UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Complete loss of case and gender within two generations: evidence from Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish

Belk, Z; Kahn, L; Szendroi, K; (2020) Complete loss of case and gender within two generations: evidence from Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics , 23 pp. 271-326. 10.1007/s10828-020-09119-9. Green open access

[thumbnail of Kahn_Belk2020_Article_CompleteLossOfCaseAndGenderWit.pdf]
Preview
Text
Kahn_Belk2020_Article_CompleteLossOfCaseAndGenderWit.pdf - Published Version

Download (556kB) | Preview

Abstract

Yiddish was the everyday language spoken by most Central and East European Jews during the last millennium. As a result of the extreme loss of speakers during the Holocaust, subsequent geographic dispersal, and lack of institutional support, Yiddish is now an endangered language. Yet it continues to be a native and daily language for Haredi (strictly Orthodox) Jews, who live in close-knit communities worldwide. We have conducted the first study of the linguistic characteristics of the Yiddish spoken in the community in London’s Stamford Hill. While Krogh (in: Aptroot, Aptroot et al. (eds.) Leket: Yiddish studies today, Düsseldorf University Press, Düsseldorf, pp 483–506, 2012), Assouline (in: Aptroot, Hansen (eds.) Yiddish language structures, De Gruyter Mouton, Berlin, pp 39–62, 2014), and Sadock and Masor (J Jew Lang 6(1):89–110, 2018), investigating other Hasidic Yiddish-speaking communities, observe what they describe as morphological syncretism, in this paper we defend the claim that present-day Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish lacks morphological case and gender completely. We demonstrate that loss of morphological case and gender is the result of substantial language change over the course of two generations: while the case and gender system of the spoken medium was already beginning to undergo morphological syncretism and show some variation prior to World War II, case and gender distinctions were clearly present in the mental grammar of both Hasidic and non-Hasidic speakers of the relevant Yiddish dialects at that stage. We conclude the paper by identifying some of the language-internal, sociolinguistic and historical factors that have contributed to such rapid and pervasive language change, and compare the developments in Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish to those of minority German dialects in North America.

Type: Article
Title: Complete loss of case and gender within two generations: evidence from Stamford Hill Hasidic Yiddish
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10828-020-09119-9
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10828-020-09119-9
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Yiddish; Hasidic Yiddish; Case; Gender; Language change; Morphological syncretism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Hebrew and Jewish Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088102
Downloads since deposit
63Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item