Code-Switching and Dialogism: Verbal Practices among Catalan Jews in the Middle Ages Author(s): Joan A.

Argenter Reviewed work(s): Source: Language in Society, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Sep., 2001), pp. 377-402 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 19/11/2011 13:52
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Language in Society 30, 377-402. Printedin the United States of America

Code-switching and dialogism: Verbal practices among Catalan Jews in the Middle Ages
JOAN A. ARGENTER UniversitatAutonomade Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain) joan.

Froma strictlinguistic viewpoint, code-switching intertwineswith a diverse range of language contact phenomena, from strict interference to several kinds of language mixture. Code-switching has also been addressed as an interactionalphenomenonin everyday talk, an approachthat implies a synchronicperspective.In this article,however,dataaredrawnfrom the records of communicative practices left behind by CatalanJewish communities of the 14th and 15th centuries. These communities lived under well-defined cultural,political, and social conditions and displayed a rathercomplex linguistic repertoireof both linguistic resources and verbal genres. I analyze two of these verbalgenres, which themselves must be viewed in the context of a broaderHispano-Arabiccultural tradition;they draw on a heteroglot backgroundin which Semitic andRomancelanguages merged.In this analysis of the functions that code-switching played in these verbal practices, a contrastemerges between the use of code-switching and lexical borrowing (or alternationvs. insertionaltypes of code-switching) in both verbalgenres. This has implications for a much debated issue - the alleged existence of a medieval CatalanJewish language - and challenges the idea that forms of linguistic practice must always be reduced to a bounded code. (Language contact, Hebrew/Catalan,code-switching, verbal repertoire,verbal genres, Jewish languages.)* How to address him? Yonahdecided quicklyto combine elements of their double cultures. 'Peace be unto you, Sefior Saadi.' -Noah Gordon The phenomenonof CODE-SWITCHING,observed by Jakobson(Jakobson& Halle 1956; Jakobson 1958), was treatedby Weinreich(1953:73) in his classic monographon language contact. Gumperz 1982 defined both its formal linguistic featuresandits communicativefunctionsin several social settings. Blom & Gumperz 1972 pointedout its social meaning;since then,a numberof researchprojectshave revealed its ubiquityandhave contributeddataon numerouspairsof languages in many speech communities. Increasinglyperceptive formal and functional analyses have been advanced,orientedeithertowardthe discovery of allegedly univer? 2001 CambridgeUniversity Press 0047-4045/01 $9.50 377

in periods other than our own. interactional. In this 378 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . the issue of codes becomes highly relevant for synchronic linguistic.These may lead us to look at things in a new light eitherconsolidatingourcurrentconcepts and analyses or leading to realizationof the need for a new conceptualization. we are concernedwith the way codes and codeswitching have manifestedthemselves throughhistory. As it is usually understood. pragmatic.but eventually they may also increase contention.and anthropological analyses. and social history. historical linguistics. then.andthe ideaof a local economy of language resourcesin speech communitieshas increasinglytaken shape (Gal 1988). Thinkingin terms of languageresources instead of language systems has proven to be an importantchange in the search for a social foundationfor dynamic linguistic facts. Because code-switching is a phenomenon that is both inherent to bilingual conversation. and socio-politicaltermshavebeen emphasized. is not so much how many alternative analyses are made available to our discipline-drivenway of looking at data and interpretingthem. then we must also rely on other disciplines. such as philology.and has particularlydrawn the attentionof ethnographers communicationandinteractionalsociolinguists. The importantpoint. The data under analysis show that this common premise needs to be qualified. In a furtherstep.and socioculturalcomponents. in addition to synchronicdataand analyses. the articulationof pragmaticor anthropological explanationsfor the presence or absence of code-switching in local communities has been attempted(Heller 1988).If. as I hope will become clear below in my considerationof medieval CatalanJewish communities and their verbal genres and practices. of it is understandable that the synchronic approachshould have prevailed. If an integratedview emerges from this move. perhapsit will be seen as a further step toward development of a precise methodology in the field of historical sociolinguistics. It should come as no surprise.JOAN A. that concepts and analyses elaboratedfrom differingperspectivesprove contentious. code-switching implies the recognition of previously coexisting codes andtheirinterplaywithin particularspeech events in speech communities.involves linguistic. however.ortowardthedescription the socio-communicative of functions performedby code-switching itself in particularspeech communities and speech events.then.the sentence) can be observed in everyday experience . even if one admitsthat. ARGENTER sal grammatical constraints the switchingpointsin utterances in theirabstract on (or correlate. or a subfield within it. Insofar as human communication.and thus to the oral use of language . Code-switching is defined as the use of two languages or two codes in the same communicative event between speakerswho are bilingual to a certain degree. but ratherto what extent differing viewpoints can mutually enrichone anotherthroughcooperativelycrossing establishedacademicborders. Both the contrastand the relevance of the opposition between local andglobal contexts in socio-cultural. more often thannot. the aforementioned characterizationincludes very different kinds of linguistic and sociolinguistic phenomena.

Should he wish to marryanotherwoman pretty yourself. interpretation less free translationinto English opposite the original text. This phenomenon was not uncommon in the Iberian Peninsula. Woman.4I offer a more or edition. which we may call "weddingsongs" and "festive songs. vejats el marit sovfn.2given the restrictedevidence and the ambiguities of the correspondencebetween the Hebrew and Latin writing systems. They are instances of two clearly differentverbal genres. Let us sing a song. I presentsome instances of code-switching drawnfrom recorded historicaldatafrom the MiddleAges. maintainingsignificant culturalinterrelations.acf.3 where Christians.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM essay.but they were sufficient to furnish a systematic picture of the phenomenon addressed here. The Catalanverses of the text appearin romancharacters. 379 . Let us sing a new song for the bride. I reproducebelow fragmentsof two of these songs.until the Jews were banished from the Spanishkingdoms by the Catholic monarchsin 1492. and greet him: "Sir. the "Moriscos." Shir hadash Si altradona demana per si vos passau la ma (bell bacf). however.come here." The collection includes four wedding songs and one festive song (piyyut naeh) in Hebrewaljamiat writing. were expelled in 1609. andto Labov's systematicresearch. do your best.' CODE-SWITCHING VERBAL CATALAN GENRES JEWISH IN IN WEDDING 14TH-15TH SONGS CENTURY THE DATA AND OTHER COMMUNITIES: Twenty-five years ago. thatis. and glosses. fell into their should see your husbandoften.according to Jakobson's repeatedsuggestion."the Muslims who had converted to Christianityand remainedin Christiankingdoms.the Hebrewin italics. the same year the kingdom of Granada. tell him: "Mybeloved is lodged between my breasts.He did so with all the caution requiredby such aljamiat materials.Herzog & Labov's (1968) early formulation. serviu-lo be. in CatalanRomance writtenin Hebrew script. saludats:"Senyer. nashir la-kalla shir hadash shir nashir. take care of him as well as you can. aci Language in Society 30:3 (2001) Let us sing a song.the last Muslim strongholdin Spain. These texts were not numerous.albeit not free of conflict . andJews lived togetherfor so long. Whetherhe be old or young or a child. andI advance several explanationsthattake into accountthe special natureof historic texts. Dona." A new song. millor (o quin) digats si es gran o poc o nin: "Dodi li ben shaday yalin. with slight modifications.then the projectionof synchronyonto diachronymay also reveal the latter's secrets. following Riera'sreading. to Weinreich. Riera 1974 edited a collection of poetic texts composed in CatalanJewish communities in the 14-15th century. If the searchfor diachronywithin synchrony may improve the picture we obtain from both . The first is an example of the wedding song verbal genre: Shir nashir.Muslims.

