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Mozarabic language

Latino / לטן‎ / لتن‎
Region Iberia
Extinct by the Late Middle Ages
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist list
Glottolog moza1249
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Mozarabic, more accurately Andalusi Romance, was a continuum of closely related Romance dialects spoken in the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula, known as Al-Andalus. Mozarabic descends from Late Latin and early Romance dialects spoken in the Hispania from the 5th to the 8th centuries and was spoken until the 13th century.

This set of Latin dialects came to be called the Mozarabic language by 19th century Spanish scholars who studied medieval Al-Andalus, though there never was a common language standard. The term is inaccurate, because it refers to the Christians who spoke Andalusi Romance, as a part of the Romance dialectic linguistic continuum in the Iberian Peninsula, but it was also spoken by Jews, and Muslims, as large parts of the population were converted to Islam. The word Mozarab is a loanword from Andalusi Arabic musta'rab, مُستَعرَب, Classical Arabic musta'rib, meaning "who adopts the ways of the Arabs".

The name Mozarabic is today used for many Romance dialects such as those of Murcia and Seville. The native name (autonym or endonym) of the language was not "Muzarab" or "Mozarab" but "Latina" (Latin). Mozarabs themselves never called their own language "Mozarabic" but instead by a word that meant "Latin" (i.e. Romance language). They did not call themselves "Mozarabs" either.

At times between persecution, Christian communities prospered in Muslim Spain; these Christians are now usually referred to as Mozárabes, although the term was not in use at the time (Hitchcock 1978)

It was only in the 19th century that Spanish historians started to use the words "Mozarabs" and "Mozarabic" to refer to those Christian people and their language who lived under Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages. Another very common Arab exonym for this language was al-ajamiya ("stranger/foreign") that had the meaning of Romance language in Al-Andalus. So the words "Mozarabic" or "ajamiya" are exonyms and not an autonym of the language.