Jewish, Tatar and Karaite Communal Dialects and their Importance for Byelorussian Historical Linguistics

The purpose of the present paper is twofold: (1) to explore the possibility of reconstruction the broad outlines of Belarusian communal dialects in earlierperiods, and (2) to try to evaluate the importance of communal dialects for the description and reconstruction of the general Belarusian language in earlier periods... Belarusian speakers have come into contact with a variety of colloquial Indo-European and Altaic languages - e.g. Lithuanian and Lettish dialects, Kupchak Turkic dialects, Yiddish, German dialects and Romany (Gypsy) - as well as with a number of unspoken languages whose functions were primarily liturgical and/or scholarly - e.g. Latin, Church Slavic, Hebrew and Arabic... From the point of view of Belarusian historical linguistics, the most important ethnic communities are the Jews, Tatars and Karaites, since they wrote Belarusian in a non-Cyrillic script... 

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