we need to situate them in their socio-culturaland situational context."6 La ne'ara li. Later studies did not necessarily obey this restriction." My intention in the following pages is to concentrate on both a formal and a socio-culturalanalysis of these two instancesof secularverbalgenres among late Medieval CatalanJewish ha-mita." Shir hadash. but not love.. The old man goes to bed and falls asleep The young girl awakens him with great vigor.and.awake.e. ratherthan between members of different ethnolinguistic groups. " You will havefood and clothing. an analysis of these texts is possible withoutreferenceto the social agentsthatcreated. Take care of him the best you can.mas no pas 'ona. But in order truly to understandthese texts. though they have reached us from written sources. for him to be able to serve you the best [at the same time If you see him annoyed or worried. ARGENTER marvaddimravadti arsi. a harlot of her. 'uri. For the understandingof an utteranceis a function of at least its 380 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . qui la. dabri shir.and the data just presented. Ourprevious basic definitionof code-switching in the introductionwas rather general and language-centered. La ne'ara lo despertaamb gran gevura.n diu: "Perdutn'haveu el moah! The young girl tells him: "Youhave no brains! You have not the slightest virtue or strength! No n'haveu virtut ni punt de koah! "All you keep doing is but utterfutility!" Tot lo vostre feit es un bel ruah! But I pray to God that I become a widow soon.S I have decked my couch with covers. The old man tells her: "How crazy you are! Lo zaqen li-n diu: "(Que n'es) tu sota She 'er we-kesutn'hauras.made sense of them.reproduced. The second example is a fragment from a "festive song. it has also contributedto the erasure of one of the features that renderedcode-switching most intriguingas a communicativephenomenon.This has allowed a surprisingincrease in the amount of observed cases of code-switching. Shir hadash Serviu-lo ben (a bon) pensir per tal que (als fets) ho puga servir Digats-li si'l vets abnuj6sni cosir: "'Uri. was that it appearedto be an ingroup form of talking (i. among otherthings. were once intended as oral texts enunciated throughsinging and performedin public."." Mas io prec en Deu que en breu ne sia almana." following the same restrictionsand conventions as in the previous case: Al tehallel passa qui primerdona He infringed the precept:"Degrade not thy daughter" who first gave her to an old man." A new song. at least as it was initially observed and studied. who made sa filla al zaqen. see Gumperz 1982). El zaqen se' n va a colgar al r^. in my view.tell him: "Awake. transand formed them . it was producedin communicationbetween membersof the same ethnolinguisticgroup. One of the propertiesof code-switching. most important.These genres share. however. even though the type of code-switching each manifests is different. strike up the chant!" A new song. Of course. the fact thatthey areconstructedby means of a systematicuse of code-switching. This is also the case of the data considered here.n feu zona.JOAN A.

9 However. Unfortunately. the institutionalorganizationof the Jewish community.officials. under the direct protection of the king or the feudal baron. from independenthistorical sources.7 Bearing in mind this socio-cultural and interactive construal of meaning in of interpretation socially situatedutterances. andthe Jews had to learn Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 381 . The aljama. weavers. the imposition of synchrony onto linguistic and communicativediachrony. and.comprised religious. In the early days.or at least our partialknowledge of it.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM value. The Jewish quarter was not a ghetto. socio-economic. translators. It has been described as a small town within a town (Cantera 1998:150).10 In medieval times. Catalonia.8 To begin this analysis.Insofaras this situationalcontext is built up not only by the participants'individual cognitive structures.jewelers and othercrafts).However. juridical. the Jewish communitiesof Cataloniamoved to the towns at an early stage and increasingly adopted an urban lifestyle.the urbanspace occupied by the aljama was termedcall in Catalonia(Romano 1979).all differing from one anotherand differing as a whole from Jewish communities in other Christiankingdoms in Spain. 1l The aljama had its own laws andregimentation(Hebrew taqqanot). finally.including their presuppositional background. andthe broadersocio-culturalcontruth-conditional text in which it is grounded.resembles the philological pursuit:besides the correct reading and careful of editing of an historical text. and charitableinstitutions. political counsel.partof this context may be recoveredfrom the texts themselves.we need some knowledge of the way Catalan Jewish communities lived in medieval times.traders. from the projection of comparable contemporaryphenomena. engaging in urban socio-economic activitiesandoccupations(moneylenders.the recovery of meaning .the first problemfor the appropriate code-switching in old texts is precisely the loss of the situational and socioculturalcontext in which the communicativeevents were anchored. the philologist's ultimate aim is the interpretation the meaning that this text entailed for those who producedit and those to whom that speakerscan provide us it was addressed. the fresh interpretation in ethnographicresearch is not available when we are seeking the meaning of historicaltexts. the Jews were spread all over the city.but also by their social interactionin specific settings in the real world. and medical care.This Jewish quarterwas usually established near the walls or the castle. nor can we avail ourselves of the fieldworker'sdirectobservation of verbal behavior.we cannot ascertain unequivocally which local community was the source of these texts. this understandingis always a socio-culturalconstruct.Aragon. information is available on the Jewish communitiesin the states of the Argonese crown .the Balearic Islands. therefore. but they soon tended to congregate in a certain quarter. for its occupantswere free to move throughoutthe town.This goal . To be sure.physicians. and Valencia. The relationshipbetween the lord and the Jews was based on an interchangeof services: protection in returnfor financial aid. particularlytowardthe end of that period. political. its situationalcontext.

The injunctionmade in the latternot only casts light on the cliche of the ill-marriedwoman (treatedin more detail below).particularlythe first-born.JonahGirondi.and reproductionof the lineage.the betrothal and wedding of a bride and groom.29). The mystical-ascetic movement represented by the Kabbalists.Jewish and Gentile.As a consequence. but also by traditionalfolklore and customs.husband. In a way. The rabbisexplain (Sanhedrin 76a) that thereinone is warnednot to permithis daughterto enter 382 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . she was free from the positive religious precepts (mizwot) and did not count for the constitutionof a minyan. civilian and religious. the membersof a family were stronglyboundtogethermuch as the membersof the whole communitywere.andthe land become full of lewdness (Lev. women were unschooled both in literacy and in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew family and society were patriarchal. The institutionof the aljama was createdat the end of the 12th century or the beginning of the 13th. in the following terms (the emphasis is mine): Degrade not thy daughter by making a harlot of her. ARGENTER to live undera complex system of jurisdictions.'2The family was the basic social unit. but the need to preservethe communityfrom externalthreatsgave it internalcohesion at critical moments. One of the verbal genres under analysis reflects both certain secular wedding rituals and the role that a marriedwoman was expected to play. The main events of family life were of utmost importanceand were regimented by detailed religious and liturgical principles. herdaily tasks were looking afterher husbandandchildren and housekeeping. or the deathof a loved one were events associated with public and/or family rituals. one can see this genre notjust as a reflection of a prevailingsocial patternbut also as a type of discourse committed to reproductionof this pattern. the main roles assigned to women were that of wife and mother. 19. inner/outer dynamic.Moreover.was the first to promulgatethe prohibitionof concubinage. An influential Catalanrabbi. lest the land fall into harlotry.the minimumnumberof ten individualsrequiredfor communalworship(only males over 13 years of age counted).'4 A thematiclink between this wedding song and the festive song is the fact that both concern marriage.The tensionbetweenoligarchicanddemocratic formsof governmentwithin the aljama was latent throughthe ages and manifested itself in the form of religious movements that usually were more prone to castigate the wealthy nobles than to organize the commoners on the lower end of the scale. the evolution of the aljama must be viewed from the perspective of a double. along with ethical-social tendencies in the 13th century.Froman institutionalpoint of view.or male family head and had no economic autonomy. induced a transformationin the rabbis' thinking on this point. but also bears on the legitimacy of concubinage.'3 Nonetheless.JOAN A. the motherwas the object of affection and respect within the family and was portrayedas the mistress of the house (Cantera1998:82-7). The birth of a child . A woman's social status in medieval Jewish society was reflected by her lower legal standing:she was subordinateto the authorityof her father.

The reference appearsonce more in a similar context. or other relatives of hers. In many places thereis even a communalstatutewhich provides thata marriageceremony can take place only in the presence of ten men.1 1). for this reason. and it is all the more reprehensiblewhen done by a man who alreadyhas a wife.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM into sexual relations not sanctioned by wedlock . and "Degrade not thy daughter by making her a harlot" (Lev. 18).and if they pleased each otherhe would have carnal relationswith her. Certainly marriageby seduction is utterly forbidden.except thatMaimonides was inclined to permitpolygamy. and that the bride's father and mother. as well as their historic. a responsum15 by anotherinfluentialreligious authority. who reinforces JonahGirondi's position (emphasis mine): First of all. Before the Revelation of the Toraha man might meet a woman in the street. as practicedby the Moslems. sociolinguistic. so that the king's relation to her was tantamountto marriage.This analysis will take us toward issues such as (i) the different kinds of sequential adjacency of co-occurringlanguages in these Romance-Hebrewcompositions vs. for the sinnerdefiled the holiness of God by loving and possessing "the daughterof an alien god" (Malachi 2.Rabbi Solomon IbnAdret of Barcelona. The prohibition is clearly biblical.Intercoursewith a slave woman is a capital sin . whether for a festive song or a rabbinical dictum. I must say that this thing is prohibitedand vile besides. of blessed memory.. His alien offspring will be a snare to him and a reminderof his sin.. 29). without formal wedlock. linguistic. andthen he would eitherkeep her as his wife or else pay her the price of her favors and go his way. for bigamous marriage. I shall consider the cultural traditionfrom which these genres were borrowed and evolved. and the hazzan of the kahal must also be present. was permittedonly to the king.Beyond this royal privilege the rabbisdecreed thatrelationseven with one's bride are forbiddenuntil the marriage benedictions have been pronounced. As we assume a socio-culturaland contextualconstrualof meaning. theirAndaLanguage in Society 30:3 (2001) 383 . this materialmight be interpretedin several ways. It is also a vile practice..even when properlycontracted. (quoted in Baer 1961:256). for such action violates the biblical injunctions. whose authorityeffectively restrainedothers from having converse with his concubine. "There shall be no harlot among the daughtersof Israel" (Deut. 23. A comparisonof this text with the festive song exemplifies how traditionalreligious material could be recycled again and again for different purposes as the occasion demanded. for concubinage. depending not only on its moral and ritual range but also on its efficacy as an authorizedvoice (see below) and its function as a the means of legitimizing and "naturalizing" discourse of power. 19.. (quoted in Baer 1961:435)16 Before proceeding to analysis of the poetic texts. and cultural background. But the Torahhas consecratedmarriage andestablishedthe legal andritualproceduresfor such a union.was banned by RabbenuGershom.

