English Can Be Jewish but Hebrew Cannot: Code-switching Patterns among Yiddish-speaking Hasidic Women

In: Journal of Jewish Languages
View More View Less
  • 1 University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel

Purchase instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$30.00

Abstract

This article discusses why and how English was able to turn into a contemporary Jewish language among Yiddish-speaking American Hasidic Jews, in marked contrast to Israeli Hebrew (IH), which has not been similarly adjusted. One reason is that communal attitudes towards English are not as ideologically charged as compared to the “zealous” opposition to IH. Another reason is that English is able to undergo phonological and lexical modifications that enable Hasidic English to function as an ethnolect used within the community. This process, however, is linguistically more complex for IH, which thus remains an outsider language among Israeli Yiddish-speaking Haredim. The outsider status of IH versus the insider status of Hasidic English is reflected in the code-switching patterns attested among Yiddish public speakers, resulting in a common and effortless pattern of Yiddish-English switching among American speakers, as opposed to rare and marked instances of switches to IH among Israeli speakers.

  • Assouline, Dalit. 2010. “The Emergence of Two First Person Plural Pronouns in Haredi Jerusalemite Yiddish.” Journal of Germanic Linguistics 22.1: 122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Assouline, Dalit. 2013. “The Haredi Distinction between Ivrit and Loshn-Koydesh.” In Language as Culture: New Perspectives on Hebrew, ed. Yotam Benziman. Jerusalem: Van Leer, 145163 (in Hebrew).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Assouline, Dalit. 2014. “Veiling Knowledge: Hebrew Sources in the Yiddish Sermons of Ultra-Orthodox Women.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 226: 163188.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Assouline, Dalit. 2017. Contact and Ideology in a Multilingual Community: Yiddish and Hebrew among the Ultra-Orthodox. Boston: de Gruyter.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Assouline, Dalit & Osnat Zafrany. Forthcoming. “The Yiddish Component in Hebrew Yeshivish Jargon.” Balshanut Ivrit (in Hebrew).

  • Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2001. “The Learnèd /t/: Phonological Variation in Orthodox Jewish English.” U. Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 7.3: 116.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2009. “Do American Jews Speak a ‘Jewish Language’? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness.” The Jewish Quarterly Review 99.2: 230269.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benor, Sarah Bunin. 2012. Becoming Frum: How Newcomers Learn the Language and Culture of Orthodox Judaism. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blanc, Haim. 1965. “Some Yiddish Influences on Israeli Hebrew.” In The Field of Yiddish, second collection, ed. Uriel Weinreich. The Hague: Mouton, 185201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bolozky, Shmuel. 2014. “Phonology: Israeli Hebrew.” In Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Brill Online.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • El-Or, Tamar. 1994. Educated and Ignorant: Ultraorthodox Jewish Women and Their World. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.

  • Fader, Ayala. 2007. “Reclaiming Sacred Sparks: Linguistic Syncretism and Gendered Language Shift among Hasidic Jews in New York.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 17.1: 122.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fader, Ayala. 2009. Mitzvah Girls: Bringing Up the Next Generation of Hasidic Women in Brooklyn. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glinert, Lewis. 2014. “Ashkenazi Pronunciation Tradition: Modern.” In Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, ed. Geoffrey Khan. Brill Online.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gumperz, John J. 1982. Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Isaacs, Miriam. 1999. “Haredi, haymish and frim: Yiddish Vitality and Language Choice in a Transnational, Multilingual Community.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language 138: 930.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krogh, Steffen. 2012. “How Satmarish is Haredi Satmar Yiddish?” In Leket: yidishe shtudyes haynt [Yiddish Studies Today], eds. Marion Aptroot, Efrat Gal-Ed, Roland Gruschka, & Simon Neuberg. Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf University Press, 1, 483506.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Krogh, Steffen. 2014. “The Foundations of Written Yiddish among Haredi Satmar Jews.” In Yiddish Language Structures (Empirical Approaches to Language Typology), eds. Marion Aptroot & Björn Hansen. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 63103.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ornan, Uzzi. 1985. “Hebrew is Not a Jewish Language.” In Readings in the Sociology of Jewish Languages, ed. Joshua A. Fishman. Leiden: Brill, 2224.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Poplack, Shana. 1987. “Contrasting Patterns of Code-Switching in Two Communities.” In Aspects of Multilingualism, eds. Erling Wande, Jan Anward, Bengt Nordberg, Lars Steensland, & Mats Thelander. Uppsala: Borgströms, 5177.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Poplack, Shana. 2004. “Code-Switching/Sprachwechsel.” In: Sociolinguistics: An International Handbook of the Science of Language and Society, eds. >Ulrich Ammon, Norbert Dittmar, Klaus J. Mattheier, & Peter Trudgill. Berlin: de Gruyter, 589596.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Spolsky, Bernard & Sarah Bunin Benor. 2006. “Jewish Languages.” In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd edition), ed. Keith Brown. Oxford: Elsevier, vol. 6, 120124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 235 73 7
Full Text Views 216 26 0
PDF Downloads 28 16 0