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Judeo-Spanish : an example from Rhodes Clewlow, David Frederick


This study explores the Judeo-Spanish dialect through the analysis of an oral sample provided by two native speakers from Rhodes. A twenty-minute segment has been transcribed phonetically and incorporated into the thesis. A preliminary section provides the necessary historical, cultural and linguistic background for the analysis of the sample. Distinctive phonetic, morphological, lexical and syntactical features of the informants1 speech are pointed out and their significance demonstrated both synchronically, in relation to Eastern Judeo-Spanish and modern Hispanic Romance, and diachronically, showing survival of old Spanish elements. In the conclusion, the writer states that the development of the dialect was the result of the unique sociological conditions prevailing in the Sephardic communities of the ottoman Empire and highlights both the historical continuity of Judeo-Spanish as well as its participation in the common heritage of Hispano-Romance. He notes the presence or lack of certain foreign elements in their speech and alludes to Westernization and their education on Rhodes. He mentions differences in their pronunciation. The writer concludes that the segment of the dialogue recorded and transcribed is representative of the distinctive features of Judeo-Spanish and that, as such, it is a good introduction to the dialect.

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