la ayuda del Dio’], se harán del resto del Arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Y de aquí en adelante, con esto y con la Mesa del alma, todos podrán leer uno cada día y otro cada noche, y no se podrá nadie escusar con decir si no sabe meldar cómo hay que meldar, que con estos libros en ladino todos sabrán.” (‘And now we have decided to start with the Latter Prophets, and when they are finished, with God’s help, we will do the rest of the Arba‛a ve-‛esrim [lit. ‘Twenty-Four’, i.e. the Writings]. And from now onwards, with this and the Table of the Soul [Hebrew title: Shulḥan ha-panim], everyone will be able to read every day and night, and no one will be able to excuse himself by saying that he does not know how to read the way he should, since everyone will be able to do so with these books in Ladino.’) 13 ‘Virgin’ would be the preferred reading of the Church, since it is a Christological interpretation, as shown by the way this passage was censored and omitted in most of the medieval Jewish Biblias romanceadas.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

118 1] Load a Adonay que bueno, que para siempre su merced.2] Diga agora Yisra’el: Que para siempre su merced. 3] Digan agora casada de ’Aharón: Que para siempre su merced. 4] Digan agora temientes de Adonay: Que para siempre su merced. 5] De la angustia llamé a Adonay, respondióme en la anchura Adonay. 6] Adonay a mí, non temeré qué hará a mí hombre.

118 1] Alabad a Adonay qu’es bueno, que para siempre es su merced. 2] Diga agora Ysrael: Que para siempre es su merced. 3] Dirán los de la casa de Harón: Que para siempre es su merced. 4] Dirán los temedores de Adonay: Que para siempre en su merced. Aleluya. 5] En la sangustia llamé, y respondióme con anchura. 6] Adonay es comigo, no temeré qué me faz a mí el omne.

Figure 4: Synopsis of Psalm 118,1–6 in the versions of the Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings (c1570, left column) and a Medieval Siddur (15th c., right column), transcribed from Hebrew characters.

4.1.3 Constantinople Former Prophets (Constantinople, 1580) Finally, a manuscript preserved in the Jewish Theological Seminary (Ms. 36106), containing the Former Prophets, completes this Section on the aljamiado Bible of the 16th century. Figure 5 presents a small sample from Joshua 1,1–5: 1 1] Y fue depués de morir Mošé, siervo de Adonay, y dijo Adonay a Yehošu‛a, hijo de Nun, ministro de Mošé, por decir: 2] «Mošé mi siervo murió, y agora levanta, pasa a el Yardén el este, tú y todo el pueblo el este, a la tierra que yo dán a ellos, a hijos de Yisra’el. 3] Todo lugar que pisare palma de vuestro pie en él, a vós lo di como hablé a Mošé. 4] Dende el desierto y el Lebanón el este y hasta el río el grande, río de Perat, toda tierra de los Ḥittim, y hasta la mar la grande onde se pone el sol será vuestro término. 5] Non se parará varón delante de ti todos días de tus vidas, como fue con Mošé seré contigo, non te aflojaré y non te dejaré». Figure 5: Constantinople Former Prophets (Constantinople, 1580), Joshua 1,1–5, transcribed from Hebrew characters.

The manuscript also contains a version of Ezra and Nehemiah (up to chapter 12,12) inserted at the end. According to Lazar (1994b, 381), this addition is a mere transliteration into Hebrew letters of the Ferrara Bible texts. Lazar explains that the calligraphy seems to be from a professional hand, probably trying to imply that it was prepared as a final copy for the printer.

4.2 The Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo Among all Biblical glossaries – Hebrew–Ladino Biblical dictionaries following the order of the Biblical books and verses, or sorted in alphabetical order – the oldest one is the Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo. It follows the order of the books, chapters, verses, and words of the Bible and offers their Ladino translation, providing equivalents for

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some difficult and common words, usually the first time they appear in the Bible.14 The author of this glossary is unknown, but its editor, Gedaliá Cordobero, explains the reason that led him to publish it: ‘Since the knowledge of our Hebrew language is so diminished [. . .] a great part of the Bible started to be printed [. . .] but the cost was so high that it was impossible for any pauper to acquire it’.15 As explained in the prologue, each Hebrew word is typeset in unvocalized Hebrew square letters, followed by its translation into Ladino, which was typeset in Rashi script. The first page contains the opening verses of Genesis, and it looks very similar to the example presented in Figure 6 below, except for the numbering of the verses (transcription J.P.M.) and the left-to-right orientation of the text:

Figure 6: Extract from the Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo (Venice, 1588).

It is also worth mentioning Ya‛aqob Lombroso’s commentary to the Bible, which consists of linguistic footnotes or glosses in Ladino referring to the Hebrew Bible text (Lombroso glosses). See Bunis (1994) for a comparison of the glosses by Lombroso – who attempted to provide a ‘pure Spanish’ translation – to those of the Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo, whose author tried to faithfully follow the Ladino tradition, and also managed to incorporate new variants with a more popular lexicon, reflecting the Eastern Judaeo-Spanish of the time.

4.3 The Bibles of Abraham Asá and Yisra’el Bajar Ḥayyim There was no other complete edition of the Bible in Ladino until the 18th century, when Abraham Asá’s version – published in Constantinople between 1739 and 174516 – 14 Although many times the same words are repeated when they come up again in other Biblical books, see Pueyo Mena (2011, 436–439) for a recent explanation of word selection in this glossary. 15 “Viendo el mancamiento que ha mancado la nuesa lingua hebraica [. . .] se escomenzó a estanpar una gran parte de la Micrá [. . .] era la espesa grande y no podía un pobre comprarlo” (prologue to the Biblical glossary Ḥesheq Shelomo, p. 1; transcription and translation J.P.M.). 16 It appeared in five volumes, printed by Yona, Ruben, and Nisim Ezkenazi in Constantinople: The Pentateuch in 1739: I. ‫חלק ראשון מהארבעה ועשרים‬. Ḥeleq rishon me-ha-Arba‛a ve-‛esrim (‘First Part of the Twenty-four’). The Former Prophets in 1743: II. ‫ספר נביאים ראשונים‬. Sefer nebi’im rishonim (‘Book of the


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

appeared 170 years after the previous one in the 16th century. The five volumes present the Hebrew and Ladino texts at the top of the pages and the commentary by Rashi at the bottom (as well as the Targum and its Ladino translation for the Five Scrolls). The Hebrew text appears in vocalized square letters in all five volumes. The Ladino translation was also typeset in vocalized square letters in the first volume, but it was later changed to Rashi script for the others ( 0 Introduction). In a very interesting statement written in rhymed prose, Asá provides his translation criteria and his sources: ‘I translated in accordance with the Targum and the commentaries of the interpreters. I followed the explanations of Radac, Rashi, Ralbag, and Abraham ben ‛Ezra. I also copied from the beautiful Ladino of Ya‛aqob Lombroso’.17 His epilogue also draws attention to the problems caused by an excessive literalism: ‘I must translate in a clear style; since I am translating from the sacred language to Ladino, a clear speech is to be appreciated, so readers can understand everything they read’.18 After analyzing the lexical similarities and differences between different ladinamientos in the first 20 chapters of Genesis, Lazar (1994a, 367–372) concludes that ‘the tradition established by the Constantinople and Thessaloniki versions was fully adopted by Abraham Asá’.19 As an example of Abraham Asá’s fidelity to the eastern tradition, Figure 7 below shows a short fragment (Hosea 1,13–16) for comparison. Lazar sums up the importance of the work of Abraham Asá in its cultural context very well by stating that ‘it meant to the cultural history of the eastern Sephardic the same as the Ferrara Bible meant for the western Sephardim’.20 Hassán (1994, 18; 1995, 121) emphasizes the importance that Asá and other rabbis had for the development of Judaeo-Spanish, and he draws a parallel between the influence of the rabbis’ work on the vernacular (Hebrew being their language of culture) and that of the work undertaken by Alfonso X the Wise and his collaborators on medieval Castilian in 13th-century Europe, when Latin was still the language of culture.

Former Prophets’). The Latter Prophets also in 1743: III. ‫ספר נביאים אחרונים‬. Sefer nebi’im aḥaronim (‘Book of the Latter Prophets). The Five Scrolls in 1744: IV. ‫חמש מגילות‬. Ḥamesh Megillot (‘The Five Scrolls’). And finally, the rest of the Writings in 1745: V. ‫ספר כתובים‬. Sefer ketubim (‘Book of the Writings’). Some fragments of the Asá Bible have recently been published (Lazar 1992b; Albarral 2010; Pueyo Mena 2012; Romero/Albarral 2013). For further details about the ongoing edition of the entire Asá Bible, see Albarral (2012). 17 “[S]egún el declaro de Targum escribí y sobre peruš de los mefarešim me atribí, peruš de Radac y Raší recibí su sebará y tanbién Ralbag y Hr” Abraham ben ‛Ezra, también copií ladino hermoso de Hr” Ya‛aqob Lombroso” (Sefer nebi’im rishonim, 276b; transcription and translation J.P.M.). 18 “[P]or ladinarlo claro debo, que de lašon ha-qodeš a ladino se volta y como habla clara se conta, porque se entienda todo lo que se melda” (Sefer nebi’im rishonim, 276b, transcription and translation J.P.M.). 19 “[L]a tradición constituida por las versiones de Constantinopla y Salónica es la que fue adoptada por Abraham Asá” (Lazar, 1994a, 371; transcription and translation J.P.M.). 20 “[S]ignificó para la historia cultural de los sefardíes orientales lo que la Biblia de Ferrara representó para los sefardíes occidentales” (Lazar 1994a, 371; English translation J.P.M.).

9 Sephardic Bible translations 

13] Y baldaré todo su gozo, su pascua, su roš ḥodeš y su šabat, y todo su plazo. 14] Y desolaré fruto de su vid y de su higuera, que dijo: «Dádiva ellos para mí, que dieron a mí mis amantes», y ponerlos he por jara y comerlos ha alimaña de el campo. 15] Y jecutaré sobre ella a días de los ídolos que sahumaba a ellos, y afeitó su añazme y su ajorca, y anduvo detrás de sus amantes y a mí olvidó, dicho de Adonay. 16] Por tanto, hec yo sombayénla y llevarla he a el desierto, y hablaré sobre su corazón.


13] Y baldaré todo su gozo, su pascua, su prencipio de mes y su šabat, y todo su plazo. 14] Y haré desolar su vid y su higuera, que dijo: «Dádiva ellos para mí, que dieron a mí mis amigos», y ponerlos he por jara y comerlos ha alimaria de el campo. 15] Y jecutaré sobre ella a días de los ídolos que sahumaba a ellos, y afeitaba su añazme y su ajorca, y andaba después de sus amigos y a mí olvidó, dicho de Adonay. 16] Por tanto, hec yo sombayénla y llevarla he a el disierto, y hablaré sobre su corazón.

Figure 7: Comparison of Hosea 1,13–16 in Abraham Asá’s Bible (1744, left column) and the Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings (1568, right column).

In the 19th century, between 1813 and 1815, 75 years after the publication of the Asá Bible, Yisra’el Bajar Ḥayyim printed the last full castizo (‘genuine Judaeo-Spanish’) translation of the Bible in Ladino.21 All volumes appeared with the Hebrew and Ladino texts in side-by-side columns. The original Hebrew on the outside part of the page (in vocalized square letters) and the Ladino translation on the inside part of the page (in Rashi script). In addition to the text of the Bible, each volume featured the commentary of Rashi at the foot of the page (also in Rashi script, but in smaller size). Each book of the Pentateuch was followed by the corresponding Haftarot. In the second volume, after each book of the Five Scrolls, their targum was included in Ladino, and after the book of Esther, the targum sheni (‘second targum’) was added in Aramaic. Ḥayyim made very interesting comments in his introduction, where he justifies the printing of this new Bible due to the lack of copies of the Constantinople edition, that is, of Asá’s translation: ‘This Bible was printed seventy years ago in Constantinople [Asá’s edition] [. . .] and thus today, it is not possible to find it’.22 Ḥayyim does not hide his debt to the Asá translation: ‘I was only a transcriber, not a composer, as it is well known this Bible could have not been printed if I had not had the one printed in Constantinople

21 The four volumes appeared in Vienna, printed by Georg Holzinger: The first one was published in 1813 and contained the Pentateuch: I. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק ראשון חמשה חומשי תורה‬. Sefer arba‛a ve‛esrim. Ḥeleq rishon. Ḥamisha ḥumeshe Tora. The second volume of 1814 contained The Five Scrolls and the Former Prophets: II. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק שני כולל מגלות ונביאים ראשונים‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ḥeleq sheni. Megillot u-nebi’im rishonim. Also in 1814 appeared the Latter Prophets: III. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים‬ ‫חלק שלישי כולל נביאים אחרונים‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ḥeleq shelishi. Nebi’im aḥaronim. The last volume, containing the Writings, appeared in 1815: IV. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק רביעי כתובים‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ketubim. 22 “[S]iendo este arba‛a ve-‛esrim fue estampado agora setenta años en Costán [Asá’s edition] [. . .] que ansí al día de hoy no se topan de ellos del entodo” (Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim, 1a, transcription and translation J.P.M.).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

[Asá’s edition]’.23 In Figure 8, we compare a few verses from the first chapter of Song of Songs in both Bibles, so we can observe how close the two versions are: 3] A güesmo de tus aceites buenos, aceite fue vaciado tu nombre, por tanto mancebas te amaron. 4] Sontráeme, detrás ti correremos; trújome el rey a sus cámaras, agozarmos hemos y alegrarmos hemos contigo, enmentaremos tus querencias más que vino, derechedades te amaron. 5] Negra yo y donosa, dueñas de Yerušaláyim, como tiendas de Quedar, como telas de Šelomó. [...] 11] Alḥorzas de oro haremos a ti con pinturias de plata. 12] Mientres que el rey en su rescobdo, mi almizcle dio su güesmo. 13] Atadero de el almizcle mi querido a mí, entre mis pechos dormirá. 14] Racimo de el alcanfor mi querido a mí, en viñas de ‘En-guedi. 15] Hec tú hermosa, mi compañera, hec tú hermosa, tus ojos como de palombinos. 16] Hec tú hermoso, mi querido, también hermoso, también nuestro lecho reverdido. 17] Vigas de nuestras casas alarces, nuestros corredores bojes.

3] A güesmo de tus aceites buenas, aceite vaciada tu nombre por tanto mancebas te amaron. 4] Sontráeme, detrás ti correremos; trújome el rey a sus cámaras agozarmos hemos y alegrarmos hemos contigo, enmentaremos tus querencias más que vino, derechedades te amaron. 5] Negra yo y donosa, dueñas de Yerušaláyim como tiendas de Quedar, como telas de Šelomó. [...] 11] Alḥorzas de oro haremos a ti con pinturias de plata. 12] Mientres que el rey en su rescobdo mi almizcle dio su güesmo. 13] Atadero de el almizcle mi querido a mí, entre mis pechos dormirá. 14] Racimo de el alcanfor mi querido a mí en viñas de ‘En-guedi. 15] Hec tú hermosa mi compañera, hec tú hermosa tus ojos como de palombinos. 16] Hec tú hermoso, mi querido, también hermoso, también nuestro lecho reverdido. 17] Vigas de nuestras casas alarces, nuestros corredores bojes.

Figure 8: Comparison of Song of Songs 1,3–17 in Abraham Asá’s Bible (left column) and Yisra’el Bajar Ḥayyim’s Bible (right column), transcribed from Hebrew characters.

The only notable difference between the two translations is the grammatical gender of the phrases “aceites buenos / buenas” (‘good oil’) and “aceite vaciado / vaciada” (‘refined, emptied oil’). It can be inferred that what we are dealing with here is a superficially revised reprint of the Asá Bible. In any case, the Ḥayyim Bible was extremely popular, and it constituted the latest full genuine Judaeo-Spanish translation of the Ladino Bible.

4.4 Independently printed Biblical books or sections As had happened in the West, in the Ottoman Empire some Biblical books were printed independently on numerous occasions throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Those bearing a liturgical function or being read during the religious holidays received the largest number of editions.24 It is not surprising that there were so many editions 23 “Que yo no fue más que un tresalador [sic] y no componedor, que asegún ya es sabido este arba‛ah ve-‛esrim no se podía meter en estampa si no tenía el que fue estampado en Costán [Asá’s edition]” (Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim, 1a, transcription and translation J.P.M.). 24 Esther (Vienna, c 1900), Job (Livorno, 1778), Psalms (Ms. BZI 2275, Vienna, 1822; Ms. JNUL 8º 920, Thessaloniki, 1888, 1898, 1930; Constantinople, 1936), Ruth (Venice, 1753; Livorno, 1777; Thessaloniki; 1878, 1884; Vienna, 1890; Thessaloniki, 1894, 1906; Vienna, 1909; Thessaloniki, 1921, reprint 1927 and 1932), and Song of Songs (Thessaloniki, 1600; Venice, 1619 [Abraham Lañado’s Sefer nequdot ha-kesef], 1655, 1672, 1695, 1721, 1756; Livorno, 1769, reprint 1797]; Venice, 1778; Thessaloniki, 1796, 1800; Ven-

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


and reprints of the Song of Songs, Ruth, and Psalms, since they are expected to have had a large distribution to facilitate the understanding of what was recited in Hebrew during the liturgy and the holidays. What is really surprising is the scarcity of independent translations and editions of the book of Esther, a popular story among Jewish communities, since it is a mandatory reading for the joyous holiday of Purim. The transmission of the Ladino translation of the Song of Songs and its targum, for example, reveals relationships between traditions that are explored below. The Thessaloniki editions present a text very similar to the Asá-Ḥayyim translation with small variations and some revealing lexical notes inserted into the text, for example: “en las siestas (mediodía)” ‘at noon’, “los alcodros (orejales)” ‘earrings’, “las šartas (yardanes)” ‘necklaces’, or “muestros corredores (barandados)” ‘our rafters’.

4.5 Christian Bibles in Ladino The traditional and intra-communitarian Jewish translations that we have looked at so far were followed by the Ladino versions of the Christian missionaries, beginning with the translation published by W. G. Schauffler, which preceded the one published by the Scottish Protestant Mission.

4.5.1 The Protestant American Mission: W. G. Schauffler The first Christian Bible in Judaeo-Spanish was published in Vienna by the American missionary W. G. Schauffler.25 Despite being published under the auspices of the Protestant American Bible Society, this Bible received the rabbinic approval of the Great Rabbi of Constantinople, Samuel Ḥayyim. Lazar (1994b, 407) explains that: Schauffler’s ladinamientos [. . .] were faithful to the Masoretic Hebrew text, and had no Christological interpolations” and that “due to the economic poverty of the Ottoman Sephardim in the 19th century, the extreme shortage of Hebrew and Judaeo-Spanish Bibles, and to the high cost of the Jewish printing press, there was no way to get such books, a vacuum that was enthusiastically filled by the Protestant missionaries.” (Translation J.P.M.) ice, 1804; Thessaloniki, 1805; Pisa, 1822; Thessaloniki, 1828; Livorno, 1856, repr. 1929 and 1930, 1860; Thessaloniki, 1863, 1867, repr. 1872; Livorno, 1870; Thessaloniki, 1875; Jerusalem, 1891; Thessaloniki, 1895 and 1897). Bibliographic details and textual relations between all these editions can be consulted in Lazar (1994b). 25 It was printed in two volumes (Vienna: Schmid and Bosch, 1841, repr. in Izmir, 1843, and the Pentateuch in Vienna, 1845) with the generic title of ‫ תורה נביאים וכתובים עם העתקה ספרדית‬:‫ספר כתבי הקדש‬. Sefer kitebe ha-qodesh: Tora, nebi’im u-khetubim ‛im ha-‛ataqah sefaradit (‘Book of the Holy Scriptures: Law, Prophets and Writings with Ladino translation’): I. Ḥeleq rishon. Torah, Ḥamesh Megillot u-nebi’im rishonim (‘First Part. The Law, Five Scrolls and Former Prophets’); II. Ḥeleq sheni. Sefer Nebi’im aḥaronim Ukhetubim (‘Second Part. Latter Prophets and Writings’). On the problems of dating the different editions, see Lazar (1994b, 405–406).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

The two volumes were typeset in side-by-side columns, with the Hebrew text on the right (in vocalized square letters) and the Ladino on the left (in Rashi script). Schauffler’s translation is a scholarly adaptation, which makes use of the 1547 Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch, the Ferrara Bible (or its reprints), the Ḥesheq Shelomo glossary, and the Ḥayyim edition of 1813. In order to get an idea of the adaptation and review processes undertaken by Schauffler, Figure 9 shows the same passage of Song of Songs (1,3–5; 1,11–17) as the Asá-Ḥayyim text presented in Figure 8 in the missionary’s new version: 3] A güesmo de tus aceites buenos como aceite vaciado tu nombre, por tanto escosas te aman. 4] Sontráeme, detrás de ti correremos; trújome el rey a sus cámaras, nos agozaremos y nos alegraremos contigo; enmentaremos tus querencias más que vino, con derechedades te aman. 5] Negra yo y donosa, hijas de Yerušaláyim, como tiendas de Quedar, como telas de Šelomó. [. . .]11] Alḥorzas de oro haremos a ti con tachones de la plata. 12] Mientres que el rey en su rescobdo, mi almizcle dio su güesmo. 13] Atadero del almizcle mi querido a mí, entre mis pechos reposará. 14] Racimo del cófer mi querido a mí en viñas de ‘En-guedi. 15] Hec tú hermosa, mi compañera, hec tú hermosa, tus ojos como de palombinos. 16] Hec tú hermoso, mi querido, también gracioso, también nuestro lecho reverdido. 17] Vigas de nuestras casas alarces, nuestros corredores berošim.

Figure 9: W. G. Schauffler’s Bible, Song of Songs 1,3–5 and 1,11–17, transcribed from Hebrew characters.

This small fragment illustrates the presence of some of the sources mentioned: it seems obvious that Schauffler was using Asá-Ḥayyim as his textual base, but variants matching with Ḥesheq Shelomo can also be found (such as in v. 16 gracioso ‘handsome’), with Ferrara (v. 3 vaciado ‘refined’, lit. ‘emptied’, v. 5 hijas ‘daughters’), and even with the Livorno versions (v. 11 plata ‘silver’). We come across independent variants like v. 3 escosas, an archaism meaning ‘virgin’ ( 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino). When Schauffler was not able to find a satisfactory reading, he resorted to a Hebrew word (which causes his translation to depart from tradition), as in the cases of verse 14 cófer ‘henna’ or verse 17 berošim ‘rafters’. As we shall see, both readings would also pose a problem for the Scottish missionaries in 1873.

4.5.2 The Scottish Protestant Mission Following the adaptation by Schauffler, and very different in spirit and language, two new editions were published by the Scottish Protestant Mission, the first one in Constantinople in 1873 and the other in Vienna in 1931. In the 1873 edition the text was typeset in a single column, with the Hebrew (in vocalized square letters) on the right

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


page, while the translation appeared in Rashi script on the left page. It was translated by Reverend James Christie (1835–1913).26 The title printed on the front page, with the indication that this work was ‘translated into the Spanish language’ (“trasladado en la lingua española”), is quite significant and provides a clue that the text presented no longer corresponds to the classic Biblical Ladino one was accustomed to see from the 16th century until the mid-19th century. Lazar describes it as ‘a Spanish version, somehow ladinizada, that was made by an anonymous missionary (Alexander Thomson from the Anglican Mission?)’,27 and Bunis (1992, 411) as “essentially a blend of Old and Modern Spanish transcribed in the Hebrew alphabet.” However, Sephiha (1973; 1978; 1979; 1981; 1993) has often characterized the language of these Bibles as the closest to the vernacular Judaeo-Spanish spoken by the Sephardic communities at that time. Christie made a series of systematic innovations to the traditional Ladino text which can be exemplified by comparing his translation to the same verses from Song of Songs provided above: the addition of the copula (v. 1 es ‘to be-3-sg’, v. 2 son ‘to be-3-pl’, etc.), the introduction of words that do not correspond to a Hebrew one in a smaller typography (v. 3 como ‘like’, v. 7 tú ‘you’, v. 7 tu rebaño ‘your flock’, v. 15 son como ‘[they] are like’, among others), a departure from the traditional Biblical Ladino lexicon by incorporating a more popular Judaeo-Spanish (v. 3 golor ‘smell’, v. 5 ma ‘but’, among others), and a less strict word order as compared to the Hebrew. It can also be found many words, such ḥena ‘henna’ and pinos ‘pine trees’ (corresponding to the Hebraisms cófer and berošim found in the Schauffler version), which were not part of the traditional Biblical Ladino lexicon, as well as some archaisms taken from Schauffler, as escosas ‘virgins’, suggesting that perhaps this new version made use of and substantially modified Schauffler’s text.

5 Conclusion Regarding the relationship between the various lines of transmission, the Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch of 1547 and the Ferrara Bible of 1553 must have some sort of common origin, due to the similarity of their lexicons and the exact, matching translations of many verses. However, they do not seem to be copies of each other: Ferrara updates the language and becomes less literal in many passages (cf. Benabu 1985). These changes do not seem to have been made directly to the Constantinople text but to a common ancestor of both of them. The internal consistency of the traditional method of translation, and its continued oral transmission through the centuries by means of

26 In a recent article, García Moreno (2018, 197, note 62) argues that the translator of this Bible was not the Rev. Alexander Thomson as was conjectured until now, cf. Lazar (1994b, 407–408) and García Moreno (2013, 373). 27 “[U]na versión española algo “ladinizada” obra de un misionero anónimo (¿Alexander Thomson de la misión inglesa?)” (Lazar 1994b, 407–408; translation J.P.M.).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

strict pedagogical techniques, could lead us to consider these oral versions as “textual” as the written translations preserved in manuscripts and printed books. For this reason, one cannot be sure whether this common predecessor was a medieval aljamiado manuscript from the tradition of E3 or just the traditional and orally transmitted versions of the medieval Hispanic Jews (also influencing E3). We face the same problem when trying to establish a line of transmission for the eastern aljamiado versions. All of them (from Asá’s to Schauffler’s translations, including Ḥayyim’s) present striking similarities to the 16th-century version, whose lexicon is also partially shared by some of the Amsterdam versions (and by the North African oral tradition) and most certainly by the Italian aljamiado editions. Again, we have to ponder whether we are confronting actual textual relations between all these testimonies, or the traditional character and the oral transmission of the text. As mentioned in the introduction, the texts presented in this chapter only represent a few snapshots of the oral Biblical tradition and its transmission process. Existing variants, both in the lexicon and in the translation model, as well as their external characteristics, provide insights into the social, historical, and linguistic vicissitudes of the different audiences that these translations were meant for, the same variegated audiences that produced them in the first place.

References Sources [Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch] ‫חמשה חומשי תורה‬. Ḥamisha ḥumeshe tora [‘The Five Books of the Law’], Constantinople, Eliezer Soncino, 1547. [Ferrara Bible]: Biblia en lengua española traducida palabra por palabra de la verdad hebraica, Ferrara, Usque, 1553 (reprinted in Amsterdam in 1611, 1630, 1646, 1661, 1726, and 1762). [Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings] ‫חלק השלישי מהארבעה ועשרים‬. Ḥeleq ha-shelishi me-ha-arba‛a ve-‛esrim [‘Third Part of the Twenty-four’], Thessaloniki, Yosef Yabes, 1568–1572. [Constantinople Former Prophets] ‫נביאים ראשונים‬. Nebi’im rishonim [‘Former Prophets’], Constantinople, 1580 [Ms. 36106, Jewish Theological Seminary]. [Biblical glossary] ‫ספר חשק שלמה‬. Sefer Ḥesheq Shelomo [‘Shelomo’s Desire’], Venice, Zan di Gara, 1588. [Lombroso glosses] ‫חמשה חומשי תורה ונביאים ראשונים ואחרונים וכתובים‬. Ḥamisha ḥumeshe tora u-nebi’im rishonim va-aḥaronim u-khetubim [‘The Five Books of the Law, Former and Latter Prophets and Writings’], Venice, 1639. [Abraham Asá’s Bible, Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1739–1745]: I. ‫חלק ראשון מהארבעה ועשרים‬. Ḥeleq rishon me-ha-arba‛a ve-‛esrim [‘First Part of the Twenty-four’], 1739. II. ‫ספר נביאים ראשונים‬. Sefer nebi’im rishonim [‘Book of the Former Prophets’]. The Latter Prophets, 1743. III. ‫ספר נביאים אחרונים‬. Sefer nebi’im aḥaronim [‘Book of the Latter Prophets], 1743. IV. ‫חמש מגילות‬. Ḥamesh Megillot [‘The Five Scrolls’], 1744. V. ‫ספר כתובים‬. Sefer ketubim [‘Book of the Writings’], 1745. [Yisra’el Bajar Ḥayyim’s Bible, Vienna, Georg Holzinger, 1813–1815]: I. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק ראשון חמשה‬ ‫חומשי תורה‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ḥeleq rishon. Ḥamisha ḥumeshe tora [‘Book of the Twenty-four. First Part. The Five Books of the Law’], 1813. II. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק שני כולל מגלות ונביאים ראשונים‬.

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ḥeleq sheni. Megillot u-nebi’im rishonim [‘Book of the Twenty-four. Second Part. Scrolls and Former Prophets’], 1814. III. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק שלישי כולל נביאים אחרונים‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ḥeleq shelishi. Nebi’im aḥaronim [‘Book of the Twenty-four. Third Part. Latter Prophets’], 1814. IV. ‫ספר ארבעה ועשרים חלק רביעי כתובים‬. Sefer arba‛a ve-‛esrim. Ketubim [‘Book of the Twenty-four. Fourth Part. Writings’], 1815. [W. G. Schauffler’s Bible] ‫ תורה נביאים וכתובים עם העתקה ספרדית‬:‫ספר כתבי הקדש‬. Sefer kitebe ha-qodesh: tora, nebi’im u-khetubim ‛im ha‛ataqa sefaradit [‘Book of the Holy Scriptures: Law, Prophets and Writings with Ladino translation’]: I. Ḥeleq rishon. Tora, Ḥamesh Megillot u-nebi’im rishonim [‘First Part. The Law, Five Scrolls and Former Prophets’]; II. Ḥeleq sheni. Sefer nebi’im aḥaronim u-khetubim [‘Second Part. Latter Prophets and Writings’], Vienna, Schmid und Bosch, 1841 (reprinted in Izmir, 1843, and the Pentateuch in Vienna, 1845). [James Christie’s Bible] ‫ לוס פרופ'יטאס אי לאס איסקריטוראס‬,‫ איל ליב'רו די לה ליי‬:‫ספר תורה נביאים וכתובים‬ ‫טראזלאדאדו אין לה לינגואה איספאנייולה‬. Sefer tora, nebi’im u-khetubim: El libro de la Ley, los Profetas y las Escrituras trasladado en la lingua española [‘The book of the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings translated into the Spanish language’], Constantinople, A. H. Boyaŷian, 1873 (reprinted in 1873 without the Hebrew text and also in 1895 and 1905).

Studies Albarral, Purificación (2010), Biblia de Abraham Asá. Los doce profetas menores, Logroño, Cilengua. Albarral, Purificación (2012), El proyecto de edición de la Biblia de Abraham Asá. El relato de Eliseo y la sunamita, eHumanista, 1–16. Álvarez, Manuel/Ariza, Manuel/Mendoza, Josefa (1994), La lengua castellana de la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 505–524. Amigo Espada, Lorenzo (1981), El léxico del Pentateuco de Constantinopla y la Biblia medieval romanceada judeoespañola, Madrid, Fundación Juan March. Benabu, Isaac (1985), On the transmission of the Bible in Judeo-Spanish. The eastern and western traditions compared, in: Isaac Benabu/Joseph Sermoneta (edd.), Judeo-Romance languages, Jerusalem, Misgav Yerushalayim/Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1–26. Boer, Harm den (1994), La Biblia de Ferrara y otras traducciones españolas de la Biblia entre los sefardíes de origen converso, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 251–295. Bunis, David (1992), The language of the Sephardim. A historical overview, in: Haim Beinart (ed.), Moreshet Sepharad. The Sephardi legacy, vol. 2, Jerusalem, Magnes/Hebrew University, 399–422. Bunis, David M. (1994), Tres formas de ladinar la Biblia en Italia en los siglos XVI–XVII, in: Iacob M. Hassán/ Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 316–345. Bunis, David M. (1996), Translating from the head and from the heart. The essentially oral nature of the Ladino Bible-translation tradition, in: Winfried Busse/Marie-Christine Varol Bornes (edd.), Hommage à Haïm Vidal Sephiha, Bern, Lang, 337–357. Cohen, Dov (2019), Novedades bibliográficas en el estudio de las ediciones de biblias sefardíes (siglo XVI), Sefarad 79.1, 199–224. Conde, Juan Carlos (1994), La Biblia de Ferrara en el Diccionario Histórico de la Lengua Española, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 149–181.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

Delgado, Feliciano (1994), Verdad hebraica y verdad románica en la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/ Ángel Berenguer (edd.) Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 141–148. Enciso, Jesús (1944), Prohibiciones españolas de las versiones bíblicas romances antes del tridentino, Estudios Bíblicos 3, 523–560. Enrique-Arias, Andrés/Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2010–), Corpus Biblia Medieval, . Enrique-Arias, Andrés/Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2017), La Biblia completa del Marqués de Santillana, Revista de Filología Española 97.1, 35–68. Enrique-Arias, Andrés/Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2019–), Corpus Biblias Hispánicas, Online: . Fernández López, Sergio (2003), Lectura y prohibición de la Biblia en lengua vulgar. Defensores y detractores, León, Universidad de León. Fernández Marcos, Natalio (1994), La Biblia de Ferrara y sus efectos en las traducciones bíblicas al español, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 445–471. Fita, Fidel (1893), La Inquisición en Guadalupe, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 23, 283–343. Fita, Fidel (1900), Fragmento de los salmos según un ritual hispano-hebreo del siglo XV, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 36, 87–88. García Moreno, Aitor (2013), ¿Ante el primer diccionario monolingüe judeoespañol?, Sefarad 74.2, 371–408. García Moreno, Aitor (2018), Poemas castellanos en textos sefardíes. Ejemplos en La escalera a la anṿeźadura (Constantinopla 1853 y 1888), Sefarad 78.1, 149–200. Gutwirth, Eleazar (1988), Religión, historia y las Biblias romanceadas, Revista Catalana de Teología 13.1, 115–133. Hassán, Iacob M. (1978), Transcripción normalizada de textos judeoespañoles, Estudios Sefardíes 1, 147–150. Hassán, Iacob M. (1988), Sistemas gráficos del español sefardí, in: Manuel Ariza/Antonio Salvador/Antonio Viudas (edd.), Actas del I Congreso Internacional de Historia de la Lengua Española, Madrid, Arco Libros, 127–137. Hassán, Iacob M. (1994), Dos introducciones de la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 13–66. Hassán, Iacob M. (1995), El español sefardí (judeoespañol, ladino), in: Manuel Seco/Gregorio Salvador (edd.), La lengua española, hoy, Madrid: Fundación Juan March, 117–140. Hassán, Iacob M. (2004), ¿Es el ladino judeoespañol calco? (cf. DRAE), Quaderns de Filologia. Estudis Lingüístics 9, 87–99. Hassán, Iacob M./Berenguer, Ángel (1994), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC. Lazar, Moshe (1992a), The Ladino Bible of Ferrara, Culver City, Labyrinthos. Lazar, Moshe (1992b), The Ladino Five Scrolls [Abraham Asa’s Versions of The Hebrew and Aramaic Texts], Culver City, Labyrinthos. Lazar, Moshe (1994a), Ladinando la Biblia entre los sefardíes mediterráneos (Imperio Otomano, Italia y Viena), in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, 347–372. Lazar, Moshe (1994b), Apéndice: Ladinamientos aljamiados de la Biblia, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 373–442. Lazar, Moshe (1995), Biblia Ladinada I.J.3, 2 vol., Madison, Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies. Lazar, Moshe (1996), Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, Fundación José Antonio de Castro. Lazar, Moshe (2000), The Ladino Scriptures. Constantinople – Salonica [1540–1568], Lancaster, Labyrinthos. Macías Kapón, Uriel (ed.) (1992), La Biblia de Ferrara. Edición facsimilar, Madrid, Sefarad 92, Universidad de Sevilla/CSIC.

9 Sephardic Bible translations 


Morreale, Margherita (1994), La Biblia de Ferrara y los romanceamientos medievales. 2SM 22 y PS 18, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 69–139. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (1996), Biblia romanceada Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid Ms. 10288. Edición, estudio y notas, Madison, Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2008), Biblias romanceadas y en ladino, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ricardo Izquierdo Benito (coords.), Elena Romero (ed.), Sefardíes. Literatura y lengua de una nación dispersa, Cuenca, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 193–263. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2011), Séfer Hésec Šelomó. Edición de Génesis / Berešit (cps. 1–10), in: Elena Romero Castelló (ed.), Estudios sefardíes dedicados a la memoria de Iacob M. Hassán (z”l), Madrid, CSIC, 433–478. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2012), “Tu pueblo mi pueblo y tu Dio mi Dio”. El libro de Rut en la Biblia de Abraham Asá, eHumanista, 263–295. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier/Enrique-Arias, Andrés (2013), Los romanceamientos castellanos de la Biblia Hebrea compuestos en la Edad Media. Manuscritos y traducciones, Sefarad 73.1, 165–225. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier/Enrique-Arias, Andrés (2015), Innovación y tradición en el léxico de las traducciones bíblicas castellanas medievales. El uso de cultismos y voces patrimoniales en las versiones del siglo XV, Anuario de Estudios Medievales 45.1, 357–392. Romero, Elena/Albarral, Purificación (2013), El libro bíblico de Ester entre los sefardíes de los Balcanes. Mitos y leyendas, Granada, Universidad de Granada. Segre, Renata (1994), Contribución documental a la historia de la imprenta Usque y de su edición de la Biblia, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 205–226. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1973), Le ladino (judéo-espagnol calque), Deutéronome. Versions de Constantinople (1547) et de Ferrare (1553), Paris, Centre de Recherches Hispaniques. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1978), Ladino et Biblias Medievales Romanceadas, in: Mélanges à la Mémoire d’André Joucla-Ruau, vol. 2, Aix-en-Provence, Université de Provence, 1119–1131. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1979), Le ladino (judéo-espagnol calque). Structure et évolution d’une langue liturgique, Paris, Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1981), El ladino verdadero o judeo-español calco, lengua litúrgica, in: Antonio Viudas Camarasa (ed.), Actas de las Jornadas de Estudios Sefardíes, Cáceres, Universidad de Extremadura, 15–29. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1993), Judeoespañol. Problemática y terminología. Horizonte 1992. Herencia de los sefarditas, in: Eufemio Lorenzo Sanz (coord.), Proyección histórica de España en sus tres culturas: Castilla y León, América y el Mediterráneo, vol. 2: Lengua y literatura española e hispanoamericana, Valladolid, Junta de Castilla y León, 195–206. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1994), Caracterización del ladino de la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 299–314. Toaff, Ariel (1994), Los sefardíes en Ferrara y en Italia en el siglo XVI, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 185–204.

F. Javier Pueyo Mena

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino Abstract: This chapter comprehensively analyzes both the language and the translation method used in the Judaeo-Spanish versions of the Bible. Starting with the lexicon, it describes phenomena such as the possible pan-Romance origin of some words, the use of archaisms, processes of lexical creation and semantic readjustment, the presence of Hebraisms, and lexical consistency throughout the translation. The morphology section analyzes and exemplifies the maintenance of all Hebrew grammatical categories (nouns, adjectives, articles, demonstratives, pronouns, prepositions, and other particles), as well as the readjustment of tense, aspect, and mood of the Judaeo-Spanish verb paradigm to accommodate the Biblical Hebrew verbal system. Regarding the syntax, attention is paid to the preservation of word order in the sentence. Some Hebrew syntactic structures foreign to standard Judaeo-Spanish are presented, describing how they are translated into Ladino and comparing them with previous Jewish translations made in Spain during the Middle Ages. Keywords: Bible, Ladino, Judaeo-Spanish calque, word-by-word translation, medieval vernacularizations of the Bible, archaisms, neologisms, morphology, syntax

1 Introduction The term ladino (< latīnus, ‘Latin’) originally meant ‘Romance language as opposed to Arabic’ (DCECH, s.v.). In Judaeo-Spanish, ladino originally referred to the Judaeo-Spanish language ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish) in opposition to the Hebrew language, as Hassán (1994, 24) documented using testimonia from Abraham Asá (“estampar el Arba‛ah ve-‛esrim en ladino”, i.e., ‘to print the Bible in ladino’) and Ya‛aqob Khuli (“declarar el Arba‛ah ve-‛esrim en ladino”, i.e., ‘to explain the Bible in ladino’).1 The Sephardim, that is, the Jews exiled from the Iberian Peninsula and their descendants, extended the meaning of the word to include not only the Judaeo-Spanish language used in Biblical translations and commentaries ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations), but also the classical literary language used in other religious and poetical texts

1 This chapter is a result of the Research Project “Sefarad 2.0: Edición, estudio y aprovechamiento digital de textos sefardíes” [ref. num. PID2021-123221NB-I00], funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. For the transcriptions of Ladino written in Hebrew characters ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations), the author of this chapter usually follows the system proposed by Hassán (1978). However, since no orthographic or phonetic issues are addressed here, a simplified version has been adhered to, also proposed by Hassán (1988, 137), in which some diacritics are omitted.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

during the 18th and 19th centuries, and ultimately to refer to their entire language, be it in written or in spoken form. The general meaning of the term ladino for the language was also extended and used as synonymous with “interpretation (translation, meaning), or the way to understand in a Romance language a given expression or passage in Hebrew” (Hassán 2004, 95, translation J.P.M.). In the fields of Sephardic and Hispanic linguistics, Ladino has been contrasted with other registers of Judaeo-Spanish and has erroneously been characterized as an artificial calque language (Sephiha 1973; Alvar 1986; 2000), in contrast with a non-calque vernacular. All other historical varieties of Romance languages show in their translations similar linguistic adaptations to (or calques of) the original languages they were translating from. For example, many of the 15th-century Spanish translations of Greek and Roman classics, purposely calqued their Latin source in order to preserve the beauty of the original texts and, more importantly, to remain faithful to their authors’ intent (cf. Recio 1991). However, no scholar has ever been tempted to describe those translations as written in a language different from their contemporary Spanish vernacular. Ladino should not be an exception and should not be described differently from other languages in this regard. Thus, in the analysis pursued in this chapter, Biblical Ladino will not be characterized as a distinct or artificial language, but rather as a specialized and Hebraized stylistic variety of Judaeo-Spanish, certainly developed during the translation process of Biblical texts, with the intent of preserving the sacred nature of the original Biblical Hebrew. This literary variety of Judaeo-Spanish was later used, with varying degrees of Hebraization, in many other translations of religious texts, and even in works of original Judaeo-Spanish literature (Hassán 1994, 27–32).2 Both the language of the Ladino Bibles3 ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations) and the traditional Sephardic method of translation must be analyzed simultaneously, since the latter ultimately imposes very distinctive features on the language used for translating the Biblical Hebrew into Judaeo-Spanish. In the following sections several examples will be discussed regarding aspects of the lexicon, morphology, and syntax of these translations. Since the linguistic solutions provided by the translators were driven by

2 For an overview and bibliography of Judaeo-Spanish religious literature, including Ladino Bibles, see Romero (1992, 31–172). 3 Abbreviations for the Ladino translations used for the examples are the following: Asá = Abraham Asá’s Bible, 1739–1745; F = Ferrara Bible, 1553; HS = Ḥesheq Shelomo, 1588; PC = Pentateuch of Constantinople, 1547; SLP = Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings, 1568–1572; CFP = Constantinople Former Prophets, 1580. For details, see 9 Sephardic Bible translations. All medieval translations can be consulted online, see Enrique-Arias/Pueyo Mena (2010). The following abbreviations are used to refer to them: E3 = Escorial, Ms. I.i.3; E4 = Escorial, Ms. I.i.4; Ajuda = Biblioteca de Ajuda, Lisbon, Ms. 52-xii-1; E5 = Escorial, Ms. I.i.5; Evora = Biblioteca Pública, Évora, Ms. cxxiv/1-2; E7 = Escorial, Ms. I.i.7; E19 = Escorial, Ms. I.ii.19; BNE = Biblioteca Nacional de España, Ms. 10288; RAH = Real Academia de la Historia, Ms. 87; Arragel = Palacio de Liria, Madrid; Oxford = Bodleian Library, Ms. Canon. Ital. 177. For English translations of Biblical examples, Tanakh (1985) has been used. When required, the author has added his own English literal translation or a one-to-one English gloss to the Hebrew or Ladino verse.

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


their strict adherence to a traditional model of ad verbum translation, this chapter will focus on those cases in which the Hebrew and Judaeo-Spanish systems disagree most in their main linguistic aspects (the lexicon: Section 2; morphosyntax: Section 3; word order: Section 4). Conclusions are drawn in Section 5.

2 The lexicon 2.1 An old pan-Romance tradition? Blondheim (1925), in a rather controversial proposal, suggested that all the Romance languages spoken in the medieval Jewish communities had a pan-Romance Jewish origin. This is not the place to discuss the existence of distinctive Jewish languages independently evolved from Vulgar Latin and spoken during the Middle Ages in the Romania Judaica ( 0  Introduction). However, regarding Biblical translations, the lexical data gathered by Blondheim, common to all or some of the textual sources written in the six Jewish Romance linguistic varieties he studied, provides a rich set of words derived from uncommon Vulgar Latin etyma that were used both in medieval Jewish Spanish translations, and later in Ladino, but not in their Christian counterparts. These common Judaeo-Romance derivatives need to be explained, either by postulating a common Jewish Latin oral tradition of Biblical translation that was inherited by their Romance-speaking descendants, or perhaps by a process of borrowing and adaptation through the use of “bi-lingual glossaries which may explain the frequency of similarities between various translations within a group of related Jewish languages” (Lazar 1995, ix). Examples of the preservation of these Judaeo-Romance derivatives from Vulgar Latin etyma in Ladino include, among many others, the following:4 abastar ‘to suffice’ / abasto ‘abundance’ / Abastado which translates Heb. Shadday ‘Almighty’ (Blondheim 1925, 14, s.v. ✶abbastare): “Y dixo Hesaú: Hay a mí abasto, mi hermano” (F, Gen. 33,9: ‘Esau said, “I have enough, my brother”’); “Yo Dio Abastado, anda delantre de mí, see prenismo” (Asá, Gen. 17,1: ‘I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless’). aveviguar, aviviguar ‘to revive, to bring back or to give to life’ (Blondheim 1925, 18–19, s.v. ✶advivificare): “y a todos (diré) en ellos vidas de mi esprito, y sanarme ás y abiviguarme ás” (F, Isa. 38,16: ‘for all that and despite it My life-breath is revived; You have restored me to health and revived me’); “dos de todo traerás a la arca por aveviguar contigo” (PC, Gen. 6,19: ‘And of all that lives, of all flesh, you shall take two of each into the ark to keep alive with you’).

4 Emphases within Biblical quotations were added by the author of this chapter.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

alzación ‘sacrifice, offering’ (Blondheim 1925, 20, s.v. ✶altiatio): “y farás safumar a la ara sobre la alsación” (F, Ex. 29,25: ‘and turn them into smoke upon the altar with the burnt offering’); “aborrecién robado en alzación” (Asá, Isa. 61,8: ‘I hate robbery with a burnt offering’). aboniguar ‘to make someone good, to do something well’ (Blondheim 1925, 28, s.v. ✶ bonificare): “si aboniguares, perdón; y si no aboniguares, a la puerta pecado yazién” (F, Gen. 4,7: ‘Surely, if you do right, there is uplift. But if you do not do right, Sin couches at the door’), also see the similar translation of the same passage in Asá: “non aboniguarás a la puerta pecado.” frochiguar, fruchiguar ‘to bear fruit’ < ✶fructicare (Blondheim 1925, 47–48, s.v. ✶ fructificare): “fruchiguad y muchiguad y hinchid a las aguas en las mares” (F, Gen. 1,22: ‘Be fertile and increase, fill the waters in the seas’); “Y hijos de Yisrael frochiguaron, y sirpieron” (PC, Ex. 1,7: ‘But the Israelites were fertile and prolific’). hermollecer ‘to germinate, to blossom’ / hermollo ‘sprout’ < ✶germullare < germinare + ✶ (re)pullare (Blondheim 1925, 50, s.v. germinare): “hermollesca la tierra hermollo de yerva” (F, Gen. 1,11: ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation’); “y ella como aflorecién, creció su hermollo, amaduraron sus racimos uvas” (Asá, Gen. 40,10: ‘It had barely budded, when out came its blossoms and its clusters ripened into grapes’). meldar ‘to read (in general); to read, teach, or study religious texts’ (Blondheim 1925, 75–79, s.v. meletare < Gr. μελετᾶν): “Y meldarlas has a tus hijos” (lit. ‘And you shall read them to your children’, PC, Deut. 6,7); “‫הספר‬: meldar” gloss on Isa. 29,11 (‘he is asked to read it’) in HS. piadades ‘pity, compassion’: “Y el Dio Abastado dé a vós piadades delante el varón” (F, Gen. 43,14: ‘And may El Shaddai dispose the man to mercy toward you’); “y apresuróse Yosef que se sonrujeron sus piadades por su hermano” (Asá, Gen. 43,30: ‘With that, Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome with feeling toward his brother’). Also cf. Blondheim (1925, 90–91, s.v. ✶pietare). For further discussion of some of these words 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish; 15 The lexicography of Judaeo-Spanish.

2.2 Archaisms Many archaisms – Old Spanish words that had disappeared from Peninsular Spanish, as well as from other registers of Judaeo-Spanish since the 16th century – are still part of the traditional Ladino vocabulary (see further examples in Sephiha 1977; Álvarez/ Ariza/Mendoza 1994; Alvar 2000): avezar(se), anvezar(se) ‘to teach, to learn’ (DCECH, s.v. avezar, Sephiha 1977, 256): “yo Adonay tu Dio, abezante para aprovechar” (F, Isa. 48,17: ‘I the Lord am your God, Instructing you for your own benefit’); “non alzará gente a gente espada y non

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


anvezarán más pelea” (Asá, Isa. 2,4: ‘Nation shall not take up Sword against nation; They shall never again know war’). barragán ‘strong, brave’ (Pueyo Mena 2011, 473; Pueyo Mena/Enrique-Arias 2013, 190– 191): “y serán presos sus barraganes” (F, Jer. 51,56: ‘Her warriors shall be captured’); “barragán de caza” (HS, Gen. 10,9: ‘mighty hunter’). enconar(se) ‘to contaminate, to become unclean’ (DCECH, s.v. enconar): “Varón leproso él, enconado él, enconar lo enconará” (F, Lev. 13,44: ‘the man is leprous; he is unclean. The priest shall pronounce him unclean’); “que varón enconado de labios yo” (Asá, Isa. 6,5: ‘For I am a man of unclean lips’). escosa ‘virgin’ < ✶excursa (DCECH, s.v. escosa, Sephiha 1977, 260–261): “Hec, mi hija la escosa y su manceba, sacaré agora a ellas y afligid a ellas” (CFP, Judg. 19,24: ‘Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. Let me bring them out to you. Have your pleasure of them’). espartir(se) ‘to divide, to separate, to spread’ (Alvar 2000, 250–252; Pueyo Mena 2011, 474): “y espartiéronse varón de con su hermano” (F, Gen. 13,11: ‘Thus they parted from each other’); “Tres estos hijos de Nóaḥ; y de estos se espartió toda la tierra” (Asá, Gen. 9,19: ‘These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole world branched out’). estultar ‘to insult, to ashame someone’ / estulto ‘rebuke, menace’ (DCECH, s.v. estulto): “Y dixo Adonay al atorcedor: Estulte Adonay en ti, el atorcedor” (F, Zech. 3,2: ‘But [the angel of] the Lord said to the Accuser, “The Lord rebuke you, O Accuser”’); “Enviará Adonay en ti a la maldición, a la consomición, y a el estulto” (PC, Deut. 28,20: ‘The Lord will let loose against you calamity, panic, and frustration’). romanecer, remanecer ‘to remain, to be left over’ (DCECH, s.v. manido; Pueyo Mena 2013, 281): “y no fue remanecida ninguna verdura” (F, Ex. 10,15: ‘so that nothing green was left’); “y fue romanecida ella y dos sus hijos” (Asá, Ruth 1,3: ‘and she was left, with her two sons’). The preservation of a sheer number of archaisms, such as those shown above, along with the ancient vocabulary presented in Section 2.1, reveals the course towards sacralization undergone by Biblical Judaeo-Spanish. This process would make it more difficult (or less desirable) for the Ladino translators to innovate and renew the traditional vocabulary.

2.3 Lexical creation and readjustment On many occasions, Ladino translators employ several lexical mechanisms to preserve in Judaeo-Spanish the full range of the lexical connotations, meanings, derivative morphology, and even the sounds of the Hebrew words they are translating.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

2.3.1 Neologisms There are two basic mechanisms for creating neologisms in Judaeo-Spanish: a) A new Spanish noun is derived from an existing one, mirroring a derivational pattern that exists in Hebrew. The examples below illustrate the use of the suffix -edad(es) (‘-ity, -ities’) to create an abstract Spanish noun emulating the concrete/abstract derivational pattern of the corresponding Hebrew words, sometimes even preserving the original Hebrew plural number, even though the meaning, as in the case of ‘virginity’, is clearly singular. escosedades (pl.) ‘virginity’ ← escosa ‘virgin’ (see Section 2.2), cf. Heb. ‫תּולים‬ ִ ‫( ְּב‬betulim, m. pl., ‘virginity’) ← (betula, f. sg., ‘virgin’): “A la mujer esta tomé y alleguéme a ella, y non a ella escosedades” (PC, Deut. 22,14: ‘I married this woman; but when I approached her, I found that she was not a virgin’). noviedad(es) ‘wedding’ ← novio ‘groom’, cf. Heb. ‫( ֲח ֻתּנָ ה‬ḥatunna, f. sg., ‘wedding’) ← ‫ָח ָתן‬ (ḥatan, m. sg., ‘groom’): “en corona que encoronó a él su madre, en día de su noviedad y en día alegría de su corazón” (Asá, Song 3,11: ‘Wearing the crown that his mother gave him on his wedding day, on his day of bliss’). b) Verbal derivational morphemes are applied to Judaeo-Spanish nouns to create denominal verbs. In Ladino this is the most productive way to create neologisms that mirror the relation existing in Hebrew between verbs and nouns derived from the same root. The use of prefixes such as a-, de-, en- and the verbal causative endings as -iguar, -ear, or -ecer are very productive to mimic the different Hebrew stems and can be found throughout the Bible. In this procedure, the Spanish noun that becomes the base of the derivation is an exact translation of the Hebrew noun. In the following examples, the different morphemes are separated with dashes: a-cuñad-(e)ar ‘to fulfill the levirate marriage’ ← cuñad-o ‘brother-in-law’, cf. Heb. ‫יבם‬ (verb), ‫( ָיָבם‬noun): “vién a muger de tu hermano y acuñada a ella, y afirma semen a tu hermano” (F, Gen. 38,8: ‘Join with your brother’s wife and do your duty by her as a brother-in-law, and provide offspring for your brother’; see Sephiha 1977, 257). alm-ear ‘to rest (God’s Sabbatical rest)’ ← alm-a ‘soul’, cf. Heb. ‫( נפׁש‬verb), ‫( נֶ ֶפׁש‬noun): “este día el seteno él folgó y almeó” (Asá, Ex. 31,17: ‘and on the seventh day He ceased from work and was refreshed’). a-nub-ear ‘nublar’ ← nub-e ‘cloud’, cf. Heb. ‫( ענן‬verb), ‫( ָענָ ן‬noun): “Y será en mi anubear nube” (PC, F, Gen. 9,14: ‘When I bring clouds over the earth’). a-sabe-nt-ar(se) ‘to grow wise, make someone wise’ ← sabi-o ‘wise’, cf. Heb. ‫( חכם‬verb), ‫( ָח ָכם‬noun): “¿y por qué me asabentí yo estonces demaśiado?” (Asá, Eccles. 2,15: ‘to what advantage, then, have I been wise?’).

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nad-ear ‘to become vain, to make someone vain’ ← nada ‘vain’, cf. Heb. ‫( הבל‬verb), ‫ֶה ֶבל‬ (noun): “¿por qué esto nada nadeades?” (F, Job 27,12: ‘So why talk nonsense?’). The examples presented in Sections 2.1 and 2.2 revealing a strong attachment to a conservative vocabulary, and the lexical creativity of the translators exemplified here (mirroring Hebrew through derivational processes) do not contradict each other. Both are the foundation of a long-established Jewish method of translating the Bible into the Romance varieties.

2.3.2 Semantic extension Many times the translators did not feel it necessary to create new words in order to express the whole range of meanings of a word in Hebrew. They simply applied the full set of Hebrew meanings of the Hebrew lexeme to the same word in Spanish, expanding its range of senses. This was done with almost all words that are equivalent in Spanish and Hebrew, since it is a side effect of the consistent use of the same Spanish lexeme to express a given Hebrew lexeme (see Section 2.5). This is true for both nouns and verbs:5 paz, plural paces, lit. ‘peace’ takes every sense of the Heb. ‫( ָׁשלוֹם‬shalom), which, besides the basic meaning of ‘peace’ as in “tú vernás a tus padres con paz, serás enterrado con caneza buena” (PC, Asá, Gen. 15,15: ‘You shall go to your fathers in peace; You shall be buried at a ripe old age’) is also used with the meaning of ‘plenitude, wholeness, welfare’ in the expression ir a paz ‘to inquire about or to report on someone’s health’. An example for the latter is “anda agora, ve a paz de tus hermanos y a paz de las ovejas y tórname respuesta” (PC, Asá, Gen. 37,14: ‘Go and see how your brothers are and how the flocks are faring, and bring me back word’). engrandecer(se). This verb has two basic meanings in Spanish. The first one is ‘to magnify, enlarge, increase’, see “engrandézcase agora fuerza de Adonay” (PC, Num. 14,17: ‘let my Lord’s forbearance be great’). The second one is ‘to elevate’, cf. “bendezirte é, y engrandeceré tu nombre” (F, Gen. 12,2: ‘And I will bless you; I will make your name great’). These main senses were expanded in Ladino translations with an additional meaning borrowed from the Heb. verb ‫( גדל‬gadal ‘to grow up’): “Y engrandecieron los moços, y fue Hesaú varón sabién de caça” (F, Gen. 25,27: ‘When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter’); “¿Sí a ellos esperaríadeš hasta que se engrandecieren?” (Asá, Ruth 1,13: ‘should you wait for them to grow up?’).

5 See further examples in Sephiha (1977): “acontecimiento” (p. 245), “eñadir” (p. 249), “hermosura” (p. 250), “catar” (p. 250), etc.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

2.3.3 Homophony Occasionally, the translators chose a Spanish word, with a meaning similar to the underlying Hebrew word, for its phonetic resemblance to the word they were translating. For example, atemar ‘finish’ < Ar. tamma ‘to complete, to finish’, whose root is a homophone of the related Heb. ‫( תמם‬tamam ‘to finish’): “fasta atemarlas”, Heb. ‛ad tumam, lit. ‘until they were finished’ (F, Deut. 31,24). Another example is mezquino ‘poor’ (< Ar. miskīn) and mezquindad ‘poverty’ for Heb. ‫( ִמ ְס ֵּכן‬misken) and ‫( ִמ ְס ֵּכנֻ ת‬miskenut), respectively (cf. Sephiha 1973, 71–72, 456–457).6

2.4 Loanwords from Hebrew Since the Bible translations in which Ladino is used were originally meant to help students understand the meaning of all Hebrew words, lexical Hebraisms are scarce.7 Hebrew loans are represented in the aljamiado versions ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations) in their original orthography; that is, they were not adapted to the orthographic aljamiado system used for Judaeo-Spanish (the use of matres lectionis for marking the vowels explicitly or of diacritics to adapt the pronunciation of some consonants to the Judaeo-Spanish phonological system, 16  Graphemics and standardization of Judaeo-Spanish). Most of the Biblical Hebrew words that were retained as such in Ladino can be grouped into the following categories: a) Personal names (anthroponyms, patronyms): Noaḥ (PC, Asá, Gen. 9,20), Elimelekh, Na‘omi, Maḥlon, Khilyon (CFP, Asá, Ruth 1,2), Raḥel (CFP, Asá, Ruth 4,11), among others. b) Toponyms, gentilic adjectives or nouns denoting origin: ’Ashur, Bet Leḥem, Mo’ab, Yisra‘el, etc. or Efrati/Efratim, Moabiyah/Moabiyot, Midyanit, etc. (CFP, Asá).8 In the case of

6 It is not coincidental that the examples presented above are Arabisms. Early translations of the Bible into Judaeo-Arabic, such as Saadia Gaon’s Tafsīr, used the common Semitic origin of many roots in Arabic and Hebrew to provide Arabic equivalents that would sound similar to the target Hebrew form. Some of these Arabic words were preserved in the Jewish Spanish translation tradition that led to the Ladino versions (see Blondheim 1925, 143–149). For other Semitic doubles in Hebrew and Ladino with homophonic resemblance, see Schwarzwald (1995). 7 To get an idea of the ratio of lexical Hebraisms in the Ladino Bibles, Pueyo Mena (2011, 443) documents that the Ḥesheq Shelomo glossary has only some 100 of them out of a total of 50,000 entries. In PC, I have been able to find only 100 different Hebraisms in the entire Bible. For a comprehensive account of Hebraisms in the Ḥesheq Shelomo, see Bunis (1999), and for a general study of Hebraisms in medieval and Ladino translations, see Quintana (2013). 8 Similarly, the latinado versions of the western tradition, i.e., the Ladino versions in Latin letters after the expulsion ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations) did not usually attempt to adapt the names of persons or places to the Christian Spanish tradition, to which its public would have been more accustomed, and usually mere transcriptions of the Hebrew names were provided. In contrast, the medieval Jewish

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Spanish gentilic adjectives, Ferrara’s translators, in most occasions, changed the Hebrew endings -i, -im, -it, -a, -yot, to the Spanish suffixes -ano/-ana (romano ‘Roman’, egipciana ‘Egyptian-f’), -ita (arodita ‘Arodite’), -eo/-ea (efrateo ‘Ephraimite’, filesteo ‘Philistine’, hebrea ‘Hebrew-f’), etc., as the medieval translators had also done in the past. However, as in the case of proper names, neither Ferrara nor the medieval Jewish translators created new Hispanicized versions of less known ethnonyms, and they transcribed them preserving their original Hebrew endings: “y a los zuzim en Ham, y a los emim en Save Chiriataim” (F, Gen. 14,5: ‘the Zuzim at Ham, the Emim at Shaveh-kiriathaim’). c) Words belonging to specific Jewish terminologies, for which exact Spanish equivalents were difficult to find or in cases where it was important to be precise since their meaning was essential to fulfill the religious dietary laws. Those include: – Animals: The names of animals forbidden and allowed for consumption in Lev. 11,4–30 were preserved in their Hebrew forms for those animals less known to the translators and whose exact meanings remain uncertain to this day: da’a, ’ayya, aḥmas, and so forth alongside translations in the case of common and well-known animals such as gamello (‘camel’), conejo (‘rabbit’), and liebre (‘hare’) (PC). Ferrara translators did translate the names of all animals listed in the mentioned passage from Leviticus, but they still decided to maintain two kinds of locust untranslated (hareghol, haghab). – Precious stones and metals: shoham, tarshish, yoshpeh (PC, vs. Arragel “cristal e jaspe e carbónculo”, Ex. 28,20), ’ufaz (SLP, vs. F “oro fino”, Isa. 13,12), ḥashmal (SLP, vs. E4 “diamante”, Ezek. 1,4), sapir (SLP, Ezek. 1,26), ramot, kadkod (SLP, vs. F “corales y perla”, Ezek. 27,16), gabish (SLP, vs. E3 “bálax e turquesa”, Job 28,18). – Cardinal points: The following example shows how aljamiado Ladino Bibles used both Biblical and post-Biblical Hebrew names for the points of the compass: “del lugar que tú allí a ŝafón, y a darom, y a mizraḥ, y a ma’arab” (PC, Gen. 13,14: ‘from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west’). Ferrara, on the other hand, translates all of them: “del lugar que tú allí septentrión y al meridión, y al oriente y al occidente.” d) Terms, concepts, and dates associated with Jewish religious practices: Pesaḥ (‘Passover’) (PC, Lev. 23,5), R’osh ḥodesh (‘first of the month’) (CFP, 1 Sam. 20,24), Shabu‛ot (‘feast of weeks’) (PC, Deut. 16,10), Shabbat (‘Sabbath’) (PC, Ex. 16,25), ḥameṣ (‘leaven’) (PC, Deut. 16,3), gid hanashe (‘sinew of the thigh-vein’) (PC, Gen. 32,33), merorim (‘bitter herbs’) (PC, Num. 9,11), mezuza (‘mezuzah’) (SLP, Ezek. 43,8), ṣedaqa (‘righteousness, charity’) (SLP, Isa. 1,27), tamid (‘offering’) (SLP, Dan. 8,11), kohen (‘priest’) (PC, Ex. 29,30), ṣiṣit (‘fringe’) (PC, Num. 15,38), sha‛atnez (‘garment’) (PC, Deut. 22,11), shemitah translators did provide the Christian version for the most common characters and places in the Bible, as part of an accommodation to a non-Jewish audience: compare Hava, Moseh, or Selomoh in the Ferrara Bible (western tradition) to Eva, Mosén, or Salomón in the Arragel Bible (medieval). Nonetheless, they did not attempt to modify or Hispanicize other, less well-known Hebrew names, and they provided an approximate transcription of the Hebrew: “e mataron a Sesay e Achiman e Talmay” (Arragel, Judg. 1,10: Heb. va-yaku et-Sheshay ve-et-Aḥiman ve-et-Talmay ‘and they defeated Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai’).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

(‘fallow’) (PC, Deut. 15,1), mamzer (‘bastard’) (PC, Deut. 23,3), yobel (‘jubilee’) (PC, Lev. 25,10), kerub/kerubim (‘angelic being’) (SLP, Ex. 25,19), gehinam (‘hell’) (SLP, Isa. 14,15). e) Sometimes, rather than retaining the Biblical Hebrew words, post-Biblical Hebrew synonyms are given as equivalents for a Hebrew lexeme. These terms were sometimes part of the common Judaeo-Spanish religious vocabulary. For example, Heb. ohalim (‘tents’, Gen. 25,27) is translated as midrashot (PC) or Heb. gad (‘luck’, Gen. 30,11) as mazal ‘luck’ (PC, Asá, in contrast to F ventura ‘fortune, luck’); Heb. yobel (‘horn’, Ex. 19,13) as shofar ‘ram’s horn trumpet’ (PC, Asá, F). At other times these terms were borrowed from a commentary. For example, Abraham Asá translates Heb. kenafav (‘his wings’) as “su šejiná” (‘his shekhinah’, ‘his Divine Presence’; cf. Ruth 2,12) only to avoid applying physical features to God. f) Nevertheless, sporadic Hebraisms that do not fit into any of the previous categories can also be found, such as “si te rigmiere, ṭob, rigma” (Asá, Ruth 3,13: ‘if he will act as a redeemer, good! let him redeem’), cf. Heb. ’im yig’alekh ṭob yig’al, where Asá retains the common Hebrew word ṭob (‘good/well’), probably because it was already part of the common Judaeo-Spanish speech.

