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Title: Judaeo-Latin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Judaeo-Romance languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Judeo-Latin, La‘az or ebraico-Latino is a presumed Jewish language for many scattered Jewish communities of the former Roman Empire, but especially by the Jewish communities of the Italian Peninsula and Transalpine Gaul.

"La`az" (לעז) is Hebrew for "foreign language" (i.e., specifically, "non-Hebrew language"), and in the Middle Ages started to refer to Latin or Romance languages.

It has been posited that Judeo-Latin is the predecessor of all the Judeo-Romance languages,[1] although strong phonological evidence for this link is found primarily in Shuadit (Judeo-Provençal). This theory holds that Shuadit and Zarphatic grew out of two variants of La‘az ha-Ma‘rav (western Judeo-Latin) and that Judeo-Italian grew out of La‘az ha-Darom (southern Judeo-Latin). The relationship to Catalanic, Ladino and Judæo-Portuguese is much more tenuous.


There is no much extant record for the Judeo-Latin language. Leo Levi found some hebraisms a few epigraphs in Italy[2]

Other possible source for Judeo-Latin are loanwords in other languages, like in Sardinian cenabura [ken'abura] 'Friday' (from Latin cena pura) and caputanni, 'September', a literal translation of Rosh Ha-Shanah.

Judeo-Latin likely influenced not only the Judeo-Romance languages, but also the Yiddish language and Rotwelsch, through its posited daughter languages, Judeo-Italian, Shuadit and Zarphatic.

Related languages

The historical relationships between the various Judeo-Romance languages is subject to debate, and are only tenuously demonstrable at best. These languages include:


he:לטינית יהודית

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