Based on the premise that Jewish languages such as Judeo- Arabic, Ladino, and Yiddish offer crucial clues to ethnic origins, Wexler (linguistics, Tel-Aviv U.) challenges the prevailing view that Sephardic Jewry originated in Spain, asserting that they were in fact descended from Berber proselytes. The author finds remnants of this North African Berber and Arab substrate in the language and culture of the Sephardic Jews and presents an array of linguistic (as well as historical, literary, and ethnographic) data in support of his hypothesis. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
About the author
Paul Wexler is Professor of Linguistics at Tel-Aviv University.
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