|çuhuri / жугьури / ז'אוּהאוּראִ|
|Native to||Israel, United States (New York City)|
|(ca. 80,000 cited 1989–1998)|
|Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew|
Official language in
|no official status|
Judeo-Tat or Juhuri (çuhuri / жугьури / ז'אוּהאוּראִ) is the traditional language of the Mountain Jews of the eastern Caucasus Mountains, especially Azerbaijan and Dagestan, now mainly spoken in Israel.
The language is a form of Persian; it belongs to the southwestern group of the Iranian division of the Indo-European languages. The Tat language, a similar, but still different language is spoken by the Muslim Tats of Azerbaijan, a group to which the Mountain Jews were mistakenly considered to belong during the era of Soviet historiography. The words Juvuri and Juvuro literally translate as "Jewish" and "Jews".
The language is spoken by an estimated 101,000 people:
- Israel: 70,000 in 1998
- Azerbaijan: 24,000 in 1989
- Russia: 2,000 in 2010
- United States: 5,000
|Close and near-close||i||y||ɪ||u|
| Stop and
In the early 20th century Judeo-Tat used the Hebrew script. In the 1920s the Latin script was adapted for it; later it was written in Cyrillic. The use of the Hebrew alphabet has enjoyed renewed popularity.
Influences and etymology
Judeo-Tat is a Southwest Iranian language (as is modern Persian) and is much more closely related to modern Persian than most other Iranian languages of the Caucasus e.g. Talysh, Ossetian, and Kurdish. However, it also bears strong influence from other sources:
Medieval Persian: Postpositions are used predominantly in lieu of prepositions e.g. modern Persian: باز او > Judeo-Tat æ uræ-voz "with him/her".
Arabic: like in modern Persian, a significant portion of the vocabulary is Arabic in origin. Unlike modern Persian, Judeo-Tat has almost universally retained the original pharyngeal/uvular phonemes of Arabic e.g. /ʕæsæl/ "honey" (Arab. عسل), /sæbæħ/ "morning" (Arab. صباح).
Hebrew: As other Jewish dialects, the language also has many Hebrew loan words e.g. /ʃulħon/ "table" (Heb. שלחן), /mozol/ "luck" (Heb. מזל), /ʕoʃiɾ/ "rich" (Heb. עשיר). Hebrew words are typically pronounced in the tradition of other Mizrahi Jews. Examples: ח and ע are pronounced pharyngeally (like Arabic ح, ع respectively); ק is pronounced as a voiced uvular plosive (like Persian ق/غ). Classical Hebrew /w/ (ו) and /aː/ (kamatz), however, are typically pronounced as /v/ and /o/ respectively (similar to the Persian/Ashkenazi traditions, but unlike the Iraqi tradition, which retains /w/ and /aː/)
Russian: Loan words adopted after the Russian Empire's annexation of Daghestan and Azerbaijan
Other common phonology/morphology changes from classical Persian/Arabic/Hebrew:
- /aː/ > /o/, /æ/, or /u/ e.g. /kitob/ "book" (Arab. كتاب), /ɾæħ/ "road/path" (Pers. راه), /ɢurbu/ "sacrifice" (Arab. or Aramaic /qurbaːn/)
- /o/ > /u/ e.g. /ovʃolum/ "Absalom" (Heb. אבשלום)
- /u/ > /y/, especially under the influence of vowel harmony
- Stress on final syllable words
- Dropping of the final /n/, e.g. /soχtæ/ "to make" (Pers. ساختن)
Being a variety of the Tat language, Judeo-Tat itself can be divided into several dialects:
- Quba dialect (traditionally spoken in Quba and Qırmızı Qəsəbə)
- Derbent dialect (traditionally spoken in the town of Derbent and the surrounding villages), has been used as a standard form of Judeo-Tat
- Kaitag dialect (spoken in the North Caucasus)
- 24,000 in Azerbaijan in 1989; 2,000 in Russia in 2010; and 70,000 in Israel in 1998. Because ca. 2,000 a year emigrate to Israel, perhaps 20,000 may have been double-counted.
- Judeo-Tat at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Windfuhr, Gernot. The Iranian Languages. Routledge. 2009. p. 417.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Judeo-Tat". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Judeo-Tat at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Published in: Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages. Edited by Christopher Moseley. London & New York: Routledge, 2007. 211–280.
- John M Clifton. "Do the Talysh and Tat languages have a future in Azerbaijan?" (PDF). Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session. Retrieved 18 Feb 2013.
- UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
- (Russian) Phonetics of the Mountain Jewish language
- (Russian) Language of the Mountain Jews of Dagestan by E.Nazarova
|Judeo-Tat test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- Горско-еврейский язык (словарь, грамматика, библиотека)
- JUHURO.RU - Информационно развлекательный портал горских евреев Горские Евреи Израиля population ~70,000
- Горские Евреи Нальчика Mountain Jews of Nalchik.
- Горские Евреи Америки Mountain Jews of the US.
- Cайт Горских Евреев Культура новости