The Languages of Jerusalem

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byBernard Spolsky, Robert L. Cooper

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The Old City of Jerusalem, small and densely populated, is a complex microcosm of Israeli society. It is a multilingual community characterized by unequal power relations between the speakers of the two official languages of Israel - Arabs and Jews. The authors begin with a sociolinguisticsketch of the Old City in the present day. They then provide a historical background to their field study, discussing Jewish multilingualism from the period of the Second Temple until modern times, the sociolinguistics of Jerusalem one hundred years ago, and the recent revival and spread of Hebrew. They go on to develop a model of the rules of language choice which arises from their analysis of language use in street signs, and which they then apply to language use in the market place. In the final chapters they examine language learning and language spread in their social context. Theauthors demonstrate that, because of the close association between language use and social structure, the study of language use in a multilingual society is at the same time both a powerful and a delicate method of studying the dynamics of group interactions.

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The Old City of Jerusalem, small and densely populated, is a complex microcosm of Israeli society. It is a multilingual community characterized by unequal power relations between the speakers of the two official languages of Israel - Arabs and Jews. The authors begin with a sociolinguisticsketch of the Old City in the present day. T...

Bernard Spolsky is a Professor of English at Bar-Ilan University. Robert L. Cooper is a Professor, School of Education and Department of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:180 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.63 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198239084

ISBN - 13:9780198239086

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`This valuable sociolinguistic study of the "linguistic opulence" of contemporary Jerusalem, and of the historical background of languages used in Jerusalem throughout the ages, will be of interest not only to linguists but to scholars working in many other disciplines ... The book is writtenin a clear, concise, and jargon-free style ... a model of clarity and concision ... major work of thorough, subtle, and important scholarship ... Oxford University Press is to be congratulated for bringing out such a fine book ... The Languages of Jerusalem is sure to win a wide readership.'Anthropologica