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Yiddish evidence for the khazar component in the Ashkenazic Ethnogenesis

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Chapter Summary

Two areas of research that can promise immediate and indisputable contributions to the understanding of Khazar civilization are the archaeology of the sites in the Empire and reanalysis of extant historical documentation. The author believes that there are two major and three minor avenues of research available for uncovering the whereabouts of the Khazar Jews: the major avenues are linguistics and toponymics. The relatively minor avenues of research are numismatics, history and the archaeology of Khazars outside their Empire; a potentially promising avenue of research is genetics. He believes that there is one unexpected source, yet untapped, that can confirm a Khazar component in the Ashkenazic ethnogenesis: the Yiddish language. The value of Yiddish to Khazar studies lies precisely in the fact that Yiddish grammar is clearly Slavic in origin; only the vocabulary of Yiddish is predominantly German. This means that Yiddish is a Slavic rather than a Germanic language.

Keywords: Ashkenazic ethnogenesis; Khazar component; Khazar Jews; linguistics; Slavic; toponymics; Yiddish language

10.1163/ej.9789004160422.i-460.68
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004160422.i-460.68
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