Origins of Yiddish Dialects

Hardcover | November 29, 2015

byAlexander Beider

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This book traces the origins of modern varieties of Yiddish and presents evidence for the claim that, contrary to most accounts, Yiddish only developed into a separate language in the 15th century. Through a careful analysis of Yiddish phonology, morphology, orthography, and the Yiddishlexicon in all its varieties, Alexander Beider shows how what are commonly referred to as Eastern Yiddish and Western Yiddish have different ancestors. Specifically, he argues that the western branch is based on German dialects spoken in western Germany with some Old French influence, while theeastern branch has its origins in German dialects spoken in the modern-day Czech Republic with some Old Czech influence. The similarities between the two branches today are mainly a result of the close links between the underlying German dialects, and of the close contact between speakers. Following an introduction to the definition and classification of Yiddish and its dialects, chapters in the book investigate the German, Hebrew, Romance, and Slavic components of Yiddish, as well as the sound changes that have occurred in the various dialects. The book will be of interest to allthose working in the areas of Yiddish and Jewish Studies in particular, and historical linguistics and history more generally.

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This book traces the origins of modern varieties of Yiddish and presents evidence for the claim that, contrary to most accounts, Yiddish only developed into a separate language in the 15th century. Through a careful analysis of Yiddish phonology, morphology, orthography, and the Yiddishlexicon in all its varieties, Alexander Beider sho...

Alexander Beider holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and a PhD in Jewish Studies from the Sorbonne. He is the author of several etymological dictionaries of Ashkenazic surnames and given names and a number of papers dealing with the history of Yiddish. He is the designer of the linguistic...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:648 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 1.61 inPublished:November 29, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198739311

ISBN - 13:9780198739319

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Main concepts and classifications2. The German component3. The Hebrew component4. Romance elements5. Slavic elements6. Sound changes and dialectsConclusionAppendix A: The Yiddish dialect of PhilogLottus 1733Appendix B: Germans and German language in PolandAppendix C: Origins of Ashkenazic JewryGlossaryReferencesIndex