2.5 Consistency in lexical selection In the Sephardic Bible translations, each Hebrew lexeme must have a corresponding Romance equivalent to be used throughout the entire Bible, so the use of synonyms to embellish the translation is not encouraged, unless there is a traditional or exegetical reason to do so. The final goal of these translations is to mirror or to let the underlying Hebrew original show through. This requires that the Romance translation mimic the repetitive use of a word in the original. For example, in the Book of Ruth, Asá translates all 54 occurrences of the Hebrew root ‫’( אמר‬amar ‘to say’) as decir (idem), all 18 occurrences of ‫( בוא‬bo’ ‘to come’) as venir (idem), and all 18 occurrences of ‫( הלך‬halakh ‘to walk’) as andar (idem) (cf. Pueyo Mena 2013). There are, though, admissible general exceptions to this rule: a) Hebrew lexemes with two or more contextual meanings; for example, the 1,847 occurrences of Heb. ‫( ִאיׁש‬ish ‘man’) are consistently rendered in Ferrara as varón (‘man’) when it carries a generic meaning (1,537 cases), but as marido when its meaning is ‘husband’ (60 cases) or as cada uno ‘each one’ when used as an indefinite (250 cases). b) Hebrew verbs whose different stems affect the semantics of the word in a particular passage; for example, Heb. ‫( ילד‬yalad) is translated by Asá as parir (‘to give birth’) when in qal, but as engendrar (‘to conceive’) when in hiph‘il (for an overview and explanation of Hebrew verb stems see Section 3.4.3). c) Hebrew lexemes whose meaning is modified by an attached particle; for example, the interrogative particle -‫( ֲה‬ha-) is usually translated with a specialized Spanish

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


question introducer sí: “¿Sí se encubrirá de Adonay cosa?” (F, Gen. 18,14: ‘Is anything too wondrous for the Lord? [lit. Whether will be hidden from the Lord anything?]’), but when the interrogative particle attaches to the negative particle ‫לא‬ (lo), then it is translated with an affirmative construction: “De cierto, toda la tierra delante ti” (F, Gen. 13,9: ‘Is not the whole land before you? [lit. Certainly, the whole land before you]’).

3 Morphosyntax In order to minimize any interpretative rendering of the Hebrew text – a task more suited for the exegetes than for the translators – and in order to preserve the linguistic essence of the Hebrew text, the translation model requires that all Hebrew grammatical categories and their morphology be preserved in Judaeo-Spanish.

3.1 Nouns 3.1.1 Gender Since preserving the grammatical gender of all Hebrew nouns and adjectives would make the act of translation practically impossible, this is not a requirement of the model, although many times such preservation of gender occurs as a side effect of it, particularly in syntactic contexts.9 For example, we sometimes find a masculine clitic pronoun (e.g., lo) referencing a feminine noun (e.g., la cosa) that is masculine in Hebrew; the clitic was translated literally to preserve the original Hebrew gender of the pronoun, thus making the sentence ungrammatical due to the lack of agreement between the noun and the pronoun: “la cosa que se endurecirá de vós, allegáredes a mí, y oírlo he” ‘the-f matter-f that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it-m’ (PC, Deut. 1,17).10 We also find many nouns that retain their Spanish gender ending while their determiners follow the Hebrew, e.g., “La fuego la grande la esta” ‘the-f fire-m the-f great the-f this-f’ (PC, Deut. 18:16: ‘this wondrous fire’, but see F “El fuego el grande este” ‘the-m fire-m the-m great this-m’). However, some examples of lexical, rather than syntactic, gender borrowing can also be found: “con poder fuerte y con braza tendida” ‘with a mighty hand and an outstretched-f arm-f’ (PC, Deut. 5,15), where braza is a feminine creation derived from standard brazo ‘arm-m’.

9 Cf. Sephiha (1973, 54–65: “Le genre. Calques génériques”) and Kohring (1996). 10 For the word order in these examples, see Section 3.2.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

3.1.2 Number Contrary to gender, Hebrew grammatical number11 is usually preserved (except for the dual, which does not exist in Spanish and is expressed by plural endings), even in those cases in which Spanish and Hebrew might differ, such as with collective nouns or pluralia tantum, as in (Hebrew plural or dual morphemes are underlined in the transcriptions): Heb. ‫ ַחּיִ ים‬/ ḥayyim ‘life’: Heb. ‫ ַא ַּפיִ ם‬/ ’apayim ‘nostrils’: Heb.‫ ָּפניִ ם‬/ panim ‘face’:

“renflo d’esprito de vidas”, ‘the breath of life-pl’ (HS, Gen. 2,7); “y asopló en sus narices”, ‘He blew into his nostrils’ (HS, Gen. 2,7); “echóse sobre sus faces”, ‘She prostrated herself with her face-pl’ (Asá, Ruth 2,10).

On many occasions the collective singular in Hebrew is preserved in Spanish, as in “y la ave” Heb. ‫( וְ ָהעוֹף‬ve-ha-‘of) ‘and the birds-sg’ (HS, Gen. 1,22). As in the cases of the absence of syntactic gender agreement, grammatical number agreement issues can also arise, due to the word-by-word system of translation: “esto cuarenta años” ‘this forty years’ (PC, Deut. 2,7), in contrast to F: “estos cuarenta años” ‘these forty years’. Finally, maintaining the underlying Hebrew grammatical number sometimes makes the Judaeo-Spanish text almost impossible to understand, e.g., “cercano a nós el varón, de nuestro regmidor él” (Asá, Ruth 2,20: ‘the man is related to us; he is one of our redeeming kinsmen’ [lit. ‘near to us the man, of our kinsman he’]).

3.2 Adjectives Since Biblical Hebrew makes use of far fewer adjectives than the Romance languages do, in order to maintain the Hebrew grammatical categories, Ladino translators make extensive use of prepositional phrases as noun modifiers that substitute for existing Spanish adjectives: “reteñideras de oír, reteñideras de aublación”, lit. ‘cymbals of hearinf, cymbals of howling’, that is, ‘resounding cymbals, loud-clashing cymbals’ (SLP, Ps. 150,5). Another example is “corona de fermosura”, lit. ‘crown of beauty’ (F, Isa. 62,3) When an attributive Hebrew adjective is present, it usually agrees in gender, number, and determination with the noun it modifies. That is also true for Ladino translations. For example, Heb. ha-yam ha-gadol is translated as “la mar la grande” (PC, Num. 34,6) instead of la mar grande ‘the Great Sea’. This ungrammatical agreement in

11 See Sephiha (1973, 65–67: “Le nombre. Calques numéraux”).

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


determination is also extended to the demonstratives: Heb. ha-yarden ha-zeh “el Yardén el este” (PC, Gen. 32,11) instead of el Yardén este ‘this Jordan’.

3.3 Articles, demonstratives, pronouns, prepositions, and  other particles 3.3.1 Articles As shown above, determination of nouns and adjectives follows Hebrew syntax. All four Spanish definite articles (el/la/los/las ‘the’) are used to translate the equivalent Heb. -‫ַה‬ (ha-). However, since in Hebrew there are no explicit indefinite articles like the Spanish un, una (English ‘a/an’), Ladino translators simply omit them: “Y plantó Adonay Dio ø huerto en Hedén” (PC, F, Asá, Gen. 2,8: ‘The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east’). The forms un, una appear in Ladino only when used as numerals. In those cases in which the Hebrew numerals ‫א ַחת‬, ַ ‫’( ֶא ָחד‬eh. ad, ’aḥat ‘one’) are used to convey indefiniteness, Ladino translators do use the corresponding Romance numerals uno/una, but they make no attempt to invert the word order as required in Romance: “Y fue varón uno, de una de las Ramoth” (F, 1 Sam. 1,1: ‘There was a man from Ramathaim’); “Y dixo Moseh a Aharón: Toma botija una” (F, Ex. 16,33: ‘And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar”’).

3.3.2 Demonstratives The Hebrew proximal demonstratives ‫זֶ ה‬, ‫זאת‬, ‫( ֵא ֶּלה‬ze, zot, elle, ‘this-m, this-f, these’) are easily rendered with their Judaeo-Spanish equivalents este/esta, and estos/estas. The Hebrew distal demonstratives ‫הּוא‬, ‫היא‬,ִ ‫הם‬,ֵ ‫( ֵהן‬hu’, hi, hem, hen ‘that-m, that-f, those-m, those-f’) are equally translated by their Romance counterparts ese, esa, esos, esas, respectively. Most of the time (but see Section 3.1.1 above for exceptions), demonstratives are adapted to the correct grammatical gender in Judaeo-Spanish. Since Hebrew (like English) has only two degrees of proximity in its system of demonstratives (near, distant) while Judaeo-Spanish has three (proximal este/esta, distant ese/esa, and remote aquel/aquella), the third degree (remote) is practically never used in Ladino translations. For example, the Ferrara Bible and the Pentateuch of Constantinople (PC) have only ten occurrences, out of hundreds of possible uses for aquel/aquella. However, these rare cases demonstrate that remote demonstratives were part of the translators’ linguistic system, as this example from the prologue of Ḥesheq Shelomo (HS) also shows: “la más prefecta [lengua] y más usada en aquel tienpo” ‘the most perfect and most used [language] of that-[remote] time’.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

3.3.3 Possessives While Hebrew expresses possession by means of pronominal suffixes, Ladino, as all other Romance languages, uses unattached possessive pronouns. Since every word is translated as a whole with all its affixes, there is no interference in this respect from Hebrew to Ladino. However, there are many cases in which Judaeo-Spanish would use a possessive pronoun where Hebrew does not. For example, when Hebrew uses a prepositional or relative construction, rather than a suffix, to express possession, Ladino translators reproduce the same structure: “los mozos que a mí [. . .] toda la segada que a mí” (Asá, Ruth 2,21: Heb. ‘hane‛arim ’asher li [. . .] kol haqaṣir ’asher li ‘my workers [. . .] all my harvest’, lit. ‘young men that to me [. . .] all the harvest that to me’), instead of the standard mis mozos and toda mi segada, respectively.

3.3.4 Clitics As in the case of possession, Hebrew can express pronominal direct and indirect objects both by means of suffixes and by means of prepositional structures. Judaeo-Spanish, like Standard Spanish, makes extensive use of clitics (la, le, lo, las, les, los) to express pronominal direct and indirect objects, and thus, they are used when Hebrew verbs present an indirect or direct object suffix. But, as in the case of possessives, Ladino translators sometimes use the prepositional construction of the underlying Hebrew even when Judaeo-Spanish requires a clitic instead. Furthermore, they may omit the pronominal object entirely if it is implied and not overtly expressed in Hebrew. The following example shows all three cases in the same verse: “y los juicios que les avezarás, y ø harán en la tierra que yo dán a ellos por heredarla” (PC, Deut. 5,31: Heb. ‘ve-ha-mishpatim ’asher telammedem ve-‛asu ba-’areṣ ’asher ’anokhi noten lahem le-rishtah’, ‘and the rules that you shall impart to them, for them to observe in the land that I am giving them to possess’).

3.3.5 Prepositions Hebrew prepositions usually have a Ladino counterpart, which allows for a perfectly grammatical translation. However, there are cases in which the preposition selected by a verb is very different in Hebrew and Judaeo-Spanish. In such cases, translators stick to the Romance equivalents of the Hebrew prepositions, altering the standard preposition choice of the Spanish verbs to mirror the one Hebrew uses (see Amigo Espada 1981, 58–59). There are many examples in which, although the Spanish verb would not require a preposition, a Romance equivalent to the underlying Hebrew preposition was added: “oyiste en mi voz” (Asá, PC, F, Gen. 22,18: ‘you have obeyed My command’, lit. ‘you heard in my voice’).

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


3.3.6 Other particles Let us consider just two examples of other Hebrew so-called particles and how they are translated into Ladino (see additional cases in their syntactic context in Section 4): a) Hebrew direct object marker ‫’( ֵאת‬et ‘to’) is an example of unnecessary translation into Spanish in some cases. That is because, although Judaeo-Spanish, like all forms of Spanish, uses a as direct object marker for animate direct objects, the Hebrew marker is used with both animate and inanimate direct objects. This extended use of the object marker is found in Ladino translations: “crió el Dio a los cielos” [lit. ‘created God to the heavens’] (F, PC, Asá, Gen. 1,1). b) The Hebrew interjection ‫( ִהּנה‬hinneh ‘behold’) is always translated with the same Judaeo-Spanish words: either hec12 (PC, Asá) or hé (F). In medieval Bibles there is a little more variation: although the interjections ahé and hé are also the most common choices (for example, E3 uses them 800 times to translate hinneh), other parts of speech are also used to express its contextual meaning, such as catar (‘to look, to pay attention’), cierto (‘truly’), evás (‘behold’), and ver (‘to look, to see’), or very frequently it is just left untranslated.

3.4 The verb system Perhaps the most subtle feature of the Ladino translations is their strict adherence to a deliberately restricted subset of Spanish conjugations, aspects, and modals to translate the Hebrew verbal system (Amigo Espada 1981; Bossong 1990; Del Barco 2004; Pueyo Mena 2011; 2012; 2013). In other words, the Ladino verbal system lacks many of the Romance verbal tenses. Two of the most common simple tenses both in Judaeo-Spanish and Spanish – the present (canto ‘I sing’) and the imperfect (cantaba ‘I was singing, I used to sing’) – only appear occasionally in Ladino.13 Their subjunctive mood counterparts do appear very frequently, although with a different distribution than in general Judaeo-Spanish, as shown below. Ladino also lacks compound tenses such as the Standard Spanish analytic perfect (he cantado ‘I have sung’), pluperfect (había cantado ‘I had sung’), past anterior (hube cantado ‘I had sung’), or the future perfect (habré cantado ‘I will have sung’), as well as all their subjunctive mood counterparts (for tenses in Judaeo-Spanish 18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish). The following sections offer a condensed analysis of the main correspondences between the Hebrew and Ladino 12 For further information and etymological explanations of this Judaeo-Spanish interjection, see Sachs (1936), Steiger (1951, 344), and Nehama (1977, s.v. eg/ek). 13 Del Barco (2004, 258, 263) collects examples of both tenses in the Ferrara Bible, e.g.: “[. . .] carrera de humildes atuerçen y varón y su padre andan a la moça” ‘and [they] turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid’ (Amos 2,7) and “Y ella se santificava de su enconamiento” ‘for she was purified from her uncleanness’ (2 Sam. 11,4).


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

verbal systems. For the subjects treated in Sections 3.4.2–3.4.4, also see Amigo Espada (1981, 52–58).

3.4.1 Hebrew participles and infinitives The Old Spanish present participle in its archaic apocopated form (i.e., cantán vs. cantante) was adopted by Ladino translators to formally express the multiple meanings of the Hebrew active participle, which had no exact equivalent in the Romance languages. The ultimate purpose of the translators for recovering this archaic Spanish verbal form was to differentiate it from other Judaeo-Spanish verbal forms, in order to make sure that their readers were aware of the underlying Hebrew form for which it stands. For example: “avolán o asoplán” Heb. ‫( ְמ ַר ֶח ֶפת‬meraḥefet ‘(he) moving upon’) (HS, Gen. 1,2), or “Y vido que enforteciénse [Heb. ‫ ִמ ְת ַא ֶמ ֶצת‬/ mit’ammeṣet] ella por andar con ella” (Asá, Ruth 1,18: ‘she saw that (she) strengthening-herself to go with her’). Sometimes, though, the Hebrew active participle is translated with other verbal forms, such as the preterite, e.g., “vino” (Heb. ‫ ָּבא‬ba’ ‘she came’, Asá, Ruth 2,4), or with a noun, reflecting the nominal nature of the Hebrew participle: “tu conocedor” (Asá, Ruth 2,19: Heb. ‫ ַמ ִּכ ֵירְך‬makkirekh, lit. ‘your discerning one’, meaning ‘he who took such generous notice of you’). Regarding the Hebrew passive participle, Ladino translators mostly translate it as a Romance past participle with an adjectival rather than verbal sense, e.g., “meneado y esmovido” (HS, Gen. 4,12: Heb. ‫ נָ ע וָ נָ ד‬na‘ va-nad ‘wander-pst.ptcp and tremble-pst.ptcp’) or “bendicha” (Asá, Ruth 3,10: Heb. ‫רּוכה‬ ָ ‫ ְּב‬berukha ‘blessed-pst.ptcp’). When the Hebrew passive participle is determined by an article, its Judaeo-Spanish counterpart is equally nominalized by means of a Romance article: “el parado” (Asá, Ruth 2,5: Heb. ‫ַהּנִ ָצב‬ ha-niṣṣav ‘the set-over-pst.ptcp’). Finally, there is a systematic use, with very few exceptions, of Romance infinitives used to translate Hebrew constructions with an infinitive: “en mi anubear” (HS, Gen. 9,14: Heb. ‫ ְּב ַענְ נִ י‬be-‘aneni ‘in my cloud-inf’, meaning ‘when I bring a cloud’) or “en su yacer” (Asá, Ruth 3,4: Heb. ‫ ְב ָׁש ְכבוֹ‬beshokhvo ‘in his lie-down-inf’), etc. It is also particular to Ladino translations (as well as to medieval Jewish translations into Spanish) to consistently preserve in Romance the Hebrew absolute infinitive constructions: “denuciar fue denuciado” (Asá, Ruth 2,11: Heb. ‫ ֻהּגד ֻהּגַ ד‬hugged huggad ‘declare-inf was declared’) or “yerrar yerraredeš” (Asá, Ruth 2,16: Heb. ‫ ׁש ֹל ָּתׁש ֹּלּו‬shol tashollu ‘fall-inf’).

3.4.2 Hebrew mood Hebrew cohortatives (volitional forms for first person) are translated as Romance future tense verbs: “Andaré [Heb. ‫ ֵא ְל ָכה‬/ ’elkha ‘I will walk’] agora a el campo” (Asá, Ruth 2,2: ‘I would like to go to the fields’). Ladino uses the present, in subjunctive mood,

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


to express the corresponding Hebrew jussive verbs (volitional forms for both first and third person): “se mochigüe” (HS, Gen. 1,22: Heb. ‫ יִ ֶרב‬yirev ‘may (it) multiply’), or “haga [Heb. ‫ יַ ַעׂש‬/ ya‘as ‘may make’] Adonay con vós merced” (Asá, Ruth 1,8: ‘May the Lord deal kindly with you’). Depending on the context of the passage being translated, jussives can also be rendered with the future tense: “eñadirá” (Asá, Ruth 1,17: Heb. ‫יוֹסיף‬ ִ yosif ‘he will add’), “y será llamado” (Asá, Ruth 4,14: Heb. ‫ וְ יִ ָּק ֵרא‬ve-yiqqare’ ‘he will be named’). Finally, the Hebrew “imperative” (volitive second person form) is translated with the corresponding Judaeo-Spanish imperatives: “y sochiguadla y podestad” (HS, Gen. 1,28: Heb. ‫ וְ ִכ ְב ֻׁש ָה ְּורדּו‬ve-khibshuha u-redu, lit. ‘and, and’) or “andad [Heb. ‫ ֵל ְכנָ ה‬/ lekhna ‘’], tornad [Heb. ‫ ּׁש ְֹבנָ ה‬/ shobna ‘’]” (Asá, Ruth 1,8), although sometimes the present subjunctive is also used, e.g., “y halledeš (Heb. ָ ‫ּומ ֶצאן‬ ְ / u-meṣe’na ‘(you) find-sbjv’)” (Asá, Ruth 1,9).

3.4.3 Hebrew stems The Hebrew simple active qal stem is translated into Ladino with verbal expressions in the active voice. The niph’al (passive of the qal stem), hoph’al (passive of the causative hiph’il), and pu’al (another passive causative/intensive stem) are consistently translated in all Biblical Ladino versions as analytic passives, e.g., “sean apañadas” (HS, Gen. 1,9: Heb. ‫יִ ָּקוּו‬ yiqqavu ‘’), or “y fue romanecida [Heb. ‫ וַ ִּת ָּׁש ֵאר‬/ va-ttishsha’er ‘and’] ella y dos sus hijos” (Asá, Ruth 1,3). The pi’el stem usually has an intensive meaning. This stem and the related stems pilpel and pilel, as well as the corresponding passive stems po’el and polel, are translated by means of Ladino verbs that inherently possess an intensive meaning. Thus, no particular Romance grammatical form became specialized to show the formal relationship between the qal and pi’el forms of Hebrew verbs, e.g., “encomendí” for Heb. ‫יתי‬ ִ ִ‫( ִצּו‬ṣivviti ‘I commanded’): “de cierto encomendí a los mozos por non tocarte” (Asá, Ruth 2,9: ‘I have ordered the men not to molest you’). The hithpa’el stem (reflexive and reciprocal of the pi’el stem) – and the related stems hithpalpel and histaphel, as well as the passive hithpo’el stem – are translated into Ladino with the Romance reflexive, e.g., “la espada la trastornánse” (PC, F, Asá, Gen. 3,24: Heb. ‫ ַה ֶח ֶרב ַה ִמ ְת ַה ֶּפ ֶכת‬/ ha-ḥerev ha-mithapekhet, lit. ‘the sword the turning.itself’) or “y encorvóse” (Asá, Ruth 2,10: Heb. ‫ וַ ִּת ְׁש ַּתחּו‬/ va-tishtaḥu ‘she prostrated.herself’). This practice was followed even in those cases in which the reflexive is combined with the apocopated present participle, as the first example shows. Finally, the hiph’il stem (usually conveying a causative action of the verb) is translated many times with an analytic Romance causative structure: hacer ‘to make’ + verb, e.g., “que hizo amargar (Heb. ‫ ֵה ַמר‬/ hemar lit. ‘He made me bitter’) el Abastado a mí muncho” (Asá, Ruth 1,20: ‘for Shaddai has made my lot very bitter’). However, the semantic causative meaning of the Hebrew verb may already be encoded in the


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

semantics of the Romance verb, in which case the analytic construction with auxiliary hacer may not be necessary: “non la avergüencedeš” Heb. ‫ימּוה‬ ָ ‫( ַת ְכ ִל‬takhlimuha ‘do not her’) (Asá, Ruth 2,15).

3.4.4 Hebrew aspect Ladino uses a rather simplified temporal system in order to render the four different aspectual forms of the Hebrew verb.14 Hebrew verbs in the perfective are almost always expressed with the Spanish preterite tense: “non cató” (HS, Gen. 4,5: Heb. ‫לֹא‬ ‫ ָׁש ָעה‬/ lo’ sha‘a ‘He paid no heed’) or “que oyó (Heb. ‫ ָׁש ְמ ָעה‬/ sham‘a ‘she heard’) en campos de Moab que ya visitó (Heb. ‫י־פ ַקד‬ ָ ‫ ִ ּֽכ‬/ ki-faqad ‘that’) Adonay” (Asá, Ruth 1,6: ‘for in the country of Moab she had heard that the Lord had taken note’). There are, however, isolated exceptions to this rule. For example, we may also find a Romance verb in subjunctive mood, when the irrealis contextual meaning of the passage requires it: “aunque dijere [Heb. ‫ ָא ַמ ְר ִּתי‬/ ’amarti ‘said.1sg.pfv’]: ‘Hay a mí esperanza’, también si fuera [Heb. ‫יתי‬ ִ ִ‫ ָהי‬/ hayiti ‘went.1sg.pfv’] esta noche a varón, y también si pariere [Heb. ‫ יָ ַל ְד ִּתי‬/ yaladti ‘give.birth.1sg.pfv’) hijos” (Asá, Ruth 1,12: ‘Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I were married tonight and I also bore sons’). For the Hebrew consecutive imperfective (that is, an imperfective form preceded by the letter vav, meaning ‘and’ and conveying a perfective aspect), Ladino also uses the Romance preterite tense and always translates the vav as a Spanish conjuction y (‘and’): “y asopló” Heb. ‫( וַ ּיִ ַּפח‬va-yipaḥ ‘and He blew’) (HS, Gen 2,7) or “y anduvo [Heb. ‫ וַ ֶּילְך‬/ va-yelekh ‘and’] varón de Bet Léḥem Yehudá” (Asá, Ruth 1,1: ‘and a man of Bethlehem in Judah [. . .] went’). Hebrew imperfective forms are almost always rendered as Romance future tenses: “porné” (HS Gen. 3,15: Heb. ‫ ָא ִׁשית‬/ ’ashit ‘I will put’) or “contigo tornaremos [Heb. ‫ נָ ׁשּוב‬/ nashuv, ‘we will return with you’] a tu pueblo” (Asá, Ruth 1,10). Likewise, the Hebrew consecutive perfective (that is, a perfective form preceded by a vav, conveying an imperfective aspect) is mostly translated as a Romance future, and also, the vav is always translated as y ‘and’: “y serán abiertos” (HS, Gen. 3,5: Heb. ‫ וְ נִ ְפ ְקחּו‬/ ve-nifqeḥu ‘they will be opened’) or “¿y serán [Heb. ‫ וְ ָהיּו‬/ ve-hayu ‘and will they be’] a vós por maridos?” (Asá, Ruth 1,11: ‘who might be husbands for you?’).15

14 The Biblical Hebrew verbal inflection system includes different forms for perfective and imperfective aspect, expressing completed actions (typically referring to the past) and non-completed, ongoing, or habitual actions (typically referring to the future), respectively. In addition, Biblical Hebrew has a so-called inversive, consecutive, or conversive conjunction v- (lit. ‘and’), which when prefixed to a verb indicates that the normal aspect of the verb form should be reversed. Thus, verbs in the perfective aspect prefixed by a vav-conversive are interpreted as imperfective, and vice versa. 15 There are also exceptions to this rule, and other Romance tenses are sometimes found for these forms. For example, to convey a permanent action or state, sometimes the Romance simple present

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


4 Word order: a sequential positional translation model The most salient feature common to all post-medieval Jewish translations is summarized on the cover of the Ferrara Bible in 1553, which reads: “traduzida palabra por palabra de la verdad hebraica” (‘translated word by word from the Hebrew truth’). This means that each word in the Hebrew text must be translated either with a single Romance word (if possible) or with more than one (if not possible). That is, the translators follow the method of translation that Kohring (1996) has called sequential positional translation, where each Hebrew word is to be translated in its place, so that the order of the original Hebrew is strictly preserved. To follow this calque method two complementary actions must be taken: a)


All Hebrew words must be translated. A word here is understood to be a written sequence between two blank spaces, containing one or more Hebrew formants. By this strict definition, some Hebrew particles not required in Judaeo-Spanish still need to be translated, sometimes resulting in Romance structures that would normally be ungrammatical. Consider the following example: “y si te asedecieres y andarás a los atuendos y beberás” (Asá, Ruth 2,9: lit. ‘and if you get thirsty, and you will go to the jars, and you will drink’), where the second y just reflects a Hebrew consecutive vav (cf. Sections 3.4.4 and 4.1). Any required Romance words that do not have a correspondence in Hebrew must be omitted. This is the counterpart of the previous principle: If Spanish requires a word, such as an object pronoun or a copulative verb, that does not appear in the original, then it must be omitted from the Spanish translation, even if this results in an ungrammatical sentence. For example: “midió seš medidas de cebadas, y puso ø sobre ella”, lit. ‘he measured six measures of barley, and laid ø on her’ (Ruth 3,15). The most salient example for this is the consistent elision of the Spanish copulative verb ser ‘to be’ when the underlying Hebrew text does not require a verb: compare Ferrara’s translation “y el río el cuarto ø el Éufrates”, lit. ‘and the river the fourth ø the Euphrates’ to Arragel’s medieval version “e el nombre del cuarto río es Éufrates”, lit. ‘and the name of the fourth river is Euphrates’ (Gen. 2,14).

The following paragraphs present a condensed summary of examples showing some syntactic structures in Biblical Hebrew and how they are mirrored in post-medieval Ladino. They provide examples from both Sephardic traditions, western (Ferrara) and eastern (PC, SLP, CFP, Asá) and complement them, for the sake of comparison, with the same fragments as translated in the Medieval Jewish codices from Spain.

tense is used. Furthermore, one can also find some examples of the Romance imperfective preterite being used to translate a Hebrew perfective or a consecutive perfective, such as when they express a habitual action in the past.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

4.1 Coordination and subordination 4.1.1 Conditional clauses a) In conditional clauses, the Hebrew consecutive vav particle (cf. Section 3.4.4) is translated as a superfluous or redundant (and thus ungrammatical in Spanish) copulative conjunction in Ladino. The second Spanish conjunction y ‘and’ reflects the vav consecutive of the Hebrew. By translating it explicitly, the conditional structure in Ladino is broken, something we do not find in the medieval translations: (1)

‫וְ ִאם־לֹא יַ ְחּפֹץ ְל ָג ֳֽא ֵלְך ּוגְ ַא ְל ִּתיְך ָאנ ִֹכי‬ and-if-not to-redeem.inf-you y si non enveluntare por regmirte, E si non te quisiere cobrar,

(Ruth 3,13)

and-redeem.1sg.pfv-you I y regmirte he yo (Asá) ø yo te cobraré (Oxford) ‘but if he does not want to act as redeemer for you, I will do so myself’ b) Real conditionals, introduced by Hebrew ’im, ki, or hen: Example (2) shows how both the Ladino and the medieval translators correctly paired Heb. ’im and Ladino si ‘if’ for this type of conditional sentences. Example (3) shows that the conditional meaning of these Hebrew structures is not conveyed by the Ladino rendering of particles ki or hen, which are instead translated by the temporal conjunction cuando ‘when’ (instead of a Romance conditional si structure as in the E3 version). (2)

‫ִאם ִּת ְהיּו ָכמֹנּו‬ if as-we si seredes como nós (F) si fuerdes tales como nós (Arragel) ‘that you will become like us’


‫י־ת ְמ ָצא ִאיׁש לֹא ְת ָב ְר ֶכּנּו‬ ִ ‫ִ ּֽכ‬ man not cuando hallares varón, non lo bendigas (CFP) si fallares omne non lo salves (E3) ‘If you meet anyone, do not greet him’

(Gen. 34,15)

(2 Kings 4,29)

c) Irrealis conditionals, usually introduced by the Hebrew particle lu or the related particle lule’. In example (4) we can see that Constantinople’s Former Prophets (CFP) translates the second ki of the Hebrew conditional construction as que ‘that’, which is

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


not needed in Romance conditional clauses, whereas the E3 manuscript avoided it and came up with a grammatical Spanish conditional construction. (4)

‫י־ע ָּתה ַׁש ְבנּו זֶ ה ַפ ֲע ָ ֽמיִ ם‬ ַ ‫לּולא ִה ְת ַמ ְה ָמ ְהנּו ִ ּֽכ‬ ֵ ‫ִּכי‬ (Gen. 43,10) that if-not lingered.1pl.pfv that-now return.1pl.pfv this Que si non nos detardaramos, que agora nos tornaramos estas E si non nos detardáramos ø ya oviéramos tornado time.dual dos veces (PC) dos vezes (E3) ‘For we could have been there and back twice if we had not dawdled’

4.1.2 Final/resultative clauses a) Final/resultative clauses are typically formed with the Hebrew particles le + infinitive, ’asher, ve + imperative, among others. The aljamiado versions (PC, SLP, CFP) and the Ferrara Bible (F) translate the Hebrew particles le, ’asher, and ve with their literal, uncontextualized Romance equivalents por, que, or y, with no attempt to adapt or change them according to their syntactic context. By contrast, medieval translators used standard Romance mechanisms (por que or por amor que) to convey the final/resultative meaning of the original. (5)

‫וַ ּיַ ֲע ֶלה ַא ְח ָאב ֶל ֱאכֹל וְ ִל ְׁשּתוֹת‬ Ahab to-eat.inf Y subió Aḥab por comer E fuese Achab a comer ‘and Ahab went up to eat and drink’

(1 Kings 18,42) and- to-drink.inf y por beber (CFP) e a bever (Arragel)


‫ת־ד ָב ָרי ֲא ֶׁשר יִ ְל ְמדּון ְליִ ְר ָאה א ִֹתי‬ ְ ‫וְ ַא ְׁש ִמ ֵעם ֶא‬ and- 1sg-let.hear.ipfv-them to- words-my y hazerlos he oír a mis palabras, e fazerles he oír mis palabras

(Deut. 4,10)

that to-fear.inf me que deprenderán para temer a mí (F) por que se enseñen para temer de mí (E3) ‘and I will let them hear My words, in order that they may learn to revere Me’ (7)

‫ּוב ְרכּו ֶאת־נַ ֲח ַלת יְ הָֹוֽה‬ ָ ‫ּוב ָמה ֲא ַכ ֵּפר‬ ַ and- with-what 1sg-make.atonement.ipfv Y ¿con qué perdonaré, ¿o qué emienda queredes,

(2 Sam. 21,3)


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena to- inheritance.cs YHW’’H y bendezid a heredad de Adonay? (F) por amor que bendigades la heredad del Señor? (E7) ‘How shall I make expiation, so that you may bless the Lord’s own people?’ b) Negative finals are usually introduced by ’asher lo’ in Hebrew, which is literally translated with the words que no in post-medieval Ladino, erroneously producing a non-resultative construction: (8)

‫ֲא ֶׁשר לֹא יִ ְׁש ְמעּו ִאיׁש ְׂש ַפת ֵר ֵ ֽעהּו‬ (Gen. 11,7) that not man lip.cs friend-his que no oyan varón labio de su compañero (F) por que non entienda él un lenguaje del otro (E4) ‘so that they shall not understand one another’s speech’

4.1.3 Temporal clauses Temporal clauses in Hebrew are normally formed by the particles be, ki, min + infinitive. The Ladino versions translate the particles with their Romance equivalents en ‘in’ or como ‘how, as’ followed by infinitive constructions, while the medieval translators correctly interpreted the temporal meaning of both Hebrew structures and translated them with the Spanish temporal conjunction cuando ‘when’ followed by a finite clause, e.g., “cuando enregnó” ‘when he began to reign’ and “cuando se pusier el sol” ‘when the sun sets’. (9)

‫ֹלׁשים ָׁשנָ ה ָדוִ ד ְּב ָמ ְלכוֹ ַא ְר ָּב ִעים ָׁשנָ ה ָמ ָ ֽלְך‬ ִ ‫ן־ׁש‬ ְ ‫ֶּב‬ old-thirty years David in-his-reigning De edad de treinta años David en su reinar, De treinta años era David cuando enregnó, e

(2 Sam. 5,4)

forty years quarenta años reinó (F) cuarenta años enregnó (E4) ‘David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years’ (10) ‫ת־ה ֶּפ ַסח ָּב ָע ֶרב ְּכבוֹא ַה ֶּׁש ֶמש‬ ַ ‫ָׁשם ִּתזְ ַּבח ֶא‬ there to-the-Passover at-twilight allí degollarás a el carnero en la tarde, ahí sacreficaredes el sacreficio en la noche

(Deut. 16,6)

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


atgoing.down.inf the-sun como ponerse el sol (PC) cuando se pusier el sol (E3) ‘there alone shall you slaughter the passover sacrifice, in the evening, at sundown’

4.1.4 Causal clauses Example (11) below is a good illustration of Arragel’s paraphrastic translation style, trying to convey in Old Spanish the causal meaning of the Hebrew structure. The Ladino translators, on the other hand, decided to leave the task of contextualizing it up to the reader by providing a single-word equivalent que to the Heb. particle ki. (11) ‫ית ּזֹאת ָארּור ַא ָּתה‬ ָ ‫ִּכי ָע ִׂש‬ (Gen. 3,14) that this cursed you que heziste esto, maldito tú (F) bien por este mesmo fecho que tú fecho tienes, tú maldita serás (Arragel) ‘Because you did this, / More cursed shall you be’

4.1.5 Comparative clauses Comparative clauses are usually introduced in Biblical Hebrew by the particles ka’asher (or ki) and ken, which have Romance equivalents that make the Ladino sentences grammatical. Medieval translators, on the other hand, tended to use more complex lexical material to translate these particles (such as de la manera or bien así) in order to clarify the comparative nature of the passage: (12) ‫ר־לנּו ֵּכן ָהיָ ה‬ ָ ‫וַ יְ ִהי ַּכ ֲא ֶׁשר ָ ּֽפ ַת‬ and as-that Y fue como soltó a nos, E fue de la manera que lo soltó,

(Gen. 41,13)

so ansi fue (F) así fue (E19) ‘And as he interpreted for us, so it came to pass’

4.1.6 Exceptive clauses Exceptive clauses in Hebrew are, for example, those introduced by the particles ki +’im:


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

(13) ‫ם־ּב ַר ְכ ָ ּֽתנִ י‬ ֵ ‫אמר לֹא ֲא ַ ֽׁש ֵּל ֲחָך ִּכי ִא‬ ֶ ֹ ‫וַ ּי‬ and- not 1sg-let.go.ipfv-you Y dijo: Non te enviaré, Dixo: Non te enbiaré

(Gen. 32,27)

that que salvo me bendigas (PC) fasta que me bendigas (Arragel) ‘But he answered, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me”’ Arragel uses the temporal conjunction fasta que, whereas the Pentateuch of Constantinople (PC) uses the adverb salvo ‘except, unless’, which better conveys the exceptive meaning of the original. However, an unnecessary que is added before salvo to conform to the order of the Hebrew structure (“que salvo”, lit. ‘that except’), a sequence that renders it ungrammatical, since the standard Romance should be salvo que ‘unless’.

4.1.7 Restrictive clauses The sentence in (14) provides an example of a restrictive clause introduced by the particle raq. Such clauses are rendered in Ladino by means of the intensive adverb de cierto ‘truly’, instead of the more appropriate Spanish restrictive particles mas or pero, as the medieval translator of Ms. 87 of the Real Academia de la Historia (RAH) makes clear by paraphrasing it with the restrictive expression “pero solo queremos que” ‘but we only want that’: (14) ‫אכל וְ ִׂש ְמ ָל ֵתנּו נִ ְל ָּבׁש ַרק יִ ָּק ֵרא ִׁש ְמָך ָע ֵלינּו‬ ֵ ֹ ‫ַל ְח ֵמנּו נ‬ food-our 1pl-eat.ipfv and- apparel-our 1pl-wear.ipfv Nueso pan comeremos y nueso paño vestiremos, Nuestro pan comeremos e nuestro pan vestieremos

(Isa. 4,1)

only name-your on-us de cierto sea llamado tu nombre sobre nós. (SLP) pero solo queremos que sea llamado el tu nombre sobre nós. (RAH) ‘We will eat our own food / And wear our own clothes; / Only let us be called by your name’

4.1.8 Adversative clauses None of the three following Ladino translations use adversative Romance particles to translate Hebrew adversative clauses. The medieval versions, on the other hand, did use them in examples (15) and (17), cf. empero, sinon ‘but’. The Ladino translations in

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


the Ferrara Bible (F) and the Pentateuch of Constantinople (PC) do not explicitly convey the adversative sense of the original passages and provide instead the literal intensive meaning of the Hebrew particles: de cierto ‘truly’, y también ‘and also’. a) Introduced by particles such as ki, ’ulam, ’abal: (15) ‫אּולם ָא ִחיו ַה ָּקטֹן יִ גְ ַדל ִמ ֶמּנּו‬ ָ ְ‫וְ גַ ם־הּוא יִ גְ ָדל ו‬ and- alsohe and- truly y tanbién él se engrandecerá, y de cierto, E aún él crecerá, empero

(Gen. 48,19)

brother-his the-younger than-he su hermano el pequeño se engrandecerá más de él (PC) el su hermano el menor él será más grande que non él (E19) ‘and he too shall be great. Yet his younger brother shall be greater than he’ b) Introduced by the conjunctive particle vav: (16) ‫ת־ׁש ְמָך ַא ְב ָרם וְ ָהיָ ה ִׁש ְמָך ַא ְב ָר ָהם‬ ִ ‫וְ לֹא־יִ ָּק ֵרא עוֹד ֶא‬ and- not- more to-name-your Abram Y no será llamado más a tu nombre Abram, E non se llame más el tu nombre Abram

(Gen. 17,5)

and- name-your Abraham y será tu nombre Abraham (F) e sea el tu nombre Abraham (E4) ‘And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham’ c) Introduced by ve-gam: (17) ‫ל־ּת ֶלן ַה ַּליְ ָלה ְּב ַ ֽע ְרבוֹת ַה ִמ ְד ָּבר וְ גַ ם ָעבוֹר ַּת ֲעבוֹר‬ ָ ‫ַא‬ (2 Sam. 17,16) not- the-night in-plains.cs the-wilderness no manirás de noche en llanuras del desierto, non duerma esta noche en los llanos del desierto, and- also cross.inf y también passando passarás (F) sinon que pase allende (E7) ‘Do not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but cross over at once’


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

4.1.9 Concessive clauses As in the case of the adversative constructions, concessive particles are rendered literally by all Ladino translators. Medieval translators, on the other hand, used standard Romance concessive constructions to translate the same passages, cf. y ‘and’ (F) vs. maguer ‘despite’ (Arragel) or también cuando ‘also when’ (F) vs. aunque ‘even though’ (BNE): a) Introduced by vav conjunctive: (18) ‫ל־אד ֹנָ י וְ ָאנ ִֹכי ָע ָפר וָ ֵ ֽא ֶפר‬ ֲ ‫הוֹא ְל ִּתי ְל ַד ֵּבר ֶא‬ ַ ‫ִהּנֵ ה־נָ א‬ behold-ptcl start.up.1sg.pfv Hé, agora envolunté Ahé que agora comienço

(Gen. 18,27)

to- speak.inf andI dust and- ash por hablar a Adonay, y yo polvo y ceniza (F) de fablar a mi Señor, maguer só yo polvo e ceniza (Arragel) ‘Here I venture to speak to my Lord, I who am but dust and ashes’ b) Introduced by gam ki: (19) ‫י־ת ְרּבּו ְת ִפ ָּלה ֵאינֶ ּנִ י ׁש ֵֹמ ַע‬ ַ ‫ּגַ ם ִ ּֽכ‬ (Isa. 1,15) even prayer not- I también, cuando amochiguáredes oración, no yo oyén (F) aunque multipliquedes oración, non vos oigo (BNE) ‘Though you pray at length, I will not listen’

4.1.10 Relative clauses Relative clauses are typically introduced either by the particle ’asher or, in poetry and later texts, by the prefix she-. In both cases the Romance relative pronoun que ‘that/ which’ is correctly used: (20) ‫וַ ְּיַב ֵדל ֵּבין ַה ַמיִם ֲא ֶׁשר ִמ ַּת ַחת ָל ָר ִק ַיע‬ and- between the-water(s) y apartó entre las aguas e apartó entre las aguas that under the-firmament que de baxo a la espandidura (F) que son de yuso del firmamiento (E4) ‘and it separated the water which was below the expanse’

(Gen. 1,7)

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


However, Ladino rendering of Hebrew relative structures with a resumptive pronoun (particularly when pointing to a location), results in unusual calqued constructions, unlike the medieval versions which use a standard prepositional relative introduced by en que ‘in which’: (21) ‫עוֹמד ָע ָליו ַא ְד ַמת־ק ֶֹדׁש ֽהּוא‬ ֵ ‫ַה ָמקוֹם ֲא ֶׁשר ַא ָּתה‬ the- place that over-him el lugar que tú están sobre él ese lugar en que tú estás

(Ex. 3,5)

ground.cs holiness he tierra de santidad él (F) es logar santo (E19) ‘for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground’

4.1.11 Disjunction The conjunction ’o ‘or’ is easily translated by means of the phonetically close Spanish disjunctive conjunction o: (22)

‫ל־ׂש ֽמ ֹאל‬ ְ ‫ל־יָמין אוֹ ַע‬ ִ ‫וְ ֶא ְפנֶ ה ַע‬ (Gen. 24,49) and- 1sg-turn.ipfv over- right or over- left y cataré sobre derecha o sobre yzquierda (F) e bolveré por la manderecha o por la manesquierda (E4) ‘and if not, tell me also, that I may turn right or left.’

The contextually negative meaning of the conjunction vav is correctly interpreted as a negative disjunctive conjunction and translated as nin ‘neither’ in both traditions. As the example below shows, if the conjunction is left out in Hebrew, predictably, Ladino translators also leave it out, sometimes resulting in a Romance construction that is difficult to follow, whereas medieval translators added the conjunction for clarity: (23) ‫ּוב ָפ ָר ִ ֽׁשים‬ ְ ‫סּוסים‬ ִ ‫ּוב ִמ ְל ָח ָמה ְּב‬ ְ ‫ּוב ֶח ֶרב‬ ְ ‫יעם ְּב ֶק ֶׁשת‬ ֵ ‫וֹׁש‬ ִ ‫וְ לֹא ֽא‬ (Hos. 1,7) and- not 1sg-save.ipfv-them by- bow and- by- sword y no los salvaré con arco, ni con espada, E non los salvaré con ballesta, nin con espada, or- by- battle ø by- horses and- by- horsemen ni con pelea, ø con cavallos ni con cavalleros (F) nin con batalla, nin con cavallos, nin con cavalleros (E3) ‘I will not give them victory with bow and sword and battle, by horses and riders’


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

4.2 Other syntactic phenomena a) When a Hebrew interrogative passage does not present an explicit interrogative particle, Ladino versions usually calque the structure and leave it up to the reader to interpret them as questions: (24) ‫ּבוֹאָך‬ ֽ ֶ ‫אמר ָׁשֹלם‬ ֶ ֹ ‫וַ ּי‬ and- ø peace Y dijeron: ø Paz tu venida (CFP) E dixéronle: ¿Qué es la vuestra buena venida? (E7) ‘and said, “Do you come on a peaceful errand?”’

(1 Sam. 16,4)

The Hebrew interrogative particle ‫( ָה־‬ha-) is consistently translated with a special-purpose Romance sí ‘whether’, rather unusual in direct interrogative constructions in Spanish:16 (25) ‫ֲה ָׁשֹלום ַלּנַ ַער ְל ַא ְב ָׁשֹלום‬ (2 Sam. 18,32) int- peace to- the- to- Absalom? ¿Sí paz al moço Absalom? (F) ¿ø Está en pax el infante Absolom? (Arragel) ‘Is my boy Absalom safe?’ Although direct interrogative Romance sí was also known in Old Spanish and can also be found in the Vulgate, its extensive use in Jewish Biblical translations, including the medieval Biblias romanceadas, is (like that of the apocopated active participle; see Section 3.4.1) just another example of a Jewish tradition of recycling uncommon Romance linguistic elements to render Hebrew particles or constructions that are difficult to convey in a Romance language without losing the linguistic connotations of Biblical Hebrew. b) For the present tense of copular sentences, where Hebrew uses the particle yesh, Ladino translators consistently provide the equivalent existential hay ‘there is / there are’, the present tense of haber. However, the Spanish verb haber cannot be used with definite subjects and it thus results in ungrammatical Spanish, as the following example shows. The medieval translator of manuscript E4 correctly uses estar in this case:

16 Although it is possible that the origin of this direct interrogative construction was an indirect interrogative structure with an unstressed si, a Spanish acute accent has been added to it to indicate a stressed pronunciation in such interrogative position.

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 

(26) ‫ָא ֵכן יֵ ׁש יְ הֹוָ ה ַּב ָמקוֹם ַהּזֶ ה‬ surely YHW’’H in-the-place the-this de cierto, ay Adonay en el lugar este (F) en verdat Dios está en este lugar (E4) ‘Surely the Lord is present in this place’


(Gen. 28,16)

c) Pleonastic pronouns between subject and predicate are translated in Ladino translations, but left out in medieval ones. (27) ‫ֹלהים‬ ִ ‫יְ הֹוָ ה הּוא ָה ֱא‬ YHW’’H he the-God Adonay, él el Dio (F) El Señor ø es Dios (E3) ‘The Lord alone is God’

(1 Kings 18,39)

d) Ladino translators use Romance participles as main verbs, mirroring the Hebrew construction, whereas medieval translators use tensed verbs. (28) ‫ר־א ְפ ַריִ ם‬ ֶ ‫הּודה ַעד־יַ ְר ְּכ ֵתי ַה‬ ָ ְ‫ית־ל ֶחם י‬ ֶ ‫ע ְֹב ִרים ֲאנַ ְחנּו ִמ ֵ ּֽב‬ we from-Bethlehem Judah passantes nos de Beth-Lehem de Yehudah pasamos de Bed Lehem de Judá

(Judg. 19,18)

to-the-remote.part.dual.cs mountain.cs- Ephraim fasta rincones de monte de Ephraím (F) fasta los rencones del monte de Efraím (E3) ‘We are traveling from Bethlehem in Judah to the other end of the hill country of Ephraim’ e) For some indefinite/impersonal subjects, Ladino translations use the third singular person form of the verb poder (podrá: ‘he/she/it will be able’), like Hebrew does, whereas medieval translations prefer a second person form, a third plural person, or a more appropriate medieval impersonal omne ‘man/anybody’, as the manuscript E19 shows in example (29): (29) ‫ת־ה ָא ֶרץ‬ ָ ‫יּוכל ִל ְראֹת ֶא‬ ַ ‫ת־עין ָה ָא ֶרץ וְ לֹא‬ ֵ ‫וְ ִכ ָּסה ֶא‬ and- to- face.cs the-earth Y cubrirá a superficie de la tierra cobrirá la claridad del sol

(Ex. 10,5)


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

and-not to-see.inf to-the-earth y no podrá por veer a la tierra (F) e non podrá omne ver la tierra (E19) ‘They shall cover the surface of the land, so that no one will be able to see the land’ f) There is no equivalent in Spanish for the particle ki to introduce direct speech as a subordinate clause, as shown in the medieval translations. However, an equivalent calqued que is added by Ladino translators: (30) ‫ת־ׁש ַבע ְּכ ָבׂש ֹת ִּת ַּקח ִמּיָ ִדי‬ ֶ ‫אמר ִּכי ֶא‬ ֶ ֹ ‫וַ ּי‬ and- that to-seven ewe.lambs Y dixo: Que a siete corderas E dixo: ø estas siete ovejas

(Gen. 21,30) from-hand-my tomarás de mi mano (F) tomarás de mi mano (E7) ‘He replied, “You are to accept these seven ewes from me”’ g) Mimicking the Hebrew word order, Ladino translators build comparative structures with a quantitative adverb following the adjective instead of preceding it, as Arragel does: (31) ‫וְ ַהּנָ ָחׁש ָהיָ ה ָערּום ִמּכֹל ַחּיַ ת ַה ָּׂש ֶדה‬ (Gen. 3,1) and- the-serpent cunning from- all beast.cs Y el culebro era artero más de todo animal La serpiente era más artera en sí que todas las animalias the-field del campo (F, PC) del campo (Arragel) ‘Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts’ h) Some Hebrew superlative structures are rendered with distinctive Ladino expressions. For example, the Hebrew absolute superlative, in which a plural noun follows the same noun in the singular form of the construct state, is usually preserved both in Biblical Judaeo-Spanish and in the medieval versions: (32) ‫וְ ָהיָ ה ַה ִמזְ ֵּב ַח ק ֶֹדׁש ָ ֽק ָד ִׁשים‬ and- the-altar sanctity.cs sanctities y será la ara santidad de santidades y sea el altar santidat de santidades ‘and the altar shall become most holy’

(Ex. 29,37) (F) (E4)

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


Hebrew word order is also retained in other gradation structures in Ladino, deviating from the standard Romance order. See, for example, (33), containing a quantitative adverb following a noun or adjective instead of preceding it: (33) ‫ֽר ַּוח־יָ ם ָחזָ ק ְמאֹד‬ wind.cs- west strong very viento de ponente fuerte mucho (F) viento ábrego muy fuerte (E4) ‘a very strong west wind’

(Ex. 10,19)

As most of the examples presented in Section 4 have shown, Hebrew syntax is fully preserved, firstly by translating every single Hebrew word (whether needed or not in Judaeo-Spanish) or maintaining the elliptical structures of Hebrew, and secondly by placing all Ladino words in the same syntactic position as their Hebrew equivalents, even when this results in a twisted Judaeo-Spanish syntax sometimes making the translation unintelligible without the underlying Hebrew text.

5 Conclusion This chapter has analyzed the particular lexicon, morphology, and syntax of Biblical translations in Judaeo-Spanish, showing that Ladino translators did not in any way intend to translate the Hebrew Bible ad sensum. They made every effort to reveal in Judaeo-Spanish the original Hebrew text as it was written and transmitted. It is the work of the meldadores (‘the readers’) to perform the same interpretative tasks that they are supposed to make when reading the Bible in Hebrew. In order to achieve this goal, most of the syntactic, morphological, derivative, repetitive, or elliptical mechanisms of Biblical Hebrew must be retained in the translation and must be applied by the readers themselves, such as contextualization of Hebrew verbal forms, syntactic structures, and lexical relations between categories. One might even argue that the translators were not really translating at all, not even literally, since their goal was not to relieve the readers of the burden of going through the original texts, but only to guide them through every detail of the Hebrew Bible in Judaeo-Spanish, by distorting the original as little as possible. For them, the words and the wording of the Hebrew Bible were sacred, and their ultimate goal was to preserve the holy phrasing of the Hebrew Bible in their vernacular language to the greatest extent possible. Not surprisingly, this intense linguistic closeness to its sacred model ended up sacralizing the Ladino text itself. A distinction between a Judaeo-Spanish vernacular and Ladino is better explained in terms of linguistic register, language diachrony, and literary genre within the same language than as two different linguistic systems, one natural and the other artificial.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

The reading of the Judaeo-Spanish Biblical texts offers the Sephardic reader, in a rather natural way, what the Ferrara Bible’s editors explained in the following passage: [. . .] el frásis es de la misma lengua y los ladinos tan antiguos y sentenciosos y entre los hebreos ya convertidos en naturaleza. (Prólogo. Al letor, f. 2v) ‘[. . .] the phrasing is that of the same language and the translated words are so ancient and sententious, that they have become natural among the Hebrews.’ (Preface. To the Reader, f. 2v)

References Sources (in chronological order) PC = ‫חמשה חומשי תורה‬. Ḥamisha ḥumeshe tora [‘The Five Books of the Law’], Constantinople, Eliezer Soncino, 1547 [Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch]. F = Biblia en lengua española traducida palabra por palabra de la verdad hebraica, Ferrara, Usque, 1553 [Ferrara Bible; repr. in Amsterdam in 1611, 1630, 1646, 1661, 1726, and 1762]. SLP = ‫חלק השלישי מהארבעה ועשרים‬. Ḥeleq ha-shelishi me-ha-arba‛a ve-‛esrim [‘Third Part of the Twenty-four’], Thessaloniki, Yosef Yabes, 1568–1572 [Thessaloniki Latter Prophets and Writings]. CFP = ‫נביאים ראשונים‬. Nebi’im rishonim [‘Former Prophets’], Constantinople, 1580 [Ms. 36106, Jewish Theological Seminary] [Constantinople Former Prophets]. HS = ‫ספר חשק שלמה‬. Sefer Ḥesheq Shelomo [‘Shelomo’s Desire’], Venice, Zan di Gara, 1588 [Biblical glossary]. Asá: I. ‫חלק ראשון מהארבעה ועשרים‬. Ḥeleq rishon me-ha-Arba‛a ve-‛esrim [‘First Part of the Twenty-four’], Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1739. II. ‫ספר נביאים ראשונים‬. Sefer Nebi’im rishonim [‘Book of the Former Prophets’]. The Latter Prophets, Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1743. III. ‫ספר נביאים אחרונים‬. Sefer Nebi’im aḥaronim [‘Book of the Latter Prophets], Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1743. IV. ‫חמש מגילות‬. Ḥamesh Megillot [‘The Five Scrolls’], Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1744. V. ‫ספר כתובים‬. Sefer Ketubim [‘Book of the Writings’], Constantinople, Ezkenazi, 1745 [Abraham Asá’s Bible].

Studies Alvar, Manuel (1986), Acepciones de ladino en español, in: Homenaje a Pedro Sainz Rodríguez. Tomo 2: Estudios de Lengua y Literatura, Madrid, Fundación Universitaria Española, 25–34. Alvar, Manuel (2000), El ladino, judeo-español calco, Madrid, Real Academia de la Historia. Álvarez, Manuel/Ariza, Manuel/Mendoza, Josefa (1994), La lengua castellana de la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 505–524. Amigo Espada, Lorenzo (1981), El léxico del Pentateuco de Constantinopla y la Biblia medieval romanceada judeoespañola, Madrid, Fundación Juan March. Blondheim, D. S. (1925), Les parlers judéo-romans et la Vetus latina. Étude sur les rapports entre les traductions bibliques en langue romane des juifs au Moyen Âge et les anciennes versions, Paris, Champion.

10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino 


Bossong, Georg (1990), El uso de los tiempos verbales en judeoespañol, in: Gerd Wotjak/Alexandre Veiga (coord.), La descripción del verbo español, Santiago de Compostela, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 71–96. Bunis, David M. (1999), Hebrew elements in Sefer Hešeq Šelomo [Venice, 1587/88], in: Shelomo Morag/ Moshe Bar-Asher/Maria Mayer-Modena (edd.), Vena hebraica in judaeorum linguis. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Jewish Languages (Milan, October 23–26, 1995), Milan, Università degli Studi di Milano, Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Antichità, 153–181. Bunis, David M. (2017), The Judeo-Arabic roots of the Ladino Bible translation tradition, in: Yochanan Breuer/ Steven Fassberg (edd.), Jubilee volume in honor of Aharon Maman, Jerusalem, Hebrew University, 65–88 [in Hebrew]. DCECH = Joan Corominas/José Antonio Pascual (1980–1991), Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico, Madrid, Gredos. Del Barco, Francisco Javier (2004), Las formas verbales en las biblias de Alba y Ferrara. ¿Fidelidad al texto hebreo?, Sefarad 64, 243–267. Enrique-Arias, Andrés/Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2010–), Biblia Medieval (digital corpus), http://www. . Hassán, Iacob M. (1978), Transcripción normalizada de textos judeoespañoles, Estudios Sefardíes 1, 147–150. Hassán, Iacob M. (1988), Sistemas gráficos del español sefardí, in: Manuel Ariza Viguera/Antonio Salvador/ Antonio Viudas Camarasa (edd.), Actas del I Congreso Internacional de Historia de la Lengua Española, Madrid, Arco Libros, 127–137. Hassán, Iacob M. (1994), Dos introducciones de la Biblia de Ferrara, in: Iacob M. Hassán/Ángel Berenguer (edd.), Actas del Simposio Internacional sobre la Biblia de Ferrara, Madrid, CSIC, 13–66. Hassán, Iacob M. (1995), El español sefardí (judeoespañol, ladino), in: Manuel Seco/Gregorio Salvador (coord.), La lengua española hoy, Madrid, Fundación Juan March, 117–140. Hassán, Iacob M. (2004), ¿Es el ladino judeoespañol calco? (cfr. DRAE), Quaderns de Filologia. Estudis Lingüístics 9, 87–99. Kohring, Heinrich (1996), “Kale enladinar komo uzamos a avlar”. La technique du ladino chez Abraham Asá (1743) et Yehuda Alkalai (1839), in: Winfried Busse/Marie Christine Varol Bornes (edd.), Hommage à Haïm Vidal Sephiha, Bern, Lang, 315–335. Lazar, Moshe (1995), Biblia Ladinada I.J.3, 2 vol., Madison, Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies. Nehama, Joseph (1977), Dictionnaire du judéo-espagnol, Madrid, CSIC. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2011), Séfer Hésec Šelomó. Edición de Génesis / Berešit (cps. 1–10), in: Elena Romero Castelló (ed.), Estudios sefardíes dedicados a la memoria de Iacob M. Hassán (z”l), Madrid, CSIC, 433–478. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2012), “Tu pueblo mi pueblo y tu Dio mi Dio”. El libro de Rut en la Biblia de Abraham Asá, eHumanista. Journal of Iberian Studies 20, 263–295. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2013), Méthode traditionnelle de traduction et alignement automatisé des sources pour le corpus biblique séfarade, in: Soufiane Rouissi/Ana Stulic-Etchevers (dir.), Recensement, analyse et traitement numérique des sources écrites pour les études séfarades, Bordeaux, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux, 343–365. Pueyo Mena, F. Javier/Enrique-Arias, Andrés (2013), Los romanceamientos castellanos de la Biblia Hebrea compuestos en la Edad Media. Manuscritos y traducciones, Sefarad 73.1, 165–225. Quintana, Aldina (2013), Hebraisms in Spanish and Ladino versions of the Hebrew Bible, in: Geoffrey Khan et al. (edd.), Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, vol. 2, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 191–195. Recio, Roxana (1991), Alfonso de Madrigal (El Tostado). La traducción como teoría entre lo medieval y lo renacentista, La Corónica 19.2, 112–131. Romero, Elena (1992), La creación literaria en lengua sefardí, Madrid, Fundación Mapfre. Sachs, Georg (1936), Ek, Revista de Filología Española 23, 292–293.


 F. Javier Pueyo Mena

Schwarzwald, Ora (Rodrigue) (1995), Semitic doubles in Hebrew and Ladino, in: Hava Bat-Zeev Shyldkrot/ Lucien Kupferman (edd.), Tendances récentes en linguistique française et générale, Amsterdam/ Philadelphia, Benjamins, 371–382. Schwarzwald, Ora (Rodrigue) (2015), Personal names, toponyms, and gentilic nouns in Ladino and Spanish translations of the Bible, El Presente 8–9.3 (= Mikan 15.3), 209–228. Schwarzwald, Ora (Rodrigue) (2020), The Hebrew root ˀ-m-n and its derivatives hɛˀěmīn and nɛˀĕman in both Medieval Spanish and Ladino translations of the Bible, Meldar: Revista internacional de estudios sefardíes 1, 9–30. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1970), Bibles judéo-espagnoles. Littéralisme et commentateurs, Iberoromania 2, 56–90. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1973), Le ladino (judéo-espagnol calque), Deutéronome. Versions de Constantinople (1547) et de Ferrare (1553), Paris, Centre de Recherches Hispaniques. Sephiha, Haïm Vidal (1977), Archaïsmes lexicaux du ladino (judéo-espagnol calque), Cahiers de linguistique hispanique médiévale 2, 253–261. Steiger, Arnald (1951), Arag. ant. ‘ayec ayech’ ‘¡cuidado!’; judeo-esp. ‘hec’; ‘¡eya velar!’, Revista de Filología Española 35, 341–344. Tanakh (1985) = Tanakh: A new translation of the Holy Scriptures according to the traditional Hebrew text, Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society, 1985.

Laura Minervini

11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish Abstract: The chapter presents the social and cultural history of the Judaeo-Spanish varieties that took shape in the Ottoman Empire and Morocco from the 16th to the 19th century. It also provides an overview of their most significant linguistic features at all levels: phonology, morphology, syntax, and the lexicon. Finally, it points to a marginal area of research, that of the Spanish (and Portuguese) varieties used by the Jews of Livorno, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and other cities of the western Sephardic Diaspora. Keywords: Judaeo-Spanish, koiné, language variation, Ottoman Jewry, Morocco, western Sephardi Diaspora, book production

1 Introduction There can be little doubt that language was a core element of the collective identity of the Sephardic community that took shape after the expulsion of the Jews and the massive escape of New Christians (conversos) from the Iberian Peninsula. As often happens in diaspora communities, the experience of exile helped produce a new, unifying identity that was previously lacking:1 in the Middle Ages, the term Sǝfarad had ill-defined boundaries and “at no point did a Sephardi community exist that operated in a politically cohesive manner, nor was there anything that might be described as a Sephardi consciousness” (Ray 2008, 17). Rather, Jews were treated by secular and religious institutions of the Iberian world as Jewish residents of a given place, and therefore, from the political, social, and even cultural viewpoints, possessed an essentially regional or municipal identity  – as did their Christian counterparts (Thompson 1995). The same holds true from the linguistic viewpoint: Jews spoke local languages and dialects, hardly distinguishable from those of Christian speakers. No common, supra-regional Jewish idiom is documented, or suggested, by medieval sources aside from Hebrew, which was nobody’s primary language ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese). This medieval situation changed radically after the expulsions from the Iberian Peninsula starting in 1492. This chapter deals with the formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish during the Sephardic disaspora in the Ottoman Empire and Northern Africa and is organized as follows: Section 2 presents a sketch of the social and cultural history of the 1 This is a rather contentious point; the view presented here relies on Rozen (1997), Ben-Naeh (2008), Lehmann (2008), Ray (2008; 2009a; 2013a; 2013b), and Şaul/Hualde (2017).


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Ottoman Sephardi Jewry from the 16th to the late 19th century. Section 3 is a survey of the sources used for the reconstruction of the linguistic history of Judaeo-Spanish. Section 4 examines some of its main features in the domains of phonology, morphology, syntax, and the lexicon, while Section 5 deals with the development of Moroccan Judaeo-Spanish (Hakitia) and the Spanish varieties used in the Sephardi communities of Western Europe.

2 Historical framework: the Sephardic exiles and their sociolinguistic conditions (16th–19th century) 2.1 The formative period of the Sephardic communities and the  koineization of Judaeo-Spanish Estimates of the number of Jews expelled from the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon (1492), Portugal (1496/1497), and Navarre (1498) vary greatly, ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of individuals. The exact number is difficult to ascertain, since the first exiles were followed by a constant flow of refugees from the Iberian Peninsula, especially after the establishment of the Portuguese Inquisition (1536). Settlement in a new homeland often came after decades of wandering along zigzag routes with stops and goes: people moved pushed by threats and enticements, needs and expediencies, exploiting and strengthening older Jewish commercial and family networks across the Mediterranean and northern Europe. The contrast between a western and an eastern Sephardic Jewry – Ponentines and Levantines, as they were labeled in Italy – is indeed the result of a long process of cultural polarization, whereas for most of the 16th century the situation was fluid and dynamic (Ray 2009b, 57–58; Trivellato 2009, 661–669). As a matter of fact, Judaeo-Spanish (J.-Sp.), or Ladino, as it was commonly called by its speakers,2 developed among the Iberian Jews who settled in the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb3 – the language history of those in the Netherlands, France, Italy, and so forth has to be treated separately. In their new residences, whether temporary or permanent, the Jews organized themselves into local congregations (Heb. qəhalim, pl. of qahal) according to their place of origin: this was a natural response – consistent with medieval organizational pat-

2 I use the two language names as synonyms, disregarding here the vexed question of the different languages or (more properly) language registers used in the Sephardic speech community. For another use of the term Ladino, 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino. 3 Under Selim I (1512–1520) and Suleiman I (1520–1560), the conquest of huge Northern African territories left only Morocco out of Ottoman control.

