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Ladino

LADINO

various forms of judeo-spanish spoken and written by the sephardimjews who came to the ottoman empire and the maghrib (north africa) after their expulsion from spain in 1492.

Ladino is also called Spanyol or Judezmo; in Northern Morocco, it is called Haketía. It is at base Old Castilian (Spanish, a Romance language). Like all Diaspora Jewish languages, it is written in Hebrew characters and has a significant Hebrew and Aramaic vocabulary. It alsodepending upon the regionhas assimilated loanwords from Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Italian, and French.

Ladino was the language of Jewish merchants throughout much of the Islamic Mediterranean region from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. Except for folk songs and ballads (cantígas and romances) and some rabbinical writings, there was only a limited Ladino literature until 1730, when Jacob Culi published his popular encyclopedic Me'am Lo'ez in Istanbul. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ladino became the primary medium of modern learning among Jews in the Ottoman Empire. Hundreds of novels and plays were translated from French, Hebrew, and Yiddish writers. There was a flourishing Ladino press in Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Palestine, and Egypt.

The language policies of the postWorld War I Republic of Turkey, the destruction of much of Balkan Jewry during World War II, and the migration of most of North African and Levantine Jews to Spain, South America, France, and Israel has led to the near disappearance of Ladino as a living language.


Bibliography


Lida, Denah. "Ladino Language and Literature." In Jewish Languages: Theme and Variations, edited by Herbert H. Paper. Cambridge, MA: Association for Jewish Studies, 1978.

norman stillman

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Ladino

Ladino the language of some Sephardic Jews, especially formerly in Mediterranean countries. It is based on medieval Spanish, with an admixture of Hebrew, Greek, and Turkish words, and is written in modified Hebrew characters.

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Ladino

Ladino: see Sephardim.

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Ladino

LadinoMano, piano •Arno, boliviano, Bolzano, Carnot, chicano, guano, Kano, llano, Locarno, Lugano, Marciano, Marrano, meccano, oregano, Pisano, poblano, Romano, siciliano, soprano, SukarnoRenault, steno, tenno •techno • Fresno • Pernod •ripieno, volcano •albino, bambino, beano, Borodino, Borsalino, cappuccino, casino, chino, Comino, concertino, Filipino, fino, Gino, keno, Ladino, Latino, Leno, maraschino, merino, Monte Cassino, Navarino, neutrino, Pacino, palomino, pecorino, Reno, San Marino, Sansovino, Torino, Trevino, Valentino, vino, Zenominnow, winnow •Llandudno • Gobineau • domino •Martineau •lino, rhino, wino •tonneau • Grodno •Livorno, porno •Mezzogiorno •cui bono?, kimono, Mono, no-no, phono •Bruno, Gounod, Juneau, Juno, Uno •Huguenot • pompano •Brno, inferno, journo, Salerno, Sterno

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Ladino

LADINO

LADINO (Latino ), or Judeo-Spanish, the spoken and written Hispanic language of Jews of Spanish origin. It has no connection with the Rheto-Romance dialect (Ladin) spoken in the Italian Tyrol. Over the centuries, various names have been given to this language composed of ancient Spanish dialects: Romance, Ğudezmo, Spaniolish.

Origins

The widespread view that the term "Ladino" is only applicable to the "sacred" language of Bible translations and prayers, whereas the other names are reserved solely for the spoken language, seems hardly tenable. Moreover, the theory that Ladino originated as a specifically Jewish language (as distinct from the dialects spoken in Spain) as early as the 13th or 14th century still lacks serious and sufficient proof. There is no doubt that Jews interspersed their dialects with words or expressions borrowed from Hebrew (particularly terms and concepts connected with religion and ethics), and that they preserved archaic words and obsolescent forms longer than other people. However, it was only after the Spanish Expulsion of 1492 that Ladino began to be a specifically Jewish language. Although the Jews had been ejected from the Iberian Peninsula and thus cut off from its language while this was still in the process of evolution, they preserved the Spanish and Hispanic dialects that had been spoken and written before Cervantes and the Golden Age, and which basically reflected the phonetics, morphology, and syntax of the 14th and 15th centuries. A gap, wider or narrower according to the country to which the refugees fled, began to appear between the written and spoken language on the one hand and the language of secular and rabbinical literature on the other. The language of Bible translations and prayers, which remained more resistant to the words, expressions, and syntactic patterns of the local tongue, became, in the course of the centuries, less and less comprehensible to the masses.

[Moshe Lazar]

The Topography of Ladino

The lack of contact between the Sephardim and Spain after 1492 led to a situation in which the Sephardim did not make use of the standardized norm of Spanish and allowed for the conservation of many rustic and popular forms, rejected by the Castilian norm, as well as an extraordinary geographical and social linguistic variation. This, added to the confluence of Sephardim of different regional and social origins, allowed the development of independent koinés in Salonika and Istanbul – supposedly also in Safed – evident from the end of the 17th century (i.e., the formative period of Judeo-Spanish). The result was – as the texts of the 18th century suggest – that the Judeo-Spanish dialectal mixture was not dominated exclusively by variants of a single region. Although Castilian features were selected rather more frequently than non-Castilian, perhaps reflecting the already higher prestige associated with Castilian variants in the late 15th century, selection of features typical of the other peninsular regions was frequent. In the communities of the Ottoman Empire, the linguistic contact with the local languages, especially with Turkish and Italian, led to the adoption of numerous loans. From the 16th century the influence exercised by Hebrew intensified on Judeo-Spanish and gave rise to the adoption of many words and expressions. This influence is also reflected in some syntactic structures. Finally, Judeo-Spanish shows a considerable degree of innovation, especially in phonology and lexis. This view contradicts the conventional opinion that Judeo-Spanish is intensely conservative in nature, although it does not deny that Judeo-Spanish preserves some features of 15th-century Spanish which have disappeared everywhere else (i.e., the Classical period or Golden century of Judeo-Spanish). As of 1839 Western culture – and France in particular – were the main model of modernization in the Ottoman Empire, and the Sephardi communities began to undergo westernization and secularization. The influence of French through the Alliance Israélite Universelle from 1865, and to a lesser extent of Italian and modern Spanish, caused many Sephardi intellectuals to adopt a purist attitude to their language expressed by replacing Turkish and Hebrew elements by others of Romance origin, and giving rise to what is called New-Judeo-Spanish.

