Language in Jewish Society: Towards a New Understanding
Author: John Myhill
This book argues that the usage of language in Jewish societies can be understood as following from certain specific principles, particularly regarding the relationship between language and identity. Phenomena discussed include the revival of Hebrew, Hebrew in the Diaspora, the survival and 'sanctification' of Yiddish, the idea of 'Jewish languages', and the role of sociolinguistic phenomena in the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
This book makes an interesting and significant contribution to the fields of sociolinguistics and Jewish sociolinguistics.
This book represents an important contribution to scholarship on Jewish languages and language revitalization. It also represents a springboard for further research on Jewish language varieties in Israel and the Diaspora and their evaluation by speakers and non-speakers.
Journal of Sociolinguistics 10/3 2006
John Myhill is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Haifa, where he has taught sociolinguistics since 1995. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984 and previously taught at SUNY-Buffalo and the University of Michigan. He has published articles on Jewish sociolinguistics in a number of journals and collections, and he has also done research on Hebrew semantics and syntax, Black English, and language typology. He is the author of Typological Discourse Analysis (1992).
1. Introduction Language and Jewish Identity; Jewish Language and Identity in Comparative and Historic Perspective; Language and Jewish Identity in Modern Times; Conclusion 2. Hebrew Hebrew as Language of Ancient Israel; The Death of Hebrew as a Spoken Language; Hebrew as a Sacred Language; Diaspora Hebrew and the Modern European Ideology of Language-and-Identity; The Revival of Hebrew; Diaspora Hebrew Today; Conclusion 3. Other Jewish languages Aramaic; Judeo-Arabic; Judeo-Spanish; Yiddish; Are "Jewish languages" a Unique Phenomena?; Why are there no new "Jewish Languages?; Flowering and Death; Catastrophe and Emotional Attachment; Prestige of Languages; Is Yiddish Qualitatively Different from Other Diaspora languages?; Conclusion 4. Themes in Jewish sociolinguistics Conflict with everyday-language-and-identity Groups; Sociolinguistics in Israel Today Language, Identity and Nation References