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terns – to the trauma of uprooting, which broke up families and destroyed the social fabric of the ancient communities. However, no barriers divided members of different congregations, who had all kinds of social interactions, including marriage and business partnership. Not surprisingly, right from the beginning individuals tended to move from one qahal to another – although rabbinical decrees (Heb. haskamot) repeatedly forbade it  – and even resorted to creating new qǝhalim, whenever dissatisfied with the existing ones. Over time, the old regional identities faded, albeit the names of the congregations persisted: a new, broader Sephardic identity arose among the secondand third-generation exiles, which prompted the creation of overarching communal structures (Rozen 1994; Ben-Naeh 2008, 163–217). Thus, after the mid-16th century, as the waves of immigration began to decline, “the crystallization of the Spanish-Jewish Nation in the Ottoman Empire was at a crucial point” (Rozen 2002, 306). The emergence of a Sephardic speech community is also part of the picture: after a stage of chaotic mixing, a process of linguistic convergence took place among the Iberian émigrés, which produced a new, Castilian-based variety (Penny 1992; 2000, 65–66, 176–178). This is the expected outcome in situations of long-term interaction between speakers of mutually intelligible varieties, where focusing occurs, usually within three generations, by reducing the earlier wide range of linguistic variation – a process known as koineization (Trudgill 1986; 2004; Kerswill 2002; 2010). Therefore, during the formative period of the Sephardic Diaspora, Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent “created a new language and forged a new ethnic identity, but read these cultural markers as part of a shared cultural heritage that contributed to a nostalgic image of the past” (Ray 2013b, 159). A sense of intellectual prominence and the association with successful groups of transnational merchants were important elements of the Sephardic cultural profile and contributed to its attractiveness, thus accounting for the massive “Sephardization” of local Jewish communities: from the Balkans to Anatolia, from Morocco to the Land of Israel, many Jews who were not descendants of the Iberian exiles became Sephardic by marrying a Sephardic spouse or joining a Sephardic congregation and adopting its cultural, linguistic, and liturgical traditions (Ben-Naeh 2008, 418–420). “Sephardization” was particularly intense where local Jewish communities had previously shrunk due to the Ottoman practice of forced population transfer (Turk. sürgün), as was the case with Salonika (henceforth Thessaloniki), which in the 16th century was one of the most flourishing Jewish centers of the Empire, with dozens of Sephardic qǝhalim and a vibrant economic and cultural life (Hacker 1987). For the recently formed Sephardic Jewry, the 17th century was a time of great political and socio-economic insecurity. The fall of the textile industry in Thessaloniki and Safed, the increasing competition with European merchants, the ascent of rival Ottoman subjects such as the Armenians and the Greeks, the upheaval of the Sabbatean messianic movement, and the changing attitudes of the Ottoman ruling class deeply affected Jewish life at both the individual and collective level, promoting migration from one city to another and accelerating social mobility – hence the rise of new Jewish communities and leaderships, that replaced the old financial and cultural elites (Goffman 2002;


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Ben-Naeh 2008, 351–411). Meanwhile, the drop in converso immigration, which now tended to prefer Western Europe as its destination, weakened the ties of Ottoman Sephardic Jews to the language and culture of Christian Iberia. It is therefore little wonder that J.-Sp. experienced a high rate of change starting in the the mid-1600s – all the more so given the ongoing assimilation of a great number of foreigner speakers (Quintana 2006, 304–309). The result of such changes is fully observable in texts from the 18th century, a period of plentiful book production: here a bundle of phonetic/phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical features is consistently found that clearly sets J.-Sp. apart from other geographical or social varieties of Spanish (Quintana 2012). On the part of the authors, this was a deliberate break with the Sephardic vernacular literary tradition, which up to that point had been intended for an educated readership and tacitly relied on late medieval models of language and style. Earlier texts, to be sure, did not expunge all dialectal features that bore witness to the linguistic developments in progress. But in the new intellectual landscape of the 18th century, in order to be understood by a wider audience, Sephardic authors departed from the archaizing, more formal variety hitherto recorded in writing, and instead used a variety that was closer (at least in its phonology and morphology) to current vernacular speech.

2.2 Western influence and the modernization of Judaeo-Spanish At the same time, “the West as a cultural frame of reference emerged in the Ottoman cultural universe” (Lehmann 2005b, 139); for the Sephardic Jews, this major change was brought about primarily by the francos, Italian merchants, who settled in the main commercial centers of the Levant and created extensive trade networks throughout the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Their status as foreigners entitled them to consular protection and exemption from taxes normally levied on Ottoman citizens; thus the francos, operating in the shadow of European powers, took charge of most international dealings, whereas the Ottoman Jews remained involved in small-scale credit and brokerage (Rozen 1992; Trivellato 2009, 102–131). The appearance of this privileged subgroup within local Jewries did not go unnoticed: as harbingers of modernization and secularization, the francos were not welcomed by the traditional Jewish establishment, but since they had been making economic headway, having family or professional ties with them was soon perceived as – and actually worked as – a powerful means of social promotion. On the whole, the francos epitomized in the East the social type of the “port Jew” that is to be found in many Western European and American cities (Dubin 2002; Sorkin 2002; Lehmann 2005a), and in the Sephardic milieu they represented a pivotal element of “the process by which Jews entered the modern world” (Sorkin 1999, 89). This process had several facets, some of them particularly relevant from the linguistic viewpoint: from the middle of the 19th century, a lively J.-Sp. newspaper culture blossomed, which

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was the main vehicle for the diffusion of new literary genres as well as of information about political and economic developments (Rodrigue 2002, 876–879; Borovaya 2010). The J.-Sp. used in the press was deeply influenced by Western European languages, which helped expand its styles and registers and provided a large number of lexical items, especially (but not exclusively) for new concepts  – articles were often replete with French, Italian, English, and German loanwords, glossed for the benefit of inexperienced readers (Bunis 1990–1993; García Moreno 2019). Following the ideas of the Jewish Enlightenment (Heb. haskala), it was commonly believed in the West that the moral emancipation and cultural modernization of hidebound Jewries all over the world could be realized by means of an educational reform. For this reason, the Alliance Israélite Universelle (A.I.U.), founded in Paris in 1860, established a network of schools all over the Balkan Peninsula, the Middle East, and the Maghreb. Alliance schools, as well as others founded in the same period by European philantropists like the Rothschilds, were aimed at both boys and girls and introduced the study of secular subjects, neglected in traditional Jewish education; their establishment aroused heated controversies within Jewish communities that set the conservatives at odds with the reformers, the latter usually from the franco group (Rodrigue 2002, 874–876). Since most subjects were taught in French, these new schools contributed to the shaping of a new Francophone bourgeoisie, which would later play a role in the evolution of Sephardic society starting in the last decades of the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire itself underwent dramatic changes throughout the 1800s: in response to the growth of nationalistic movements and the rise of new nation-states in the Balkans, an ambitious program of administrative reforms (Turk. tanzimat, 1839–1876) was laid out that enhanced centralization and implemented state-building policies. Since “complexity that had been a basis of its legitimacy became a source of dispersed loyalty” (Barkey 2008, 295), the Sublime Port redefined its political tradition and its methods of flexibly managing diversity. Spurred by Western European powers, it resorted to improving the civil status of the non-Muslims, who in 1856 became citizens for all legal purposes; as a consequence, the autonomy of Jewish and other ethnoreligious communities significantly decreased. Although the creation of state-sponsored educational structures was very slow, Sephardic Jews agreed on the urgent need to learn Turkish, and in the lively debate among Sephardic intellectuals on the expediency of J.-Sp., Turkish was considered a possible alternative, together with French, Hebrew, Italian, German, and Standard Spanish. The so-called “language question,” which unfolded in a large number of newspaper articles starting in the 1870s, points to the undermined prestige of J.-Sp., whose adequacy for the modern lifestyle was questioned by its own speakers (Bunis 1996; Romero 2010; Bürki 2013). When, at the beginning of the 20th century, due to senator Ángel Pulido’s political activity, Spain entered the cultural sphere of Sephardic Jews, it was a virtually unknown entity for many of them. Shared memories and myths, and pride in the Iberian heritage – a construction of the 16th-century process of identity formation – were largely detached from reference to any contemporary reality: connections between the Ottoman Jewry


 Laura Minervini

and the Spanish world had long since vanished, so that poorly educated people would assume any Spanish speaker to be a Jew.4 When one thinks that in the 1870s–1880s different language academies in Central and South America became formally affiliated to the Real Academia Española in Madrid (Sánchez Méndez 2003, 447–449; Lüdtke 2014, 30–31), it becomes clear that the most striking divergence between J.-Sp. and American Spanish is not in the rate of their inner developments, but in the relations they maintained with Peninsular Spanish and its prestige norm. Over the centuries, Latin America always kept in touch with Spain, owing to the political bonds and to the ceaseless flow of incomers from the Peninsula – officers, clergy, visitors, and settlers of different social and cultural ranks. The language that gradually spread throughout the enormous territories of the Spanish Empire, and in the 19th century of the independent states, was never completely severed from the Peninsular models: such models were diffused, at least in major urban centers, by an abundance of documents, books, letters, plays, songs, later by newspapers and journals, by schools, universities, and academies, and by speakers who were influential members of the speech community. As for J.-Sp., that was another story: starting in the 17th century, as Spain disappeared from view, the awareness of a Peninsular Spanish prestige norm was generally lost, so standardization had no guiding principles outside the communicative space of the Sephardic world (Penny 2000, 190; Lleal Galcerán 2004, 1143–1144; Quintana 2010, 39). In the 18th century, the varieties used in Istanbul, Thessaloniki, and Izmir became the linguistic reference points for most Sephardic writers and speakers, thus defining an unofficial supra-regional prestige norm, with minor divergences, functioning as a center of gravity for most local norms (Révah 1984, 82; Quintana 2006, 302–311).5 The process of recastillanización of J.-Sp.  – assuming Castilian (i.e., Spanish) as the backdrop against which to set its own norm – is the result of the changed historical conditions of the Sephardic communities in the 20th century (Quintana 1999).

4 Cf. the report of Moisés Abravanel, one of Pulido’s informers, concerning the arrival in Thessaloniki, in the 1890s, of two Spanish perfomers who sang Spanish songs and were received with great enthusiasm by their Sephardic audience: “mira como hablan, disian los unos, son Judios disian los inorantes (siendo el que habla español es judio para los no istruidos)” (‘Look how they speak, people said, they are Jews said the ignorant ones, since to the uneducated, anyone who speaks Spanish is a Jew’, Pulido Fernández 1905, 442). 5 Thus, the lack of a J.-Sp. standard does not entail a lack of norms, since “the defining characteristic of non-standardised languages is not the absence of norms but their proliferation in response to the local needs of the loosely networked social groups which make up the speech community” (Lodge 1993, 95).

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3 Sources for the study of Judaeo-Spanish before  sound recording 3.1 Foundations and problems The earliest sound recordings of J.-Sp. date to the early 20th century (Liebl 2007; 2010), which is also when field research on Sephardic oral language and tradition was first undertaken. Before that we can rely only on written texts, both handwritten and printed – a very unfavorable situation, albeit commonplace in historical linguistics. As is well known, most linguistic changes are recorded in writing when they are already widespread in speech, since they usually begin in unmonitored, vernacular varieties and only later spread to more formal ones: the time lag is approximately three or four generations (Company Company 2007, 86), but particularly stigmatized features may remain “submerged” over several centuries, and be hardly or never represented in the written language (Adams 2013, 24, 856–862). Hence, we cannot possibly have access to the full picture, and social and stylistic variations often escape our appraisal. Furthermore, J.-Sp. texts are usually written in Hebrew script and, after the 16th century, they are seldom vocalized – that is, they lack vowel points, using instead the letters yod for /e/, /i/, vav for /o/, /u/, and alef and he (in word-final position) for /a/. Thus, relevant information is lost concerning many linguistic changes, as is the case, for instance, of the raising of the unstressed vowels /e/ to [i] and /o/ to [u], characteristic of modern J.-Sp. dialects of Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, and western Bulgaria (Quintana 2006, 41–57; for this and other sound phenomena mentioned 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). This feature is first documented in a book by a Serbian author published in Vienna in 1823, but we do not know how long it had been in existence before its first attestation. Other important J.-Sp. developments are “concealed,” so to speak, by the use of Hebrew script. Modern J.-Sp. dialects of Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Romania neutralize the /ɾ/ : /r/ opposition (Quintana 2006, 84–88), but the Hebrew letter resh is normally used in written texts for both phonemes, ruling out the possibility of dating the innovation.6 One is faced to the same kind of problem when trying to date (and localize the origin of) the change /β/ > /v/, which is common to all modern J.-Sp. varieties, without regional distinctions (Sala 1971, 112–115; Quintana 2006, 22, 29): both /β/ and /v/ are represented in Hebrew script with the letter bet with a diacritic sign, or less commonly with the letter vav. The frequent omission of diacritic signs in printed and

6 At the end of the 19th century, some J.-Sp. texts, influenced by the Spanish, French, and Italian writing systems, represent /r/ with double resh in minimal pairs like perro : pero (Quintana 2006, 86 n. 184; García Moreno 2008, 247).


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handwritten texts also casts some doubts on the status of the opposition between the plosive and the fricative voiced bilabial: do we have to assume /b/ : /β/ or rather [b] ̴ [β] as an input to the 16th-century koineization process? The early linguistic pool probably included items belonging to both systems, one with /b/ and /β/ as distinct phonemes, and the other with [b] and [β] as positional variants of the same phoneme. To these, the system used by Portuguese speakers must be added, with /b/ : /v/ – this is, as it was said above, what is found in 20th-century dialects, but written texts are no help for identifying the steps that ultimately brought about the new system.7

3.2 Printed books Despite their flaws, texts written in Hebrew script are a rich and uninterrupted source of information about the making and the development of J.-Sp. Religious, literary, and practical texts were printed in the main Sephardic centers: Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Izmir, Jerusalem, Livorno, Venice, Vienna, and so forth – the first two alone are responsible for almost two thirds of the overall Ladino book production from the 16th to the 20th centuries.8 There was a sharp increase in the quantity of printed books since the 16th and 17th centuries (approx. 80 all together) to the 18th century (approx. 180), when Ladino literary creativity was at its heyday; the leap is even greater when comparing the 18th-century production to that of the 19th and 20th centuries (approx. 1,200 and 1,900 respectively) (Cohen 2006). Printed books played a major role in the emergence of an early modern Jewish culture, expanding its intellectual horizons and leading to a veritable explosion in knowledge (Ruderman 2010, 99–132). As far as the eastern Sephardic community is concerned, they also helped setting the standards for the high registers of the vernacular language, used in writing and possibly also in speech (Quintana 2010) – a language, it is worth stressing, that developed without the support of any politico-cultural institution sponsoring an explicit norm (Penny 2012). The first generations of Iberian Jews established the printing industry in the Ottoman Empire: the bulk of Jewish book production consisted of Hebrew texts, but from the very beginning vernacular texts were printed too  – mainly translations from Hebrew (afterwards from modern European languages), but also original works. In the eastern Sephardic Diaspora there were apparently no competitors to Castilian (which later evolved into J.-Sp.) as a vernacular vehicle of written lore: no Portuguese or Catalan books were ever printed, leaving aside Samuel Usque’s Con-

7 For the merger of /b/ and /β/ in Early Modern Spanish, cf. Penny (22002, 37–38, 96–98); for the situation in 20th-century J.-Sp. and its interpretation, see Hualde/Șaul (2011, 93–95); Hualde (2013, 244–250). 8 Such an imbalance in book production has heavy consequences on linguistic research, which is based primarily on printed texts.

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solação às Tribulações de Israel in Latin script (Ferrara, 1553), addressed to a converso audience (Yerushalmi 1989).9 At the end of the 15th century, Castilian Jews – the single largest component of the Iberian Jewry – were native speakers of a language commonly used as a general, prestigious variety throughout the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre, with an enduring tradition of creative writing and practical literacy, which was, at least at its high level, fairly normalized. No other Ibero-Romance language enjoyed the same status – it is not by chance that during the 16th century Castilian became synonymous with Spanish (Gauger 2004). Catalan, a major Peninsular language in the Middle Ages, faced a critical period at the start of the modern era; moreover, the number of Catalan-speaking Jews exiled in 1492 was probably very small (Ladero Quesada 1995; Motis Dolader 1995). Portuguese was clearly better off: like Castilian, it was the language of a blossoming empire, with a centuries-old writing tradition, and it had many speakers among the Iberian escapees, especially since the 1530s. But as many Jews coming from the kingdom of Castile and Aragon had settled in Portugal, Portuguese Jewry was linguistically mixed, and some knowledge of Castilian was probably widespread in the milieu of the New Christians as well. Furthermore, when a steady flow of conversos reached the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Empire and Morocco, the process of koineization was already in progress – although it was far from completed – and language was becoming a key element of the Sephardic communal identity. Due to the so called “founder effect” – “the linguistic founding population of an area has a built-in advantage when it comes to the continuing influence and survival of their speech forms, as opposed to those of later arrivals” (Trudgill 2004, 163) – Portuguese could not challenge the dominant position of Castilian in the new language formation, its impact being limited to some phonetic, syntactic, and lexical features (Quintana 2014a; 2017).

3.3 Metalinguistic sources If printed and handwritten texts in Hebrew script make up our main source for the study of J.-Sp. before the 20th century, we cannot neglect the importance of metalinguistic comments by in-group or, more frequently, out-group observers – from travellers, traders, and witnesses to inquisitorial courts, and so forth (Alvar 2003, 77–87; Varvaro/ Minervini 2008, 154–159; Ray 2016). Many comments dating from the 16th and early 17th centuries underscore the diffusion of the language – usually identified with Castilian – across the Jewish communities of the Mediterranean lands. The erudite writer Bernardo de Aldrete was apparently the first to be aware of the difference between

9 The reference here is to printed books, not to handwritten texts, which in the first decades after the expulsion could be written in languages other than Castilian. See, for example, the mid-16th-century Portuguese letters published by Cohen (2018).


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Peninsular Spanish and Jewish Spanish: in Italy, Thessaloniki, and (Northern) Africa – he noticed – the Jews who had fled Spain “hablan aun toda via el lenguage, que lleuaron della, i se reconoce que es de aquella edad, diferente del desta” (Aldrete 1614, 263).10 Such a characterization of J.-Sp. exclusively in terms of archaism showed up again in the late 19th century, with the Spanish “rediscovery” of the Sephardic Jews; diffused, in a more or less nuanced form, by the pioneers of J.-Sp. research in the early 20th century, it found its way into most handbooks of Spanish dialectology and historical linguistics. Recent scholarship, however, has reconsidered the whole array of J.-Sp. linguistic features, balancing its innovations and retentions. Since “societies on the move are likely to experience more linguistic change, even substantially more change, than those which remain rooted for long periods of time in the same place” (Penny 2000, 65), J.-Sp. – like other migrants’ languages – may be better described within the framework of languages and dialects in contact.

4 Main linguistic features 4.1 Phonetics and phonology A characteristic feature of medieval Castilian was the alternation between unstressed high and mid vowels, especially in pretonic position, sometimes due to the metaphonic effect of a glide. Standard Spanish gradually eliminated such alternations, but the discarded forms were often preserved in J.-Sp. Thus in 16th-century vocalized texts (and in later texts, whenever vocalized), forms appear such as coando, dizierto, estroir, fegura, gostar, filisidad, hermuzura, miǰoría, nengun(o), and sinyor.11 For this and the following phenomena in Modern Judaeo-Spanish 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish; and for their geographic distribution in modern times 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish.

10 The Jews ‘still speak the language that they brought from there [i.e., Spain], and it is possible to recognize that it is of that period [of the expulsion], different from the current one.’ 11 Cf. CP, 122, 130; CY 124, 132, 152, 172, 176, 192; Qn 21, 26, 37, 39, 46; RV 88; SN 89, 96. The process of reduction of medieval /e/ ̴ /i/, /o/ ̴ /u/ alternations is examined in Harris-Northall (1996, 133–139). In Spanish informal speech, such alternations are often preserved, cf. Hernández Alonso (1996, 199); Moreno Fernández (1996, 215). Here and elsewhere, the transcription of J.-Sp. words tries to conform to the modern Spanish graphic norm without concealing any relevant phonetic feature – with the exception of nun + yod (yod) and lamed + yod (yod), transcribed as ny and ly rather than ñ and ll. As for sounds not represented in the modern Spanish graphic system, note that zayin = z = /z/, shin = š = /ʃ/, gimel with a diacritic = ǰ = /ʒ/; since the late 18th century, zayin with a diacritic = ǰ = /ʒ/ and gimel with diacritic = ğ = /dʒ/. More details concerning the J.-Sp. writing system are found in notes 15, 18, and 21 below and Section 3.1 above.

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Equally common are J.-Sp. non-diphthongized forms in contrast to Castilian forms with diphthongs: grego, logo, pasensia, preto, preva, pos, quen, sensia, etc., along with verb forms such as amostra, durme, enpesa, pensa, quere, rogo, tenbla, etc. The opposite feature is also found, although less frequently: averguensar, dientro, nievar, sierven, yelada, yerrar, etc.12 Such forms of diverse geographic or social origin were probably among the competing variants available in the 16th-century linguistic pool and were finally selected even though they did not fit the Castilian diphthongized pattern (Penny 2000, 188–189).13 In J.-Sp., like in many non-standard varieties of Peninsular and American Spanish, syllable-initial /w/ in the diphthong /we/ was strengthened to [ɡwe] or [ɣwe]: gueco, guelen (hence goler, golor), guérfano, guevo, guerta, guezmo (hence guezmar), guesos, viguela, etc. However, in J.-Sp. glide fortition is found also after a tautosyllabic consonant (atguendo, sirguela, virguela) and may entail vowel epenthesis (rugueda, tuguerto) or prothesis after the resulting consonant cluster (arguego < ruego, elguego/eluego/guego < luego, elguenga < luenga < lengua); a variant with [fwe] or [xwe] after /s/ (esfuegra, esḥuenyo) also exists. While syllable-initial strengthening is plentifully attested since the 16th century, there is only scant documentation of syllable-medial strengthening until the mid-18th century.14 J.-Sp. was only partly involved in the so-called “revolución fonológica del Siglo de Oro,” a series of phonetic/phonological changes that had been ongoing for a long time and reached completion during the 16th century (Cano Aguilar 2004, 833–848). Such changes affected mainly the subsystem of the sibilant consonants, which had been particularly unstable in the Middle Ages and in Castilian produced the loss of the phonological contrast between voiceless and voiced alveolar fricative, dental affricate and pre-palatal fricative consonants, that is to say /s/ : /z/, /ts/ : /dz/, /ʃ/ : /ʒ/. After some decades of high variability, the result was a single phoneme for each of the former pairs, namely /s/, /θ/, and /x/. J.-Sp., on the other hand, merged the alveolar and dental sibilants into dental fricatives, preserving the voice distinction, and maintained the phonological contrast between the two pre-palatal sibilants, hence /s/ : /z/, /ʃ/ : /ʒ/.

12 Cf. CMg 69, 76, 88, 92, 280; LAŠ 333; MLŠ 53, 55, 59, 60, 63–65; Qn 1978, 21–23, 28, 51; RV 385; RḤŠ 163, 164; RŠM 150, 153; SN 67; ST 4, 122, 178, 218. 13 Some of these forms arose from analogical extensions; others may be ascribed to different IberoRomance varieties (Portuguese, Aragonese, Leonese, etc.), but medieval and early modern Castilian was far from being homogeneous and shared several phonological, grammatical, and lexical features with its neighbor languages (Fernández-Ordóñez 2011, 90). 14 [ɡwe] / [ɣwe] is also the result of [we] after [β] (or [v]) in forms such as guestro or aguelos (Standard Spanish vuestro, abuelos). For the quoted forms cf. CP 134; CY 178, 190; CMg 70, 71, 75, 93, 105, 211; MLŠ 151; MR 220, 225, 227; Qn 22, 30, 39; SBS 41, 60; SḤŠ2 229; SMM 93, 104, 151; ST 18; SN 66–67, 192; SSN 179; Quintana (2006, 34, 37, 39). For a linguistic analysis of the process of [w] strengthening, see Penny (2000, 179); Quintana (2006, 33–40); Bradley (2009); Hualde/Șaul (2011, 103).


 Laura Minervini

Table 1: Sibilant systems. Medieval Castilian System

Modern Castilian System

Judaeo-Spanish System15

/s/ : /z/ passo  casa /ts/ : /dz/ plaça  dezir /ʃ/ : /ʒ/ dixo  ojo

/s/ paso  casa /θ/ plaza  decir /x/ dijo  ojo

/s/ : /z/ paso  caza /s/ : /z/ plasa  dezir /ʃ/ : /ʒ/ dišo  oǰo

Thus J.-Sp. did not preserve the medieval system, nor did it follow the Castilian pattern, but rather evolved according to its own dynamics. These dynamics were to some extent similar to those active in the Andalusian, Canarian, and American Spanish contexts that ultimately produced the merger of the medieval alveolar and dental, voiced and voiceless sibilants into a single phoneme; to wit, /s/, /z/, /ts/, /dz/ all merge into /s/ (seseo).16 In any case, the J.-Sp. sibilant system is identical to the Portuguese one,17 and we can assume that the Portuguese-speaking component of the J.-Sp. speech community significantly contributed to its shaping (Penny 2000, 116–117, 181–185; Quintana 2014a, 76–77). The new system is found – not without inconsistencies – already in 16th-century J.-Sp. texts, e.g., çabios, çientos, falso, pasar, pedaso, pençando, prençipio, sielos, etc.; amenazado, coza, dezir, dizierto, guzanos, mezura, onze, pozo, etc.18 Since the mid-16th century, evidence may be found in J.-Sp. texts of yeísmo, that is, the merging of /ʎ/ (as in, e.g., Mod. Sp. calló ‘he/she/it shut up’) and /ʝ/ (e.g., cayó ‘he/ she/it fell’) to /ʝ/. The following examples all derive from words originally containing /ʎ/: acayaron, alveyana, alveyota, cabayo, eyos, estreyas, fayarme, vaye, yamar, yaga, yeno, yorar, yover. We also find some hypercorrected forms such as alyuda, arrolyos, atalalya, dilyeta, lyemas, lyugo, sulyo, tardilyo, etc., where the digraph represents

15 The Hebrew letters used were shin and samekh for /s/ – the first one was a remnant of the medieval graphic system ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese) and gradually gave way to the second; zayin for /z/; shin with a diacritic for /ʃ/; gimel with a diacritic for /ʒ/ – but diacritics were often omitted. Since the late 18th century, zayin with a diacritic was used for /ʒ/, due to the phonemization of /dʒ/, previously a positional variant of /ʒ/. For the latter process see Section 4.3 below. 16 In so-called “Atlantic Spanish,” as in J.-Sp., /s/ is a dental rather than an alveolar fricative, like in Castilian; medieval /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ merged into /x/, which may have the allophone [h] (Penny 2000, 118–122, 130, 163). 17 In the phonemic inventory, not necessarily in the actual forms: e.g., J.-Sp. quezo vs. Port. queijo, J.-Sp. muǰer vs. Port. mulher, etc. The contiguity of the Andalusian seseo and the Southern Portuguese seseo– zezeo is underscored by Catalán (1989, 72, 76) and Fernández-Ordóñez (2011, 69). 18 Cf. CP 120, 122; CY, 127, 193; RV 87; SN 63, 71, 73. The major inconsistency found in 16th-century J.-Sp. texts is the use of both shin and samekh for /s/, but confusion between voiced and voiceless sibilants is also documented, e.g., casa, coça, deçeo, diǰimos, diçierto, etc. (CP 120, 160; CY 147; SN 203, 204).

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/ʎ/, although they stem from forms with /ʝ/. The outcome of this process in intervocalic position was a weak mid-palatal fricative, which could be deleted after front vowels: amarío, doradía, maravías, oría, sieros, etc.19 As is often the case, both yeísmo and /ʝ/ deletion are much more noticeable in 18th-century texts, although the spelling was not standardized and both y and ly could be used for the same words, e.g., cavalyero ̴ cavayero, galyos ̴ gayos, etc.20 Merger of /ʎ/ and /ʝ/ – now dominant in Spain and Latin America – is sparsely documented in the Middle Ages; it apparently took root in early modern Andalusia, a fact that greatly contributed to its social and geographical spread (Penny 2000, 120–121, 147–148, 186, 188; Cano Aguilar 2004, 848–849). Preservation vs. loss of prevocalic /f/ is a key feature, parting 20th-century J.-Sp. into two dialectal areas: /f/ was generally lost in Turkey, southern and eastern Greece, Israel, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as in Morocco; it was mostly preserved in Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and northern Greece, together with a positional variant [h] or [x] before /we/ (Quintana 2006, 93–100, 381–382; 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). However, following the history of this dialectal split is not an easy task: the latest distribution of /f/ or Ø was affected by the ascendancy of the speech communities of Thessaloniki and Istanbul, by far the most influential in the eastern Sephardic Diaspora. Thus, f, h and (more rarely) Ø are found in 16th-century texts, irrespective of their origin ( 3 Jewish texts in Old Castilian and Navarro-Aragonese, note 24): falcón, fendedura, fierro, hablar, hemra, herir, hilos, etc. (Istanbul, 1547); fado, fartura, fazer, hasta, hermozuras, hervor, hiǰo (besides iǰos, pl.), etc. (Thessaloniki, 1564); ahogados, ahorcados, alyava, avlar, azer, fasta, fava, folgansa, etc. (Venice, 1568); fasta, fazer, fayarme, fizo, iǰo, etc. (Safed, late 16th century).21 The koineization process clearly involved speakers of different Ibero-Romance geographical and social varieties, some preserving /f/, others dropping it or pronouncing it as [h].22 Over time, lexical variants with phonetic Ø were generalized in Istanbul, while in Thessaloniki forms with /f/ were normally favored, the [h] pronuciation being apparently discarded everywhere. The situation, however, was not yet settled in the 18th century, when most texts present a mix of f and Ø forms: anbre, avlar, asta, azer, oǰa vs. fierro, filar, fuir, fuesa, refuzar, etc. (Istanbul, 1733); alyó, arto, asta, avlar, azer, oǰa vs. fuesa, fuir, resfolgar, etc. (Izmir, 1739); ambre, avló, ermozo, iǰo

19 Cf. CP 180; FBG 226, 228, 230, 232, 233; LAŠ 332, 340; MR 213–216; RḤŠ 164; SḤŠ2 240, 241; ST 9, 17, 25, 29, 33, 39, 93, 95. 20 Cf. Seroussi/Havassy (2009, 125, 126, 395). 21 Cf. CP 120, 126, 130, 132, 134, 164, 184; LAŠ 332, 339; RV 87–91, 103, 150, 258; SḤŠ2 236, 237. The spelling in Hebrew script is pe with a diacritic for /f/ and he for [h]. 22 The process of /f/ deletion, through a [h] stage, is characteristic of medieval Castilian, so that retention of /f/ in J.-Sp. may be considered a non-Castilian (Portuguese, Aragonese, Catalan, etc.) feature (Penny 2000, 45–46, 183, 187–188). /f/ never disappeared from the Castilian phonemic inventory, since it was usually retained before glides and lateral consonants and in some learned words. The same holds true for J.-Sp. varieties with loss of /f/, where many other forms with /f/ are commonly retained (Révah 1984, 75).


 Laura Minervini

vs. falyar, federá, ferir, fervía, folgura, etc. (Thessaloniki, 1797).23 Starting in the late 18th century, forms with ḥue (< fue) were recorded in texts, denoting a velar or laryngeal pronunciation: ḥue (Thessaloniki, 1787); ḥuir (Livorno, 1822); aḥuera (Istanbul, 1823); ḥuego, ḥuente, ḥueron, ḥuertes, etc. (Thessaloniki, 1858).24 Research on more handwritten and printed sources is needed to shed light on the whole process of prevocalic /f/ retention or loss; it is evident, however, that some words were associated early on with one pronunciation or the other – indeed, change through lexical diffusion is expected in situations of language contact (Labov 2007). Metathesis is extremely common in J.-Sp., as it was, and still is, in medieval and modern Hispanic dialects. 16th-century texts provide plenty of examples, such as escalmasión (Sp. exclamación) and niervo (Sp. nervio) but mostly in contexts involving /ɾ/: esturmentos (O. Sp. estrumentos), merdoso (O. Sp. medroso), pedronar (Sp. perdonar), percurador (O. Sp. precurador), porfeta (Sp. profeta), porfundió (cf. O. Sp. profundir), porpózito (Sp. propósito), porporsión (Sp. proporción), prefesión (Sp. perfección), presona (Sp. persona), prostemería (O. Sp. postremería), proveza (Sp. pobreza), sobrevyo(s) (Sp. soberbios), etc.25 By the 18th century not only had several forms with metathesis lexicalized, but the -rd- group was almost systematically changed into -dr-: acodremos, guadrar, gualadrón, (para) modre (de), modrisco, odren, pedrer, pedrón, tadre, vedrad, vedruras, etc.26 In the 19th century, evidence of the change -rd- > -drmay be found in all kinds of J.-Sp. texts – save Biblical translations – written or printed in the eastern Sephardic world, leaving aside the western Balkanic regions (Quintana 2006, 107–109, 384). Palatalization of /s/ before velar /k/ is documented in words such as bušcar, cašcavel, chamušcar, cošcocha, mašcar, mošca, pešcado, and rebušcos.27 This change is apparently lexicalized, since it only involves a limited set of words; first recorded in 1588 and poorly documented in the 17th century, it is frequently found in 18th- and 19th-century texts. Its presence in earlier sources, though, could be concealed by the frequent omission of the diacritic on the letter shin – in later texts samekh is used for /s/, shin denoting the palatal phoneme /ʃ/ without ambiguity. For other changes whose existence in texts in difficult to detect due to the use of Hebrew script, see Section 3.

23 Cf. CMg 67–68, 92, 116, 127–128, 238; MLŠ 46, 135, 201; Qn 22–23, 27 (the editors of these texts use a standardized, Spanish-like graphic system, supplying h when missing in Hebrew script). 24 Cf. CMg 123, 249; Qn 22–23, 27; SBS 146. The spelling in Hebrew script is ḥet. 25 Cf. CP 134; CY 162; FC 85, 89; SḤŠ2 231; RV 437, 447; RŠM 153, 159; SN 61, 65; ST 41, 175. Different analyses of rhotic metathesis in J.-Sp. are proposed by Bradley (2007) and García Moreno (2008). 26 Cf. CEN 159; CMg 89, 121; MLŠ 43, 52, 59, 60, 70; MLB 107, 151; Qn 25, 55. 27 Cf. CMg 70, 76, 129, 131, 250; GO 278; MLŠ 54; SḤŠ2 230.

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4.2 Morphology and syntax J.-Sp. 1st person sg. and pl. preterite forms of -ar verbs have adopted the endings -í, -imos: coziní, demandí, echí, entrí, matí, quedí, avizimos, cazimos, dešimos, escapimos, faímos, tomimos, etc.28 While the -í, -imos endings are regularly found in 18th-century texts, earlier J.-Sp. texts show competition between 1st person pl. -amos and -emos endings: catamos, declaramos, esperamos, falyamos, pasamos, pecamos, rogamos, tornamos, yerramos vs. abašemos, angustiemos, culpemos, danyemos, demandemos, falsemos, olvidemos, ordenemos, quedemos, robemos, etc.29 The change probably occurred in two stages: first, the ambiguity of -amos, both present and preterite form, led to the alignment of the 1st person pl. to the 1st person sg. -é ending – as in modern Aragonese, Asturian, and Leonese dialects.30 Afterwards, generalization of the -í, -imos endings took place, analogically with the -er and -ir verbs. Since most texts are not vocalized and the same Hebrew letter is used for both /e/ and /i/, it is impossible to precisely date the shift -é, -emos > -í, -imos. In 16th- and early 17th-century J.-Sp. texts, 2nd person pl. present and future (indicative and subjunctive) forms could have different endings: -ades / -áis / -ás / -áš; -edes / -éis / -és / -éš, e.g., ǰuzgaredes, fagades, matedes, semeǰades, sabedes, seredes, temades alongside estáis, queréis, saltáis, veréis and cazás, comerés, dirés, estás, querés, seás, tomés, vivás; acordáš, diréš, estéš, mandaréš, sabréš, veréš, vivaš, etc. To these, different forms of the verb ser ‘to be’ must be added: sodes / sois / sos / sodeš / soš.31 In Peninsular Spanish, too, there was a great deal of variation until, in the second half of the 16th century, the endings -áis, -éis and the form sois became normative.32 In J.-Sp., on the other hand, variation was finally reduced in favor of the forms ending in -áš, -éš and the form soš of the verb ser, which are the forms usually found in later texts: bušcáš, enbiáš, estáš, miráš, sentiréš, soš, vaš, veréš, etc.33 What is more, /ʃ/ became firmly associated with the 2nd person pl. ending, so that word-final /s/ was palatalized even when not in contact with a palatal glide. Thus the preterite ending -stes developed to -steš; few instances of this change are found in late 16th-century sources (catasteš, dešasteš, quizisteš), but its widespread diffusion in texts dates to the 18th century: conosisteš, disteš, mandasteš, suvisteš, tuvisteš, visteš, etc.34 Since the late 18th

28 Cf. CMg 70, 80; MLŠ 139, 142, 144, 156, 157; Qn 21, 29, 54. 29 Cf. CP 126; CY 160; RŠH 161; RMM 167, 170; RV 337, 339, 381; SḤŠ1 328; SN 75, 176, 200; ST 191. 30 Cf. Alvar (1996, 286); Borrego Nieto (1996, 147, 154); Martínez Álvarez (1996, 131). 31 Cf. CP 122, 164; CY 132, 142, 144, 150, 182; SḤŠ2 243; LAŠ 332, 333; RŠM 152; RŠH, 160; RMM 166, 167, 170; ST 39, 121, 170; SN 224; TA 185. The forms with -d- are mainly used in Bible translations and in poetry. 32 In Peninsular Spanish, though, no -š forms are attested; in part of the American Spanish domain the -ás, -és and sos forms prevailed, in connection with voseo (Girón Alconchel 2004, 865–866). 33 Cf. CMg 79; GO 277, 279; MLŠ 143, 147, 150, 157; Qn 24, 25. 34 Cf. GO 282; LAŠ 332; MLŠ 135; Qn 26, 39; SḤŠ2 243. Likewise, the present ending of -ir verbs -ís > -íš, e.g., dezíš, escrivíš, and veníš (SSN 141, MLŠ 168, Qn 25). The /ej/ diphthong in Standard Sp. 2nd person pl. preterite form is a late 16th- or early 17th-century development, due to analogical leveling with other 2nd person pl. forms (Girón Alconchel 2004, 866).


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century, evidence is found of a further development: -steš > -teš, e.g., conisiteš, mandateš, sintiteš, somportateš, supiteš, viteš.35 This change aimed at clearly distinguishing the 2nd person pl. ending from the 2nd person sg. -ste, which often exhibited an analogical -s: (tu) demandastes, dišistes, distes, echastes, tuvistes, etc.36 The gerund form of the verb ser, siendo, underwent a process of grammaticalization in J.-Sp. and became a causal conjunction ( 19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish). In 16th-century texts, siendo usually preserves its verbal function, as in siendo hiǰa de tal varon, será criada en toda virtud (‘being the daughter of such a man, she will be raised in all virtue’); but followed by que ‘that’, it may appear with the meaning ‘granted that’: siendo que dicha mi muǰer quiera estar con mis fiǰos, elya sea patrona y senyora sobre todo (‘since my wife wants to be with my children, may she be the mistress of everything’).37 In the 18th century, siendo becomes fully grammaticalized, expressing causal relation between two clauses: siendo no entiende nada, se queda dormido (‘since he does not understand anything, she fell asleep’); siendo no supo responder, lo maltrató (‘since he was not able to answer, he mistreated him’); no ago la tal coza, siendo so ǰidió (‘I do not do such a thing, because I am a Jew’) .38 A personal (inflected) infinitive construction is found in some 16th-century J.-Sp. texts: hasta seeren (‘be-inf-3pl’) estruidos; por no seren (‘be-inf-3pl’) tan bestiales como los otros; falyaba seren (‘be-inf-3pl’) las qǝhillot qǝdošot en débito; dezeozos de escaparen (‘escape-inf-3pl’) d’este fuerte galut; por guardaren (‘observe-inf-3pl’) su santa Ley, etc.39 This construction reproduced a Portuguese morpho-syntactic pattern and was seemingly rejected in later texts (Quintana 2014a, 73–74; 2017, 71–76; 2 JudaeoPortuguese; 13  Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). Starting in the 18th century, evidence becomes available in infinitive clauses of the reflexive clitic sen (< se + -n) with a 3rd person pl. referent: no pueden sostenersen las umot sin Yisrael; enpesaron a morirsen; están bušcando por vensersen unos a otros; que puedan mercarsen cazas y terrenos; de todas las partes vinieron ğidiós por fundarsen una patria en Austria, etc.40 Spanish texts from eastern Castile, Navarre, and Aragon  – most of them dating from the 18th century onward, with a few late medieval examples – display the clitic form sen for 3rd person pl. subjects in infinitive clauses (Fernández-Ordóñez 2011, 37–38; Heap/Pato Maldonado 2012).

35 Cf. CĞ 236; Qn 26, 39; SBS 78. Needless to say, neither -steš nor -teš wholly replaced non-palatalized forms, with the consequence that all of them may be found in J.-Sp. texts (even in the same texts), -stes, -steš, -tes, -teš. 36 Cf. MLŠ 80, 95, 96; Qn 22. Analogical -s is found also in Peninsular dialects, see Nuño Álvarez (1996, 189); Hernández Alonso (1996, 209). 37 Cf. RV 91; RŠM 158. 38 Cf. MLB 118; MLŠ 150; Qn 42. For a partially different analysis, see Stulic-Etchevers (2010). 39 Cf. CP 144; FC 93, 95; RŠM 157; RV 202. Heb. qǝhillot qǝdošot ‘holy communities’; galut ‘exile’. 40 Cf. CĞ 210, 228; CEN 159; MLŠ 171; MLY 65. Heb. umot ‘nations’.

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The clitic pronoun nos ‘us’ develops into mos, possibly under the influence of the 1st person pl. ending -mos, common to all verbal classes; this form is documented in early modern Spanish literary texts and in various Peninsular dialects.41 The use of mos in J.-Sp., first recorded in the 16th century, was generalized in 18th-century texts: que mos mandéš; irmos; mos dišo; mos lyamó; mos responderá; demandarmos; mos comandan; mos saque; mos vamos; mos depedrerá; etc.42 The 1st person pl. possessive adjective nuestro was soon reshaped after the personal pronoun, thus becoming muestro: de muestra parte, muestros días, muestros sinyores, muestros pecados, muestras manos, muestro lugar, etc.43 Later on, the strong form of the personal pronoun nozotros ‘we, us’ also develops to mozostros: mos está mirando a mozotros; ven con mozotros; mozotros estamos pedridos; etc.44 Starting in the 18th century, evidence is found in texts of a further development, affecting both 1st and 2nd person pl. clitic pronouns: whenever followed by a another clitic, mos becomes mo, and vos becomes vo, e.g., mo la cante; mo la dio; mo lo robaron; vo lo digo; vo lo comanda; vo los meto en cuenta.45 The past participle of the verb dezir ‘to say’, dito, performs the functions of a determiner. At first, the Portuguese and Aragonese form dito competed in J.-Sp. with the Castilian form dicho, both of them meaning ‘the above-mentioned’. They could be placed before or after the noun they modified and could be preceded by the definite article: el leǰítimo poseedor de los dichos bienes; en los tres sentidos dichos; no faga ninguna coza sin orden y conseǰo de dichos apotroposim; lo que tenía escrito en el dito cuaderno; uno de los mercaderes gregos ditos; en caza de dito Reuven.46 Later on, dito wholly replaced dicho, being mostly used before the noun without the article and referring backwards in the text: que fue tu zǝkhut por alcansar dito bien?; vinieron ditos dos ermanos de Yerushalayim; y ditas aves le dišeron al rey; bušcá a dito ombre.47 In a further stage of the evolution, dito could work as a sheer demonstrative adjective, without anaphoric reference, and the form el dito as a 3rd person sg. personal pronoun: Y lugo enpesó a lyorar raban Yoḥanan y dišo ditas palavras; el emperador lo miró a este Anton Lebe esperando que el dito tomara parte en el pasatiempo de eyos.48 The suffix -ico is by far the most productive diminutizer in J.-Sp. Examples are available already in 16th-century texts: gamelyicas, lizarico, paredica, pedaçico, portico, 41 Cf. Martínez Álvarez (1996, 131); Nuño Álvarez (1996, 189); DCECH (4, 239). 42 Cf. LAŠ 333; RŠM 157; RŠH 161; ST 59; MLŠ 44; Qn 51; CMg 80; SBS 72; SMM 93. 43 Cf. CMg 238; LAŠ 333; MLŠ 128; Qn 23; ST 155; SBS 144. The 1st person pl. possessive adjective, in turn, is supposed to have affected the shift /nwe/ > /mwe/ in words such as muevo < nuevo (SSN 56) or muez faxare ‘to send a fax’). Examples include Heb. baraḥ ‘to escape’ > J.-Tur. barhhè ‘to escape (from thieves)’, Heb. daraš ‘to interpret, to preach’ > J.-Rmc. darshàre ‘to preach’, and Heb. dabber ‘speak!’ > dabrare in many communities from Piedmont to Rome. The respective first conjugation infinitive markings correspond to those of the local dialects, that is, -é

3 To these we can add proper names and derivations thereof, either frozen in idiomatic expressions or resulting in common nouns (19 cases); see Aprile (2012, 37). 4 For exceptions with parasynthetic formations, see Section 2.2.2.


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for Piedmontese, -ar for the Lombard, Emilian-Romagnol, and Venetian dialects, -are for Tuscan dialects, and -à for Romanesco (Rohlfs 1966–1969, § 612). In that way we have, for example, Heb. maḥave ‘hideout’ > J.-Pie. mahabáre ‘to hide’, Heb. peger ‘corpse’ > J.-Flo. pegheriare ‘to die’, post-Biblical Heb. rewaḥ ‘profit’ > J.-Rmc. revachare ‘to withdraw one’s own share of the profit’, Heb. šikkor ‘drunk’ > J.-Tur. sihhoriè ‘to drink wine moderately’ (Aprile 2012, 39–40). As these examples show, Judaeo-Italian verbs often have Hebrew nouns or adjectives as their bases. The Hebrew verbs that entered the Judaeo-Italian varieties as loanwords thus have the peculiar status of a morphological base that requires being combined with an ItaloRomance marking in order to function as verbs. For further examples and exceptions, see Aprile (2012, 38–39). Similarly, nouns take the Romance endings of the particular dialects. Let us illustrate this with the masculine plural ending -i: J.-Mant. sciafei (pl.) ‘humiliated persons’ f in this variety (consider, e.g., fafávero, sfianare, foeta for papavero, spianare, poeta). However, in this author’s opinion, an interpretation of a deliberate modification cannot be excluded, since this happens to be the only documented instance of this change involving a geminate consonant (see Aprile 2012, 52). The most significant group of deliberately modified words is the one related to non-Jewish (in particular Catholic) sacred terms. Forms like the J.-Mant. chadoglia, J.-Mod. hadòglia, J.-Vnz. hadòlia, J.-Rmc. chadòlia, all meaning ‘mother of Jesus’ and the J.-Vnz. hadolìni ‘saints’ are taboo-motivated deformations of the It. Madonna, where the consonants have been substituted, whereas the vowel sequence was not altered.17 This is not an isolated process, but also applies, with exactly the same modalities, to the J.-Mant. chalto, J.-Mod. hàlto, J.-Vnz. hàlto e halta, J.-Liv. halto ‘bigoted person’ (based on It. santo), to which the superlative haltissima ‘very sacred’ is added by Jochnowitz (1981, 153, see Fortis 2006, 249). Taboo-motivated transformations of other types based on santo are the J.-Liv. ’an Pietro, scian Pietro, J.-Rmc. ngkan Pietro, ngkanta Cecilia, ngkanta ngkaria ngkalora ‘Santa Maria Maggiore’. For further discussion, see Aprile (2012, 53–54), who also mentions the humorous J.-Flo. form cattoceli ‘catholics’ (formed by means of a syllabic metathesis) and the J.-Regg. zantocia ‘church’. The latter is, however, a variant of the underworld-jargon word santocia which must have been widespread at earlier times in Reggio Emilia (Foresti 1836, 294), but also in Parma (Malaspina 1856–1859, vol. 4, 21) and Milan (Cherubini 1839–1856, vol. 4, 102). Concerning the alteration of words related to death, the designations for ‘cemetery’ are particularly noteworthy. Here, the fact that a series of Hebraisms18 is used can already be regarded as a distancing strategy.19 These Hebraisms can be affected by modifications of the type being discussed here, like in the J.-Liv. expression andare al ber-ahaím cantando ‘to die happily’ (lit. ‘to go the cemetery singing’), which contains the post-Biblical Heb. bet ha-ḥayyim ‘house of life’ for ‘cemetery’; see Bedarida (1956, 127), according to whom bet is pronounced ber by way of conjuration. A similar motivation can be seen in the J.-Rmc. form baragaìmme (see Aprile 2012, 54).

17 In contrast to the J.-Pie. Hadóna, which is more transparent due to the fact that the change is limited to the initial consonants. 18 But see also the euphemistic J.-Flo. de fora ‘to the cemetery’ (Jochnowitz 1977, 125). 19 The Hebrew expressions at issue include the post-Biblical Heb. bet (ha-)ḥayyim ‘house of life’ (based on Aram. bet ‘almin ‘house of eternity’ and the post-Biblical Heb. bet (ha-)qevarot ‘house of tombs’; see Aprile 2012, 54, fn. 6).

12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era 


The modification of entirely Latin elements, like Madonna and santo, which we already discussed above, also applies to the field of bodily functions, which is traditionally affected by euphemisms. Examples are some words stemming from Romance forms derived from Lat. cacāre: the J.-Fer. hagghér ‘to defecate’, J.-Vnz. haiàr, J.-Vnz. haiàr[se] ‘to make a mess in one’s pants’, J.-Vnz. haiàda ‘shit’. This also extends to all the metaphoric meanings that the corresponding Romance verbs have in idiomatic J.-Vnz. expressions: te hàio su la ponta! ‘I’ll pull a fast one on you’, J.-Vnz. haiàr(la) grosa ‘to tell tall stories, to say something stupid’, J.-Vnz. haiàda col pien ‘big lie’.

2.6 Back-formation Processes of back-formation operate in specific cases and are frequently induced by analogical mechanisms. The following non-extensive list (from Aprile 2012, 47) can give us an idea of the typological variation, such as the reconstruction of number (singular nouns formed out of plural ones and vice versa) or the reconstruction of gender (feminine nouns formed out of masculine ones and vice versa, either in the Romance or in the Hebrew or Aramaic morphology): The J.-Pie. form haià ‘nun’ was created from the Hebrew plural ’aḥayot ‘sisters’ (the Hebrew singular form is ’aḥot). In the same way the J.-Pie. word banà is a back-formed version of the Hebrew plural banot ‘daughters’ (the Hebrew form of the word ‘daughter’ is bat). The J.-Mant. chalefà ‘saber’ (from post-Biblical Heb. ḥallif ‘knife for the ritual slaughtering of poultry’) is an analogical reconstruction from the plural ending in -ot (documented in the J.-Mant. form chalafòt). The J.-Tur. ghezer ‘man with a miserable physique’ is a back-formation of the feminine noun gezera (from post-Biblical Heb. gezera ‘decree, persecution, fate, destiny, fatality’; see Section 4.1). Many forms using the Aramaic feminine ending -ta (see Section 3.1), as in the J.-Pie. mamzertà ‘repulsive person’ (from Heb. mamzer ‘illegitimate child/ son, bastard’), led to the formation of the masculine form in the J.-Rmc. variety, in this case manzertò. The following reconstruction of a masculine noun in the J.-Liv. variety can certainly be regarded as humorous: mesciumadésso ‘atheist’ from the feminine form in -essa. This is well documented in Modena (from Heb. mešummad ‘converted apostate’).

3 Reflexes of Semitic morphology in the Judaeo-Italian varieties As we saw in Section 2, the Judaeo-Italian varieties generally follow the concatenative inflectional system of the Italo-Romance dialects. There are, however, a series of Hebrew morphological elements that have been somewhat productive in the Judaeo-Italian


 Marcello Aprile

varieties. This will be shown in Section 3.1 for nominal inflection, with some further details in Sections 3.2 and 3.3. Section 3.4 discusses a rare case of word formation with a morpheme stemming from Hebrew. Finally, section 3.5 shows other, non-productive/ fossilized reflexes of Hebrew morphology.

3.1 Nominal inflection In the Judaeo-Italian varieties, Hebrew masculine loanwords can form their plural with the Hebrew ending -im (J.-Liv. ‘arelìm ‘the Christians’) and feminine ones with -ot or -od, the latter (as, e.g., in J.-Vnz. merivòd ‘fights’) being a result of a generalized voicing in the central and northern communities besides the normalized/etymological form -ot.20 The Aramaic/Hebrew-Mishnaic masculine plural ending -in has only occasionally survived in frozen forms.21 Similarly, feminine singular words can be marked with a stressed -a (a common Hebrew feminine ending) or with a stressed -ta (the corresponding Aramaic ending). This applies not only to feminine nouns (an example would be J.-Mant. ma‘alà ‘excellency’), but also to nouns that can take masculine and feminine endings (for men and women, respectively) and to adjectives. Analogical extensions of this pattern to cases in which it is not found in Hebrew and Aramaic appear to be more interesting. These include many examples whose endings seem to be productive beyond the boundaries of the Hebrew language, like the J.-Tur. emà ‘mother’ (in which -à reinforces the idea of the feminine, which is intrinsic in Heb. ’em ‘mother’, unless this word is a blend with the Aram. ’imma), or the J.-Pie. pegherà ‘death’ (formed through analogical extension of Hebrew peger ‘cadaver’). The latter case shows that this ending can serve for word formation, such as for forming abstract nouns. The feminine noun deraca in the expression agí coun deraca ‘to behave with respect’ (see Section 4.3), documented in J.-Pie., is also analogical, since its basic Hebrew origin is derek ‘path, (right) way’; the same holds for the J.-Pie. ghibenà ‘hunchbacked woman’, formed from the masculine noun ghibén (< Heb. gibben ‘hunchbacked’, feminine gibbenet). Similarly, there are Aramaicized feminine nouns like the J.-Pie. ganavtà ‘female thief’ (< Heb. gannav ‘thief’; the feminine form in -tà is practically nonexistent in the corresponding Aramaic word, and the Hebrew feminine form is gannevet); J.-Tur. pegartà ‘dead woman’ (formed again through analogy from Hebrew peger ‘cadaver’). The most extreme case of this process is demonstrated by two forms, documented in the J.-Rmc. variety, undoubtedly 20 Similar to the forms with d stemming from the feminine singular construct state ending -t mentioned in Section 2. 21 These are generally cases in which the plural value got lost during the borrowing process. The most significant and widespread case seems to be Heb. (màyim) ḥammin ‘hot water’ (with the Aramaic plural ending -in in the second element), which generated words with a singular meaning, such as hamin ‘hot food; reheated food’ (< ḥam ‘hot’) in the Judaeo-Italian varieties (see Aprile 2012, 32).

12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era 


on Romance bases: schifità ‘annoying flattery’ (from It. schifo ‘disgust’) and mattità ‘insanity’ (from It. matto ‘mad’). Their plurals are schifitòdde e mattitodde, respectively, with the local development of the Hebrew feminine plural ending -ot. This is an effect of the phonetic similarities between the Romanesco ending -ità (< Lat. -itate) and the Aramaic -tà. Finally, Aprile (2012, 32–33), from where these examples are taken, mentions the fact that both Semitic and Romance suffixes can be used for marking gender as feminine in derivations from the same basis. Thus, based on the same Heb. basis po‘el ‘worker’,22 there are J.-Pie. puŋaltá ‘farmer’s wife, countrywoman’ (Aprile 2012, 241) and J.-Mod. pognaltà ‘country bumpkin woman, uncivilized woman’, both with the Aramaic ending, in contrast to the J.-Vnz. po‘elésa, with the same meaning and a Romance ending. There are however no documented cases of such coexistence in one and the same community.

3.2 Shifts and irregularities in number The relationship between singular and plural presents other aspects that are relevant for individual forms (see Aprile 2012, 34–35, from where the following examples are taken). We find the singular used as a plural in J.-Mod. tapsán or tafsan ‘guardians’ (but also the J.-Mod. plural form taffsanìm), taussan in J.-Ver., from Heb. tafaś ‘to catch’. Similarly, we have the Hebrew singular used instead of the plural in J.-Vnz. sisìd ‘fringes; tufts’, from Heb. ṣiṣit ‘lock (of hair), tassel’ and in J.-Rmc. robbì ‘rabbis’, from postBiblical Heb. rabbi (under the influence of the Ashkenazi pronunciation of Hebrew). The Hebrew word qinyan ‘acquisition; right of possession; symbolic acquisition (of the bride)’, which, in the Judaeo-Italian varieties serves as a basis of words describing the engagement celebration, seems to be only used in its plural form in the community of Venice (chinianìm), whereas other communities also use the singular (see Section 4.1). It seems that (in those cases in which this can be verified) the Judaeo-Italian varieties follow Hebrew irregular plural formation of feminine nouns that have the (originally masculine) plural ending in -im, as can be seen, for example, in the reflexes of Heb. šana ‘year’, such as J.-Tur. sanà (sg.) / J.-Pie. saním (pl.). An irregular behavior is also found in the case of Heb. ṣura ‘form, figure’, which is feminine in singular (e.g., J.-Pie. surà) and, in contrast to the previous case, triggers masculine agreement (despite the ending -ot) in the plural (e.g., J.-Mant. surot, cf. Colorni 1970, 134), differently from what is expected etymologically. In some cases, in which both singular and plural forms are documented in Hebrew, only one of the two prevails over the other. Thus, for instance, the Judaeo-Italian forms stemming from Heb. seliḥa ‘forgiveness, supplication, prayer of penitence’ seem to exist

22 In Judaeo-Italian, this Hebrew word has developed meanings such as ‘farmer’, ‘country bumpkin’ (Colorni 1970, 143; Fortis 2006, 388–389).


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exclusively in the plural: J.-Vnz. selihòd ‘prayer for forgiveness’, also see J.-Liv. selihò, selihot, selihòd, J.-Rmc. sirecòddi. Based on the Hebrew plural of the word ṣiṣit ‘lock (of hair), tassel’ already mentioned above, ṣiṣiyot, the J.-Rmc. zizzidòdde ‘tuft, fringe’ is formed (which would seem to be masculine).

3.3 Lexicalization of Hebrew plurals In the transition from Hebrew to the Judaeo-Italian varieties we find many cases in which the lemma’s number was reinterpreted. Among the J.-Pie. reflexes of post-Biblical Heb. ṣara ‘grief, calamity, misfortune’, we find both regularly surviving singular forms, such as the J.-Pie. singular sarà ‘mishap, misfortune’ (also common in other communities), but there are also relics of plural forms but with a singular meaning, like J.-Pie. saród ‘person or merchandise of minor value’, in which, in addition, the gender appears to be changed from feminine to masculine. The plural of Heb. šem ‘name’ gave rise to sciamòddi, which is typical for Rome and means ‘lotto numbers’.23 A similar specialization seems to have also occurred to the reflexes of Heb. šofar ‘ram’s horn’, which preserve their etymological meaning in the singular form, while, at least in the variety of Rome, the plural form shows a semantic calque of Italian in the J.-Rmc. sciofaròdde ‘betrayal of a spouse’ (see Ital. mettere le corna, ‘to cuckold’, lit. ‘to put the horns’). A further case in which the singular/plural distinction corresponds to a semantic change are Heb. ḥerpa ‘dishonor, dispraise’ and its plural form ḥarafot, which were perceived as two different bases. For the singular we can mention J.-Pie. carpá, J.-Vnz. and J.-Liv. herpà, J.-Pitigl. harpà, and J.-Rmc. cherpà ‘shame, disgrace’. The plural gave J.-Pie. and J.-Liv. harafod (always used in fixed expressions) with the meaning of ‘ruin, loss’. The fact that there are some Hebrew words of which only the plural form survived is indicative of a tendency to generalize the use or meaning of a certain quotation from the Bible or other texts. In this way we only have plural forms of Heb. šošan ‘a flower, in particular the lily’: J.-Liv. šošanímme ‘teats’, J.-Rmc. sciusciannìmme, where at least the former shows a change of gender (semantically extremely predictable) from masculine to feminine. The fate of this form stems from a single quotation from the Song of Songs 6,2, in which the word can be interpreted in this meaning and appears in the plural.

23 The reflexes of the Heb. singular of this word have maintained specialized Hebrew meanings in the singular (with the Hebrew definite article ha-, in which case it means ‘the Lord’), such the J.-Vnz. asèm / J.-Rmc. ascèmme ‘the Lord’.

12 Judaeo-Italian varieties in the modern era 


3.4 Word formation: nominalizations in -ut Judaeo-Italian derivations with the Hebrew suffix -ut that lead to abstract nouns seem to have a certain vitality, both with Hebrew and with Romance bases. For the former, note that the respective word formation results do not exist in Hebrew. Examples are the J.-Mod. mahalùt ‘sickness’ (< post-Biblical Heb. maḥala ‘illness’), J.-Pie. guiüd ‘Catholicism’ (< Heb. goy ‘gentile, non-Jew’), J.-Pie. niscadüd ‘poverty’ (< Heb. niśḥat ‘corrupt, spoiled’), J.-Fer. gnofúd ‘vanity’ ( /ʃ/), nor the Northern Ibero-Romance development of deaffrication (/ts̪ / > /s̪ / > /θ/), nor the velarization of the post-alveolar sibilant (/ʃ/ > /x/) that also affected the northern varieties of Peninsular Spanish. In contrast, Judaeo-Spanish underwent the deaffrication of /dz̪ / > /z̪ / and /ts̪ / > /s̪ / and the subsequent loss of the contrast between the apico-alveolar and the dental fricatives (/z̺ / > /z̪ / and /s̺ / > /s̪ /), following the conservative registers in the central and southern varieties of Old Peninsular Spanish, but preserving the [±voiced] contrast (cf. Penny 2000, 181–182; Dworkin 2018, 24). This development matches the path followed by the fricative sibilants in Catalan and Portuguese. As already explained above (cf. Section, another innovation of the JudaeoSpanish sibilants is the phonemic split of palato-alveolar /ʒ/ into two phonemes /ʒ/ and /dʒ/, two sounds that in Old Spanish were simply allophones of a single phoneme. Following Penny’s description (2000, 43–44, 181–186), the full sibilant systems of Old Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish is illustrated in Table 6. A phonological contrast between voiceless and voiced dento-alveolar fricatives occurs in the word-medial intervocalic position, but the voicing contrast tends to be neutralized in syllable-final and word-final positions (Penny 2000, 182; Bradley 2007b, 49; Hualde/Şaul 2011, 99). Internally in coda position, dento-alveolar /s/ is often found before voiceless consonants (pestanya ‘eyelashʼ, bastante ‘sufficientʼ, respiro ‘breathingʼ), while /z/ occurs before voiced consonants (mizmo ‘same ʼ, pezgado ‘heavy; difficultʼ, azlan ‘lazyʼ, azno ‘donkeyʼ, buzdji ‘icemanʼ). However, this is not always the case, as the pronunciation of the following words shows: azpan ‘insolentʼ, basmadji ‘dress sellerʼ, pezkuza ‘inquiryʼ. In the speech stream, word-final [s] is normally found before


 Aldina Quintana

Table 6: Old Spanish and Modern Judaeo-Spanish sibilant systems. place/manner of articulation


Old Spanish



pre-palatal affricate

unvoiced voiced

/tʃ/ noche jugar [dʒ]24

/tʃ/ noche /dʒ/ djugar

‘nightʼ ‘to play’

pre-palatal fricative

unvoiced voiced

/ʃ/ caxa /ʒ/ muger

/ʃ/ kasha /ʒ/ mujer

‘box’ ‘womanʼ

apico-alveolar fricative

unvoiced voiced

/s̺ / passo /z̺ / casa

dental fricative

unvoiced voiced

dental affricate

unvoiced voiced

‘step’ ‘house’ /s̪ / kasa, paso /z̪ / kaza, dezir

/ts̪ / caça /dz̪ / dezir

‘huntʼ, ‘step’ ‘house’, ‘to say’ ‘huntʼ ‘to say’

voiceless consonants and before pause, and [z] before voiced consonants and vowels: maz o menos ‘more or lessʼ (Penny 2000, 182; Bradley/Delforge 2006, 76). The voicing of word-final /s/ in the formation of the plural form in most monosyllabic words, as well as ultimate stressed words, may reflect the influence of Turkish and Hebrew borrowings – languages in which /s/ and /z/ contrast word-finally – which also led to the voicing of the singular forms: as in mez ‘monthʼ, diez ‘tenʼ, muez ‘nutʼ, nariz ‘noseʼ, fransez ‘Frenchʼ, chikez ‘childhoodʼ, tramuz ‘lupinʼ, maiz ‘maize, cornʼ. The palatalization of /s/ before the velar /k/ is a characteristic feature of Judaeo-Spanish, brought from the Iberian Peninsula, which affects a limited number of words, but which has a high frequency of use in everyday speech (e.g., kashka [kaʃˈka] ‘peelʼ, pishkado [piʃˈkaðo] ‘fishʼ, moshka [ˈmoʃka] ‘flyʼ, kueshko [ˈkueʃko] ‘stoneʼ, mashkadura [maʃkaˈðuɾa] ‘chewingʼ, amorishkos [amoˈɾiʃkos] ‘love affairʼ).25 Nevertheless, the dento-alveolar is retained in many words (e.g., esklavo [esˈklavo] ‘slaveʼ, roska [ˈroska] ‘doughnutʼ, fresko [ˈfɾesko] ‘freshʼ, eskalera [eskaˈleɾa] ‘stairs, staircaseʼ, siskirina [siskiˈɾina] ‘dirtʼ, etc.). Final /-s/ in prefixes does not palatalize before /k/ either: deskalso [desˈkalso] ‘barefootʼ, (d)eskarinyo [(d)eskaˈɾiɲo] ‘nostalgiaʼ, deskashkar [deskaʃˈkaɾ] ‘to shellʼ, eskarado [eskaˈɾaðo] ‘insolent’, reskapado [reskaˈpaðo] ‘refugeeʼ. Neither does palatalization of /s/ before /k/ occur in verbs formed with the common verbalizing suffix -eser, e.g., me engrandesko ‘I make stridesʼ, te engrandeskas ‘that you make stridesʼ (from engrandeser) or padesko ‘I suffer [a misfortune, misery, etc.]ʼ, padeskas ‘that you do not suffer [a misfortune, misery, etc.]ʼ, (from padeser).

24 In word-initial position, the Old Spanish phoneme /ʒ/ was realized as the allophone [dʒ], which became a phoneme in Judaeo-Spanish. 25 Cuexco, moxca, pexcado, and caxco are documented in Spanish texts written before 1600, as well as other words such as caxcara, caxcabel or caxcavel, and maxcamjentos (cf. CORDE).

