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4 The Linguistic Ethos of the Galilee in the First Century C.E.

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Chapter Summary

Language evolution within a society reflects the history of Galilean society; "the history of language and the history of culture move along parallel lines". A society shapes its thought and expression of reality through language and its grammar. Language choice and language change can be socially loaded. Language is the most sensitive indicator of social change; therefore, language allows one to observe social change in process prior to its crystallization and standardization within a social structure. The language used by the Jewish people living in the land of Israel in the Hellenistic and Roman periods at the same time reflect and were a crucial part of the social forces that shaped Jewish society in the Hellenistic and Roman periods in Galilee and Judea. The virtual absence of literary and epigraphic materials from Galilee during the Hellenistic and Early Roman periods complicates the construction of the linguistic ethos of Galilean society.

Keywords: Galilee; Israel; Jerusalem; Jewish society; Judea; Linguistic Ethos; Roman periods



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