and to be collected either in aljamiat . The first documentedmuwashshahsdate from the beginning of the 11th century.could be representedas AA bbbaa.g.. two innovative strophicforms in Arabic poetry. I advance my own conceptual and methodological proposal for dealing with it. at least in the latter case.apparentlywithout any connection with the pre-Islamictradition. I discuss a relevant topic occasionally raised in connection with the type of language merging that appearsin festive songs. vernacularlanguage being implied. stylistic.along with the mid-20th centurydeciphermentof Mozarabic kharjas by S.(v) the juxtaposition of the profaneand the sacredin one verbalgenre. (ii) the contributionof code-switching to the construction of the poetic frameworkas regardsits poetic. The zajal differs from the mu384 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . (iii) the typology of code-switching that can be drawn from these texts. ezor pizmon. followed by a series of stropheswhere each is made up of two elements: first.Hebrew writtenin the Arabic alphabet.the name given to the territoryunder Moorish rule in the IberianPeninsulain medieval times . and. spelled out accordingto a specific rhyme patternand its conventional representation. and second. PRACTICES INNER CONTEXTUALIZING The discovery of muwashshahsand zajals. and the culturalambiguitythat derives fromthis fact in termsof deauthorizing/actualizing authoritative an voice. a sequence of monorhyme verses (e.and it takes as a startingpoint the view thatwe are dealing with verbalresources (ratherthan language systems) and attemptsto uncover their allocation in the language economy of a particularly complex community. This proposalaims to provide a sound socially oriented basis for the phenomenonstudied.although it has been suggested that they may have been invented in the early 10th century and orally transmittedsince then. their form. (iii) the issue of a possible relationwith Medieval Romance literature.or Hebrewwriting. rhetorical. and discursive functions.After debating some of the misconceptions associated with this topic.JOAN A. M. These compositions came to be imitated later on by the local Hebrew well as the superpositionof code-switching and polyphony. (ii) their origins. Finally. intertwinedwith these composed of a prelude of rhyming verses. for instance AA.Thus.This Hebrew muwashshahis termed shir ezor or.17 Scholarly debate concerningthese Arabic compositions centeredbasically on (i) their formal and thematic definition. 1949) uncovered a systematic use of code-switching in traditional poetic compositions. Stern (1948. (vii) whetherthis merging should be understoodas an instance of an old CatalanJewish language. a refrainthatresumesthe initial rhyme. originating in Al-Andalus . ANALYSIS STRUCTURE OF THE AND DATA: TRADITIONAL LINKS. ARGENTER lusian Arabic models . particularlythat of the troubadours. and (vi) the dynamicrelationshipbetween types of code-switching and the emergence of fused lects or mixed varieties.a girdle poem . bbb). The muwashshah. (iv) the superpositionof code-switching and intertextuality.a juxtapositionof literaryvs.

the muwashshah follows the model of classical Arabic poetry in terms of theme. for they reflect the linguistic and sociolinguistic complexity of the society inhabitingAlAndalus in the Middle Ages.Up to this point. in one of the two local vernacularlanguage varieties.and. were much less numerous than the native of inhabitants the peninsula. a constant feature of the muwashshah.The debateis between proponentsof the theory of the Hispano-Arabic poetry . and style. the question of the influence of Hispano-Arabicpoetry on Romance poetry. whether Arabic or Berber. This Romance genre may have had a patternsimilar to that of the muwashshahand could thus have given birth to the latter. proved more controversial. is the presence of a closure or concluding refrain in colloquial Arabic or Romance that is. language. The islamized natives (called muwallads in Arabic) and the newcomers merged to a certain extent into a single community of human bonds and social interests. Nevertheless. it was necessary to find concrete links. and so the complete form of muwashshahwould follow an AA bbbaaAA rhyme pattern. at least for the Hebrewcounterpart muwashshah.evidence from recordedsources suggests that the prelude was repeatedafter each strophe in song or collective recitation by the audience. this is not the occasion to examine these claims in detail. is written in for colloquial Arabic and deals with topics inappropriate the muwashshahgenre. The style of the kharjas and the fact that they are more cantigas d'amigo18thanto anythingelse known similarto the Galician-Portuguese in classical Arabicpoetry suggests the existence of a similaroral traditionalgenre in Romance. whether of Arabic or Berber origin. and most of the invaderslearnedto speak the Romance language. This closure. In order to progress from conjecture to actual evidence. Finally. and by the Jews. The most objective datumin this respect was the existence of the Mozarabickharjas.Otherwise. in contrast to the zajal. Islamic invaders. the linguistic interest of these compositions is great. As far as origins are concerned.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM just half the rhymepatternof the prelude: washshahin thatthe refrainreproduces of AA bbba. and exploring whetherthey arose underthe influence of some autochthonousRomance form. by extenorigin of Provencal and Galician-Portuguesetroubadour sion. which they did not give up even when they became islamized and learned Arabic. once the possibility that these two strophic forms came from the Orientaltraditionwas excluded. though also a courtly genre.However.The latterspoke a Romancedialectknown as Mozarabic. in Arabic termedkharjaor markaz. the debatecenteredaround two problems: determining whether there was a possible genetic relationship between the two. whether these were formal or thematic or both.often representsthe voice of a maiden lamenting the absence of her beloved. They also reveal the consequences of the symbiosis of Semitic andRomancelanguagesspokenby Mozarabicpeople and also adopted by the Muslims.and those scholars who were always rather skeptical on this point.However. However. This Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 385 . whereas the zajal. the thirdissue. most later Europeanpoetry . there was relative agreementamong scholars.

and cleavages.The liturgical and literarylanguage of the Christianswas Latin. the situation was characterizedby both multilingualism(coexistence of several languages in the same social space) and by the coexistence of codes that maintaineda dynamicrelationwith one another. and they were created. Colloquial Arabicwas spokenby Muslims andJews.the use of these vernacularswas independentof people's religious affiliation. who had both Arabic and Romance as vernacularsand used both the Arabic and the Hebrew writing systems. Classical Arabic. the dynamicrelationshipamong these codes preventsus from seeing the existing heteroglossia as merely the result of juxtaposition.we can term this sociolinguistic situation one of POLYGLOSSIA and HETEROGLOSSIA. by Jews. eitherautochthonousor allochthonous. in a rathermore everyday way. also used as a courtly and formal language. maintained. The Romance vernacular was spoken by the Mozarabs. cohesion.They were partiallyshared by the social groups and their membersand unequally distributedamong them. the Jews. but the refrain and the verse closing the stanza are in a 386 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) spite of theirpoetic character.'9 There were greatdifferencesbetween the social situationin lOth-1 century Ith Al-Andalus and that of 14th-l5th centuryCatalonia. insofar as the sequential relationshipbetween the languages involved is inverted in the latter:indeed.These differences notwithstanding. On the contrary.and given up by virtue of their interrelationsin the activities of social groups and in interactionsbetween membersof different social groups.JOAN A. and in accord with recent developments in linguistic anthropology.althoughthe latterbelong to a later age and were by then expressed in the Romance vernacular. the codes intersectedand criss-crossed. ARGENTER means thatAl-Andalus Muslims were bilingual or multilingual(some spoke Berber as well). Withregardto the use of code-switching as a resourcein verbalexpression. Five languages or language varieties were widely used. That is. Generally. used only Hebrew as a religious and poetic language. as well as by most Christians. was the only literary language of the this case . Eventually it would also be used by Christiansand. rather. particularlybut not only in artistic verbal expression. two aspects should be emphasized.In contrast. Finally. in them the bulk of the composition is in a Romance language. there are certain undeniable similarities between the verbal art forms reviewed above andthe CatalanJews' compositionseditedby Riera. who wrote it in Hebrew script within their community. resulting in a peculiar kind of sociolinguistic stratification. although they could also use Classical well as by Muslims and Jews as a second language. To borrow from Bakhtin 1981. These codes need not have coincided with any well-established language from the viewpoint of linguistics and/or local politics.literarylanguages were distributedaccordingto religious affiliation.they were made up of variousverbalresourcesof differentlinguistic origins. and they expressed their users' social position. At the same time. The first is the contrastbetween the older Hispano-Arabiccompositions and these songs of the Catalan Jews.