17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish 


The progressive assimilation with coalescence of word-final /-s/ after the palatal glide led to the change of the verbal desinence of the 2nd person plural from -i̯ s to -sh, like in kantash ([kanˈtaʃ] < [kanˈtai̯ s] < [kanˈtaðes]) ‘ singʼ. The same explanation justifies the change in the cardinal numeral seis [ˈsei̯ s] to sesh [seʃ] ‘sixʼ. The reduction of /s/ to [h] in Southern Peninsular Spanish or its total deletion in coda position both word-medially and finally, caused by the loss of its coronal articulation, does not occur in Judaeo-Spanish. However, the dative personal pronoun mos ‘us’ underwent total deletion of /s/ before the accusative personal pronoun lo ( los ( Eyos mo lo dieron el livro ‘they gave us the bookʼ. Traces of such reduction in other words may still be heard in some speakers from Thessaloniki living in Israel, and some cases are also documented in Nehama (1977). Judaeo-Spanish has two palato-alveolar fricative phonemes: /ʃ/ and /ʒ/. In inherited words, voiceless /ʃ/ corresponds more or less to the Old Spanish phoneme (Hualde 2013b, 162). In addition, /ʃ/ also occurs in coda position before /k/, and word-finally in the numeral sesh ‘sixʼ, and in the verbal 2nd plural ending, as has already been mentioned above. The phoneme /ʃ/ also appears word-initially in items integrated from Hebrew and Turkish (e.g., shabat [ʃaˈbað] ‘Shabbatʼ, shohet [ʃoˈxet] ‘Jewish ritual slaughtererʼ; shaka [ʃaˈka] ‘jokeʼ, Turk. şaka; shamar [ʃaˈmaɾ] ‘slap in the faceʼ, Turk. şamar), as well as word-finally (e.g., rosh hodesh [roʃˈxodeʃ] ‘beginning of the Jewish monthʼ, Heb. roš ḥodeš; de/darush [daˈɾuʃ, deˈɾuʃ] ‘sermonʼ, Heb. derúš; gerush [ɡeˈɾuʃ] ‘expulsionʼ, Heb. geruš; pelush [peˈluʃ] ‘plushʼ, Turk. peluş < Fr. peluche). It occurs also in the onset of word-internal syllables after vowels (e.g., kasher [kaˈʃeɾ] ‘kosherʼ, Heb. kašer; meshumad [meʃuˈmad] ‘apostateʼ, Heb. mešumad; trushi [tɾuˈʃi] ‘brine; picklesʼ, Turk. turşu), in onset after liquid consonants (darshan [daɾˈʃan] ‘preacherʼ Heb. daršan; kurshum [kuɾˈʃum] ‘(gun)shot, bulletʼ, Turk. kurşun); and in the syllable coda (hashbon [xaʃˈbon] or [xasˈbon] ‘count, calculationʼ, Heb. ḥešbon; mishkan [miʃˈkan] ‘the Tabernacleʼ, Heb. miškan). In Hebrew words, the depalatalization of /ʃ/ may occur, especially in speakers without knowledge of Hebrew, a group that traditionally includes women: saba(t) (< [ʃaˈbað]) ‘Shabbat’; malsin [malˈsin] ‘informer, slandererʼ, Heb. malšin; mispaha (< [miʃpaˈxa]) ‘family’, Heb. mišpaḥa. The voiced counterpart of /ʃ/ is /ʒ/. As already noted above, the palato-alveolar phoneme /ʒ/ split into the two phonemes /ʒ/ and /dʒ/. This change altered the contextual distribution of /ʒ/, which previously occurred only intervocalically, causing its presence in onset word-initially as well, especially because of borrowings from French, such as jambon [ʒamˈbon] ‘ham’, jandarme [ʒanˈdaɾme] ‘policeman’, Japon [ʒaˈpon] ‘Japan’, jurnal [ʒuɾˈnal] ‘newspaper’. The increased presence of /ʒ/ in the lexicon also reinforced the sibilant system in Judaeo-Spanish. Summarizing the section on fricatives, the changes that occurred here can be characterized by saying that “voiced labial, dental and prepalatal obstruent phonemes have undergone diachronic lenition limited to the word-internal postvocalic position. In contrast, word-initial segments have not lenited, even when they are intervocalic within the phrase. Word-internal prefix boundaries also appear to have blocked lenition”


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(Hualde 2013a, 258). Phonemic contrast has been reinforced for the labials (/b/ : /v/), and a new contrast has been introduced for the dentals (/d/ : /ð/), palato-alveolars (/dʒ/ : /ʒ/), and velars (/ɡ/ : /ɣ/) in Central Judaeo-Spanish, where the voice contrast in the dentals and the velars is comparatively marginal.

3.2 Sonorants 3.2.1 Nasals The Judaeo-Spanish variety of Thessaloniki has three nasal phonemes: the bilabial /m/, the alveolar /n/, and the palatal /ɲ/. In the past, the three nasals were elements of the consonantal system in all varieties of Judaeo-Spanish.26 However, since the dephonemization of /ɲ/ is an ongoing process, the situation varies considerably from one variety to another. In some varieties this process has been completed, and the bi-phonemic sequence /nj/ emerges in place of /ɲ/.27 This seems to be the case in relation to the variety of Istanbul (cf. Hualde/Şaul 2011, 100–101) which, nevertheless, is the only variety with some vitality in the context of Judaeo-Spanish. The distribution of /m/ and /n/ in Judaeo-Spanish corresponds, in general, to that of modern Peninsular Spanish (see below). One exception is that – differently from Peninsular Spanish – word-final /-m/ may occur, such as in words borrowed from Hebrew, e.g., haham ‘wise man, rabbi’ (Heb. ḥaḥam), benadam ‘decent guy, mensch’ (Heb. ben adam), Purim ‘a Jewish festival’ (Heb. purim), aniyim ‘poor people’ (Heb. aniyim), especially among speakers who know Hebrew, while among people with little or no familiarity with this language, it neutralizes to /-n/. Word-final /-m/ occurs also in borrowings from Turkish (kurshum ‘bullet’, Turk. kurşun; lokum ‘Turkish delight’, Turk. lokum; donum/ dunam ‘a unit of area’, Turk. dönüm), and French (kostum ‘costume, clothing’, madam ‘lady’, referandom ‘referendum’), in which the last syllable is stressed. As in the case of Hebrew words, even in these loans, word-final /-m/ may neutralize into /-n/. Labial /m-/ also occurs word-initially in some words beginning with /n-/ in Old and Modern Spanish.28 This is because word-initial /n/ followed by the diphthong [we] underwent a regressive assimilation with respect to its place of articulation in several words: muevo [ˈmwevo] ‘new’, mues [mwes] ‘walnut’, muestro [ˈmwestɾo] ‘our’, mueve [ˈmweve] ‘nine’ (Luria 1930, 107; Bradley 2009, 55).

26 For Monastir (actually Bitola), see Luria (1930, 107, § 16), and numerous examples of words with the phoneme /ɲ/ in Crews (1935; 1979); for Thessaloniki, Crews (1935; 1979); for Sarajevo, Crews (1979), for Skopje and Bucharest, Crews (1935), and for Istanbul, see also the tales edited by Wagner (1914). 27 The dephonemization of /ɲ/ in the Judaeo-Spanish variety of Bucharest, both word-initially and between vowels, was observed by Sala (1971, 77–78, § 28). 28 In this chapter the personal pronouns mozotros ‘we’ and mos ‘us’ are not included, because the changes of nosotros to mozotros and nos to mos are not justified by phonetic causes.

17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish 


As in Spanish (Martínez-Celdrán/Fernández-Planas/Carrera-Sabaté 2003, 258), nasals in syllabic codas are usually homorganic with the following segment (Hualde/Şaul 2011, 101). The assimilation to the following consonant may happen both within words and across word boundaries. An exception may be /n/ before /b/ in words such as sanbenito in the expression bene sete de sanbenito ‘be exposed to the danger of the Sanbenito’, bonbon ‘bonbon’, bonboniko ‘a very tasty bonbon’, enbonora ‘goodbye!’, enbreve ‘in short, suddenly’, enbasho ‘ground, floor’, tanbien ‘also’, because speakers conceive them either as compound words (sanbenito, bonbon, tanbien) or as derivatives (enbonora, enbreve, enbasho), in which the assimilation from [n] to [m] is blocked because one element is reanalyzed as a prefix in a way similar to what happened in the preservation of /b/ and /v/ in prefixed verbal formations (cf. Section As has been mentioned above, the phoneme /ɲ/ was part of the system used in all varieties of Judaeo-Spanish, and its distribution generally corresponded to that of Peninsular Spanish. Exceptions are documented in the communities of Thessaloniki and its surroundings,29 in which the palatal sound also occurs word-initially in a substantial number of inherited lexical items, in contrast to the few occurrences in Peninsular Spanish:30 nyudo [ˈɲuðo] ‘knot’, nyeto [ˈɲeto] ‘grandchild’, nyeve [ˈɲeve] ‘snow’, nyuera [ˈɲweɾa] ‘daughter-in-law’, nyervo [ˈɲeɾvo] ‘nerve’, in derivatives (nyervozidad [ɲeɾvoziˈðað] ‘nervousness’, nyervezikos [ɲeɾveˈzikos] ‘excessive excitement’).31 It is also found in some new creations (nyanyato [ɲaˈɲato] ‘(aborted) fetus’), and in other words as a consequence of regressive assimilation in which the bi-phonemic sequence [nj] merges into /ɲ/: nyegar ([ɲeˈɣaɾ] < [njeˈɣaɾ] ~ [neˈɣaɾ]) ‘to deny’.32 Although Hooper (1972, 525–526) states that the assimilation of nasals to glides can only occur across word boundaries and not within words, this assimilatory process occurs word-medially in Judaeo-Spanish, as the examples tinyevla [tiˈɲevla] vs. Mod. Sp. [tiˈnjeβla]33 ‘darkness’ and indjenyer [indʒeˈɲeɾ] ‘engineer’ (< Fr. [ɛ̃ʒenjœʀ]) show. In addition, Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Thessaloniki and other surrounding communities has preserved the 15thcentury pronunciation of the learned Latin group -gn- in words such as inyorar [iɲoˈɾaɾ] ‘be ignorant’, inyovle [iˈɲovle] ‘ignoble’, manyifiko [maˈɲifiko] ‘magnificent’, manyetismo

29 All examples mentioned in this section are documented in Nehama (1977). Some recordings with elderly informants have also been used, conducted in Thessaloniki in 1988. For the situation of the nasal phonemes in Istanbul, the work of Hualde/Şaul (2011, 100–101) is recommended. 30 Oudin (1660) includes in his dictionary the Peninsular Spanish variants ñublado, ñubloso, ñublar, ñublo, ñudar, ñudado, ñudadura, ñudico, ñudo and ñudoso (1660, 485), in addition to ñel (sic. en el), along with the modern variants (1660, 484). He also includes niervo (1660, 482) and nérvio (1660, 481) as variants. 31 These forms are preserved only in Astur-Leonese and in some social varieties of American Spanish. For ñudu in Astur-Leonese, see Menéndez Pidal (1962, 68, n. 102); for the words ñervu, ñetu, ñeve, and ñuera see Novo Mier (1979, 200–201). The variant ñervo is also documented in a novel by the Mexican writer Mariano Azuela (1916). 32 All Judaeo-Spanish words are found in Nehama (1977, 387–388) under the letter ñ. 33 The word tinyevla [tiˈɲevla] could have been also adapted from the Astur-Leonese.


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[maɲeˈtizmo] ‘magnetism’, manyanimidad [maɲanimiˈðað] ‘magnanimity’.34 In morphological boundaries, palatalization of [nj] never takes place: ateniano [ateˈnjano] ‘Athenian’, iraniano [iɾaˈnjano] ‘Iranian’, proponiendo [pɾopoˈnjendo] ‘proposing’.

3.2.2 Laterals Since the palatal lateral /ʎ/ has become the voiced palatal approximant /j/ (see Section 3.2.3), Judaeo-Spanish has only the voiced apico-alveolar lateral phoneme /l/, which in Istanbul can nowadays become velarized when it occurs with a back vowel, due to phonological transfer from Turkish. According to Hualde/Şaul (2011, 101), /l/ “appears as long or geminated in a few borrowings from Turkish, e.g., malle [maˈlːe] ‘neighborhood’ (< Turkish mahalle),” where a few stems have reduplication of liquids, which are pronounced over a longer period of time as compared to their single counterparts (cf. Kornfilt 1997, 502). This feature is also transferred to some Hebrew words, such as tallet [taˈlːet] (Sephardic Heb. taleð) ‘ritual shawl’, probably because words that in Biblical Hebrew were pronounced with geminate consonants are transcribed with double consonants in the Latin alphabet transcriptions of Biblical texts, which causes Turkish rules to be applied in their reading. The lateral approximant /l/ can occur in any syllable position except for the syllabic nucleus (lado [ˈlaðo] ‘side’, malo [ˈmalo] ‘bad’, flako [ˈflako] ‘thin’, tavla [ˈtavla] ‘plank’, maldad [malˈdað] ‘wickedness’). It should be noted that word-finally, at least before pause, the lateral phoneme /l/ is pronounced as voiceless [l̥ ] in Istanbul, e.g., goral [ɡoˈɹal̥ ] ‘fate’. This process of final liquid devoicing is also transferred from Turkish (Kornfilt 1997, 486–487; Bradley/Delforge 2006, 85).

3.2.3 The palatal approximant phoneme The delateralization of Spanish /ʎ/ (e.g., pollo ʻchickenʼ, caballo ʻhorseʼ) led first to its merging with the phoneme /ʝ/ (e.g., in Spanish poyo ‘stone bench’). This phenomen is known as yeísmo in Spanish philology. The phoneme /ʝ/ became ‒ at least among Judaeo-Spanish speakers living in Turkey and Israel ‒ a voiced palatal approximant /j/, both word-initially (yave [ˈjave] ‘key’, yoro [ˈjoɾo] ‘weeping’), and word-internally (kavayo [kaˈvajo] ‘horse’, djinoyos [dʒiˈnojos] ‘knees’, enguyos [enˈɡujos] ‘nausea’).35 34 All these forms included in Nehama (1977) already appear in Sephardic works written in the mid16th century, especially in the books of the Thessalonician sage Moshe Almosnino (c1515–c1580). 35 After nasal /n/, this sound is neutralized to /ʒ/ becoming a strident voiced prepalatal fricative (enjeksion [enʒekˈsjon] ‘injection’; enjektor [enʒekˈtoɾ] ‘medical assistant who gives injections’). Word-initially, original O. Sp. /ʝ/ has also undergone weakening, so that the old contrast between it and the voiced palatal approximant has been lost (e.g., yelo [ˈjelo] ‘ice’, yerva [ˈjeɾva] ‘grass’).

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Hualde/Şaul (2011, 101) describe this approximant as “more open” in the variety of Istanbul (approaching the glide [j] in words such as tiempo ʻtimeʼ or tiene ʻs/he hasʼ in modern Peninsular Spanish). In intervocalic position, in contact with the stressed palatal vowels /i/ and /e/, /j/ often got lost, yielding a hiatus. This is a transfer form Turkish, due to a process of optional y-deletion in colloquial styles (Kornfilt 1997, 495). There are examples such as gayina ([ˈɡai̯ na] or [ˈɡei̯ na] ‘hen’) that also display the reduction of the resultant hiatus through shift of the accent to the preceding syllable with a more open vowel. The phoneme is also frequently lost in contact with the palatal vowels when the stress falls on another syllable, giving rise to a diphthong, such as in reinado (< reyenado ‘filled’). See Table 7, which also includes cases of deconsonantization of the lateral [l] followed by the glide [j], showing the same development: Table 7: Loss of intervocalic voiced palatal approximants in Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish. Judaeo-Spanish

rodiya oriya gayina famiya reyenado donzeya eya kayente trayendo rayendo kayendo


other varieties

[ɹoˈdi.a] [oˈɹi.a], [uˈɹi.a] [ɡaˈina], [ˈɡai̯ na], [ˈɡei̯ na] [faˈmi.a] [ɹei̯ ˈnaðo] [donˈzea] [ˈea] [kaˈente], [ˈka.ente] [tɾaˈendo] [ɹaˈendo] [kaˈendo]

[ɾoˈdija] [oˈɾija] [ˈɡai̯ na] [faˈmija] [ɾejeˈnaðo] [donˈzeja] [ˈeja] [kaˈjente] [tɾaˈjendo] [raˈjendo] [kaˈjendo]

Peninsular Spanish


[roˈdiʎa] [oˈɾiʎa] [ɡaˈʎina] [faˈmilja] [reʎeˈnaðo] [donˈθeʎa] [ˈeʎa] [kaˈljente] [tɾaˈʝendo] [raˈʝendo] [kaˈʝendo]

‘knee’ ‘bank, shore’ ‘hen’ ‘family’ ‘filled’ ‘young woman’ ‘she’ ‘hot’ ‘bringing.ger’ ‘grating.ger’ ‘falling.ger’

3.2.4 Rhotics While Peripheral Judaeo-Spanish has neutralized the inherited contrast between a multiple trill /r/ and a single tap /ɾ/ in intervocalic onset,36 in Central Judaeo-Spanish the phonemic contrast is preserved ( 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). However, Bradley/Delforge (2006, 86) and Hualde/Şaul (2011, 102) claim that the contrast might be preserved by other acoustic cues. For example, the multiple trill /r/ that in modern Peninsular Spanish always occurs word-initially (rV), in intervocalic onsets (V.rV), and in onset after nasal coda (n.rV), in contrast to single tap /ɾ/, is absent

36 In Judaeo-Spanish speakers from Sarajevo, it is realized as a simple tap [ɾ] (cf. Álvarez López 2018, 26–27).


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from several Judaeo-Spanish varieties. Here only the state of the rhotics in the Istanbul variety will be described: a) Word-initially, the rhotic is a voiced approximant [ɹ]37 of variable duration, which often tends toward frication: razon [ɹaˈzon] ‘reason’, rosio [ɹoˈsio] ‘dew’. b) Word-finally before pause, the rhotic is a longer, voiceless fricative realization [r̥ ]: korrer [koˈɹːer̥ ] ‘to run’, komparar [kom̥ paˈɹːar̥ ] ‘to compare’, kazar [kaˈzar̥ ] ‘to marry’, espozar [espoˈzar̥ ] ‘to engage’, ashugar [aˈʃwar̥ ]38 ‘trousseau’. This feature constitutes a transfer from Istanbul Turkish colloquial style, in which the alveolar tap is devoiced word-finally, when the segment is not resyllabified with the initial vowel of the following word (Kornfilt 1997, 487). c) Word-medially in onset position, the rhotic is also a voiced approximant [ɹ], similar to that of the Judaeo-Spanish word-initial rhotic, although with less friction, realized as a voiceless fricative, in final position. Its variable duration also characterizes the rhotics in word-medial onset position (Bradley/Delforge 2006, 85), which may be more similar to that of Peninsular Spanish intervocalic /ɾ/ (aire [ˈai̯ ɹe] ‘wind’, boracho [boˈɹatʃo] ‘drunk’, oro [ˈoɹo] ‘gold’) or may exceed its durational value, which occurs only in a small number of words in place of the etymological trilled rhotic (Hualde/Şaul 2011, 102), in addition to borrowings from Turkish, in which the alveolar flap /ɾ/ has also long duration: korrer [koˈɹːer] ‘to run’,39 yerro [ˈjeɹːo] ‘fault, mistake’ fierro [ˈfjeɹːo] ‘iron’, borreka [boˈɹːeka] ‘börek’ (Turk. börek), and karraita [kaɹːaˈita] ‘Karaite’ (Turk. karay + J.-Sp. -ita) in Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish. It is precisely the length of the approximant ‒ a single /ɹ/ or a long /ɹː/, in structural parallel to single and geminate laterals in intervocalic position ‒ which determines the phonological contrast (Hualde/Şaul 2011, 101–102), instead of the one or more interruptions of the airflow. However, the number of minimal pairs is very small in Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish: perra /ˈpeɹːa / ‘female dog’ birra /ˈbiɹːa/ ‘stubbornness, anger’ forro /ˈfoɹːo/ ‘lining’

pera /ˈpeɹa/ ‘pear’ bira /ˈbiɹa/ ‘beer’ foro /ˈfoɹo/ ‘free’

37 As Hualde/Saul (2011, 102) claim this approximant is from both an auditory and an articulatory standpoint a type very different from the approximant rhotic of the initial consonant of the English word react. 38 As in some Turkic words that originally had an intervocalic voiced velar fricative that now exhibit a vowel sequence in (careful) pronunciation, due to the fact that the voiced velar fricative is not pronounced in Modern Standard Turkish (Kornfilt 1997, 495), the pronunciation of the Turkish informant consulted here is affected by this transfer from Turkish. 39 The short approximant /ɹ/ occurs also in the gerund of verbs with stems ending with a long one: koriendo [koˈɹjendo] ‘running’.

17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish 

parra /ˈpaɹːa/ ‘vine’ karrucha /kaˈɹːutʃa/ ‘spool’ enserrar /enseˈɹːar̥ / ‘to shut in’


para /ˈpaɹa/ ‘for, to’ karucha /kaˈɹutʃa/ ‘wheel’ enserar /enseˈɹar̥ / ‘to wax’

This is also a transfer from Turkish, where all geminated sonorants have a pronunciation that lasts longer compared to their non-geminated counterparts (Kornfilt 1997, 502). These rules are not valid for the Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Thessaloniki, in which the multiple trill /r/ and the single tap /ɾ/ have been preserved, as well as the phonological opposition word-internally. However, although the number of minimal pairs word-internally is higher than in Istanbul, and while there are also more words that have preserved the multiple trill in onset syllable word-internally, many words have changed to a single tap. The multiple trill /r/ after prefix a- was also preserved in inherited words (arrankar ‘to uproot, to pull out’, arrapar ‘to cut someone’s hair’, arremangar ‘to roll up’, arrimar ‘to back up’) and several derivatives from them (arrapadura ‘act of cutting hair’, arremango ‘act of rolling up one’s sleeves’, arrimadura ‘act of putting something somewhere’). The high productivity of this prefix as a marker of transitivity also led to the prefixing of many verbs, which originally began with the trill (arrogar ‘to pray’, arregar ‘to water’, arraskar ‘to scratch’, arresevir ‘to receive’, among others), and of several new transitive verbs formed with roots imported from the contact languages: arraslanear ‘to come across’ (J.-Sp. a- + Turk. rastla- + J.-Sp. -n-ear), arrahlanear ‘to enjoy great comfort’ (J.-Sp. a- + Turk. rahatla- + J.-Sp. -n-ear), arranjar ‘to arrage, to fix, to repair’ (Fr. arranger). In Israel, with the exception of the few speakers still alive who arrived from Turkey or Greece before the 1950s with a good competence in Judaeo-Spanish (cf. Álvarez López 2018, 23–24), the multiple trill /r/ in onset word-medially has been lost. Turkish speakers who arrived in Israel as children seem to retain the characteristics of the rhotics described for the Judaeo-Spanish of Istanbul, whose phonological contrast is established by their duration (Álvarez López 2018, 25). The last feature is not characteristic in the language of speakers born in Israel, in which only a velarized tap of short duration occurs [ʀ], as a consequence of transfer from Israeli Hebrew (Álvarez López 2018, 25–26). Neutralization of the liquids in coda position is not uncommon in Judaeo-Spanish. Cases of rhotacism, such as sarpikar [saɾpiˈkaɾ] < [salpiˈkaɾ] ‘to splash’ or sarchicha [saɾˈtʃitʃa] < [salˈtʃitʃa] ‘sausage’ (Wagner 1914, 117) and lambdacism, such as salsamora [salsaˈmoɾa] < [saɾsaˈmoɾa] ‘blackberry’ (Wagner 1914, 117), salpuyido [salpuˈjido] [ˈkaɾe] ‘it is necessary’), but also in borrowings (karar [kaˈɾaɾ] > [kaˈɾal] (Turk. karar), ‘quantity’).


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3.3 Dialectal particularities due to contact with other languages In addition to the phonological and phonetic changes that have resulted from the contact with the languages we have already mentioned, Judaeo-Spanish contact with Slavic languages in Peripheral Judaeo-Spanish has led to the transfer of some phonetic features, including the addition of a palatal articulation to the velar stops /k/ and /g/ under the influence of a preceding adjacent stressed palatal vowel /i/ (e.g., riko [ˈɾikʲu] ʻrichʼ, kantiga [kanˈtiɡʲa] ʻsongʼ), as well as the strengthening of the voiced fricative variants [ð] and [ɣ] of /d/ and /ɡ/ in intervocalic position (e.g., dedo [ˈdedo] ʻfingerʼ, lago [ˈlaɡo] ʻlakeʼ). For these and other changes resulting from contact with other languages in Peripheral Judaeo-Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish spoken in the Holy Land, 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish.

4 Phonological processes 4.1 Metathesis Productive phonological processes like metathesis are well known in Judaeo-Spanish. The most important one of them is the adjacent metathesis involving the switching of r in coda syllables followed by d to the tautosyllabic sequence -dr- in inherited words such as tadre (< tarde) ‘afternoon; late’, vedre (< verde) ‘green’, vedra (< verdad) ‘truth’, guadrar (< guardar) ‘to put aside’, and pedron (< perdon) ‘pardon’, in most JudaeoSpanish varieties ( 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish).40 Metathesis of -rd- has only partially affected the Turkish borrowings, e.g., yadran (Turk. gerdan ‘neck’) ‘necklace’, chadrak (Turk. çardak) ‘terrace, pergola’, documented in texts written in the 16th century (Quintana 2006, 65). Borrowings from French never show this metathesis in Judaeo-Spanish, with the consequence that the borrowing of French cognates has led to the emergence of word-pairs like abordar (Fr. aborder) ‘to reach port’ vs. abodrar ‘to tackle’, akordar (Fr. accorder) ‘to award, to determine by mutual agreement’ vs. akodrar (Sp. acordar) ‘to remind, remember’. Under the influence of Modern French and especially of Modern Spanish some speakers tend to reintroduce forms without metathesis. Another type of metathesis is the CV and VC metathesis, which occurs in several words in unstressed closed syllables where the stop [p-] occupies the onset position followed by Vr or rV (e.g., prechizo besides perchizo ‘precise, exact’, pre-/perkurar ‘to try’, also: per-/presona ‘person, individual’, per-/presegir ‘to pursue, be looking for’, pre-/perguntar ‘to request, to interrogate’, pro-/porfeta ‘prophet’, pro-/porpozito ‘aim, intention’). 40 For an analysis on the causes of the metathesis -rd- to -dr- in Judaeo-Spanish within the framework of Optimality Theory, cf. Bradley (2007a).

17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish 


The two forms are normally variants of each other. This is an old and well-known process also manifested in the Peninsular dialects Castilian and Aragonese. These metatheses are associated with the Judaeo-Spanish svarabhakti vowel,41 which is automatically and unconsciously inserted between obstruents and liquids. This vowel is endowed with properties very similar to those of the formants of the nuclear vowel in the syllable that contains the r.42 This feature, so characteristic of spoken Judaeo-Spanish, shows a preference for CV syllable structure over the set of segments CCV formed by an obstruent and a liquid before the vowel (e.g., prV) or CVC when a liquid closes the syllable (e.g., pVr). This type of metathesis has also been observed extensively in manuscripts and printed documents, especially in those from the 16th century: peresona, poropozito (cf. Quintana 2014, 15). Metathesis of -r in a coda position occurs in borrowings from Turkish. Examples are krushum (< Turk. kurşun) ‘rifle bullet’, shadrivan (< Turk. şadirvan, ‘water deposit, public fountain’), which now show the preference of Judaeo-Spanish speakers for tautosyllabic segments CrV instead of CVC, once the r is in the coda position. It should be noted that Turkish does not have productive metathesis processes (Kornfilt 1997, 512), although cases of the phenomenon are documented in the 16th century: e.g., trushi (Turk. tur/ torşi) ‘brine, pickles’, trup toumi (Turk. turp tohumu) ‘radish seeds’ (cf. Bunis 2013, 144). Inherited from Castilian (cf. Penny 2004, 616), the metathesis dl > ld in the 2nd plural imperative plus clitics (lo, los, la, les, le, les) has become a regular phenomenon, whereby forms such as komedlo ‘eat [you.2pl] it’ and sakadle ‘take [you.2pl] him out’ have metathesized to komeldo and sakalde. Judaeo-Spanish does not, therefore, admit the complex onset of two marked segments [+coronal, –continuous, +voiced] in the case of dl, like most varieties of Spanish. Displacement or shift of a segment over more than one intervening segment is also documented in some words in which a liquid following a stop has shifted leftward to form a cluster in the preceding syllable (e.g., in krevanto < kevranto ‘damage’ or krosta < kostra ‘crust’). Displacements limited to specific words are also common in spoken Judaeo-Spanish. One such word is adientro ‘in, inside’, in which the rhotic-tap after the obstruent of the last cluster switches to the preceding obstruent, giving adriento, which may even end up in the form ariento through regressive assimilation. Displacement also occurred in chaketon (< kacheton) ‘slap in the face’.

41 This is a term from Sanskrit grammar to denote epenthesis before consonants (especially before r, l, m, n) which functions as a way to form syllables (cf. Bussmann 2006, 1153). 42 On the svarabhakti vowel in Spanish cf. Quilis (1970), Widdison (2004, 73), and Bradley (22014, 348–352).


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4.2 Assimilatory and dissimilatory processes The regressive assimilation of the rhotic tap in the coda before /s/ is found in musiegano, mussiegano (< mursiegalo) ‘bat’. This process has already been documented within morphological boundaries in lexical so-called pronominal verbs (i.e., verbs that contain the reflexive clitic -se) in texts written in the 16th century, e.g., alegrasean ‘they will rejoice’ (< alegrarsean, rejoice-inf-se-have.3pl). In some varieties of Judaeo-Spanish the sibilant in the coda position of the adverb despues ‘after’ assimilates fully or partially to the following consonant: dempues or depues, and dupues (< dumpues, see below). Longdistance assimilation of /k/ to /p/ gave rise to the form puerpo (< kuerpo) ‘body’. Regressive vowel dissimilation in nonadjacent syllables was a frequent process in Judaeo-Spanish: faldukera (< faldikera) ‘pouch’, korelado (< kolorado) red, dumpues (< despues) ‘after’, mishtraba (Turk. maştrapa) ‘jug, jar’. Regressive assimilation of onset /d/ and /dʒ/ to the following palatal glide is also well known: ayentro (< adientro) ‘inside’, meyo (< medio) ‘half; middle’, Ayifto (< Adjifto) ‘Egypt’.

4.3 Other processes Historical syncope of stressed or unstressed palatal vowels between consonants took place  in words of three or more syllables where the consonant following the targeted  vowel was a sonorant, normally /ɾ/, and more sonorous than the preceding consonant: preshil (< [peɾeˈʃil]) ‘parsley’, findriz (< [findiˈɾiz]) ‘crack, fissure’, desmodrar (< [dezmoðeˈɾaɾ]) ‘to render unusual, weird’, desmodrado (< [dezmoðeˈɾaðo]) ‘quirky, unusual’, The effect of this pattern is the reduction of words with three or more syllables into shorter sequences. This process is still active in spoken Judaeo-Spanish, resulting in the shortening of many words (e.g., bevraje < [beveˈɾaʒe] ‘drink, concoction’, espritu

[ɡaˈina] > [ˈɡai̯ na] ‘hen’; see Section 3.1.4), seems to be documented only in Istanbul.


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Judaeo-Spanish speakers of other varieties preserve [ɡaˈjina] or the hiatus form without stress shift: [ɡaˈina].

5.2 Intonation Supposedly, for generations the intonation of Judaeo-Spanish did not differ much from that of the rural areas of central Spain. In the 1990s the author of this chapter heard several comments from Sephardic aged people who claimed that their ancestors “avlavan mas komo kantando, i ainda mas las mujeres” (‘they spoke more as if they were singing, especially women’). The first recordings we have are from the early 20th century, but they include only folkloric material ‒ a reading of a short fragment translated from the Bible, read stories, recited poems, and songs. There are no actual speech samples preserved. From this material it is merely possible to appreciate that only the intonation patterns of the extinct variety of Monastir were more reminiscent of those of European Portuguese than of Peninsular Spanish, while the relative homogeneity characterizes that of the other speakers registered in different places of the Balkans. Today however, as Fischer/Gabriel/Kireva (2014, 101) have noted in Judaeo-Spanish and Bulgarian bilingual speakers, the rhythmic properties from the surrounding Bulgarian are (at least partially) transferred to Judaeo-Spanish. For more information 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish. A detailed description of the intonation of the Judaeo-Spanish of Istanbul is available in Hualde/Şaul (2011, 105–108).

6 Concluding remarks This chapter has provided a general overview of the phonemes of Judaeo-Spanish and of the most prominent processes found in its segmental phonology, focusing on the varieties of Thessaloniki and Istanbul. The lack of contact with other varieties of the Hispanic world, especially with that of standard Peninsular Spanish, after the 16th century allowed for the independent evolution of Judaeo-Spanish, involving major changes, sometimes as a result of foreseeable developments (such as yeísmo, generalized metathesis of -rd-) and sometimes due to language contact: contact with other Ibero-Romance languages (preservation of the voicing contrast in the sibilants) in the first decades after the expulsion, and later, contact with the surrounding languages. That is precisely why Judaeo-Spanish did not participate in the sound changes that have affected the Castilian language since the 16th century (Quintana 2006; Hualde/ Şaul 2011, 90): the consonant system varies between the preservation of features that characterized the Castilian language in 1492 (e.g., phonemic contrast between /b/ and /v/; voicing contrast in the sibilants) and innovations (e.g., incipient or completed pho-

17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish 


nemization of the sounds [ð], [ɣ], and [dʒ] with a new contextual distribution; redistribution of /b/ and /v/ in the lexicon with strengthening of the position of the second in the system; occurrence of /p/, /t/, /k/, /tʃ/, /f/, /z/, /ʒ/, /x/, /m/ word-finally). These changes have led to an increased symmetry in the system of the obstruent phonemes (stops, affricates, and fricatives), characterized by its geometric balance, based on the voicing contrast. Judaeo-Spanish has maintained the five-vowel inventory inherited from Castilian. The most noteworthy modification is the increased frequency of the occurrence of vowels word-finally, especially stressed /i/ and /u/, in nouns and adjectives, caused by contact with Turkish, Hebrew, and French. In relation to the diphthongs, it should be mentioned that [ju] does not appear in inherited words. This chapter referred to these issues and others concerning several processes, mostly related to the internal development of Judaeo-Spanish that affected its segmental phonology in various ways, distancing it from the other varieties that are part of the Spanish diasystem. This fact clearly highlights the isolated conditions in which Judaeo-Spanish has developed without contact with Spanish. This overview benefits from recent studies of the sound inventory of Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish, carried out using laboratory and experimental approaches. On the basis of this new material one of the most discussed topics in recent decades, namely, the proposed reduction of the two rhotics to a single one, has been clarified. This enables us to reach the conclusion that although the opposition between the two phonemes is preserved, at least in Istanbul, a reduction of the two rhotics takes place in the shape of different phonetic properties ‒ shorter or longer duration period ‒ due to the influence of Turkish. The same criterion is applicable to the changes observed in the development of the voiced apico-alveolar lateral variant of /l/. Likewise, the incipient tendency towards the loss of the approximant /j/ in contact with the stressed palatal vowels /i/ and /e/ are attributable to the contact of Istanbul Judaeo-Spanish speakers with Turkish. This chapter and the abovementioned studies will hopefully help to inspire further research on the many JudaeoSpanish phonetic and phonological questions still unsolved.

References Álvarez López, Cristóbal José (2018), La desfonologización de las vibrantes en el judeoespañol contemporáneo de Israel, Philologia Hispalensis 32.1, 15–29. Arvaniti, Amalia (1999), Standard Modern Greek, Journal of the International Phonetic Association 29.2, 167–172. Azuela, Mariano (1916), Los de abajo, El Paso, Texas, Imprenta de El Paso del Norte. Bradley, Travis G. (2007a), Constraints on the metathesis of sonorant consonants in Judeo-Spanish, Probus 19, 171–207. Bradley, Travis G. (2007b), Prosodically-conditioned sibilant voicing in Balkan Judeo-Spanish, in: Erin Bainbridge/Brian Agbayani (edd.), Proceedings of the thirty-fourth Western Conference on Linguistics, WECOL 2006, vol. 17, Fresno, CA, Department of Linguistics, California State University, 48–60.


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Bradley, Travis G. (2009), On the syllabification of prevocalic /w/ in Judeo-Spanish, in: Pascual José Masullo/ Erin OʼRourke/Chia-Hui Huang (edd.), Romance linguistics 2007. Selected papers from the 37th linguistic symposium on Romance languages (LSRL), Pittsburgh, 15–18 March 2007, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 51–67. Bradley, Travis G. (22014), Fonología de laboratorio, in: Rafael A. Núñez Cedeño/Sonia Colina/Travis Bradley (edd.), Fonología generativa contemporánea de la lengua española, Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press, 319–367. Bradley, Travis G./Delforge, Ann Marie (2006), Phonological retention and innovation in the Judeo-Spanish of Istanbul, in: Timothy L. Face/Carol A. Klee (edd.), Selected proceedings of the 8th Hispanic linguistics symposium, Somerville, MA, Cascadilla Proceedings Project, 73–88. Bunis, David M. (1993), A lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic elements in Modern Judezmo, Jerusalem, Magnes/ Misgav Yerushalayim. Bunis, David M. (2005), A theory of Hebrew-based fusion lexemes in Jewish languages as illustrated by morphologically derived animate nouns in Judezmo and Yiddish, Mediterranean Language Revue 16, 1–115. Bunis, David M. (2008), The differential impact of Arabic on Ḥaketía and Turkish on Judezmo, in: Tamar Alexander/Yaakov Bentolila (edd.), La cultura Judeo-Española del Norte de Marruecos, Beer Sheva, Universidad Ben-Gurion del Negev/Sentro Moshe David Gaon de Kultura Djudeo-Espanyola, 177–207. Bunis, David M. (2013), From Early Middle to Late Middle Judezmo. The Ottoman component as a demarcating factor, in: Eliezer Papo/Nenad Makuljević (edd.), Common culture and particular identities. Christians, Jews and Muslims in the Ottoman Balkans, Beersheva, Universidad Ben-Gurion del Negev/Sentro Moshe David Gaon de Kultura Djudeo-Espanyola, 115–163. Bussmann, Hadumod (2006), Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics, translated and edited by Gregory Trauth and Kerstin Kazzazi, London/New York, Routledge. CORDE = Real Academia Española, Corpus diacrónico del español. . Crews, Cynthia, M. (1935), Recherches sur le judéo-espagnol dans les pays balkaniques, Paris, Droz. Crews, Cynthia, M. (1979), Textos judeo-españoles de Salónica y Sarajevo con comentarios lingüísticos y glosario, Madrid, Instituto Arias Montano. Dworkin, Steven N. (2018), A guide to Old Spanish, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Fischer, Susann/Gabriel, Christoph/Kireva, Elena (2014), Towards a typological classification of Judeo-Spanish. Analyzing syntax and prosody of Bulgarian judezmo, in: Kurt Braunmüller/Steffen Höder/Karoline Kühl (edd.), Stability and divergence in language contact. Factors and mechanisms, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 77–108. García Moreno, Aitor (2008), Esa incómoda vibrante. Una visión de conjunto de los fenómenos que afectan al sonido [r] en judeoespañol, in: Concepción Company Company/José G. Moreno de Alba (edd.), Actas del VII Congreso Internacional de Historia de la Lengua Española, Mérida (Yucatán), 4–8 de septiembre de 2006, vol. 1, Madrid, Arco/Libros, 246–254. García Moreno, Aitor (2010), El judeoespañol II: Características, Madrid, Liceus, producto/judeoespanol-ii-caracteristicas/ . García Moreno, Aitor (2012), Los tiempos pretéritos con cierre vocálico en el judeoespañol de Salónica (1935), in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempos y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 15–26. Grinevald, Colette/Bert, Michel (2011), Speakers and communities, in: Peter K. Austin/Julia Sallabank (edd.), The Cambridge handbook of endangered languages, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 45–65. Hooper, Joan B. (1972), The syllable in phonological theory, Languages 48.3, 525–540. Hualde, José Ignacio (1989), Silabeo y estructura morfémica en español, Hispania 72.4, 821–831. Hualde, José Ignacio (2013a), Intervocalic lenition and word-boundary effects. Evidence from Judeo-Spanish, Diachronica 30.2, 232–266.

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Hualde, José Ignacio (2013b), Language contact and change in the sound system of Judeo-Spanish, in: Mahir Şaul (ed.), Judeo-Spanish in the time of clamoring nationalisms, Istanbul, Libra kitap, 151–178. Hualde, José Ignacio/Şaul, Mahir (2011), Istanbul Judeo-Spanish, Journal of the International Phonetic Association 41.1, 89–110. Jong Kong, Eun/Syrika, Asimina/Edwards, Jan R. (2012), Voiced stop prenasalization in two dialects of Greek, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 132.5, 3439–3452. Koen-Sarano, Matilda (2009–2010), Diksionario Ladino–Hebreo, Hebreo–Ladino, Jerusalem, Zack. Kornfilt, Jaklin (1997), Turkish, London/New York, Routledge. Kunchev, Ivan (1976), Archaisms and innovations in the phonetic system of the Spanish-Jewish speech in Bulgaria, Annual-Godisnik 11, 141–171. Luria, Max A. (1930), A study of the Monastir dialect of Judeo-Spanish based on oral material collected in Monastir, Yugo-Slavia, New York, Instituto de las Españas. Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio/Fernández-Planas, Ana M.a/Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), Castilian Spanish, Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33.2, 256–259. Menéndez Pidal, Ramón (1962), El dialecto leonés, Oviedo, Instituto de Estudios Asturianos. Nehama, Joseph (1977), Dictionnaire du judéo-espagnol, Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas. Novo Mier, Lorenzo (1979), Dicionariu xeneral de la llingua asturiana, Oviedo, Asturlibros. Omer, Danielle (2014), Une langue sans territoire ? Le judéo-espagnol dans le discours des instituteurs de l’Alliance Israélite Universelle (1860–1913), in: Ali Reguigui/Julie Boissonneault, Langue et territoire. Études en aménagement linguistique, Sudbury, Université Laurentienne, 373–392. Oudin, Antoine (ed.) (1660), Le tresor des devx langves, espagnolle et françoise de Cesar Ovdin, Paris, Augustin Courbé. Penny, Ralph (1992), Dialect contact and social networks in Judeo-Spanish, Romance Philology 46.2, 125–140. Penny, Ralph (2000), Variation and change in Spanish, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Penny, Ralph (2004), Evolución lingüística en la Baja Edad Media. Evoluciones en el plano fonético, in: Rafael Cano (coord.), Historia de la lengua española, Barcelona, Ariel, 593–612. Quilis, Antonio (1970), El elemento esvarabático en los grupos [pr, br, tr], in: Phonétique et Linguistique Romanes. Mélanges offerts à M. Georges Straka, Lyon/Strasbourg, Société de Linguistique Romane, 99–104. Quintana, Aldina (2006), Geografía lingüística del judeoespañol. Estudio sincrónico y diacrónico, Bern, Lang. Quintana, Aldina (2014), Séder Našim (c. 1565) del rabino Meir Benveniste. Variación en la lengua de un miembro de la primera generación de hablantes nativos de Salónica, in: Winfried Busse (ed.), La lengua de los sefardíes. Tres contribuciones a su historia, Tübingen, Stauffenburg, 9–63. Sala, Marius (1971), Phonétique et phonologie du judéo-espagnol de Bucarest, The Hague/Paris, Mouton. Wagner, Max Leopold (1914), Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Judenspanischen von Konstantinopel, Vienna, Hölder. Weinreich, Uriel (1954), Is a structural dialectology possible?, Word 10, 388–400. Widdison, Kirk (2004), Vocales esvarabáticas en grupos consonánticos con elemento lateral, Estudios de Fonética Experimental 13, 65–78. Zamora Vicente, Alonso (1967), Dialectología española, Madrid, Gredos.

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18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish Abstract: This chapter is dedicated to the description of the inflectional morphology of Judaeo-Spanish, i.e., its form-class words (lexical categories) and structure-class words (functional categories). The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish preserves, with some changes, the characteristics of Ibero-Romance languages: several grammatical functions are expressed morphologically through nominal or verbal inflectional endings, especially person, tense, and number for verbs, and gender (masculine and feminine) and number (singular and plural) for nouns. In the verbal system, tense, person, number, and mood are generally distinguished by verbal suffixes. In recent generations, the paradigms of compound verbal forms composed of the auxiliary tener and the past participle have developed secondary, mostly aspectual, meanings. Keywords: inflection, gender, number, tense, mood, aspect, periphrastic verb forms, reflexes of Hebrew morphology, morphological integration of loans, Hebrew, Turkish

1 Introduction Morphology is concerned with the study of the form and structure of words. Therefore, the object of study of morphology is the description of the morpheme inventory as well as the possible morpheme combinations, the description of regularities in inflection, the study of grammatical categories, and the combinatory principles and semantic functions of new word formations. This chapter1 describes both form-class words (lexical categories) and structure-class words (functional categories) of Judaeo-Spanish. The description is limited to inflectional morphology. Special treatment will be given to those morphemes and morphological mechanisms in Judaeo-Spanish whose origin lies in its contact with other languages. Judaeo-Spanish, in a way similar to other Romance languages, displays gender and number agreement on nouns, adjectives, and determiners, as well as on some pronouns. Gender is an inherent property of nouns, which is manifested in the agreement of accompanying adjectives and other modifiers. By contrast, adjectives have no inherent gender, but they necessarily agree with the inherent gender of the nouns that they modify. The inflectional paradigms of demonstrative determiners, demonstrative pronouns, and articles have the particularity that besides masculine and feminine they also have neutral gender forms in the singular. In the Judaeo-Spanish verbal system,

1 This chapter was written within the framework of the research projects funded by grant 486/19 of the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).


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the finite members of the paradigm are characterized by carrying inflections for tenseaspect-mood (TAM) and person-number (PN), but they lack gender features. The following description of the Judaeo-Spanish inflectional morphology is mainly based on the Istanbul and Thessaloniki dialects ( 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish), but at some points other varieties are taken into account, especially in the functional description of the verbal system. In addition, some specific patterns of a variety are described because they present very marked forms, as the outcome of contact-induced changes. The study is based on the language of 62 documents created between 1900 and 2021 and included in the Corpus diacrónico anotado del judeoespañol (CoDiAJe), which mostly consist of transcripts of the oral language. In addition, 15 oral documents of up to eight minutes recorded between 1987 and 2018 were considered. These belong to 14 speakers – six women and eight men – born between 1901 and 1985 in different neighborhoods of Istanbul (7), Bursa (1), Izmir (1), Bucharest (1), Rhodes (1), Sliven (1), and Thessaloniki (1). These documents are part of the Corpus oral anotado del judeoespañol (CoOrAJe). In this chapter, I first consider the nominal inflection (Sections 2 to 5), taking into account different parts of speech: nouns (Section 2), adjectives (Section 3), some determiners (Section 4), and pronouns (Section 5). Sections 6 to 8 are dedicated to verbal inflection. After describing the grammatical categories that exist in the Judaeo-Spanish verb and how the different inflectional forms are organized (Section 6), Section 7 deals with finite moods and tenses, while Section 8 is dedicated to non-finite moods. Finally, the most outstanding features of the inflectional morphology of Judaeo-Spanish are summarized in Section 9.

2 Nouns Judaeo-Spanish has a relatively simple nominal morphology, based on a lexeme and morphemes for number and gender. Judaeo-Spanish nouns are grouped into masculine and feminine. All nouns must belong to one class or the other, even loan words borrowed from languages lacking gender marking, such as Turkish. Gender is an intrinsic part of the lexeme, while the number is only expressed by inflection. Concerning nouns inherited from Castilian and other Romance varieties, there are two plural formatives: the suffix -s, which is applied to a base ending in a vowel (V), and -es, which is put after a base ending in a consonant (C). The Hebrew plural formative -im (also with the variant -in) coexists with the regular variants -s and -es as a stylistically marked allomorph – mostly (but not exclusively) restricted to Hebraisms, as will be discussed further below.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


2.1 Number In short, the Judaeo-Spanish noun is composed of a lexeme and formants, whose structure is as in Table 1: Table 1: Noun structure. lexeme

plural formants

base ending in vowel base ending in consonant

-s, -im (-in) -es, -im (-in)

Table 2 shows the distribution of the allomorphs -s and -es according to the stem-final sounds. Note that, with some exceptions, the same rules apply in the plural formation of loanwords:2 Table 2: Regular Judaeo-Spanish plural formation.3 stems ending in vowel

stems ending in consonant





antari djami


artaris djamis

ʻsmockʼ ʻmosqueʼ

/p/, /b/ hap djeb


dikte kave


diktes kaves

ʻdictationʼ ʻTurkish coffeeʼ






pl. -es hapes djebes

ʻsmall tabletʼ ʻpocket; bagʼ

shishit tapet

-es shishites tapetes

ʻvariety, kindʼ ʻcarpet, rugʼ

/d/, /ð/ sivdad salud

-es sivdades saludes

ʻcityʼ ʻhealthʼ


-es yaprakes



ʻstuffed grape leafʼ ʻtesticleʼ



ʻJewish community schoolʼ ʻbaking trayʼ

kanamo -s buro randevu -s turlu

kanamos buros randevus turlus

ʻhempʼ ʻofficeʼ ʻappointmentʼ ʻvariety, kindʼ






ʻwise and learned personʼ


kirbach abroch

-es kirbaches abroches

ʻwhip, scourgeʼ ʻbroochʼ


noche kyifle kaza chanta


noches kyifles kazas chantas

ʻnightʼ ʻcroissantʼ ʻhouseʼ ʻbagʼ



-es kodjes

ʻleg of a boot or stockingʼ ʻfine sand used to blot ink writingʼ

/ˈo/ /ˈu/





2 When the source is not explicitly mentioned, the examples provided in this chapter are taken from the CoDiAJe and CoOrAJe corpora and from Nehama (1977). In addition, my colleague, Dr. Eliezer Papo of the Ben Gurion University in the Negev, kindly answered my questions on numerous occasions. I am very grateful to him. 3 Only in some nouns borrowed directly from the Turkish.


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Table 2 (continued) stems ending in vowel sg.



mano titolo



bau -s bagalau

/ei̯ /5 rey ley


stems ending in consonant sg.

manos titolos

ʻhandʼ ʻtitleʼ

baus ʻmoney launderingʼ bagalaus ʻcodfishʼ

reis leis

ʻkingsʼ ʻlawsʼ


/f/, /v/

charshaf -es charshafes ʻsheetʼ detektiv detektives ʻdetectiveʼ


fas polis

-es fazes polizes

ʻface, phaseʼ ʻpolicemanʼ


boz karpuz

-es bozes karpuzes

ʻvoiceʼ ʻwatermelonʼ



-es dolashes



ʻsurveillances, vigilance patrolsʼ ʻplushesʼ


ferah djarrah

-es ferahes djarrahes

ʻpleasuresʼ ʻsurgeonsʼ


kalem volum

-es kalemes volumes

ʻpensʼ ʻvolumesʼ


yadran sermon

-es yadranes sermones

ʻnecklacesʼ ʻsermonsʼ


sol bakal

-es soles bakales

ʻsunsʼ ʻgrocery stores; grocersʼ


dolor askier

-es dolores askieres

ʻpainsʼ ʻsoldiersʼ

Many nouns with a final unstressed syllable ending in -s are of invariable number, such as brindis ʻtoast; action of clinking glassesʼ, dikotes ʻremedy, soothingʼ, gueles ʻvariety of small black beansʼ, hallas (/ˈxalːas/) ʻcompensation, cancellationʼ, kubeles ʻvault, domeʼ, lunes6 ʻMondayʼ. Some nouns are only used in the plural form, such as alavatinas ʻexaggerated praiseʼ, alvrisias ʻgift offered to the first person to give good news; thanksʼ, kanyifos ʻstink, stenchʼ, and karas ʻfaceʼ. With some nouns, change of number results in a change of meaning, as exemplified in Table 3:

4 Nouns ending in unstressed /u/ ‒ normally it is the falling diphthong [au̯ ] ‒ are rare. 5 There is variation in the plural formation of a base ending in the diphthong [ei̯ ]: while in Istanbul, the suffix is -s (e.g., rey → reis, ley → leis), in Thessaloniki -es is added to the base ending in [ej], and a sandhi rule is applied whereby the semivowel becomes a voiced palatal approximant /ʝ/ (e.g., rey → reyes, ley → leyes). 6 Like most of the other names of days of the week: martes ʻTuesdayʼ, mierkoles ʻWednesdayʼ, djueves ʻThursdayʼ, viernes ʻFriday’.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


Table 3: Number and change of meaning. singular





ʻtantalizing hors d’œuvre, appetizerʼ


ʻutensil, particularly a cooking utensilʼ


ʻact of dressing up; hygienic careʼ


ʻcreatures, humansʼ


ʻnations, peoplesʼ


ʻlittle hookʼ


ʻillegible handwritingʼ


ʻwart, blisterʼ



Verb-noun compounds are invariable in number when they refer to people (bushkapleitos ʻquarrelsomeʼ, pudrebankos/eskaldabankos ʻpupil(s) who does/do not benefit from his/their studiesʼ, matasanos ʻmedical officer; fake doctorʼ, matakavesas/ matamoros ʻbraggartʼ). When the verb-noun compound does not refer to people and is countable, it carries number inflexion (lavamano ʻwashbasinʼ vs. lavamanos ʻwashbasinsʼ, kachavida ʻscrewdriverʼ vs. kachavidas ʻscrewdriversʼ). The exception is the number-invariable kitamanchas ʻdegreaserʼ, which preserves the direct object plural of the underlying verbal structure from which this noun was composed (kitar manchas, lit. ‘to remove stains’).7 The plural endings -s/-es are also regularly applied to loans borrowed from Romance languages, including Italian. Turkish, Hebrew, and Greek loans also typically support the same plural-ending operators as inherited nouns. But several Hebrew loan words were integrated into Judaeo-Spanish together with their Hebrew plurals ending in -im and -ot, as shown in Table 4: Table 4: Hebrew nouns borrowed with plural inflection. gender









ʻplague; illness; bad habitʼ



ʻrabbi; scholar; elementary school teacherʼ








7 Another number-invariable noun is saltapies ʻcroquetʼ, which was formed from the verb saltar ʻto jumpʼ and the prepositional complement de pies ʻon one’s feetʼ. The following verb-noun compounds are used as adjectives: (a)matapiojos ʻmiserʼ and afinkalafoja ʻpersnicketyʼ, which is the only compound of this type that has the definite article before the noun.


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These Hebrew plural forms were preferred in rabbinical Judaeo-Spanish texts and were occasionally used in popular periodicals and in the speech of men (Bunis 1985, 43). Often in speech, especially that of women, the allomorphic variant -in appears instead of -im.8 As a plural allomorph, -im may also be affixed to some inherited Judaeo-Spanish nouns, such as ladron (J.-Sp.) ʻthiefʼ / ladronim, riflan (J.-Sp.) ʻproverbʼ / riflanim, ermano (J.-Sp.) ʻbrotherʼ / ermanim ʻbrothers in Judaismʼ,9 and to some nouns borrowed from French, Greek, and Turkish (see Bunis 1985, 48–49): mason (Fr. maçon) ʻmasonʼ / masonim, kasap (Turk. kasab) ʻbutcherʼ / kasapim, papaz (Gr. παπάς) ʻChristian priestʼ / papazim. These plural forms alternate freely with the forms inflected with -s/-es, but while the latter are unmarked, inherited bases and Turkish and Greek bases pluralized with the Hebrew allomorph are marked forms, intended for stylistic or humorous effects (Bunis 1985, 48; Schwarzwald 1993, 38; Cardenas 2004, 7). The Hebrew feminine plural allomorph -ot is non-productive in Judaeo-Spanish with nouns of non-Hebrew origin (Bunis 1985, 49). Tautological plurals or double plural marking is present in some Hebrew nouns, resulting from a misanalysis of the Hebrew plural ending (Bunis 1985, 53–54; Cardenas 2004, 7). These words are used in the spoken language, as also reflected in secular texts like folktales, jokes, or songs. The order of the two affixes in the pluralization of a limited number of Hebrew masculine nouns is the Hebrew formative (-im/-in) followed by its inherited Judaeo-Spanish counterpart -es10 (see Table 6 in Section 3.1).11 The same order applies in the formation of feminine nouns with double plural affixes (Table 5). Table 5: Tautological plurals in Hebrew nouns. sg.


Hebrew inflection

spoken J.-Sp.

malax ed moed

ʻangelʼ ‘deponent, witness’ ʻJewish holidayʼ

malahim edim moadim

malah-in-es ed-in-es moad-in-es

beraxa mazal

ʻblessingʼ ʻlucky starʼ

berahot mazalot

berah-ot-es mazal-ot-es

8 The Hebrew masculine plural inflection -im may be employed as a plural formative of institutional names of Hebrew origin (e.g., bet yusef-sg ʻBeth Yoseph Schoolʼ, bet yusefim-pl; note that here, differently from Hebrew, the ending appears on the last element), and it also appears in the plural forms of sisitim ʻJewish ceremonial fringesʼ and mazalim ʻlucky stars’, which alternate with the expected Hebrew feminine plurals sisiyot, mazalot/mazales (see Bunis 1985, 49). 9 Judaeo-Spanish ermano with the inherited masculine plural inflection -os continues to express the relationship of consanguinity. 10 This phenomenon is already documented in medieval Castilian, such as in medieval translations of the Bible, in which cherubin (Heb. kǝruḇīm, plural in Biblical Hebrew) is singular and cherubines is the plural form (see Ex. 25,18 in the digital edition Biblia Medieval). 11 According to Bunis (1985, 53), this order is inverted only in the plural formation rubisim (rubi-s-im) ʻJewish religious elementary school teachers, rabbisʼ.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


2.2 Gender There is a strong correlation between the gender of a noun and the ending -o, normally masculine as in (1a), or -a, normally feminine like in (1b). (1)

a. b.

biko ʻbeak-mʼ, lenyo ʻlog-m ʼ, stilo ʻfountain pen-mʼ, visio ʻvice-mʼ borreka ʻfilled pastry-fʼ, devda ʻdebt-fʼ, masa ʻunleavened bread-fʼ, prova ʻproof-fʼ

An alternation by which the distinction of gender expresses a distinction of sex (similar to masculine vs. feminine forms of adjectives) is found in most nouns with an animate referent, as can be seen in pairs like tio ʻuncleʼ ~ tia ʻauntʼ, gato ʻmale catʼ ~ gata ʻfemale catʼ, and nono ʻgrandfatherʼ ~ nona ʻgrandmotherʼ. Sometimes there is not a full semantic correspondence between the masculine and the feminine forms, as is the case, for example, with parido ʻhusband of the parturient womanʼ ~ parida ʻparturient womanʼ. The real-world sex of the noun’s referent determines the grammatical gender in nouns referring to professions such as maestro ʻmale teacherʼ → maestra ʻfemale teacherʼ or jornalisto ʻmale journalistʼ (Fr. journaliste) → jornalista ʻfemale journalistʼ. Often, this goes along with a change in the nominalizing suffix, such as in djuzgador ʻmale judge/ magistrateʼ → guzgadera ʻfemale judge/magistrateʼ, kantador ʻmale singerʼ → kantadera ʻfemale singerʼ, and duke ʻdukeʼ → dukesa ʻduchessʼ. The same rules that govern the gender of most native nouns with a biological sex’s referent also applies to roots integrated from other Romance languages, such as dekorador ʻmale decoratorʼ (Fr. décorateur) → dekoradera ʻfemale decoratorʼ, konsolo ʻconsulʼ (It. console) → konsolesa ʻlady-consulʼ, and the above mentioned jornalisto (Fr. journaliste) → jornalista. Nouns ending with [-z(ə)] in French preserve the feminine gender and are provided with the ending -a upon being integrated into Judaeo-Spanish, as with analiza (Fr. analyse) ʻanalysisʼ, baza (Fr. base) ʻbase, supportʼ, doza (Fr. dose) ʻdose, dosageʼ, kriza (Fr. crise) ʻcrisisʼ, and entrepriza (Fr. entreprise) ʻventure capital companyʼ. The strong tendency towards correlation between the gender of a noun and the ending in -o or -a is particularly emphasized in the process of integration into Judaeo-Spanish of borrowings from French that in singular end in consonants, regardless of the gender they are assigned in the source language, like adreso (Fr. adresse-f) ʻadressʼ, avanso (Fr. avance-f) ʻadvance, progressʼ, budjeto (Fr. budget-m) ʻbudgetʼ, afronto (Fr. affront-m) ʻinsult, offenseʼ, antrakto (Fr. entracte-m) ʻintermissionʼ, borasa (Fr. borax-m) ʻboraxʼ. Although most nouns borrowed from French were morphologically integrated into Judaeo-Spanish, there are also exceptions, such as masér (Fr. masseur [masœʁ]) ʻmasseurʼ ~ maséze (Fr. masseuse [masøz]) ʻmasseuseʼ. Turkish has no grammatical gender (Kornfilt 1997, 270), but it can be predicted that borrowings ending in stressed and unstressed vowel /a/ will be reanalyzed as feminine nouns in Judaeo-Spanish even if they have an inanimate referent: bastirma (‘repres-


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sion’, Turk. bastirma), chanta (‘bag’, Turk. çanta), damla (‘drop’, Turk. damla), rida (‘handkerchief’, from Turk. rida). Most nouns without a natural gender that are borrowed from Turkish and that end in -f (kef ‘lust, pleasure, desire’, Turk. keyif), -k (livrik ‘coffee pot’, Turk. ibrik), -t (moabet ‘friendly chat’, Turk. muhabbet; niyet ‘resolution’, Turk. niyet), -p (dip ‘bottom’, Turk. dip), and -m (djam ‘window glass’, Turk. cam ‘glass’; kalem ‘pen’, Turk. kalem) have been integrated into Judaeo-Spanish as masculine but without adding the -o ending. Nouns ending with the suffix -lik (from Turk. -lik, -lik, -luk, -lük) – which is always stressed  – are always masculine, independently of whether the suffix was borrowed together with the Turkish base (hovardalik ‘prodigality’, Turk. hovardalik ‘dissoluteness, rakishness’; hamalik ‘hard work; salary paid to the porter’, Turk. hamallik ‘portership’) or whether it was attached to a Romance or Hebrew base (for the latter, see purimlik ‘gift given on the occasion of Purimʼ, Heb. purim + Turk. -lik). Nouns ending in -djí/-chí (from Turk. -ci/-ci/-cu/-cü, -çi, -çu), -lí (from Turk. -li/-li/-lu/-lü) and, in general, in stressed -í, are masculine when they refer to males, but when the referent is female, a feminine is formed by adding the Judaeo-Spanish affix -a: hadji ‘pilgrim’ (Turk. haci) → hadjia; tenekedji ‘tinsmith’ (Turk. tenekeci) → tenekedjia; yagurchi ʻproducer or seller of yogurtʼ (Turk. yoğurtcu) → yagurchia; tutundji ‘tobacconist’ (Turk. tütüncü) → tutundjia; emekchi ‘baker’ (Turk. ekmekçi) → emekchia; selanikli ‘male from Thessaloniki’ (Turk. selanikli) → selaniklia; choili ‘peasant’ (Turk. köylü) → choilia; mushteri ‘client’ (Turk. müşteri) → mushteria.

3 Adjectives Common nouns and adjectives are formally very similar in Judaeo-Spanish. Based on a lexeme and morphemes for gender and number, they can be grouped into three classes (where G and N stand for “gender” and “number,” respectively): I. The structure is stem-G-N (Ia: luzi-o-Ø, luzi-a-Ø, luzi-o-s, luzi-a-s ʻbrightʼ; Ib: lastikli-Ø-Ø, lastikli-a-Ø, lastikli-Ø-s, lastikli-a-s ʻelastic, ambiguousʼ; Ic: panush-Ø-Ø, panush-a-Ø, panush-e-s, panush-a-s ʻcross-eyedʼ). II. The structure is stem-ØG-N (IIa: saragosi-Ø-Ø, saragosi-Ø-s ʻrelating to Zaragoza or Syracuseʼ; kayente-Ø-Ø, kayente-Ø-s ‘hot’; IIb: esteril-Ø-Ø, esteril-Ø-es ʻsterileʼ). III. The structure is stem-ØG-ØN (halis-Ø-Ø, halis-Ø-Ø ‘unadulterated, pure, authentic, true’).

3.1 Inflection for gender and number In Judaeo-Spanish, almost all qualifying adjectives follow the same basic patterns as the nouns (see Section 2 above). The gender and number of the adjective must agree with

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


the noun to which it refers. The endings -o and -a are the ones that most often differentiate between masculine and feminine gender. Those ending in -e do not express gender. A base whose masculine form ends in a consonant has a feminine correlate ending in -a, following the same pattern as deverbal nouns with a sexed referent ending in -or (see Section 2.2 above). Adjectives ending in -li, borrowed from Turkish together with the affix, and new formations with -li (see Section 2.2 for nouns) modify masculine nouns, and the feminine form is expressed by the addition of -a (see Table 6, Paradigm Ib). For plural formation, the -s or -es affix is used following the same rules as those for nouns (see Section 2.1). Table 6 summarizes the gender and number inflection of adjectives in Judaeo-Spanish (where the numbers correspond to the different paradigms), and Table 7 shows some examples. Table 6: Paradigms of adjectival inflection. Ia

masc. fem.

-o -a

-s -s


masc. fem.

ˈi-Ø ˈi-a

-s -s


masc. fem.

C-Ø C-a

-es -s


masc. fem.

e, ˈi-Ø



masc. fem.




masc. fem.

Table 7: Examples of adjectival inflection. paradigm




number sg.


masc. fem.

djoveno djovena

djovenos djovenas


masc. fem.

perikolozo perikoloza

perikolozos perikolozas


masc. fem.

berekyetli berekyetlia

berekyetlis berekyetlias

‘fruitful, prosperous’

masc. fem.

sefaradi sefaradia

sefaradis sefaradias



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Table 7 (continued) paradigm




number sg.


masc. fem.

haragan haragana

haraganes haraganas


masc. fem.

djeneral djenerala

djenerales djeneralas


masc. fem.

montes montesa

monteses montesas

ʻnon-domestic, wildʼ

masc. fem.

arrebividor arrebividora

arrebividores arrebividoras

ʻrevived, resuscitatedʼ

masc. fem.

haksiz haksiza

haksizes haksizas


masc. fem.








masc. fem.



ʻstinking; tediousʼ





masc. fem.







‘rotten; spoiltʼ








fem. masc. fem.

These inflectional rules also apply to adjectives borrowed from other languages. In what follows, more information is provided on some of the classes shown in Tables 6 and 7. Gender inflection occurs through the inflectional affix -a12 in most denominal adjectives borrowed from Turkish ending in -li (Turk. -li/-li/-lu/-lü)13 (see class Ib in Tables 6 and 7), mostly qualifying nouns with an animate referent (Table 8). 12 The addition of the morpheme -a to Turkish adjectives ending in -li or to Hebrew stems suffixed with -li is first documented in the middle of the 18th century (Bunis 2020, 230). On the mechanisms of fusion of bases of Hebrew origin with endings borrowed from Turkish and for examples, the reader is advised to consult the same work (Bunis 2020, 229–233). 13 The suffix -li is the most productive one in the formation of denominal adjectives in Turkish. This type of adjectives may mean “‘possessing the object or quality expressed by the basic morpheme’, or ‘possessing the object of quality expressed by the basic morpheme to a high degree’” (Kornfilt 1997, 457).

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


Table 8: Gender and number inflection in borrowings from Turkish ending in -li. Turk.

J.-Sp. sg.


kazıklı ‘piled’

kazikli kaziklia

kaziklis kaziklias

‘tortuous, winding’

merakli ʻcurious, nosyʼ

merakli meraklia

meraklis meraklias

ʻmelancholic; person of refined tasteʼ

nazli ‘coy, delicate’

nazli nazlia

nazlis nazlias

ʻdelicate, coquettishʼ

uğurlu ʻfortunate, luckyʼ

(o)gurli (o)gurlia

(o)gurlis (o)gurlias

ʻbringing happinessʼ

The same rules apply to new Judaeo-Spanish adjectives suffixed with -li, regardless of whether the lexical base is inherited or was borrowed from French or from Hebrew,14 as Table 9 shows. Table 9: Gender and number inflection in new formations suffixed with -li. noun

derived adjective sg.


braga (J.-Sp.) ʻbreeches, pantiesʼ

bragali bragalia

bragalis bragalias

ʻordinary, of low classʼ

chance (Fr.) ʻopportunityʼ havṭaxah (Heb.) ‘confidence, surenessʼ

shansli shanslia avtahali avtahalia

shanslis shanslias avtahalis avtahalias

ʻfortunate, favored by fateʼ ʻoptimistic, hopefulʼ

safek (Heb.) ʻdoubtʼ

safekli safeklia

safeklis safeklias

ʻquestionable, tainted with doubt’

sekana (Heb.) ‘danger, peril, distress’

sekanali sekanalia

sekanalis sekanalias

‘fussy, quibbler’

Judaeo-Spanish also borrowed some Turkish adjectives ending in -siz/-siz/-suz/-süz. Like in Turkish, they are denominal adjectives in which -siz/-suz denotes that the entity described lacks whatever is expressed in the stem (see Göksel/Kerslake 2005, 62). They are affixed like regular adjectives whose base ends in a consonant, that is, according to class Ic (Table 10). 14 On the mechanisms of formation of new adjectives with roots of Hebrew origin and Judaeo-Spanish derivational affixes, see Bunis (2020, 226–227).


