Ioana Aminian Jazi, MA

Scientific staff in the IRDICH Project (2018-2020)

Contact: Ioana.Nechiti(at)

Tel.: +43 (0) 68110659860

ORCID: 0000-0001-9663-6545

An outline of the PhD project can be found here.

Research areas

Research areas

  • Romance linguistics
  • Romance variety linguistics and sociolinguistics
  • Minority languages in Southeast Europe and Asia Minor
  • Documentation of endangered languages and dialects
  • Languages in contact, language and ethnicity
  • Social multilingualism, language shift, language revitalization


Academic positions & career breaks

Academic positions & career breaks

since 2019

Career breaks: 05.2019–03.2020 and 11.2020–present; maternity leave for my two daughters born in July 2019 and November 2020; during this time, I have been working on the completion of the Judeo-Spanish documentation work (2018–2021), writing of my PhD thesis (completion July 2023), the publication of a monograph (2019) and an edited book (2023)

since 2018

Vice – Chairwoman and Managing Director of the Roots Revival Association, Vienna: promotion of worlds linguistic and musical heritage

2018 – 2020

Research fellow in the project Innovation in Research and Documentation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (IRDICH) (100%) of the Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH) Commission, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

10/14 – 09/18

Prae-Doc University Assistant, Institute for Romance Studies (75%), Vienna University, Vienna

since 2016 

Regular member of the Commission Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH), Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

09/ 14 – 09/15


Scientific staff for the preparation of an application for DFG (German Research Foundation) "Language Strategies Between Symbiotic and Conflictary Neighborhood in the Black Sea Area" (25%), Friedrich Schiller University, Jena 

01/14– 08/14

Scientific staff in the EU-Project IPHRAS – Interphraseologisms for students and professionals (75%), Institute for German Studies, FSU, Jena

10/11 – 07/13

Research assistant, Institute for South Slavic Studies, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena

10/10 – 07/11

Research assistant within the Balkan Commission of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna

  • Project: “Rudari and Boyash in South-Eastern Europe
  • Project: “Multilingualism at the Viennese street markets“
  • Project: “Grammatica Balkanica“ (focus: Romanian Morphology and Syntax)

07/10 – 09/10

Internship at the Phonogrammarchiv, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna



since 2015

PhD in Romance Philology (completion July 2023), Institute of Romance Studies, University of Vienna; PhD title: Language Shift and Identity among the Sephardim in Turkey and Kalmyk in Russia; (including 4 years maternity leave for my 2 daughters)

2011 – 2013

Romanistik (M.A.) Romance Languages and Cultures in an European Context, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena

2009 – 2011

Romanistik (B.A.) with extension modules in German, English Studies and Applied Linguistics, University of Vienna, Vienna

2006 – 2009

Translation Studies (BA) at Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca and Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen



Peer Reviewed


 edition with Thede Kahl. Ethno-cultural Diversity in the Balkans and the Caucasus. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.


 (in press) article: Le roumain parlé en Hongrie. In: Wolfgang Dahmen & Eugen Munteanu(eds.) Manuel de linguistique roumaine. Berlin/Boston: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN: 978-3-11-030209-7


monograph with Thede Kahl. The Boyash in Hungary. A Comparative Study among the ‘Argeleni’ and ‘Munceni’ Communities. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.



article with Thede Kahl. Feldforschungen zu den Kalmücken und ihrer Kultur. Ziele und Inhalte eines neuen Dokumentationsprojektes. In:Helmut Kowar(ed.). International forum on audio-visual research.Vienna: Jahrbuch des Phonogrammarchivs der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften VI. 11-26.


article with Thede Kahl and Svetlana Cholutaeva. Die Kalmücken. Beobachtungen zur Revitalisierung einer westmongolischen Sprache und Kultur in Osteuropa. Europa Ethnica 1-2, 19-23.

