Judeo-Georgian language as an identity marker of Georgian Jews (The Jews living in Georgia)

Tamari Lomtadze, Reuven Enoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Judeo-Georgian language has not yet been fully studied. Up to the end of the 20th century, only religion, traditions, and customs had been considered key identity markers of Georgian Jews. The first comprehensive scholarly works relating to Judeo- Georgian appeared at the turn of the century. This article builds on previous research on the speech varieties of Georgian Jews. The purpose of the present article is to demonstrate that alongside religion, customs, traditions, and culture, language was one of the main identity markers of the Jews in Georgia. The variety of Georgian spoken by the Jews differed from standard Georgian in prosodic (intonational), grammatical, and lexical features. The sociocultural and ethnolinguistic distinctiveness of their speech was reflected primarily in the use of Hebraisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Jewish Languages
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Georgian Jewry
  • Hebraisms
  • Judeo-Georgian
  • Linguistic identity
  • Varieties of the Georgian language

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