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  • Knaanic is an extinct West Slavic Jewish language, formerly spoken in the lands of the Western Slavs, notably the Czech lands, but also the lands of modern Poland, Lusatia and other Sorbian regions. It became extinct in the Late Middle Ages. The name comes from the land of Knaan, a geo-ethnological term denoting the Jewish populations living east of the Elbe river. As such, the land is often simply translated as Slavonia, or Slavic Europe. The term is derived from ancient Canaan. The term Canaan was used by Jews in Europe for the Slavic peoples, as a punning reference to the so-called "curse of Canaan", that Canaan shall "be a slave". The language became extinct some time in the Middle Ages, possibly due to expansion of the Ashkenazi culture and their own Yiddish language based on German. This hypothesis is often backed up with a large number of Yiddish loanwords of Slavic origin, many of which were no longer in use in Slavic languages themselves at the time of the Ashkenazi expansion. These are believed to be loaned from Knaanic rather than from the Czech, Sorbian, or Polish languages.

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