Reshef, Yael. “Written Hebrew of the Revival Generation as a Distinct Phase in the Evolution of Modern Hebrew.” Journal of Semitic Studies 61.1 (2016): 187-213.
A well-known fact is that the consolidation of the use of Hebrew for practical communication after World War I involved the transformation of Hebrew into a spoken language. The aim of this article is to show that the 1920s witnessed a marked transformation in the written language as well. Focusing on written texts from the emergence period of Modern Hebrew, it is shown that a series of features that were commonly used by revival generation writers were not absorbed into the mundane written practices of the emergent speech community. Based on this marked change, this article suggests to recognize the period between the 1880s and the 1920s as a distinct phase in the evolution of written Modern Hebrew.
Plans for The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) started to take shape in 1998. CoSIH aimed at compiling a large database of recordings of spoken Israeli Hebrew in order to facilitate research in a range of disciplines. A corpus is a preliminary desideratum for larger projects that cannot otherwise be accomplished. The research potential of such a corpus is extremely large, including, inter alia, applications in the following areas: general and theoretical linguistics, Hebrew language and linguistics, applied linguistics, language engineering, education, and cultural and sociological studies.
CoSIH was designed with the intention to include a representative sample of both demographically and contextually defined varieties. The model according to which CoSIH would be compiled was to consist of a thousand sets of recordings (“cells”) with 5000 words each, i.e., a corpus of five million words. We have taken a culture-dependent approach for the compilation of CoSIH. CoSIH aspires to bridge between the infinite number of varieties used by the Israeli Hebrew speech community and their representation in the corpus, by characterizing their diversity in both demographic and contextual terms. CoSIH seems to be a first and singular attempt to establish a representative corpus using the axes of both demographic and contextual variables, based on statistical and analytic criteria.
The selection of informants for the recordings of CoSIH would be made by a random sample of the Israeli population, in order to reflect the social structure of the Israeli Hebrew speech community. The segmentation of the corpus for analytic purposes would be done using well-defined criteria, notwithstanding the fact that all sociolinguistic data of the recorded informants will be made available for CoSIH’s endusers. The working hypothesis of CoSIH is based on demographic criteria that seem to be most significant for the representation of the linguistic diversity in Israel: (1) place of birth, familial land of origin, ethnic group or religion; (2) age; (3) education; and (4) sex.1
For the analysis of the contextual variables for each discourse, CoSIH’s working hypothesis is based on five variables. There are three primary variables: interpersonal relationships, discourse structure and discourse topic; and two secondary variables: number of participants and medium (i.e. face-to-face conversation and telephone conversation).
A comprehensive study of the demographic and circumstantial variables in Hebrew discourse in Israel remains a desideratum. Therefore, in order to design a proper model for CoSIH, the setting of the corpus would be done in phases, during which a research program would be taken in order to verifty the wortking hypothesis suggested above.
This model was first published online, in both Hebrew and English. The English version eventually found its place in Hary & Izre’el 2003. A more sophisticated model has been published in English in Izre’el, Hary & Rahav 2001.
CoSIH was initiated, designed and operated by a team of Israeli and international scholars:
Core team: Shlomo Izre’el, Tel-Aviv University (director); Benjamin Hary, Emory University (principal investigator); John Du Bois, University of California at Santa arbara (corpus analyst); Mira Ariel, Tel-Aviv University (discourse analysis and pragmatics); Giora Rahav, Tel-Aviv University (statistics and sociology). Esther Borochovsky-Bar Aba, Tel Aviv University (syntax) joined the team at a later stage.
Advisory board: Eliezer Ben-Rafael, Tel Aviv University (sociolinguistics – sociological aspects); Yaakov Bentolila, Ben Gurion University (sociolinguistics – linguistic aspects); Otto Jastrow, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (transcription, phonology, dialectology); Shmuel Bolozky, University of Massachusetts at Amherst (phonology, morphology); Geoffrey Khan, Cambridge University (syntax); Elana Shohamy, Tel Aviv University (language education).