in Language Society30:3 (2001) 387 . The tenor of these wedding songs could be in eithergraveandmoralizingor mischievous.also in Hebrew. of octosyllabic masculine-ending lines. strophic patterns of Hispano-Arabicorigin. or fifteen monorhyme stanzas. Hebrew. people engaged in a common pursuitand activated sharedvalues. these songs are constructedout of sharedavailable verbalresources:here.enacting the performancethatcreatedthe communityof practicewas also a way of enhancing their membershipin the Jewish community. Membershipin the Jewish community might be externallyconstructed. 1999. in a more or less successful echoing of the meaning and syntax of the three previous verses in Catalan.(ii) a joint negotiatedenterprise.For participants.22 participantsin the wedding feast probablyfulfilled the threecriteriaof a community of practice in Wenger'sterms (cited in Holmes & Meyerhoff 1999:175): (i) mutualengagement. except that the word referringto the groom (hatan) is substitutedfor the word referringto the bride (kalla). the new spouses sat down on thronesopposite each other.Weddingsongs were addressedto either the bride or the groom. Holmes & Meyerhoff 1999): "anaggregateof people who come together around The mutualengagementin anendeavor"(Eckert& McConnell-Ginet1992:464). The participants the festive event were. there is a significant contrast between the wedding songs and the festive poetry with respect to the kind of code-switching that appears in them.code-switching. membersof the local Jewish community. of course. from Catalangrammarand lexicon.their performanceinvolved a concertedactionby membersof the community. Wedding songs are part of these sharedtraditionalresources. rhymescommon to CatalanandHebrew. They are composed of seven. while young and old dancedaround. biblical lines.i. flute. or brass horn.Their traditionalgenre is attested in the Jewishcommunitiesthroughout Diaspora.formal. etc.It typically contributesto the arrangement discourseby artfullyframing it and breakingit into patternedpieces. the last of which is in Hebrew and reproduces a biblical line.Accordingto historicalrecords. That contrast between the two Judaic verbal genres also involves other elements .20 The wedding songs are true epithalamia. beliefs. assigned from the outside. as approof priate.but they may be thoughtof as a communityof practice(Eckert & McConnell-Ginet 1992.e.Once the liturgicalpart of the marriageceremony was over.. thematic. to the accompanimentof a lute. however.At the same time. specifically quartets.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM Semitic language. eleven. Hebrew formulas (shir nashir. is the same for all the compositions.and (iii) a sharedrepertoire of negotiable resources accumulatedover time. even lewd. and stylistic. membership in the community of practicewas internallyconstructed.21The songs offeredto the young couple were eithertakenfrom a traditional repertoire else composedfor the occasion. usuallybasedon the melor ody of well-known local folk songs. They made sense of themselves in andothersthroughtheirparticipation the event andtheircontributionto it (Eckert & McConnell-Ginet 1999:186). Second. In participatingin the social event. and ideologies.The prelude-refrain. Let us now turnto formal analysis of our Catalanpoetic texts. shir hadash).

the function of code-switching in this case seems fairly clear: formally. it cannot be smoothly framedby means of a gradualtransition. once this patternis grasped. The authoritative voice25. and dialogism. it is hierarchicallyhigher than any contemporaryvoice. half reproducingits power. In the former. even appropriatesit. to be taken and preservedas an undividedwhole that cannot be manipulated.Furthermore.23 Moreover. It comes from a may be either cited or recited. Hence. In also indicatesits ethnic affiliation.. thatit can be seen as a consequenceof the revealedword of ancient times.distinguishes between the "alternation" type and the "insertional"type of code-switching. of polyphony. half in the case of sacred language . it cannotbe contextualizedin another'sdiscourse. Nonetheless. I mention here the one advanced by Muysken 1994 and retainedby Auer 1998b.the instancesof code-switching in this text belong to one of the two types distinguishedby Auer 1998b:alternation code-switching. but "acontentword .JOAN A.demands the speakers' acknowledgment.this is not in the case. then..who takesa dynamicandparticipantoriented approachto bilingual speech . this verbaltext composed in a "modern" languagebecomes rooted in a very old tradition. It is also a hieratic discourse. specifically of the strophic blocks (or stanzas) in which the discourse is structuredand framed. code-switching is a demonstration intertextuality. The firsttype usuallytakesplace at a syntacticclause boundary and is used as a rhetorical/stylistic device. and its authorityhas alreadybeen acknowledgedin the past. in so doing. but not used to constructone's own discourse. Intertextualityis present. it accomplishes a demarcationof the poetic text.the moralizing human voice addressing the bride.24 polyphony. It is the word of forebears. even though in this case .counteringthe first term of Auer's description ."a returnafter the switch into the previous language is not predictable".because of the sequential adjacency of distinct voices .anddialogism with respectto the communicativedomainwithin which it has been createdandexists.the switch back to Catalanfrom Hebrew is predictablefrom the poetic or discursive patternof the song. is insertedinto a surrounding passage in the other language"(313-14). because these voices interact. and the divine lover's revealed voice whose words are put in the bride's mouth. because the last line in each stanza refers to a verse from the scriptures.Scholarshave outlined various typologies of code-switching from either a formal or a functional point of view. the latter. ARGENTER Typologically.that is. the latter usually affects small constituents (a word or a ready-madeexpression) without threateningthe language of interaction. it is a prior discourse. as well as at least a double indexical function: while it points toward the text's poetic this character.Catalan/Hebrew code-switching in wedding songs fulfills at least the formal features that Auer attributesto alternationcode-switching. we are con388 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . the latter introducingthe former while the former responds to the latter. and. transformsit and makes it sound a little ambiguous. andby virtue of its presence. their unconditional allegiance. and as such.

("theill-marriedwoman"). CCCA. although the numerouscases of rhyme-words must certainly be treated as instances of code-switching. . it may not be easy immediately to distinguish between codeswitching and lexical borrowing. this does not seem to respond to rhetoricalfactors such as verse patternsor composition..CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM fronted with the fact that segments of the authoritativetraditionalvoice are actually used to constructthe wedding song (the use of the term "used"as opposed to merely "mentioned"is intentional).All this notwithstanding.28 Riera (1974:9) considers this linguistic merging as providing neither "originality nor an increasein aesthetic value. this song could be deemed a zajal.and indexical function. since it follows the metricalpatternAA.or. BBBA.In this case. to put it in emic terms. the presence of Hebrew words in this poetically prominent position shows us both its demarcative . . these featuresraise anotherquestion which will be explored below: whetherthere existed a medieval CatalanJewish language. In contrast. also has a bearingon grammaticalstructure.except in some sporadic cases.27 rowing in the song.which give birth to diverse rhythmicpatternsthat match the melody. . the infringement of the biblical injunctional tehallel (Lev.the use of Hebrew in the context of Romance presupposes and indexes the local Jewish community and the ritual characterof the communicativeevent (the wedding feast).what we find in the one "festive song" of the collection edited by Riera is very different. AAAA. Formally.26Again. these lines are tainted with culturalambiguity. as they are anchoredin the source from which all legitimacy and authorityemanate. these are almost all Hebrew and at the same time constitute most of the Hebrew materialin the composition. it is a well-established fact thatrhyme. However. The numberof syllables per line varies from eight to twelve. while its drawing not only on the Hebrew language but also on the holy texts of the religious traditionconfers legitimacy and efficacy on these songs. since a switch back to Catalancan generallybe expected aftera Hebrew This is also true of the other instances of code-switching or borrhyme-word.In addition. Together. AA. in this case . Here the Catalanbase language of the text appears merged with seven Hebrew expressions and 19 different Hebrew words. 29: "Degradenot thy daughter by makinga harlotof her").Auer's predictabilitycondition for insertionalcode-switching fits here. the only constantelement is the four word-stresses."even thoughhe concedes thatthe author has been original in being "able to find enough Hebrew words to complete the rhymes. but neitherdoes it respond. The topic of the composition is the traditionalone known in Catalan as la malmaridada. By the very natureof the data. however. 19. the code-switching used is very different from that of the wedding songs. By this very fact. The code-switching is of the insertional type (Auer 1998b). so closely relatedto sound patternsin itself and having both clear demarcativeand cohesive is not strangefor rhyme to Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 389 ."Now. to specific cultural concepts in the Jewish tradition.line-demarcative.