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Table 10: Gender and number inflection in borrowings from Turkish ending in -suz and -siz. Turk.

J.-Sp. sg.



(o)gursuz (o)gursuza

(o)gursuzes (o)gursuzas

ʻbaleful; fortunelessʼ


hayirsiz hayirsiza

hayirsizes hayirsizas

ʻunhelpful, unsuccessful, profitlessʼ


kyefsiz kyefsiza

kiefsizes kyefsizaz

ʻuncomfortable; seedy; humorlessʼ

Inherited adjectives like debil ʻweak, feebleʼ, vil ʻvile, despicableʼ, and borrowings from French, whose base is ending in -il, like esteril ʻsterileʼ, movil ‘mobile’, fasil ʻeasyʼ, do not exhibit gender inflection and form their plural in -es (class IIb).15 However, there are also adjectives borrowed from Turkish lacking gender and number inflection, like in Turkish. Examples include halis ‘pure’, silik ‘erased, frostedʼ, and kadir (used only in the expression ser kadir ‘be able’, from Turk. kaadir ‘capable’). When placed before a noun, the masculine singular form of the adjective bueno ʻgoodʼ apocopates before nouns, like in Modern Peninsular Spanish (e.g., el se da buen rijo ʻhe gives himself all the pleasures of eatingʼ). Conversely, unlike Modern Peninsular Spanish, the adjective grande ʻgreat, bigʼ does not exhibit the apocope of the final vowel -e (e.g., akeyo hue un grande sukseso ʻthat was a great eventʼ; esto non es grande koza ʻthis is not a big dealʼ).

3.2 Possessive adjectives and determiners Judaeo-Spanish has two sets of possessives, one series of unstressed forms found in prenominal position (todos vuestros serkanos ‘all your close relatives’), and one series of stressed elements that are found after the noun (la fija tuya ‘your daughter’). The combination article + possessive + noun (e.g., la su mano ‘his/her hand’) has fallen into disuse. Possession is also expressed by genitive phrases (de mi ‘mine’, de eya ‘hers’). The relative adjective kuyo, -a, -s ‘whose, of which’, inherited from Old Spanish, does not exist in Modern Judaeo-Spanish, although it is possible to find it in written documents from the 19th and 20th centuries, due to the influence of Modern Peninsular Spanish on some authors.

15 Adjectives referring to several colors are also genderless: vedroli (J.-Sp. vedre ‘green’ + Turk. -li) ʻgreenishʼ, mavi (Turk. mavi) ʻblueʼ, pembi (Turk. pembe) ʻpinkʼ, kuyi (Turk. kayu ʻdarkʼ) ʻdarkish, darkened; blackʼ, or zurzuvi only in kolor de zurzuvi ʻmulticolored; of indeterminate colorʼ (class IIa).

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


The stressed possessives, which are also used as possessive pronouns (see Section 5.2), are fully inflected by means of endings identical to adjectives, showing agreement in number and gender with the noun. The unstressed possessives have the functions of determiners (see Section 4) and adjectives. Of these, only the 1st and 2nd persons plural (muestro/-a, muestros/-as ‘our’; vuestro/-a, vuestros/-as ‘’) are gender bearers (class Ia). This means that the 1st and 2nd persons singular are common for both genders (mi, mis ‘my’; tu, tus ‘your’) and that the 3rd person also lacks a gender ending. But while a 3rd person singular possessor triggers number agreement with the noun, a plural possessor yields the plural ending -s when preceding either a singular or plural noun (Table 11). Table 11: Unstressed 3rd person possessives. possessor

possessed sg.



su su kaza ‘his/her/its house’

sus sus kazas ‘his/her/its houses’


sus sus kaza ‘their house’

sus sus kazas ‘their houses’

The stressed possessives are used contrastively as in example (2), and the forms are fully inflected, as in Table 12. (2) La unya mia no vash a ver vozos. ‘You won’t see my nail.’ Table 12: Stressed possessives. possessed person








1st 2nd 3rd

mio tuyo suyo

mia tuya suya

mios tuyos suyos

mias tuyas suyas


1st 2nd 3rd

muestro vuestro suyo

muestra vuestra suya

muestros vuestros suyos

muestras vuestras suyas



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3.3 Comparison For expression of degree, analytical forms with the items mas/mas muncho ʻmoreʼ and menos/manko ʻless’ are used.16 The noun phrase for the standard of comparison is introduced by the markers de or ke for the comparative of superiority and inferiority (mas riko de ʻricher thanʼ; menos buena ke ʻworse thanʼ, manko konsideravle de ʻless considerable thanʼ). The comparative of bueno ‘goodʼ has two variants: mijor and mas mijor ʻbetterʼ. Comparative equality is expressed with tanto and komo introducing the second term of the comparison (tanto aedado komo mi ʻas old as I amʼ). The adverbs muy/muncho ʻveryʼ are used for the absolute superlative (la kalavasa es mucho saludoza ʻpumpkin is very healthyʼ, estó mucho deskarinyado ʻI am very nostalgicʼ). Absolute superlatives may also be created with muy muncho ‘very much’ (Yo so muy muncho rika ‘I am extremely richʼ), and by lexical reduplication either of the adverb or of the adjective: muy muy valorozo ‘invaluable’, grande grande ‘very tall’, vero vero ʻtruly authentic; absolutely trueʼ. The relative superlative is formed with mas/menos preceded by the definite article (el mas rico ‘the richest’, la menos serioza, ʻthe least seriousʼ, lo menos negro ‘the least bad thingʼ) and followed by the preposition de (el mas prove del mundo ‘the poorest in the world’, el menos prove de los proves ‘the least poor of the poor’). The relative superlative of bueno ‘good’ is mas mijor determined by the definite article (el mas mijor ʻthe best oneʼ, lo mas mijor ‘the (most) best; the best thing’, la mas mijor vedra ‘the best truth’). Sometimes the relative superlative of bueno is expressed by means of a structure probably transferred from Hebrew involving determiner spreading: el puevlo el mijor dela tiera ‘the best people of the world’. For other analytical forms of the gradation of adjectives, see Bunis (2015, 398). The extreme degree of gradation of adjectives is achieved by means of superlatives introduced by mas muncho/mucho (lit. ‘more much’: un manseviko arrivo en muestra sivdad toviendo por buto rekojer lo mas mucho posivle de moneda entre el puevlo ‘a young man came to our city with the purpose of collecting as much money as possible among the people’.

16 The synthetic forms of degree expression, such as the comparative forms mayor ʻbiggerʼ and menor ʻsmallerʼ are not documented from the 16th century onward, and peor ʻworseʼ is very infrequent in Modern Judaeo-Spanish. The absolute superlative ending on -isimo may even be documented in JudaeoSpanish texts of all times according to García Moreno (2012a, 235) and Bunis (2015, 389). However, for the period after the 16th century, the corpus that this chapter is based on shows only grandesisimo ʻhugeʼ and rikisimo ʻvery richʼ, both in 18th-century texts. The latter was already lexicalized in the locution riko rikisimo ʻmillionaireʼ, which is still used in Modern Judaeo-Spanish.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


4 Determiners The group of determiners includes articles, demonstratives, unstressed prenominal possessives (see Section 3.2), interrogatives, exclamatives, indefinites, and numerals. The forms of the definite articles are those inherited from Old Spanish (Table 13): Table 13: Definite articles.

masc. fem. neut.



el la lo

los las -

The functions of lo are very restricted:17 it is used as an article for nominalized adjectives, adjectival phrases, or complement clauses. Lo can also precede the relative pronoun ke in relative clauses that introduce information about an antecedent formed by one or more sentences or ideas.18 Gender and number inflection of most of the other determiners is that of regular adjectives (see Table 6). This is the case with the demonstrative dito, dita, ditos, ditas ‘this, that, these, thoseʼ and the indefinites uno, una, unos, unas ‘a, some’; otro, otra, otros, otras ‘another’; sierto, sierta, siertos, siertas ‘a certain’; tanto, tanta, tantos, tantas ‘so many/much’; kuanto, kuanta, kuantos, kuantas ‘several’; alguno, alguna, algunos, algunas ‘some’; ninguno, ninguna, ningunos, ningunas ‘no’19 (Table 6, class Ia); semejante, semejantes ‘such’ (class IIa); tal, tala ʻthis, thatʼ/tales, talas ʻthese, thoseʼ (class Ic), and the indefinite kualker20 ʻanyʼ, which is invariable (class IIb); the indefinite varios, -as ʻseveralʼ has gender inflection according to class Ia, but does not exhibit variation in number, since it is only used in the plural. In addition, the category of determiners includes elements that are inherited words that also belong to other categories, like the unstressed possessives (see Section 3), demonstratives (see Section 5.3), and interrogatives kual, kuala, kualos, kualas ʻwhich?ʼ and kuanto, kuanta, kuantos, kuantas ‘how many?’. 17 According to Pomino/Stark (2009, 220–221, 238–245), lo no longer denotes a third gender, but has rather assumed the function of denoting a non-specification for individuation. 18 The article lo may also be placed in front of the pronoun todo following the French model le tout. 19 In Modern Judaeo-Spanish the inanimate negative item nada ‘nothing’ may take the function of an indefinite determiner instead of ninguno ʻno, noneʼ, as shown in the following example: Arrivo en muestra sivdad toviendo por buto nada otra koza mas ke rekojer lo mas mucho posivle de moneda ‘He came to our city not having intended anything more than collecting as much money as possible’. 20 Less used than kualker are the variants kualseker, kualsekier, kualsekera, and kualsekiera, like in Aragonese, all grammaticalized from the combination of the relative pronoun kual and one of the variants of the verb kerer in 3rd person sg. of the subjunctive ker/kera/kiera ‘the one who wants’. The indefinite determiner kualunke ʻany’, borrowed from Italian (qualunque), is especially preferred in Thessaloniki over kualkier. This is also an invariable form: El karnaval se azia mijor de kualunke vanda, en la Kaye Ancha ‘Carnival was best done anywhere on the Ancha Street.’


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5 Pronouns In this section, the following types of pronouns are distinguished: personal pronouns (5.1), possessive pronouns (5.2), demonstrative pronouns (5.3), and interrogative pronouns (5.4). The inflection of Judaeo-Spanish pronouns, except for the invariable personal pronouns, shows the same forms that the respective elements have when they appear as determiners or adjectives (see Section 4).

5.1 Personal pronouns The forms of Judaeo-Spanish personal pronouns are determined by three different characteristics: person (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), number (singular or plural), and gender (masculine and feminine).21 There are stressed and unstressed (clitic) forms; the latter are marked in italics in Table 14. As can be seen in the table, most of the personal pronoun forms are invariable, and only some forms carry gender and number affixes, namely in the stressed forms of the 1st and 2nd person plural. However, in non-standard varieties a process towards the loss of gender yielded the emergence of new invariable forms (mozos, vozos). Table 14: Personal pronouns in Judaeo-Spanish.22 singular 1st


3rd masc.








direct object





indirect object









neut. lo

le el

eya si (refl.) se

21 In the same way as for all “neuter” demonstratives (see Section 5.3), this category is assigned to the unstressed 3rd person direct object personal pronoun lo, which cannot refer to individualized entities or to abstract “non-locatable” and uncountable concepts (Pomino/Stark 2009, 220–221, 244), like the homonymous neuter determiner lo (see Section 4), to differentiate it from the masculine lo, which refers to a individualized masculine antecedent. 22 Unstressed pronouns are indicated in italics. 23 This includes the differential object marker a.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


Table 14 (continued) plural function/position



mozotros mozotras mozos

vozotros vozotras vozos

direct object



indirect object





mozotros mozotras mozos

vozotros vozotras vozos

eyos eyas si (refl.)



se, -sen












Subject and post-prepositional pronouns are stressed forms, whereas the object and reflexive personal pronouns are unstressed clitics. The position of the clitic pronouns depends on the finiteness of the verbal form. In finite clauses, they occupy the immediate preverbal position, while in non-finite clauses (with infinitives, imperatives, and gerunds) they adjoin to the verb.24 Regarding the phono-morphological interface, it should be noted that when one of the indirect object pronouns in the 2nd or 3rd person plural (mos, vos) are followed by a 3rd person direct object (lo, la, lo, los, las), the final /-s/ of the former assimilates to the /l/ of the next syllable (3a–b; 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). (3) a. Dimolo a mozotros. ‘Let us know it.’ b. I yo vo los vendere. ‘And I will sell it to you-pl.’ After a preposition, the stressed pronouns mi, ti, si are always used, except after asegun ‘according’, where the subject pronouns may also occur (asegun yo/mi ‘according to me’, asegun tu/ti ‘according to you’, etc.). The change of function of le/les called leísmo in Spanish linguistics is documented in Judaeo-Spanish, too: le/les may be used instead of lo/los for direct objects in the case of human referents. Loísmo (use of lo and los instead of le and les for masculine indirect objects) is rarer, and laísmo (use of la and las instead of le and les for female indirect objects) is not documented. In contrast to Modern Peninsular Spanish, the etymologically invariable 3rd person reflexive pronoun se developed a number ending, which is limited to the enclitic posi24 In the varieties of Thessaloniki and Bosnia (also in the extinct Sephardic communities of North Macedonia) the clitics may also occupy a preverbal position in infinitive prepositional clauses (Quintana 2006, 164, 400 map 43).


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tion (after infinitives, gerunds, and 3rd person imperatives), as shown in the following sentences (4a–c; 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish): (4) a. Elen le propozo de fuyirsen de esta kaza maldicha. ‘Elen proposed that they (the two of them) flee from this cursed house.’ b. La famiya de Anne partieron de Alemania kuando los Nazistos entraron en poder, instalandosen en Bruselas. ‘Anne’s family left Germany when the Nazis took power, settling in Brussels.’ c. Kedisin in la bunore! ‘Stay (you-pl) in peace!’ Judaeo-Spanish has an honorific/familiar distinction, using the 2nd personal plural pronoun (vos ‘you’) instead of tu as the formal (politeness) form as in (5), like in French, Turkish, and many other languages. However, in the Istanbul variety the 3rd person pronoun (el ‘he’, eya ‘she’; eyos, eyas ‘they’) is used when addressing very old people and the like, as well as in formal situations (meeting people for the first time, business, customer-clerk, colleagues), as in (6a–b). (5) Komo vos yamash (vozotros, -as)? ‘What is your name?’ (6) a. Komo se yama el/eya? ‘What is your name?’ b. Komo se yaman eyos/eyas? ‘What are your names?’

5.2 Possessive pronouns The stressed series of possessives (see Table 12, Section 3.2) also has deictic pronominal function in copulative sentences (7–8) in order to emphasize the relationship between the possessor and the possessed. (7) Todas las grutas ke ay ai son mias. ‘All the shops that are there are mine.’ (8) El pato kale ke le embie, porke ya no es muestro. ‘You must send him the duck, because it is no longer ours.’

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


5.3 Demonstratives The Judaeo-Spanish demonstratives form a two-term system, which correlates with grammatical person: este ‘this (of mine/ours, of yours)’: akel ‘yonder (of his/hers/theirs)’.25 The demonstratives are fully inflected, like other pronouns, adjectives, and determiners, and agree with the noun in gender and number (Table 15). Table 15: Judaeo-Spanish demonstratives. masc.



sg. pl.

este estos

esta estas


sg. pl.

akel akeyos

akeya akeyas


Demonstrative pronouns have preserved the neuter singular forms (esto/eyo, akeyo) to refer to propositions. While esto and aqueyo may appear in the functions of subject, object, and prepositional complement, eyo occurs only after a preposition. In contrast to Modern Peninsular Spanish, the demonstrative tal, which mostly fulfills the role of determiner, developed gender inflection following class Ic of Table 6, as shown in Table 16. Table 16: Forms of the demonstrative tal.

sg. pl.



tal tales

tala talas

5.4 Interrogative pronouns It is noteworthy that the interrogative kual ʻwhich (one)ʼ has preserved an inflectional pattern that can be traced back to Old Spanish and Old Leonese: kual, kuala, kualos, kualas, kualo. Unstressed, the members of this paradigm also have the function of relative pronouns that are coreferent with an antecedent or a postcedent.26 25 In Modern Judaeo-Spanish, ese is recognized as a demonstrative among speakers, but its use is extremely infrequent. 26 The use of this paradigm does not exactly match the description made by García Moreno (2015, 156–157), which seems to be a consequence of the fact that the corpus of his research contains a smaller variety of texts than that on which this study is based.


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The invariable interrogative ke ʻwhatʼ developed the diatopic variant luke with a neutral value that serves only to ask for propositions and exists in varieties of the north and west of the Balkans (see Quintana 2006, 395, map 38; 2014, 85–86; 2017b, 65–71). Unlike Modern Peninsular Spanish, the interrogative ken/kien ʻwhoʼ is invariable in Judaeo-Spanish, as it was in Old Spanish.

6 General remarks on verbal inflection The general characterics of Judaeo-Spanish verbal inflection are mostly identical to Modern Peninsular Spanish. Judaeo-Spanish verbs are grouped into three main inflectional classes, whose infinitives end on -ar (first class, e.g., avlar ʻto speakʼ, dezear ʻto wantʼ), -er (second class, e.g., bever ʻto drinkʼ, komer ʻto eatʼ), and -ir (third class, e.g., bivir ʻto live, to existʼ, partir ʻto leaveʼ), respectively.27 The vowel that precedes the -r in the infinitive endings (-a-, -e-, -i-) is a thematic vowel (hereafter TV). Unlike in the infinitive, in many other verbal forms, the second and third inflectional classes share the same TV (bev-i-a ‘I drankʼ, biv-i-a ‘I livedʼ; bev-i-tes ‘you drankʼ, biv-i-tes ‘you livedʼ; bev-ie-ndo ‘drinkingʼ, viv-ie-ndo ‘livingʼ). There are also forms of the verbal paradigms that lack TVs, in which consequently there is no difference between the inflectional classes: avl-o ʻI speakʼ (as compared to avl-a-s ‘you speak’), bev-o ʻI drinkʼ (vs. bev-e-s ‘you drink’), biv-o ʻI liveʼ (vs. biv-e-s ‘you live’). Each inflectional class follows its own paradigm of forms classified for tense/aspect and mood (TAM), with finite and non-finite forms. The non-finite forms are the infinitive (avlar, bever, bivir), the gerund (avlando, beviendo, biviendo), and the past participle (avlado, bevido, bivido). Like in all Romance languages, the finite forms (indicative, subjunctive, imperative forms) of the paradigms are characterized by bearing inflectional morphemes, in which the order of morphemes is fixed: stem + TV + TAM + PN (person-number ending). Compound tenses in the past may also express aspect by means of the auxiliary verbs tener or aver (see Section 6.2).28 As in other Romance

27 Verbs incorporated from the first French conjugation (-er) are integrated into the first JudaeoSpanish inflectional class: e.g., arrivar ʻto arriveʼ (Fr. arriver). This also occurs with verbs borrowed from Italian: e.g., apranzar ʻto honor someone with a banquetʼ (It. pranzare ʻto lunch, have lunchʼ). Verbs that in French belong to the class ending on -oir and -re preceded by double consonant are integrated into the second Judaeo-Spanish inflectional class, such as apersever ʻto perceiveʼ (Fr. apercevoir) and permeter ʻto allow, letʼ (Fr. permettre), and French verbs belonging to the -re conjugation preceded by a vowel or by a single consonant and those of the third French conjugation (-ir) share the third inflectional class (-ir) in Judaeo-Spanish: traduir/traduizir ʻto translateʼ (Fr. traduire). 28 As an auxiliary, ser seems to be preserved only with some unaccusative verbs, such as venir ‘to come’, reposar ‘to rest’, morir ‘to die’, and naser ‘be born’, but a sentence like eya es nasida en Larosh ‘she is born in Larosh’ should be understood as an indicative present construction (cf. Eberenz 2004, 626, for Old Spanish).

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


languages, gender is not present in the verbal system. In short, it is assumed here that the Judaeo-Spanish verb is composed of a lexeme and formants, with the following structure (Table 17): Table 17: Formal structure of the Judaeo-Spanish verb. lexeme





The different forms the speaker may use to express the different characteristics of the actions or events that s/he wishes to communicate can be grouped into six moods (Table 18). Table 18: Moods of the Judaeo-Spanish verb. finite moods

non-finite moods

indicative subjunctive imperative

infinitive participle gerund

Each of the three non-finite moods has only one invariable form (e.g., kantar ʻsing.infʼ, kantado ʻsing.pst.ptcpʼ, kantando ʻsing.gerʼ). For each finite verb mood, except for the imperative, there are different tenses, which indicate the relationship between the action or event referred to and the time of speaking or another reference point in time. The tense system is based on the deictic time location (anterior, simultaneous, and posterior) and its absolute or relative relationship to a point in time.

6.1 Person and number (PN) In the verbal system of Judaeo-Spanish, like other Romance languages, the category of person has three values: first, second, and third. The category of number has the values of singular and plural. The number formatives do not appear isolated but are conflated with the category of person. The 1st and 3rd persons sg. are not uniformly marked in all paradigms, while the 2nd person sg. and pl., the 1st person pl., and the 3rd person pl. are always marked by -s (2sg.), -sh (2pl.), -mos (1pl.), and -n (3pl.), as shown in Table 19.


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Table 19: Person and number inflections of Judaeo-Spanish verbal tenses. 1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

-Ø/-oØ -s -Ø/-oØ -mos -sh29 -n

6.2 Moods and tenses The main tense categories of the indicative are the absolute tenses present, simple past, and future. The relative tenses – including simple and compound patterns – are divided into primary, whose reference point is the present or the simple past, and secondary, whose reference point is the simple past. The conditional and the preterit perfect are rarely used. Compound tenses are constructed periphrastically with auxiliary verbs followed by a past participle: aver (to express perfective aspect) and tener (to express perfective and resultative aspects).30 The auxiliary ser is not used for forming tenses but only for diathesis (passive voice). Over the last few generations, the compound tenses constructed with the imperfect of the auxiliary aver + past participle (vimos ke avia eskrito mil patranyas ʻwe saw that he had written a thousand liesʼ) were practically replaced by the imperfect of tener + past participle (vimos ke tenia escrito mil patranyas) or substituted by simple tenses (vimos ke eskrivio mil patranyas ʻwe saw that he wrote a thousand liesʼ), except in the variety of Izmir.31 In the Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Istanbul and Izmir, 29 The morpho-phonetic change in the 2nd person pl. with palatalization of the final sibilant as a consequence of contact with /i/ should be mentioned: -sh < -is (cf. Sp. habláis ʻyou-pl speakʼ, bebéis ʻyou-pl drinkʼ, abrís ʻyou-pl openʼ). As should the simplification of the formatives of the 2nd person, both singular and plural, through dissimilation (avlates < avlastes < avlaste; avlatesh < avlastesh < avlastes). 30 In contrast to Modern Peninsular Spanish, the notion of temporal distance – tenses used to refer to actions performed within a single day (hodiernal) and those referring to actions performed at least the day before (prehodiernal) – is not present in the Judaeo-Spanish past tense system. 31 The following table contains the compound forms with the auxiliary aver + past participle: pres. perfect

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

pret. perfect


present of aver

past of aver

imperfect of aver

aˈve aˈves aˈve aˈvemos aˈvesh aˈven

ˈuve uˈvites ˈuvo uˈvimos uˈvitesh uˈvieron

aveˈria aveˈrias aveˈria aveˈriamos aveˈriash aveˈrian


+ past participle bever bivir




18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


the pluperfect form with tener + past participle has a very limited use, whereas the use of the pluperfect aver + past participle is more frequent (Varol 2002, 150; Vuletić 2012). On the other hand, the Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Sarajevo lacks compound tenses constructed with aver. The simple past and the imperfect express perfective and imperfective aspect of the action, respectively, as inherited from the Ibero-Romance languages. The present perfect compound form tiene avlado ʻ(s/he) spokeʼ coexists with the simple past tense (avlo ʻs/he spokeʼ) without a difference in tense, but they are not interchangeable, due to the aspectual opposition: the former carries perfective resultative experiential aspect, and the latter perfective. According to its different development in recent generations, especially the indicative mood of the verbal system used in Judaeo-Spanish may vary from one community to another. The following tables show the system of indicative tenses employed in Izmir (Table 20), Istanbul (Table 21), and Thessaloniki (Table 22).32 Table 20: Indicative tense system in Izmir (examples in 3rd person singular). tense

time relation anteriority




simple past aˈvlo♣ ʻspokeʼ [Present perfect ˈtiene aˈvlado♣ ʻhas spokenʼ]

present ˈavla ʻis speakingʼ

future va aˈvlar ʻwill speakʼ [avlaˈra ʻwill speakʼ]

primary relative

imperfect aˈvlava♠ ʻwas speakingʼ

[conditional avlaˈria♠ ʻwould speakʼ]

secondary relative

preterit perfect [ˈuvo aˈvlado]♥ ʻhad spokenʼ

pluperfect aˈvia aˈvlado♥ [teˈnia aˈvlado]♦ ʻhad spokenʼ

present perfect aˈve aˈvlado♥ ʻhas spokenʼ

Irregular forms of the present indicative of the verb aver (e, as, a, emos, an) are not unknown, but they have a very low frequency of use. 32 In order to understand the tables, it is necessary to take into account the meaning of the following symbols: ♣ Perfective aspect; ♠ Habitual, progressive, and continuous imperfective aspect; ♥ Perfective resultative aspect as the result of an expected process; ♦ Resultative perfective aspect. Forms in square brackets are rare now.


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Table 21: Indicative tense system in Istanbul (examples in 3rd person singular). tense

time location anteriority




simple past aˈvlo♣ ʻspokeʼ Present perfect ‘tiene aˈvlado♥ ʻhas spokenʼ

present ˈavla ʻis speakingʼ

future va aˈvlar ʻwill speakʼ [avlaˈra ʻwill speakʼ]

primary relative

imperfect aˈvlava♠ ʻwas speakingʼ

[conditional avlaˈria♠ ʻwould speakʼ]

secondary relative

[preterit perfect ˈtuvo aˈvlado♥ ʻhad spokenʼ]

pluperfect aˈvía aˈvlado♦ [teˈnia faˈvlado]♥ ʻhad spokenʼ

present perfect aˈve aˈvlado♣ ʻhas spokenʼ

Table 22: Indicative tenses system in Thessaloniki (examples in 3rd person singular). tense

time relation anteriority




simple past faˈvlo♣ ʻspokeʼ Past perfect ˈtiene faˈvlado♥ ʻhas spokenʼ

present ˈfavla ʻis speakingʼ

future va faˈvlar ʻwill speakʼ [favlaˈra ʻwill speakʼ]

primary relative

imperfect faˈvlava♠ ʻwas speakingʼ

[conditional favlaˈria♠ ʻwould speakʼ]

secondary relative

[preterit perfect ˈtuvo faˈvlado♥ ʻhad spokenʼ]

pluperfect faˈvlara♦ aˈvia faˈvlado♦ teˈnia faˈvlado♥ ʻhad spokenʼ

[present perfect aˈve faˈvlado]♣ ʻhas spokenʼ

All Judaeo-Spanish speakers make use of the absolute forms, while the other forms may acquire different aspectual values from one variety to another.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


7 Finite moods and tenses 7.1 Indicative 7.1.1 Present The structure of the present is stem-TV-ØTAM-PN (e.g., avl-a-Ø-s ʻyou speakʼ, deze-a-Ø-s ʻyou wantʼ), except in the 1st person sg., which lacks a TV and, consequently, there is no difference between the three inflectional classes (avl-Ø-Ø-o ʻI speakʼ, deze-Ø-Ø-o ʻI wantʼ; bev-Ø-Ø-o ʻI drinkʼ, biv-Ø-Ø-o ʻI liveʼ), as shown in Table 23.33 Table 23: Present tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




ˈavlo ˈavlas ˈavla aˈvlamos aˈvlash ˈavlan

ˈbevo ˈbeves ˈbeve beˈvemos beˈvesh ˈbeven

ˈbivo ˈbives ˈbive biˈvimos biˈvish ˈbiven

Verbs that originally had stem alternation, such as akodrarse (← akordarse) ‘to remember’, amostrar ‘to show’, durmir ‘to sleep’, empesar ‘to begin’, esforsarse ‘to make an effort’, governar ‘to govern’, kontar ‘to count’, kostar ‘to cost’, pensar ‘to think’, provar ‘to taste’, sonyarse ‘to dream’, volar ‘to fly’, kerer ‘to want, desire’, serrar ‘to close’, have become regular. Some of these verbs namely lack diphthongization in some forms with a stressed vowel, e.g., pensar, penso ‘to think, I think’ vs. Mod. Peninsular Sp. pensar, pienso. Other verbs of this group, such as kerer and serrar, underwent leveling of the stem, which led to the formation of two alternative paradigms – with or without diphthongization of the stem vowel (e.g., kerer, kero vs. kierer, kiero; serrar, serro, etc. vs. sierrar, sierro) – depending on the J.-Sp. varieties of the communities. In some varieties, a small list of stem-alternating verbs, such as poder ‘can, be able’, has developed a par33 The inflectional class -ar also includes all verbs formed with the verbalizer -ear (see Section 8.2), an allomorph of -ar, in which /e/ is added to the stem preceding the formants. The conjugation of these verbs is fully regular. The present indicative of the verb dezear ʻto wantʼ is dezeo, dezeas, dezea, dezeamos, dezeash, dezean. In this verb the epenthesis of the palatal approximant consonant /j/ between the vowel /e/ and the vowel of the first formant can take place, undoing the resulting hiatus in the entire conjugation: dezeyo, dezeyas, dezeya, dezeyamos, dezeyash, dezeyan. The epenthesis of /j/ may also occur in verbs of the first inflectional group ending in -ear and in all verbal forms, when a stressed palatal vowel (i, e) forms a hiatus with the following vowel on the boundary between the stem and the formants (veo → veyo ʻI seeʼ) or on another boundary between the formants themselves (bevia → beviya ʻs/he was drinkingʼ, bivio → biviyo ʻs/he livedʼ).


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adigm in which the vowel of the stem always diphthongizes (pueder; ind. pres.: puedo, puedes, etc.; fut.: puedre, puedras, etc.). On the other hand, such verbs as digo/dizes, salgo/sales, vengo/vienes have retained the consonantal alternation between the 1st person and the other forms of this tense. Unlike Modern Peninsular Spanish, the verbs ser ‘to be’, dar ‘to give’, and ir ‘to go’ show the same person and number formatives in the present tense as other regular verbs (dar ʻgiveʼ: do, das, da, damos, dash, dan; ir ʻgoʼ: vo, vas, va, vamos, vash, van). In some varieties, such as that of Thessaloniki, the verb ser ʻto beʼ (so, sos, es, somos, sosh, son) presents some formal differences: se and semos are used instead of so and somos, and in Istanbul both forms can be heard (see Quintana 2006, 151–152, 396, map 39). The form eres for the 2nd person sg. is still known, but it is rarely used anymore. Progressive aspect is expressed by the periphrasis estar + gerund (Table 24): Table 24: Present continuous.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

present of estar

gerund of the lexical verb avlar/beber/bivir

esˈto esˈtas esˈta esˈtamos esˈtash esˈtan


The function of this periphrasis is to highlight the imperfective component it is associated with by making it more prominent when referring to an action or a situation that continues indefinitely without the certainty that it will come to an end; see (10). The correlation simple present–periphrastic present in the expression of two actions that are executed simultaneously at least in some space of time plays an important role in narration as a kind of narrative present, since it has the function of placing events in the foreground (11). (10)

. . .en todos los lugares no estan pudiendo dar nada. ‘. . .everywhere they aren’t able to give anything.’


. . .i kuando esto komiendo, yama al telefon. ‘. . .and when I am eating, he phones.’

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


7.1.2 Past tenses The Judaeo-Spanish past verbal system is structured in several forms, based on whether the deictic relationship is the moment of speech or a particular reference point.34 Grosso modo one can say that the simple past is the absolute tense of the past and that the pluperfect is the only secundary relative tense. Here, the action or situation is placed in relation to the moment of speech and a moment in the past of a past action or situation. The point of reference of the latter is the simple past tense. The only variety that makes use of a synthetic form of pluperfect is that of Thessaloniki. In this community, native Judaeo-Spanish speakers have retained the inherited paradigm in -ra (see Section, while in Istanbul and other communities, this paradigm corresponds only to the imperfect subjunctive (see Section 7.2.2), as in Modern Peninsular Spanish. In what follows, a general tendency in the indicative past tenses can be observed to preserve the simple past, while the compound tenses that are still part of the verbal system of the varieties analyzed here express different aspectual values. In addition, the preterit perfect (tuvo avlado) ‒ which is actually a variant of the pluperfect ‒ is preserved in written documents, and the pluperfect (tenia avlado) is used less and less in most varieties of Judaeo-Spanish in favor of the simple past. These data offer a more advanced stage in the reduction of paradigms of the indicative past times that mainly affects the disappearance of compound tenses already observed by Berenguer Amador in non-religious Judaeo-Spanish documents published between 1880 and 1930 (2012a, 33). Imperfect The structure of the imperfect is stem-TV-(v)aTAM-PN (e.g., avl-a-va-s ʻ(you) spokeʼ; bev-ia-s ʻ(you) drankʼ; biv-i-a-s ʻ(you) livedʼ).35 1st and 3rd persons sg. lack PN. There is no difference between verbs of the second (-er) and third (-ir) inflectional classes. But the existence of the formant -va- in the first class (-ar) led to some analogical forms in the second and third class, like in Aragonese and the contact language Italian. This is especially the case in some verbs such as ariyiva ʻs/he laughedʼ, kreyiva ʻs/he believedʼ, kumiva ʻs/he ateʼ, viniva ʻs/he cameʼ, kiriva ʻs/he wantedʼ, diziva ʻs/he saidʼ, trayiva ʻs/he broughtʼ, saliva ʻs/he leftʼ, partiva ʻs/he left forʼ, pudiva ʻs/he couldʼ, and teniva ʻs/he hadʼ, which coexist with the standardized forms (see Table 25) in various communities (Quintana 2006, 152–153; 2017a, 115). The verb ir ʻgoʼ also preserves the two inherited variants

34 For the distribution of the past tenses in Judaeo-Spanish compared to Modern Peninsular Spanish in non-religious documents published between 1880 and 1930, see Berenguer Amador (2012a). 35 This analysis considers the vowel -i- in the second and third inflectional classes as theme vowel (see, e.g., Schpak-Dolt 22012, 52).


 Aldina Quintana

(iva, ia ʻs/he wentʼ), the latter of popular origin (Quintana 2006, 154).36 The epenthesis of a palatal glide ([j]) occurs frequently between the stressed vowel /i/ and the vowel /a/ in verbs belonging to the second and third inflectional classes (e.g., beviyas, biviyas, teniyas ʻyou hadʼ, saviyas ʻyou knewʼ). Table 25: Imperfect tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




aˈvlava aˈvlavas aˈvlava aˈvlavamos aˈvlavash aˈvlavan

beˈvia beˈvias beˈvia beˈviamos beˈviash beˈvian

biˈvia biˈvias biˈvia biˈviamos biˈviash biˈvian

The use of the imperfect is similar to that in Modern Peninsular Spanish. Its most important function is as a narrative tense, a function that it shares with the simple past (Varol 2002, 140). For aspect, see 6.2. The periphrastic construction with the verbal predicate in the imperfect (estava avlando ‘was speaking’) expresses progressiveness or habituality in the past, like in Modern Peninsular Spanish. The same aspectual relationship that exists between the imperfect and the simple past also occurs between the periphrastic imperfect and the simple past. Simple past The structure of the simple past is quite irregular. While 1st person sg. lacks TV and PN morphemes (avl-Ø-i-Ø ʻI spokeʼ, bev-Ø-i-Ø ʻI drankʼ) and the 3rd person sg. of the first inflectional (-ar) class lacks TV and TAM (avl-Ø-Ø-o ʻs/he spokeʼ), the remaining persons contain all verbal morphemes: 2nd person singular and plural (avl-a-te-s ʻyou spokesgʼ, avl-a-te-sh ʻyou spoke-plʼ; biv-i-te-s ʻyou lived-sgʼ, biv-i-te-sh ʻyou lived-plʼ) and 3rd person pl. (avl-a-ro-n ʻthey talkedʼ; bev-ie-ro-n ʻthey drankʼ; biv-ie-ro-n ʻthey livedʼ). The 1st person pl. of the first class lacks the TV morpheme (avl-Ø-i-mos ʻwe spokeʼ), but in the other two inflectional classes it is the TAM morpheme which is not explicitly present (bev-i-Ø-mos ʻwe drankʼ; biv-i-Ø-mos ʻwe livedʼ). There is no difference between verbs of the second (-er) and third (-ir) inflectional class (see Table 26).

36 The verb aver introducing existential clauses (present: ay ‘there is’, ‘there are’) carries number markers both in the imperfect (avia ‘there was’; avian ‘there were’) and in the preterit perfect (; The verb thus agrees with the argument, which is reanalyzed as the subject of the clause.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


Table 26: Simple past tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




aˈvli aˈvlates aˈvlo aˈvlimos aˈvlatesh aˈvlaron

beˈvi beˈvites beˈvio beˈvimos beˈvitesh beˈvieron

biˈvi biˈvites biˈvio biˈvimos biˈvitesh biˈvieron

Vowel raising of the non-stressed medial vowels (/e/, /o/) of the stem occurs frequently (see García Moreno 2012b, 20–24), especially in two-syllable verbs (e.g., bevio → bivio ʻshe drankʼ, komio → kumio ʻs/he ateʼ), which can fluctuate in all paradigms, as in the following verbs: deshar → dishar ʻto leaveʼ, kontar → kuntar ʻto tell, countʼ, morar → murar ʻto liveʼ, poder → puder ʻto be ableʼ, rogar → rugar ʻto begʼ, tomar → tumar ʻto takeʼ, enchir → inchir ʻto fillʼ. In some verbs (morir → murir ʻto dieʼ; amejorar → amijorar ʽto improveʼ), the one or the other variant became fixed depending on the variety. Certain verbs have special stems in the simple past (e.g., dish-o ʻs/he saidʼ, trush-o ʻs/he broughtʼ, kij-o ʻs/he wantedʼ vs. the present stems visible in diz-e, tray-e, and ker/ kier-e (cf. Bunis 2015, 395). The verb ver ʻseeʼ maintains the 1st and 3rd person forms of Old Spanish (vidi ʻI sawʼ, vido ʻs/he sawʼ). The simple past forms of ser ʻbeʼ and ir ʻgoʼ formally coincide like in Modern Peninsular Spanish. Both the variants fue and hue ʻs/he wasʼ or ʻs/he wentʼ are used in all diatopic varieties, but the second variant is almost exclusive to the spoken language. Present perfect The present perfect is mostly formed with the present indicative of the verb tener, which is grammaticalized as an auxiliary, and the past participle of the lexical verb (Table 27). Like in all compound tenses, the PN morphemes show up on the auxiliary. Table 27: Present perfect tense with the auxiliary tener.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

present of tener

participle of the lexical verb avlar/beber/bivir

ˈtengo ˈtienes ˈtiene teˈnemos teˈnesh ˈtienen



 Aldina Quintana

The present perfect constructed with tener has a perfective resultative aspect in all Judaeo-Spanish varieties. It may also encode experiential aspect, which expresses that an event has taken place at least once at some point in the past, or that it has not yet taken place, but that the speaker expects it will happen in the future (Symeonidis 2002, 128–129, 131; Varol 2006, 106–108). Experiential aspect is also expressed lexically by means of adverbs such as ya ʻalreadyʼ, nunka ʻneverʼ, and ainda no(n) ʻnot yetʼ. In the variety of Izmir, the present perfect with the alternative auxiliary aver has perfective aspect marking the result of an expected event, while the form with tener merely encodes resultative perfective aspect; that is, the speaker does not express the expectations that would go beyond the point reached by the action expressed by the verb (“nothing is said regarding the future”), but an action of longer duration than that expressed by the simple past (Vuletić 2012). In Thessaloniki, the present perfect form aver + past participle encoded a past action whose consequences have direct relevance to the present (Symeonidis 2002, 129–130), like in Istanbul. Preterit perfect The preterit perfect is formed by the simple past indicative of the verb tener and the participle of the lexical verb (Table 28). Table 28: Preterit perfect tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

simple past of tener

participle of lexical verb avlar bever bivir

tuˈvi tiˈvites ˈtuvo tuˈvimos tuˈvitesh tuˈvieron


The preterit perfect is a paradigm that has practically disappeared. According to Varol (2002, 149), it is not used outside the written language. When it occurs, it does so as a variant of the simple past or the pluperfect and emphasizes the resultative value of punctual actions over the simple past; see (12): (12)

Tuvitesh dado un raporto sovre un sierto sinyor Pier ke tuvo matado a su ninyo, ya vos asiguratesh ke esta matansina tuvo lugar? ‘You wrote a report about a certain Mr. Pier who had killed his child. Did you already make sure that this murder took place?’

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 

 493 Pluperfect The pluperfect is constructed mostly with the imperfect indicative of the verb tener and the past participle of the main verb (Table 29). The pluperfect expresses resultative aspect and refers to an action prior to that of the simple past. In Istanbul and Thessaloniki there is also the form imperfect indicative of aver + past participle, which does not carry the resultative aspect. As in some varieties of American Spanish, in Thessaloniki, the simple form avlara inherited from medieval Castilian and Portuguese (Dworkin 2018, 55–56) coexists with the compound forms; for the imperfect subjunctive use of the synthetic form, see Section 7.2.2, in particular Table 34. Symeonidisʼ (2002, 126) statement according to which there is no aspectual difference between the compound and the simple forms, but that the former are favored in the spoken language and the latter in the written language, does not seem to be completely accurate, since the two forms are documented both in the spoken and written language. Table 29: Pluperfect tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

imperfect of tener

participle of lexical verb avlar / bever / bivir

teˈnia teˈnias teˈnia teˈniamos teˈniash teˈnian

aˈvlado / beˈvido / biˈvido

The interpretation of the pluperfect formed with the imperfect of aver + past participle as a carrier of unwitnessed evidentiality is only documented in Istanbul (see Varol 2001, 90–94; 2002, 140; 2006, 108–110) in some bilingual speakers,37 as a calque of the Turkish evidential -miş with reportative function.38 Conditional The conditional (see Table 30) is a tense in the process of disappearance in JudaeoSpanish. One of the reasons lies in the fact that its use has been progressively re-

37 This is not a known usage among all Judaeo-Spanish speakers in Istanbul. In fact, since Varol (2001, 90–94) published two examples, in which she explains the occurrences of avia + past participle as cases of unwitnessed evidentiality, these examples have been repeated in all subsequent publications (Varol 2002, 148–149; 2006, 108–110; Friedman 2003, 190–191; Friedman/Joseph 2014, 9; Slobin 2016, 111; Aikhenvald 2018). As noted by Joseph (2019, 268, fn. 10), it may be “an idiolectal phenomenon” and not a feature that ever was or is now spread within the Istanbul Judezmo community. 38 For the different functions of this evidential infix in Turkish, see Aksu-Koç (2016).


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placed by other paradigms, except in the apodosis of counterfactual conditional sentences.39 Table 30: Conditional tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




avlaˈria avlaˈrias avlaˈria avlaˈriamos avlaˈriash avlaˈrian

beveˈria beveˈrias beveˈria beveˈriamos beveˈriash beveˈrian

biviˈria biviˈrias biviˈria biviˈriamos biviˈriash biviˈrian

As a main verb, the conditional can occur in sentences that express a supposition referring to the past or in polite expressions with desiderative verbs referring to the present of the speaker or to the future. As a semi-auxiliary, it is found in the periphrasis azer bueno de + infinitive, which is used to express a recommendation referring to the future. In narrative styles, the conditional appears in the periphrasis of obligation dever + infinitive to express a statement referring to an action started in the past and that has continuity in the present, as in (13). (13)

los gere sedek, antes de trayer sus korban spesial, deverian pasar la tevila. ‘sincere converts, before bringing their special sacrifice, had to take the ritual bath.ʼ

7.1.3 Future Judaeo-Spanish has two future paradigms, here labeled periphrastic future and simple future. The simple future (avlare ʻI will speakʼ, bevere ʻI will drinkʼ, bivire ʻI will liveʼ) (Table 31) is not used much anymore, and the periphrastic future40 (vas avlar ʻyou will speakʼ, vas bever ʻyou will drinkʼ, vas bivir ʻyou will liveʼ) is almost generalized. The latter is made up of an auxiliary that has the verb ir ‘to go’ as its source followed by an infinitive, as shown in Table 32. The two future paradigm forms are interchangeable, and at the present time, the periphrastic future is on its way to completely displacing the simple future, at least in the spoken language. 39 For the expression of conditionality in Judaeo-Spanish in non-religious documents between 1880 and 1930, the reader is advised to consult Schlumpf (2012; 2015; 2017). A general study on this topic in Modern Judaeo-Spanish is found in Montoliu/van der Auwera (2004). 40 For more information about the development of the periphrastic future in Judaeo-Spanish, see Bürki/Schmid (2006).

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


The simple future consists of stem-TV-ra/reTAM-PN (e.g., avl-a-ra-s ʻyou will speakʼ; bev-e-ra-s ʻyou will drinkʼ; biv-i-ra-s ʻyou will liveʼ). As shown in Table 31, in the 2nd person sg. and the 3rd person sg. and pl., the TAM morpheme is -ra-, whereas it is -re- in the other persons. The 1st person sg. lacks PN. Except for the 1st person pl., the stress always falls on the last syllable. The simple future exhibits the same sequence stem-TV as the conditional tense (see Section, so the opposition between the two paradigms is established by the TAM marker, e.g., avl-a-ria-s (conditional) vs. avl-a-ra-s (future). Table 31: Simple future tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




avlaˈre avlaˈras avlaˈra avlaˈremos avlaˈresh avlaˈran

beveˈre beveˈras beveˈra beveˈremos beveˈresh beveˈran

biviˈre biviˈras biviˈra biviˈremos biviˈresh biviˈran

The simple future tense is characterized by polymorphism. Verbs like azer ‘to do’ or dezir ‘to say’ either form their future like regular verbs, i.e., azere, dezire (see Hetzer 2001, 15), or preserve the irregular forms (are, dire), while others, such as saver ‘to know’, kerer/kierer ‘to want’, maintain syncopated forms (savre, kerre) alongside the full variants (savere, kerere/kierere). Regularized variants such as venire ‘I will come’, tenere ‘I will have’, salire ‘I will go out’ also coexist with variants preserved from Old Spanish (verne < venre, with metathesis, also see terne, sarle) or with more modern solutions with epenthesis, such as vendre, tendre, saldre. Table 32 shows the forms of the periphrastic future: Table 32: Periphrastic future tense.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.

present of ir (a)

infinitive of lexical verb avlar / bever / bivir

vo/va41 (a) vas (a) va (a) ˈvamos (a) vash (a) van (a)

aˈvlar / beˈver / biˈvir

41 Social variation is also found in the 1st person sg. of the verb ir (va ‘(I) go’) when it is the auxiliary of the subparadigm of the periphrastic future, so that we can say that vowel a now occupies the position of the TV, which was previously empty. As a consequence, the position intended for the formative PN (-o) is now empty.


 Aldina Quintana

The paradigm resembles the French one (aller + infinitive ‘to go + infinitive’) or – with the preposition a intercalated – the Modern Pensinsular Spanish one (ir a + infinitive ‘to go + infinitive’). The optionality and now almost generalized loss of the preposition a can be argued to have been initiated in the 3rd person sg. through the fusion of the auxiliary form va and the preposition a.42 It should be noted that in the spoken language the use of (yo) va avlar instead of (yo) vo a avlar is practically generalized.

7.2 Subjunctive The subjunctive in Judaeo-Spanish is restricted to two tenses: present (avle ‘speak-pres. subjv.3sg’) and imperfect (avlara ‘speak-impf.subjv.3sg’). The Old Spanish subjunctive of the future tense (favlare ‘speak-fut.subjv.3sg’) is preserved only in Thessaloniki, in contrast to the other Judaeo-Spanish varieties and modern Peninsular Spanish.43 Subjunctive compound tenses do not exist in Modern Judaeo-Spanish. The present subjunctive occurs in main clauses when it has the function of a negative imperative, in some desiderative and optative clauses, and in interrogative clauses expressing doubt (Wagner 1930, 68, fn. 2; Berenguer Amador 2012b, 47–49) of the type Ke ke te diga? ‘What do you want me to say to you?’, in which the modal verb has disappeared following the model of the Balkan languages (Quintana 2006, 149). In subordinate clauses, the present subjunctive expresses future-oriented possible actions, especially when the verb in the main clause expresses uncertainty, doubt, desire, hope, or other emotions. In such cases, the imperfect subjunctive appears in the subordinate clause when the main verb is in the past tense (consecutio temporum).44

7.2.1 Present subjunctive The present subjunctive verb forms show the same verbal stem alternations as the present indicative, involving diphthongs or monophthongs, and mid or high vowels, as well as the velarization of the epenthetic yod between the stem and the TAM category 42 This may first have occurred when followed by an infinitive beginning with the vowel /a-/. Thus, the preposition a fused with the infinitive of parasynthetic verbs formed with the prefix a- in constructions like ir a + infinitive with the meaning of ‘be ready for the action or state expressed in the infinitive’ (e.g., ir arrepozar instead of ir a arrepozar ‘be ready to rest’) occurs already in texts of the 18th century. One must remember that the list of these verbs is very long in Judaeo-Spanish. 43 In the Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Thessaloniki, the future subjunctive is used in the protasis of conditional sentences oriented to the future, usually with the verb of the main clause in the future indicative. 44 For the functions of the subjunctive and the correlation of tenses between the main clause and the subordinate clauses in non-religious Judaeo-Spanish documents published between 1880 and 1930, see Berenguer Amador (2012b), although the conditions described there no longer fit the use of the subjunctive in Modern Judaeo-Spanish.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


that undid the original hiatus in monosyllabic stems of verbs of the second and third inflectional classes (ver ‘to see’: veiga < veya < vea, ser ‘to be’: seiga < seya < sea). The structure of the present is stem-ØTV-e/aTAM-PN. In the first inflectional class (-ar) the TAM morpheme is -e- (e.g., avlar ‘to speak’: avl-Ø-e-s in the 2nd person sg.), and in the other two it is -a- (e.g., bever ‘to drink’: bev-Ø-a-s, bivir ‘to live’: biv-Ø-a-s). The paradigm lacks PN morphemes in the 1st and 3rd person sg. (Table 33). Table 33: Present tense subjunctive.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




ˈavle ˈavles ˈavle aˈvlemos aˈvlesh ˈavlen

ˈbeva ˈbevas ˈbeva beˈvamos beˈvash ˈbevan

ˈbiva ˈbivas ˈbiva biˈvamos biˈvash ˈbivan

7.2.2 Imperfect subjunctive The structure of the imperfect subjunctive is stem-TV-raTAM-PN (e.g., avl-a-ra-s, bev-iera-s, biv-ie-ra-s), as seen in Table 34. The forms are identical to those of the synthetic pluperfect (see Section As is also the case in the present subjunctive (Table 33), the PN morpheme of the 1st and 3rd person is zero. The stress always falls on the penultimate syllable. The sequence stem-TV of the imperfect subjunctive always matches that of the simple past 3rd person pl. This also applies to verbs having a non-regular stem in the simple past. Table 34: Imperfect tense subjunctive.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




aˈvlara aˈvlaras aˈvlara aˈvlaramos aˈvlarash aˈvlaran

beˈviera beˈvieras beˈviera beˈvieramos beˈvierash beˈvieran

biˈviera biˈvieras biˈviera biˈvieramos biˈvierash biˈvieran

These forms are general in all Judaeo-Spanish varieties. The Old Spanish imperfect subjunctive with the TAM morpheme -se-, which still exists in Modern Peninsular Spanish as an alternative paradigm, is no longer extant in Judaeo-Spanish.


 Aldina Quintana

7.2.3 Future subjunctive As already mentioned, the future subjunctive is nowadays only preserved in Thessaloniki, but in the 19th century it was still used in other communities (Quintana 1996, 301; Berenguer Amador 2003, 316; 2012b, 58). It is formed according to the formal structure stem-TV-reTAM-PN (e.g., favl-a-re-s, bev-ie-re-s, biv-ie-re-s). The PN marker of 1st and 3rd persons is also zero (see Table 35). Table 35: Future tense subjunctive.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




faˈvlare faˈvlares faˈvlare faˈvlaremos faˈvlaresh faˈvlaren

beˈviere beˈvieres beˈviere beˈvieremos beˈvieresh beˈvieren

biˈviere biˈvieres biˈviere biˈvieremos biˈvieresh biˈvieren

Like the imperfect subjunctive, the sequence stem-TV is the same as that of the simple past 3rd person pl. (including stem allomorphies).

7.3 Imperative In Judaeo-Spanish, the imperative is a finite form marked for mood and PN, although the 2nd person lacks segmental PN morphemes in the plural as consequence of the loss of final /-d/.45 Instead, the number difference in verbs of the first and second inflectional classes (-ar and -er) is established through stress: in the 2nd person sg., the stress falls on the penultimate syllable, while in the plural, it falls on the last syllable: ˈavla ‘speak-sg’, ˈbeve ‘drink-sg’, ˈbive ‘live-sg’ vs. aˈvla ‘speak-pl’, beˈve ‘drink-pl’, biˈvi ‘live-pl’ in regular imperative forms (Table 36). The 2nd person pl. is also used as a form of courtesy. In the Istanbul variety, this social differentiation is reserved for the 3rd person followed by the appropriate subject personal pronoun (el, eya, eyos, eyas). The negative imperative is encoded by means of the corresponding present subjunctive (see Section 7.2.1) preceded by the negative item no, but note that the imperative forms of the 3rd person sg. and pl. and of the 1st person pl. are already identical with the corresponding present subjunctive forms.

45 In written language it is still possible to find forms with /-d/, and in Sarajevo, remnants of /-d/ are preserved in the /j/ found in forms like daimi ‘give-pl me’, ataimi ‘tie-pl me’, etc. See also the next footnote.

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Table 36: Imperative.

2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




ˈavla ˈavle aˈvlemos aˈvla ˈavlen

ˈbeve ˈbeva beˈvamos beˈve ˈbevan

ˈbive ˈbiva biˈvamos biˈvi ˈbivan

Imperatives are often used with enclitic personal pronouns (e.g., dame ‘give me’, dime ‘tell me’, vate ‘get out’, or fuyete ‘run away’).46

8 Non-finite verbal moods 8.1 Gerund The gerund is a non-finite verb form besides the infinitive. Thus, the gerund does not contain any reference to person-number or tense. Regular gerunds have the form stem-TV-ndoTAM: aˈvlando (class 1), beˈviendo (class 2), biˈviendo (class 3). In gerunds of the second and third inflectional classes (-er and -ir) whose stem ends in a vowel, the semiconsonant yod of the diphthong of the TV is reinforced, resulting in the palatal fricative consonant /ʝ/, as in kayendo ‘falling’, kreyendo ‘believing’, trayendo ‘bringing’, buyendo ‘boiling’, estruyendo ‘destroying’, fuyendo ‘fleeing’, riyendo ‘laughing’. It is, hoewever, also possible to hear monophthongized variants with hiatus, as in kaendo ‘falling’, kreendo ‘believing’, traendo ‘bringing’, or others with the mere reduction of the diphthong such as inchendo ‘filling’ or tishendo ‘weaving’ (for the loss of this palatal fricative in Istanbul, 17  Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). These rules also apply for gerunds of borrowed verbs. The verb ir ‘to go’ has two variants: indo and yendo ‘going’. Some gerunds were formed from the stem of the simple past giving rise to apparently irregular forms such as tuviendo ‘having’ and kiyendo ‘wanting’, but contact with Modern Peninsular Spanish caused the acquisition of some regular forms (teniendo, keriendo), so there are some gerunds with two variants. The gerund compound form (see Modern Peninsular Spanish habiendo cantado) no longer exists in Judaeo-Spanish.

46 Besides the cases mentioned in the preceding footnote, the original final -d of the 2nd person plural is preserved in metathesized forms such as avlalde ‘talk-pl to him’, dezildes ‘say-pl to them’, beveldo ‘drinkpl them’, bivilda ‘live-pl it’ (from avladle, dezidles, bevedlo, bividla). This change took place because Judaeo-Spanish does not admit the complex onset of two marked segments [+coronal,  –continuous, +voiced] in the case of dl, like most varieties of Spanish ( 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish).


 Aldina Quintana

In the same way that occurs with the imperative and the infinitive, unstressed personal pronouns are always enclitic to the gerund (e.g., kazandola ‘marrying her’, diziendole ‘telling him/her’, kemandose ‘burning himself’, aharvandovos ‘fighting against each other’, alevantandosen ‘getting up themselves’). Normally, the gerund occurs in verbal periphrases with motion verbs (ir ‘go’, deshar ‘leave, let’, and venir ‘come’), as in ir kantando ‘to go singing’, deshar kantando ‘to stop singing’, and venir kantando ‘to come singing’, but above all with estar (me esto akodrando ‘I am remembering’), although it can also occur on its own, without a finite verb: the gerund was grammaticalized as an imperative with an ingressive aspectual value, that is, to indicate the sudden start of an action ( 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). It may co-occurr with the imperative mood (see Section 7.3) in the same sentence (see ex. (14)); the latter, however, cannot express ingressive aspect. The gerund used as an imperative can address a single person or more than one (Quintana 2006, 155), as in (14) and (15):47 (14)

Ijo, komiendolo todo i vate a la kaye.48 ‘My son, eat it all and go to the street.’


Fijos, tomando kada uno el vazo en la mano porke vo a echar una kompla. ‘Children, take your glass in hand, because I am going to sing a song.’

This use of the gerund as imperative is documented for Judaeo-Spanish varieties of Greece and Macedonia, which are today practically extinct, and in Izmir (Quintana 2006, 155, 399 map 49).

8.2 Infinitive As already mentioned in Section 6, the infinitive is formed with the TAM morpheme -r, and the three inflectional classes are distinguished by the TV (-a-, -e-, -i-), respectively, thus: avlar, bever, bivir. The first inflectional class (-ar) also includes the subclass -ear, now mainly reserved for the formation of verbs with a stem borrowed from Turkish.49 47 Simon (1920, 679–680), Spitzer (1922, 209), Bunis (1999, 180–181; 2015, 399), and Symeonidis (2002, 164–166) say that this imperative only works as a plural. 48 Example provided by Kahane/Saporta (1953, 331). 49 According to Peck (2019, 40), this association between -ear and neologisms suggests that “Turkish-origin verbs could be said to be morphologically marked for foreignness.” This is also true for verbs created from Hebrew roots, although parts of these formations carry the -ar ending (e.g., darsar ʻto preach, deliver a semon, discourse, lectureʼ, kafrar ʻto blaspheme, transgressʼ, diburear ʻto chatter, speakʼ, kasherear ʻto prepare utensils for Passover use according to provisions of the Jewish dietary lawsʼ). For the integration of Turkish verbs into Judaeo-Spanish with the ending -ear, see 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


The non-stressed personal pronouns (see Section 5.1) appear enclitic to the verb; but in Thessaloniki, Sarajevo, and other communities in the western Balkan area, the non-stressed personal pronouns may also occur before the verb in prepositional infinitival clauses (Quintana 2006, 400, chart 43). Sometimes, the infinitive and the enclitic 3rd person pronouns show metathetic forms with /r/ → [d], as in dezilde (← dezirle) ʻto tell him/herʼ, metelda (← meterla) ʻto put him/her onʼ, and komendalde (← komendarle) ʻto give him/her instructions, ordersʼ. A remarkable pattern existing in the extinct Judaeo-Spanish spoken in Bitola and Pristina is the inflected infinitive, following the Portuguese model ( 2 JudaeoPortuguese; 11  The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish; 13  Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). This is formed with the infinitive and the addition of PN formants -Ø, -es, -se, -mus, -desh, -en (Table 37), similar to Portuguese, Galician, and Mirandese (Quintana 2015, 185–186; 2017b, 71–76). Table 37: Inflected infinitive employed in Bitola and Pristina.

1sg. 2sg. 3sg. 1pl. 2pl. 3pl.




aˈvlar aˈvlares aˈvlarse aˈvlarmus aˈvlardesh aˈvlaren

beˈver beˈveres beˈverse beˈvermus beˈverdesh beˈveren

biˈvir biˈvires biˈvirse biˈvirmus biˈvirdesh biˈviren

8.3 Past participle The past participle50 is another non-finite verb form. Its regular structure is stem-TV-dTAM followed by nominal inflection for gender and number, as shown in Table 38. Table 38: Past participle. avlar



aˈvlado aˈvlada aˈvlados aˈvladas

beˈvido beˈvida beˈvidos beˈvidas

biˈvido biˈvida biˈvidos biˈvidas

50 Yet another non-finite verb form, the present participle, at least of some verbs (aˈzien ‘doing’, esˈtan ‘being’, viˈnien ‘coming’, diˈzien ‘saying’, suˈvien ‘going up’, suˈpien ‘knowing’), is only preserved in traditional religious texts imitating the Hebrew present participles when the topic is part of the religious tradition or is related to it. The stressed syllable is always the last in these present participles.


 Aldina Quintana

Judaeo-Spanish preserves several inherited irregular forms (irregular stem+nominal endings), such as (f)echo ‘done’, dicho ‘said’, bendicho ‘blessed’, visto ‘seen’, cocho ‘cooked’, enkuvierto ‘covered up’. However, there is a tendency to substitute irrregular past participles with analogical regular forms (muerto vs. murido ‘dead’; eskrito vs. eskrivido ‘written’; abierto vs. avrido ‘open’, roto vs. rompido ‘broken’). This includes also irregular forms constructed from the simple past stem (e.g., tuvido ‘had’, uvido ‘been’, supido ‘known’). The past partiple is part of the compound tenses in attributive (adjectival) function in a noun phrase (e.g., la operasyon enkomendada in example (17)) as well as in the passive voice (ex. (16) and (17)). In the latter two functions, it undergoes agreement in gender and number (with the head noun of a NP and with the subject of a passive sentence). The passive voice is constructed using a form of the verb ser ‘to be’ and the past participle of a transitive verb. Here are two examples of passive sentences: (16) El povre Pier era mitido en libertad. ‘Poor Pierre was released.’ (17) [Eya] entendia en vista ke la operasyon enkomendada ya era echa. ‘(She) immediately understood that the commissioned operation had already been done.’ In Modern Judaeo-Spanish, passive constructions are hardly used anymore, except in the 3rd person, both singular and plural, in which the experiencer or the patient of the verbal action is the grammatical subject of the verb and the agent remains unspecified; instead, constructions involving the reflexive pronoun se (see Section 5.1) and the 3rd person sg. or pl. of the verb (so-called mediopassive voice) are used like in Modern Peninsular Spanish.

9 Concluding remarks In this chapter the most important characteristics of the inflectional morphology of Modern Judaeo-Spanish were described. Regarding nominal inflection, Judaeo-Spanish displays gender and number agreement on nouns, adjectives, and most of the determiners, as well as on some pronouns. Gender remains an inherent property of nouns, including in borrowings from languages lacking a gender marker, such as Turkish. The tendency to provide all adjectives with gender markers is also observed. The inverse tendency can be verified in the personal pronouns used in non-standard variants through the preservation of gender distinction only in 3rd person, with its progressive loss in 1st and 2nd person pl. (mozos, vozos). But this is also a characteristic that Judaeo-Spanish shares with all Romance languages, except from Modern Spanish varieties.

18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish 


Borrowed nouns, adjectives, and verbs were integrated into the morphology of Judaeo-Spanish, and the plural formant (-im) borrowed from Hebrew constitutes the only productive non-Hispanic inflectional morpheme of this language. In short, Judaeo-Spanish preserves all the morphological characteristics of the nominal inflection of the Western Romance languages and specifically matches most of the features of Old Spanish and Modern Peninsular Spanish. An exception would be the reduction of the paradigm of the demonstratives to a two-term system. In the verbal system, the tense categories are present, past, and future, and the main aspectual distinctions are between the perfective and the imperfective. Beyond the strong tendency toward analogical leveling and the reduction of tenses in the indicative past and in the subjunctive mood, the compound paradigms that are still preserved in Judaeo-Spanish formed with the auxiliary tener + past participle have developed aspectual distinctions that are fully standardized, as is the case with the resultative aspect. The development of these changes in the verbal system shows notable differences from one community to another, as a consequence of the Judaeo-Spanish fragmentation in space and their speakers’ contact with different majority languages to which they have been subjected since the end of the 19th century and which now have the status of their predominant mother languages. In referring to language-inherent processes, the most outstanding characteristic of the Judaeo-Spanish morphological system is the strong tendency toward the analogical leveling, rejection, or regularization of the irregular variants. This aspect is especially noticeable in the reduction of tense paradigms in the indicative past and in the subjunctive in relation to those existing in previous periods. This fact should not be surprising in a language that has its starting point in processes of dialect leveling ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish) and in which the pressure exerted by more or less standardized norms in the past was quite weak. To conclude, we can assert that this description provided evidence for a Judaeo-Spanish morphological system, which despite several changes and the incorporation of a nominal Hebrew PN suffix, remains Romance in its structure. Some issues were not addressed, others would have required a more in-depth study or other approaches, and questions about the development of morphology from a discourse perspective still deserve further investigation.

10 References Aikhenvald, Alexandra Yurievna (2018), Evidentiality and language contact, in: Alexandra Yurievna Aikhenvald (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Evidentiality, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 148–172. Aksu-Koç, Ayhan (2016), The interface of evidentials and epistemics in Turkish. Perspectives from acquisition, in: Mine Güven et al. (edd.), Exploring the Turkish linguistic landscape. Essays in honor of Eser Erguvanlı-Taylan, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 143–156.


