A Jewish language that developed in medieval Spain as a result of contact between Jews, Ibero-Romance-speaking Spaniards, and Arabic-speaking Moors (Sepharad). After the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, their language spread to the Ottoman Empire, North-African and other Islamic lands, and to parts of Europe. As a result of internal developments and the influence of languages native to these new settlement areas, it became markedly different from its Spanish origin. 1. Names for the languageWith the diffusion of the Jews outside of Spain, their Ibero-Romance dialect was given various names. In Hebrew texts it was called
az, which originally means “foreign language.” The names it used to refer to itself in the century after the expulsion from Spain were:
laḏino (from Lat.
románse (from Lat.
romanice), which refers to the ”Romanic” or Roman origin of the Spanish majority component of the language;
(e)spanyól/(i)shpanyól, a term that equ…