not predicates(nouns or nounlike categories). it has been observed that codes may be achieved through a negotiation of communicative interaction. Before proceeding with this discussion. This is undoubtedlya fair characterization termsof grammarand lexicon from in the analyst'spoint of texts of these types. the presence of other borrowed material leads us to think that a differential code. it should be noted. then we would have to question whetherthispiece couldbe seen as containingcode-switchingat all.In addition.and others). Furthermore. and not just as a preconditionfor code-switching communicationto take place (Auer 1998:15). In dealing with conversationalcode-switching. and prepositions. as it has led to varied interpretations even downrightconfusion well beyond the and field of Catalanmedieval studies." This issue deserves separatecomment. equivocal rhymes. the predictability vs. these code-switched elements combine with Catalan specifiers. unpredictability debateandthe effortsto distinguishbetweencode-switching and borrowingturnout to be crucially dependent. the sestina's rhyme-words. This line of thoughtleads naturallyto the recognition of "mixed codes. Furthermore. always a matterof taste.participantorientedpoint of view.that lexical borrowing and/or insertional code-switching in our text is a choice that selectively involves arguments. we would be in a position to ask ourselves whether there is any point in maintainingthe assumptionthat "codeswitching implies the recognition of previously coexisting codes and their interplay within particularspeech events in speech communities. it would appeardifficult to argue for a process of grammaticalizationtaking suggested in note 23. ARGENTER acquire a lexical import (compare the cases of derivative rhymes. modifiers. Indeed. at least in terms of descriptive Jakobson's early term . on the poetic framingfunctionthatpatternsof verbalartassign to switching. unlike in the case of 390 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . but it need not be so from an interactional.JOAN A. might have been poetic texts. let us turn once more to our festive song.This should be viewed as a new instance of the subordination linguistic facts to the "domof inant" .30 Comparisonof the two genres permitsus to drawsome conclusions regarding controversialissues in the field of codes and code-switching." code-switching side by side with other types of merging phenomena.thatis.cohesive.29Werethatthe case. codes may emerge as an outcome of on-line bilingual speech." as stated above. and indexical functions of rhyme-words. The first one has been tentativelyenunciated. as a descriptive remark. these data would point to the existence of what Rierarefers to as "a particulardialect of Catalancalls.32Both these facts may be linked to the choice of matrixlanguage. Moreover.if not in aesthetic terms. then this representsan increasedvalue .31 Althoughgrammatical constraintson code-switching arenot a concernhere. However. I shall not derive theoretical implications from them. in other words.if the rhyme incorporates code-switching. independent of poetic genre. If the "Catalan Jewish dialect"really existed. or whether the Hebrewelements in rhyme-positionwere accomplishinga demarcativefunction within a mergedcode. in addition to the cited demarcative.

we may mention Ladino and Judezmo). Riera states that "thereare clues enough .33though it would appearto rely on a prioribelief.39 Study of these languages. and other forms of syncretism. more figuratively. we find it through the 16th century. for instance. Since then. then. in that the kind of linguistic phenomena being dealt with can always be acknowledged and controlled.Judezmo. the hazardous and migratory history of Jewish communities. and North Africa after their expulsion from Spain. and it appearsto have been clearly individuatedby the first quarterof the 17th century (Sephiha 1974:170). the Yiddish and the Sephardic languages and their varieties (in the latter case. A. as well as the internal religious and cultural movements within Judaism. In fact. a conservative form of Castilian that was maintained by the SephardicJewish communities in the Near East. among others). Rabin. is a spoken language. have been at the forefront of study of the several vernaculars spoken in the Jewish Diaspora throughouthistory.35In approachingthe study of such languages. the interplay and reciprocal influence between these languages may have tended to "vernacularize"Ladino and "Ladinize"Judezmo. and they have engaged in propoundingthe linguistic phenomenathat they labelled as the Jewish languages ."This view is difficult to refute. the issue is not at all a trivial one: Can we state empirically that Jews in the medieval Catalan calls spoke a specific language differentfrom the Catalanspoken by their Christian contemporaries?This matterhas been a source of controversy among specialists in medieval CatalanJewry. In addition. borrowing.. ratherit would seem more a process of relexification. side by side with Catalantexts containing sparse Hebrew loanwords . by contrast. were determinantin the emergence of Ladino.37in such a way that it may be characterizedas Hebrew . attentionmust be paid to the roles played by such phenomena as mixing."Hebrewdressed up as Spanish"(Sephiha 1991:165).like those in the festive song dealt with here there exist many texts by Catalan Jews in Hebrew replete with borrowings Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 391 . the Balkans.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM Hebrew/English pragmaticmarkersobservedby Maschler 1998 and commented on by Auer 1998a.34 ANALYSIS CATALAN OF DATA AND RELEVANCE TO AN ALLEGED JEWISH LANGUAGE To begin with. albeit foundedon rationalclues. Fishman and C. or.38 Its origins can be traced back to the 13th century.syntax implemented with a Romance lexicon..eventually Aramaic . calque. which should not be confused with the Spanish Jewish vernacular. could prove fertile terrainfor study. Ladino is a "calque language"born out of the process of wordfor-word translationof holy and liturgical texts.Judezmo.for example. recall that major scholars of Judaism (J.36Mixing and calque. For the Catalanarea. In any case. to believe that these poetic compositions contain more thanone featureof this dialect thatuntil now has not been studied by anybody. is often reflected in the evolution of these Jewish languages.

andit falls into anachronism when interpreting territorial the range to which the term Sepharadhas been applied in several historical periods. Feliu's translationsand studies (e. Calque translationsalso belong to this local tradition (see. but (i) asserting "the prior existence of a Judeo-Catalan language that derived from Judeo-Latin". Sala distinguishesbetween those languagesthatexist beyond the bordersof theirbase language. even more absurdly.and also that"theobsolescence of the formerentails the obsolescence of thejudaizedcalquelanguage"(1988:2). and those that are already extinct. such as Judezmo. Several misconceptionshave spreadin this field. origin of a Judeo-Castilianlanguage.and back again. in which both genetic relationshipsfrom a Judeo-Latinlanguage to Judeo-Romancelanguages and language-shiftfrom some of these to IberianJudeo-Arabic.. however.Now. Sala is clearly uneasy in dealing with this matterin general and with 392 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) .the latterwould be true of the Catalanand Provencal Jewish languages. a Jewish calque language (Ladino) rooted in the 13thcenturywould imply a vernacularlanguage of equal. Wexler'spoint. ARGENTER from Medieval Sephardic. Riera 1971-75). Withinthe specific field of Sephardicstudies. albeit steadily fading (Sala 1970). it had no previous independentoral existence. among others. Finally.priorto 1492.from aljamiat Romancetexts being takenfor instancesof a supposedJewish vernacular(for an example. there is furtherconfusion between the Sephardic language and a possible variety that may have been spoken by Castilian Jews.JOAN A. see Magdalena1993). Wexler discriminates six chronological stages in this development (1988: 14-16). Sala 1998 distinguishesbetween those that.andthose thatpotentiallycould exist within these borders. if Ladinoactuallycame into being through scripturalpractices. and those whose structure"one has not been able to define.Some of them arose from calque translationsor.(ii) posin and iting "aJudeo-Arabicsubstratum Judeo-Castilian". e. In the same vein. In opposition to Sephiha'spicture.. he distinguishes between those that have survived and are still spoken. 1988-89).otherscholarsgive supportto the view that both Ladino and Judezmoantedateexpulsion. as shown by E. (iii) dating"theswitch from Judeo-Arabicto Judeo-Castilianfrom as early as the 11th century in some parts of the Peninsula"(Wexler 1988:10-1 1). if they ever existed. as he terms it. but these affect the study of CatalanJudaismneitherexclusively nor mainly.41 Even today.antiquity. Accordingto this view.40The latter misunderstanding runs contraryto not only linguistic but also historicaldata. are taken into account.have a "well-defined"structure.such as Judezmo.g. or even those of other peninsularkingdoms. Wexler 1988 arguresthat "the existence of a colloquial judaized language is a prerequisitefor a Jewish calque language".g. if not greater. A rathercomplex nonlinearevolution of Judeo-Ibero-Romancelanguages emerges from his picture. such as the rest of the Romance Jewish languages. in a recent review of the Romance Jewish not only advocatingfor a peninsular. before the expulsion." such as the hypothetical CatalanJewish languageand the ProvencalJewish language.

