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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:52 pm 
Lebom
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I wasn't sure if this counted as an L&L question. What vernacular language would have been spoken by a Jew in Jerusalem in the late 11th century (obviously before they were burnt alive even later in the century)? What stage of that language?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:20 pm 
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The rulers around that time were the Fatimids or something, weren't they? So probably whatever languages they spoke.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:37 pm 
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al-lugha al-franj ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Arabic, I'd wager.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:16 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Arabic, I'd wager.


Indeed, that's what everyone else was speaking in the area, were they not?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:52 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Arabic, I'd wager.

That's where I'd put my money. That's the language they were speaking there until the 20th century.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Eddy wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
Arabic, I'd wager.


Indeed, that's what everyone else was speaking in the area, were they not?


And that logic is why I believe the jews are still speaking arabic.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:43 pm 
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The problem is, the mountainous areas of the levant happen to be a hotspot of linguistic diversity. Hell, there are still people in Lebanon speaking Aramaic. So I don't think "Everyone else was speaking Arabic" is a knock-out argument. Maybe somebody should... I don't know... go to the library?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:51 pm 
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brandrinn wrote:
The problem is, the mountainous areas of the levant happen to be a hotspot of linguistic diversity. Hell, there are still people in Lebanon speaking Aramaic.


Whoa really? Considering that thousands of years have passed since the heyday of Aramaic, it must have undergone extraordinary amounts of linguistic change. How can we even consider the modern variety the same language as Aramaic spoken over two thousand years ago?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 4:55 pm 
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In the same way that speakers of Basque and Chinese consider themselves to speak the same language as 2000 years ago: continuity. Besides, if you actually bothered to read, you'll find that this is addressed in the wikipedia article; modern Aramaic can be argued to be a bunch of related languages (or dialects/varieties).


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:39 pm 
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They probably spoke several languages, in different contexts. It's highly likely, unless they lived in isolated all-Jewish villages, that they spoke Medieval Arabic (many famous Jews actually wrote in Arabic; the 9th/10th century scholar Sa`adiah ben Gaon wrote most of his books in Arabic, such as Emunoth veDe`oth or "Beliefs and Doctrinal Knowledge," probably implying that it was the language he most expected people to be able to read) - or at least, spoke it in mixed situations. In non-Gentile settings, I would imagine they used an Aramaic dialect (keep in mind that this is what most of the Gemara of the Talmud is written in; most of the Mishnah is Hebrew), and was supposedly the mother tongue of many Jews even during Jesus' time), though they may have used Hebrew. I'm nearly positive that they used Hebrew for their religious services, prayers, etc.

Eddy wrote:
brandrinn wrote:
The problem is, the mountainous areas of the levant happen to be a hotspot of linguistic diversity. Hell, there are still people in Lebanon speaking Aramaic.


Whoa really? Considering that thousands of years have passed since the heyday of Aramaic, it must have undergone extraordinary amounts of linguistic change. How can we even consider the modern variety the same language as Aramaic spoken over two thousand years ago?


Obviously, it's not the "same" language - in the same way that Old English and Modern English aren't the same language. But they are also not completely "different" languages i.e. finlay is quite correct. Modern Hebrew is a great example; it sounds nothing like what Mishnaic Hebrew is reconstructed to have sounded like - leaving aside grammatical changes, like the fossilization/lexicalization of the smikhut construction (the same happened in Syriac, though it is still quite productive and rarely lexicalized in Arabic) in favor of a more analytic construction. Note that many forms of written modern Aramaic still use the Syriac abjad, and there's often the sense that speakers consider their languages to be dialects of Syriac (or Mandaic, which uses a greatly altered form of the Syriac abjad).

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:08 pm 
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I'd tentatively agree - probably Arabic in gentilic contexts, and potentially Aramaic in Jewish contexts and Hebrew for religious ceremonies.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:17 pm 
Avisaru
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Possibly some Greek-speaking Jewish communities too?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:12 pm 
Smeric
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brandrinn wrote:
al-lugha al-franj ;)


Did the Crusaders speak French or Frankish?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:14 pm 
Avisaru
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Bristel wrote:
brandrinn wrote:
al-lugha al-franj ;)


Did the Crusaders speak French or Frankish?

Frankish was dead by then, and not all the Crusaders were French. But "franj" became a generic word for them among the Arabs.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:15 pm 
Avisaru
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Quote:
Did the Crusaders speak French or Frankish?

Old French, which is Western Vulgar Latin with Frankish loanwords and influences on grammar.

And yeah, not all crusaders were from France. Although, even Richard the Lionheart, despite being the king of England, didn't speak English; he spoke French.

Also, what's "al-lugha"?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:24 pm 
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Erde wrote:
"al-lugha"?


