JewishGen Talks: Jewish History: Discontinuity of linguistic and naming traditions

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Tuesday June 8

2:00 PM  –  3:00 PM

Speaker: Dr. Alexander Beider

About the talk:
In the Jewish history, there were several major periods when communities were changing their everyday language. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Yiddish, and Judaeo-Spanish are among these vernacular idioms that were used for centuries. We can also observe certain moments crucial for the Jewish culture when changes concerned even languages used in the liturgy and religious texts. Switching to another language was often provoking important modifications in personal names used. Globally speaking, we can speak about a discontinuity in Jewish naming traditions. Certain Jewish given names are, however, used, without interruptions since the biblical times. Moreover, even when dealing with totally different sets of names, we can sometimes find common features: this point will be illustrated in the lecture by considering female names.