rule-governedsystem. One such code is to be thought of as a concrete sociolinguistic belief system that defines a distinct identity for itself within a surrounding heteroglot context. ranging over a wealth of communicativeevents. . as constituted by the dynamic centrifugal concurrenceof interrelatedsocial codes. its embryo not fully formed..43The transitionwe have seen above from the alternation type of code-switching to the insertional type may be more than a mere coincidence. as in any other. as Riera suggests. I suggest a shift of perspective and propose to adopt a rather anthropologicalpoint of view.a somewhat differentview sees it as a dynamic co-occurrence of linguistic resources. as far as they existed." One way of thinking of this expression's denotatumtakes it to be a definitively crystallized language entity.indeed. some fail to develop.or dialectal variety . in Bakhtin's wording. and also in a specific social context with its own order and conflicts. these systems. self-contained.but.for instance. but others blossom into authenticlanguages" (Bakhtin 1981:356). where some form of "organic hybridization"takes place. religious. such a transitionplays a progressive role in the hypothLanguage in Society 30:3 (2001) 393 . it "is pregnant with possibilities of further dialectological individuation:it is a potential dialect. These agents were making use of the linguistic resourcesat the disposal of the community. to the natureof these data. were part of the heteroglot context . to the lack of studies. among an autonomous. or social affiliation were conveyed.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM CatalanJewish in particular. This might also lead to a more realistic and socially well-founded approach to the hypotheticalexistence of "a dialect of least insofar he attemptsto treat it as an autonomous. established traditionsand intruding dynamics. These socially situated settings engendered heteroglossia. It is my contention that from this heteroglot picturethere may have emerged. institutions and groups. This usage was taking place in a specific sociocultural context. side by side with Catalanor Hebrew.. ratherthan centering the debate on the linguistic notion of a language . self-contained linguistic system (Sala's first distinction between "welldefined" and "ill-defined"languages speaks for itself). After all. At this point. it seems that the pejorativevocabularyborrowedheavily from the Hebrew lexicon (Sala while certain"Christianisms" 1998). in its heteroglot development. in everyday life and for everyday purposes. but it also may be due to the nonexistence of a specific language in the sense usually understoodby linguists. or."To summarize: "Languagein its historicallife. there were social agents who. This may be due to the lack of documentarydata. The hypothesis is thatin medieval society. This code is not to be understoodas a well-defined unitarylanguage system .These included particularcommunicativepractices which tended towardthe elaborationof socially differentiatedcodes by means of which certain connotationsof individuals' ethnic. is full of such potentialdialects . some die off. a code that would match the ill-defined notion we are concerned with.42 andArabisms were avoided(Sephiha1991). interacted in accordancewith certain social behavioralpatterns.

we can but share the position expressed by Feliu when he states: Then. discourse-building. Furthermore. andreligiouscommunity. thatwe do not confuse it with the calque languageappearingin texts thataretranslations. in order to adapt to changing communicative circumstances(to a range of well-defined events and settings.just as people did both then and now: Arabic . in its literallinguistic sense . see note 37). which embrace such phenomena as aljamiat writing. but also to scripturalpractices and the codes derived from them.47as well as code-switching with multiple nonexcluding aims . as well as a particularmanagement( this was the language they spoke when they were banishedfrom the country.e.This had always been their everyday language.of course. they also spoke other languages.those hailing from Muslim territories. and then to fused lects. individually and as members of groups and subgroups within their community and the society at large. ratherthan a mere constructionof specific verbal genres.and indexing both the historicalcommunicativedomain and the speakers'awarenessof belongingto an ethnic.. the adoptionof certainways of speaking and the rejectionof others) of the linguistic variabilitythatthis syncretic continuum offered to the speakers. we could then move on to consider whetherthe use of some of these codes may have been part of a strategyof neutralizationof socio-culturaldifferences or identity conflicts.(1998-99:91.andthey continuedto do so when later on they spreadall over what is now modem Catalonia. as arguedby Auer 1998b in his dynamicapproachto a typology of bilingual speech. Now. which may or may not include cases of language syncretism.46 Nevertheless. stylistic. If all this makes any sense.rhetorical. Castilianor Proven9al.lexical borrowing from Romance in Hebrew texts and from Hebrewin Romance texts. the researchstrategyjust suggestedwould likely prove more profitableand effective than the cul-de-sac to which the expression "a dialect of the Catalancalls" leads. or to the dynamics of social change). a confusion against which Riera warns us. then.andAragonese.45 It is obviously difficult to draw conclusions about this sort of spoken usage from writtenrecords. the analysis should proceedto examine whetherand to what extent it would have been possible for a case of linguistic syncretism to appear44 as a consequence of a particularsymbolic usage of the availableexpressive resources.andeven more so when we aredealing with communitiesin which scripturalpractices had reached a level of considerable importance and autonomy. this new approachis applicable not only to verbal practices or the creation of oral codes.when circumstances and relations required. the Jews who inhabitedthe main towns in Cataloniain the High Middle Ages undoubtedlyspoke the languageof this country. calque translations.the existence of an autonomousself-containedsystem (provided. my translationfrom Catalan)48 394 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . In strictly linguistic terms. ARGENTER esized continuum from code-switching to language a phenomenon parallel to Ladino. In all likelihood.JOAN A.

49 gument. as should be obvious. In this respect.or to avoid being understoodby Christiansin certain well defined situations. This phenomenon is not rare in situations of language contact.they resortedto the vehicularlanguage (writtenin Hebrew script). it should come as no surprisethat different authorsor groups in the same community had different attitudesand verbal practices. however.even if it includes clear references to the broadersetting of historical. even when the mastery of Hebrew as a language of culture was complete.just as they had different ideological attitudes with respect to the understandingand identity of a common Jewish tradition. does not end here." That is.50 This is not to deny that "the Jews in Cataloniamasteredthis written Hebrew very early and there were authorswriting in Hebrew since the middle of the 11th century.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM By implication.). if they thought a Hebrew word would not be immediately understood by the reader. or at least his answer implies a traditionallinguistic framework.Feliu clings to a traditional. this is not at all a new established linguistic system. Feliu states: Although this writtenform of the Hebrew language is usually called Medieval Hebrew. A similar opinion is expoundedby Rosen (1995:55ff). either in oral or writtenform. it follows naturallyfrom his previous statement that Catalan Jews "never had Hebrew as their own spoken language. It is from this strictly linguistic stance that I am inclined to agree with him. comparablein some way to Biblical or Mishnaic Hebrew:ratherit is the result of the use that differentauthorsin many countriesand in areas of both Muslim and Christian culturemade of a form of Hebrew at thattime."or that "sometimes. Instead. however. etc. this systematicrecourseto the lexicon of the vernacularwhen writing in Hebrew is a well-established fact .as is recourse to Hebrew when using Catalan. a Feliu's arlanguage separatefrom that spoken by their Christiancounterparts.5' Undoubtedly. conditioned as they were by the sociological. and this vehicular language was always. (1998-99:91-2). in their everyday life. Catalan Jews did not speak. As for written language. I have argued in this essay for a ratherdifferent approach which takes as its basic tenet that research should center on the exploration of three problem areas: Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 395 . However. however. political and linguistic environment within which they lived. political. although in exceptional cases they might recur to it (to communicate with Jews from othercountries-just as the Christiansdid with Latin. but it is a clue to the permissiveness and permeability of the use of the available linguistic resources. Catalan"(Feliu 1998-99:92). then. as we have seen. Whateverthe reasons.linguistically oriented approachto this issue. Feliu's first statementdoes not imply that Hebrew was not used at all. and societal processes.

whether of the alternationor insertional type . and that give birth to a socially conditioned and heteroglot stratificationof language. or ratherscriptural. and social conditions anddisplayinga rathercomplex linguistic repertoirein termsof both linguistic resourcesandverbalgenres. from strict interferenceto several kinds of language mixture.and also in the context of the linguistic merging of Semitic andRomancelanguagesandspeechvarieties.these systems or theircorrelatesformingpartof these resources.JOAN A. (iii) The ways of speaking used by speakers in their interactions.These codes should not exclude forms of linguistic syncretism.plays in within well-defined cultural. The contrastbetween the code-switching practices (alternationvs. My aim has been to approach a number of cases of codeswitching as they appearin the recordsof communicativepracticesleft behindby membersof past communities.leading to certain systems of verbal genres and codes that convey particularsocial meaning and express the speakers' reciprocal solidarity or conflict and their membership(inclusion or exclusion). Wedding songs and festive songs have been presentedagainst a broadercontext of Hispano-Arabicculturaltraditionfrom which their forms had been borrowed and re-elaborated.52 (ii) The verbal practices of speakers and social groups and communities in socially situatedand well-defined speech events. discursive.political. I strongly suspect. multiethnic. Code-switching has been studied primarilyin everyday talk and in social interaction between membersof a particularspeech community.practices such as calque-translations. andindexical these and other Jewish communities. ARGENTER (i) The community's available verbal resources. My proposal. is to approachthe issue by focusing on the linguistic resources available to the community. CONCLUSION Code-switchingappearsintertwinedwith a rangeof interlinguisticphenomenain language contact. and particularlyon CatalanJewish communities in the 14th-15th centuries. on the verbal practices developed by its membersin definite socio-cultural 396 Language Society in 30:3(2001) . that there did exist ethnically and socially markedcodes in a complex heteroglot context in medieval times in Catalonia.which implies a synchronic approach.religiously diverse IberianPeninsulaof medieval times. My researchhas focused on the multilingual. their nature.This was followed by analysis of the poetic. however. I am ratherskeptical with regardto this linguistic entity for a numberof reasons: the very small corpus of data available. then. and their potential confusion with non-vernacularlinguistic. insertional) and forms of lexical borrowing found in the two verbal genres led to consideration of another crucial issue for an ethnographyof speakingof these communities:whetheror not there existed a medieval CatalanJewish language. ratherthan self-contained linguistic systems .

