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Non-Vernacular Language in Action: Ashkenazic Hebrew in 21st-Century Diglossic Hasidic Communities

Yampolskaya, Sonya; Benedikt, Eli; Posen, Izzy; Kahn, Lily; (2024) Non-Vernacular Language in Action: Ashkenazic Hebrew in 21st-Century Diglossic Hasidic Communities. The IOS Annual , 24 pp. 166-244. 10.1163/9789004687479_009. Green open access

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Abstract

This article is devoted to the role of contemporary Ashkenazic Hebrew in Hasidic communities in English-speaking countries, presented within a theoretical framework that we refer to as internal diglossia and external bilingualism. It has typically been believed that Ashkenazic Hebrew, the historical variety of Hebrew used in Central and Eastern European Jewish communities in a diglossic situation alongside the vernacular Yiddish, fell out of use in the first half of the 20th century and was replaced by either the co-territorial majority languages, or by Israeli Hebrew as a language of both speech and writing. However, contrary to this widespread assumption, the traditional Eastern European form of Hebrew continues to thrive as a productive written language alongside Yiddish and English in Hasidic communities. This 21st-century Ashkenazic Hebrew has its own linguistic features that differ significantly from Israeli Hebrew (Kahn and Yampolskaya 2022). The article examines the acquisition and use of contemporary Ashkenazic Hebrew among men and women in Hasidic communities as well as user attitudes to the language in terms of gender, social status, and holiness.

Type: Article
Title: Non-Vernacular Language in Action: Ashkenazic Hebrew in 21st-Century Diglossic Hasidic Communities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1163/9789004687479_009
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004687479_009
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
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/10172417
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