In the Amsterdam and London communities, Jews continued to speak Castilian and Portuguese, which were constantly enriched by contact with the literature of the Iberian Peninsula and the contribution of *Marranos who returned to Judaism. In Italy, too, Castilian generally resisted tendencies to obsolescence and to massive linguistic borrowings from other languages, such as Hebrew or Italian.

Leaving aside the differences between the dialects, one finds that, between the 16th and 21st centuries, Judeo-Spanish continued to be a Spanish language, which had incorporated an important number of elements of Hebrew and other languages of contact. Owing to another factor, namely, that Judeo-Spanish was used in territories in which completely different languages are spoken, the Sephardim's pre-1492 Judaized Spanish turned into a full Jewish language.

phonetics

All the varieties of Judeo-Spanish have inherited the Castilian vowel system. The following important characteristics need to be emphasized for the consonants:

a) Innovations:

1. A certain tendency for word-initial e- to drop when followed by s + consonant: sfuenyo (esfuenyo < sueño = sleep, dream), spalda (espalda = shoulder), skova (escoba = broom), strečo (estrecho = narrow).

2. Alternance between the conservation of the labiodental fricative f- and its aspiration when preceding the diphthong we: fuego / huego (fire), fuerte/huerte (strong), yo fue / yo hue (I was, I went).

3. The articulation of /ʎ / (both initial and median) has merged to /j/ and the yeismo has become universal in Judeo-Spanish: yorar (llorar = to cry), yave (llave = key), kavayeros (caballeros = men), and then /j/ tended to disappear entirely when adjacent to the front tonic vowels e and i: anío (anillo = ring), kaveo (cabello = hair), gaína (gallina = chicken), manías (manillas = bracelets). Etymological -li- underwent the same development: famía (familia = family).

4. The phoneme /rr/ has merged to /r/: pero (perro = dog), tyera (tierra = earth), yo syero (yo cierro = I close) in most varieties.

5. Initial consonant n- in front of the diphthong we changes to m-: muestro (nuestro = our), muevo (nuevo = new), muez (nuez = nut).

6. Almost all varieties of Judeo-Spanish merge [ɲ] and [nj]: anyo (año = year), panyo (paño = knit).

7. Second-plural ending of the verb has come to be marked by /š/, as a result of assimilation between earlier final /s/ and de preceding off-glide [i]: kantaš (cantáis = you sing). This marker was then extended to verbal endings where there had been no off-glide: kantareš (cantaréis = you will sing), savreš (sabréis = you will know), direš (diréis = you will say).

8. The initial group sue- often changed to esfue-: esfuegra (suegra = sister-in-law), esfuenyo (sueño = sleep, dream).

9. The metathesis d-r instead of r-d is extremely common, except in the Bosnian, Croatian, and West-Macedonian dialects: vedre (verde = green), sodro (sordo = deaf), pedrido (perdido = lost), guadrar (guardar = to keep), por modre (por amor de = for love of).

b) Conservations:

1. Retention of the opposition /b/ and /v/, with articulation of the second like labiodentals, but with change in the context they appear: boka (boca = mouth), baka (vaca = cow), alava (alaba = he praises), kantava (cantaba = he sang), bivir (vivir = to live).

2. Retention of syllable-final /b/ with articulation of the second like labiodentals, in process of vocalizing to [ṷ] in late medieval Spanish: sivdad (ciudad = city), vivda (viuda = widow), devda (deuda = debt).

3. Retention of the contrast between voiceless and voiced units of the Old-Spanish system of sibilant phonemes, but the followed development differs from that of the rest of the Spanish-speaking world: (a) The pre-palatal fricative pair /š/ and /ž/ was retained: kaša (O.Sp. caxa = box), mužer (O.Sp. muger = woman), (b) The apical-alveolar fricative pair /s/ and /z/ (< /ц/ and /dz/) has merged to the dental fricative pair /s(/ and /z(/: paso (O.Sp. passo = step), kaza (O.Sp. casa = house); alsar (O.Sp. alçar = to raise), dezir (O.Sp. dezir = say).

4. As in the popular speech, syllable-final /s/ is palatalized to /š/ before velar [k]: moška, buškar, kaška (fly, search for, rind).

5. Retention of the reinforced diphthong-initial [gṷe], restricted to rural use in Spain: guevo, gueso (huevo, hueso = egg, bone).

6. As in the popular speech, metathesis -ld- instead of -dl- in the second and third persons of imperative followed by personal pronouns: dalde (dadle = give him/her), dizilde (decidle = say him/her), yamalde (llamadle = call him/her).

7. As in the popular speech, apocopated by the tonic object personal pronouns of the first and second person when these appear followed by an atonic personal pronoun: mo lo dišo (nos lo dijo = he/she said us it), mo la dites (nos la diste = you gave us it), vo lo digo (os lo digo = I say you it), vo los do (os los doy = I give you them), vo se tiene de contar (os lo hay que contar = it is necessary to tell you), la kaza mo la estan fraguando (nos están construyendo la casa = they are building us the house).

c) Non-Castilian features:

1. The variants selected in Judeo-Spanish did not always conform to the Castilian diphthongized pattern: ponte (puente = bridge), sorte (suerte 'clase' = kind), porto (puerto = haven), tutano (tuétano = marrow), preto (prieto 'negro' = black), grego (griego = Greek), governo (gobierno = govern).

2. Maximal differentiation of the three vowels /i/, /a/, /u/ found in unstressed syllable in those varieties of Judeo-Spanish spoken in Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and West Bulgaria: prizenti (presente 'regalo' = gift), kazada (casada = married), puderozu (poderoso = powerful).

3. Retention of the opposition /b/ and /v/: haver (= partner, associate, from Heb. חבר), haber (= news, from Turk. haber).

4. Retention of initial labiodentals /f/ in the West Judeo-Spanish varieties, as is also the case in Portuguese, Galician, Leonese, Aragonose, and Catalan: fijo (hijo = son), forno (horno = oven), fuyir (huir = flee).