Other publications


book section with Thede Kahl. Minderheitensprachen und Kulturkontakt im Budschak. Eindrücke einer Feldforschung in Südbessarabien (Ukraine). In:Wolfgang Dahmen, Günther Holtus, Johannes Krammer, Michael Metzeltin et al.(eds.). Südosteuropäische Romania. Siedlungs- Migrationsgeschichte und Sprachtypologie, XXVI




book section: ‘Ich kann singen, aber nicht sprechen‘. Die sephardische Renaissance auf der Bühne. In: Thede Kahl, Johannes Krammer & Elton Prifti (eds.). Romanica et Balcanica. Festschrift für Wolfgang Dahmen zum 65. Geburtstag. München: AMV-Verlag. 181-214. ISBN: 978-3-95477-036-6



translation with Clemens Wigger: „Stadt der Verlockungen. Das vormoderne Bukarest zwischen Orient und Europa“. Berlin: Frank & Timme (Original Romanian title: Cum se distrau românii odinioară von Adrian Majuru )




book section with Thede Kahl: Aschenputtel bei den Bajeschi und Rudari. Vergleich zweier Märchen anhand von Feldaufnahmen in Ungarn und Griechenland. In: Wolfgang Dahmen, Günther Holtus & Johannes Krammer (eds.). Südosteuropäische Romania. Siedlungs-, Migrationsgeschichte und Sprachtypologie, XXV Romanistisches Kolloquium. Tübingen: Narr. 191-226. ISBN: 978-3-82-33-6740-6




Invited talks


The Boyash in Hungary. A sociolinguistic outline of two (Romanian) vernaculars at the Anglia Ruskin–Cambridge Romance Linguistics Seminars – online event


Le judéo-espagnol d’Istanbul vu à travers l'objectif de ses locuteurs et non-locuteurs. Université d’été Judéo-Espagnole, Paris


Language vulnerability in the field. Methodological implications. Language contact in the field, Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage Commission, Lecce


The illocutionary force of performance on the linguistic and cultural reassertion of the Kalmyks, symposium Heavinly Acts IV Aspects of Performance through an interdisciplinary lens, University of Sheffield, Sheffield


De la gramama a la inyeta – from multi to monolingualism among the Sephardim in Istanbul, Linguistisches Kolloquium, Vienna



Researcher-Participant relationship. Linguistic Minorities in Dialogue: Maya, Sephardim, Kalmyk and Boyash, Symposium of Urban Anthropology: Periferii culturale și spații globale, Bucharest



Language Documentation among the Sephardim in Turkey at the Workshop Documenting Vanishing Languages, Vanishing Languages and Cultural Heritage (VLACH) Commission, ÖAW, Vienna


Language vulnerability on the field. Methodological implications auf dem Workshop Sprachkontakt im Feld of the VLACH Commission, Lecce


Language ‘Knowledge’ and Attitudes among Speakers of Judeo-Spanish in Istanbul and Northern Africa at the international Congress The Seventeenth-World Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem


The 'banana effect': effects of migration on the linguistic behaviour of the Oirat-Kalmyk youth at the Cambridge endangered languages and cultures group, Cambridge 


Bottom-up strategies for the revitalization of Kalmyk, at the Strategie-Workshop VLACH: Dokumentation - Organisation - Vernetzung, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna


‘I am like a dog, I understand but cannot speak’. Language knowledge and attitudes among Kalmyks and Sephardim, Primer Congrés Internacional sobre Revitalització de Llengües Indígenes I Minoritzades, Barcelona



’Vatandaş Türkçe Konuş’ – el nuevo orden lingüístico y la disminución del judeo-español en Estambul, XXI Deutscher Hispanistentag, “Orte hispanisher Kultur in einer globalisierten Welt”, Munich 


Dynamics of language shift and revitalisation among the Sephardim and the Kalmyks, XXXIII Forum Junge Romanistik, 'Wandel, Bewegung, Geschwindigkeit', Göttingen 


Importance of oral history in sociolinguistic field research – a contrastive approach, at the conference Musikethnologische Feldforschung der Kommission zur Erforschung musikalischer Volkskulturen, Oberbayern (with T. Kahl)



Constructivism and Positivism. An endless Dialogue of Deaf. An attempt to bring together two – quantitative and qualitative – methodological approaches on ‘language awareness’, at the conference ALA (Association for Language Awareness), Vienna (with Marc Chalier)


Language shift vs. language of religiosity in the Sephardic community in Turkey and the Kalmyk in Russia, at the Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia 


Pulidos Donauschifffahrt. Wiederentdeckung der 'Spanier ohne Heimat' at the XII Balkanromanistentag, Regensburg 


Language policy in Kalmykia. Dynamics of language change and language awareness, 21st Annual ASN World Convention, Columbia University, New York 


Sprachbewusstsein bei Sepharden und Kalmücken, Linguistisches Kolloquium, Institut für Romanistik, Vienna 


Djangar, healing cure for a dying culture?, at the ICTM conference, Astana (with T. Kahl)


