Article published in:Stability and Divergence in Language Contact: Factors and Mechanisms
Edited by Kurt Braunmüller, Steffen Höder and Karoline Kühl
[Studies in Language Variation 16] 2014
► pp. 77–108
Towards a typological classification of Judeo-Spanish
Analyzing syntax and prosody of Bulgarian judezmo
Judeoespanyol (Judeo-Spanish) is one of the names given to those varieties of Spanish spoken by descendants of the Jews that were expelled from Spain in 1492. There is neither a common designation nor is it spoken in one specific area, nor is there any agreement on how to classify it. By some linguists Judeo- Spanish has been considered a dialect of (Balkan) Spanish, by some a contact language different from Spanish, and by others again, it has been discussed whether it represented medieval Spanish, preserved unchanged for the last five centuries. In this chapter, we argue that the Judeo-Spanish spoken in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia is indeed a contact language, showing on the phonetic side a puzzling similarity with Modern Bulgarian and on the syntactic side a similarity with Modern European Spanish, although at the same time exhibiting some archaisms of Old Spanish. It thus supports the idea that both divergence and stability frequently occur together in situations of linguistic contact.
Published online: 26 November 2014
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