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A Description and Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Variation
This work focuses the social context of writing in ancient Western Arabia in the oasis of ancient Dadān, modern-day al-ʿUlā in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula between the sixth to first centuries BC. It offers a description and analysis of the language of the inscriptions and the variation attested within them. It is the first work to perform a systematic study of the linguistic variation of the Dadanitic inscriptions. It combines a thorough description of the language of the inscriptions with a statistical analysis of the distribution of variation across different textual genres and manners of inscribing. By considering correlations between language-internal and extralinguistic features this analysis aims to take a more holistic approach to the epigraphic object. Through this approach an image of a rich writing culture emerges, in which we can see innovation as well as the deliberate use of archaic linguistic features in more formal text types.

Abstract

This article examines Hebrew- and English-medium pedagogical materials aimed at Haredi learners of Yiddish. Our main findings are 1) the materials are produced by and for the community, which reflects the commonly held Haredi view that knowledge of Yiddish is a key element of in-group identity and therefore must be maintained and taught, 2) the learning materials tend to adopt an inductive approach informed by the traditional Ashkenazic taytsh educational model, where forms and structures are absorbed through exposure, rather than a deductive one, which differs from most non-Haredi Yiddish pedagogical resources, 3) some features (e.g., personal pronouns) presented in the materials are more conservative than those typically used in spoken Haredi Yiddish, and there is considerable variation among the different resources vis-à-vis the grammatical elements presented (e.g., noun case and gender, which supports earlier research demonstrating that these features are absent from or in flux in Contemporary Hasidic Yiddish).

Open Access
In: Journal of Jewish Languages

Abstract

Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Israel, this article explores the politics of language choice as a part of the negotiation of Haredi identity. Yiddish choice can be a subtle resistance to the Zionist project, of which Israeli Hebrew is a part. Certain Hasidic groups, and some very strict Lithuanian Haredi Jews, speak Yiddish, while others have adopted Israeli Hebrew. These choices illuminate ideologies of these groups, attitudes towards the State, and the levels of the community’s and individual’s civic-mindedness. Haredi attitudes towards the State exist on a spectrum, which may or may not correlate to the community’s language choice. Instead, language choice illuminates how Haredi individuals negotiate their minority identity and their relationship with the State and Zionist ideology. Language choice clarifies how internal divisions are negotiated, identities are formed and reformed, and how these choices impact the Haredi world’s interaction with the State of Israel.

Open Access
In: Journal of Jewish Languages
A Textual Reconstruction of Chapters 1–7
The first half of the book of Daniel contains world-famous stories like the Writing on the Wall. These stories have mostly been transmitted in Aramaic, not Hebrew, as has the influential apocalypse of Daniel 7. This Aramaic corpus shows clear signs of multiple authorship. Which different textual layers can we tease apart, and what do they tell us about the changing function of the Danielic material during the Second Temple Period? This monograph compares the Masoretic Text of Daniel to ancient manuscripts and translations preserving textual variants. By highlighting tensions in the reconstructed archetype underlying all these texts, it then probes the tales’ prehistory even further, showing how Daniel underwent many transformations to yield the book we know today.
In: Aramaic Daniel
In: Aramaic Daniel
In: Aramaic Daniel
In: Aramaic Daniel
In: Aramaic Daniel
In: Aramaic Daniel