Zwischen Sprachverlust und Revitalisierung. Neue Perspektiven zur Dynamik von Sprachwandel, Sprachbewusstsein und Identitätsbildung am Beispiel der Sepharden und Kalmücken, Payerbach


The ‘Ladino’ renaissance on the stage. Singing world music in a ‘dying’ language, 4th internationalen ucLADINO Symposium: Documenting Judeo-Spanish in Los Angeles (UCLA) 


A Comparative Study among the Arĝeleni and Munĉeni Boyash Communities in Hungary, at the conference Current Issues in Linguistic Variation in Bukarest 


„Wo die Sprache aufhört, beginnt die Musik. Das Sephardische im Kontext“, Linguistisches Kolloquium, Institut für Romanistik, Vienna


Schwindende romanische Sprachminderheiten in Südosteuropa. Perspektiven aus der Feldforschung“, XI Balkanromanistentag in Münster (with T. Kahl)


Reversing language shift through musical performances among Boyash in Hungary and Kalmyk in Russia, Biennial Conference on Balkan and South Slavic Linguistics, Literature and Folklore, Chicago 


Das Kalmückische: Revitalisierung vs. Museifizierung? at the anual linguistic gatherings at the Kalmyk State University, Elista


Music beyond language: ‘I don’t speak but I can sing’. Portraits of cultural and linguistic survival of minorities in Eastern Europe, International Conference on Endangered Languages in Europe, Minde (with T. Kahl)


Значение языков малых народов. Результаты полевых исследований [Importance of minority languages. Results from the field], Biysk (with T. Kahl)


„Märchenatelier: Das Aschenputtelmotiv bei den Rudari/Bajeschi. Sprachwissenschaftliche Analyse von Feldforschungsaufnahmen“, Präsentationstag Orale Literatur - Sammeln, Darstellen, Interpretieren, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena  (with T. Kahl)

Language documentation

Language documentation


Language documentation as part of various reasearch projects I have been working on; objective: documenting the linguistic, sociolinguistic and ethnographic situation of the different minority languages, corpus creation

  • Iran (target group: Georgians, Zargar Roma)
  • Ceuta, Tetouan (target group: Sephardi, Haketía variety)
  • Istanbul, Turkey (target group: Sephardi, Judeo-Spanish variety)
  • Kalmykia, Russia (target group: Kalmyks, western Mongolian variety)
  • Xinjiang, China (target group: Oirats, western Mongolian variety)
  • Western Mongolia (target group: Oirats, western Mongolian variety)
  • Budschak, Ukraine (target group: Moldovans, Romanian variety)
  • Hungary, Croatia and Greece (target group: Boyash and Rudari)

The documentation of Judeo-Spanish in Istanbul was carried out as part of the IRDICH project. The total volume of raw multimedia data (audio/video) comprises more than 45 hours and was collected between 2014 and 2017 in Istanbul. A total of 50 fully annotated videoclips (transcription, translation, content description, metadata) ranging in length from 7 to 20 minutes on a high variety of topics and genres have been published in collaboration with Deyvi Papo and Imane Sghiouar

List of Titles




Teaching at the Institute of Romance Studies at the Vienna University (c. 1-6); Kalmyk State University, Kalmykia (c. 7-8); Chair for Romance Language, University of Mannheim (c. 9); Institute of Romance Studies, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena (c. 10-11)

  1. Bachelor level: “Judeo-Spanish: Museification and Innovation at the periphery of Romania”
  2. Bachelor level: “Romanian Linguistics”
  3. Master level: “French and Spanish in Maghreb”
  4. Bachelor level: “Spanish and French in Romania Nova”
  5. Bachelor level: “Spanish linguistics”
  6. Bachelor level: “Judeo-Spanish: language history, language structure, sociolinguistics”
  7. Seminary: “From the theory into the fieldwork. Methods and objectives of documentation of endangered languages.“ 
  8. Seminary: Writing in a foreign language: Galsan Tchinag and the German migration literature”
  9. Seminary: “Romanian sociolinguistics”
  10. “Introduction into the French Literature”
  11. “Italian literature of the 20th century”




SHIFT grant Roots Revival Afghanistan for the promotion of Afghan linguistic and musical heritage. City of Vienna: (€50k)


8 field-research grants for field research in Kalmykia, Xinjiang, Western Mongolia, Turkey and Northern Afrika and 19 international conference travel grants from Austrian Science Fund, University of Vienna, Rosita Schjerve Rindler Memorial Fund and Proforschung, Jena (~ €27k)