"The Language" in Arabic.

here

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Ah, thanks everyone.

For one second, I thought that "al-franj" was from "Franja de Ponent", to which I thought "WTF?" But then cooler heads prevailed, and I translated it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:46 am 
Avisaru
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sano wrote:
Erde wrote:
"al-lugha"?


"The Language" in Arabic.

here

If I'm not mistaken, Classical Arabic had "al-lura" <r> = /ʁ/, and /ʁ/ was fronted to /ɣ/ later.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:46 pm 
Lebom
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Mr. Z wrote:
sano wrote:
Erde wrote:
"al-lugha"?


"The Language" in Arabic.

here

If I'm not mistaken, Classical Arabic had "al-lura" <r> = /ʁ/, and /ʁ/ was fronted to /ɣ/ later.


This is wrong (Arabic already has a /r/ phoneme, denoted by <ر>, and there is no evidence in the grammatical literature to suggest that <غ> was ever considered another kind of rhotic). The velar-uvular fricative is reconstructed from Proto-Semitic, and Arabic is one of the few Semitic languages to retain it (it merged with /ʕ/ in almost all others). A realization of Classical /r/ as /ʁ/ is a feature of a small number of dialects, such as the Jewish dialect of Baghdad, and is probably a result of substratum influence from Hebrew or Aramaic.

I think you're confusing Pre-Mishnaic Hebrew with Arabic. Modern Hebrew has the development /r/>/ʁ/, but this happened after the merging of */ɣ/ and */ʕ/ into /ʕ/. For example, Arabic مغرب /maɣrib/ "sunset, evening," Hebrew מעריב /maʕăriv>maʔaʁiv/ "evening."

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:36 pm 
Avisaru
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Khvaragh wrote:
Mr. Z wrote:
sano wrote:
Erde wrote:
"al-lugha"?


"The Language" in Arabic.

here

If I'm not mistaken, Classical Arabic had "al-lura" <r> = /ʁ/, and /ʁ/ was fronted to /ɣ/ later.


This is wrong (Arabic already has a /r/ phoneme, denoted by <ر>, and there is no evidence in the grammatical literature to suggest that <غ> was ever considered another kind of rhotic). The velar-uvular fricative is reconstructed from Proto-Semitic, and Arabic is one of the few Semitic languages to retain it (it merged with /ʕ/ in almost all others). A realization of Classical /r/ as /ʁ/ is a feature of a small number of dialects, such as the Jewish dialect of Baghdad, and is probably a result of substratum influence from Hebrew or Aramaic.

I think you're confusing Pre-Mishnaic Hebrew with Arabic. Modern Hebrew has the development /r/>/ʁ/, but this happened after the merging of */ɣ/ and */ʕ/ into /ʕ/. For example, Arabic مغرب /maɣrib/ "sunset, evening," Hebrew מעריב /maʕăriv>maʔaʁiv/ "evening."

No, you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that the Classical Arabic rhotic was an uvular fricative; I just used <r> to represent it here, because that's easier than using some diacritical thing. AFAIK, Arabic /ɣ/ was /ʁ/ in Classical Arabic; ر is unrelated, and I used <r> simply because I perceive /ʁ/ as <r>, being a native Hebrew speaker. I'm sorry for the confusion; but am I not right about the /ʁ/ >/ɣ/ thing?

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Oh god, we truly are nerdy. My first instinct was "why didn't he just use sunt and have it all in Latin?".


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Languages I am studying
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:11 pm 
Lebom
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Mr. Z wrote:
No, you misunderstood me. I'm not saying that the Classical Arabic rhotic was an uvular fricative; I just used <r> to represent it here, because that's easier than using some diacritical thing. AFAIK, Arabic /ɣ/ was /ʁ/ in Classical Arabic; ر is unrelated, and I used <r> simply because I perceive /ʁ/ as <r>, being a native Hebrew speaker. I'm sorry for the confusion; but am I not right about the /ʁ/ >/ɣ/ thing?


Ok then, but <r> is really not a good way to represent this sound, because Arabic already has an /r/ phoneme which is typically transliterated as <r>. You can easily transliterate /ɣ/, without diacritics, as <gh>. Yes, غ is typically analyzed as having been realized as [ʁ] in Classical Arabic, but honestly, I think the distinction is rather unimportant, because no Semitic language (that I'm aware of) has a phonemic distinction between /ʁ/ and /ɣ/ (the Baghdadi dialect is an extremely marginal example IMO). Whether that phoneme is now realized as [ɣ] is another question; IMO, I wouldn't say it's across the board, but [ɣ] is definitely dominant in some dialects, like Egyptian and Levantine for example. On the other hand, some Gulf and Moroccan I've heard has the realization much closer to or at [ʁ].

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