M. and the RetrospectiveOverviews in his Selected Writings). 12 See Baer 1961. as is responsibilityfor its shortcomings. Nahir. 1. J. 13 A quotationfrom a 16th-century manual de inquisidoresillustratesthe point: "Womenwere not obliged to perform public worship.It could thus be said thatthe use of aljamia . 5. Prov. I am also indebted to P. See especially Labov 1974 for an appraisal of the research strategy applied here. On the internalorganizationof the community and its conflicts. correspondingto Spanish calle. and on the resultingways of speakingand the creationof dynamicand eventually syncreticcodes thatexpressed social position. Woolardfor discussion and suggestions on a more advanced version. which was a first attempt at the construction of an empirical foundation for linguistic change. 6 Food. Of course. and they never gathered with men [for prayer]. M. means "thecommunity. There was no obligation of numberamong them.or aljamiat writing..I especially thankE. solidarity. Pious women had theirroom nearthe Synagogue and a rabbiprayedin Romancefor them the prayers uttered in Hebrew in the Synagogue.ajuntament). Auer."whose Christianequivalent at the time was universitas(later. 3See below for reference to Arabic/Romance and Hebrew/Arabicforms of aljamiat writing. nor were one hundredwomen worth more than an unweaned infant for the purpose of accomplishing the number. I will not pursue this line of inquiry here. his statement of the principles of diachronic phonology. and cleavages . clothing and sexual relations were the three areas in which a husband was obliged to provide for his wife.I first and foremost thankJ. 7. 10A main source for the study of medieval Jewish communitiesin Spain is Baer 1961-66. see Hanks a kind of cultural hybridizationof linguistic/scripturalpractices.Call comes from Latincallis. 9 Riera 1974 suggests as plausible the communities of Gironaor Perpinyain northernCatalonia. Riera and E. and K. 8 This serious handicaphas not been an insurmountable obstacle in the writing of ethnographies of communicationfor groups of the past. l l Aljama. I keep to Riera's edition. Hill. although I adapt the Hebrew passages to English conventions. 13. fromArabic algamda. Heller. and Weinreich. Feliu for their valuable effort to make medieval verbal art and other linguistic material of Catalan Jews accessible to the Catalan reader. researchproject numberPB96-1155. NOTES *Albeit retrospectively. Herzog & Labov 1968. 2Aljamia denotes texts in Romance written in Arabic or Hebrew script. My translation departsfrom his glosses at some points. It goes without saying that responsibilityfor its final form and content is my own.inclusions and exclusions . respectively: Song of Sol. Cantera 1998 is also useful for everyday life in these communities. with a translationof the Hebrewpassages and some philological comments.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM and situationalcontexts. Feliu for his comments and suggestions on an earlier draftof this article which he was kind enough to read. aimed at Catalan readers. 5 The last lines in each stanza correspondto the following lines of the following biblical books. 14 A thematic comparison of our wedding song addressed to the bride with a wedding song addressed to the bridegroomwould illustratethis point. and also Arabic texts in Hebrew script. l Jakobson's seminal idea can be traced throughhis work from at least 1927 (e. 12. my translation). This work has benefited from financial aid from the Direcci6n General de Investigaci6n Cientifica y Tecnol6gica. see Baer (1961:212-36). 4 The texts of three of these songs had been previously edited and analyzed by Lazar 1971. Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 397 . Judg.See also Jakobson & Halle 1956. 7 For a critique of formal theories of meaning in North American linguistics and a defense of a socio-culturaland context-dependentconception of meaning. his study on the historical phonology of Russian.of social agents in their everyday communicative interaction. 16. even directobservationandinterpretation never unproblematic. Bauman's(1983) study of the early Quakercommunities in are 17thcenturyEnglandis a case in point.g. passim." (quoted in Cantera 1998:84.

This institutionbegan to decline in the mid-12th centuryin the Muslim source is its currentuse in linguistic anthropology. and cantigas d'escdrnio e maldizer ("mocking and slanderous songs"). as opposed to the technical in meaning assigned to it in Laboviansociolinguistics. it is a woman. 1996). As far as the use of the notion "heteroglossia"is concerned. one of the oldest cases of alternatingcode-switching I am aware of is 6thcenturyGreek/Latin antiphonalsinging.both verbalgenres in ourJewish songs may be consideredas belonging to this category. they differ. ARGENTER 15 A "reply"to a questionput forwardby anotherrabbi. prosodic and metricalpatterns. or else his ideas should be qualified from the point of view of our currentknowledge of what traditionaloral poetry is and how it comes to be "crystallized"(Nagy's term. because the former express a man's love for his beloved. Indeed. The relationship between the noble and the poet was one of patronage and protection against conservative religious forces. 398 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) . Conditions were more propitious. or "singer. The relevantpoint is that in the cantigas d'amor. 20 In keeping with the aim expressed in the precedingnote.It should be pointed out. while in the cantigas d'amigo. 1996:108-9)..communityor a memberof the community on interpretation applicationof a religious or legal norm.The analysis of the "festive song" will illustratethe assertion.however. and its intentional representationin a novel for artistic purposes.This was in all likelihood alternation code-switching."was a servantin the synagogue.this is not always the case in poetic texts. 22 The community of practice differs from the traditionalcommunity primarily "because it is defined simultaneouslyby its membershipand by the practice in which this membershipengages" (Eckert & McConnell-Ginet 1992:464).etc.I think.He states clearly that "heteroglossiaor even a foreign language is completely shut out of a poetic work. however. were particularlyappropriate occasions for group dance.Auer's aim in the first place is to account for conversational code-switching. in the Jewish communities underMuslim rule in Al-Andalus. cantigas d'amigo ("malefriend songs"). It is said that. in Bakhtin'sview heteroglossia and its components apply more to prose writing than to poetry. These compositions might be lyrical or narrative character. These three types do not exhaust the catalogue of genres in Galician-Portuguesemedieval poetry. 23 This remark.Obviously. in Usually threemain genres are distinguished: the so-called cantigas d'amor ("love songs"). however. it is a man who speaks. they necessarilyimplieda dialogicalrelationship potentiallyheteroglotvoices andconsciousnessthrough of time and space. with its diversity of oral genres. as has been described (Baer 1961:18-21). 21 Dancing in public was often forbidden by the rabbis within the communities. in line with Bakhtin.not only epic songs might well be performedwhile composing andcomposed while performing(Nagy 1990. not the kind of textual phenomena we are concerned with. which is the primary aim of Bakhtin's reflections." 16 The hazzan. that in line with Bakhtin's goals. Both the cantigas d'amor and cantigas d'amigo are love songs. 17 A deep-rootedpreeminenceof the religious traditionin the Hebrew world preventedthe rise of secular poetry among the Easterncommunities. in the satiric and comic genres and others"(1981:286-87). while the latter express a woman's loneliness because of the absence of her beloved and her longing for him." although he concedes that "a certain latitude for heteroglossia exists only in the 'low' poetic genres. but the model was then transferred Christianterritories. to 18 Cantigas is the traditionalname for old Galician-Portuguesepoetic compositions that were intendedto be sung. however. is not intended to invalidateAuer's description. 19 I use "stratification" a ratherlax sense. rather. Wedding and bridal feasts. andan increasein the rangeof verbalgenres andtopics.JOAN A. Insofaras these compositions . a distinction should be borne in mind between heteroglossia as a phenomenon of everyday languages and language usage in historical speech communities. thatBakhtinmainly has in mind writtenauthorialpoetry rather thantraditionalpoetic verbal art. An importantsocial factorin the developmentof secularHebrewpoetrywas the role played by Jewish noblemen. however. Caesarius of Arles made them participate in it by learning and singing orderto preventthe congregationgossiping during the liturgy. The influence of refined Arabic literary and cultural models was of the utmost importance for innovation in verbal depends on code-switching's acquiringan inherentdiscourse-patterning quality.Responsa were a characteristicrabbinic or genre and were collected in books of "questionsand answers. insofar as these were not so subject to traditional patternsand grew prosperousin an environmentof religious tolerance and great culturaland ethnic diversity. however.rhyme. In fact.strophicpoetry. even thoughthe switching was absolutelypredictable. alternatinga versicle in Greekwith one in Latin.

