Soviet Yiddish: Language-Planning and Linguistic Development by Gennady EstraikhSoviet Yiddish: Language-Planning and Linguistic Development by Gennady Estraikh

Soviet Yiddish: Language-Planning and Linguistic Development

byGennady Estraikh

Hardcover | November 1, 1998

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This is the first comprehensive study of Yiddish in the former Soviet Union. A chronicle of orthographic and other reformsfrom the state of the language in pre-Revolutionary Russia, through active language-planning in the 1920s and 1930s, repression, and subsequent developments up to the1980sis recreated from contemporary publications and archival materials. Later chapters draw on the author's own experience as a Yiddish writer and lexicographer in Moscow. At a time when the Bolshevik party's Jewish sections held an influential position, Yiddish attained a functional diversity without precedent in its history; but underlying contradictions between ideas expressed in the slogans `Proletarians of all countries, unite!' and `The right of nations toself-determination' led to extremes in language-planning. A golden mean was achieved after the 1934 Yiddish language conference in Kiev. Using contemporary literary works as a source of linguistic and sociolinguistic information, Gennady Estraikh charts the development of the resultant variety ofthe language, `Soviet Yiddish'; the effects of severe repression in the late 1930s and 1940s; and the subsequent decline in usage. Comparisons are drawn between Soviet Yiddish language-planning and concurrent reforms in Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and German; and the features and types ofSoviet Yiddish word-formation are analysed, notably univerbation, or compressing a phrase into one word.
Gennady Estraikh is Editor of Yiddish Publications at Oxford Institute for Yiddish.
Title:Soviet Yiddish: Language-Planning and Linguistic DevelopmentFormat:HardcoverDimensions:227 pages, 8.43 × 5.43 × 0.71 inPublished:November 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198184794

ISBN - 13:9780198184799

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Table of Contents

1. Yiddish in late Imperial Russia2. Yiddish proletarian language3. Language-planning of the 1930s4. Soviet Yiddish in the 1940s80s5. Soviet Yiddish orthography6. Soviet Yiddish word-formationConclusionBibliographyIndex of Yiddish lexical itemsIndex of names and subjects

Editorial Reviews

`The differences in orthography and spelling strike the eye first, and Estraikh deals with these matters at length in Soviet Yiddish; but his richly detailed and thoroughly documented account of every aspect of Soviet Yiddish shows that the visual eccentricities were the tip of the iceberg,and what a complex and absorbing a history there is here for the linguist, the sociolinguist, and the student of the politics of language'Language in Society, Vol.30, No.1