Yevanic, otherwise known as Judeo-Greek, was the dialect of the Romaniotes, the group of Greek Jews whose presence in Greece is documented since the Hellenistic period. Its linguistic lineage stems from the Hellenistic Koine and includes Hebrew elements. It was mutually intelligible with Greek of the Christian population. The Romaniotes used the Hebrew alphabet to write Greek and Yevanic texts.
The term "Yevanic" is an artificial creation from the Biblical word Yāwān referring to the Greeks and the lands that the Greeks inhabited. The term is an overextension of the Greek word Ἰωνία (Ionia in English) from the (then) easternmost Greeks to all Greeks.
There are no longer any native speakers of Yevanic, for the following reasons:
- Connerty, Mary C. Judeo-Greek: The Language, The Culture. Jay Street Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-889534-88-9
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