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Full Access Linguistic Features Shared by the Jewish Dialects of Baghdad and Aleppo and Their Possible Implications for the History of Both Communities

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Linguistic Features Shared by the Jewish Dialects of Baghdad and Aleppo and Their Possible Implications for the History of Both Communities

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The Arabic dialect of the Jews in Baghdad (JB) presents some surprising similarities with Levantine dialects, and specifically with the Arabic dialect of the Jews in Aleppo (JA). These similarities, which are rarely found in the vast geographical area between the two cities, might be explained by immigration or at least strong connections between these two Jewish centers. This article presents the grammatical features that the two dialects share and compares them with other dialects in the Mesopotamian-Levantine region. Afterwards, these findings are compared with existing historical sources. Finally, some speculations are presented about how the linguistic evidence reflects on the history of these two communities.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Languages and Cultures of the Near East, Semitic Studies, Heidelberg UniversityGermany arnold@uni-hd.de ; 2: Doctoral candidate, The Hebrew University JerusalemIsrael assaf.bar-moshe@mail.huji.ac.il

10.1163/22134638-05011115
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The Arabic dialect of the Jews in Baghdad (JB) presents some surprising similarities with Levantine dialects, and specifically with the Arabic dialect of the Jews in Aleppo (JA). These similarities, which are rarely found in the vast geographical area between the two cities, might be explained by immigration or at least strong connections between these two Jewish centers. This article presents the grammatical features that the two dialects share and compares them with other dialects in the Mesopotamian-Levantine region. Afterwards, these findings are compared with existing historical sources. Finally, some speculations are presented about how the linguistic evidence reflects on the history of these two communities.

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2017-06-15
2017-11-25

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