Since 1885 Judeo Spanish proverbs have been published in different places and in a variety of forms. There are more than 50,000 proverbs and at least 100 sources. Most of the collectors and researchers of the Judeo Spanish proverb belong to the Sephardic community themselves. The interest in these proverbs emerged from two directions: Hispanists who saw the Ladino proverbs as part of the Spanish language and culture and looked for parallels and influences, and other scholars who were interested in Jewish culture per se. Some collectors were also researchers, while others were members of the community who wished to preserve their heritage. This survey classifies the proverbs' publication into eight groups in accordance with the aims of the publication and its methodology: (1) Proverb collections in book form; (2) proverb publications in newspapers and journals of Sephardic communities and organizations; (3) proverbs scattered in folk narrative collections; (4) proverbs published as examples in educational books; (5) proverbs published in dictionaries and encyclopedias as examples of word usage, values and entries; (6) archives and private collections; (7) research journals; and (8) attachments and examples in scientific publications. Though the collection of Judeo Spanish proverbs has spanned over a hundred and twenty years, the academic study of the proverb started much later. There are almost no scholarly books on this subject (with the exception of Isaac Levy's book from 1969 and Tamar Alexander's book, now in press). Research in the field during the last few years has brought about a change of emphasis from a linguistic approach, which sees the proverb as a means for understanding language, to research which perceives the proverb as a unique genre in itself. Another change has to do with accepting the Judeo Spanish proverb as an intrinsic part of the Jewish culture anchored in the Jewish canonic sources rather than tracking Hispanic sources and treating the Judeo Spanish proverb as a variant of the Hispanic proverb. This approach is reflected not only in proverb studies but in other Judeo Spanish genres as well. It has also become clear today that in documenting proverbs the context in which the proverb is performed is vital to the understanding of its meaning.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Judeo Spanish Proverb: Research and Collections|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||מחקרי ירושלים בפולקלור יהודי|
|State||Published - 2003|