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John Cowan scripsit:

<<Catholic priests who had no other lang in common likewise communicated
in Latin, more or less continuously over the centuries.  But no one doubts
that Latin is and has been dead.>>

Absolutely right. That's why I'm sure Ivrit indeed was dead, and its revival
was quite artificial. For this reason it can be compared to conlanging. I've
read an article about a number of successful attempts to revive certain
Australian Aborigenal languages, just from very scarse material. I suppose it
is a kind of conlanging too.

<<Well, after all, Yiddish is essentially a German relex of Western Slavic.>>

With all respect to you, John, I cannot agree. Yiddish is a typical Germanic
language. Slavic influence onto its Gremanic base was less than French one onto
Englisc...

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Eamon Graham scripsit:

<<I find Jewish languages terribly fascinating, ever since the age of 10
probably.>>

Yeah, the topic is interesting, but easily subjected to flaming :-(

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Steg Belsky scripsit:

<<If i remember correctly, around the non-year 0, Aramaic was the native
language of most Jews in the Galilee;>>

And some evidences exist that even this may be wrong, and Hebrew could be
spoken there too, with Aramaic being only a "trade language".

<<but those in Judea itself still mostly spoke Hebrew.>>

Mea achuz!

<<In fact, recently my Medieval Spaniard Hebrew
Poetry teacher told me about a theory someone has that the distinctive
syntax and vocabulary of the classical Piyyut literature (c.800s CE) may
be due to Hebrew still being a living spoken language at that time.>>

I would rather doubt in it, but may it be due to a good level of mastering of
Hebrew? A kind of secular-sacred bilinguism?

<<at that time the Jews and non-Jews spoke the same vernacular.>>

Just like Russian speaking Jews nowadays! Dan Sulani refers to this phenomenon:

<<The situation with the immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union is similar.
Many of the older people speak Yiddish, but the younger ones primarily
speak Russian and Hebrew. The newspapers put out by and for that
community are in Russian.>>

An Israeli friend of mine says there are some districts in the E"Y, where you
can live through without knowing a word in Hebrew. Those ppl are, certainly,
more than secular. And another factor promoting spreading of Russian, is a
great percent of olim who are not Jewish according to Halacha. But, surely,
this particular topic has nothing to do with conlanging...