To date, no systematic, comprehensive study has been undertaken of how and to what extent the Hebrew component of Judeo-languages contributed to the formation of Modern Hebrew. This preliminary exploration seeks to partially fill this lacuna. Only lexical aspects of this phenomenon are examined here, namely, selected Modern Hebrew words and expressions whose origins can be identified in Judeo-languages. Their role was examined through their treatment in the Hebrew dictionaries, which often ignore the function of spoken Judeo-languages as a lexical source and assign word origins to written sources: biblical, rabbinic, and so forth. Special attention is devoted here to Hebrew words and expressions that derive from Judeo-Arabic languages. This preliminary study relates to four categories: Hebrew words and expressions that (1) derive from Judeo-languages, morphologically or semantically; (2) are attested in classical Hebrew, but whose meaning as used in Modern Hebrew was renewed only in Judeo-languages; (3) have identical meanings in classical Hebrew and Judeo-languages, but which Modern Hebrew apparently adopted from Judeolanguages; namely, Judeo-languages mediated between classical and Modern Hebrew; and (4) words and expressions that serve as sociolinguistic markers. My study revealed that the Hebrew component of Judeo-languages played a significant role in the transition from the scholarly written literary language of the study house and the synagogue to a spoken language equally available to all speakers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Religious studies
- Literature and Literary Theory