5. Retention of pre-palatal fricative pair /š/ and /ž/.

6. Adoption of seseo: kasar (cazar = to hunt), (f)azer (hacer = to do), mosa (moza = servant, maiden).

7. Judeo-Spanish mst frequently inherits the string /mb/ as in Portuguese and Catalan, contrary to Castilian preserved /m/: lombo (lomo = back), palomba (paloma = dove), lamber (lamer = to lick).

morphology

The following distinctive characteristics are of note:

a) Innovations:

1. Certain nouns in which the gender was not determined in Old-Spanish become feminine: la vientre (stomach), la azeyte (oil), la honor (honor), la alma (soul).

2. The third-person possessive su is marked for the number of the possessor: su livro (su libro = his book), sus livro (su libro = their book).

3. Creation of numerous verbal periphrases and their subsequent lexicalization. It is necessary to distinguish the following constructions:

(a) Romance constructions: ser demenester (to be necessary), dar crédito (think to be true), darse rižo (to be not deprived of any thing).

(b) Hybrid constructions:

(1) Castilian verb + Hebrew complement: dezir tefilá (to pray), azer ḥesed (to practice charity), hazer milá (to circumcise), kortar din (to sentence), entrar la dimión (to have a slight suspicion), dar gemer (to decide), azer eḥreaḥ (to be necessary), salir de ḥová (complying an obligation), repozarse el daat (to become tranquil), dar kavod (treating with respect), dar ḥaftaná (to manage).

(2) Castilian verb ser (to be) + Hebrew participle: ser patur (remaining free), ser meḥalel (to profane), ser muḥaḥ (to be compelled), ser mekadeš (to sanctify), ser maskim (to accept, to agree, to consent), ser soḥe (to deserve).

(3) Castilian verb + Turkish complement: azerse buz (to freeze), azer dikat (to putting attention or to take into account or consideration), ir al dip (to examine thoroughly), estar dirdir (to speak without interruption), azer ğefá (to refuse), ečar lakirdí (to chatter), azer ḥatir (to satisfy), bever tutun (to smoke).

b) Retentions:

1. Conservation of the ordinal numerals from the number four ending with –eno: kuarteno (= 4th), sinkeno (5th), seženo (6th), seteno (7th), očeno (8th), noveno (9th), dezeno (10th), onzeno (11th), dozeno (12th), trezeno (13th), katorzeno (14th), kinzeno (15th).

2. Conservation of second person forms of polite address: vos (with second-person plural verb), el/eya, su mersed (with third-person plural verb) instead of the more modern Castilian usted (you).

3. The non-standard pronominal forms of the Castilian kon mi (with me), kon ti (with you), kon si (with himself) were preserved instead of the cult forms: conmigo, contigo, consigo.

These tonic forms appear even in the apodosis of the comparative sentences: es mas grande de mi (es más grande que yo = he is higher than I), el es mas riko de ti (él es már rico que tú = he is richer than you).

4. The reflexive pronoun -se, which is elsewhere unmarked for number, has the form -sen when its referent is plural as in rural Castilian: viendosen, yamandosen (viéndose, llamándose = being seen, being called).

5. The first-person singular present indicative of the verbs estar, ser, dar, ir was preserved: (e) stó, so, do, vo (estoy, soy, doy, voy = I am, I give, and I go).

6. Conservation of the Old-Castilian future verbal forms with metathesis –rn (< -n'r): terná (he/she will have), vernemos (he/she will come).

7. Conservation of the non-standard forms of the Castilian imperative plural without final /d/: mostrá, keré, avrí.

8. Almost unique preservation of the affectionate diminutive formed with the suffix –iko: kazika, gatiko (casita, gatito = a small house, a small/young cat).

c) Non-Castilian features:

1. Hypercharacterization of gender is frequent in the case of adjectives as in the eastern languages of Spain: popular, -a (popular), spesial, -a (special), nasyonal, -a (national), maternal, -a (maternal).

2. The use of Spanish dialectal kualo, kuala as in Leonese and Aragonese, instead of Castilian cual.

3. First person preterit forms of -ar verbs have developed the ending /–i/, /-imos/ (/-é/, /-emos/ in Aragonese): avlí, avlimos (hablé, hablamos = I/we spoke).

syntax

a) Innovations:

1. Duplication of the direct and indirect post-verbal complement through pronominal clitics placing before the verb: lo sakó a el hamor del pozo (sacó al burro del pozo = he removed the donkey from the well), lo mira a Ḥanan (mira a Janán = he looks to Hanna), lo vemos al Rabi Asriel asentado (vemos al rabino Asriel sentado = we see the rabbi Asriel seated), …avisimos ke vino a vižitarlo a Avram (ya informamos que vinó a visitar a Abraham = we report that he came to visit Abraham).

2. The gerund siendo has been converted into a causal conjunction (= since, seeing that): i siendo no topo, tomo él un papel (and since he did not find him, he took he a role), i sierto el ikar es de tener kargo de los proves, siendo no tienen modo de reğirsen (certainly the essential thing is to lend aid to the poor, since they do not have possibilities to do for themselves).

3. The preposition a was imposed on all direct-objects noun phrases instead of the Castilian use in which the contrast between personal direct object is marked by the preposition a, and non-personal direct objects are marked by absence of preposition: yo le rogo a mi amigo viežo, a ke mi pedrone el pekado (yo le ruego a mi viejo amigo que me per-done el pecado = I request from my old friend that he forgive me for the sin), Mošiko ve a la skola (Moisés ve la escuela = Moses sees the school).

b) Retentions:

1. In sentences with two atonic clitics, one in the function of direct complement (first or second persons) and the other as indirect complement (third person se), they appear immediately before the verb as in popular Old-Castilian: Este livro me se pedrio tres vezes (este libro se me perdió tres veces = this book was lost [by] me three times); Tu vas azer todo lo ke te se dize (harás todo lo que se te dice = you will do everything that [he] tells you).

2: For the existential haber Judeo-Spanish preserved the agreement of number between verb and complement, which is then constructed as the verbal subject: uvo una fortuna en la mar /uvieron dos fortunas en la mar (hubo una /dos tormenta(s) en la mar = there was a storm/there were two storms in the sea).

