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Persian-Arabic Bilingualism In The Cairo Genizah Documents

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Chapter Summary

The number of Judaeo-Persian documents deriving from the Cairo Genizah and from other oriental sources of similar antiquity (i.e. roughly tenth to thirteenth centuries CE) is now quite considerable. In 1968 a new era began in the study of the Judaeo-Persian texts, with the publication by D. N. MacKenzie of what he called a 'Jewish Persian Argument' from a fragment at the British Library, a very interesting text from the linguistic as well as from the historical and literary points of view. Classical Judaeo-Persian literature is largely a product of the fourteenth century onwards, while the datable documents from the Genizah may be assigned to the period from the tenth up to the mid-thirteenth century. There are a number of other letters from the Genizah that present a different type of hybrid bilingualism.

Keywords: Cairo Genizah documents; Judaeo-Persian documents; Persian Arabic bilingualism



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