Phonetics and phonology of Judaeo-Spanish

Aldina Quintana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Judaeo-Spanish is a dialectal continuum in which three phonological systems with partial similarities are subsumed under a diasystem. Although Judaeo-Spanish shows some of the phonetic and phonological features that characterize the Ibero-Romance languages including Peninsular and Latin American Spanish, other phenomena, resulting mostly from isolation, testify to the independent development of Judaeo-Spanish, which makes it difficult to describe Judaeo-Spanish within the Modern Spanish diasystem. This is not so much due to the expected development of inherited elements, but rather to the preservation of features that no longer exist in Spanish and the impact of lexical borrowing from the contact languages on the consonant system, leading to the development of an independent phonological diasystem. This chapter describes the phonemes of Judaeo-Spanish-paying particular attention to their distribution-and their main phonological processes, focusing on the varieties of Thessaloniki and Istanbul.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationManual of Judaeo-Romance Linguistics and Philology
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9783110302271
ISBN (Print)9783110302110
StatePublished - 24 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


  • Language contact
  • Metathesis
  • Phonemic change
  • Polymorphism
  • Strengthening
  • Svarabhakti vowel
  • Voice contrast of sibilants
  • Vowel reduction
  • Yeísmo


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