 Aldina Quintana

Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2003), Rasgos sintácticos y morfológicos del verbo en dos obras de la lengua clásica sefardí, in: Elena Romero (ed.), Judaísmo Hispano. Estudios en memoria de José Luis Lacave Riaño, vol. 1, Madrid, CSIC, 311–318. Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012a), Los pretéritos en judeoespañol, in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 27–33. Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012b), La sintaxis del subjuntivo en judeoespañol, eHumanista. Journal of Iberian Studies 20, 47–62, . Biblia Medieval = Enrique-Arias, Andrés/Pueyo Mena, F. Javier (2010–), Biblia Medieval (digital corpus), . Bunis, David Monson (1985), Plural formation in Modern Eastern Judezmo, in: Isaac Benabu/Joseph Sermoneta (edd.), Judeo-Romance languages, Jerusalem, The Hebrew University/Misgav Yerushalayim, 41–67. Bunis, David Monson (1999), Judezmo, Jerusalem, Magnes Press (in Hebrew). Bunis, David Monson (2015), Judezmo (Ladino), in: Lily Kahn/Aaron David Rubin (edd.), Handbook of Jewish languages, Leiden/Boston, Brill, 365–450. Bunis, David Monson (2020), Adjectives of Hebrew and Aramaic origin in Judezmo and Yiddish, Journal of Jewish Languages 8.1–2, 189–268. Bürki, Yvette/Schmid, Beatrice (2006), El tiempo futuro en judeoespañol. Apuntes para su estudio, in: Hilary Pomeroy (ed.), Proceedings of the Thirteenth British Conference of Judeo-Spanish Studies (7–9 September, 2003), London, Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary, University of London, 27–41. Cardenas, John (2004), Judeo-Spanish and the lexicalist morphology hypothesis. A vindication of inflectional and derivational morphology, California Linguistic Notes 29(1), 1–23, publications/clnArchives/pdf/cardenas_jslmh.pdf . CoDiAJe = Aldina Quintana (dir.) (2012–), The annotated diachronic corpus of Judeo-Spanish, . CoOrAJe = Aldina Quintana (dir.) (2012–), The annotated oral corpus of Judeo-Spanish, http://corptedig-glif. . Dworkin, Steven N. (2018), A guide to Old Spanish, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Eberenz, Rolf (2000), El español en el otoño de la Edad Media. Sobre el artículo y los pronombres, Madrid, Gredos. Friedman, Victor A. (2003), Evidentiality in the Balkans with special attention to Macedonian and Albanian, in: Alexandra Yurievna Aikhenvald/Robert Malcom Ward Dixon (edd.), Studies in evidentiality, Amsterdam/ Philadelphia, Benjamins, 189–218. Friedman, Victor A./Joseph, Brian Daniel (2014), Lessons from Judezmo about the Balkan Sprachbund and contact linguistics, International Journal of the Sociology of Language 226, 3–23. García Moreno, Aitor (2012a), De la pervivencia (o no) de algunas innovaciones morfosintácticas del judeoespañol castizo, Cuadernos dieciochistas 13, 229–249. García Moreno, Aitor (2012b), Los pretéritos con cierre vocálico en en el judeoespañol de Salónica (1935), in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 15–26. García Moreno, Aitor (2015), Historia de la lengua sefardí. El caso de las oraciones de relativo (ss. XVI–XX), in: José Alberto Rodrigues da Silva Tavim/Maria Filomena Lopes de Barros/Lúcia Liba Mucznik (edd.), In the Iberian Peninsula and Beyond. A History of Jews and Muslims (15th–17th Centuries), vol. 2, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 149–164. Göksel, Aslı/Kerslake, Celia (2005), Turkish. A comprehensive grammar, London/New York, Routledge. Hetzer, Armin (2001), Sephardisch. Judeo-español, Djudezmo. Einführung in die Umgangssprache der südosteuropäischen Juden, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz. Joseph, Brian Daniel (2019), Can there be language continuity in language contact?, in: Edit Doron et al. (edd.), Language contact, continuity and change in the genesis of Modern Hebrew, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 257–285.

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Kahane, Henry R./Saporta, Sol (1953), The verbal categories of Judeo-Spanish (II) (Conclusion), Hispanic Review 21.4, 322–336. Kornfilt, Jaklin (1997), Turkish, London/New York, Routledge. Montoliu, César/van der Auwera, Johan (2004), On Judeo-Spanish conditionals, in: Olga Mišeska Tomić (ed.), Balkan syntax and semantics, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 461–474. Nehama, Joseph (1977), Dictionnaire du Judéo-Espagnol, Madrid, CSIC. Peck, Julia (2019), Ladino in contact. Lexical borrowing and morphosyntactic integration of Turkish and French loans in Istanbul Judeo-Spanish, M.A. thesis, University of Oxford, https://www.academia. edu/40848360/Ladino_in_Contact_Lexical_Borrowing_and_Morphosyntactic_Integration_of_Turkish_ and_French_Loanwords_in_Istanbul_Judeo_Spanish . Pomino, Natascha/Stark, Elisabeth (2009), Losing the “neuter”. The case of Spanish demonstratives, Probus 21, 217–247. Quintana, Aldina (1996), Una informasion de la aritmetika y una Muestra de los kuentos, in: Winfried Busse/ Marie-Christine Varol-Bornes (edd.), Hommage à Haïm Vidal Sephiha, Bern et al., Lang, 295–314. Quintana, Aldina (2006), Geografía lingüística del judeoespañol. Estudio sincrónico y diacrónico, Bern et al., Lang. Quintana, Aldina (2014), Judeo-Spanish in contact with Portuguese. A historical overview, in: Patrícia Amaral/ Ana Maria Carvalho (edd.), Portuguese-Spanish Interfaces. Diachrony, synchrony, and contact, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 65–95. Quintana, Aldina (2015), Judeo-Spanish in contact with Portuguese. Linguistic outcomes, in: José Alberto Rodrigues da Silva Tavim/Maria Filomena Lopes de Barros/Lúcia Liba Mucznik (edd.), In the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. A history of Jews and Muslims (15th–17th centuries), vol. 2, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 165–196. Quintana, Aldina (2017a), Aragonés en judeoespañol. Un caso de divergencia y convergencia dialectal, Alazet, Revista de Filología 29, 101–134, . Quintana, Aldina (2017b), Historical overview and outcome of three Portuguese patterns in Judeo-Spanish: “quer(em)-se” + part. in active constructions, the wh-operator “o que”, and the inflected infinitive, in: Mahir Şaul/José Ignacio Hualde (edd.), Sepharad as imagined community. Language, history and religion from the early modern period to the 21st century, New York, Lang, 53–85. Schlumpf, Sandra (2012), “Qué bueno era si tenía yo trenta mil francos!”. El uso de los tiempos verbales en las oraciones condicionales en judeoespañol moderno, in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 35–50. Schlumpf, Sandra (2015), Acerca de la expresión de la condicionalidad y de la concesividad en judeoespañol moderno escrito, Sefarad 75.1, 103–161. Schlumpf, Sandra (2017), Language contacts in Modern Judeo-Spanish. Notes on the concessive and concessive conditional clauses, Lingua 194, 1–14. Schpak-Dolt, Nikolaus (22012), Einführung in die Morphologie des Spanischen, Berlin/Boston, De Gruyter. Schwarzwald (Rodrigue), Ora (1993), Morphological aspects in the development of Judeo-Spanish, Folia Linguistica 27.1–2, 27–44. Simon, Walter (1920), Charakteristik des judenspanischen Dialekts von Saloniki, Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 40, 655–689. Slobin, Dan I. (2016), Thinking for speaking and the construction of evidentiality in language contact, in: Mine Güven et al. (edd.), Exploring the Turkish linguistic landscape. Essays in honor of Eser Erguvanlı-Taylan, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, Benjamins, 105–120. Spitzer, Leo (1922), Das Gerundium als Imperativ im Spaniolischen, Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie 42, 207–210. Symeonidis, Haralambos (2002), Das Judenspanische von Thessaloniki, Bern et al., Lang.


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Varol, Marie-Christine (2001), Calques morphosyntaxiques du turc en judéo-espagnol d’Istanbul. Mécanismes et limites, in: Anaid Donabédian-Demopoulos (ed.), Langues de diaspora, langues en contact, Paris, Ophrys, 85–99. Varol, Marie-Christine (2002), Temps du passé – Salonique, in: Raphael Gatenio (ed.), Judeo Espaniol. Una lingua djudia bushkando su puevlo. A Jewish language in search of its people. 2nd International Judeo-Espaniol Conference, Thessaloniki, Ets Ahaim Foundation, 139–152. Varol, Marie-Christine (2006), El judeoespañol en contacto. El ejemplo de Turquía, Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana 4.2 (8), 99–114. Vuletić, Nikola (2012), El perfecto compuesto en el judeoespañol de Esmirna (Izmir) hoy, in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 51–62. Wagner, Max Leopold (1914), Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Judenspanischen von Konstantinopel, Vienna, Hölder. Wagner, Max Leopold (1930), Caracteres generales del judeo-español de Oriente. Madrid, Revista de Filología Española.

Aitor García Moreno

19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish Abstract: The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish throughout its history has been highly determined by the different textual traditions cultivated in each epoch. Sephardic texts of the 20th and 21st centuries are not an exception. Therefore, some of the syntactic features that will be described below correspond specifically to certain types of texts still produced (although residually) in the last hundred years of Sephardic literature, whilst others are associated with the (Western-imported) new literary genres cultivated at that time. In this chapter the exposition will be organized according to three different levels of analysis: a) phrases, b) simple sentences, and c) complex sentences. Due to space limitations, the focus will be on those constructions not shared with Modern Standard Spanish, even when the presence of some others in modern Sephardic texts is probably due to a process of re-Hispanicization. Keywords: modifiers, agreement, synthetic vs. analytic structures, prepositions, consecutio temporum, cleft sentences, subjects, negative concord, comparison, impersonal constructions, subclauses, French influence

1 Introduction The different textual traditions cultivated in each epoch have highly determined the syntax of Judaeo-Spanish throughout its history. Sephardic texts of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are not an exception. Some of the syntactic features described below specifically correspond to certain type of texts still produced (although residually) in the last hundred years of Sephardic literature, whilst others belong to the (Western-imported) new literary genres cultivated at that time. The transfer or sharing of syntactic features between one type of text and another might provide an approximate idea of the existence of something similar to a Judaeo-Spanish modern language standard. Unfortunately, the study of syntax in Judaeo-Spanish texts to date has been minimal. Paragraphs devoted to syntax in classical works such as Crews (1935), Levy (1929), Luria (1930), Subak (1905; 1906), and Wagner (1914; 1930) sum up to merely around 50 pages, as the authors were much more interested in other linguistic aspects, e.g., phonology or vocabulary.1 As a paradigmatic example, this is what Cynthia Crews wrote 1 Among them, Max A. Luria paid the most attention to syntax, with 22 of his 141-page study of the Judaeo-Spanish dialect from Bitolj/Monastir devoted to it (1930). It is true that Max L. Wagner (1914) discussed syntax on pages 117–140 (§§36–118), but morphological information is also included and actually occupies much more space. The excellent work of Kahane/Saporta (1953) only deals with verbs.


 Aitor García Moreno

on syntax when talking of the Turkish Jews and their language: “Il y a quelques influences étrangères, mais la syntaxe de l’ancien espagnol est généralement bien conservée” (‘There are some foreign influences, but Old Spanish syntax is generally well conserved’) (1935, 28). And her comments on the syntax of the texts of Bucharest, Thessaloniki, Bitola, and Skopje she collected barely occupy ten lines. The situation in modern bibliography is slowly changing, thanks to the works of authors such as Álvarez López (2017, 177–217), Berenguer Amador (2012a; 2012b; 2014), Schmid/Bürki (2000, 164–184), Bürki/Schmid (2006), García Moreno (2006; 2011b; 2012; 2013b; 2014; 2015), Hernández González (2018), Malinowski (1979), Schlumpf (2012a; 2012b; 2014; 2015a; 2015b), Schmädel (2012), Stulic-Etchevers (2007; 2010), and Guimarães (2000), but the study of syntax is still a long way from others like phonology, morphology, or vocabulary.2 Just examine the excellent book of Aldina Quintana (2006), wherein the syntax chapter occupies only 8 pages from a total of over 300. On the following pages the exposition will be organized according to three different levels of analysis: phrases (Section 2), simple sentences (Section 3), and complex sentences (Section 4). Due to space limitations, the focus will be on those constructions not shared with Modern Standard Spanish, even when the presence of some others in modern Sephardic texts is probably due to a process of re-Hispanicization.

2 Phrasal syntax 2.1 Noun phrases 2.1.1 Determiners Determination in Modern Judaeo-Spanish is expressed by the use of the articles el, la, los, las, as well as by other kinds of determiners, including the possessives mi (‘my’), tu (‘your’), su (‘his/her/its’), etc., in the same way as in Spanish. However, one finds some instances showing a different distribution or combination of them. For instance, the ancient Spanish scheme can be found of (definite?) article + possessive before the nucleus of a nominal phrase in examples such as el su padre (‘her/his

2 One of the reasons for this imbalance is the lack of an ample and reliable Judaeo-Spanish historical corpus available to researchers. To palliate this disparity a research group of the University of Basel (Switzerland) led by Beatrice Schmid developed the Corpus MemTet of modern non-religious prose Judaeo-Spanish texts (2003–2004); and since 2012, a multi-national research team headed by Aitor García Moreno (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Spain) has been working on the development of the CORHIJE Initiative (2013–). Many of the examples quoted in this chapter are taken from those corpora.

19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish 


father’), la tu puerta (‘your door’), los mis ojos (‘my eyes’), etc.3 However, this structure is only found in traditional poetry texts. Leaving aside such secularly maintained examples, as will be seen in many of the examples presented in this chapter, combinations of determiners in 20th-century Sephardic texts show the same distribution as the Modern Spanish pattern, with a few exceptions, probably of French influence. For example, the forms un, una (‘a/an’) and their plurals unos, unas (‘some’) appear together with otro, otra, otros, otras (‘other’), more than likely due to the influence of the French scheme un/une autre (‘another’) like in una otra letra (‘another letter’, apud Levy 1929, 380; see more examples in Luria 1930, 185). Another example, also partially due to French influence, is El uno de los dos hombres era el patrón (‘One of the two men was the boss’, Apresado 4), where the article precedes uno, una to individualize an item within a series of two or more elements (see further examples in Luria 1930, 184). On the contrary, other special schemes with quantifiers influenced by the Hebrew language and currently documented in Judaeo-Spanish in the 18th and 19th centuries have been abandoned in contemporary Sephardic texts.4

2.1.2 Postmodifiers Determiner spreading according to the Hebrew syntactic pattern (that is, the concordance in gender, number, and determination between a noun and its modifier) has not been seen in Sephardic texts since the last decades of the 19th century (García Moreno 2014), except for religious or liturgical texts. Thus, examples like la noche la esta (cf. Hebrew ha-layla ha-ze, ‘tonight’, Pésaḥ 18) that were quite common in previous Rabbinical prose – not always necessarily as a result of a literary translation of Hebrew sacred texts (Hassán 1999, 27–28; 2004, 93) –, are relegated to calque translations ( 9 Sephardic Bible translations; 10 Linguistic aspects of Ladino) published in the 20th century. For more examples, see García Moreno (2012, 236).5 It is true that some examples such as La redacción presenta sus condolienzas las más esmovidas (‘The editorial board presents its deepest condolences’, Fuerza 5) may remind one of those ancient constructions, but this is due to a calque of the French expression

3 Examples taken from Armistead/Silverman/Katz (1957–1993). See more examples, also taken from texts of traditional poetry, in Luria (1930, 183–184). In all quotations throughout this article, examples will be adapted to a standard orthography. 4 That is what happened with the scheme todos, todas + definite article + noun, such as in todos los trenta días (‘all the 30 days’), as well as with the use of some quantifiers after the nucleus, like in amistad mucha (‘much friendship’) or nave chica una (‘one small boat’). See García Moreno (2010, 14; 2012, 236). 5 In fact, in other contemporary versions of the same Hebrew text, such as Daniel Sion’s Traducción líbera de la Agadá en lingua ispañola intendibla (Sofia, c. 1940), one reads esta nochada for the same passage (Mancheva/Hassán 2005).


 Aitor García Moreno

of the corresponding superlative with a postponed adjective. Such instances are quite common in translations of French texts, as is shown, for instance, in the Judaeo-Spanish version of Molière’s play Le malade imaginaire, entitled El ḥaćino imaǵinado (Sofia, 1903 [= Hacino]), according to Schmid/Bürki (2000, 170), or in highly formalized linguistic contexts following French patterns, like that of obituaries in the aforementioned example.

2.1.3 Number agreement with compound numerals Although not common in modern texts, one still can find some examples in which nouns modified by composed numerals including the form un, -o, -a (‘one’) agree with the singular number of the last element, leaving aside the fact that the wholly expressed quantity is plural. That is what happens in the book title Las mil y una noche (‘One Thousand and One Nights’), continuing a formulation that could usually be found in 18th-century texts, such as in Y fue rey vente y un año, y enreinó Solimán, su hijo, siete años y murió (‘He was king for twenty-one years, and Suleyman, his son, reigned for seven years and then died’, Sipur 4r).

2.2 Prepositional phrases Leaving aside the question of the selection of preposition by verbs, one can point out several special examples in which prepositions are used in contexts that differ from Modern Spanish. In many cases, their appearance (and form) is due to a calque of structures taken from a foreign language. The preposition a is frequently used in Modern Judaeo-Spanish texts to express location (instead of en) following the French pattern, such as in Acodremos-nos la fábula que meldábamos a la Lianza (‘Let’s remember the fable that we used to read at the school of the Alliance [Israélite Universelle]’, Pita Feb. 10, 1939). With the same meaning, the preposition sobre shows in modern Sephardic texts an important increase of use (Crews 1935, 181; Schmid/Bürki 2000, 182–183) that in Viennese texts must be attributed to German influence, as seen in Lo asentaron sobre un banco (vs. Modern Spanish Lo sentaron en un banco, ‘They sat him on a bench’; apud Schmädel 2012, 83). Furthermore, the adverb ande/onde behaves in 20th-century Judaeo-Spanish texts as a locative preposition (Wagner 1914, 138; Schmid/Bürki 2000, 177; Guimarães 2000),6 as seen in the following examples: La mujer ande los jidiós españoles de Oriente (‘The woman among the Oriental Sephardic Jews’);7 Dime mamá, ¿vamos a ir mañana la noche

6 This use is also documented in ancient Sephardic texts (García Moreno 2004, 265). 7 Translation of the title of a lecture given by Moris [=Maurice] Yishac Cohén, published in Thessaloniki in 1911.

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ande nuestros većinos Lerich? (‘Tell me, mum, are we going tomorrow to our neighbors the Lerichs’ place?’, Hanuká). In another vein, the prepositions a and de are used to introduce the agent in passive constructions, like in Vuestra hija va a ser querida de él (‘Your daughter will be loved by him’; Hacino 20 [181]) and Yo seré engañado a aquélla (‘I will be tricked by him’; Hacino 48 [181]). However, the preposition por is still found with the same value, as we read in the following: Discorso pronunciado por siñor Abraham Shemuel Recanati en la reunión pública organizada por la societá de damas ‘Hatehiyá’ en el muevo club, el sabat 28 tamuz 5676. (‘Speech pronounced by Mr. Abraham Shemuel Recanati in the public meeting organized by the women association ‘Hatehiya’ in the new club, shabbat, 28 Tamuz 5676.’ – subtitle of Pureźa)

Last, continuing a longstanding tradition in Judaeo-Spanish, modern Sephardic texts offer many examples of reduplicated prepositions in distributive structures, as can be seen in A piedre a piedre buscó las lires (‘He looked for the liras stone by stone’; apud Luria 1930, 23), A unos a unos se los dió al gato (‘He gave them [=the pancakes] to the cat few by few’; apud Wagner 1914, 69), and A poco a poco. . .se mandó al diablo la locanda (‘Little by little, the hotel was spoiled’, Pita Nov. 20, 1936).

2.3 Syntheticity versus analyticity One of the most characteristic features of Judaeo-Spanish throughout the centuries has been the development of analytic structures to express concepts that in Modern Standard Spanish are expressed by means of morphemes or lexical elements, that is, synthetically. Although the following examples are in some instances halfway between morphology and syntax, the resource to syntactic structures is what makes them special and is the reason for their inclusion here. Relating to personal pronouns, Judaeo-Spanish shows preferential use of the prepositional phrases con mí and con ti – made up of the preposition con (‘with’) and the prepositional object pronoun mí, ti – instead of the forms conmigo, contigo (‘with me, with you’),8 e.g., in ¿De qué no te descubres con mí? (‘Why don’t you open up to me?’, Yernećico 90). In the adjective phrase, superlative degree is also preferentially expressed by the analytic construction muy/mucho (‘very’) + adjective instead of the use of the morpheme -ísimo, -a, like in Un hombre había: era mucho rico y era mercader de malafatura; tenía una mujer mucho hermosa. (‘There was a man: he was very rich and he was a merchant 8 In Abraham Cappon’s El Angustiador (1914, 26), one reads Ninguno debrá saber que estás conmigo en relaciones (‘No one should know that we are in relations’), but it is to note the high influence of Modern Spanish on this author, as shown by Bornes Varol (2010).


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of manufactures; he had a very pretty wife’, Mercader [199]). Nevertheless, it is possible to find examples such as the following: Los cantes antonaban de su garganta con grandísima alegría (‘Songs sounded from his throat with great joy’, Jidió 20b). The influence of Italian in the introduction of these forms might have been decisive. Last, instead of the form tampoco (‘neither’), only reintroduced to literary Judaeo-Spanish in the last decades as a symptom of re-Hispanicization,9 Sephardic texts have shown for centuries the use of the analytic structure of the adverbial phrase también no (lit. ‘also not’) with the same value. That is what one finds in examples such as El duque también no había salido de su cámara desde ocho días (‘The Duke has also not left his room for eight days’, Maldición 12) and Aquel día la enterraron y esto también no me emocionó (‘That day she was buried, and this also did not thrill me’, Tehiat, the transcription system is my own), quoting one example from the beginning of the century and another from the end.

3 Simple sentence 3.1 Subject–verb agreement In general terms, like in Spanish, verbs agree in number and person with their subjects: (1)

a. Yo moro aquí. I live-1sg here ‘I live here.’ b. Tú tienes munchas parás. you have-2sg many-pl coin-pl ‘You have a lot of money.’ c. Mosotras meldimos la gaceta ayer. we-fem read- past-1pl the magazine yesterday ‘We read the magazine yesterday.’ d. Tu papú está hacino. your-sg grandfather-sg be-3sg ill-sg ‘Your grandfather is ill.’

Nevertheless, there are some instances in which agreement is not expressed syntactically, and one finds examples of the so-called ad sensum agreement. This happens both with collective nouns, like in La gentesg tienenpl estrellas que no son las mismas (‘People have stars that are not the same’ Princhipiko 42 [86]) or Le dijeronpl la famillasg (‘The family told him/her’, apud Wagner 1914, 125), and with nominal phrases in which a

9 Some examples of tampoco can be found in Vendida 70; and in Princhipiko 28 (53); 33 (68).

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singular nucleus is complemented by a prepositional phrase introduced by con (‘with’), like in Estabanpl corriendo el mancebo con la muchacha (‘The boy and the girl were running’, apud Wagner 1914, 126), where the preposition behaves as the copulative conjunction y (‘and’). Although Wagner (1914, 126) considers these last examples to be due to a calque of a certain Italian scheme, the truth is that the same construction can be found in older Sephardic texts for which an Italian influence is difficult to justify (García Moreno 2004, 308). Moreover, in the existential use of the verb haber (lit. ‘to have’), Judaeo-Spanish shows plural agreement between the verb and entities whose existence is expressed, like in the following: (2) En la planeta . . . habían . . . hierbas buenas y hierbas malas. on the planet there.were herbs good-pl and herbs bad-pl ‘On the planet there were good plants and bad plants.’ (Princhipiko 13 [22]) This agreement phenomenon is also extended to collective nouns in the singular, according to what was previously mentioned, as one finds in Estas dos pitas hubieronpl ĝentesg que se las mascaron como tupisté o pastel de foja (‘There were people who ate these two pita breads as if they were cakes’, Pita Dec. 20, 1935). By contrast, one can find examples in which the verb pasar (‘to pass’) denoting elapsed time behaves as an impersonal one, like in Pasósg trece puntospl (‘Thirteen minutes passed’, apud Luria 1930, 183), perhaps influenced by the uses of hay (‘there is’, belonging to haber ‘to have’, see above) with such a value (in the sense of Sp. hace ‘ago’, lit. ‘it makes’), in sentences such as Hay 15 días que mi amigo el grande prete Don Ioán de Castros. . .devino el papás confesador del rey (‘15 days ago, my friend the high priest Don Ioán de Castros became the king’s confessor’, Pinto 27).

3.2 Explicit subjects The expression of explicit subjects in Judaeo-Spanish is not at all mandatory. However, as a result of the French influence, Sephardic texts in the 20th and 21st centuries show a relevant increase in the expression of explicit subjects, compared not only to contemporary Spanish but also to former Judaeo-Spanish. This is what we find in the following examples: Y agora, si con dificultades casi insturmontables [sic] un joven jidió parvino a escapar sus estudios mediocres, ¿creen que él será imediatamente admetido en las universidades? ¡Non! (‘And now, even if a Jewish guy, with almost unsurmountable difficulties, got to finish his high school studies, do you think that he will be admitted immediately at a university? No!’ – Studentes 47bc–48a)


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En general, cualunque elevo de una cierta edad non puedrá seer admetido, sin que él traiga a un chertificato de la escola que abandonó. (‘In general terms, any student of a certain age will not be admitted, unless he holds a certificate of the school he was formerly at.’ – Regolamento 4)

In both cases the subjects are perfectly dispensable, as they are clear from the context and not focused.

3.3 Ellipsis of copular verbs Modern Judaeo-Spanish texts do not exhibit examples of the ellipsis of the copular verbs ser and estar, as was common in former texts following the Hebrew pattern (García Moreno 2014, 98–99; 8 Old Italo-Romance Jewish texts). Nevertheless, one can appreciate a certain influence of that old scheme in diverse formulations that are frequent in 20th- and 21st-century texts. On the one hand, one has the expression no quere Ø dicho (literally ‘it doesn’t want [to be] said’, meaning ‘needless to say’) that precedes a complement clause acting as the subject of the verb querer (‘to want’) in examples such as No quere dicho que nos espantamos de hablar de esto a ninguno en nuestra ciudad (‘Needless to say that we were afraid of commenting on this to anyone in our city’, Angustiador 9). Having a participle as the predicate of the whole sentence makes one think of the presence of a copular form, already lost, in the original structure of a copula. On the other hand, the copula ser ‘to be’ is also lacking in the construction with the Judaeo-Spanish verb merecer (‘to deserve’), which thus seems to behave as a pseudo-copular verb (like, for instance, semejar ‘to seem’) in constructions more or less stereotyped where the predicative element also consists of a participle, as in the following example: (3) Este modo de gaceteros merecen Ø besados. this kind of journalists-pl deserve-3pl kissed-pl ‘These kinds of journalists deserve to be kissed.’ (Pita Dec. 27, 1935) In this case, the possibility of talking about some kind of verbal ellipsis derives from the comparison with other examples, such as ¿Merecen ellos ser ayideados? (‘Do they deserve to be pitied?’, Pita Jan. 17, 1935). Furthermore, utterances like Tiene muchas razones de romper la péndola, y estas Ø ellas: (‘[He] has many reasons to break his pen, and these [are] they [= the reasons]’,

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Pita Nov. 18, 1938) clearly show the calque of the Hebrew expression ‫ ואלו הן‬/ ve-’elu hen (literally for ‘and these they’), used in the same way to introduce a list of items or facts.10

3.4 Comparisons Comparative sentences in Judaeo-Spanish have schemes parallel to Modern Spanish. Thus, one finds comparison of equality with tan. . .como (Sp. Juan es tan alto como yo ‘John is as tall as me’), comparison of inequality with más/menos. . .que (Sp. Juan es más/ menos alto que yo ‘John is taller / less tall than me’), and superlative definite article + más (Sp. Juan es el más alto ‘John is the tallest’). However, there are two important characteristics in Judaeo-Spanish sentences containing comparatives that make them partially different to Modern Spanish ones: a) Judaeo-Spanish uses the preposition de (instead of que)11 to introduce the second term of comparison in the inequality schemes like in: ¿Mejor de mí vas a topar? (‘Are you going to find [someone] better than me?’, No quero 4c). But examples with que are equally common (Crews 1979, 118; Schmid/Bürki 2000, 169). b) Personal pronouns in the second term of comparison always have their oblique forms mí, ti, etc. (instead of the subject pronouns yo, tú etc. in Modern Spanish), both in comparisons of inequality, as in No vas a tener nunca un amigo más tierno y más sincero que mí (‘You’ll never have a friend more sweet and sincere than me’, Fabricante), and in comparisons of equality, like in Una muchacha tan doloriosa como mí (‘A girl as sad as me’, Sipur/Sipuré pelaot 36b [256]), where the second term is introduced, respectively, by the conjunction que and the particle como. In modern Sephardic texts, the influence of the French pattern (cf. Fr. comme toi, que moi) on these constructions must be considered high, but the fact is that similar examples can be found in ancient Judaeo-Spanish texts (García Moreno 2004, 268–269).

3.5 Word order Judaeo-Spanish, like Spanish, is a language with a great freedom of word order that, in addition, exhibits in its written variety a great amount of topicalization. Nevertheless,

10 Even when one is not dealing with the translation of a Hebrew text, unlike what happens, as one example among many other cases, in the text entitled Aclarados los diez nisionot que se prebó el señor de Abraham abinu (Constantinople 1765), that begins (f. 1v) “‫ ואלו הן‬,‫ עשרה נסיונות נתנסה אברהם אבינו‬/ Asará nisionot nitnasá Abraham abinu, veelu hen:” and whose translation into Judaeo-Spanish in the same page is ‘Diez prebas fue prebado Abraham nuestro padre, y estas ellas:’ (‘Our father Abraham was tested with ten trials, and these [are] they:’). 11 Wagner (1914, 126) also finds examples with a, such as un sarai mas ermozo al del eshuegro (‘a palace more beautiful than his father-in-law’s’).


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and leaving aside the effects of the aforementioned increase of explicit subjects, there are several constructions whose word order is completely different from the Spanish pattern. Thus, for instance, the combination of the reflexive third person clitic se with the personal object clitics of the first and second person (me, te, mos, vos) has been ordered for centuries in Judaeo-Spanish placing the personal pronoun first, and leaving se immediately before the verb, which is compatible with theories according to which the element se behaves like an affix (cf. García Moreno 2006, 39; for the order with third person object clitics, see example (8) in Section 3.8). Such a scheme has been maintained in Sephardic texts to date, as seen in Todas las veces que meldo en las gacetas una matanza, un crimen, el corazón me se alborea (‘Every time I read in the newspapers about a murder, about a crime, my heart worries’, Pita Jan. 17, 1936) and Los ojos no me se afartaban de ver los rosales que ella cudiaba con grande cariño (‘My eyes did not satiate of seeing the rose bushes that she looked after with so much care’ Rozas 45). Also related to clitics, it is worth noting the increase of clitic doubling structures in Modern Judaeo-Spanish. Compared to Spanish, and even to Classical Judaeo-Spanish, i.e., from the 18th century (García Moreno 2006, 39–40), this is particularly significant in the case of direct objects, like in (4): (4) Tómela en la mano la péndola. take-imp-2sg=it in the hand the pen ‘Take the pen in your hand.’ (Pita Feb. 12, 1937) Other special word order patterns absent in Spanish may be explained by the calque of structures borrowed from foreign languages, for example, Este último iñoraba, dunque, que Rigoleto tenía ansí una hija tan hermosa (‘This latter ignored, therefore, that Rigoletto had such a beautiful daughter’, Maldición 7 [336]) or Ansí un comporto no era de justo para un mesared (‘Such behavior did not benefit a religious functionary’, Juguetón 3, also cf. Bunis 1993, no. 2746), where the German pattern so + indefinite article + NP (‘such a NP’) seems to play an important role (García Moreno 2013b). A similar fact has been noted by Mancheva (2008, 83) regarding Judaeo-Spanish in Bulgaria at the end of the 19th century, in relation with the anteposition of adjectives in lexical calques like flaco vino (cf. Bulgarian слабо вино / slabo vino ‘nasty wine’) and delgada tabla (cf. Bulgarian тънка дъска / tanka daská ‘batten, slim board’). Last, in certain exclamative and interrogative clauses, there is a recurring scheme in which the verb is placed at the end of the sentence and the element receiving the focus is fronted. Such structure is habitual in more or less stereotyped and famous blessings like in (5a, b):

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a. ¡Novio que te vea! groom comp see-sbjv-1sg ‘Shall you marry!’ (instead of Sp. ¡Que te vea como novio!) b. ¡Hijo que te nazca! son comp be.born-sbjv-3sg ‘Shall you have a baby!’12 (instead of Sp. ¡Que te nazca un hijo!)

This structure can also be found in original written sources to express: a) interrogatives like in ¿Caentura tienes? (‘Do you have a fever?’ Pita Sep. 11, 1936) or ¿Con la tarquiza estás? (‘Are you in bad humor?’, Pita Jan. 8, 1937); and b) desiderative sentences such as La añada que pasimos. . .vaiga y no venga. (‘Shall this past year go and never come back!’), where the verb – although in the subjunctive – is not introduced by any complementizer.

3.6 Negation 20th-century Judaeo-Spanish texts show examples of double negation (negative concord) that do not follow those traditional patterns shared with contemporary Spanish. Thus, unlike Modern Spanish but according to the corresponding French patterns, the anteposition of some negative elements such as the adverb nunca (‘never’) or the pronouns ningún, -a, -o (‘no / no one’) do not avoid the presence of the negative element no/non accompanying the verb, as one can see in Ya era las nueve de la noche y ningún pasador no había en las calles (‘It was nine in the evening and there was no passerby on the streets’, Apresado 4) or Munchos tienen metido bas que nunca no van a meter bas (‘Many people bet they will never bet’, Aforismos). This scheme has been maintained to this day, as can be seen in examples from the last three decades such as Ninguno no sabe exactamente para qué vino (‘No one knew exactly what he came for’, Domnes), Nunca no vide a mi padre reaccionar tan rápidamente (‘I never saw my father react so quickly’, Konversion), or Y nunca no se yerraban en su orden de entrada en cena (‘And they never were wrong in the turn to enter the scene’, Princhipiko 30 [58]). Nevertheless, at least in the case of texts like the Judaeo-Spanish translation of Le Petit Prince, from which the last example is taken, one finds just two instances of nunca. . .no among a total of thirty-eight including only nunca.

12 See more examples in Hernández González (2001).


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3.7 Special interrogative clauses One of the most characteristic syntactic patterns in 20th-century Sephardic texts is that of certain open interrogative clauses – that is, headed by an interrogative pronoun or adverb  – whose verb, in subjunctive, is introduced by the complementizer que (see Section 3.5), not depending on any matrix verb. According to Gabinski (1997), the absence of a modal verb to introduce the subjunctive follows the pattern of this type of interrogative clause in other Balkan languages. Examples like (6) below have been among the most recurrently quoted by scholars when analyzing this syntactic pattern (Wagner 1914, 121; Wagner 1930, 68; Gabinski 1997, 243–244; Quintana 2006, 148–149), but, as pointed out by Gabinski (1992, 164) and Berenguer Amador (2012a, 49), many other interrogative expressions, such as cómo (‘how’), quén (‘who’), and ónde (‘where’), can be found heading this kind of clause, both in oral and written Judaeo-Spanish texts. (6)

¿Qué que faga? what comp do-sbjv-1sg ‘What shall I do?’

That is what one sees in Papá, una vaca y un avocato entraron a la güerta ¿Qué que faga? (‘Dad, a cow and a lawyer entered the garden. What shall I do?’, Pita May 29, 1936), ¿Qué que te diga? (‘What can I say?’, Pita Nov. 20, 1936); ¿Quémodo que me eche? (‘How shall I go to bed?’, Mercader [202]); and Entre los bailadores. . . ¿quén que se tope? Yacó (‘Among the dancers. . ., who can be found? Yaakov’, Pita Jan. 15, 1937). Sentences such as these have been defined by some scholars as a kind of “dubitative interrogatives” – because of the use of subjunctive (Berenguer Amador 2012a, 49) – or as “interrogative sentences that express a command or instruction” because of the similarity shown with certain sentences in which the modal verb querer is expressed (Quintana 2006, 148). Nevertheless, considering that in most of the examples cited above, one finds “questions not used for asking,” it is not impossible to suggest that the scheme interrogative pronoun/adverb + que + subjunctive, present in various Balkan languages, could have been adopted by Judaeo-Spanish to syntactically formalize all the interrogatives that do not really demand information but rather demonstrate different speakers’ attitudes (indifference, surprise, etc.).

3.8 Reflexive impersonal vs. reflexive passive constructions Modern Judaeo-Spanish does not always show a clear distinction between reflexive impersonal clauses and reflexive passive clauses, both using the clitic se, depending on the number (singular or plural) of the verbal form and its agreement with a non-animate noun phrase in the sentence. Thus, as in Modern Spanish, one can find examples like in (7a, b):

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a. A la caja de esparmio, ande se plazaban cienes de at the bank of savings where refl= placed-3pl hundreds of miles de francos. thousands of Francs ‘In the savings bank where hundreds of thousands of Francs were deposited.’ (Pita Jan. 20, 1936) b. De más cerca, se ven unas cuantas taras. of more near refl= see-3pl some flaws ‘Closer, a few flaws can be seen.’ (Pita May 22, 1936)

In these examples the number agreement between the verbal forms and the non-animate plural noun phrases corresponds to the usual reflexive passive scheme. Nevertheless, even in the same texts, one finds examples with lack of agreement: (8)

a. Se les dio todos los secretos del invento. refl= them= gave-3sg all the secrets of-the invention ‘All the secrets of the invention were given to them.’ (Pita Feb. 10, 1936) b. ¡Cuántas veces se meldaba en la gaceta novedades how.many times refl= read-past-3sg in the newspaper news a revés de la vedrá! at contrary of the truth ‘How many times false news could be read in the newspaper!’ (Pita July 10, 1936)

In these examples one notes the extension of the reflexive impersonal scheme se + singular verb with plural noun phrases that may be considered as direct objects, maybe on the basis of the French constructions with the impersonal particle on. On the contrary, agreement can be found in particular instances of reflexive passive clauses with an animate noun phrase that behaves like a subject, such as in En este mes se enterraron dos grandinos (‘This month two rich men were buried’, Pita Jan. 10, 1936), showing a scheme avoided in Modern Standard Spanish  – unless one thinks that the two rich men buried themselves.

3.9 Cleft sentences Although cleft sentences are not simple clauses, they have been included in this paragraph considering that their apparent complex structure a monoclausal structure synchronically, as a result of the insertion of a relative pronoun (.  .  .es que/quien.  .  . ‘it


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is. . .that/who’) or the complementizer que yielding the effect of topicalization/focalization (see Sections 3.5 and 3.7). This kind of structure has existed for a long time in Judaeo-Spanish, as can be seen in the following examples from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: (9)

a. Él es que guerrea y vence por mí en todas las guerras. he is that fights and wins for me in all the wars ‘It’s him who/that fights and wins for me in all the wars.’ (Me‘am lo‘ez Šemot [147]) b. Él es el que sierve a tu noble padre. he is the that serves to your noble father ‘It’s him who serves your noble father.’ (Rabí 42a [92])

In modern Sephardic texts, instances of cleft sentences are even more frequent because, apart from the syntactic pattern already present in past centuries, the French pattern of sentences like C’est. . .qui/que. . . with the copula at the beginning of the sentence is adopted as well. Thus, together with examples as in (10a, b), similar to those shown above for 18th- and 19th-century texts, one finds many other instances of the aforementioned French pattern, seen, e.g., in (11a, b): (10) a. ¿Nïet de enterrarme es que metiteš? intention of bury-inf=me is that put-past-2pl ‘Burying me is what you intend?’ (Yernećico 90) b. Lo que a mí me gusta en la vida es dormir. the that to me me pleases in the life is sleep-inf ‘What I love in life is to sleep.’ (Princhipiko 27 [50]) (11) a. Era contra los cristianos . . . que este tribunal was-3sg against the Christians that this court fue criado. was-3sg created ‘It was against Christians. . .that this court was created.’ (Apresado 3) b. Es de tu padre que te demandamos. is of your father that ask-1pl ‘It’s about your father that we ask you.’ (Apresado 12)

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Other examples include Es ríos de sangre que están corriendo (‘It is rivers of blood that are flowing’, Pita Sep. 11, 1936) and Es entonces que apareció la raposa (‘It was then that the vixen appeared’, Princhipiko 33 [67]).

4 Complex sentences The following paragraphs will focus on the three big categories of subordinate clauses: complement (4.1), adjective (4.2), and adverbial clauses (4.3).

4.1 Complement clauses In Modern Judaeo-Spanish – apart from cleft sentences introduced by que (see Section 3.9)  –, complement clauses share functions with contemporary Peninsular Spanish. Thus, leaving aside free relative clauses (i.e., without an antecedent) – like those introduced by (el) quen or the complex relatives el que, la que, lo que. . . – clauses introduced by que ‘that’ (or si [‘whether’] in some cases) mainly act as one of the following: a) Subjects, as in Parece que. . .no vamos a ver guehinam porque ya lo estamos viendo en vida con nuestras mujeres (‘It seems that. . .we will not see hell, because we are already seeing it in life with our wives’, Yernećico 89) or Negro uso es que tengas una cosa por la cuala que penes a desusarte (‘It is a bad manner that you have something which you suffer to disaccustom to’, Aforismos); b) Direct objects, like in Ellos entendieron que las lágrimas judías son también lágrimas humanas (‘They understood that Jewish tears are also human tears’, Studentes 47bc–48a) or Cuando lo mirí bien, vide que yo ya conocía a este hombre (‘When I looked at him properly, I realized that I already knew that man’, Apresado 13). Nevertheless, unlike what happens in Standard Spanish, when a complement clause acts as the complement of a noun, adjective, or adverb, it is rare to find examples like Querer un codrero es proba de que uno existe (lit. ‘To want a lamb is proof of that one exists’, Princhipiko 11 [19]), where the complement clause is preceded by a preposition. In most cases, there is no preposition introducing the complement sentence, as seen in the following cases: a) As a complement of a noun: Echando bien chirpín, caí a la haquirá que [vs. Sp. caí en la cuenta de que] todo viene del ainará (‘Paying attention, I realized that everything comes from the evil eye’, Pita July 3, 1936); Cada nada salían voces que [vs. Sp. rumores acerca de que] en tala casa de la mahalé de Rogos habían dañadores (‘At any time there were rumors that in a certain house of the Rogos neighborhood there were spirits’, Pita Apr. 23, 1937).


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b) As a complement of an adjective: Estó seguro que [vs. Sp. seguro de que] vo a ser escuchado (‘I’m sure that I’m going to be heard’, Pita Apr. 9, 1937). c) As a complement of an adverb: Antes que cases, mira lo que faces (lit. ‘Before that you marry, look out what you do’, Pita Dec. 20, 1935); Después que ya tomó venganza, se mató él mismo (‘After he took revenge, he killed himself’, Pita Jan. 17, 1936). This lack of prepositional link has on the one hand favored the lexicalization of numerous complex structures of verb + noun/adjective13 and, on the other, the use of que as a universal complementizer for the sequences of preposition/adverb + que (e.g., a que, hasta/fista que, para que, porque, sin que, or antes que, aunque, después que, etc.) as complex conjunctions for introducing adverbial clauses.

4.2 Adjective clauses Adjective clauses in 20th-century Sephardic texts are mainly characterized by two phenomena: a) the (re)introduction of the complex relative pronoun el cual, la cual(a), los cuales/cualos, las cualas and b) the spectacular increase of the use of an adjective clause containing a gerund.

4.2.1 Relative pronouns Contemporary Sephardic texts still show some continuity in the tendency to use que in adjective clauses functioning as a mere complementizer, as its syntactic function (direct object, indirect object, locative, etc.) is indicated by another element or phrase in the subordinate clause. That is what can be found in examples like (12a, b): (12) a. El lugar que en él los hijos de Yisrael se acercan the place that in it the sons of Israel refl= approach-3pl los unos con los otros. the ones with the others ‘The place where the sons of Israel are close to each other.’ (Partida)

13 It is true that many of these involve the use of a Hebrew or Turkish borrowing, like in hacerse aspur (‘to disappear’), hacer taanit (‘to fast’), cortar din (‘to adjudicate’), and ser mujrah (‘to need’), but there are also many other phrases containing hereditary Spanish words, such as echar ayuda (‘to inject’), hacer luvia (‘to rain’), quitar choca (‘to incubate’), and tomar emprestado (‘to borrow’).

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b. Un día me hui ande este dotor, que me lo habían one day me= went-1sg to this doctor, that me him= had-3pl alabado mucho. praised much. ‘One day I visited this doctor who had been recommended to me.’ (Pita Jan. 3, 1936) Other examples include Creendo que era una torre que no le aferraba yulé (‘Thinking that he was a tower which no cannon-shot could hit’, Pita Jan. 10, 1936) and Vos contaré una consejica que todos la saben (‘I will tell you a story that everyone knows’, Pita May 25, 1936). Nevertheless, the most significant fact is the reintroduction – due to the influence of the French pattern – of the complex pronoun el cual, la cual, los cuales/cualos, las cualas, scarcely documented in Sephardic texts between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries (García Moreno 2004, 229–230; 2015). These are some of the examples that can be found: Si la demanda concherna un congé más longo, ella será referada al inspector el cual reglará el cavso (‘If the demand concerns a longer license, it will be referred to the inspector, who will settle the case’, Regolamento 11); Los studentes rusos de Belgica vienen de adresar. . .una letra abierta, de la cuala retiramos lo que siguie (‘Russian students of Belgium have just sent. . .an open letter, from which we extract what follows’, Studentes 47bc–48a); Hay gente a los cualos y la muerte mismo no les ayuda (‘There are people whom not even death helps’, Aforismos); Vos daré las razones verdaderas por las cualas los menesterosos selaniclís no son ayudados (‘I will give you the real reasons why poor people of Thessaloniki origin are not helped’, Pita Jan. 30, 1936); Él fue seguido por numerosos otros jurnales y revistas, algunos de los cuales tuvieron una larga vida, de 50 y hasta 60 años (‘it was followed by many other newspapers and magazines, some of which had a long life of 50 to even 60 years’, Prensa).

4.2.2 Use of gerund in adjective clauses As already pointed out by Schmid/Bürki (2000, 154) and Berenguer Amador (2012b, 36), the French use of the present participle might have decisively influenced the use of a gerund construction as a complement of a noun, that is, as adjective clauses, in Judaeo-Spanish. That is what one finds in examples such as El grito imitando [instead of que imitaba] la piola no era que de su ayudante Amed (‘That sound imitating the chirp was none other than his assistant’s Amed’, Aventuras 54 [35]); Se fue a Amsterdam, que era el refugio de un grande número de marranos fuyendo [instead of que fuyían] la España y el Portugal (‘[He] went to Amsterdam, which was the refuge of a large number of marranos fleeing from Spain and Portugal’, Saporta y Beja 1980, 9). In addition, at least in those Sephardic texts produced in English-speaking countries like the United States of America, the influence of constructions with English -ing


 Aitor García Moreno

forms must be considered, like in A todos los sefaradim en general viviendo [instead of que viven] en Los Ángeles (‘To all Sephardim living in Los Angeles’, Avenir) and Los trenta caballos llevando [instead of que llevan] alas son los trenta años de reino que él tendrá aínda (‘The thirty horses having wings mean the thirty years of kingdom that he still will reign’, Esfueño). This increase of instances of a gerund heading an adjective clause might have affected a reduction in the number of adjective clauses introduced by a relative pronoun or complementizer, mainly for cases in which the verbal form should appear in subjunctive, like in Ningún gaste particular depasando [vs. que depase] de 25 drahmes el mes non puedrá ser hecho por el director sin el aviso prealable de el inspector (‘No particular expense exceeding 25 drachmas will be made by the director without the previous notification of the inspector’, Regolamento 3–4). In any case, it seems clear that the adoption of this foreign syntactic pattern meant a new stylistic possibility for Sephardic writers. That is what we see in the following examples, where both the relativizer que and a gerund appear in the same sentence introducing adjective clauses: (13) a. Al chentro de la civdad se topa el local de la comunitá judía que comprende un grande cuadrado anglobando la quehilá principala, la escola, el campo y el club de los scautos jidiós y de la Makabí. (‘In the city center is situated the Jewish community, which comprises a big block including the main synagogue, the school, the Jewish scouts club, and the Makkabi.’ – Makabeo 57 [35]) b. Le dijeron que era una inglesa muchacha morando sola en un castío de ahí cerca que tomaba el velo (se hacía monaca). (‘He was told that [it] was an English girl living in a near castle who was taking the veil, [i.e.,] was becoming a nun.’ – Nave 30 [373]) In the last decades, this construction has seemed to be declining if one considers that, for example, no instance of this pattern can be found in El princhipiko (2010), even being a Judaeo-Spanish translation of a French text – the well-known Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

4.3 Adverbial clauses The most relevant issues when dealing with adverbial clauses are related to the use of verbal moods and tenses. In general terms, and compared to Standard Spanish, Modern Judaeo-Spanish shows a decrease in the use of subjunctive forms; however, it cannot be said that subjunctive forms are disappearing. As will be seen, what in fact happens is that the interpretation of a nexus (conjunction, relative adverb, etc.) shared by dif-

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ferent kinds of adverbial clauses is in some cases based on the opposition indicative vs. subjunctive in the verb.

4.3.1 Temporal clauses Temporal clauses in Modern Judaeo-Spanish use indicative verbal forms in all cases, continuing a tendency already observed in older texts (García Moreno 2004, 325–327). Therefore, if one pays attention to clauses introduced by the conjunction cuando (‘when’), one observes that the tense of the verb in the main clause (past, present, or future) is not relevant at all for determining the verbal mood of the subclause – unlike what happens in Standard Spanish  – and indicative verbal forms (of past, present, or future) appear in all cases.14 That is what one finds, respectively, in examples like Cuando entraron, ellos toparon munchos judiós asentados cerca las mesas (‘When they entered [the tavern], they found many Jews sitting at the tables’, Apresado 4); Hay gente que se ríen cuando lloran ma no hay gente que lloran cuando se ríen (‘There are people who laugh when they cry, but there are not people who cry when they laugh’, Aforismos); and Cuando veré y meldaré el libro. . ., sabré lo que tengo de decir (‘When I see and read the book. . ., I will know what I have to say, Pita Jan. 29, 1937). While the first two examples would be similar in Spanish, in the third one, the future in the main clause (sabré) determines the use of future in the subclause (veré/meldaré) – not subjunctive like in Spanish (vea/melde). Also, in the case of temporal subclauses referring to the future, Modern Judaeo-Spanish offers as a novelty instances of the periphrasis ir (‘to go’, also in indicative mood) + infinitive instead of future verbal forms: Cuando va venir güestro siñor, le vas a decir “se murió mama” (‘When your master arrives [lit. will arrive], you will tell him mom died’, Mercader [200]); Cuando se van a engrandecer, no van a quedar como una hayá del campo en viendo celebrar esta fiesta (‘When [the kids] become older [lit. will become older], they are not going to remain as brutes when seeing celebrating this festival’, Pita Dec. 18, 1936). A deeper study will determine whether the use of this periphrasis in the temporal protasis is related to an idea of near future, as it usually expresses; if it depends on the speaker’s degree of certainty; or if it is just an equivalent and interchangeable pattern to express the future projection of temporal clauses.

4.3.2 Causal and final clauses Causal and final clauses in Modern Judaeo-Spanish show the same distribution of verbal moods already observed in older Sephardic texts (García Moreno 2004, 333–334). Thus, causal clauses always have verbal forms in indicative, while final ones have them in

14 This happens, to a lesser degree, in temporal clauses introduced by hasta/fista que.


 Aitor García Moreno

subjunctive. This distribution, although shared with contemporary Spanish, is particularly important/distinctive in Judaeo-Spanish in some cases; for instance, the conjunction porque is used to introduce both kinds of clauses much more often than in Spanish. Hence, the correct interpretation of a clause introduced by porque lies on the verbal mood of the verb (indicative for causals and subjunctive for finals), as one sees, respectively, in (14a, b): (14) a. Parece que. . .no vamos a ver guehinam porque ya lo estamos viendo en vida con nuestras mujeres. (‘It seems that we will not see the hell, because we are already seeing it in life with our women.’ – Yernećico 89) b. Porque sus patría en fin se releve moralmente, es indispensable de. . .mostrar la crueldad al mundo entero. (‘In order for their homeland to finally rise morally, it is necessary to show this cruelty to the entire world.’ – Studentes 47bc–48a) Nevertheless, the use of porque to introduce final clauses has suffered a strong decline during the 20th century, being overwhelmingly replaced by para que, also with subjunctive. For example, in the above-mentioned El Princhipiko, no instance of porque introducing a final clause is found – only para que is used. The reasons for this decline are various. Leaving aside the possible influence of Modern Peninsular Spanish on the contemporary Judaeo-Spanish educated prose (Quintana 1999, 599–601), like that of El Princhipiko, two facts must be noted. On the one hand, one might think that it would not seem very plausible to attribute the difference in interpretation of these adverbial clauses solely to the opposition of moods, because the subjunctive is gradually being abandoned in other domains, as we have seen, for instance, in temporal clauses. On the other hand, when basing that differentiation not only on the mood of the verbal form but also on the different nexus used, the system appears to be more stable, getting a parallelism with clauses where there is no inflected verb but an infinitive. Thus, in the same way that por + infinitive has a causal value, versus para + infinitive with a final value, the use of porque vs. para que before an inflected verb would produce the same distribution. In another vein, Modern Judaeo-Spanish has shown the consolidation and expansion of the form siendo (‘being’) as causal conjunction (Stulic-Etchevers 2010, 334–339), as one sees in examples like Y es allí en efeto la sola facultad que sea accesible a los jóvenes jidiós, siendo el jidió non puede ser ni abocato, ni juzgador (‘That one [= the Faculty of Medicine] is in fact the only faculty accessible to young Jews, as the Jew may not be a lawyer or a judge’, Studentes 47bc–48a:48a) and Muchos meldadores de ‘Acción’ me tienen por porfeta, siendo me tiene acontecido más de una vez que porfetizo, que endevino de lo que veo (‘Many readers of [the newspaper] Acción consider me a prophet, as it has happened to me more than once that I prophesy, that I guess [the future] from what I

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see’, Pita Dec. 12, 1935). Meanwhile, the pattern siendo que, which more than likely was the origin of these uses of siendo (García Moreno 2004, 253–254; Stulic-Etchevers 2010, 314–334), has gradually been displaced.15

4.3.3 Conditional clauses Modern Judaeo-Spanish shows important transformations in the conditional patterns, together with some conservative phenomena. As will be seen later, in the same way as shown for temporal clauses, Modern Judaeo-Spanish uses the future indicative in the conditional protasis residually when projecting conditions to the future, like in (15): (15) La familia Arié. . .poseda un árbol genealógico de 140 años, el cual publicaremos si la ocasión se presentará. (‘The Arie family. . .has a genealogical tree of 140 years, which we will publish if occasion arises [lit. will arise].’ – Vidín 15 [46]) Among the transformations and evolutions shown by conditional clauses in Modern Judaeo-Spanish, and leaving aside the high variety of verbal patterns, two important facts must be pointed out: 1) the preference for the indicative mood, and 2) the tendency to use symmetric verbal patterns (Schlumpf 2015). Compared to contemporary Standard Spanish, the main difference of Judaeo-Spanish is the use of the imperfect indicative in the protasis of hypothetical and counterfactual conditional sentences instead of subjunctive verbal forms. That is what one finds in examples like (16): (16) Si no había [vs. Sp. hubiera] esto, malos perros se comían [vs. Sp. comerían] a los probes. (‘If this hadn’t existed, bad dogs would eat [lit. ate] poor people.’ – Pita Jan. 8, 1937) Together with this, it is notable that the preferred tenses for the apodosis are both the synthetic and the periphrastic conditional. Examples for the synthetic conditional include Me se contentaría el alma si Mosé rabenu. . .mos visitaba [vs. Sp. visitara] en Palestina (‘My soul would be happy, if Moses our Rabbi.  .  .met us in Palestine’, Pita Jan. 1, 1937) and Si mi cuñadico. . .mataba [vs. Sp. matara] a este ricón, ¿ternía él razón de facerlo? (‘If my brother in law. . . killed this rich man, would he be [lit. have] right for doing so?’, Pita Feb. 2, 1936).

15 It is to note that in El Princhipiko (2010) only siendo que is found (twice), but in this author’s opinion, this is due to the aforementioned influence of Modern Spanish on nowadays Sephardic educated prose.


 Aitor García Moreno

A periphrastic conditional can be seen in Si yo era [vs. Sp. fuera] yezá reisi, no lo iba tocar [equivalent of tocaría] ni con palos de graveínas (‘To this poor engineer, if I was a judge in a criminal court, I wouldn’t touch a hair on his head’, Pita Jan. 17, 1936) and Habuli, si había estado [vs. Sp. hubiera estado] en escola, iba salir [equivalent of saldría, and instead of Sp. habría salido] filosof (‘Habuli, if he had gone to school, he would have become a philosopher’, Pita Jan. 1, 1937). Last, subjunctive forms appear to have been reserved to certain kinds of clauses like comparative pseudo-conditionals introduced by como si (‘as if’), where they are a majority (Schlumpf 2012a, 414): Yacó sabía piedriquear. . .en francés, como si huera nacido en París (‘Jacob could speak. . .in French as if he were born in Paris’, Pita Jan. 15, 1937).

5 Conclusions As shown, the syntax of modern and contemporary Judaeo-Spanish combines the adoption of foreign structures and patterns – mainly taken from French, but occasionally also from German, English, or Standard Spanish in contemporary texts – with the development of tendencies already observed in ancient Sephardic literature. Actually, in some cases, the adoption or calque of foreign patterns has been possible thanks to the existence of ongoing processes of change in Judaeo-Spanish itself. As in other domains of grammar, such as morphology, the search for both simplicity/regularity on the one hand and expositive clarity on the other, – even being, to some extent, opposed forces – have determined the character of many of the syntactic patterns commented above.

References Sources Aforismos = Aforismos (1909), El Pasa-tiempo. Jurnal literario-ḥumorístico, 1.1 (Plovdiv), 8. Angustiador = Capón, Abraham ben Aarón (1914), El angustiador. Pieza teatral en tres actos, Sarajevo. Apresado = El apreśado de la Inquiśición (1904), Adaptado del francés por León, [Jerusalem]/Cairo [= Folletón del jornal Miŝráyim]. Avenir = El avenir del Mesajero (1933), El Mesajero 1.1 (Los Angeles), 9. Aventuras = Aventuras del celebre poliz amator “Linx”, el rey de los detectives – El baúl ensangrentado (1925), Thessaloniki, Librairie franco-anglaise Ovadia S. Naar frères. [The indication in brackets refer to the edition by Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012b), Acerca del gerundio en judeoespañol, in: Yvette Bürki/ Manuela Cimeli/Rosa Sánchez (edd.), Lengua – llengua – llingua – lingua – langue. Encuentros filológicos (ibero)románicos. Homenaje a la profesora Beatrice Schmid, Munich, Peniope.] Domnes = Nassi, Gad (1992), Los domnes, Aki Yerushalayim 13, no. 46 (Jerusalem), 16.

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Esfueño = Un esfueño de Abdul Hamid (1927), La Vara 6, no. 271 (New York), 6. Fabricante = El fabricante de fierros. Drama en cinco actos (1882), El Telégrafo 14, no. 44–48. Fuerza = La Fuerza 1.2 (Xanthi, 1922). Hacino = Šelomó ben Ataf (trad.) (1903), El ḥaćino imaǵinado. Comedia en tres actos, Sofia, Tipografía de Raḥamim Šim‘ón. [The indications in brackets refer to the study in Schmid, Beatrice/Bürki, Yvette (2000), “El ḥacino imaǵinado”. Comedia de Molière en versión judeoespañola. Edición del texto aljamiado, estudio y glosario, Basel, Romanisches Seminar der Universität Basel, 111–203.] Hanuká = Hanuká y Noel (1910), La Tribuna Libera 1, no. 25 (Thessaloniki). Jidió = El Jidió: Publicación anuala de la Organización Mizrahí de Salonico, editada en colaboración de la juventud mizrahista 25 (1926). Juguetón = El Juguetón 4, no. 14 (Istanbul, 1913). Konversion = Abelson Davidov, Rozi (2000), La konversion, Aki Yerushalayim 21, no. 63 (Jerusalem), 28. Makabeo = El Makabeo. Publicación anuala editada por la societá Teodor Herzl (Thessaloniki, 1925). [The indications in brackets refer to Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012b), Acerca del gerundio en judeoespañol, in: Yvette Bürki/Manuela Cimeli/Rosa Sánchez (edd.), Lengua – llengua – llingua – lingua – langue. Encuentros filológicos (ibero)románicos. Homenaje a la profesora Beatrice Schmid, Munich, Peniope, 33–40.] Maldición = ben Guiat, Alexander ben Efraím (1908), La maldición del ĵudió, Jerusalem, Estampado a los gastes de Šelomó Yisrael Šereślí. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by Barquín López, Amelia (1997), Edición y estudio de doce novelas aljamiadas sefardíes de principios del siglo XX, Vitoria, Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del País Vasco.] Me‘am lo‘ez Šemot = Yiŝḥac ben Ḥayim Magriso (1746), Séfer Me‘am lo‘eź. Ḥélec šení meséfer Šemot, Constantinople. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by García Moreno, Aitor (2004), Relatos del pueblo ladinán (Me‘am lo‘ez de Éxodo), Madrid, CSIC, 140–174]. Mercader = El mercader y la viuda. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by García Moreno, Aitor (2011a), Más textos judeoespañoles de Salónica. Avance de la edición de diez cuentos sefardíes tradicionales, recogidos por Cynthia Crews a principios del siglo XX, in: Elena Romero (ed.)/Aitor García Moreno (col.), Estudios sefardíes dedicados a la memoria de Iacob M. Hasán (ź”l), Madrid, CSIC et al., 191–203.] Nave = ben Guiat, Alexandr ben Efraím (1906/1907), La nave hechićera. Viaje muy curiośo, Cairo, Estamparía Carmona y Zara/Jerusalem, Estampado a los gastes de la librería Šayí”s. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by Barquín López, Amelia (1997), Edición y estudio de doce novelas aljamiadas sefardíes de principios del siglo XX, Vitoria, Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del País Vasco.] Nisionot = Aclarados los diez nisionot que se prebó el señor de Abraham abinu (1765), Constantinople. No quero = No quero esposar. Comedia en un acto (1929), Constantinople. [Also see the edition by Martín Heredia, María (1990), El teatro sefardí. Edición de textos y estudio de la morfología derivativa nominal, Ph.D. dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.] Partida = Partida non oficiala – Pesah (1901), El Eco Judaïco/еврейско ехо 1, no. 6 (Sofia), 42. Pésaḥ = Séder Haġadat lel Pésaḥ (1929), Thessaloniki, Estamparía Beźés. Pinto = Lehmann, Marcus (1901), Pinto de Amsterdam. Cuento ħistórico ĵudió, Smyrna [= Folletón del “Meseret”]. Pita = La pita de noche de šaḅat (1935–1939), Acción (Thessaloniki). [The quotations refer to page number 2 in every issue.] Prensa = Saul, Moshe (1996), La prensa Djudeo-espanyola en muestros dias, Aki Yerushalayim 17, no. 53, 32. Princhipiko = Saint-Exupéry, Antoine de (2010), El Princhipiko. Kon ilustrasiones del autor, translated by Avner Perez and Gladys Pimienta, Neckarsteinach, Tintenfass. Pureźa = Recanati, Abraham Šemu’el (1916), Por la pureźa de la famía ĵudía, Thessaloniki. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by Schmid, Beatrice (dir.) (2003), Sala de pasatiempo. Textos judeoespañoles de Salónica impresos entre 1896 y 1916, Basel, Romanisches Seminar der Universität Basel, 151–164.]


 Aitor García Moreno

Rabí = Philippson, Ludwig (1877), El raḅí y el ministro. Historia muy intresante del poete Si. Ludvig Fílipśon, translated by Šem Tob Semo, Vienna, El Correo de Viena, 8, nos. 3–24. [The indications in brackets refer to the edition by García Moreno, Aitor (2013a), Der Rabbi und der Minister. Dos versiones judeoespañolas de la novela alemana, Barcelona, Tirocinio, 57–139.] Regolamento = Comunitá Yisraelita de Salónica (1922), Regolamento de las escolas comunalas, Thessaloniki. Rozas = Yohai, Sara (1996), Las Rozas de madam Meri, Aki Yerushalayim 17, no. 54, 45. Tehiat = Frishman, David (1999), Tehiat Ametim, Aki Yerushalayim 20, no. 60, 97. Vendida = Perez, Rebeka (1999), Vendida Publika, Aki Yerushalayim 20, no. 60, 70. Vidín = Grinvald, Mordejay (1894), Algo de la historia de la comunidad yisraelita de Vidín, Sofia. [The indications in brackets refer to Schlumpf, Sandra (2012b), “Qué bueno era si yo tenía trenta mil francos!”. El uso de los tiempos verbales en las oraciones condicionales en judeoespañol moderno, in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 35–50.]

Bibliography Álvarez López, Cristóbal José (2017), Estudio lingüístico del judeoespañol en la revista “Aki Yerushalayim”, Ph.D. thesis, Seville, Universidad de Sevilla. Armistead, Samuel G./Silverman, Joseph H./Katz, Israel J. (1957–1993), Folk literature of the Sephardic Jews, . Barquín López, Amelia (1997), Edición y estudio de doce novelas aljamiadas sefardíes de principios del siglo XX, Vitoria, Servicio Editorial de la Universidad del País Vasco. Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012a), La sintaxis del subjuntivo en judeoespañol, eHumanista XX [= Aitor García Moreno, Homenaje a Elena Romero], 47–62, edu.span.d7_eh/files/sitefiles/ehumanista/volume20/4%20Berenguer.v20.pdf . Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2012b), Acerca del gerundio en judeoespañol, in: Yvette Bürki/Manuela Cimeli/ Rosa Sánchez (edd.), Lengua – llengua – llingua – lingua – langue. Encuentros filológicos (ibero)románicos. Homenaje a la profesora Beatrice Schmid, Munich, Peniope, 33–40. Berenguer Amador, Ángel (2014), La preposición “a” como marca del complemento directo de persona en el libro de David M. Atías “La güerta de oro” (Liorna, 1778), in: Yvette Bürki/Elena Romero (edd.), La lengua sefardí. Aspectos lingüísticos, literarios y culturales, Berlin, Frank & Timme, 21–34. Bornes Varol, Marie Christine (2010), Un erudito entre dos lenguas. El “castellano” de Hayim Bejarano en el prólogo a su refranero glosado (1913), in: Paloma Díaz-Mas/María Sánchez Pérez (edd.), Los sefardíes ante los retos del mundo contemporáneo. Identidad y mentalidades, Madrid, CSIC, 113–127. BunisLex = Bunis, David M. (1993), A lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic elements in Modern Judezmo, Jerusalem, Magnes. Bürki, Yvette/Schmid, Beatrice (2006), El tiempo futuro en judeoespañol. Apuntes para su estudio, in: Hilary Pomeroy (ed.), The Proceedings of the Thirteenth British Conference on Judeo-Spanish Studies (London, 7–9 September 2003), London, Department of Hispanic Studies Queen Mary, University of London, 27–41. CoDiAJe = Quintana, Aldina (dir.) (2012 –), Corpus diacrónico anotado del judeoespañol, http://corptedig-glif. . CORHIJE = García Moreno, Aitor/Pueyo Mena, Javier (2013–), Corpus Histórico Judeoespañol, http://esefardic. es/corhije . Corpus MemTet = Schmid, Beatrice (2003–2004), . Crews, Cynthia M. (1935), Recherches sur le judéo-espagnol dans les pays balkaniques, Paris, Droz.

