Accepted Paper:

Recalling the past: the linguistic and cultural images of kurtijo, Sephardic courtyard  

Authors:

Zuzanna Bulat Silva (University of Wrocław)
Agnieszka August-Zarebska (University of Wroclaw)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of the present paper is to investigate the concept of kurtijo, roughly ‘courtyard’, ‘home’, in Judeo-Spanish. The dictionaries and the 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 a NSM metasemantic explication.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of the present paper is to investigate the concept of kurtijo, roughly 'courtyard', 'home', in Judeo-Spanish language and culture. Judeo-Spanish (also Ladino, Djudezmo, Sephardi) is a language of the descendants of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492. It was developed in the former Ottoman Empire and North Africa, and now is considered a dying language (Harris 1994). The word kurtijo evokes the image of a typical Sephardic house with an inner courtyard, where many families lived together. This kind of houses used to be common in Mediterranean and Middle East cities (in some of them they exist up till now). In the lands of Turkish-Balkan Diaspora, the majority of Jewish kurtijos were desolated by the Holocaust and, later, by the emigration of their inhabitants to Israel or to other countries. Kurtijo is sometimes related with the nostalgia for the communities exterminated during the Second World War. It also represents the bonds with the past and the need for re-defining the self-identity. The methodology which allows to talk about this culturally embedded concept without an ethnocentric bias is the NSM, Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach (cf. Wierzbicka 1996, Goddard&Wierzbicka 2002). The Judeo-Spanish dictionaries and the texts of contemporary Ladino poets will be used as the main source of data. On the basis of lexical and textual data the meaning of kurtijo and related cultural values will be explicated and expressed in the form of a NSM metasemantic explication.

Panel P49
Translating cultural imaginaries of home: near-homes and far-homes