We can say that foreign influences have increasingly affected word order and sentence structure, so that Judeo-Spanish took on its own personality more distant from Spanish than its other varieties.

vocabulary

Aside from dialectal differences in vocabulary, which are in fact slight – several phenomena are characteristic of the language as a whole:

a) The preservation of hundreds of archaic Spanish words, some of which have disappeared from use in modern Spanish: dekolgar (to depend), ladinar (to translate), akonantar (taking precedence), akavidarse (to take precautions), abolar (to die), feúzia (confidence), barragan (hero), dias de kútio (days of the week), ainda (still), atemar (to weaken), enmentar (to mention, to remember), and others of which have changed their meaning among the Sephardim: ambezar (avezar 'be accustomed to' = to study), eskapar ('to flee' = to finish), estağar ('creak' = to separate), kara ('face' = cheek), karruča ('pulley' = wheel).

b) The substitution of several Castilian words by parallel terms borrowed from the other Ibero-Romance languages (Aragonese, Leonese, Catalan, or Portuguese) during the processes of koinéization in 16th and 17th centuries: demandar (pregunta = to ask), abokarse (doblarse = to bow), solombra (sombra = shadow), kazal (aldea = village), lonso (oso = bear), fortuna (tormenta = storm), melsa (bazo = spleen), defender (prohibir = to forbid), desmersar (hacer las compras = to go shopping), avantaže (ventaja = advantage), koğeta (colecta = collect), demudarse (palidecer = to turn pale), enguyo (náusea = nausea), mešerikear (murmurar = to gossip), feder (oler mal = to stink), bafo (aliento, soplo = breath), monturo (basurero = rubbish dump), fado (destino, suerte = destiny), resfolgo (descanso = rest).

c) Specialized terminology and special forms of the Spanish Jews from non-Hebrew and Aramaic origin have been preserved over the centuries: meldar (Old Gr. verb meletáō), means 'to study the Bible,' 'to read the Bible,' and, by extension, simply 'to read,' Ayifto (Gr. Aígyptos = Egypt), alḥad (first day, Sunday) was borrowed from Arabic instead of Spanish domingo (lat. (dies) dominicus 'the Lord's Day'); el Dió (God), instead of Dios with its feeling of a plural, serkusir (circuncidar = to circumcise), podestar (regir, gobernar, tener el poder = to govern), alemunyarse (Heb. ʾalman = to become a widower, to mourn) from which are also derived lemunyoso, lemunyo, (a)kunyadar (Sp. cuñada = to fulfill the command of levirate).

d) Also Hebrew and Aramaic words and expressions that are preserved, many of them changed their original meaning: vatran (ותרן = generous), ḥaḥam (חכם 'wise' = wise, but also rabbi), penuyah (פנויה 'free' = prostitute), kal (קהל 'gathering, congregation' = synagogue), ḥamin (חמין 'warm' = meat and vegetable stew cooked overnight and eaten for Sabbath), ma'alah-matah (מעלה ומטה 'up-down' = approximately, more or less). The use of Hebrew and Aramaic words and expressions in Judeo-Spanish increased specially after the beginning of the 18th century following the attempt of the rabbis to draw the people near to Jewish knowledge.

e) The substitution of hundreds of Spanish words, either unknown or forgotten over the centuries, by parallel terms borrowed from the local languages with which the Sephardim came in contact. However, it should be emphasized that certain terms were transferred from one community to another, by way of commercial or cultural relations, whereas others remained peculiar to particular communities. These foreign words derive mainly from Turkish: merak (depression, anxiety), merakli (melancholy), šaka (şaka = joke), yardan (yerdan = necklace), čanta (çanta = bag), pačas (paça = legs), diz (knee), kolay (easy); French: randevu (rendez-vous = appointment), apremidi (après-midi = afternoon), surpriz (surprise = surprise), kuartier (quartier = district), afer (affaire = matter, business); and Italian: kapo (capo = chief), dover (dovere = duty), perikolo (pericolo = danger), senso (sense), dopio (doppio = double), dunke (dunque = since, because, then); and to a lesser extent from Greek, Bulgarian, Serbo-Croatian, or German. Moreover in the Judeo-Spanish spoken in Israel, several words have been borrowed from Local Arabic, some from Yiddish, and in the last 150 years from Modern Hebrew.

Many of the borrowed words have been totally integrated in the Judeo-Spanish linguistic system: e.g., from Hebrew: darsar (דרש = preach), badkar (בדק = examine), diburear (דיבור = to talk gloomy), desmazalado (מזל = unlucky), mazalozo (= lucky), sekanozo (סכנה = dangerous), ḥenozo (חן = graceful), seheludo (שכל = intelligent), ḥanupozo (חנופה = flattering), garonudo (גרון = gluttonous); from Turkish bitirear (bitir {mek} = to finish), burear (bur {mak} = to cause an acrid feeling in the mouth), čekinear (çekin {mek} = to hesitate), berekyat (bereket = plentifulness), dayanear (dayan {mak} = to bear, to support), kulanear (kolla {mak} = to use, to employ), merekearse

(merak = have a falling out), merekiozo (depressed), tenekyero (teneke = tinsmith), (z)ulufias (zülüf = sidelocks); or from French: dezirar (désirer = desire, want), korijar (corriger = to correct), devuarse (se dévouer = to dedicate oneself), foburgo (<faubourg = suburb), malorozo (malheureux = unhappy), buto (but = aim), moyenes (moyens = means).

f) Conversely, some Hebrew and Turkish suffixes are borrowed to create new words: ladronim (Sp. ladrón + -im = robbers), ermanim (Sp. hermano + im = brother), balderim (Turk. balιr + im = departure, flight, retreat), serenlik (Sp. sereno + lik = serenity), benadamlik (בו אדם + lik = human quality), ḥaḥam bašilik (חכם + Turk. baş 'head, chief ' + lik = chief rabbinate), sekanalik (סכנה + lik = danger), zonuluk (זנות+ luk = debauchery, prostitution), safekli (ספק + li = doubtful, suspicious), sekanali (סכנה + li = dangerous), goralği (גרל+ ci = fortune-teller).

dialects

However, phonetic and lexical differences – less morphological and syntactic – bear witness to the following dialectal areas:

a) Phonetic areas: Central area (Turkey and Greece communities) with a stronger linguistic norm; and Peripheral area more flexible with the European area (Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia communities), and the Israelian Judeo-Spanish influenced by the Hebrew spoken by Oriental and Maghrebian Jews and Local Arabic.

b) Lexical areas: East Area (communities in Turkey, Israel, and West-Bulgaria) developed from de Istanbul koine; Central area (with Salonika and the communities situated in East-Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia) developed from de Salonician koine; and West area (communities in the Adriatic coast and in Croatia and Bosnia) more influenced by Portuguese and Italian loans.

