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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Uticaj balkanskih jezika na jevrejsko-spanski jezik (Balkan Elements in Judeo-Spanish) Add Dissertation
Author: Dimitrije Pesic Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philology
Completed in: 2007
Linguistic Subfield(s): Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics;
Subject Language(s): Ladino
Director(s): Jelena Filipovic
Srdjan Katic

Abstract: The goal of this work is to examine the extent and type of the influence of
Balkan languages on Judeo-Spanish. The Balkan Jews represent an interesting
sociolinguistic phenomenon. They were bilinguals in a monolingual
environment and maintained their language with great effort, but were not
immune to the influences of other languages spoken in the region.

Morphological, syntactic and lexical influences of Balkan languages,
especially Serbian and Turkish, are examined. Serbian was the language of
the domicile population and Turkish, due to historical circumstances, is
woven into all the languages of the Balkan Peninsula.

The examination is based on prose texts in periodicals of Belgrade and
Sarajevo Sephardim, written in both Latin transcription and in Rashi, i.e.
Hebrew letters. The analysis also took into consideration style and purpose
of the text (literal, journalistic, announcements etc.). Special attention
was not only paid to the authors, but also to their education, social
status, age etc.

The first part of this study concentrates on extralinguistic data about
Sephardim in the Balkans - their history, language, educational system and
periodicals they published. The beginning of the 20th century was a time of
modernization and cultural transition for the whole region. It was proven
that the social conditions had major role in the process of borrowing
linguistic elements from Balkan languages to Judeo-Spanish. The inclusion
of Sephardic children in public schools and women emancipation were the
milestones in the process of language shift, and thus, the quantity of new
elements from Balkan languages was noticeable in the Judeo-Spanish.

The second part draws special attention to the linguistic analysis of
results of language contact from the standpoint of universal theory of
language contact. This case does not differ from other language-contact
situations: the largest number of influences are to be found in the field
of lexicon (loan-words and calques), while the results of language contact
are much less visible in the fields of morphology and syntax.