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Judaeo-Catalan (Hebrew: קטלאנית יהודית; Catalan: judeocatalà, IPA: [ʒuˌðewkətəˈla]), also called Catalanic or Qatalanit (Hebrew: קאטאלנית; Catalan: catalànic or qatalanit), was a presumed Jewish language spoken by the Jews in Northeastern Spain, especially in Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands.

קטלאנית יהודית
Extinct(date missing)
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Linguistically, it has been described as sharing many features in common with early Judaeo-Provençal. However, historically, ethnically, and politically, Judaeo-Catalan should have been quite distinct from Judaeo-Provençal, mostly as a result of the Moorish conquest of Iberia. The golden age of Judaeo-Catalan is supposed to be between the early 12th century and 1492, when the Jews were expelled from Spain by Alhambra Decree.

However, the very existence of the Judeo-Catalan is subject to debate at present. While authors like Paul Wexler defend its existence [1], it is usually understood that "the evidence of its existence is scarce, although texts are known that mix Catalan and Hebrew, and the subject is rather controversial" (Argenter, 2013, pp. 148-149) [2].

In one of the few investigations on the subject, Feliu and Ferrer (2011) analyzed a set of notarial texts of the year 1443, and concluded that their analysis "allows us to sign the death certificate of a linguistic ghost - the supposed 'Judeo-Catalan dialect' that never was" (p.59) [3]. Another subsequent study of some songs from the same period suggests the existence of a "linguistic repertoire of the Jews of medieval Catalonia", although it does not prove the existence of a dialect proper. [4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wexler, Paul (1993). "Uncovering the origins of the judeo-ibero-romance languages". In Stillman, Yedida (ed.). New horizons in Sephardic studies. Albany: State Univ. of New York Press. pp. 211–214. ISBN 0791414019.
  2. ^ Argenter, Joan (2013). "Iberian language ecology: notes on history and current situation". In Jahr, Ernst Håkon; Trudgill, Peter; Vandenbussche, Wim (eds.). Language Ecology of the 21st Century: Social Conflicts in their Linguistic Environment. Oslo: Novus Forlag. pp. 137–164.
  3. ^ Feliu, Francesc; Ferrer, Joan (2011). "Judaeo-Catalan: in search of a mediaeval dialect that never was". Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies. 3 (1): 41–60. doi:10.1080/17546559.2011.556702.
  4. ^ Baum, Ilil (2016). "Hebrew-Catalan Medieval Wedding Songs: Satirical Functions of the Hebrew Component and Other Linguistic Aspects". Journal of Jewish Languages. 4 (2): 166–202. doi:10.1163/22134638-12340071.
  5. ^ "Jewish Languages - European". Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  6. ^ "judeocatalà | enciclopè". (in Catalan). Retrieved 2017-01-19.