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Crews, Cynthia M. (1979), Textos judeo-españoles de Salónica y Sarajevo con comentarios lingüísticos y glosario [= Miscelánea Crews], Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 91–258. Gabinski, Marc A. (1992), Sefardskij (evrejsko-ispanskij) jazyk [Sephardic (Judaeo-Spanish) Language], Chişinău, Ştiinţa. Gabinski, Marc A. (1997), Positiver Effekt einiger negativer Angaben (zur Frage der Balkanismen als angeblich gemeinsephardischer Neuerungen), Neue Romania 19, 243–256. Gaon, Moshe D. (1965), A bibliography of the Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) press, Jerusalem, Ben Zvi Institute-Hebrew University. García Moreno, Aitor (2004), Relatos del pueblo ladinán (“Me‘am lo‘ez” de “Éxodo”), Madrid, CSIC. García Moreno, Aitor (2006), Innovación y arcaísmo en la morfosintaxis del judeoespañol clásico, Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberoamericana 4.2, 33–51. García Moreno, Aitor (2010), El judeoespañol II: Características, online publication within the collection Biblioteca virtual E-Excellence of, . García Moreno, Aitor (2011a), Más textos judeoespañoles de Salónica. Avance de la edición de diez cuentos sefardíes tradicionales, recogidos por Cynthia Crews a principios del siglo xx, in: Elena Romero (ed.)/Aitor García Moreno (col.), Estudios sefardíes dedicados a la memoria de Iacob M. Hasán (ź”l), Madrid, CSIC et al., 191–203. García Moreno, Aitor (2011b), Towards a new style in nineteenth-century judeo-Spanish prose. Two Judeo-Spanish versions of the German novel “Der Rabbi und der Minister”, European Judaism, 44.1, 9–21. García Moreno, Aitor (2012), De la pervivencia (o no) de algunas innovaciones morfosintácticas del judeoespañol castizo, Cuadernos dieciochistas 13, 229–247. García Moreno, Aitor (2013a), Der Rabbi und der Minister. Dos versiones judeoespañolas de la novela alemana, Barcelona, Tirocinio. García Moreno, Aitor (2013b), The spread of the German (?) calque “ansí un. . .” (Eng. “such a. . .”) in Judeo-Spanish, PaRDeS. Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e.V. 19, 57–68. García Moreno, Aitor (2014), Calcos y préstamos en los sipurim de Yishac Hakohén Perahiá. ¿Variación diafásica o problemas de traducción?, in: Yvette Bürki/Elena Romero (edd.), La lengua sefardí. Aspectos lingüísticos, literarios y culturales, Berlin, Frank & Timme, 89–108. García Moreno, Aitor (2015), Historia de la Lengua Sefardí. El caso de las oraciones de relativo (ss. XVI–XX), in: José Alberto R. Silva Tavim/Maria Filomena Lopes De Barros/Lúcia Liba Mucznik (edd.), In the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. A history of Jews and Muslims (15th–17th centuries), vol. 2, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 149–164. Guimarães, Alexia Teles (2000), Reanalise de estruturas locativas no Judeu-Espanhol oriental, Master thesis, Belo Horizonte, Faculdade de Letras da UFMG. Hassán, Iacob M. (1999), El estado constructo hebreo en una copla sefardí de libre creación, in: Annette Benaim (ed.), Proceedings of the tenth British Conference on Judeo-Spanish Studies, London, Department of Hispanic Studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 21–32. Hassán, Iacob M. (2004), ¿Es el ladino judeoespañol calco? (Cfr. DRAE), Quaderns de Filologia. Estudis Lingüístics 9, 87–99. Hernández González, Carmen (2001), La lengua sefardí en América. Aspectos morfosintácticos, in: Centro Virtual Cervantes/Instituto Cervantes (edd.), II Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española. Valladolid, 2001, espanol/2_el_espanol_de_america/hernandez_ca.htm . Hernández González, Carmen (2018), Observaciones en torno al proceso de gramaticalización de la forma judeoespañola “cualmente”, Philologia hispalensis 32.1, 77–94. Kahane, Henry R./Saporta, Sol (1953), The verbal categories of Judeo-Spanish, Hispanic Review 21, 193–214; 322–336.


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Levy, Kurt (1929), Historisch-geographische Untersuchungen zum Judenspanischen. Texte, Vokabular, grammatische Bemerkungen, Volkstum, Kultur und Romanen. Sprache, Dichtung, Sitte 2.4, 342–381. Luria, Max A. (1930), A study of the Monastir dialect of Judeo-Spanish based on oral material collected in Monastir, Yugo-Slavia, New York, Instituto de las Españas en los Estados Unidos [reprint from Revue Hispanique 79]. Malinowski, Arlene (1979), Aspects of Contemporary Judeo-Spanish in Israel based on oral and written sources, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan. Mancheva, Dora (2008), Los rastros del búlgaro en la parte judeoespañola de un diccionario trilingüe francésbúlgaro-sefardí, Cuadernos del Instituto de Historia de la Lengua 1, 75–86. Mancheva, Dora/Hassán, Iacob M. (2005), La Hagadá “intendibla” del rabino Daniel Sion, in: La lengua y su naturaleza dinámica. ACTAS – Homenaje a Iván Kanchev en su 70 aniversario, Sofia, Societas Academica Universitatis Serdicensis 26–46. Martín Heredia, María (1990), El teatro sefardí. Edición de textos y estudio de la morfología derivativa nominal, Ph.D. dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Quintana, Aldina (1999), Proceso de recastellanización del Judesmo, in: Judit Targarona Borrás/Ángel Sáenz-Badillos (edd.), Jewish Studies at the turn of the twentieth century. Proceedings of the 6th EAJS Congress – Toledo, July 1998, Leiden/Boston/Cologne, Brill, 593–602. Quintana, Aldina (2006), Geografía lingüística del Judeoespañol. Estudio sincrónico y diacrónico, Bern et al., Lang. Romero, Elena/García Moreno, Aitor (2009), Dos colecciones de cuentos sefardíes de carácter mágico: “Sipuré noraot” y “Sipuré pelaot”, Madrid, CSIC. Saporta y Beja, Enrique (1980), Sabetay Sebi, Aki Yerushalayim 1, no. 7, 9. Schlumpf, Sandra (2012a), Notas sobre las oraciones pseudocondicionales en judeoespañol moderno, in: Yvette Bürki/Manuela Cimeli/Rosa Sánchez (edd.), Lengua – llengua – llingua – lingua – langue. Encuentros filológicos (ibero)románicos. Homenaje a la profesora Beatrice Schmid, Munich, Peniope, 408–419. Schlumpf, Sandra (2012b), “Qué bueno era si yo tenía trenta mil francos!”. El uso de los tiempos verbales en las oraciones condicionales en judeoespañol moderno, in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 35–50. Schlumpf, Sandra (2014), Las oraciones condicionales concesivas y sus formas de expresión en el judeoespañol moderno, in: Yvette Bürki/Elena Romero (edd.), La lengua sefardí. Aspectos lingüísticos, literarios y culturales, Berlin, Frank & Timme, 209–233. Schlumpf, Sandra (2015a), Acerca de la expresión de la condicionalidad y de la concesividad en judeoespañol moderno escrito, Sefarad 75.1, 103–161. Schlumpf, Sandra (2015b), Condicionalidad y concesividad en judeoespanol moderno escrito, Lausanne, Sociedad Suiza de Estudios Hispánicos. Schmädel, Stephanie von (2012), Un marcador de complemento de lugar. La preposición “sovre” en textos judeoespañoles de Viena (s. XIX), in: Yvette Bürki/Carsten Sinner (edd.), Tiempo y espacio y relaciones espacio-temporales en judeoespañol, Munich, Peniope, 77–87. Schmid, Beatrice (dir.) (2003), Sala de pasatiempo. Textos judeoespañoles de Salónica impresos entre 1896 y 1916, Basel, Romanisches Seminar der Universität Basel. Schmid, Beatrice/Bürki, Yvette (2000), “El ḥacino imaǵinado”. Comedia de Molière en versión judeoespañola. Edición del texto aljamiado, estudio y glosario, Basel, Romanisches Seminar der Universität Basel. Stulic-Etchevers, Ana (2007), El desarrollo del pronombre interrogativo “loke” en judeoespañol, in: Marta Fernández Alcaide/Araceli López Serena (edd.), Cuatrocientos años de la lengua del Quijote: Estudios de historiografía e historia de la lengua española. Actas del V Congreso Nacional de la Asociación de Jóvenes Investigadores de Historiografía e Historia de la Lengua Española (Sevilla; 31 de marzo, 1 y 2 de abril de 2005), Sevilla, Universidad de Sevilla, 585–598.

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Stulic-Etchevers, Ana (2010), Analyse diachronique de « (siendo) que » judéo-espagnol. Approche littérale, Bulletin Hispanique 112, 309–341. Subak, Julius (1905), Das Verbum im Judenspanischen, in: Bausteine zur Romanischen Philologie. Festgabe für Adolfo Mussafia zum 15. Februar 1905, Halle a. d. Saale, Niemeyer, 321–331. Subak, Julius (1906), Judenspanisches aus Salonikki mit einem Anhange: Judenspanisches aus Ragusa, Trieste, Handelssektion der K.K. Handels- und Nautischen Akademie. Wagner, Max Leopold (1914), Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Judenspanischen von Konstantinopel, Vienna, Hölder. Wagner, Max Leopold (1930), Caracteres generales del judeoespañol de Oriente, Madrid, Hernando.

Haralambos Symeonidis

20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon Abstract: This chapter explains the different aspects of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon. The speakers of Judaeo-Spanish have preserved a considerable amount of Old Spanish vocabulary – more than 50% – but the language has also undergone many changes in the original semantics of the words and altered the form of many preexisting ones. Having to live in multilingual contexts, its speakers have incorporated loanwords from other languages, mainly Turkish, Greek, Italian, and French. Hebrew loanwords have always existed in Spanish spoken by the Jews, even before their expulsion, and Arabic has contributed a smaller amount of loanwords to Judaeo-Spanish, mostly found in the communities in North Africa. Keywords: Judaeo-Spanish, lexicon, archaism, language contact, borrowing, Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, French, Portuguese, Turkish, Greek

1 Introduction According to Leo Spitzer, Judaeo-Spanish is a genuine Spanish before Columbus and at the same time a kind of kaleidoscope of Balkan and Romance languages; it’s an oriental bazaar on top of a genuine Castilian architecture. . .A mixture of Jewish conservatism and of Jewish molding (Spitzer 1944, 180, translated by Harris 1994, 67).

Facing conversion to Catholicism or expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula, many Sephardic Jews chose to leave Spain in 1492 and settle in Portugal. There they were yet again confronted with expulsion, driving them this time in large part to cities of the Ottoman Empire and, to a lesser extent, North Africa (Fez, Algiers, Cairo, etc.) and Italy. By the early 16th century, the Ottoman Empire included Syria, Asia Minor, and the Balkan countries ( 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish). Because Sephardic Jews left the Iberian Peninsula by the late 15th and early 16th centuries, their Spanish is an archaic language based on Pre-Classical Castilian. Later in the 16th century, Spanish underwent certain changes that marked its transition from Medieval to Modern Spanish. Judaeo-Spanish, however, did not undergo these particular phonetic, morphological, and lexical changes, because Sephardic Jews had no further contact with the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, Judaeo-Spanish does not exhibit the same linguistic features that are typical of Modern Spanish, but it preserves lexical characteristics that used to be part of Spanish before the 16th century. The presence of archaisms is thus one of the most important characteristics of Judaeo-Spanish, brought about by the above-mentioned separation from Spain. However, Judaeo-Spanish has also undergone independent new formations, semantic shifts, and


 Haralambos Symeonidis

transformations of (Old) Spanish based on its vocabulary, among others through word-formation processes. Word creations like komania ‘food’ or malanyos ‘years of misfortune’ seem to be found throughout the Judaeo-Spanish vocabulary (see Section 2.4). Judaeo-Spanish has come in contact with other languages that were spoken before exiled Jews settled in the same territory. This means that a multitude of loanwords have been incorporated into Judaeo-Spanish from other languages, such as Hebrew and Arabic; other Romance languages, especially Italian and French; and many Balkan languages, mostly Turkish and Greek. As pointed out by Gabinskij (2011, 164), in the area of the lexicon, Judaeo-Spanish is characterized by the preservation of a significant portion of the basic vocabulary of the Spanish of the late 15th century, which is also well preserved in Spain to the present day. Thanks to this – and to shared properties in the area of grammar – communication between speakers of both varieties is almost possible without an interpreter. The common ground of Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish was reinforced by the incorporation of special loanwords for abstract concepts during the 19th and 20th centuries. These loanwords belong to the general Romance and, more broadly, the international vocabulary, the specific language source of which cannot usually be determined. Nevertheless, there is considerable variation in the range of vocabulary between Judaeo-Spanish and Spanish, due to the loss of some of the words from the Spanish of the 15th century in Judaeo-Spanish. Furthermore, still following Gabinskij (2011, 164), the semantic change in some of the words preserved in one of the two varieties, the existence of different derivatives of the same root, as well as the loanwords from different languages separate Judaeo-Spanish and Spanish from each other. This chapter deals with the different layers of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon. Section 2 focuses on the Old Spanish basis of Judaeo-Spanish not only in terms of the preservation and loss of original vocabulary but also considering semantic change and innovation through word formation. Section 3 deals with lexical borrowing from other Romance languages (Portuguese, Italian, French, Modern Spanish) as well as from Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, and Slavic languages. The chapter closes in Section 4 with a brief summary and outlook.

2 The Old Spanish basis of Judaeo-Spanish The grammar of Judaeo-Spanish ( 18 The morphology of Judaeo-Spanish; 19 The syntax of Judaeo-Spanish), its phonology ( 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish), and its core vocabulary (approx. 60% of its total vocabulary) are basically Castilian; this is to be expected from a variety of Castilian. Although there are many debates about whether Judaeo-Spanish should be considered a dialect or a language, one should admit that here we are dealing with a variety of Spanish, as many other Spanish varieties across the world. In some respects it resembles southern and South American varieties

20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon 


of Spanish rather than the central peninsular variety of Spanish itself: for example, it exhibits both yeísmo and seseo.1 In the area of the traditional vocabulary, Gabinskij (2011, 165) observes what he calls an asymmetry: the intelligibility of a fairly large part of what is said by Spanish Jews on the part of a Spanish speaker produces in the latter the impression of a greater similarity between the two varieties than is indeed the case. Judaeo-Spanish often preserves only a small number of synonyms or – in the case of polysemy – a smaller number of meanings of given words than the speaker of Modern Spanish can understand. In contrast, some words that exist in Spanish are incomprehensible for a Judaeo-Spanish speaker because they were not inherited in Judaeo-Spanish. For example, in Spanish there are two words with the meaning ‘never’ – nunca and jamás – whereas in Judaeo-Spanish only nunka has been preserved with this meaning. In Spanish there are responder and contestar for the meaning ‘to answer’, while there is only (ar)responder in Judaeo-Spanish (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 165). The following discussion will first look at the preservation of Old Spanish words (both in form and in meaning, Section 2.1) and then turn to semantic change (Section 2.2), the loss of vocabulary (Section 2.3), and new word formations (Section 2.4).

2.1 Preservation of form and meaning of Old Spanish words There is a considerable number of cases of maintenance of not only the meaning but also the form of Old Spanish words in Judaeo-Spanish. The following are some examples of words that were lost in Spanish but maintained in Judaeo-Spanish: agora ‘now’, agro ‘sour’, agomitar2 ‘to vomit’, alkunya ‘family name’, amatar3 ‘to wipe off, to kill’, ambezar ‘to teach’ (< O. Sp. abezar), ansi ‘so’, anyada ‘year’, atorgar ‘to recognize’, aturar~turar ‘to last’, avagar ‘slowly’, bivienda ‘drink’ (< O. Sp. bevienda), botika ‘shop’, biervo ‘word’, defender ‘to prohibit’, espesiero ‘pharmacist’, estonses ‘then’, flama ‘flame’, fraguar ‘to build’, gameyo ‘camel’, guerko ‘devil’, kaler ‘to be necessary’, kazal ‘village’, koda ‘tail’, konducho ‘food, stock’, konortar ‘to comfort’, kovdo ‘ellbow, kulevro ‘snake’, lamber ‘to lick’, longo ‘long’, man(d)zía ‘grief’, melezina ‘medicine’, membrar(se) ‘to remember’, mentar ‘to call’, nasensia ‘birth’, ofrir ‘to suggest’, palomba ‘pigeon’, pezgado ‘heavy’, pre(y)a 1 Yeísmo is the lack of distinction between the palatal fricative /ʝ/ and the palatal lateral /ʎ/, traditionally spelled and , respectively ( 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). Seseo is a term designating the merger of the two Old Spanish sibilants spelled / and into one phoneme /s/. Seseo is one of the characteristics indicating the common time period with Latin American Spanish varieties when Sephardic Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula and Spanish colonization started in Latin America, expanding Spanish culture and language in the New World ( 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). 2 Gomitar seems to be an equivalent form for vomitar ‘to vomit’ in Medieval Spanish (cf. DCECH 5, 842), here with the prothesis of a- typical for many words at that time. 3 Amatar is a variant of Old Spanish matar ‘to kill’ with the prothesis of a-.


 Haralambos Symeonidis

‘theft, prey’, servisial ‘servant’, véndida ‘sale’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 169–170; Varol Bornes 2008, 292–294). As Gabinskij (2011, 170) notes, such words, together with a number of phonetic features, contributed to characterizing the language of the Sephardic Jews as Old Spanish. In other cases, both Judaeo-Spanish and Spanish have preserved Old Spanish lexical material, but only Judaeo-Spanish has preserved the original meaning: J.-Sp. afeitar ‘to put in order, to fix’ (Sp. ‘to shave’), J.-Sp. afinar ‘to weaken’ (Sp. ‘to tune, fine tune’), J.-Sp. barragán ‘brave, strong’ (Sp. ‘bachelor’), J.-Sp. parientes ‘parents’ (Sp. ‘relatives’), among others (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 169).

2.2 Semantic change There is also a series of words from Old Spanish that have changed their meaning in Judaeo-Spanish completely, mostly through metonymy: J.-Sp. echo ‘ready’, (originally ‘done, mature, similar’), rio ‘sea, lake’ (originally ‘river’), yelada ‘ice’ (originally ‘frost’),4 aire ‘wind’ (originally ‘air’),5 redoma ‘bottle’ (originally ‘flask’), ora ‘clock’ (originally ‘hour’), eskapar ‘discontinue, stop’ (originally ‘to escape’), paja ‘hay’ (originally ‘straw’), espiga ‘corn’ (originally ‘spike’). There are other words whose meaning has changed but are more transparent for speakers of Spanish: arrematar ‘to leave’ (originally ‘to terminate’), atravesar ‘to vomit’ (originally ‘to cross, to traverse’), boda ‘holiday’ (originally ‘wedding’), engrandeser ‘to raise’ (originally ‘to enlarge’) (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 168–169). According to Harris (1994, 86), “[s]emantic alterations include those words which are semantically altered by frequently giving them a different meaning from the original.” Indeed, the meaning of a word can be altered after being used consistently in a new context by the users of a specific language community. Some examples of words with meanings altered from the original Old Spanish ones (cf. Harris 1994, 86) include topar ‘to meet’ (originally meaning ‘to butt, run into’), baldar ‘to hang’ (originally meaning ‘to cripple, incapacitate’), and mankar ‘to lack’ (originally meaning ‘to maim, cripple’)6 (cf. DCECH 5, 547–548; 1, 472–473; 3, 797). Another type of semantic shift arises from speakers not knowing the original meaning of a word. For example, in the Judaeo-Spanish of Constantinople and in the communities in Bulgaria, teralanya~tiralanya (from O. Sp. tela (de) araña > telaraña, composed of tela ‘web’ and araña ‘spider’) means not only ‘spider web’ but also the ‘spider’ itself, which is araña in Spanish, a word unknown to the Jews of Constantinople 4 Antonio de Nebrija admits Old Spanish ielada as a synonym for ielo ‘ice’ (cf. DCECH 3, 353). This means that here one is dealing with preservation of one of the original preexisting meanings that completely replaced the meaning of ‘frost’. 5 Corominas (DCECH 1, 91) indicates that the meaning ‘wind’ existed in some Romance varieties of the Peninsula close to the Pyrenees, considering it an influence from Romance varieties of eastern France. 6 Unless this meaning was taken from Italian, Catalan, or French.

20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon 


(cf. Harris 1994, 86). This semantic alteration may have been the result of the language contact between Greek and Judaeo-Spanish in the Greek-speaking context, as the Greek word αράχνη for ‘spider’ can also be used for ‘spider web’. The Judaeo-Spanish descendant of the O. Sp. word telaraña ‘spider web’ had obviously become intransparent in the Judaeo-Spanish of Constantinople and in the communities of Bulgaria and gained the additional meaning ‘spider’ following the Greek model. In the Sephardic community of Veroia (Greece), the language contact yielded another result: aranya is the ‘spider web’ and the animal got the newly formed name aranyero (arany(a) + suffix -ero; cf. Wagner 1930, 26–27, mentioned by Harris 1994, 86; see Section 2.4 for similar formations).

2.3 Losses in the lexicon from Old Spanish to Judaeo-Spanish The loss of vocabulary in the passage from Old Spanish to Judaeo-Spanish affects, among others, a series of pronouns, other anaphoric elements and quantifiers, as shown by Gabinskij (2011, 165–168), who provides, among others, the examples listed in Table 1 (for the sake of completeness, the lost words are presented together with their substitutes of diverse origin): Table 1: Loss of Old Spanish vocabulary (1). (Old) Spanish

substituted in J.-Sp. by

ese ‘this (one)’ algo ‘something’ alguien ‘someone’ cuyo ‘whose, of which’ nadie ‘nobody’ ambos ‘both of them’ varios ‘several’ todavía, aún ‘yet, still’

este ‘this (one)’7 alguna koza (lit. ‘some thing’) alguno del kual ninguno los dos, todos en una munchos (var. of muchos ‘many’) ainda, dainda (from Port., see 3.1)

In a number of cases the loss of words is compensated by the formation of equivalent paraphrases (see Table 2; cf. Gabinskij 2011, 166):

7 It seems that the Spanish system with three different demonstratives (este, ese, and aquel), the use of which depends on the distance between the speaker and the indicated thing/person, has been simplified to este and akel in Judaeo-Spanish (like in French, Italian, and Catalan). Note however, that Crews (1935, 76) mentions some examples with the use of the feminine esa in Judaeo-Spanish of Thessaloniki (“Esa no kería favlar”), which can be considered an influence from Modern Spanish (also cf. Gabinskij 2011, 165).


 Haralambos Symeonidis

Table 2: Loss of Old Spanish vocabulary (2). (Old) Spanish

substituted in J.-Sp. by

devolver ‘to return’ fingir ‘to pretend’ llover ‘to rain’ nevar ‘to snow’

dar atrás (lit. ‘to give backwards’) azerse del . . . (lit. ‘to make oneself of the . . .’) kaer or azer lluvia ‘to fall/to make rain’ kaer or azer nieve ‘to fall/to make snow’

Many prepositions have also been lost and substituted by either old synonyms or other lexical material including loanwords: Sp. durante (J.-Sp. mientres) ‘during’, Sp. acerca de (J.-Sp. sovre) ‘about’, Sp. hacia (J.-Sp. verso, from It., see 3.2) ‘to, toward’. Conjunctions have also been lost: Sp. pero (J.-Sp. ma, probably from It., but see Section 3.2) ‘but’, Sp. aunque (J.-Sp. mizmo ke, malgrado ke) ‘although’. Furthermore, many adjectives have not survived in Judaeo-Spanish: Sp. pequeño (J.-Sp. chiko) ‘small’, Sp. rojo (J.-Sp. kolorado, korolado) ‘red’, Sp. azul (J.-Sp. blu, maví) ‘blue’, Sp. espeso (J.-Sp. godro) ‘thick, dense’, Sp. feliz, afortunado (J.-Sp. mazalozo, from Heb., see Section 3.5; orozo, from Fr., see Section 3.3; kontente, from Port., see Section 3.1) ‘happy’, Sp. listo (J.-Sp. pronto) ‘ready’, Sp. enfermo (J.-Sp. hazino, from Ar.) ‘ill, sick’, Sp. maduro (J.-Sp. echo) ‘ripe’, Sp. débil (J.-Sp. flako) ‘weak’, among others (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 166). Many terms for body parts were lost while they survived in Spanish: Sp. costado (J.-Sp. lado) ‘side (of the body)’, Sp. mejilla (J.-Sp. kara) ‘cheek’, Sp. rodilla (J.-Sp. djinoyo, dis, from Turk., see Section 3.7) ‘knee’, Sp. piel (J.-Sp. kuero) ‘skin’, etc. In the terms for common conditions and states, one has Sp. fiebre (J.-Sp. frio) ‘fever, chills’, Sp. silencio (J.-Sp. kayadés) ‘silence’, Sp. miedo, susto (J.-Sp. espanto) ‘fright’, and Sp. lástima (J.-Sp. pekado) ‘pity’, among others. Likewise, the terms for general concepts and values include Sp. necesidad (J.-Sp. menester) ‘need’, Sp. tamaño (J.-Sp. grandura) ‘size’, Sp. objeto, propósito (J.-Sp. buto, from Fr., see Section 3.3) ‘objective, goal’, Sp. minuto (J.-Sp. punto) ‘minute’, Sp. fecha (J.-Sp. data) ‘date’, and Sp. medida (J.-Sp. mezura) ‘measure’. Regarding social roles and relationships, some of the relevant terms are Sp. padres (J.-Sp. djenitores, from It., see Section 3.2; parientes) ‘parents’, Sp. soltero (J.-Sp. mansevo) ‘single, bachelor’, Sp. señorita (J.-Sp. matmazél, madmazél, from Fr., see Section 3.3) ‘miss, girl’, Sp. dueño (J.-Sp. patron, from Fr.) ‘host, householder’, Sp. juventud (J.-Sp. manseves) ‘youth’, Sp. habitante (J.-Sp. morador) ‘inhabitant’, Sp. apellido (J.-Sp. alkunya, see Section 2.1) ‘surname’, Sp. alumno (J.-Sp. elevo, from Fr., see Section 3.3) ‘student’, Sp. barbero (J.-Sp. arrapador, berber) ‘hairdresser’, Sp. obrero (J.-Sp. lavorador) ‘worker’, Sp. campesino (J.-Sp. kazalino) ‘farmer’, and Sp. criado (J.-Sp. moso, servisial) ‘servant’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 166–167).

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2.4 New word formations As is the case with every language, Judaeo-Spanish has been applying different processes to express new concepts in life. Apart from borrowing words from other languages (see Section 2.3 and, in particular, Section 3), it also has the creativity to form new words based on its own lexical and morphological elements. Examples of these creations include komania ‘food’ < komer ‘to eat’ + -ia (a nominalizing suffix) and malanyos ‘years of misfortune’ < mal ‘bad’ + anyos ‘years’. Due to the absence of communication with the Iberian Peninsula and the lack of standardization of the language, Judaeo-Spanish developed many formations of new words in analogy to existing words with certain suffixes. Below are some examples: orasyonar ‘to pray’ < orasyon ‘prayer’ + -ar (infinitive ending) azetunal ‘olive tree’ < azetuna ‘olive’ + -al (noun suffix) provedad ‘poverty’ < prove ‘poor’ + -dad (noun suffix) justedad ‘justice’ < justo ‘just, right’ + -dad (noun suffix) aboresyon ‘hate’ < aborreser ‘to hate’ + -syon (noun suffix) muchachez ‘youth’ < muchacho ‘boy’ + -ez (noun suffix) malazedor ‘wrongdoer’ < maldad ‘evil’ + -dor (noun suffix) mankanza ‘lack’ < manko ‘defective’ + -anza (noun suffix) merkida ‘buying, purchasing’ < merkar ‘to buy’ + -ida (noun suffix) tadrada ‘afternoon’ < tadre ‘late’ + -ada (noun suffix) For these and more examples, see Harris (1994, 84–85).

3 Lexical borrowing Living in new places and coexisting with other cultures, religions, and languages led to the incorporation of numerous loanwords from other languages, which are the focus of this section. In principle, another stratum of contact-induced lexical interferences must be distinguished from real loanwords: Sephardic communities across the Mediterranean consisted of a diverse population coming from different parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Even if one could differentiate among synagogues due to their names being based on the relevant region or city of the Iberian Peninsula, the Sephardic population was mixed up within those communities, where the Old Castilian basis was enriched with elements from other Ibero-Romance varieties. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between Castilian and influences from other historic dialects, especially because most of those varieties were even closer to each other in the Middle Ages than they are today. This led to processes of “koineization” and “dialect leveling”, which are discussed in 11 The formation and development of Judaeo-Spanish and are not included here,


 Haralambos Symeonidis

although some brief remarks are made in Section 3.1 on Portuguese. Such issues do not arise for the other Romance contact languages (Italian, French, Modern Spanish) that are treated in Sections 3.2–3.4, nor for the non-Romance contact languages (Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, Slavic) discussed in Sections 3.5–3.9.

3.1 Portuguese From the relics of the Old Spanish time and Spanish dialectal elements, it is difficult to reliably identify Portuguese loanwords based on objective criteria. For example, agora ‘now’, which can be regarded as coming from Old Spanish agora, also exists in Asturian, Galician, and Portuguese. Sometimes, of course, one can exclude Old Spanish, as is the case for J.-Sp. burako ‘hole’ (also see aburakar ‘to perforate’), which was huraco, horaco in O. Sp. However, it is difficult to give a concrete source, as exactly the same buraco exists in Asturian, Galician, and Portuguese. In the case of the frequent ainda ‘yet, still’, it is phonetically difficult to exclude the Galician or the Portuguese origin. Only the larger proportion of speakers of Portuguese (compared to the Galician and the Spanish dialects) in the events of 1492–1497 as well as in the 15th century allows one to detect elements of Portuguese origin in these words (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 171). These would then not qualify as loanwords in a strict sense (see the introductory remarks to this chapter). However, Portuguese also played a role in later times (cf. Quintana 2006, 242), so one cannot really determine the period in which the words became part of Judaeo-Spanish. Some examples of words with Portuguese origin are given by Gabinskij (2011, 171) and Quintana (2006, 242ss.): akavidar ‘to warn, to notify’, alfinete ‘pin’, amanyana ‘tomorrow’, anojar ‘to annoy’, bater ‘to beat’, chape(y)o ‘cap, hat’, embirrarse ‘to be stubborn, to oppose’, fadario ‘lot, fate’, fronya ‘pillowcase’, kontente ‘pleased, satisfied’, mesherikar ‘to talk in confidence’, preto ‘black’, ranyo ‘snot’, rengrasiar ‘to thank’, reskaldo ‘heat, glow’. Furthermore, one sometimes observes a blend of Spanish and Portuguese words: bunyeka ‘doll’ (Sp. muñeca + Port. boneca), entremientres ‘meanwhile’ (Sp. mientras + Port. entrementes).

3.2 Italian It can be difficult to distinguish Italian words from the ones inherited from Old Spanish based on their form. In cases like eskola ‘school’ (for Sp. escuela), the reason for this is the phonetic approximation toward Italian (see the older and dialectal form scola) due to a Judaeo-Spanish development (cf. Wagner 1914, 151; Gabinskij 2011, 171, namely the reduction of diphthongs; 17 Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish). One is dealing here with a vocabulary from two Romance languages at a different historical stage in which phonetic similarities and own phonetic developments can coincide in a significant way.

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Notwithstanding this caveat, a myriad of Italian loanwords can be identified in Judaeo-Spanish. Some examples of these are achetar ‘to accept’, adío ‘goodbye’, blu ‘blue’, dechidir ‘to decide’, difichile ‘difficult’, en detalyo ‘in detail’, fachile ‘easy’, fortuna ‘storm,  whirlwind’, djenitores ‘parents’, impiegado ‘employee’, kapache ‘capable’, kapo ‘boss, leader’, komunitá ‘community’, kualunde ‘any’, lavoro ‘work’, malgrado ke ‘although’, nona ‘grandmother’, penserio ‘thought’, pranso ‘lunch’, prechizo ‘exact’, reushir ‘to succeed’, reushitá ‘success’, ríziko ‘risk’, sémpliche ‘simple’, treno ‘train’, valija ‘suitcase’, and verso ‘toward’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 171; Varol Bornes 2008, 376–385). In dunke ‘so, therefore’ one is probably dealing with a portmanteau: It. dunque + Fr. donc. In other cases, more than one etymological explanation is possible: ma ‘but’ may stem from It. ma, from Gr. μα, or from Turk. ama, all meaning ‘but’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 171–172).

3.3 French One of the languages that had a great influence on Judaeo-Spanish is French. At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, French was broadly considered the language of the cultured and many Jews had been students of the schools of the Alliance Israélite Universelle. However, this influence cannot be observed in colloquial and spoken Judaeo-Spanish but rather in written Judaeo-Spanish, especially in the language of the newspapers (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 172). Many of the French loanwords can also be found in other languages. Examples of French loanwords include amator ‘lover, amateur’, banker ‘banker’, buto ‘target’, dama ‘wife’, elektrisité ‘electricity’, elevo ‘pupil’, envelop~anvelop ‘envelope’, esklavaje ‘slavery’, kompozar ‘to compose, to write’, konjé ‘vacation’, kreón ‘pencil’, lampa ‘lamp’, letra ‘letter’, madam ‘madam’, matmazel~madmuazel ‘miss’, orozo ‘happy’, paltó ‘coat’, pardon ‘pardon’, posedar ‘to own’, prononsar ‘to pronounce’, pudra ‘powder’, regretar ‘to regret’, respektar ‘to respect’, serkolio ‘coffin’, seriozo ‘serious’, and suetar ‘to wish’ (cf. Varol Bornes 2008, 356–376; Gabinskij 2011, 172–173).

3.4 Loanwords from Modern Spanish and internationalisms What has been said in Section 2 about the distinction between the Spanish and the Judaeo-Spanish vocabulary of today does not apply to all areas of Judaeo-Spanish. There are currently hundreds of speakers of both Judaeo-Spanish and Modern Spanish living in Israel, with the latter belonging to the group of repatriated Jews from Latin America. In Israel there are number of radio broadcasts in both varieties and satellite television programming is also widely known. Hence, Judaeo-Spanish speakers are often unable to distinguish between the two varieties and the incorporation of elements of Modern Spanish is inevitable. It is not surprising to observe words like Usted ‘you (courtesy


 Haralambos Symeonidis

form)’, durante ‘during’, aún ‘yet, still’, and minuto ‘minute’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 170; Quintana 1999, 596–601). With the presence of newspapers, magazines, and radio programs in Judaeo-Spanish, recent decades reveal the incorporation of a multitude of words that are common to all Romance languages and can largely be considered as generally European (internationalisms). These elements refer to abstract vocabulary: aktividad ‘activity’, apartener ‘to belong’, eksperiensa ‘experience’, elemento ‘element’, espesial ‘special’, importante ‘important’, interesante ‘interesting’, kestion ‘matter, question’, komunidad ‘community’, konsideravlamente ‘considerably’, kultural ‘cultural’, partisipar ‘to participate’, reflektar ‘to reflect’, reprezentar ‘to represent’, sentenario ‘century’, sírkulo ‘circle’, sientífico ‘scientific’, término ‘appointment’, terreno ‘territory, terrain’, ultimamente ‘recently’. Furthermore, there is a series of nouns ending in -(a)sion: dekolonizasion ‘decolonization’, revolusion ‘revolution’, version ‘version’, etc. Some of the modern loanwords change their form when incorporated into Judaeo-Spanish: sirkonstensia (Sp. circunstancia) ‘circumstance’, despasensia (Sp. impaciencia) ‘impatience’, dezenvelopamiento (Sp. desarrollo) ‘development’, etc. (Gabinskij 2011, 173).

3.5 Hebrew As Gabinskij (2011, 174) points out, there was already an abundance of Hebrew words in the Spanish language of the Jews in the era before their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula. These words were related to specific terms of the Jewish religion and way of life. The following Hebrew words have been preserved in Judaeo-Spanish up to the present day: berahá ‘blessing’, El ‘God’, El Hay ‘living God’, galút ‘Diaspora’, ganéden ‘paradise, garden of Eden’, ginám ‘hell’, goél ‘savior, Messiah’, hahám ‘rabbi, savant’, hazán ‘cantor’, kal, keilá ‘synagogue’, maláh ‘angel’, mi(t)svá ‘good action’, sedaká, sidaká ‘alms, charity’, shabá(t) ‘Sabbath’, ta(a)nít ‘fast’, tefilá ‘prayer’, among others. Furthermore, the names of Jewish holidays have also been preserved: Hanuká ‘Hanukka’, Pésah ‘Passover’, Purím ‘Purim’, Roshashana ‘Rosh Hashana’, etc. (cf. Harris 1994, 97; Gabinskij 2011, 174). From the Bible there are Hebrew male names traditionally used among the Judaeo-Spanish population: Avra(á)m, Yoséf, Moshé, Shaúl, David, Shelomó, etc. However, this is not the case with female names, which are usually Spanish: Buena ‘the Good one’, Alegra ‘the Cheerful’, Estreya ‘Star’, Roza ‘Rose’, etc. (Gabinskij 1999). There are also Hebrew loanwords not directly related to religion: benadám ‘human being’, beemá ‘animal’, garón ‘throat’, hamór ‘donkey’ (azno from O. Sp. also exists), havér ‘partner’, henozo ‘nice, pretty’, hupá ‘Hebrew wedding’, kafrar ‘to quarrel’, kavod ‘honor, reputation’, kéver ‘grave’, malzin ‘informer, slanderer’, mamzér ‘bastard’, mazál ‘fate, fortune’ (with the derivatives mazalozo, dezmazalado), mishhapá ‘family’, neemán ‘reliable, devoted’, séhel ‘mind, brain’, sehurá ‘annoyance, sorrow’ (cf. Varol Bornes 2008, 326–340; Harris 1994, 98; Gabinskij 2011, 174).

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Finally, it is worth mentioning that there is also a Hebrew suffix -ut for deriving abstract nouns, which is sometimes used with non-Hebrew words as in haraganút ‘laziness’ (from Sp. haragán ‘lazy’); see Gabinskij (2011, 174). For more on Hebrew loanwords, see Bunis (1993).

3.6 Arabic There were many Arabic loanwords in the Old Spanish vocabulary while the Sephardic people were still in the Iberian Peninsula (cf. Bumaschny 1968, 9). However, few have been preserved since their expulsion. One of these Arabic loanwords is alhád ‘Sunday’, which was already borrowed in the Iberian Peninsula to replace the Christian word domingo (< dies dominicus ‘day of the Lord’). From the same period one also has the words shara ‘forest’, lemunyo ‘grief’, etc. There is also a series of Arabic loanwords that came into Judaeo-Spanish from the Turkish language and are therefore considered as borrowings that did not enter into Judaeo-Spanish from direct language contact with Arabic (cf. Harris 1994, 100; Gabinskij 2011, 175; also see Hassan 1963, 178). One must distinguish between the Judaeo-Spanish of the Balkans and that of the communities in the Orient and in North Africa (Hakitia), where the language contact between Judaeo-Spanish and Arabic was intense ( 13 Geographic distribution and varieties of Judaeo-Spanish). While Judaeo-Spanish in the Balkans adopted many of the Arabic loanwords through Turkish, the other varieties borrowed words from Arabic directly. Those loanwords mainly refer to fields such as botany, agriculture, commerce, industry, mathematics, and science as well as to household words for furniture and utensils (cf. Molho 1961, 65). Examples from Harris (1994, 100) include alforria ‘liberty’, almenara ‘light, lantern’,8 kadi ‘Turkish judge or religious authority’,9 tarifa ‘tarif’, and the interjection guay ‘ow, woe’, but see the discussion in DECLC 1, 822.

3.7 Turkish The strongest external influence on Judaeo-Spanish vocabulary comes from the Turkish language. The Turkish words originate from the contact between Judaeo-Spanish and Turkish in the colloquial language and they are mainly found in the Judaeo-Spanish communities of the Balkans. Most of those loanwords refer to Turkish dishes, drinks, clothing, customs, and the like (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 175).

8 This word has conserved the present-day meaning of ‘lamp’. There is a similarity in the form of almenara and the Hebrew word menora ‘candelabra of seven branches’. This might have reinforced the use of almenara in Judaeo-Spanish according to Díaz-Mas (1986, 108). Cf. Harris (1994, 313, note 26). 9 Along with this word, there is also the Spanish word juez and the Hebrew dayan (cf. Harris 1994, 100).


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Due to the coexistence of many languages in the Balkans, many Jews and non-Jews were bilingual or multilingual. This sometimes led to linguistic confusion. Baruch (1935, 177) distinguishes between expressions that were used by the Jews who also spoke other local languages (code-switching) and the ones that are integral parts of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon (borrowing) and replaced the pre-existing Spanish vocabulary. Renard (1966, 132) estimates the number of Turkish loanwords and expressions in Judaeo-Spanish at around two thousand and situates them mainly in the administrative and commercial areas. Because Sephardic Jews used to live in their own neighborhoods, their relationships with the other religious and ethnic groups was limited to administration and commerce. Judaeo-Spanish actually shares Turkish vocabulary with other Balkan peoples. However, according to Wagner (1930, 39) and Renard (1966, 133), Turkish elements in Judaeo-Spanish are less numerous than in other Balkan languages. Some of the most common Turkish words in Judaeo-Spanish are adjidearse de ‘to have pity with’, aharvar ‘to beat’, bairam ‘feast at the end of Ramadan’, batearse ‘to sink’, beklear ‘to guard, to protect’, bozear ‘to spoil, to ruin’, buchúk ‘twin’, chapachulo ‘dirty slob’, chatladear ‘to burst’, damlá ‘drop’, dilendjí ‘destitute’, dis ‘knee’, embatakar ‘to soil’, djomerto ‘generous’, kabá ‘coarse’, karishterear ‘to stir, to mix’, kondjá ‘rose’, kudrearse ‘to fool around’, kuvá ‘bucket’, muslúk ‘faucet’, nobét ‘supervision’, olmás ‘impossible’, pará ‘coin’, parás ‘money’, samán ‘straw’, seklearse ‘to grieve’, shukúr ‘thank you’, utí ‘iron’, uiderear ‘to set up’, yuláf ‘oat’, and yuvá ‘nest’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 175–176; also see Harris 1994, 110–111).10 According to Sala (1970, 149–150), there is an interesting phenomenon with terms referring to plants. The lexicon for cereals, common fruit-bearing trees, fruits, and vegetables in Judaeo-Spanish comes from Old Spanish: trigo ‘wheat’, pera ‘pear’, sereza ‘cherry’, pimienta ‘pepper’, etc. The other Balkan languages also conserve their own terms for these plants and fruits. However, most of the terms for exotic, ornamental, or nourishing plants come from Turkish in Judaeo-Spanish as well as in other Balkan languages. One must consider here that most of the Jews who settled in the Ottoman Empire were originally from cities where this kind of vocabulary referring to plants was lacking (cf. Harris 1994, 111). In the fields of religion and intellectual life, the Turkish influence is not that strong in either Judaeo-Spanish or the other Balkan languages. This is in part because contact between the minorities and the other Balkan religious and ethnic groups was limited to commercial and administrative relations and also because the interference of Turks in the religious life of the minorities was very limited (cf. Harris 1994, 111). For more on the Turkish influence on Judaeo-Spanish, see Danon (1903–1904; 1913), Quintana (2006, 267), and Varol Bornes (2008, 452–463).

10 Some Turkish loanwords have been replaced by borrowings from Romance languages, especially in communities outside Turkey: bairák replaced by bandera ‘flag’, dikát replaced by atension ‘attention’, djep replaced by aldikera ‘bag’, etc. (Gabinskij 2011, 175).

20 The Judaeo-Spanish lexicon 


3.8 Greek The Greek influence on Judaeo-Spanish is limited to the Sephardic communities across the Balkans  – mainly the ones in Greece and Turkey. It is difficult to differentiate between the direct borrowings from Greek and the ones that belong to the general Greek influence on the Balkan languages, as the Greek language has played an important role in the Balkans. In the Roman Empire, Latin was the administrative language, which persisted alongside Greek in the Eastern Roman Empire even after the division of the Empire in 395. In fact, Latin remained a second language in addition to Greek, whose speakers always felt culturally superior. Since the Hellenistic Period, Greek had remained a widespread language of education and a lingua franca in addition to the indigenous languages. In the Balkans, Greek was spoken next to Thracian, Eastern varieties of Vulgar Latin (from which Daco- and the Megleno-Romanian were later formed), and – after the 6th century – Slavic languages. During the Byzantine Empire, no central church language was established and regional languages were tolerated. Due to the limited centralizing force of the Greek cultural space, Greek has not developed new autonomous Greek languages and cultures; however, its importance as a cultural influence in the region has been immense. For this historical background, see Symeonidis (2002, 59–60); for more information about the importance of the Greek language in the Balkans, see also Dietrich (1995). Baruch (1935, 177) claims that the Greek influence on Judaeo-Spanish is not as profound as the Turkish one, although he admits that contact between Jews and Greeks was very frequent during the centuries of coexistence in the Ottoman Empire. However, contact between Spanish-speaking and Greek-speaking Jews in some places like Thessaloniki must have been more intense than some linguists believe.11 In other Judaeo-Spanish communities in the northern part of the Balkans where Slavic languages were more dominant, there are fewer Greek loanwords (Harris 1994, 118). The following terms are some of the Greek borrowings in Judaeo-Spanish: avrámila ‘plum’ (from Gr. αβράμηλο ‘mirabelle plum’, alongside zirguela in the meaning of ‘prune’), eskombrí ‘herring’ (Gr. σκουμπρί), eskularicha ‘earring’ (Gr. σκουλαρίκι), fiongo ‘bow’ (Gr. φιόγκος), katóy ‘cellar, basement’ (Gr. κατόι), klisá ‘church’ (Gr. εκκλησία), mana ‘mother’ (Gr. μάνα), nikochir ‘landlord’ (Gr. νοικοκύρης), palamida ‘skipjack’ (Gr. παλαμίδα), paparuna ‘poppy’ (Gr. παπαρούνα), papás ‘priest’ (Gr. παπάς), papú ‘grandfather’ (Gr. παππούς), pirón ‘fork’ (Gr. πιρούνι), prostela ‘apron’ (Gr. προστέλα), trandafila ‘rose’ (Gr. τριαντάφυλλο); see Gabinskij (2011, 176), who observes that it is probable 11 According to Symeonidis (2002, 58), upon the arrival of the first Spanish Jews in Thessaloniki there were already some small communities of Jews from Central Europe and Romaniotes, Jews of Greek origin. These Jews undoubtedly came in contact with the Jews expelled from Spain after the arrival of the latter in Thessaloniki. Romaniotes, who were proficient in the Greek language, helped their brothers in faith in their adaptation to the new environment, as they represented the closest standing caregivers to all Jewish newcomers.


 Haralambos Symeonidis

that the particle na in Judaeo-Spanish was borrowed from Greek. For more examples of borrowings from the Greek language, see Harris (1994, 118–119) and Symeonidis (2002, 211–234; 2000). Some older Greek loanwords came into Judaeo-Spanish through the Hebrew of the Talmud, e.g., avér ‘air’ and apotripós ‘guardian’. There are also some specific JewishRomance elements that come from Greek, such as meldar ‘to read’ (< Judaeo-Lat.: meletare < Gr.: μελετᾶν), which also means ‘Jewish elementary school’ (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 176).

3.9 Slavic The Slavic influence, apart from the South Slavic territories, is insignificant. All those borrowings are related to the South Slavic reality, such as vladika ‘bishop’ and voivoda ‘prince’. Some of the Slavic words that are also known outside those territories are bik ‘bull’ (in the areas where buey has been lost), slama ‘straw’ (in the areas where paja took the meaning of ‘hay’; cf. 2.2), guzga ‘goose’, and rizá ‘cloth’12 (cf. Gabinskij 2011, 177).

4 Summary and outlook A main characteristic of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon is its largest portion being based on Castilian and Ibero-Romance origin. This makes it extremely important and interesting for linguists who deal with diachronic aspects of Spanish, as it reflects earlier stages of Spanish vocabulary and its phonetics. On the one hand, specific Judaeo-Spanish new word formations based on the common Old Spanish lexical and morphological elements illustrate the vitality of Judaeo-Spanish as a Castilian variety independent of the peninsular development of Spanish, as many other Spanish varieties preserve Old Spanish lexical elements in their original form and meaning. On the other hand, the lexical elements inherited from Old Spanish show semantic changes, reflecting the adjustment of Judaeo-Spanish to the new environments in which its speakers had to live after their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula. The new geographical and cultural contexts also led to the incorporation of a myriad of loanwords from other languages. Modern Spanish also played a role in the shape of loanwords that were introduced to Judaeo-Spanish, mainly during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. An important but small part of Sephardic vocabulary that deals with religion and traditions based on Jewish heritage comes from Hebrew. The Arabic influence is stronger in the communities of North Africa than in the Balkans due to their substantial pres-

12 Regarding this semantic shift and the different use of the Spanish and Slavic borrowings in Judaeo-Spanish, see Sala (1979, 915–916). Sala points out in this article that it is difficult to differentiate between the common Judaeo-Spanish and the dialectal lexicon due to the lack of reliable data.

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ence in North Africa. This does not mean that Arabic words did not enter Judaeo-Spanish in the Balkans, but they were mostly mediated through Turkish. Turkish itself provided many loanwords to Judaeo-Spanish in the Ottoman Empire, including the Balkans, constituting the greatest foreign influence on Judaeo-Spanish. This is unsurprising in light of the former status of Turkish as the official language of the Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, the strong presence of Greek throughout the centuries had a particularly substantial influence on the Judaeo-Spanish vocabulary in the Sephardic communities of the Balkan states and Asia Minor. Even after the Ottomans conquered the Byzantine Empire, Greek remained an important language for an extended period. This language contact was reinforced through the presence of Greek-speaking Jews who had been living in the region since Antiquity and who came into contact with the Jews arriving from the Iberian Peninsula. French and Italian loanwords seem to have penetrated the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon, especially during the 19th and 20th centuries when the Sephardic communities started orienting themselves toward Western Europe. French in particular seems to be dominant in written and not in spoken Judaeo-Spanish. Finally, the Slavic component of the Judaeo-Spanish lexicon is limited to the communities found in territories where Slavic languages were spoken, such as Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia.

References Baruch, Kalmi (1935), Les juifs balkaniques et leur langue, Revue internationale des études balkaniques 2, 173–179. Bumaschny, Perla (1968), La historia del ladino, Buenos Aires, Congreso Judío Mundial. Bunis, David M. (1993), A lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic elements in modern Judezmo, Jerusalem, Magnes. Bunis, David M. (ed.) (2000), Languages and Literatures of Sephardic and Oriental Jews. Proceedings of the sixth international congress for research on the Sephardi and Oriental Jewish heritage, Jerusalem, The Bialik Institute. Busse, Winfried/Studemund-Halevy, Michael (edd.) (2011), Lexicología y lexicografía judeoespañolas, Bern, Lang. Covarrubias Horozco, Sebastián de (2006), Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española. Edición integral e ilustrada de Ignacio Arellano y Rafael Zafra, Madrid, Iberoamericana. Crews, Cynthia M. (1935), Recherches sur le judéo-espagnol dans les pays balkaniques, Paris, Droz. Danon, Abraham (1903–1904), Essai sur les vocables turcs dans le judéo-espagnol, Keleti Szemle 4, 215–229; 5, 111–126. Danon, Abraham (1913), Le turc dans le judéo-espagnol, Bulletin Hispanique 29, 1–12. DCECH = Joan Corominas/José A. Pascual (1980–1991), Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico, 5 vol., Madrid, Gredos. DECLC = Coromines, Joan (1980–2001), Diccionari etimològic i complementari de la llengua catalana, 9 vol., Barcelona, Curial Edicions Catalanes. Díaz-Mas, Paloma (1986), Los sefardíes – historia, lengua y cultura, Barcelona, Riopiedras. Dietrich, Wolf (1995), Griechisch und Romanisch. Parallelen und Divergenzen in der Entwicklung. Variation und Strukturen, Münster, Nodus Publikationen.


 Haralambos Symeonidis

Gabinskij, Mark A. (1999), Metaphorische Homonymie zwischen Gattungs- und Eigennamen als Charakteristikum der weiblichen sephardischen Anthroponymie, Neue Romania 22 (=Judenspanisch IV), 71–88. Gabinskij, Mark A. (2011), Die sefardische Sprache, Tübingen, Stauffenburg. Harris, Tracy K. (1994), Death of a language. The history of Judeo-Spanish, Newark, University of Delaware Press. Hassan, Jacob. J. (1963), Perspectivas del judeo-español, Arbor 55, 175–184. Kraus, Karl (1951), Judeo-Spanish in Israel, Hispania 34, 261–270. Kraus, Karl (1952), El judeo-español en Israel, Boletín de filología (Montevideo) 7, 385–419. Molho, Isaac R. (1961), La terminologie arabe dans le vocabulaire judéo-espagnol, Tesoro de los judíos sefardíes 4, 65–68. Quintana, Aldina (1999), El proceso de recastillanización del judezmo, in: Judit Taragona Borrás/Ángel Sáenz-Badillos (edd.), Jewish Studies at the turn of the twentieth century, vol. II: Judaism from the Renaissance to Modern Times, Leiden/Boston/Cologne, Brill, 593–602. Quintana, Aldina (2006), Geografía lingüística del judeoespañol. Estudio sincrónico y diacrónico, Bern, Lang. Renard, Raymond (1966), Sépharad. Le monde et la langue judéo-espagnol des Séphardim, Mons, Annales Universitaires de Mons. Sala, Marius (1970), Elementos balcánicos del judeo-español, in: Marius Sala (ed.), Estudios sobre el judeoespañol de Bucarest, Mexico City, UNAM, 143–155. Sala, Marius (1979), Sobre el vocabulario del judeo-español, in: Manfred Höfler/Henri Vernay/Lothar Wolf (edd.), Festschrift Kurt Baldinger zum 60. Geburtstag, vol. 2, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 910–916. Spitzer, Leo (1944), Origen de las lenguas judeo-románicas, Judaica (Buenos Aires) 11, 175–187. Symeonidis, Haralambos (2000), Das Judenspanische von Thessaloniki im Kontakt mit dem Griechischen. Lexikalische Untersuchung zu den von Cynthia Crews durchgeführten Aufnahmen, in: Bruno Staib (ed.), Linguistica romanica et indiana. Festschrift für Wolf Dietrich zum 60. Geburtstag, Tübingen, Niemeyer, 443–452. Symeonidis, Haralambos (2002), Das Judenspanische von Thessaloniki. Beschreibung des Sephardischen im griechischen Umfeld, Bern, Lang. Varol Bornes, Marie-Christine (2008), Le judéo-espagnol vernaculaire d’Istanbul, Bern, Lang. Wagner, Max Leopold (1914), Beiträge zur Kenntnis des Judenspanischen von Konstantinopel, Vienna, Hölder. Wagner, Max Leopold (1930), Caracteres generales del judeo-español de Oriente, Madrid, Impr. de la Librería y casa editorial Hernando. Wexler, Paul (1996), The non-Jewish origins of the Sephardic Jews, Albany, State University of New York Press.

List of contributors Marcello Aprile is full professor of Italian linguistics at the University of Salento. He earned his doctorate with Max Pfister at the University of Saarland (Germany), where he worked for five years as a research assistant. He has written monographs, manuals, journal articles, and dictionary and encyclopedia entries on topics in historical linguistics, lexicography, lexicology, the language of mass media, dialectology and the language of ethnic and religious minorities. He edits the letter D of the Lessico Etimologico Italiano and is preparing an etymological dictionary of Judaeo-Italian varieties. His publications include Giovanni Brancati traduttore di Vegezio (Galatina 2001) and the Grammatica storica delle parlate giudeo-italiane (Galatina 2012). Joan A. Argenter is professor emeritus of General Linguistics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a fellow of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), whose Philological Section he presided from 1995 to 2002. He has held the UNESCO Chair on Linguistic and Cultural Diversity and has lectured at European and American universities, and he was a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests are linguistics, poetics, and language contact from a sociocultural perspective (linguistic ethnography, codeswitching, language maintenance, and shift). He has been involved in corpus language planning at the IEC and promoted, run, or participated in language revitalization projects in his capacity as UNESCO Chair. He is the author of the article Code-switching and Dialogism: Verbal Practices among Catalan Jews in the Middle Ages (2001) and co-edited the Manual of Catalan Linguistics (vol. 25 of the MRL series, Berlin/Boston 2020). Rafael D. Arnold studied Romance linguistics and Jewish studies at the University of Heidelberg and at the Hochschule für Jüdische Studien in Heidelberg. He obtained his doctorate in 2002 and held a junior professorship in Romance Linguistics at the University of Paderborn. Since 2010 he has been full professor of Romance linguistics at the University of Rostock, where he is one of the directors of the Diccionario del español medieval electrónico (DEMel). In the field of Judaeo-Romance linguistics and philology, he has published the monograph Spracharkaden: Die Sprache der sephardischen Juden in Italien im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert (Heidelberg 2006) and articles such as Die Diachronie des Judenspanischen (Judezmo) und seiner Varietäten: ein Stiefkind der Lexikographie (2020) and El judeo-español en contacto: Préstamos e interferencias como señal de vivacidad (2021). He is also the editor of the volume Jüdische Übersetzer: als Akteure interkultureller Transformationen (Heidelberg 2019). Cyril Aslanov is professor of linguistics at Aix-Marseille Université and senior member of the Institut universitaire de France. He is a researcher at the Laboratoire Parole et Langage (LPL, UMR7309 of CNRS) and a member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language in Jerusalem. His main fields of research are historical and comparative linguistics. Topics on which he focuses include Jewish languages (Yiddish, Judaeo-Spanish, Judeo-Persian) and the linguistic expression of Jewish identity, which led him to investigate the issue of Jewish discourse in world literature. He has published widely on linguistic and literary issues. His linguistic publications include Le provençal des juifs et l’hébreu en Provence: le dictionnaire “Sharshot ha-Kesef” de Joseph Caspi (Leuven/Paris 2001), Evidence of Francophony in Mediaeval Levant: Decipherment and Interpretation of MS. BnF. Copte 43 (Jerusalem 2006), Le français levantin jadis et naguère: à la recherche d’une langue perdue (Paris 2006), Sociolingüística de las lenguas judías (Buenos Aires 2011), and New Perspectives on the Sacred and the Secular in Old French and Old Provençal Poetry (Newcastle upon Tyne 2019). Amor Ayala studied Classical, Hebrew, and Arabic Philology at the Universities of Barcelona, Granada and Tel Aviv. She spent three years at the Freie Universität Berlin (2003–2005) with a scholarship from La Caixa/ DAAD, carrying out studies on the Jewish community of Lleida (Catalonia). Her interest in Iberian Judaism in the Sephardic Diaspora has led her to take part in several research projects on Judaeo-Spanish language and literature directed by Paloma Díaz-Mas at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid (2005–2015). In 2015 she obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig with a work on the Sephardic


 List of contributors

community in Bulgaria after World War II. Her doctoral thesis was awarded the Werner Krauss Prize of the German Association of Hispanists. She is the author of Fonts per a l’estudi de la comunitat jueva de Lleida: recopilació de documents i estat de la qüestió (Barcelona 2006) and Los sefardíes de Bulgaria: Estudio y edición crítica de la obra “Notas istorikas” de Avraam Moshe Tadjer (Berlin 2017). Joan Ferrer is full professor of Hebrew and Aramaic and of Catalan at the University of Girona (Catalonia) and is a member of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans. He served as dean of the Faculty of Humanities. He is the author of Els Salms: Un comentari essencial (Barcelona 2021) and the editor of Nahman de Bratslav, Contes cabalístics (Barcelona 2017), as well as co-editor of Wisdom of the Scribe. Diplomatic Edition of the Peshitta of the Book of Ben Sira According to Codex Ambrosianus, with Translations in Spanish and English (València 2015) and Nou Testament grec: Edició d’estudi amb vocabulari i morfologia explicats en nota a peu de pàgina (Barcelona 2019). He also contributed to Flavi Josep: La guerra jueva (3 volumes, Barcelona 2011–2020) and Los evangelios en arameo: Edición bilingüe y traducción de estudio al español del texto arameo-siriaco de la Peshitta (Salamanca 2018). Aitor García Moreno is a researcher and the current director of the Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and between 2015 and 2023 he directed the journal Sefarad. He is the author of several books and has published widely in national and international journals and collective volumes. He is particularly active in the edition of Sephardic texts from past and present, with special attention to the linguistic study of the edited texts, including their lexicon. For several years he has been developing the Corpus Representativo de la Historia del Judeoespañol (CORHIJE) and the Diccionario Histórico del Judeoespañol (DHJE), both accessible online through the e-sefardic web portal, which he directs. Guido Mensching is full professor of Romance linguistics at the Georg-August University Göttingen. He graduated in Romance and German Philology and obtained his doctorate in Cologne in 1992 (La Sinonima delos nonbres delas medeçinas griegos e latynos e arauigos. Estudio y edición crítica, Madrid 1994). His habilitation thesis (1997) was published as Infinitive Constructions with Specified Subjects: A Syntactic Analysis of the Romance Languages (Oxford/New York 2000). Since 1999, Mensching has been working on Romance elements in medieval Hebrew medical texts (with a special focus on Occitan). His other areas of research include Sardinian and general Romance syntax. Mensching is the editor of the Romanische Bibliographie and of the linguistic section of the Zeitschrift für französische Sprache und Literatur. Laura Minervini obtained her Ph.D. in 1993 and is now Professor of Romance Philology and Linguistics at the University of Naples “Federico II”. She is primarily interested in language and cultural contacts across the Mediterranean. Her research examines the French dialect used in the Crusader States and in Cyprus (12th–14th c.), the linguistic history of the Iberian and Italian Jewries in the Late Middle Ages, the development of Judaeo-Spanish, the diffusion of Italian in the Ottoman Empire (16th–18th c.), and the making of the medieval legend of the Assassins. She is the author of Filologia romanza: Linguistica (Florence/ Milan 2021) and the editor of Chronique du Templier de Tyr (Naples 2000; Prix de la Grange de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres) and, together with Luis Girón Negrón, of Las Coplas de Yosef: Entre la Biblia y el Midrash en la poesía judeoespañola (Madrid 2006). F. Javier Pueyo Mena is a tenured researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He earned his MA in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Southern California and his Ph.D. in Hispanic Philology at the University of Deusto (Spain). He is currently living in the United States, where he has been appointed as a research associate at the Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies (Madison, Wisconsin). His main fields of research are Judaeo-Spanish and Medieval Spanish, in particular Jewish Biblical translations into Ladino. He is also involved in several projects in the area of the digital humanities, mainly developing

List of contributors 


historical linguistic corpora and natural language processing tools applied to Judaeo-Spanish and Old Spanish. He has published several books and articles, which include the editions of two medieval Jewish Biblical translations: Abraham Asa’s Ladino translation of the book of Ruth and the book of Genesis from the Ladino Biblical glossary Sefer Ḥesheq Shelomo. He is currently co-authoring the annotated edition of the Arragel Bible and Commentary. Aldina Quintana is an associate professor of Spanish Linguistics and Philology and the current Director of the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research and teaching focus on descriptive linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and language variation in Spanish and Judaeo-Spanish. Her publications include the book Geografía lingüística del judeoespañol: estudio sincrónico y diacrónico (Bern 2006) and articles such as El judeoespañol, una lengua pluricéntrica al margen del español (2010), Judeo-Spanish in Contact with Portuguese: A Historical Overview (2014), La pre-koiné judeoespañola durante las dos primeras generaciones de los expulsados (emigrantes) (2017), and El judeoespañol (2023). Among her research projects are The Annotated Diachronic Corpus of Judaeo-Spanish (CoDiAJe) and The Annotated Oral Corpus of Judaeo-Spanish (CoOrAJe). She is a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE). Michael Ryzhik obtained his MA in biology from Moscow State University (1981). He worked as a researcher in the field of molecular biology until 1989. In 1990, he emigrated to Israel and studied in the Har Etsion Yeshiva (Allon Shevut) between 1990 and 1995. In 1995 he obtained his MA in Hebrew Linguistics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and received his Ph.D. in 2002 with a dissertation published under the title The Traditions of Mishnaic Hebrew in Italy According to the Medieval Jewish Rituals (in Hebrew, Jerusalem 2008). He has been a professor in the Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Bar Ilan University since 2010. His publications include In a Foreign Land: The History of Hebrew in Italy (in Hebrew, Jerusalem 2022) and the article Preliminaries to the Critical Edition of the Jewish-Italian Translation of the Siddur (2013). Frank Savelsberg obtained his Ph.D. at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2008. He is senior lecturer in Romance Philology at Georg-August University Göttingen. He finished his studies of Romance and German Philology and Jewish Studies at the University of Cologne with a master’s thesis about the role of Jewish mysticism in the work of the Galician author José Ángel Valente (published as a journal article in 2000). His doctoral thesis was dedicated to the satirical work of Francisco de Quevedo (Verbale Obszönität bei Francisco de Quevedo, Berlin/Boston 2014). His main interests in research and teaching are historical linguistics in general and Judaeo-Romance languages and texts in particular, with a special focus on the medicobotanical terminology of Old Romance in Hebrew script (Medical Synonym Lists of Medieval Provence, Leiden/ Boston 2011, with Gerrit Bos, Martina Hussein, and Guido Mensching). He is the co-editor of the volume Sabers per als laics: Vernacularització, formació, transmissió (Corona d’Aragó 1250–1600) (Berlin/Boston 2021). Devon L. Strolovitch was born and raised in Montreal (Canada), where he attended Jewish day schools that featured daily instruction in English, French and Hebrew. He studied linguistics at Oberlin College with a senior honors thesis titled The schizoid nature of modern Hebrew linguistics: A contact language in search of a genetic past and earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University with a doctoral dissertation titled Old Portuguese in Hebrew Script: Convention, Contact and Convivência. His published works include the articles Old Portuguese in Hebrew Script: Beyond “O livro de como se fazem as cores” (2010) and Hebrew Writing and Medieval Vernaculars: The Case of Judeo-Portuguese (2013). He is co-editor of the volume Cornell Working Papers in Linguistics 17: Romance Philology (1999). Devon Strolovitch is a Peabody Award-winning radio producer and senior producer of Stanford University’s Philosophy Talk. He lives in San Francisco, where he also hosts the weekly music programme Fog City Blues on KALW 91.7 FM.


 List of contributors

Haralambos Symeonidis, originally from Greece, earned his Ph.D. in Romance Philology from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany. He studied in Germany as well as at the University of Granada, Spain, and the University of Trento, Italy. He has taught at Middlebury College (Vermont), the University of Kentucky, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), and the Catholic University of Asunción (Paraguay). He is one of the directors of the international project ALGR (Atlas Lingüístico Guaraní-Románico). His research and publications focus on language contact between Spanish and Amerindian languages, bilingualism in Paraguay, language policies in Latin America, Romance languages, Greek and Judaeo-Spanish. He is currently full professor at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. He has published the books Das Judenspanische von Thessaloniki: Beschreibung des Sephardischen im griechischen Umfeld (Bern 2002) and is co-editor and co-director of the first two volumes of the Atlas Lingüístico guaraní-románico (ALGR-L, 2009 and 2011). He also co-edited the books Espacios en evolución: confluencias lingüísticas y culturales: Homenaje a Anita Herzfeld (Madrid 2019) and volumes 3 and 4 of Estudios y homenajes hispanoamericanos (Madrid 2015 and 2016). David A. Trotter (†) was professor of French and head of the Department of European Languages at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. He was a corresponding member of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres and, from 2013 to 2015, President of the Société de Linguistique Romane. His research interests included historical French linguistics, medieval French (especially non-literary texts) and historical dialectology, as well as Anglo-Norman lexicology and lexicography. He directed the revision and digitisation of the Anglo-Norman Dictionary and was the editor of the Manuel de la philologie de l’édition (vol. 4 of the MRL series, 2015). His wide-ranging work as an editor of medieval texts includes the editions of Jean de Vignay’s Les Merveilles de la terre d’outremer (1990) and part of Alexander of Canterbury’s Dicta Anselmi (1994), as well as the 12th-century French translation (from Arabic) of the Traitier de Cyrurgie by Albucasis (2005). Julia Zwink obtained her Ph.D. at Georg-August University Göttingen in 2016 and was a research assistant in Romance linguistics at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Georg-August University Göttingen. Her doctoral thesis, for which she was awarded both the Elise Richter Prize and the Kurt Ringger Prize, is a partial edition and analysis of an Old French medical treatise written in Hebrew characters (published as Altfranzösisch in hebräischer Graphie: Teiledition und Analyse des Medizintraktats “Fevres”, Berlin/Boston 2017). In her publications, she focuses mainly on medieval Romance (French, Occitan, Spanish) texts and on historical lexicography. She is a co-editor of Berakhiah Ben Natronai ha-Nakdan, “Sefer Ko’aḥ ha-Avanim” (On the Virtue of the Stones): Hebrew Text and English Translation (Leiden/Boston 2010) and Medical Glossaries in the Hebrew Tradition: Shem Tov Ben Isaac, “Sefer Almansur” (Leiden/Boston 2017). Since 2019, she has been a high school teacher of French and Latin.

