Yiddish: Turning to Life

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John Benjamins Publishing, Jan 1, 1991 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 522 pages
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Worldwide interest in Yiddish has often concentrated on its secular forms of expression: its literature, its theater, its journalism and its political-party associations. This all-encompassing study, covers these phenomena as well as investigating the demographic and political mushrooming of Yiddish-speaking Ultra-Orthodoxy, both in America and in Israel. As the title suggests, this volume attempts to show that Yiddish is now finally on the path towards recovery. The volume consists of 17 papers grouped into five sections: Yiddish and Hebrew: Conflict and Symbiosis; Yiddish in America; Corpus Planning: The ability to change and grow; Status Planning: The Tshernovits Conference of 1908; Stock-taking: Where are we now? Each section is prefaced by an introduction. In addition there are also five papers written in Yiddish. The work emphasises an empirical and theoretical approach to the growing Ultra-Orthodox sector, that until now, has largely been ignored. Fishman's interest in Yiddish (among other Jewish languages) has previously been difficult to access and it is hoped that the appearance of this book will go some way toward alleviating this situation. The volume also includes a statistical appendix bringing together data on Yiddish for the past 100 years from the Czarist Empire, the USSR, Poland, Israel, the USA, and other parts of the world. This extensive and enlightening study should be of interest to sociolinguists and all those engaged in efforts on behalf of small languages everywhere.
  

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Contents

Preface
1
Conflict and Symbiosis
11
Introduction
13
two mutually clarifying perspectives
19
a case studyof alternatives in language and ethnocultural identity
37
Language interests in Israel today
68
II Yiddish in America
73
Candidates pay court to Hasidic and Orthodox Jews
75
The Tshernovits Conference of 1908
231
the champion of Yiddish and Jewish cultural autonomy
239
Nathan Birnbaums three Tshernovits Conferences
248
the role of the Tshernovits Conference in the rise of Yiddish
255
The Hebrew response to the Tshernovits Conference
284
Where are we now?
291
Starting with the future
293
status needs and possibilities
301

Yiddish in America
81
Nathan Birnbaums view of American Jewry
161
a serious and empirical approach to current problems
172
The Ability to Change and Grow
181
Introduction
183
some examples of functional and structural pidginization and depidginization
189
Why did Yiddish change?
203
modernity and tradition in images of the good corpus
217
How does Yiddish differ?
313
The lively life of a dead languageor everyone knows that Yiddishdied long ago
325
What could be the societal function of Yiddish in Israel?
342
References
351
Yiddish in the USA Israel The Czarist Empire the USSR Polandand Other Countries 20th Century
377
List of Tables
379
INDEX
493
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Joshua A. Fishman is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in Social Sciences at Yeshiva University and visiting professor at Stanford University, New York University, and CUNY-Graduate Center.

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