Judaeo-Arabic and Judaeo-Persian

Geoffrey Khan

in The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780199280322
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

Judaeo-Arabic and Judaeo-Persian

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The term ‘Judaeo-Arabic’ refers to a type of Arabic that was used by Jews and was distinct in some way from other types of Arabic. The Arabic language was used by Jews in Arabia before the rise of Islam. From the point of view of linguistic form, the following characteristic features of written Judaeo-Arabic can be identified: it is written in Hebrew script; it exhibits deviations from Classical Arabic; and it contains Hebrew and Aramaic elements. ‘Judaeo-Persian’ refers to Persian used by Jews. Like Judaeo-Arabic, Judaeo-Persian is not a uniform linguistic entity. The term is used to refer to both a written and a spoken form of language. The geographical area in which it was used extended beyond the boundaries of Iran and included Afghanistan, part of the Caucasus, and much of Central Asia. Judaeo-Persian in its written form is represented in Hebrew script.

Keywords: Judaeo-Arabic; Judaeo-Persian; Jews; Islam; Aramaic; Hebrew script

Article.  9423 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Judaism and Jewish Studies ; Religious Studies

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