|cuhuri, жугьури, ז׳אוּהאוּראִ|
|Native to||Azerbaijan, Russia – North Caucasian Federal District, spoken by immigrant communities in Israel, United States (New York City)|
|Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew|
Judeo-Tat is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)
|Part of a series on|
Judeo-Tat or Juhuri (cuhuri, 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 dialect of Persian which belongs to the southwestern group of the Iranian division of the Indo-European languages, albeit with heavy Jewish influence. The Iranic Tat 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 though the languages probably originated in the same region of the Persian empire. The words Juvuri and Juvuro translate as "Jewish" and "Jews".
Judeo-Tat has Semitic (Hebrew/Aramaic/Arabic) elements on all linguistic levels. Judeo-Tat has the Semitic sound “ayin/ayn” (ع/ע), whereas no neighbouring languages have it. 
Judeo-Tat is an endangered language classified as "definitely endangered" by UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.
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
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 loanwords e.g. /ʃulħon/ "table" (Heb. שלחן shulḥan), /mozol/ "luck" (Heb. מזל mazal), /ʕoʃiɾ/ "rich" (Heb. עשיר ʻashir). 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/)
Azerbaijani: Vowel harmony and many loan words
Russian: Loanwords adopted after the Russian Empire's annexation of Daghestan and Azerbaijan
Northeast Caucasian languages: e.g. /tʃuklæ/ "small" (probably the same origin as the medieval Caucasian city name "Sera-chuk" mentioned by Ibn Battuta, meaning "little Sera")
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 rāh), /ɢurbu/ "sacrifice" (Arab., Aramaic /qurbaːn/ or Heb. קרבן Korban)
- /o/ > /u/ e.g. /ovʃolum/ "Absalom" (Heb. אבשלום Abshalom)
- /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 sākhtan)
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).
- Kaitag dialect (spoken in the North Caucasus).
The dialects of Oğuz (formerly Vartashen) and the now extinct Jewish community of Mücü have not been studied well and thus cannot be classified.
- ^ a b c Judeo-Tat at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022)
- ^ Windfuhr, Gernot. The Iranian Languages. Routledge. 2009. p. 417.
- ^ Habib Borjian, “Judeo-Iranian Languages,” in Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin, eds., A Handbook of Jewish Languages, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015, pp. 234-295. .
- ^ 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 Archived 2009-02-22 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Habib Borjian and Daniel Kaufman, “Juhuri: from the Caucasus to New York City”, Special Issue: Middle Eastern Languages in Diasporic USA communities, in International Journal of Sociology of Language, ed. Maryam Borjian and Charles Häberl, issue 237, 2016, pp. 51-74. .
- ^ James B. Minahan, ed. Ethnic Groups of North, East, and Central Asia: An Encyclopedia: Juhuro.
- ^ (in Russian) Phonetics of the Mountain Jewish language
- ^ (in Russian) Language of the Mountain Jews of Dagestan Archived 2005-05-01 at the Wayback Machine by E.Nazarova
- Borjian, Habib; Kaufman, Daniel (2016). "Juhuri: From the Caucasus to New York City". International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 2016 (237): 59–74. doi:10.1515/ijsl-2015-0035. S2CID 55326563.
- Shapira, Dan D.Y. (2010). "Juhūrī (Judeo-Tat or Judeo-Tātī)". In Norman A. Stillman (ed.). Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. Brill Online.
- Judeo-Tat literature
- 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.
- Сайт Горских Евреев Культура новости
- Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World: "Juhūrī (Judeo-Tat or Judeo-Tātī)", p 16 sq, print: Brill, Leiden 2010