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Sara Shilo’s No Gnomes Will Appear: A Linguistic Analysis

From: Hebrew Studies
Volume 54, 2013
pp. 265-284 | 10.1353/hbr.2013.0002



This article examines the unique, nonstandard features of the Hebrew language of Sara Shilo’s award-winning book No Gnomes Will Appear (2005). Raising the question of whether this language is simply nonstandard Hebrew, or whether its “faults” have an identifiable background, it identifies the origins of many of its features in the spoken Judeo-Arabic that underlies the Hebrew of the book’s protagonists. Subjecting the colorful language of the book’s characters to a linguistic analysis, it notes and exemplifies the influence of North African Judeo-Arabic on semantic, lexical, morphological, and syntactic phenomena in what is defined here as the “language of the periphery.”

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