The development of the dialectal areas in Judeo-Spanish took place from the 16th century and does not have a relation with the regional origin of its speakers.

system of writing

For several centuries the Hebrew alphabet has been in general use for the writing of Judeo-Spanish. The unvocalized Rashi script was most often used both for religious texts and secular literature, and was also the basis of the cursive script. However, from the 16th century onward, many books were printed in square lettering and were completely vocalized. Few books were printed in Latin characters, and it was only in the 20th century that the use of the Latin alphabet increased, particularly in journalism, without however affecting the circulation of newspapers and books in Rashi script. In the early 21st century an official spelling does not exist to write the Judeo-Spanish with the Latin alphabet, and its speakers usually use the system of the national language of their respective countries. In Israel, especially after the constitution of the National Authority of the Ladino and its Culture in 1997, the one phonetic spelling is that of the magazine Aki Yerushalayim (ay) that enjoyed popularity. Also the Sephardim of Anglo-Saxon countries make use of this spelling. Yet, some Spanish researchers, especially those affiliated with the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (csic), favoring the integration of the Sephardi variety in the Hispanic world, prefer a Spanish spelling, to which they add diacritic signs to mark the differences of pronunciation between the two varieties, in order to transcribe the Rashi script:

ay's spelling: i se kijo azer djudio, i antes de azerse djudio kijo informarse a saver kuala uma es la ke es estimada en el otro mundo… i fue dito Onkelos kon echiseria i lo izo alevantar a Tutus arasha…

csic's system of transcription: y se quis̀o haćer ĵudió, y antes de haćerse ĵudió quis̀o informarse a saber cuála umá es la que es estimada en el otro mundo… y fue dito Onquelos con hechićería y lo hiźo alevantar a Titus ha Rašáÿ…

When the Nazis exterminated many communities in which Judeo-Spanish had been the principal means of communication, Judeo-Spanish became almost irrevocably condemned to gradual disappearance. Judeo-Spanish–speaking Jews who immigrated to Israel and other Western countries adopted the language of the country and for their children Judeo-Spanish became only a residual language. Nevertheless, recent years have seen something of a Sephardic vernacular renaissance. Altogether some 200,000 people still speak or understand it.

The interest of linguists in the study of the Judeo-Spanish language began in the late 19th century, but it was only in the 20th century that most serious and detailed researches were undertaken. In the last two decades the study of Judeo-Spanish in the universities, especially in Israel and Germany, became more important to the point of becoming a university discipline.

[Aldina Quintana (2nd ed.)]

A Dictionnaire de Judéo-Espagnol by Joseph Nehama and Jesus Cantera was publishd by the Instituto Benito Arias Montano, of the Estudios Hebraicos Sefardies y de Oriente Proximo (Madrid, 1977).

Ladino Literature

The literature written in Ladino is not to be confused with that produced in Spanish by the western Sephardi communities, mainly that of Amsterdam. In contrast to the vast majority of the observant Spanish Jews who were exiled to North Africa and the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the *Marranos, assimilated into Spanish culture and more integrated within Christian society, left Spain gradually during the 16th and even the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them settling in Western Europe. These elements maintained direct contact with the civilization of their old country. Not only are their religious, philosophical, scientific, and literary works not written in Ladino, but they express an entirely different spirit from that found among the "Oriental" Sephardi thinkers and writers.

religious literature

In contrast to secular literature which, with the exception of the romancero, began to flourish in Ladino only in the 19th century, Ladino religious literature had its origins in pre-expulsion Spain. It was only in exile, however, that it really developed.

The religious literary tradition began between the 13th and 15th centuries with a series of Bible translations, of which a few unique specimens have been preserved as manuscripts in Spain (such as the Mss. i-j-3, i-j-4, and J-ii-19 of the Escorial Library). All these texts are, however, written in Latin characters. This tradition was revived successfully after the expulsion, particularly in Constantinople and Salonika, and the translations produced in these centers were adopted, and later revised here and there in the Sephardi Diaspora (Venice, Leghorn, Pisa, Amsterdam, Vienna). These translations, written in Hebrew characters and having their own vocabulary and syntax, are clearly distinguishable from the Spanish Bibles produced by Christians. Over the centuries, they helped to mold the written language of the Sephardim. The major original translations include the Book of Psalms (Constantinople, 1540); the Pentateuch (Constantinople, 1547); the Prophets (Salonika, 1572); and a complete translation of the Bible by Abraham ben Isaac Assa (Constantinople, 1739–45), which became the most popular text among the Sephardi communities of the East. To these translations should be added the anonymous glossary known as Ḥeshek Shelomo (Venice, 1588).

Within Ladino religious literature a separate subdivision is constituted by a series of works adapted from Hebrew: books of biblical interpretation and of ethics, together with manuals of religious ritual and prayer books. These include *Baḥya ibn Paquda's Ḥovot ha-Levavot, Isaac *Aboab's Menoratha-Ma'or, Joseph *Caro's Shulḥan Arukh, and *Elijah b. Benjamin ha-Levi's Shevet Musar. The original works Reğimiento de la Vida by Moses *Almosnino (1564) and Ẓorkhei Ẓibbur by Abraham Assa (1739) come into the same category. Thus, two centuries after the expulsion, Ladino literature comprised a very rich collection of adapted and original works in all spheres of creative activity, among them poetry, mysticism, biblical exegesis, history, medicine, and ethics. From the 18th century onward, the number of these original works increased steadily, but only part of the output has been preserved. The masterpiece of this ethical-religious literature, and one which has had a profound influence on the masses to the present day, is the *Me-Am Lo'ez, an encyclopedic work begun by Jacob *Culi in 1730 and continued by other writers after his death. This thesaurus of Sephardi knowledge draws its inspiration from the traditional sources of Jewish thought: Mishnah, Talmud, Midrash, and Kabbalah.

