Language Usage in Anglo-Sephardi Jewry

An Historical Overview of Spanish, Portuguese and Juedo-Spanish in England from the Expulsion to the Present Day

in European Judaism
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  • 1 University of Oxford
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Tracing the history of languages used among England's Sephardim, being the first study of its kind, presents a number of challenges. First and foremost, there is a severe lack of linguistic documentation prior to the seventeenth century, as Jewish communities were illegal on English soil between the mass expulsion of 1290 and the readmission under Cromwell in 1656. Although official records of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue do give some indications of language usage between the readmission of Jews to England and the late nineteenth century, actual linguistic monuments are few.