The Present State of CoSIH
As of 2012, this ambitious project still awaits its realization. The limited financial support that was at our disposal enabled us to compile two sets of recordings, the first of which was made during the initial preparatory phase, while the second was done as a pilot study. The initial preparatory phase produced 11 recordings spanning at least 6 hours each, with some being much longer. Although we initially designed a pilot of 20 sets of 3-hour recordings, we have eventually ended up with 42 sets, each including between 8 to 16 hours of uninterrupted recording of everyday speech. Taken together, we now possess 6 to 18 hour recordings by 53 volunteers, which we believe to be a reasonable source of data for the study of Spoken Hebrew. The recordings, which were all made between August 2000 and October 2002, are all real life conversations of CoSIH’s informants. As such, they naturally include both the speech of the volunteers who recorded them and their interlocutors.
Gonen, Einat, Zohar Livnat, and Noam Amir. “The Discourse Marker axshav (‘now’) in Spontaneous Spoken Hebrew: Discursive and Prosodic Features.” Journal of Pragmatics 89 (2015): 69-84.
This study describes the discursive characteristics of the discourse marker axshav (‘now’) in spoken Hebrew and explores its prosodic features using instrumental methods. This is the first attempt to use acoustical analysis to examine the prosodic aspects of discourse markers in Hebrew.
The corpus includes more than 5 h of everyday Israeli Hebrew conversations, in which 106 occurrences of the word axshav were found. More than one-third of these occurrences were identified as DMs, while the others are temporal adverbials.
The main discursive functions of the DMs identified were segmentation; accentuation of the importance of certain pieces of information, sometimes by means of comparisons and contrasts; and holding the floor.
The acoustical analysis of the performances of axshav in both functions showed that most DMs have characteristic intonation contour, including a sharp decrease in the frequency inside the second syllable. An examination of the average duration of the performance of axshav as a DM as compared to its performance as a temporal adverbial found a significant statistical difference, showing that the duration of the performance of axshav as a DM was shorter, both for the performance of the first syllable as well as the overall duration of the word. These findings seem to strengthen the hypothesis that prosodic data play a role in deciphering the function of axshav as a DM.
Halperin, Liora R. Babel in Zion. Jews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014.
The promotion and vernacularization of Hebrew, traditionally a language of Jewish liturgy and study, was a central accomplishment of the Zionist movement in Palestine in the years following World War I. Viewing twentieth-century history through the lens of language, author Liora Halperin questions the accepted scholarly narrative of a Zionist move away from multilingualism, demonstrating how Jews in Palestine remained connected linguistically by both preference and necessity to a world outside the boundaries of the pro-Hebrew community even as it promoted Hebrew and achieved that language’s dominance. The story of language encounters in Jewish Palestine is a fascinating tale of shifting power relationships, both locally and globally. Halperin’s absorbing study explores how a young national community was compelled to modify the dictates of Hebrew exclusivity as it negotiated its relationships with its Jewish population, Palestinian Arabs, the British, and others outside the margins of the national project and ultimately came to terms with the limitations of its hegemony in an interconnected world.
Table of Contents
Note on transliteration and translation
Introduction: Babel in Zion
Languages of Leisure in the Home, the Coffeehouse, and the Cinema
Peddlers, Traders, and the Languages of Commerce
Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy
Zion in Babel: The Yishuv in Its Arabic-Speaking Context
Hebrew Education between East and West: Foreign-Language Instruction in Zionist Schools
Conclusion: The Persistence of Babel
Barouch, Lina. “The Erasure and Endurance of Lament: Gershom Scholem’s Early Critique of Zionism and Its Language.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 21.1 (2014): 13-26.
Gershom Scholem’s 1917 essay “On Lament and Lamentation” portrays the Hebrew lament as the “language of the border,” which suffers an infinite cycle of exile and return. Scholem employs a paradoxical discourse in order to develop these cyclical borderline dynamics on the discursive and performative levels of the text. The idea of lament recurs in Scholems polemic writings between 1917 and 1931, a period marked by his emigration from Berlin to Jerusalem in 1923 and by his constant struggling with questions of Jewish exile and Zionist return. In other words, Scholem transfers his theoretical ideas on lament to the empirical realm of German-Jewish and Zionist history. More specifically, he deems the absence of lament in the language of his contemporaries as symptomatic of a Jewish generation whose wish to “enter history” has dangerously superseded the question of its metaphysical standing. Couched in a combination of modernist Krausian and Jewish apocalyptic vocabulary, Scholems writings caution of a “Wailing Wall of the new Zion” in the form of journalistic prattle and of the revengeful return of sacred Hebrew.
