The role of merchants in the linguistic history of the Sephardic Jews
The article deals with the merchants’ contribution to the history of Sephardic Spanish (Ladino). It examines some samples of merchants letters (15th-18th c.) and surveys their general patterns, which were relatively stable through the centuries. Moreover, it sketches the role of the merchants as a social group first in the diffusion and normativization of the Sephardic vernacular, and later in its confrontation with Western European languages.
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