Zarphatic language


Zarphatic language

Infobox Language
name=Zarphatic
nativename=צרפתית "Tzarfatit"
states=France
region=Europe
extinct=14th century
familycolor=Indo-European
fam2=Italic
fam3=Romance
fam4=Italo-Western
fam5=Western
fam6=Gallo-Iberian
fam7=Gallo-Romance
fam8=Gallo-Rhaetian
fam9=Oïl
fam10=French
iso2=roa|iso3=zrp

Zarphatic or Judæo-French (Zarphatic: "Tsarfatit") is an extinct Jewish language, formerly spoken among the Jewish communities of northern France and in parts of what is now west-central Germany, in such cities as Mainz, Frankfurt am Main, and Aachen.

Etymology

The word "Zarphatic" comes from the Hebrew name for France, "Tzarfat" (צרפת), the Biblical name for the Phoenician city of Sarepta. Some have conjectured that Zarphatic was the original language of the Jews who eventually adopted Old High German, which led to the development of Yiddish.

Zarphatic was written using a variant of the Hebrew alphabet, and first appeared in the 11th century, in glosses to texts of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud written by the great rabbis Rashi and Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan. Constant expulsions and persecutions, resulting in great waves of Jewish migration, brought about the extinction of this short-lived, but important, language by the end of the 14th century.

Distinct features

One feature of Zarphatic spelling, that sets it apart from most other Indo-European Jewish languages, is that to represent vowel sounds, rather than using Hebrew letters with no matching phonemes in the language, it instead made extensive use of the Tiberian system of niqqudot to indicate the full range of Old French vowels.

Another interesting feature of Zarphatic is that it displays relatively few Hebrew loanwords. This sets it apart from the vast majority of other Jewish languages, and may indicate that it is not actually a distinct language, rather a dialect of Old French, or simply Old French, written using a different orthography. (Old French did not have a written standard.)

See also

*Judæo-Romance languages

References

*Information for this article draws heavily on the information presented on the [http://www.jewish-languages.org/judeo-french.html Jewish Languages project Judæo-French page]
*Information on the classification of Zarphatic was taken from [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=zrp the Ethnologue.com "Zarphatic" page]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Zarphatic — ISO 639 3 Code : zrp ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Extinct …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • Hebrew language — Hebrew redirects here. For other uses, see Hebrew (disambiguation). Not to be confused with Yiddish language. Hebrew עִבְרִית …   Wikipedia

  • Yiddish language — Not to be confused with Hebrew language. Yiddish ייִדיש yidish Pronunciation [ˈjɪdɪʃ] Spoken in United States, Israel, Argentina …   Wikipedia

  • Shuadit language — Infobox Language name=Shuadit nativename=שואדית states=formerly southern France region=Europe extinct=1977, on the death of Armand Lunel familycolor=Indo European fam2=Italic fam3=Romance fam4=Italo Western fam5=Western fam6=Gallo Iberian… …   Wikipedia

  • Judeo-Romance languages — are Jewish languages derived from Romance languages, spoken by various Jewish communities (and their descendants) originating in regions where Romance languages predominate, and altered to such an extent to gain recognition as languages in their… …   Wikipedia

  • Judeo-Latin — Judeo Latin, or La lsquo;az is the presumed Jewish language of the 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… …   Wikipedia

  • Jewish languages — The Jewish languages are a set of languages that developed in various Jewish communities around the world, more notably in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. The usual course of development for these languages was through the addition of Hebrew …   Wikipedia

  • Judaeo-Spanish — Ladino language redirects here. For the language spoken in Italy, see Ladin. Judaeo Spanish, also Judezmo, Ladino, and other names גודיאו איספאנייול Djudeo espanyol, לאדינו Ladino Pronunciation [dʒuˈðeo espaˈɲol] Spoken in …   Wikipedia

  • Langues d'oïl — The geographical spread of the Oïl languages (other than French) can be seen in shades of green and yellow on this map The langues d oïl ( oïl languages ) are a group of languages or dialects including standard French and its closest… …   Wikipedia

  • Biblical Hebrew — Biblical Hebrew, Classical Hebrew שְֹפַת כְּנַעַן, יְהוּדִית, (לְשוֹן) עִבְרִית …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.