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Ashkenazim and Sephardim: Language Miscellanea

by Andrzej Kątny (Volume editor) Izabela Olszewska (Volume editor) Aleksandra Twardowska (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 180 Pages

Summary

The collection of articles chosen by the editors presents a broad variety of issues connected with Jewish languages (Judeo-Spanish, Yiddish) and co-territorial languages used by Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in different places and periods. Thus, the book contains both strictly linguistic and sociolinguistic descriptions (including the aspects of evaluating language, language in contact or linguistic identity), the presentation of languages in literary works (and their translations) from different periods, as well as lexicographical and cultural observations. This thematic variety shows opportunities for the research into the languages of both Jewish groups and inspires other scientific projects in this field.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Preface
  • Contents
  • Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish Speakers and the Acquisition of English in Immigrant America During the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 The Role of Jewish Institutions and Individuals
  • 3 English Classes: Teachers and Schools
  • 4 Teaching Methods
  • 5 Conclusion
  • A Positive Image of Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish in the Jewish Press of the First Half of the 20th Century: An Overview
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Language of the Ostjuden as a Topic in the Jewish Press in Germany
  • 2.1 A General Characterization and Evaluation of Yiddish in the Press
  • 2.2 Yiddish in the Linguistic Context
  • 2.3 The Yiddish Press and Literature
  • 2.4 Yiddish Ethnology and Anthropology
  • 3 The Sephardi Press in Bosnia after World War I
  • 3.1 A General Characterization and Positive Evaluation of Judeo-Spanish
  • 3.2 Sephardi Events and Organizations in the Press
  • 3.3 Texts in Judeo-Spanish
  • 5 Conclusion
  • Sarajevo Sephardim and Their Linguistic Identification
  • 1 Introduction and Empirical Analysis
  • 2 Methodology and Research Question
  • 3 A Historical Overview
  • 4 State of the Art
  • 5 The Jews in the Second Yugoslavia (1945–1992)
  • 6 The Jews in Sarajevo Today
  • 7 The Second Yugoslavia and Linguistic Sephardic Identification in Sarajevo Today
  • 8 Conclusion
  • Eating and Drinking among Bulgarian Sephardim at the Turn of the 20th Century
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Description of Primary Sources
  • 2.1 The Diccionario j́udeo-español-búlgaro
  • 2.2 The Малко словарче на френско-българско-еврейски език
  • 2.3 The Nueva metoda práctica de estudio de la lengua búlgara
  • 2.4 The Weekly Newspaper El Eco Ĵudáïco
  • 3 Study
  • 3.1 Food
  • 3.1.1 Vegetables
  • 3.1.2 Meat
  • 3.1.3 Fish
  • 3.1.4 Others
  • 3.2 Beverages
  • 3.3 Selling Prices
  • 3.4 Culinary Habits
  • 4 Conclusions
  • Language as Oikos: The Case of Margalit Matitiahu’s Poetry
  • Sefer ha-Berit in Ladino: Adaptations and Translations of a Hebrew Best-Seller for the Sephardi Reading Public
  • 1 Sefer ha-Berit in Hebrew
  • 2 Ladino Moralistic Works Inspired by Sefer ha-Berit
  • 2.1 Sefer Darke ha-Adam
  • 2.2 Sefer Musar Haśkel
  • 3 Translations of Sefer ha-Berit into Ladino
  • 3.1 The First Partial Translation by Ḥayyim Abraham Benveniste Gategno
  • 3.1.1 Translation and Printing Process of the Ladino Version
  • 3.1.2 Omissions, or Translator’s Responsibilities
  • 3.1.3 Additions, or Translator’s Limitations
  • 3.2 Updated Translation of Sefer ha-Berit by Rafael Yiṣḥaq Ben Veniste
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Yitskhok Katsenelson’s Dos lid fun oysgehargetn yidishn folk
  • 1 How Was the Elegy Written and Saved?
  • 2 A Story of the Elegy’s Editions
  • 3 The Manuscripts
  • 4 Some Mismatches Between the Manuscripts and Editions of the Elegy
  • 5 Final Comment
  • The Yiddish Subjective Resultative Construction Based on the Adverbial Participle: Convergences and Divergences with Co-Territorial Languages
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 State of the Art
  • 2.1 Adverbial Participles and Their Taxis Meanings
  • 2.2 Research on Subjective Resultatives
  • 3 The Corpus Search
  • 4 The Data
  • 4.1 Yiddish
  • 4.2 Polish and Russian
  • 5 Conclusion
  • Notes on the Authors

Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available online at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress.

