The Factors Regulating the Use of the Hebrew-Aramaic Component in Judeo-Spanish

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This article focuses on the quantitative and qualitative weight of the Hebrew-Aramaic (HA) component in Judeo-Spanish (JS) by examining three characteristics of language usage: 1. linguistic features of HA words: morphological - nouns vs. other categories (e.g., mazál 'luck.N' vs. maxamá 'because of.PREP'); semantic - HA words and phrases related to Jewish religious concepts as opposed to other HA words and phrases (e.g., rošaná 'New Year' vs. xavér 'friend, partner'), and syntactic. 2. The HA inventory in JS: which sources and texts produced HA words and expressions used in JS (e.g., the Passover Haggadah)? 3. The actual distribution of the HA component as it appears in various sociolinguistic circumstances and literary texts (e.g., male vs. female, spoken vs. written, Halakhic vs. non-Halakhic). These characteristics suggest a hierarchy of factors that influence the quantity and quality of the HA component in JS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-188
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Jewish Languages
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Copyright 2020 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.


  • Hebrew-Aramaic component
  • Judeo-Spanish
  • morphology
  • semantics
  • sociolinguistic factors
  • syntax
  • text inventory


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