The Erasure of Hasidic Yiddish from Twentieth Century Yiddish Linguistics

The Erasure of Hasidic Yiddish from Twentieth Century Yiddish Linguistics Unlike other Yiddish dialects that were diminished to the point of virtual obsolescence in the decades following World War II, Hasidic Yiddish remains the dominant language for several hundred thousand Hasidic Jews across the globe. And yet, a survey of the research on Yiddish linguistics published during the second half of the 20th century does not reflect this reality. In this article, I review how the ideological underpinnings of Yiddish linguistics created and perpetuated a disciplinary preoccupation with a hypothetical standard at the expense of theoretically informative empirical studies of an evolving Yiddish dialect. Specifically, I show how linguistic chauvinism, a series of calamitous events, and historical anti-religiosity complicated by new resentments, led to the erasure of Hasidic dialects from Yiddish scholarship. Finally, I highlight significant contributions that recent empirical studies of Hasidic Yiddish are making to the field of linguistics. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Jewish Languages Brill

The Erasure of Hasidic Yiddish from Twentieth Century Yiddish Linguistics

Journal of Jewish Languages, Volume 6 (1): 33 – Jun 6, 2018

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2213-4387
eISSN
2213-4638
DOI
10.1163/22134638-06011142
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Unlike other Yiddish dialects that were diminished to the point of virtual obsolescence in the decades following World War II, Hasidic Yiddish remains the dominant language for several hundred thousand Hasidic Jews across the globe. And yet, a survey of the research on Yiddish linguistics published during the second half of the 20th century does not reflect this reality. In this article, I review how the ideological underpinnings of Yiddish linguistics created and perpetuated a disciplinary preoccupation with a hypothetical standard at the expense of theoretically informative empirical studies of an evolving Yiddish dialect. Specifically, I show how linguistic chauvinism, a series of calamitous events, and historical anti-religiosity complicated by new resentments, led to the erasure of Hasidic dialects from Yiddish scholarship. Finally, I highlight significant contributions that recent empirical studies of Hasidic Yiddish are making to the field of linguistics.

Journal

Journal of Jewish LanguagesBrill

Published: Jun 6, 2018

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