Ladino Poetry

Original poetic works in Ladino are extremely limited, and there is no doubt that this art was not as popular among the Levantine Sephardim as it was among the Sephardim of the West. However, some poetic tradition did exist, exemplified preeminently by two important works: the 14th-century Proverbios morales of Shem Tov (*Santob) de Carrion and the Poema de Yoçef, comprising some 300 quatrains, which must have been composed at the beginning of the 15th century. The latter poem, of which there is a fragmentary manuscript in Cambridge, England, and a complete version in the Vatican, is an adaptation from the Midrash and the *Sefer ha-Yashar of the story of Joseph and his brethren. This is written in a strophic and metric form which points to a merging of a medieval Spanish structure (the "cuaderna via") and that of the Hebrew piyyutim. In Ladino poetry the Poema de Yoçef has no less importance and literary value than the Poema de Yuçuf written in Spanish in Arabic characters, which is today an integral part of Spanish literature. A better-known and more popular Ladino poem on the same subject is Coplas de Yoçef Ha-Ẓaddik, written by Abraham de Toledo in 1732. This work, which comprises some 400 quatrains, had its own special melody and was sung on the festival of Purim. Two quite distinct versions have been preserved: one from Constantinople (1732), and another from Belgrade (1861) composed on the lines of the Salonika version (1755) which is now lost. Among minor poetic works there are various songs and poems, very variable in quality, devoted especially to Jewish festival themes. Many of them are connected with Purim, and these compositions, both serious and humorous, are to be found scattered in collections and almanacs under the title Coplas de Purim. The genre flourished in the 19th century.

the romancero

The Ladino romancero occupies a place of its own in the literature and everyday life of the Sephardim. When they left Spain, the Jews retained in their oral tradition innumerable "romances" – popular and traditional Spanish ballads – which had been widely diffused throughout the country in the course of the 14th and 15th centuries. (For musical tradition in the romancero, see below.) The melodies that accompanied these romances and made them easier to memorize also contributed to their preservation and to their transmission, from the 16th to 20th centuries, through all the communities of the eastern Sephardim and North Africa. Since the romancero was a "popular" genre, it hardly existed in western Sephardi centers. The Ladino romancero is largely a continuation and an adaptation of the Spanish romancero of both the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It includes some romances which are still to be found in collections of Spanish poetry and others which did not survive in the Iberian Peninsula or which are variations or adaptations, as well as many original romances and songs of later composition. The general subject matter of the Ladino romancero has sometimes been enriched by new Spanish romances composed in the late 15th and 16th centuries. The subject matter varies according to the distance of a given Sephardi community from Spain; thus the romances of North Africa differ considerably from those of the Ottoman Empire. The common characteristic, however, is what may be called the "dechristianization" of the traditional romancero. Jews tended to eliminate from the romances any elements which implied adherence to Christian beliefs and ceremonies. Only a few North African romances imported from the Peninsula at a much later date still retain specifically Christian motifs or images. Lapses of memory or interpolations sometimes resulted in either a muddled or amplified version of a traditional romance. The newly composed romanceros are on the whole looser in form and inferior in quality to the traditional romances. Since the romances were transmitted orally, the Ladino romancero has only comparatively recently acquired a written form which is still far from complete. However, it already represents a very rich and valuable corpus of poetry and folklore.

other secular works

Apart from the romancero, Ladino secular literature from the 19th century onward is characterized by a preponderance of translations or adaptations of plays and novels from world – and especially French – literature. These translations stimulated Sephardi writers to produce a considerable output of original plays, love stories, historical novels, and other works in Ladino. The literary quality of the later Ladino works is on the whole mediocre and most of them have been completely forgotten.

Ladino folktales and proverbs, capable of filling several volumes, have not yet been collected or adequately studied.

[Moshe Lazar]

In the 19th and 20th Centuries

With the decline of learning in the mid-19th century among the Jews in the Ottoman Empire, secular works in Ladino started to appear. The first secular works in Ladino were of a didactic character, consisting mostly of historical works, biographies, and travel books.

With the liberalization and secularization of Jewish society in the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 19th century, together with the general broadening of culture there and the marked influence of Western culture upon the Jews especially through the medium of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle, the need was felt for the emergence of a secular literature in Ladino in all literary genres. The first attempt to fill this vacuum was the creation of Ladino *newspapers. These intensified the demand for such a literature.

With the aim of propagating Western culture among Jews, young educated people undertook to translate and adapt plays and novels from general and especially French literature. The first translated novels were published in the 1880s and their number grew rapidly, only very few original novels being written. Between 1901 and 1938 over 150 novels were translated. These translations were mostly from classical and modern authors as well as from Hebrew and Yiddish writers such as Shalom Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, and Shalom Asch. These novels, often adapted rather than translated, were usually first published as feuilletons in the Ladino press. Although the original intention of their publishers was educational, they commonly produced love stories and chapbooks, usually appearing without mention of their author or translator. The chief translators were Isaac Gabai, David Fresco, Victor Levy, Alexander ibn Ghirat, Jean Florian, and Elijah Carmona, who revived the Ladino language by creating its modern literary style. They also published original works, mostly novels and biographies of Jewish philanthropists and historical personages, as well as many popular books on historical or scientific subjects (e.g., Historia Judia Universal in 13 vols., and Tesoro del Judaesmo by H.Y. Chaki). With the emergence of the Zionist movement, nationalistic themes began to appear in Ladino literature, expressed in original novels and plays on purely Jewish themes (especially by Jacques Luria), and often depicting Jewish life and types on the model of Shalom Aleichem and Mendele Mokher Seforim.