Index Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire 363 aboniguar 236, 397 Abraham bar Ḥiyya 100 Abraham ben ʿEzra 142, 222 Abraham ben Juda ibn Ḥayyim 45 Abu al-Walīd Marwān ibn Janāḥ 131, 138 Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Yūsuf ibn Abd al-Muʾmin al-Manṣūr (Third Almohad Caliph) 99 Abudarham, David 385 acarrear 400 Acre 100 address 343, 480, 500 (see also: politeness) adjective (see also: inflection) 50, 58, 119–120, 189–190, 233, 240–241, 243–245, 262–263, 283, 285–286, 305–309, 397, 459, 467, 476–477, 510–511, 516, 521–522, 540 – adjective classes 470–474 – adjective clause (see: clause) – adjective phrase (see: phrase) Adrianople 412 Adriatic Sea 338, 342, 348 adverb 89, 256, 262–263, 305, 345, 456, 476, 492, 510, 517–518, 521–522 – adverbial clause (see: clause) – adverbial phrase (see: phrase) Aeneid 137 affix 246, 285–286, 397, 468, 470–473, 478, 516 (see also: prefix / suffix) affricate 11, 32, 86–87, 130–131, 159, 182–184, 188, 198, 277, 312, 334–336, 340, 410, 418, 420, 435–440, 446, 459 (see also: deaffrication) agent (semantic role) 502, 511 agglutination 56, 318, 456 agreement 19, 154, 192, 244–245, 344, 518–519 – gender agreement 244, 315, 463, 470–471, 475, 481, 502 – lack of agreement 243–244 – number agreement 154, 244, 463, 470–471, 475, 481, 502, 510, 513, 519 – subject-verb agreement 490, 512–513, 519 agriculture 304, 545 Ahabat Tsion 368 Aharonson, Sara 372 Aki Yerushalayim 334, 361, 366, 421–423, 432 Akko (see: Acre) Al borde del Plata 372 al-Andalus 9, 28, 33, 37–38, 81, 113–114, 131

al-Manṣūr (see: Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Yūsuf ibn Abd al-Muʾmin al-Manṣūr) al-teḥallel prohibition 113 Alba Bible (see: Bible) Aldrete, Bernardo de 275–276 Alegrica 374 Alessandria (Italy) 302, 320 Alessandrino (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) Alexandria (Egypt) 29, 334 Alfonso X, the Wise (King of Castile and Leon)  222, 397 Algazi, Yitsḥaq 364–365 Algeria 352, 354 Algiers 211, 535 aliya 372 aljama 79, 84 (see also: Jewish communities) aljamia (see: aljamiado) aljamiado 5, 10, 84, 86–88, 124, 209, 213, 228, 240, 361, 383, 420 – aljamiado script 18, 99, 106–108, 211–212, 216, 218, 409, 424 – aljamiado text 10, 13, 17, 83–89, 92, 103–104, 106–109, 228 – aljamiado (Bible) translation 17, 209–210, 216–227, 240–241, 253 Alliance Israélite Universelle 271, 288, 351, 367, 372, 414, 432, 510, 543 allophone 32, 87, 278–288, 335, 340–341, 412, 436, 440–441, 443–446 Almohads 9, 28–29, 99, 131 Almoravids 9 Alonso, Martín 395 alphabet 53, 104, 383, 412 – alphabetical order 220, 385, 387–389, 391, 399 – Arabic alphabet 383, 415 – Cyrillic alphabet 13, 383, 387, 412, 415 – Hebrew alphabet 2–3, 6, 9–13, 16, 72–73, 88, 102, 104, 129–130, 134–135, 178, 183–184, 216, 227, 310, 383 – Latin alphabet 13, 16, 104, 120, 173, 202, 286, 303, 383, 450 – runic alphabet 169 Alphita 132 Alsace 141, 157 alsacion / alsaçion (see: alzacion) Alvar, Manuel 234, 236–237, 275, 281



alveolar 11, 87, 184, 277–278, 352–354, 437, 448, 452 (see also: apico-alveolar, dento-alveolar, palato-alveolar, post-alveolar) alzacion 90, 236, 396 America 2, 43, 150, 225–226, 270, 418–420 (see also: Latin America / United States of America) American Spanish (see: Spanish) Amsterdam 4, 17, 49, 51, 71, 214–216, 228, 267, 290, 398 analogy 58, 116, 155, 189, 201, 277, 281–282, 313–314, 321–322, 339, 489, 502, 541 (see also: leveling) anaphora 283, 539 Anatolia 269, 289 (see also: Asia Minor) Ancona 190, 213, 290, 302, 310, 320, 349 Anconetano (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) And the World Stood Silent 374 Anglo-Norman 4, 16, 28, 31, 141, 167–173 animals (see: names) animate 247, 469, 472, 519 Ankara 333 Anksi, Shloime 370 Anna Karenina 370 Annual 390 antecedent 477–478, 481, 521 anthroponym (see: names) anusim 213 (see also: conversos) apheresis 338 apico-alveolar 445–446, 450, 459 apocope 201, 218, 248–249, 260, 338, 474 apodosis 494, 527 approximant 342, 354, 432, 436–437, 450–453, 459, 466, 487 (see also: glide) Apulia 28, 30 Arabic (language) 5, 7, 9–10, 15, 19, 28, 32–33, 35–37, 56, 62, 68, 71, 79–85, 87, 90–91, 104, 114, 131–132, 135, 182, 233, 240, 287, 289, 336, 338, 340, 352, 388, 535–536, 542, 545, 548 (see also: Hispano-Arabic / Judaeo-Arabic) Arabism 54–56, 60, 62, 69, 82, 87, 90, 116, 240, 284, 287, 332, 336, 352–354, 384, 390, 398, 535–536, 540, 545, 548–549 Aragon (crown) 2, 30, 33, 45, 79, 92, 100, 110, 124, 268, 275, 330 Aragon (region) 79–84, 88, 92, 213, 268, 275, 282, 330 Aragonese (language) (see: Navarro-Aragonese)

Aramaic (language) 13, 17, 135, 168, 195, 212, 216–217, 223, 301, 312–315, 323, 350, 385–386, 391, 401, 433 archaism 14, 16–17, 46, 61, 89, 116, 119, 129–130, 143, 153, 155, 189, 215, 226–227, 233, 236–237, 248, 270, 276, 306–307, 322, 386, 535–538 Archives of Girona 7, 103, 118–119 Arcila 352 Argentina 365 argot hébraïco-provençal 138 Arguiti, Yitsḥaq 362 Arie, Gabriel 376 Armenian (language) 32 Armenians 269 Arragel, Moshe 211 (see also: Bible translation) article 56, 116, 216, 218, 233, 245, 283, 463, 477, 508 – definite article 13, 62, 69, 187, 198, 245, 248, 283, 316, 318, 323, 349, 456–457, 467, 474, 476–477, 508–509, 515 – indefinite article 59, 245, 516 ʿArukh 35, 178, 180, 185, 187–188, 202, 233 Asá, Abraham 217, 221–222, 361 (see also: Bible) Ashkenaz 151 (see also: Germany / Rhineland) Ashkenazi Jews 4, 28–29, 31, 34, 135, 147, 179, 216, 367–370, 376 Ashkenazic 4, 10, 28–29, 31, 34, 135, 147, 151, 179, 216, 315, 367–370, 376, 440 Asia Minor 535, 549 (see also: Anatolia) Asiguiendo el esfuenio 374 aspect 17, 19, 233, 247, 250, 344–345, 463–464, 482, 484–486, 488–490, 492–493, 500, 503 aspiration 32, 67, 339, 352, 438 assimilation (linguistic and cultural) 80, 270, 287, 290–291, 304, 432 assimilation (phonology) 62, 178, 182, 198–199, 309, 447–449, 456, 479 astrology  – astrological terminology 55, 64 – astrological texts 43, 45–48, 50, 66, 69–70, 142 Astruc, Mardochée 137 Astur-Leonese (see: Leonese) Asturian (language) 79, 281, 285, 542 (see also: Leonese) Atías, Yom Tov (see: Vargas, Jerónimo de) Ausbau 82 Austro-Hungarian Empire 354, 365, 376 auxiliary 19, 70, 250, 463, 482, 484, 491–492, 494–496, 503 Avia de ser 373


Avignon 130, 133, 136–137 Azaria, Beḥor 365 back-formation (see: word formation) bagit(t)o (see: Judaeo-Italian) Balbuena, Monique R. 373 Balearic Islands 99 (see also: Majorca / Menorca) Balkan languages 342, 350, 402, 496, 518, 535–536, 546–549 Balkan Sprachbund 288 Balkans 269, 271, 280, 289, 330–336, 338–339, 342, 347–348, 350–351, 353–354, 360, 362, 365, 370–371, 376, 412, 436, 458, 482, 501, 535, 545–549 ballads 359, 362–363 Banitt, Menahem 31–32, 144–146, 148, 154–155, 160, 168, 170–171 Banyos de sangre 369 Bar-Kokhba 372 Barcelona 79, 99–100, 103, 105, 109–110, 114, 116–117, 119, 211 Bari 177 Baruch, Kalmi 339, 546–547 Basle 32, 148 Be-bet he-ʿani 372 Bedarida, Guido 302, 324, 335 Bédarride, Israël 137–138 Belarus 370 Belgrade 337, 347, 350, 365, 371–373, 412 Belmonte, Mosseh 216 Ben Giat, Alexandre 364, 368–369 Ben-Ruby, Yitsḥaq 369 Ben-Zvi Institute of Jerusalem 386–387 benediction 192, 195 Benet, Astruc 100 Benevento 177–178 Berakhya ben Natronai ha-Naqdan 16, 167, 171 Bernadin de Saint-Pierre, Jacques-Henri 368 Bezers (Béziers) 131 Bible 3, 5, 7–8, 12, 14, 16–17, 31–32, 34, 36, 39, 84–85, 90–91, 100, 103–105, 112–114, 132, 134, 137, 141, 144, 146–150, 156, 168–169, 173, 177–178, 180, 182, 185, 194–195, 202, 209–228, 233–264, 280–281, 285, 291, 304, 316–317, 319, 344, 350, 359, 361–362, 369–370, 372, 376, 384–386, 389–391, 396–400, 439, 450, 458, 468, 544 (see also: Bible translation) – Farḥi Bible 103 Bible translation (see also: aljamiado) 


– Arragel’s Bible (Alba Bible) 211–212, 234, 241, 251–253, 255–256, 258, 260, 262 – Asá’s Bible 217, 221–226, 228, 234–240, 242, 244–252 – Biblia de Ferrara / Ferrara Bible 213–216, 219–220, 222, 226–227, 234, 241–242, 245, 247, 251, 253, 257, 264, 361, 396, 398–399 – Biblia medieval romanceada 396 – Biblia romanceada judío-cristiana 400 – calque translations of the Bible 3, 8, 85, 99, 104–105, 111, 123, 213– 217, 222, 226, 244, 251, 384, 509 – Christian Ladino Bibles 225–227 – Constantinople (Polyglot) Pentateuch 217–219, 226–227, 234, 245, 256–257, 285, 361, 396 – Judaeo-Spanish Bible translations 217–220 – medieval romanceamientos of the Bible 85, 211, 214, 260, 397–399 – Santillana Bible 212 – translation of the Book of Jona 186–191 Biblia (see: Bible / Bible translation) Biblioteka de El Telegrafo 364 Bicerano, Salomon 374 bilabial 274, 435, 441–443, 448 bilingualism 27, 31, 137, 335–337, 352, 354, 443, 458, 493, 546 birds (see: names) Bitola 18, 331, 334, 337, 341–346, 348–350, 371, 392, 448, 458, 501, 507–508 blend 145, 310–311, 314, 323, 542 Blondheim, David S. 1, 5, 7, 14, 29–30, 36, 44–45, 71, 90, 103, 121–122, 143–144, 146, 149–150, 154–155, 159–160, 235–236, 240 body parts (see: names) Boehmer, Eduard 172–173 Bohemia 368 Bolognese (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) book production 36, 137, 182, 197, 213, 217–218, 221, 223–226, 270, 274–275, 289–291, 362, 384, 386, 397, 413, 429 borrowing 14, 18, 43, 56, 58, 66, 82, 87, 114, 235, 243, 286–288, 309, 314, 335, 338, 341, 346, 352, 354, 398, 429, 433, 439–444, 446–448, 450, 452–457, 469, 473–474, 502, 522, 536, 541–548 Bosnia 273, 279, 338, 342, 346, 354, 372–373, 389, 392, 413, 415, 479 (see also: Judaeo-Spanish / Sefardim) botany 545 bourgeoisie 271, 350–351



Bourgogne 148–149 Bozes en la shara 374 Bratislava 365 Brazil 71, 137, 346 Britain 28, 31 (see also: England) Bucharest 324, 364, 369, 371, 448, 464, 508 Buenos Aires 365, 371–372 Buketo de kantes 374 Bulgaria 273, 279, 336–337, 342, 346, 354, 359, 365, 370, 372, 387, 390, 412–413, 516, 538–539, 549 Bulgarian (language) 335, 337–338, 341–342, 346, 365, 389–391, 398, 412–413, 440, 458, 516 Burgas 333 Burgundian (dialect) 149, 151, 155 Burgundy 30, 157 burlesque 112 Bursa 464 Byzantine Empire 28, 30, 34, 547, 549 Cairo 333, 368, 412, 535 Cairo Geniza (see: Geniza) calco (see: calque) call 115, 119 (see also: Jewish communities) calque 13–14, 17, 51–52, 143, 234, 243–244, 288, 301, 305, 310, 316, 319, 322–323, 396–398, 493, 509–510, 513, 515–516 (see also: borrowing) – calco transpositivo 396, 398 – morphological calque 155 – syntactic calque 155, 218, 259–260, 262, 516, 528 calque language 8, 123, 234 calque translation (see: Bible translation) Camhy, Ovadia 387, 391–392 Canton de Solombra 374 Cantos de las delicias de la vida 372 Cantos populares de Sadik i Gazos 374 Cappon, Abraham A. 361, 365, 374, 415, 417, 511 Carpentras 130, 136–137 carriero 130, 135–138 (see also: Jewish communities) – carriero de la Jutarié 28 Casares, Julio 394, 397, 402 Cassuto, Umberto 35–36, 122, 180–182 Castile (crown) 2, 79, 82, 85, 92, 100, 212–213, 268, 275, 330 Castile (region) 79, 84, 88, 214, 282, 349 Castilian (language) (see: Spanish) Castilianism (see: Hispanicism) Catalan (language) 1, 33, 37–38, 83, 89, 274–275, 278–279, 284, 388, 430, 445, 538–539

– Old Catalan (used by Jews and Christians) 2, 5, 7, 11, 14–15, 38, 80, 99–124, 137, 144, 149, 394 Catalanism 33, 133, 390 Catalonia 38, 79, 110, 119, 121–124, 137, 157, 349 Catholicism 307, 310, 312, 317, 535 Cavaillon 130, 136–137 Cazes, Moshe 374 Cejador y Frauca, Julio 395 Central Archive of the History of the Jewish People, Jerusalem 386 Cervera 101–103, 105–106, 108, 122 Ceuta 352 Champagne 30, 141, 148, 150, 153–154, 157–159 Champenois (dialect) 149, 151, 155 Charles II, the Bald (King of Western Francia) 99 Charles V of Anjou 134 Charles VI (King of France) 142 Cherezli, Salomon Israel 387, 389, 392, 412 children 9, 100–101, 156, 195, 210, 236, 271, 285, 307, 311, 343, 351, 372, 384, 392, 399, 411, 432, 453, 457, 500 Chios (Greek island) 365 Christianity 7, 9–10, 13–17, 27–29, 32, 36–37, 44, 50, 79–85, 90–91, 100–102, 105, 110, 119, 121–122, 124, 130, 132, 138, 142–143, 145–146, 151–152, 154, 156–157, 161, 167, 170, 173, 177, 194–196, 209–212, 214, 225–227, 235, 240–241, 267, 270, 275, 290, 303, 308, 314, 468, 520, 545 Christie, James 227 Classical Spanish (see: Spanish) clause – adjective clause 522–524 – adverbial clause 521–522, 524–528 – causal clause 255, 282, 344, 525–527 – comparative clause 255, 528 – complement clause 477, 514, 521–522 – concessive clause 258 – conditional clause 252–253, 527–528 – exceptive clause 255–256 – exclamative clause 516 – final clause 525–526 – infinitival clause 254, 282, 343–346, 479–480, 501, 526 – interrogative clause 19, 242–243, 260, 496, 516–518 – relative clause 254, 258–259, 477, 521–524 – resultative clause 253–254 – temporal clause 525–527


cleft sentence (see: sentence) clerecía rabínica 85, 90 clitic 70, 106, 187, 243, 246, 282–283, 308, 345, 455–456, 478–479, 516, 518–519 – clitic doubling 516 – enclitic 345, 349, 479–480, 499–501 – proclitic 181, 345–346, 479 – reflexive clitic (see: reflexive) coda (see: syllable) code 84, 123–124, 351, 354 code-switching 102, 113–114, 137, 546 codex (see: manuscript) cognate 56, 66, 68, 284–285, 288, 335–336, 341, 348, 351, 436, 454 Cohen, Albert 365 cohortative (see: moods and tenses) collective noun (see: noun) colophon 45, 50, 150, 158, 183, 215 commentary (literature) 5, 147, 153, 213, 218, 221–223, 242, 362, 386 commerce 81, 103, 108, 114–116, 152, 168, 268–270, 287–289, 304, 351, 367, 545–546 comparative  – comparative constructions 19, 262, 476, 515 (see also: clause / sentence) – comparison of equality 476, 515 – comparison of inequality 476, 515 – synthetic forms of comparative 476 comparison (see: comparative / superlative) complement 344, 467, 481 (see also: clause / object) – prepositional complement 344, 467, 481 complementary distribution 440 complementizer 517–518, 520, 522, 524 compound (words) (see: word formation) compound tenses 19, 192, 247, 463, 467, 482, 484–485, 489, 491–493, 496, 502–503 (see also: moods and tenses) compounding (see: word formation) Comtat Venaissin 2, 4, 29, 34, 130, 136–137 conditional (see: moods and tenses) conditional sentence (see: sentence) Congress of Berlin 354 conjugation (see: inflection) conjunction 69, 112, 184, 250, 252, 259, 305, 416, 513, 515, 522, 524, 540 – causal conjunction 282, 526 – copulative conjunction 252, 416 – disjunctive conjunction 259


– temporal conjunction 252, 254, 256, 525 consecutio temporum 496, 525, 527 consecutive vav 250–252 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) 9, 360, 424, 508 Consolação às Tribulações de Israel 274–275 consonant 10–12, 14, 18, 32, 46, 52, 58–60, 65, 67, 72–73, 86–88, 130, 148, 159–160, 170, 183–185, 187–188, 240, 277–280, 284, 311–312, 334–342, 352–353, 410–414, 416–425, 429, 432, 435–453, 455–456, 458, 464–466, 469, 471, 473–474, 482–488, 499 – consonant cluster 14, 57–58, 60–61, 63, 130–131, 182, 188, 198, 277, 443, 455 (see also: l-clusters) Constantinople 217–218, 220–223, 225–226, 252, 361–368, 376, 386, 412, 429, 515, 538–539 (see also: Istanbul) Constantinople Polyglot Pentateuch (see: Bible translation) contrast (phonology) (see: opposition) conversos 44, 48, 71, 82, 85, 91, 211–213, 216, 267, 270, 275, 290, 362 convivencia 80 copla 359–363 Coplas de Yosef 38, 84, 90 Coptic (language) 32 copula (see: verb) Cordobero, Gedaliá 221 Cordova 131 Corfu 34 Coromines i Vigneaux, Joan 105, 120, 395, 538 coronal (articulation) 338, 342, 447, 455, 499 Corpus de textos publicados en Oriente entre 1880 y 1930 (Corpus MemTet) 9, 508 Corpus del Español 395 Corpus diacrónico anotado del judeoespañol (CoDiAJe) 9, 464–465 Corpus diacrónico del español (CORDE) 291, 395 Corpus oral anotado del judeoespañol (CoOrAJe) 9, 401, 464–465 Corriente Córdoba, Federico 69, 71, 82–83, 87–88, 90 Côte-d’Or 152 courtesy (see: politeness) Crescas del Caylar 5, 33–34, 129–131, 133–134 Crews, Cynthia M. 337, 341, 343, 346, 348, 388, 391–392, 401, 420, 435, 444, 448, 507, 510, 515, 539 Croatia 273, 279, 342



Croatian (language) 346 (see also: Serbo-Croatian) culinary terminology 119–120, 286, 304, 308, 314, 392, 412, 536–537, 541 cultismo (see: learned form) Cuomo, Luisa 35–36, 178, 180, 182–184, 186–192, 194–195 Curtijo Quemado 374 Cyrillic (see: alphabet / script) Czechia 31 dagesh 10, 73, 86, 183–185, 438 Dalmatian (language) 342 Danza de la muerte 83–84 Darmesteter, Arsène 4–5, 146, 148–149, 159–160 Dauphiné 161 Davičon el hamal 373 deaffrication 55, 73, 445 declension (see: inflection) deconsonantization 436, 451 decontextualization 113 deixis 480, 483, 489 Del Monte, Crescenzo 302 Del mundo de ariva i del mundo de abasho 372 delateralization 450 deletion (see also: apocope / syncope) – deletion of consonants 46, 58–60, 63, 67, 72, 279, 336–339, 447 – deletion of glides 451 – deletion of vowels 456 demography 275, 311 demonstrative 216, 233, 245, 283, 463, 477–478, 481, 503, 539 dental 86–87, 184, 277–278, 318, 410–412, 437, 441, 445–447 dentals 153, 448 dento-alveolar 354, 437, 445–446 derivation (morphology) 238, 241, 305, 307–308, 311, 238–239, 307–309, 396 (see also: suffixation) – derivational basis 439 – derivational morpheme 17, 238, 286, 301, 473 desephardization 409 determiner 46, 121, 243, 283, 463–464, 474–481, 502, 508–509 (see also: article / demonstrative) – determiner spreading 476, 509 devoicing 439, 441, 443–445, 450, 452 Devora 371–372 dhimmi 28

diacritic 11, 32, 47, 52–54, 57, 59, 62, 72–73, 86–87, 151, 159, 183–184, 218, 233, 240, 273, 276, 278–280, 289, 410–411, 422–424, 432, 438 dialect 1, 3, 6, 9, 15–17, 29, 32, 34–35, 39, 58, 71, 79, 87, 91–92, 116, 122, 124, 129–131, 133, 135–136, 138, 141, 143–145, 147–151, 156, 158, 177–180, 182, 184–185, 187–191, 193–194, 198, 201–202, 267, 270, 273–274, 276, 279–280, 284–285, 290, 301–302, 305–306, 308, 313, 318, 321–324, 329–354, 392–393, 429–430, 435–436, 439, 454–455, 464, 503, 507, 536, 541–542, 548, 552 – dialect continuum 329, 332 – dialect leveling (see: leveling) diamesic variation (see: spoken language) diaphasic variation 16, 141, 441 diaspora 1, 3, 14, 17, 29–30, 90, 134–135, 144, 177, 212, 267, 269, 274, 279, 290, 331, 360, 362–363, 372, 384, 402, 544, 551  diastratic variation 339, 341–342, 441 diasystem 18, 284, 331, 401, 429–430, 459 diatopic variation 16, 141, 145, 152, 155, 157–158, 390, 392–394, 401, 482, 491 (see also: dialect) Dibbuk 370 Diccionario básico ladino-español 390 Diccionari etimològic i complentari de la llengua catalana (DECLC) 105, 119–120, 394, 545 Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico (DCECH) 233, 236–237, 283–285, 395, 537–538 Diccionario crítico etimológico de la lengua castellana (DCELC) 395 Diksionario de la lingua santa 385 Diccionario del Español Medieval (DEM) 395–397, 401, 551 Diccionario del Español Medieval electrónico (DEMel) 396, 400–401, 551 Diccionario etimológico español e hispánico (DEEH) 395 Diccionario Histórico (DH) 394, 397 Diccionario histórico de la lengua española (DHLE) 394–401 Diccionario medieval español (DME) 395 dictionary 18, 35–36, 105, 115, 119–120, 132, 147, 167–169, 173, 178, 180, 182, 202, 220, 288, 296, 303, 311, 322, 383–402, 449, 551, 554 Dictionnaire du judéo-espagnol 390 Dictionnaire judéo-espagnol 387 Dictionnaire judéo-espagnol parlé – français – allemand 389


didactic aspects 27, 285, 360, 363, 387–388 digital corpora 9, 209, 233, 395–396, 401, 464–465, 498, 508, 552–553 Digital Library of Old Spanish Texts 395 diglossia 27, 33, 37, 157, 432 digraph 32, 53, 73, 159, 188, 278, 413, 416–417, 419–420, 422–423 Diksyonaryo espanyol – ʿebreo 387 Diksyonaryo žudeo-espanyol – búlgaro 389 diminutive 155, 169, 284, 306, 341, 432, 439 Dio, el Dio (O. Sp. / J.-Sp.) 13, 51, 85, 90, 218–219, 235–236, 245, 247, 261, 415 diphthong 53, 63–65, 68, 72, 86, 156, 172, 183, 186, 277, 281, 334, 339–340, 349, 410, 416, 433–436, 441, 443, 448, 451, 457–459, 466, 496, 499, 542 diphthongization 277, 434–435, 487–488  direct object marker 247 disjunction 259 displacement (phonology) 455, 457 (see also: metathesis) dissimilation 62, 339, 456, 484 Dixionario judeoespañol – bulgar 390 Djaen, Shebetay ben Yosef 370–372, 376 djudeo-espanyol (see: Judaeo-Spanish) djudeo-fragnol 351 Djudezmo 8, 359, 383 (see also: Judaeo-Spanish / Ladino) Doeg the Edomite 129, 132 domaine royal 2, 28, 30 Domedet Det 13, 36, 184, 193, 196 dorsal (articulation) 340, 353, 435 Dostoyevsky, Fyodor 370 Dotas 373 drama (see: genres) dubitative 518 Dubrovnik 335, 337, 342 Dumas, Alexandre (fils) 338 Dumas, Alexandre (père) 338 Dutch (language) 44, 291 Edict of Expulsion 212 Edirne (see: Adrianople) education 80–81, 85, 110, 147, 156–157, 271, 288, 333, 338, 350, 364, 367, 370–371, 377, 414, 547 Edward I (King of England) 167 Egypt 193, 195, 287, 333–334, 372, 441, 456 Ekha Rabba 181 El Amaneser 366, 422 El Amigo de la Famiya 365


El Amigo del Puevlo 365 El Avenir 288, 364, 524 El convertido 369 El Correo Sefardi 366 El Dio alto 85, 90 El djoven fambreyento 369 El Djudio 365 El Djugeton 365 El Dragoman 365 El Instruktor 365 El Kismet de Martes 364 El Kismet Poeta 364 El konsultor o planléksiko 387 El Koreo de Viena 365 El Kulebro 374 El Luzero de la Pasensia 415–416 El Mazaloso 364 El Meseret 364, 369 El Meseret Poeta 364 El muerto ke esta vivo 369 El Nasional 364–365 El palasiyo de los amores 369 El secreto del mundo 369 El Soitari 364 El Sol 365 El Telegrafo 364 El Tiempo 364–365 El Trajuman 376 El Trezoro de la Kaza 365 El vendedor de leche 369 elative 476 Élégie de Troyes 5, 32, 149–150, 158, 161 Elegy for the 9th of Av 5, 16, 35–36, 177, 180, 191, 202 Elias, Samuel 365 Eliezer of Beaugency 147, 155 elision (see: deletion) elite 37, 81, 84, 92, 269, 367, 376 ellipsis 19, 514–515 Elnecave, David 354–365 emigration 37, 44, 330–331, 336, 354 (see also: migration) Emilia-Romagna 302 Enciso, Jesús 211 endangered languages 7, 138, 329–330 England 2, 4, 16, 30, 43, 141, 158, 167–173 English (language) 3, 44, 101, 106, 111, 143, 149, 167–168, 181, 201, 222, 234, 245, 271, 351, 367, 370, 374, 383, 385, 387–389, 391, 419–420, 436, 452, 523, 528, 553–554



entextualization 99 Entorno de la Torre Blanca 369 epenthesis 68, 187–189, 198, 277, 435, 455, 487, 490, 495–496 epithalamium (see: wedding song) Ester (play) 372 Esterka 373 Esther de Carpentras 136 Esther Poem (see: Roman d’Esther) ethnic aspects 20, 123, 269, 546, 551 ethnolect 123 ethnonyms (see: names) etymology 54–62, 64–65, 69, 72, 88, 114, 116, 120, 130–131, 149, 195, 247, 308, 314–316, 318, 321, 325, 334, 352, 382, 385, 388, 390–391, 393, 395, 452, 479, 543, 551 Europe 27–30, 34, 39, 114, 121, 177, 212, 222, 268–271, 274, 321, 330, 360, 363, 547, 549 exclamative clause (see: clause) exclamative particle 287, 516 exile 14, 31, 85, 89, 133, 142, 209–210, 213–214, 233, 267–269, 275, 282, 285, 318, 331, 361–362, 536 (see also: diaspora) expellee 329, 331, 346 experiential aspect 485, 492 expulsion 1–2, 8, 28–29, 31, 34, 37–39, 53, 71, 81, 92, 121–122, 124, 129–130, 133, 142, 161, 167, 173, 178–179, 181, 202, 209, 212–213, 240, 267, 275–276, 290, 320, 323, 330–331, 350, 352, 361, 376, 396, 412, 447, 458, 535, 544–545, 548 f- (evolution of word-initial Latin f-) 87, 215, 334, 339 Faentino (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) Faenza (city in Italy) 302 Farḥi Bible (see: Bible) fauna 304 (see also: names) Feliu, Eduard 99–100, 102–103, 114, 116, 118 Ferdinand II (King of Aragon) 100 Ferrara (town and duchy) 214, 302, 319–320, 361 Ferrara Bible (see Bible) Ferrarese (dialect) 324 (see also: Judaeo-Italian) feuilleton (see: press) Fevres 150, 154–155, 157–161 Fez 535 finiteness 479 – finite 254, 345, 464, 479, 482–483, 487–499, 500 – non-finite 464, 479, 482–483, 499–502 Fishman, Joshua A. 122

Five Scrolls (see: Megilla) Flamenca 33, 130, 134 Flanders 142, 161 Flemish (language) 141 flora 304 (see also: plant names) Florence 183, 302, 306, 319 Florentin, David 364, 368 Florentine (dialect) 306 (see also: Judaeo-Italian) Florian, Jean 369 focalization 520 focus (information structure) 516 folk-etymology 149, 311, 318  formant (morphology) 251, 465, 483, 487, 501, 503 formant (phonetics) 431, 455  Former Prophets (Neviʾim Rishonim) 210, 217, 220–223, 225, 234, 252 fossilization 301, 305, 314, 317–318, 323, 354  Foulché-Delbosc, Raymond 420–421 France 2, 4, 15–16, 28–32, 34, 43, 122–123, 129–130, 133–134, 138, 141–147, 156–157, 161, 169, 173, 268, 354, 368, 374, 538, 551 Franche-Comté 148, 152 Franconian (Fränkisch, dialect) 29, 115 Francophone 271 Francoprovençal (language) 148, 158 francos 270–271, 287 frankeados 350–351 Franks 99 French (language) 1, 4–5, 18–19, 28–29, 31, 66, 84, 87, 89, 123, 135, 137, 141–161, 167–173, 271, 273, 287–288, 291, 322, 329, 341, 351, 359, 364, 367–368, 370, 372, 374, 376–377, 383–384, 387–390, 392, 398, 414, 416–417, 419–424, 430, 432–433, 436, 438, 440–443, 447–448, 454, 457, 459, 468–469, 473–474, 477, 480, 483, 496, 507, 509–510, 513, 515, 517, 519–520, 523–524, 528, 535–536, 538, 542–543, 549, 552–554 – Anglo-Norman French (see: Anglo-Norman) – Judaeo-French 7–8, 16, 32, 141–161, 167–173 – Middle French 2, 16, 152, 154, 159 – Modern French 454 – Old French 1, 5, 7, 15–16, 30–34, 61, 66, 117, 122, 141–161, 167–173 French influence 364, 507, 509, 513 frequency 12, 46, 52–53, 61, 64, 70, 155, 185, 195, 235, 273, 280, 290, 306, 309, 317, 350, 395, 444, 446, 456, 459, 485, 514, 520, 542, 547 Fresco, David 361, 364–365, 367–369


fricative 10–11, 52, 54, 67, 86–87, 151, 183–184, 188, 274, 277–279, 334–335, 340–341, 410–412, 435–438, 440–448, 450, 452, 454, 459, 499, 537 fricativization 435 frochiguar / fruchiguar 90, 236 Frodoinus (bishop) 99 frozen forms (see: fossilization) fruits (see: names) functional categories 463 future (see: moods and tenses) Gabay, Yeḥezkel 364, 369 Galante, Avraham 386, 391–392 Galician (language) 501, 543 Gallicism 390 (see also: French influence) Gaon, Moshe David 363, 372, 374, 412, 415, 417 García de Diego, Vicente 395 Gascon (language) 4 Gascony 30 Gaul 30, 143 Gemara 385, 391 gemination 19, 86, 184–185, 201, 312, 450, 452–453 gender (grammar) 19, 224, 243–244, 286, 313, 315–316, 323, 339, 463–464, 467, 469–475, 477–478, 481, 483, 501–502, 509 (see also: agreement) – feminine 19, 50, 59, 132, 135, 185, 189, 243, 306–307, 309, 312–316, 322–323, 341, 349, 463–464, 468–471, 478, 539 – masculine 19, 50, 132, 155, 189, 198, 243, 306, 313–316, 323, 349, 463–464, 468–471, 474, 478–479 – natural gender 470 – neuter 478, 481 genitive 155 (see also: phrases) Geniza  – Cairo Geniza 7, 32, 104, 211, 217, 384 – “Geniza of Girona” 118 genres (literary and textual) 15–16, 18, 99, 110–114, 141, 145, 151, 161, 169, 263, 271, 359–363, 369, 373, 375–376, 507 (see also, among others: novel / poetry / press) – “adopted genres” 359–360 – drama 18, 137, 272, 288, 302, 359–360, 364, 359–373, 376 gentile (goy) 33, 39, 122, 138, 142, 317 gentilic 240–241 


geographic distribution 2, 6, 14, 17, 276, 301, 320, 329–354 geolinguistics 17, 301, 305, 319–321, 429 geresh 10–11, 32 German (language) 29, 31–32, 138, 143, 147, 271, 335–336, 367–368, 374, 376, 389–390, 392, 411, 510, 516, 528 Germanic (languages) 32, 57, 66, 306 Germany 8, 31, 43, 368, 395, 480  Gershom ben Juda (“Light of the Exile”) 31–32 Gershom ben Juda Meʾor ha-Gola 145, 159 Gershon, Tsadik 374 Gersonides 33 gerund 282, 329, 344–345, 349, 452, 479–480, 482–483, 488, 499–500, 522–524 ghetto 1, 3, 17, 137, 178–179, 198, 202, 301, 304, 319–320, 324 Giacomelli, Raffaele 302, 309 Gibraltar 289, 352 Girona 7, 99–101, 103, 116, 118–120 glide 72, 86, 183, 276–277, 279, 281, 284, 336, 339–340, 342, 433, 435–436, 447, 449, 451, 456, 466, 490 – palatal glide 281, 447, 456, 490 globalization 330 gloss 5, 7, 15–16, 27, 31–33, 145–155, 157–159, 161, 167–173, 177, 180, 182, 185, 194, 202, 221, 234, 236, 383–385  glossary 5–8, 16, 18, 32, 49, 51, 83, 102–104, 129, 132, 141, 147–149, 155–161, 168, 177, 182, 185, 202, 217, 220–221, 226, 235, 240, 383–386, 389–393, 401, 553–554 – Glossaire de Bâle 32, 148, 158 – Glossaire de Leipzig 32, 148, 154, 158 glottal 10, 52, 336, 444–445 Golden Age 81 – of Hebrew poetry 38, 113 – of Judaeo-Spanish literature 362 Gordon, Juda Leib 368 grammar (book) 5, 386  grammaticalization 282, 477, 491, 500 graphemics 3, 18, 177, 179, 183–185, 409–425 graphic system (see: writing system) Grecism 399, 467, 547–548 Greece 279, 330, 334, 338–339, 344, 346, 360, 372, 375, 453, 500, 539, 547 Greek (language) 5, 19, 28–30, 35, 47, 55, 57, 61, 64–65, 67, 121, 217, 234, 287, 341–342, 367, 374, 384, 388–389, 392, 398–399, 430, 433,



438–439, 441–444, 467–468, 535–536, 539, 542, 547–549, 554 Greek Jews 349 (see also: Sephardim) Greeks 269, 547  Grünbaum, Max 5, 420–421 Grünwald, Moritz (Mordechai) 6  Guerta de romansos 369 Ğugetón-Verga 388 Guide of the Perplexed 85 Güleryüz, Naim 366 guttural 353 Ha Shalom 365 Ha-Khalutsim 372 ha-shem 13, 89, 192, 316 Ha-Shofar 365, 370 Habsburg Empire 360 Ḥad Gadyā 135 Hadras de Pesah 373 haftara 210, 215, 223, 441 haggada 103 Haggada shel Pesaḥ (Passover Haggada) 385, 391 Hakitia (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Spanish) Halakhic literature 117 Halevy, Sa ʿadi Betsalel 376 Haman 134 Hamburg 4, 17, 71, 267, 290 Ḥanukka 353, 435, 544  haplology 456 Harcanot e Barcanot 137–139 ḥaroset 50, 142, 151–152, 161 Haskala 271, 375 Haskamot 136, 269 Hassán, Iacob M. 13, 214, 218, 222, 233–234, 287, 289, 353, 363, 409, 413, 420–422, 424–425, 509, 545 Ḥayyim, Samuel 225  Ḥayyūj (see: Juda Ḥayyūj) Hazkarat neshamot 186, 197 head (see: nucleus) Hebraicization 43, 234 Hebraism 1, 13, 17, 50, 89–90, 117, 130, 136–138, 143, 168–169, 227, 233, 240–242, 285, 301–306, 312, 319, 335–336, 340, 350–353, 361, 388, 390, 396, 398, 433–440, 464, 468–470, 473, 544–545 Hebrew (language) 5–18, 33–39, 43–44, 46–52, 71–73, 79–90, 100–106, 109–111, 114–117, 124, 129–138, 143-161, 167–168, 172–173, 177–184, 189–202, 210–228, 233–264, 267–271, 274,

282–291, 301–324, 335–336, 340, 350–354, 361–362, 367–368, 370–371, 375–376, 383–402, 410–414, 433–450, 457–459, 464, 467–473, 476, 500–503, 509, 514–515, 522, 535–536, 540, 542, 544–545, 548 – Ashkenazi Hebrew 315, 367, 369–370, 440 – Biblical Hebrew 17, 141, 143, 148, 168, 233–234, 240, 242, 244, 250–251, 255, 260, 263, 392, 450, 468 – Israeli Hebrew 453 – medieval Hebrew 6, 8, 16, 114, 129, 131–132, 138, 307, 320 – Modern Hebrew (Ivrit) 10, 388, 392, 440 – Rabbinic Hebrew 9, 105–107 – Sephardi Hebrew 450 Hebrew influence 13–15, 17, 51–52, 89, 132, 136–138, 192–193, 233–264, 288–289, 302–304, 309–311, 314–324, 350–354, 430, 438, 440–459, 464, 468, 470–472, 476, 500–501, 503, 509, 514–515 (see also: Hebraicism) Hebrew script 1–2, 4–5, 7, 10–13, 15–17, 43–44, 46–47, 50, 52–54, 71, 79, 81–83, 87–88, 90, 103–111, 114, 129, 131, 135, 137, 141–146, 150–152, 154–161, 167–173, 177–180, 183, 186, 188, 202, 209–213, 218–220, 224, 226, 233, 273–275, 279–280, 285, 301, 303, 352, 383, 409–412, 414, 416, 420, 422, 424, 432, – Ashkenazi 10, 151 – cursive 10, 46–48, 108, 410 – merubbaʿ 410 – Rashi script and print 10–11, 13, 46–48, 221–223, 226–227, 361, 366, 410 – semi-cursive 10 – Sephardi 10 – square 10–11, 46, 49, 219, 221–226 Hebron 336, 387 Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities 8 Hellenism 29–30, 34 Hermandat 373 Ḥesheq Shelomo 217, 220–221, 226, 234, 240, 245 hiatus 11, 53, 58–60, 65, 72, 86, 185, 410, 433, 435, 451, 456–458, 487, 497, 500 high variety 9, 33, 37, 81, 186, 432, 527 Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, Madison 395  Hispanicism 65, 67–68, 308 Hispanicization 354, 398, 424 (see also: re-Hispanicization) Hispano-Arabic 87, 445


historical linguistics 43, 80, 91, 160, 273, 276, 383, 400 historiography 359 Holland 17, 43, 209–210 (see also: Netherlands) Holocaust 302, 324, 330, 350, 369, 374, 397, 432 Holy Land 330, 333, 336–338, 340, 372, 454 Holy Roman Empire 28–30, 34, 133 homens da Nação 290 homonym list 16, 167, 172 homophony 240 honorific/familiar distinction (see: politeness) Hugo, Victor 368 humor 308, 311–313, 322–323, 354, 468 hybridization 37, 132, 136 hypercorrection 68, 278 Iberian Jews (see: Sephardim) Iberian Peninsula 1–2, 8–10, 29, 36, 43–44, 79, 99, 121, 142, 178, 209, 211, 213, 216, 233, 267–268, 284, 329–332, 340, 361–362, 376, 383, 446, 535, 537, 541–542, 544, 548–549 (see also: Sefarad) Ibero-Romance (languages) 2, 7, 9, 15, 18–19, 37, 59, 79, 82, 87, 275, 277, 279, 284–285, 288, 290–291, 331, 339, 345, 348–349, 354, 383, 385, 390, 394, 396, 400, 429, 440, 445, 453, 458, 463, 485, 541, 548 (see also: Asturian / Catalan / Galician / Leonese / Mirandese / Navarran / Navarro-Aragonese / Portuguese / Spanish) – Old Southern Ibero-Romance (Mozarabic) 7, 9, 81  ibn ʿEzra, Abraham (see: Abraham ben ʿEzra) ibn Janāḥ, Jona (see: Abu al-Walīd Marwān ibn Janāḥ) identity 29–30, 37–38, 122–123, 129, 134, 138, 145, 267, 269, 271, 275, 287, 329, 331, 333, 354 – linguistic identity 27–28, 31, 79, 91–92, 122, 135, 137 – religious identity 30, 123, 290 ideology 27, 81, 91, 113, 121, 123, 194, 387 imperative (see: moods and tenses) imperfect (see: moods and tenses) imperfective aspect 250–251, 345, 485, 488, 503 – consecutive imperfective 250 (see also: consecutive vav) impersonal constructions 261, 507, 513, 518–519 impersonal particle 519 inanimate 247, 469, 477, 518–519 indefinites 242, 245, 261, 477 (see also: article)


indicative (see: moods and tenses) industry 269, 274, 291, 545 infinitive 201–202, 248, 253–254, 282, 305, 435, 479–480, 482–483, 494, 496, 499–501, 525, 541 (see also: clause) – absolute infinitive (Hebrew) 248 – inflected infinitive 70, 329, 343–344, 349, 501 – personal infinitive 344, 348 inflection 19 – adjectival inflection 314, 463–464, 469, 470-475, 502–503 – inflectional class 186, 283, 470–475, 477, 481–482, 487, 489–490, 497–500 – Latin declensions 189 – nominal inflection 14, 19, 189–190, 201, 241, 244, 286, 306, 314–315, 463–464, 467, 501–503 – verbal inflection 19, 191–192, 201, 216, 247–250, 281–283, 305–306, 308–309, 463, 482–502 ingressive aspect 344–345, 500 inherited elements 18, 429, 434, 455, 468, 485, 489–490, 493, 502 – inherited phonemes 441, 451, 459 – inherited words 60, 66, 82, 335, 439, 441–444, 447, 449, 453–454, 457, 459, 464, 467–468, 473–474, 477, 536–538, 542, 548 innovation (linguistic) 14, 30, 70, 273, 276, 332, 339, 341–342, 348, 387, 409, 411–412, 436, 445, 458–459, 436 Inquisition 44, 48, 82, 85, 90, 211, 268, 290 inter-dialect 346 interdialectalism 348 interference 246, 290, 342, 354, 401, 415, 418–419, 541 interjection 90, 247, 545 internationalism 543–544 interrogative  – interrogative clause (see: clause) – interrogative particle 242–243, 260 – interrogative pro-forms 477–478, 481–482, 518 intertextuality 110, 113 intervocalic 14, 58–59, 130, 153, 202, 279, 335, 338, 340–342, 438, 440, 442, 444–445, 447, 451–452, 454 intonation (see: prosody) irregular forms 306, 315–316, 484–485, 490–491, 495, 499, 502–503 Isaac ben Eleazar ha-Levi 146



Isaac ben Juda 146 Isaac ben Sheshet 100, 211 Islam 81, 177, 286 Isabella I (Queen of Castile) 100 isogloss 333, 347, 353 isolation  – geolinguistic isolation 18, 347, 429–430, 459 – social isolation 92, 143 Israel 9, 181, 197, 199, 236, 269, 279, 287, 324, 329–331, 333, 336, 354, 360, 366, 371, 429, 440, 444, 447, 450, 453, 522, 543 Istanbul 3, 18, 272, 274, 279–280, 324, 329–330, 332–335, 338–341, 343, 347–348, 353, 366, 368, 371–372, 374, 386, 415, 429–439, 441, 443–444, 448–453, 457–459, 464, 466, 480, 484–486, 488–489, 492–493, 498–499 (see also: Constantinople) Italianism 287–288, 335, 341–342, 348–349, 351, 390, 398, 416, 436, 441–443, 456, 467, 477, 482, 512–513, 535–536, 538, 540, 542–543, 549 Italian and Italo-Romance (including medieval varieties, both Christian and Jewish; see also: Italianism; for the modern period see also: Judaeo-Italian) – Central-Southern Italian dialects 2, 5, 16, 35–36, 177–182, 184–188, 190–193, 198, 201–202, 306 (see also: Judaeo-Italian / Marchigiano / Romanesco) – Central-Southern Judaeo-Italo-Romance koine 34–35, 177–178, 184, 202 – Classical (medieval) Judaeo-Italian 5, 11, 16, 34–36, 49, 84, 135, 177–203, 306, 384, 514 – Italian 1, 5, 19, 36, 47, 138, 177, 179, 182–186, 188–189, 192, 194–202, 271, 273, 290, 306–312, 315–316, 322–323, 338, 367, 384, 430, 469, 489, 539, 542 – Northern Italo-Romance 17, 178–179, 200–201, 301, 307, 309, 314, 320, 323 (see also: Ferrarese / Triestine / Turinese / Judaeo-Italian / Venetian) – Old Italo-Romance and Old Italian 2, 5, 7, 15, 31, 177, 180, 202 – Tuscan 179, 183, 186–189, 198, 202, 306 (see also: Florentine / Livornese / Tuscanization) Italkic 27 (see also: Italian and Italo-Romance, Judaeo-Italian) Italy 17, 29, 34–35, 38–39, 43, 71, 135, 157, 161, 177–178, 197–198, 202, 209–210, 212–213, 268, 276, 289–290, 362, 397, 414, 535 – Central Italy 3, 301, 323

– Northern Italy 3, 34, 142, 161, 184, 193, 301, 323 – Southern Italy 34, 177, 179, 202 Ivrit (see: Hebrew) Izmir (Smyrna) 225, 229, 272, 274, 279, 332, 334, 344–345, 362–364, 366, 376, 387, 393, 412, 429, 432–433, 435, 464, 484–485, 492, 500 Jacob ben Juda of Lorraine 149, 158 Jacob ben Yakar 146 James I, the Conqueror (King of Aragon) 100, 119 Japanese (language) 392 Jaufre (see: Roman de Jaufre) Jerusalem 9, 28, 215, 224–226, 274, 287, 332, 336, 366, 368, 374, 386–387, 412, 422 Jewish communities (see also: aljama / call / carriero / qahal) 2–3, 10, 15, 17, 28–29, 43–44, 71, 79–85, 89, 92, 99–103, 111, 118–124, 130, 136, 143, 167–168, 177–179, 209–213, 216–217, 225, 227, 235, 267–271, 273–276, 278, 282, 286–287, 289–290, 304–305, 314–324, 329–340, 344–354 , 359–365, 367, 370–372, 375, 377, 409, 432, 435, 437, 439, 440–441, 449, 457, 465, 479, 485, 487, 489, 493, 498, 501, 503, 524, 535, 538–539, 541, 545–549 – Eastern Sephardic communities 17, 209–210, 274, 359, 409 Jewish Theological Seminary Library 44, 48, 149–150, 183, 199, 217, 220, 384  Joseph ben Isaac Bekhor Shor 147 Joseph ben Meir ibn Zabara 100, 116 Joseph ben Simeon Kara 147, 153–155, 158 journalism (see: press) Judaeo-Portuguese (see: Portuguese) Juda Ḥayyūj 131 Judacot 99 Judaeo-Anglo-Norman (see: Anglo-Norman) Judaeo-Arabic 3, 47, 56, 81, 84, 240, 336, 352 Judaeo-Catalan (see: Catalan) Judaeo-French (see: French) Judaeo-Italian (modern varieties) 1, 3, 13–14, 17, 39, 178–179, 198–199, 202, 290, 301–324 (see also: Italian and Italo-Romance) – Judaeo-Alessandrino 302, 311, 320, 323 – Judaeo-Anconetano 302–303, 320 – Judaeo-Bolognese 302 – Judaeo-Faentino 302 – Judaeo-Ferrarese 302, 306, 310, 313, 317, 319–320, 322–324 – Judaeo-Florentine 302, 306–312, 318–320, 322


– Judaeo-Livornese (bagit(t)o) 71, 290, 302–303, 306–314, 316, 319–324 – Judaeo-Lughese 302, 309, 317, 320 – Judaeo-Mantuan 302, 319–320 – Judaeo-Modenese 302, 306–307, 309–310, 312, 315, 317–320, 323 – Judaeo-Piedmontese 302, 306–323 – Judaeo-Pitiglianese 302, 307, 310–311, 316–317, 322–323 – Judaeo-Reggiano 302, 308, 312, 319–320, 323 – Judaeo-Romanesco 191, 302–303, 305–324 – Judaeo-Triestine 302, 305–306, 317, 319–323 – Judaeo-Turinese 302, 305–306, 308–310, 313–315, 317–323 – Judaeo-Venetian 302, 306–323 – Judaeo-Veronese 302, 315, 319–320, 323 Judaeo-Latin (see: Latin) Judaeo-Occitan (see: Occitan) Judaeo-Provençal (see: Occitan) Judaeo-Spanish 1–4, 6–11, 13–14, 16, 18–19, 30, 36–38, 44, 49–50, 53, 68, 71, 73, 90, 121, 124, 178–179, 209–210, 213, 216–218, 221–225, 227, 233–238, 240, 242–249, 251, 262–264, 267–291, 302, 323–324, 329–354, 359–377, 383–402, 409–425, 429–459, 463–503, 507–528, 535–549 – Bosnian Judaeo-Spanish 338, 417–418, 373 – Bulgarian Judaeo-Spanish 337–338, 341–342, 346, 354, 375, 387–391, 412–414, 458, 516, 538–539, 549 – Central Judaeo-Spanish 333–334, 336, 340, 434, 436, 439–440, 443–444, 448, 451 – Hakitia 18, 268, 287, 289, 329, 331, 352–354, 360, 545 – Judaeo-Spanish of the Holy Land 333, 336–338, 340, 454 – Oriental Judaeo-Spanish 17–18, 329, 331, 333–336, 352–353 – Peripheral Judaeo-Spanish 333–336, 340–341, 348, 432, 437, 440–441, 443–444, 451, 454 judéo-espagnol calque 8 (see also: Ladino) Judezmo (see: Djudezmo / Judaeo-Spanish / Ladino) Jurnal Yisraelit 364 jussive (see: moods and tenses) Kabulí, Jacob 387, 391–393 Kalvo, Josef 365 Kamino de tormento 374 Kantes de maturidad 374 Kaplan, Pesach 368


Kapon, Avram (see: Cappon, Abraham) Karagöz (play) 369 Karmi 365 Karmi Sheli 365 Karmona, Elia 364–365, 367, 369 Karo, Yosef 362 Kaspi, Joseph 33, 100, 132–133 Kastoria 334, 338, 341–342, 349 Katzenellenbogen, Lucie 151, 160 Kehilath Jahacob 385 ketuba 103 kharjas 7, 37 Khuli, Yaʿaqov 233, 362, 385, 396 Kırklareli 365 Kitāb al-ʼUṣūl 131 Koch, Peter 151, 156 koiné 34–35, 39, 122, 129, 131, 177–178, 184, 202, 330, 334, 361 koineization 2, 14, 268–269, 274–275, 279, 541 Kompert, Leopold 368 Konfino, Moshe Shemuel 369  Krespín, Ḥayím Moshé 387–388, 391–392 Kukenheim, Louis 145, 152, 154–155, 158–159, 161 Kuli, Jacob 385, 396 l- clusters 14, 57, 182, 187–188, 197 L’Écho des Carrières 138 L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue 130, 136–137 La Aksyon 388–389 La Amerika 366, 368 La banda preta 369 La Boz de Oriente 365 La Boz de Türkiye 365 La brigante 369 La Dame aux Camélias / La Dam alas kamelyas 368 La Epoka 364 La Fuerza / La Fouerça 416–417 La geula 372 La guerfanika desmamparada 369 La ija del sol 371 La kabesa kortada 369 La lamentación del alma 85 La Luz 365, 370–371 la mal maridada 113 La Matatja 373 La megila de Saray 369 La molinera y la karvonera 373 La mujer sefardí de Bosnia 372–373 La novia ʿaguna 369



La pasensia vale mucho 373 La Politika 365 La Vara 366, 374 La Verdad 364 La Victoria 372 laʻaz 5, 143, 146 labial 182, 198, 340, 410–411, 435, 437, 441, 443, 447–448 – labialization 340, 435 – labiodental 151, 309, 441, 443 Labov, William 91, 280 ladinamientos (see: Bible translation) Ladino 3, 8, 17, 49, 136, 209–228, 233–264, 268, 274, 289, 291, 330, 334, 363, 366, 383–385, 390, 396–397, 422, 432, 552–553 Ladinokomunita 422 laḥan 83 laísmo 479  lambdacism 453 language contact 2, 7, 14–16, 18, 55, 79, 130, 137, 144, 147, 167, 169, 173, 276, 280, 284, 329, 331, 333–336, 338–346, 349–350, 352–353, 383–384, 398, 402, 429, 430, 433, 438, 440–441, 443–444, 453–454, 457–459, 463–464, 489, 499, 503, 535–536, 539, 541–542, 547, 549, 551, 553–554 Languedoc 2, 28, 30, 33, 129–133, 138 Languedocian (dialect) (see: Occitan) Lapesa, Rafael 394 lapidary 16, 167, 171 Larache (town in North Africa) 352 Larisa (town in Greece) 334, 341 laryngeal 87, 280 Later Prophets (Neviʾim Aḥaronim) 210, 212, 217–220, 222–223, 225 lateral 69, 184, 279, 340, 354, 411, 437, 450–453, 459, 535 Lateran Council, Fourth 100 Latin (language) 9, 13–14, 27–28, 30, 33, 44, 54–55, 57–58, 61, 63–64, 66, 69–70, 73, 80–82, 87–90, 101–102, 104–105, 109–110, 115–117, 119, 121, 130–132, 143–144, 151, 153, 156–157, 159, 168–169, 172–173, 186–187, 189, 194, 196, 222, 233–234, 310, 313, 321, 324, 442, 449, 547, 554 – Judaeo-Latin 7, 29–30, 121, 143–144, 235 – Vulgar Latin 63, 143‒144, 186, 235, 547 Latin alphabet (see: alphabet)

Latin America 272, 279, 360, 398, 543 (see also: America) Latin West 2, 15, 25 Latin-American Spanish (see: Spanish) Lazar, Moshe 34, 37, 85, 90, 111, 135, 137, 212, 214, 217–218, 220, 222, 225, 227, 235, 361, 385, 391–392 Lazio 36, 39, 188, 306 leʻazim 5, 143, 146–147  Le Comte de Monte-Cristo 368 Le Petit Prince / El Princhipiko 512–513, 517, 520–521, 524, 526–527 learned form 58–59, 67, 82, 182, 187, 212, 279, 303, 395, 449 legal texts 84–85, 89, 101–103, 107–108, 110, 114, 116–117, 396 Leghorn (see: Livorno)  Lehmann, Marcus 365, 368 Leipzig 9, 32, 148, 154, 158 leísmo 479 lengthening (of consonants) 10 (see also: gemination) lenition 58–60, 340, 353, 447 Leon (kingdom) 79  Leonese (language) 79, 277, 281, 284–285, 345, 399, 442, 449, 481 Les Misérables 368 Les Mystères de Paris 368 Lettre Sépharade 422 levantinos 216, 290 leveling – analogical leveling 281, 487, 503 – dialect leveling 331–332, 334, 346, 349, 539 – phonological leveling 32 Leviticus 16, 114, 167, 170, 241  Levy, Albert D. 366 Levy, Emil 112 Levy, Isaac Jack 374 Levy, Kurt 507, 509 Levy, Raphael 142, 144, 161 Levy, Saadi 364 Levy, Sam 364, 368 lexeme 1, 38, 50, 56, 65–67, 70, 81–82, 87, 89, 91, 102, 141, 144–145, 150, 155, 193, 202, 239, 242, 271, 284, 335–336, 347–348, 350–351, 384, 395, 397, 443–444, 449, 464–465, 470, 483 lexical borrowing (see: borrowing) lexical categories 463 (see also: adjective / adverb / noun / verb)


lexical erosion 301 lexicalization 89, 280, 316, 318, 442, 476, 522 Léxico de voces hebraicas que se emplean en el habla judeo-española 388 lexicography 9, 14, 18, 36, 90, 144, 236, 383–384, 386, 397–398, 400–401 lexicology 18, 156, 401 lexicon (see: dictionary)  lexicon (vocabulary) 13, 15–17, 19, 50, 65–69, 79–80, 82, 89–91, 105, 114–121, 124, 141–145, 152, 155–157, 177, 179, 193–196, 198, 202, 211–212, 219, 221, 227–228, 233–243, 263, 267–268, 284–289, 291, 301–303, 305, 318–323, 331, 346, 348–350, 383–385, 392, 394–395, 398, 400, 402, 415, 432, 441, 447, 459, 535–549 Leyon, Abraham 388 Linguistic identity (see: identity) liquids 436, 443, 447, 450, 453, 455 (see also: lateral / rhotic) Lisbon 45, 48, 234 literary genres (see: genres) literary texts and language 1, 9, 16, 18, 27, 33, 35, 37–38, 71, 81, 83–85, 90, 103, 113–114, 122–123, 129, 131, 137, 139, 141, 149–150, 156, 159, 168, 177, 179–180, 182, 202, 210, 233–234, 263, 270–271, 274, 285, 290, 302–303, 307, 332, 350, 359–377, 394, 396, 400, 402, 421–422, 507, 509, 512, 528, 551  liturgy 9, 34–36, 38–39, 84, 103, 111–114, 122–123, 135, 150, 178, 196, 210, 224–225, 269, 361–362, 367, 509 Livornese (dialect) 319 (see also: Judaeo- Italian) Livorno 4, 17, 71, 216, 225–226, 267, 274, 280, 289–290, 302–303, 319–320, 324 loan (see: borrowing) loan translation (see: calque) loanword (see: borrowing) Loez – Loezic 143 – Western Loez 143 loʻez (see: laʻaz) Loire 31, 141, 158 loísmo 479 Lombroso, Yaʿaqov 221–222 Lorrain (dialect) 16, 147–148, 150–151, 155, 158–159 Lorraine (region) 29–30, 141–142, 148–150, 154, 157–159, 161  Los dos ermanikos 369 Los kaminos s’incheron de arena 374


Los Muestros 42 Los pogromes de Kichinev 371–372  Lotharingian (dialect) (see: Lorrain) Louis X (King of France) 142 Loulé 45 low variety 9, 157, 178 lowering (phonology) 338, 342  Lucena, Martín de 9, 157, 178 Lüdtke, Jens 272 Lughese (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) Lugo 302, 319–320 luke 482 Lunel, Armand 136, 139 Lunel, Jacob de (rabbi) 137, 139 Luria, Max A. 341–343, 345, 348–349, 392, 420, 448, 507, 509, 511, 513 Lus ojus, las manus, la boca 374 Lusism 542 Luzero de la Pasensia 366, 415–416 Macedonia 279, 339, 342, 344, 346, 392, 479, 500 Macedonian (language) 335–336, 341 Macer Floridus 132 Maghreb 268, 271, 360 Magriso, Yitsḥaq 362 Magula, Ḥayyim Yom Tov 363 maḥzor 43, 46, 150, 177, 180, 186, 196–197, 202, 397 – Bologna Maḥzor 197 – Maḥzor Vitry 150 Maimonides (see: Moses ben Maimon) Mainz 146–147 Majorca 103, 117 Manon Lescaut / Manon Lesko 368 Mantua 197, 302, 319–320 Mantuan (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) manuscript 1, 5, 7, 16, 33–35, 37, 43–50, 53, 70–71, 81, 83, 85, 89, 102–106, 111, 115, 120, 131–137, 143, 145, 147–151, 158, 160, 167, 169–172, 177, 180, 182–184, 186–187, 190, 196–200, 202, 209, 211–212, 214, 220, 224, 228, 234, 253–254, 256, 260–261, 383–384, 386–388, 391–392, 401, 455, 552  Maó 99 Mapu, Abraham 368 maqāmāt 37 Maqre dardeqe 5, 36, 182, 185, 187, 194–195, 202, 384  Marche (region) 36, 182 Marchigiano (dialect) 182, 190, 202



Marie de France 170  marranos 44, 71, 361, 523 Marseille 133 Martín Ortega, Elisa 373 mater lectionis 11–13, 72, 86, 160, 185, 240, 273, 410–411 mathematics 545 Matitiahu, Margalit 374 Matriz de luz 374 Meʿam Loʿez 362, 386, 396, 520 meaning 19, 70, 115, 120, 145, 155, 170–171, 195–196, 216, 226, 233–234, 237–242, 247–250, 252–257, 259, 282–284, 306, 311–317, 319–323, 331, 335, 345, 350, 386, 393, 396–401, 451, 457, 463, 466–467, 485, 496, 510, 514, 537–539, 543, 545, 547–548 (see also: semantics) medicine 6–8, 33, 48, 50, 81–82, 103–104, 130, 132, 150–151, 155, 157–158, 160–161, 375–376, 450, 467, 526, 537, 552–554  medio-passive (see: voice) Mediterranean Sea 28–29, 31, 39, 268, 270, 275, 289–290, 349, 541, 552 Mefanow, Daniel 389, 391–392 mefilot (see: carriero)  Megilla (scroll) – Ḥamesh megillot (Five Scrolls) 210, 222–223, 225 – Megillat Aḥimaʿaṣ 178  – Megillat Ester 33, 210, 317 Megilla (tractate) 33, 134 Meïr ben Eliav 149 meldar 30, 90, 219, 236, 285, 548 meldarim 367 Melilla 352 Menaḥem ben Ḥelbo 31, 131 Menasse ben Israel 216 Menéndez Pidal, Ramón 362, 449 merger (phonology) 274, 278–279, 537 merubbaʿ script (see: Hebrew script) metaplasm 186, 189 metathesis 60–62, 89, 116, 188, 280, 289, 312, 334, 429, 435, 454–455, 458, 495, 499, 501  Metz 29, 146, 159 Meyer, Paul 5‒6, 34, 133‒134 Mi še-bərakh 186, 197 Middle Ages 1–2, 4–5, 7, 11, 13, 15–16, 27–39, 43, 52, 56, 72, 80, 83–84, 91–92, 99–103, 110, 114, 117–118, 121, 129–131, 133, 135–136, 139, 141–147, 156–158, 161, 168, 170, 173, 177, 182, 186, 188–190, 196–197, 199–200, 202, 210–212,

219–220, 228, 233–235, 240–241, 247–248, 251–262, 267–268, 270, 277, 279, 284–285, 301, 306, 361–362, 369, 372, 383, 397–398, 541, 551–554  Midrash 35, 168, 177, 181‒182 migration (of peoples and individuals) 4, 34, 37, 44, 81, 92, 178, 269–270, 330–332, 336, 354, 372 Millàs Vallicrosa, Josep Maria 84, 88 Milon-kis sefaradi-yehudi – ʿivri 388 minerals (see: names) minimal pair 273, 438, 442, 444, 452–453, 457 minority 80‒81, 122, 286, 304, 331, 333, 336, 351, 546 Mirandese 501 Mishna 16, 177, 180, 182, 200–202, 314, 385–386, 391 missionary 17, 209‒210, 225‒227 Mistral, Frédéric 131 Mitrani, Barukh 365 Mitrani, Menaḥem 362 modal verb (see: verb) modality 464 Modena 177, 302, 313, 319‒320 Modena, Samuel 187‒188, 191, 198‒199 Modenese (dialect) (see: Judaeo-Italian) modern era 1, 3, 14, 16‒17, 178‒179, 198, 202, 275, 290, 301 modernization 270‒271, 359, 364, 373 modifier 244, 463, 509 Moldova 4 Molho, Michael 388, 391‒392 Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) 370, 510 Monastir (see: Bitola)  Moncalvo (town) 319‒320 monophthong 60, 65, 496 monophthongization 499 monosyllabic (see: syllable) Montsó 103, 106‒107 mood 17, 19, 89, 233, 247–250, 463–464, 482–487, 498–500, 503, 524–527 (see also: moods and tenses) moods and tenses 464, 484–499, 524 – cohortative 248 – conditional 70, 484–486, 493–495, 527–528 – future perfect 69–70, 247 – future subjunctive 55, 61, 60–70, 496, 498 – imperative 70, 109, 138, 249, 253, 344–345, 439, 455, 479–480, 482–483, 496, 498–500


– imperfect indicative 247, 349, 484–486, 489–490, 493, 527 – imperfect subjunctive 70, 489, 493, 496–498 – indicative 69, 191, 281, 349, 456, 482–496, 503, 525–527 – jussive 249 – narrative present 488 – passato prossimo 193