Reviewed by Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska, Michail L. Kotin, David Malcolm, Ivana Vucina Simovic, Krinka Vidakovic-Petrov

Published with financial support from the University of Gdansk (Institute of German, J.G. Herder Foundation) and the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Department of Balkan Studies, Faculty of Languages)

Printed by CPI books GmbH, Leck

ISSN 2192-7170

ISBN 978-3-631-74987-6 (Print)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-77514-1 (E-PDF)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-77515-8 (EPUB)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-77516-5 (MOBI)

DOI 10.3726/b14945

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Open Access: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

© Andrzej Kątny / Izabela Olszewska / Aleksandra Twardowska (eds.), 2019

Peter Lang – Berlin · Bern · Bruxelles ·New York · Oxford · Warszawa · Wien

This publication has been peer reviewed.

www.peterlang.com

About the editors

Andrzej Ka˛tny is Professor of German linguistics at the University of Gdan´sk (Poland). His research interests include German linguistics, Polish-German contrastive studies, and contact linguistics.

Izabela Olszewska is Assistant Professor at the Institute of German Philology at the University in Gdan´sk (Poland). Her academic interests involve the language and culture of Ashkenazi Jews, Holocaust, media linguistics, and culture of remembrance.

Aleksandra Twardowska is Assistant Professor at the Department of Balkan Studies at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun´ (Poland). Her academic interests involve the language, culture and history of Balkan Jews, Jewish and Slavic anthroponomy, and Balkan languages.

About the book

The collection of articles chosen by the editors presents a broad variety of issues connected with Jewish languages (Judeo-Spanish, Yiddish) and co-territorial languages used by Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews in different places and periods. Thus, the book contains both strictly linguistic and sociolinguistic descriptions (including the aspects of evaluating language, language in contact or linguistic identity), the presentation of languages in literary works (and their translations) from different periods, as well as lexicographical and cultural observations. This thematic variety shows opportunities for the research into the languages of both Jewish groups and inspires other scientific projects in this field.

Citability of the eBook

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Preface

The second multiauthor volume which presents the state of research on the Ashkenazi and Sephardic Diaspora1 covers the issues concerning the languages used by Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews: Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) and others.

The volume begins with a text by the independent researcher Julie Scolnik (San Francisco), which is the only one describing the situation of Jewish groups following the emigration from Europe (in this case both groups, but mainly the Sephardic group). The author characterizes Jewish immigrants in the United States at the turn of the 19th and the 20th centuries from a sociolinguistic perspective. She concentrates, however, on the phase of acquiring a new language – English. Scolnik also lists problems connected with the integration of this minority with American society. The article contains detailed information about the cultural activity of the Sephardic emigration, as well as the characterization of sociocultural institutions and organizations, and of specific people who acted in support of the emigrants’ assimilation. The author, however, gives special attention to the acquisition of the English language (and in the case of the Sephardic Diaspora also of the Yiddish language) in the process of Jewish emigrants’ assimilation: she characterizes schools, teachers and methods of teaching the language.

Izabela Olszewska (Gdańsk) and Aleksandra Twardowska (Toruń) reflect in their paper on An Image of Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish in the Jewish Press of the First Half of the Twentieth Century. The authors analyze the press discourse (in the Jewish German-language and bilingual Judeo-Spanish/Serbo-Croatian press of a sociocultural type) in relation to the positive evaluation of both Diaspora languages and their important role in the Jewish culture and tradition. In this respect, the article discusses various issues, for example attempts to describe Yiddish from a linguistic, ethnological and anthropological perspective as well as Yiddish-language press and literature. Analogous topics concerning Judeo-Spanish appeared in the Jewish press in Bosnia along with the descriptions of organizations and sociocultural events connected with the Judeo-Spanish tradition or with diverse Ladino texts.