Ladino dramatic literature also appeared as a new genre at the close of the 19th century. Unlike the fiction it developed essentially around Jewish themes, though plays by Molière and Shakespeare were also translated. Those who distinguished themselves especially as playwrights were Jacques Luria, Yakim Behor, Joseph Djaen, Bahor Azario, and Abraham Capon. Of special interest are the books and pamphlets published in Ladino by the Protestant mission in the Ottoman Empire. Most of them deal with the New Testament or criticize Judaism and the Talmud. For a few years (from 1825) the mission even published an illustrated magazine in pure Spanish written in Hebrew characters, featuring articles on scientific and historical subjects, including Judaism. With the decline of Ladino as a spoken language and its replacement by Turkish and other tongues, Ladino became devoid of any use as a literary medium and was hence discarded as such. The virtual liquidation of the Sephardi communities of the Mediterranean area, partly through Nazi persecution (apart from Turkey) and partly through immigration to Ereẓ Israel and elsewhere, has contributed to the virtual extinction of Ladino literature, though newspapers in Ladino still appear in Turkey.

[Henri Guttel]

The Musical Tradition of the Judeo-Spanish Romancero

Sephardi secular life has always been richly imbued with traditional songs and paraliturgical hymns to celebrate the varied phases of the life cycle, social functions, and ceremonial gatherings. Among the traditional songs are the cherished and orally transmitted Castilian Romances ("ballads") which Sephardi women, in particular, sang at every occasion, and even during their daily household and infant-rearing chores.

The importance of the romancero or ballad tradition rests primarily on its retention of archaic linguistic features and preservation of themes that had long become extinct on the Iberian Peninsula. The postulation of a musical link between the extant Judeo-Spanish and the much older Peninsula ballad traditions on the basis of their strong textual ties, which gave rise to many scholarly and even romanticized notions concerning their melodic connections with 15th- and 16th-century Spanish cancioneros and vihuelista manuals, has proven nothing more than speculative.

Within decades after the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (1492) and from Portugal (1497), contacts with the Peninsula became increasingly sporadic, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean region where relations among the widely scattered Sephardim communities slackened, resulting in the isolation of particular communities which increasingly absorbed the musical influences of their new environments.

From about 1700, the stylistic differences between the Eastern (Turkish, Greek, and Balkan) and Western (North African, mainly Moroccan) repertoires had probably begun to develop. Because of Morocco's proximity to Spain, the flow of peninsular ballads was almost uninterrupted, whereas, in the Eastern tradition, ballad repertoires suffered greater isolation. In mid-20th century Israel, where the earlier Eastern Sephardim community had already constituted an amalgam of former Ottoman centers prior to 1947, the musical and thematic contrasts between its collective ballad repertoire and that of the North African Sephardi settlers, who arrived after 1947, continued to be reflected in their respective traditions.

Interest in the Judeo-Spanish romancero owes its impetus to R. Menéndez Pidal's (1869–1968) famous Catálogo del romancero judio-español, which listed over 140 ballad incipit (representing themes) then known to be extant in the Sephardim tradition. M. Manrique de Lara (1868–1929), who worked closely with Menéndez Pidal, was the first serious collector of the Sephardim musical tradition who traveled to the major Sephardim communities in the Eastern Mediterranean (from the latter part of 1910 to the early part of 1911), and later, during his military expeditions in northern Morocco (during the summers of 1915 and 1916). S.G. Armistead's three-volume catalog, published in 1978, which supersedes the earlier Catálogo, not only identified each item from Manrique's massive manuscript collection – housed at the Menéndez Pidal Archive in Madrid – but added additional themes. In the United States, S.G. Armistead and Joseph H. Silverman began recording ballads in Los Angeles (in 1958) among the Sephardi Jewish community from Rhodes, and a year later were joined by Israel J. Katz, who collected ballads in Israel (1959–61). The team's continued collaborative fieldwork in the United States, Morocco, and Israel has yielded more than 1,500 items, which form the basis of their multi-volume Judeo-Spanish Ballads from Oral Tradition (1986– ), five volumes of which have been issued to date. Katz's earlier Judeo-Spanish Traditional Ballads from Jerusalem (1975–76) documents the musicological researches undertaken until the late 1960s. Since then important collections and studies, together with recordings, have been made by Judith R. Cohen, Eleanora Noga Alberti-Kleinbort, Isaac J. Levy, Ankica Petrovic, Amnon Shiloah, and Susana Weich-Shahak (whose occasional collaborators include Judith Etzion and Edwin Seroussi).

[Israel J. Katz]

For the Judeo-Spanish of North Africa, see *Haketia.

bibliography:

M.L. Wagner, Beitraege zur Kenntnis des Juden-Spanischen von Konstantinopel (1914); idem, Caracteres generales del judeo-español de Oriente (1930); M. Luria, A Study of the Monastir Dialect of Judeo-Spanish (1939); A.S. Yahuda, in: Revista de filologia Española, 2 (1915), 339–70; J. Benoliel, in: Boletín de la Real Academia Española, 13–15 (1926–28); 32 (1952); M.A. Luria, in: Revue hispanique, 79 (1930), 323–41; C.M. Crews, in: Folklore, 43 (1932), 193–225; idem, Recherches sur le Judéo-espagnol dans les pays balkaniques (1935); P. Benichou, in: Revista de Filología Hispánica, 7 (1945), 209–58; C. Ramos Gil, in: Oẓar Yehudei Sefarad, 1 (1959), xxxii–xl; A. Zamora Vicente, Dialectologia española (1960); M. Lazar, in: Sefunot, 8 (1964), 337–75; M.D. Gaon, Ha-Ittonut be-Ladino (1965); M. Attias, Romancero Sefaradi (1956); A. Yaari, Reshimat Sifrei Ladino… (1934); P. Bénichou, Romances judeo-españoles de Marruecos (1946); M. Alvar, Endechas judeo-españoles (1953); A. Larrea Palaciń, Concionero judío de Marruecos, 3 vols. (1952–54). in the 19thand 20thcenturies: M. Franco, Essai sur l'histoire des Israélites de l'Empire Ottoman (1897), 269–76; A. Elmaleh, in: Ha-Shilo'ah, 26 (1912), 67–73; idem, in: Ha-Tor, 4:12 (1923/24), 9f.; M. Molho, in: Saloniki, Ir va-Em be-Yisrael (1967), 99–102; idem, Literatura sefardita de Oriente (1960). romancero musical tradition: I.J. Katz, Judeo-Spanish Traditional Ballads from Jerusalem: An Ethnomusicological Study (1971); idem, in: Western Folklore, 21 (1962), 83–91; idem, in: Ethnomusicology, 12 (1968), 72–85; S.G. Armistead and J.H. Silverman, Judeo-Spanish Ballad Chapbooks of Yacob Abraham Yoná (1970); Y. Levi, Tesha Romansot Yehudiyyot Sefardiyyot (music, 1954). add. bibliography: D.M. Bunis, in: H. Beinart, Moreshet Sepharad: The Sephardi Legacy, vol. 2 (1992), 399–422; idem, A Lexicon of the Hebrew and Aramaic Elements in Modern Judezmo (1993); idem, Judezmo (1999); C.M. Crews, Recherches sur le Judéo-espagnol dans les pays balkaniques (1935); A. García Moreno, Relatos del pueblo ladinán. Meʿam Loʿez (2004); I.M. Hassán, in: Estudios Sefardíes, 1 (1978), 147–50; idem, in: M. Seco and G. Salvador, La lengua española, hoy (1995), 117–40; M. Luria, A Study of the Monastir Dialect of Judeo-Spanish (1939); J. Nehama and J. Cantera, Dictionnaire du Judéo-Espagnol (1977); R. Penny, Variation and Change in Spanish (2000), 174–93; A. Quintana-Rodríguez, in: Archivo de Filología Aragonesa, 57–58 (2001), 163–92; idem, in: Revista de Filología Española, 82 (2002), 105–38; idem, in: Neue Romania, 31 (2004), 167–92; O. (Rodrigue) Schwarzwald, in: Peʿamim, 50 (1992), 4–28; M.Ch. Varol-Bornes, in: W. Busse and M.Ch. Varol-Bornes, Hommage à Haïm Vidal Sephiha (1996), 213–37; C.M.L. Wagner, Beitraege zur Kenntnis des Juden-Spanischen von Konstantinopel (1914); idem, Caracteres generales del judeo-español de Oriente (1930). music: R. Menéndez Pidal, "Catálogo del romancero judio-español," in: Cultura Espñola, 4 (1906), 1045–77; 4 (1907), 161–99; A. Hemsi, Coplas sefardíes (Chan-sons Judéo-espagnoles) (1932–73); A. de Larrea Palacin, Romances de Tetuán. Cancionero judío del norte de Marruecos (1952); E. Gerson-Kiwi, "On the Musical Sources of the Judeo-Hispanic Romance," in: Musical Quarterly, 50 (1964), 31–43; I.J. Katz, Judeo-Spanish Traditional Ballads from Jerusalem: An Ethnomusicological Study (1971); H. Avenary, "Cantos españoles antiguos mencionados en la literatura hebrea," in: Anuario Musical, 25 (1971), 67–79; S.G. Armistead, et al., El romancero judeo-español en el Archivo Menéndez Pidal (Catálogo-indice de riomances y canciones (1978); S.G. Armistead, J.H. Silverman, and I.J. Katz, Judeo-Spanish Ballads from Oral Tradition (1986– ); J. Etzion and S. Weich-Shahak, "The Spanish and the Sephardic Romancero: Musical Links," in: Ethnomusicology, 32:2 (1988), 1–37; J. Etzion and S. Weich-Shahak, "The Music of the Judeo-Spanish Romancero: Stylistic Features," in: Anuario Musical, 43 (1988), 1–35; S. Weich-Shahak, Romancero sefardi de Marruecos. Antologa de tradición oral (1997).

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Ladino

Ladino

Ladino, a Spanish word derived from the Latin latinus, meaning a person who spoke the Latin language, in contrast to speakers of Arabic. In medieval Spain, the word was used to describe Moors who had learned the Spanish language with such care and precision that they were scarcely distinguishable from Spaniards. From there, the word's meaning (documented as early as 1596, and also described as such in Covarrubias's 1611 Tesoro de la lengua castellana) was broadened to designate a crafty person, one who is cunning or astute, especially in learning foreign languages. In Spain, it was applied to the Moors and Spanish Jews (the Sephardic Jews of the Spanish diaspora are still known as ladinos), or any "foreigner" who learned the Spanish language, and implied a certain adaptation to Spanish customs. In the New World, usage expanded to incorporate New World Indians, African slaves, and the offspring of Spanish and Amerindians (mestizos), who were proficient Spanish-speakers and reasonably well-adapted to Spanish customs. Generally, the term described a person of non-Hispanic ethnic or racial background who successfully learned the Spanish language and customs of the Spaniards. In Guatemala, although originally applied to mestizos, it now connotes any person who is culturally not Mayan. This purely cultural significance means that it describes both individuals of European descent and those of purely indigenous descent whose cultural identity and language align them with European rather than Amerindian culture.

See alsoSpanish Language .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Sebastián De Covarrubias, Tesoro de la lengua castellana o española (1611).

Joan Corominas and José A. Pascual, Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico (1980).

Thomas M. Stephens, Dictionary of Latin American Racial and Ethnic Terminology (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Hale, Charles R. Más que un Indio= More than an Indian: Racial Ambivalence and Neoliberal Multiculturalism in Guatemala. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 2006.

Harris, Tracy K. Death of a Language: The History of Judeo-Spanish. Newark: University of Delaware Press; London: Associated University Presses, 1994.

Nelson, Diane M. A Finger in the Wound: Body Politics in Quincentennial Guatemala. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Reeves, René. Ladinos with Ladinos, Indians with Indians: Land, Labor, and Regional Ethnic Conflict in the Making of Guatemala. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2006.

Taracena Arriola, Arturo. Invención criolla, sueño ladino, pesadilla indígena: Los Altos de Guatemala: De región a estado, 1740–1871. Rev. ed. Antigua: Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoamérica, 1999.

                                     J. David Dressing

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