The Linguistic and Literary Contact between East Slavs and Jews in the Middle Ages: Results and Perspectives of the Study

Александр Грищенко


This article gathers all the data on the medieval East Slavonic canonical texts – written between the 13th and 16th centuries – which evidence direct linguistic and literary contact between East Slavs and Jews. Several linguistic indicators of immediate contact have been extracted from these texts: the transferring of the Hebrew phonemes /š/, /ə/, /h/, /ḥ/, /g/, /b/, and /c/ via corresponding Slavic letters, using a specific grapheme for the Hebrew letter ‘Aleph,’ assimilations by voice, and transferring Hebrew -yy- via ž or (which is explained by a Turkic mediation in these contexts).


Old Russian literature; Jewish-Christian relations; Church Slavonic; Ruthenian; Judaizers

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