Language analyzed as the determinant of Jewish identity (and identity as such) is the subject matter of the text by Jonny Rock (Berlin). The author bases her reflections on the interviews with members of the contemporary Jewish community (of different generations) in Sarajevo. The author states that the Sephardim of Sarajevo have long reflected the complex relationship between language, religion and an ethnic background. Therefore, the analysis of their contemporary linguistic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which three variations of one regional language, replaceable in communication, have transformed into three distinct standards (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian), seems to be particularly justified. By means of the conducted interviews, the author tries to determine how the Jewish-Sephardic linguistic identity in Sarajevo was shaped from the perspective of historical events, e.g. the fall of Yugoslavia. The article also characterizes the social background of the Jews from 1945 to 1992, as well as the present status of the Jews in Sarajevo.

In their paper Aitor Gracía Moreno (Madrid) and Dora Mancheva (Geneva) combine lexicographical observations about the Judeo-Spanish language with reflections of a cultural kind analyzing three types of sources (dictionaries, lexicons and one magazine) which were published in print in Bulgaria at the beginning of the 20th century. The corpus collected by the authors refers to cookery and their analysis of semantic domains connected with food (vegetables, meat, fish, etc.), drinks, the prices of products, units of measurement and culinary customs includes numerous comparisons of the collected lexemes and the reflections on their origin. Great value of this text lies in a testimony to the linguistic situation, customs and culture of the Bulgarian Sephardic Jews in a multi-ethnic environment. These reflections are complemented by the introduction outlining the history and situation of Bulgarian Sephardic communities at that time.

The text by Agnieszka August-Zarębska and Tomasz Zarębski (Wrocław) is a means of reflecting on the Judeo-Spanish language in the area of the contemporary Israeli poetry using the example of Margalit Matitiahu’s volumes. The key to analyzing Matitiahu’s work is the motif of oikos which the authors of the article explain giving a few definitions used in literary and cultural studies. In the case of the analyzed poetry the motif of oikos is also supposed to include language. According to the authors, Ladino, although it is not Matitiahu’s first language, was not chosen by accident. It is supposed to symbolize the culture of the poet’s Sephardic ancestors considered at the two levels of history and tradition: Sephardic communities of the Balkans, that is of Thessaloniki (where Matitiahu’s parents came from), and the mythical Sefarad – the Iberian cradle of past ancestors’ culture.

It is also Katja Šmid (Madrid) who makes a reference to the Ladino language in literature. She focuses, however, on the description of Judeo-Spanish translations of the Hebrew publication Sefer ha-Berit [The Book of Covenant] which is of an encyclopedic and educational nature. The Hebrew original, first published in the late 18th century, gained such popularity that there quickly appeared the need to translate the text (or its excerpts) and to make it familiar to the readers from the Sephardic Diaspora. The author points at the differences between the original and its translations with respect to the structure and content, portrays the origin of changes made by translators and sometimes refers to their dialogue and disputes with an author of the original text.

Biographical notes

Andrzej Kątny (Volume editor) Izabela Olszewska (Volume editor) Aleksandra Twardowska (Volume editor)

Andrzej Kątny is Professor of German linguistics at the University of Gdańsk (Poland). His research interests include German linguistics, Polish-German contrastive studies, and contact linguistics. Izabela Olszewska is Assistant Professor at the Institute of German Philology at the University in Gdańsk (Poland). Her academic interests involve the language and culture of Ashkenazi Jews, Holocaust, media linguistics, and culture of remembrance. Aleksandra Twardowska is Assistant Professor at the Department of Balkan Studies at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń (Poland). Her academic interests involve the language, culture and history of Balkan Jews, Jewish and Slavic anthroponomy, and Balkan languages.

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Title: Ashkenazim and Sephardim: Language Miscellanea