Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


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."

E-mail this page

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Judeo-Italian Manuscript Tradition of the Bible: The book of Habakuk Add Dissertation
Author: Seth Jerchower Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Università degli Studi di Firenze, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1993
Linguistic Subfield(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics;
Subject Language(s): Judeo-Italian
Director(s): Ida Zatelli
Giancarlo Breschi
Annalisa Nesi

Abstract: Discussion ensues to the present day concerning the description and status of Judeo-Italian (jit), that is, on whether it is a dialect or a literary koine. Systematic synchronic and diachronic studies should be able to both describe the salient and distinctive features of jit, its usage and applications, and its evolution. This paper analyzes the language employed in the extent jit translations of one book, that of Habakuk. In doing so, it not only attempts to provide its audience with a critical apparatus for a control text in jit, but establishes a diachronic frame of development of the texts' languages, their Judaic and non- Judaic sources, and the socio-/ethno-linguistic development of a specified minority population. The paper argues in favor of two theories: first, that the jit language employed in Medieval texts is a koine both in origin and usage, and, second, that a linguistic shift occuring around the turn of the sixteenth was directly influenced by the Crisi della Lingua. The following topics a re dealt with at length:

1. Graphemic definition and phonetic manifestation, with emphasis on atypical asymmetric tonic vowel representation.
2. Inventory and analysis of all non-terminal components.
3. The translation and transformation of the jit verb tense from Hebrew aspect and voice.
4. Comparative parsings of selected sentences where alternative morpho-syntactic interpretations result, particularly in the handling of the Hebrew EXCLAMATIVE-/+ACTIVE PARTICIPLE in S position.
5. Features which disti nguish koini from dialect; the application of both terms in Italo-Romance historical lingustics.
6. A proposal for a formal and diachronic distinction between jit and Italkian (the colloquial dialects).

The texts are synoptically presented. Criteria for transliterative and textual representation are established and applied. Studies on the respective lexica conclude the paper..