Recalling the Past

Linguistic and Cultural Images of the Kurtijo Sephardic Courtyard

in Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

The present article investigates the concept of kurtijo, roughly ‘courtyard’, ‘home’, in Judeo-Spanish (known also as Ladino, Djudezmo or Sephardi), the language of Sephardic Jews, currently under threat of extinction (Harris 1994, 2011). It argues that after the Holocaust kurtijo became a culturally salient word and it may be regarded as a cultural key word in Ladino. Dictionaries and texts of contemporary Ladino poets will be used as the main source of data. The meaning of kurtijo will be expressed in the form of an NSM explication (Goddard and Wierzbicka 2002, 2014).