29 This point was suggested by PeterAuer (personal communication). or a Spanish/English code-switching patternin Gibraltar.. Bakhtin 1981:358-62). see our "festive song. see below. 27 See note 23. Muysken & Singh 1986. who cites rich documentation. 1991. among others.It implies . Cf. the passion with which a prominentmemberof the BarcelonaJewish communityand a scholarof Catalan Jewish heritage arguedfor the existence of a CatalanJewish language was not proportionateto the evidence at hand. see. understoodthe term as "the suppression Kurylowicz's term. 38 Unlike "mixed codes. they apply the notion to a dynamic situationcharacterized a selective use of the ver- Language in Society 30:3 (2001) 399 . referringto defined types of (unconscious and impersonal)utterance language mixing in historical everyday languages. seeking to accountfor formalconstraintson code-switching in terms of dependency ratherthan linearity. reproducedhere. problems. they have been taken as posing such an issue by Riera 1974. Nonetheless. insofar as its form evolved from Hispano-Arabicmuwashshah. 34 I remembercausing a heated controversyby daringeven to discuss the issue.g.but the whole composition could be deemed intertextualin a generic sense. as distinct from intentional and individualized artisticutterancelanguagemixing "witha representedlanguage and a representinglanguage.& which the authorregrets(or at least acknowledges) the lack of study prevailing on this issue. and will provide us with an opportunityfor discussion. determines. reiteratedin S6phiha 1991. working only within the frameworkof internallinguistic analysis. e.which areoften literal and word-for-word.the switch back is not always completed. who.g. Fishman 1987. Riafno1993."aiming at creating an "image of a language" (a key concept in his conceptual framework). For a clarification of the issue. it is also importantto distinguish between aljamiattexts andtranslationsfrom Hebrew.Similar argumentsappear in Nortier 1995 and are criticized by Alvarez-Caccamo 1998:35. however. Bakhtin (1981: 342-43). For an alternativeview.Hill of a relevantopposition in certainconditions. Additionally. 30 Illustrative are the argumentsby Alvarez-Caccamo 1998. Hill. and transformsthe remainingcomponents. 35 See some argumentsfor the need to distinguish these modalities in S6phiha 1974. contrastswith the prudentwisdom of the initial part. Sephiha 1974. one of these being the first one. 25 Cf. among many others. and the rhyme-wordis not always code-switched either (see also note 26). 41 See a clarification of the matterin Feliu 1998-1999. 28 At least. 40 See note 41..provided for the switch between a specifier and its head by means of the neutralizingcharacterof the former. 42 As a case in point.It is the dominantwhich guaranteesthe integrityof the structure" (Jakobson 1981:751). 33 The forcefulness of the final part.As anthropologistsand linguists studying a determinedlanguage by contact setting. 39 Besides Fishman's and Rabin's work. 31 "The 'dominant'may be defined as the focusing component of a work of art: it rules. (Cf. and connotations that the use of the term "mixed language" has traditionallyprovoked. as a contributionfrom the Catalan area. 32 DiSciullo." a "calque language"necessarily involves both two previously existing languages and the emergence of a new code. 37 See. As Riera advises in relation to the Catalan area (1971-75:54-55). as is the evidence he provides on Spanish/Galician. in which the very existence of the dialect is not at all taken for granted. see. and the references to his own bibliographythere.CODE-SWITCHING AND DIALOGISM 24 In a ratherbroad interpretation the term."In adoptingand reinterpreting & Hill try to avoid the ambiguity." 43 As Bakhtinwould have it.a of particularinterpretation the issue in hand. 36 These same phenomena have also played a significant role in the elaboration of Modern Hebrew.. I can only assume thattheir attitudewas more a function of currentCatalanJewish feeling and self-perceptionthan an effort to reconstructthe historical past.or induces . and that offered by Moyer 1998 on Yanito.The language of these translationsis not the reflection of a spoken dialect but a written and often recited variety which takes on the appearanceof a mixed language owing to its a GB framework. e. 26 Out of 30 lines. only four employ a Romance rhyme-word. who borrowthe termfrom Kurylowicz(1964:40). Berthelot 1993. it is not only the code-switched Hebrew passages of that show specific intertextuality. 44 To putit in the termsof J.

" (Rosen 1995:56).JOAN A. ARGENTER bal resourcesin the dual continuumof the concurrentlanguages (Nahuatl and Spanish. see note 13. legacies."(Ros6n 1995:56).among others who did not share the same final aim.Rosen understands"Medieval Hebrew"as a Traditionssprache traces a parallelismbetween Medieval Hebrew and Meand dieval Latin.the rationalists. ratherthan the coexistence of both or suppressionof the relevance of the opposition itself.syntacticconvergence/divergence.Ourunitarysystematic concept of languageis. 48 "Hence. neithershould we be surprisedthatcode-switching and other forms of linguistic mixture and syncretism are part of both language reality and social reality. these forms of Hebrew are not to be confused with Jewish languages. the fact of centering sociolinguistic researchon the topic of conflict has all too often induced scholars to think of neutralizationas the suppression of one of the relevant terms of an opposition." (Rosen 1995:58). 49 It may be relevant here to rememberwhat has been said about women's illiteracy and lack of familiaritywith the Hebrew language. if these may be differentiatedfor analyticalpurposes. to mention only the more importantbranchesof Jewish literature. The songs considered above pertainto the former and the borrowed words are Hebrew.inventories.providedwe bear in mind that these are but theoreticalconstructsor abstractionspartially to encompass this reality.I suggest thatHill & Hill's conclusions may serve to illuminatethe situationwe areconcernedwith here. Obviously. etc. semanticor syntacticcalque. legal contentions. CatalanJews in the 10th century might have been bilingual in Arabic and Romance. However.Francized. This holds true irrespective of Bakhtin's views on poetic genres (cf. hybridization/differentiation. Without falling into mechanicalretrospectiveprojections. in their case) andby the processesof relexification.What is implied in this reflection is a case of the exploitation of simultaneity in the prototypically sequential natureof speech as it appearsto our currentunderstanding. his proposed programof researchaims at accounting for a pluralismof shapes of Medieval Hebrew . This notwithstanding. as we have seen.with their assemblies and synagogues. names of the biblical books.may occasionally be reinterpreted a both/and feature at the level of discourse and social interactionpractices. bearingin mindthe cautionthatthe case demands.not just reminiscent of but identified with Saussurean as paradigmaticrelations.g.) concerning such issues as purchaseand sale contracts. I am not denying the validity of defining linguistic systems as a way of improvingour knowledge of linguistic reality. 5 "Medieval Hebrew is not one language. For the deployment of similar ideas. more often than 400 Language in Society 30:3 (2001) .both were languagesof a writtentradition"whichthose who were dedicated to their maintenancedesired to create afresh in orderto rend them suitable for oral usage". see Woolard 1999. both were languages "with reference to which an endeavourat modernizationwas made in order to assure them a relatively wide diffusion in living use" (Rosen 1995:59).whetheraljamiat (when the language is Catalan)or not (when the language is Hebrew)."(Wexler 1988:6).and the Kabbalists. It should come as no surprisethat code-switching cannot be accommodatedwithin available well-defined linguistic systems as linguists have understood them. andothersthatgive birthto particular ways of speaking(at the same time that they exclude other ways of speaking) within a given society and a socio-cultural setting determined by local relations as well as by the global context into which this society is inserted. note 12). concepts from Talmudiclaw. who emphasizes the influence of Bakhtin's writings on anthropologicalthinking in this respect.. 45 However. ecclesiastic.those who philosophizedfollowing the Greeks. A different phenomenon is representedby the Hebrew words in Roman scriptfound in Christiandocuments(e. 46 As far as our texts are concerned. names of the institutionsof the aljamas or Jewish quarters.Feliu 1991. notarial.royal. But he immediately adds: "We would not go so far as the studentsof Medieval Latin go and say that therewas no Medieval Hebrew but 'several Medieval Hebrews'. and so forth). 1998-99:13-14 aproposof the grammarian ProfiatDuran(second half of the 14th century) and his descriptionof the doctrinalgroups of his time: the Talmudists. an added difficulty should be noted in this respect: the fact that they are poetic texts means their contributionto our knowledge of everyday social life heteroglossia is rather limited and indirect. as expoundedby linguists (see Kurylowicz'sdefinition in the precedingnote).not only its Arabicizedor its Ashkenaziforms. "butalso for a Germanized. with Catalanas their primarylanguage. This dichotomous either/or thinking at the level of structure. Sl See. in that both were languages of a sacred tradition. for instance. 47 All references are to texts in Hebrewscript. 52 Of course. and referring to Jewish items and concepts (the monthsof the Jewish religious calendar. Likewise.liturgicalfeasts.ItalianizedHebrew language."which those who were concerned made an effort to transferto secularuse".

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