See Table of Contents for further discussion of Scholem’s “On Lament and Lamentation,” including full text.
Harel, Yaron. “Ha-Mizrah/al-Sharq: A Zionist Newspaper in Damascus during the Reign of Faysal in 1920.” Middle Eastern Studies 50.1 (2014): 129-43.
During the span of 22 months stretching from the entry of Faysal b. Husayn into Damascus in October 1918 until his expulsion at the end of July 1920, 42 newspapers and 13 journals appeared in Syria, more than half of them in Damascus. During this time, in which the press had a critical role in expressing and shaping public opinion in Syria, it became clear to the emissaries of the Zionist institutions in Damascus that they, too, needed to turn to this medium in order to spread their message. Hence, they argued that there was a need to publish a newspaper reflecting a moderate and calming outlook that would draw Arabs and Jews nearer to and increase their understanding of the Zionist idea. The result of their activities in this area saw the founding of a bilingual, Hebrew and Arabic, newspaper, called ha-Mizrah/al-Sharq (‘The East’). An examination of the only extant copies of the three issues that were printed before the newspaper ceased publication provides us with a deeper observation into the Zionist activities in Damascus during the reign of King Faysal.
Conference on Jewish Languages and Contemporary Hebrew
University of Haifa
Sunday, 29 December 2013
For program (in Hebrew), click here.
Language socialization and linguistic ideologies among Israeli emissaries in the United States
Author: Kattan, Shlomy
Publication info: University of California, Berkeley, ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing, 2010. 3413403.
Abstract: Research in both the anthropology and sociology of education has increasingly come to consider the institutional effects of migration, globalization, and transnationalism on learning environments. Yet, most studies examining transmigration and education have only looked at migrant children in schools rather than at the transitions they undergo as transnationals across settings. We know little of the linguistic and socializing practices that occur during migrants’ transitions from place to place and how they come to define the migratory and educational experience for transnational children. This multi-sited, global ethnography examines language socialization practices and linguistic ideologies among families of Israeli emissaries ( shlichim ) employed by the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). The study documented the transitions undergone by families with school-age children in the months of their preparation for their move from Israel to the United States and during the first year and-a-half in the U.S.. Data collection for this project took place in both Israel and New York at the homes of the families, the children’s schools, peer group activities, extracurricular programs, play, and summer camp. The focus of this dissertation project is on routine home and school practices which orient children to attitudes towards their identities as Israelis, as Zionists, as transnationals, and as temporary residents of the United States. The study approaches this question through the lens of the language socialization paradigm, a subfield of linguistic anthropology which understands socialization to occur both through the use of language and to the use of language. I argue that through attention to language use and form children are taught to attend to symbolic boundaries between Israeli, Jewish Diasporan, and U.S. American identities. The simultaneous reinforcement and transcendence of these symbolic boundaries is a defining characteristic of living transnationally. I find that transnational identities: (1) Are constructed through an explicit recognition of the boundaries between the linguistic and cultural practices of the homeland and the host country; (2) are negotiated through attention to the authenticity of members of the homeland, the host country, and the transnational community; that is, through attention to the extent to which individuals stay within the symbolic boundaries that separate the homeland and the host-land; and (3) Display an ambivalence toward affiliation with the host country by accentuating and emphasizing the linguistic and cultural practices of the homeland. Based on these findings, I call for a language socialization approach to studying transnationalism which recognizes the role of the local and the global, the contemporary and the historical, and the orthodox and heterodox in everyday transnational practices. By focusing on the shlichim ‘s transition from Israel to the United States, the dissertation obtains a view of migration often unavailable to researchers: the preparation for departure and initial arrival to the country of destination. This period of transition is formative in the emissaries’ experiences and as they define themselves vis-à-vis their country of origin and their host country. In this sense, this dissertation contributes to an understanding of the role of language in transnational practices, thus supplementing the growing field of research around questions of transnationalism, diaspora, and identity.
Subject: Linguistics; Cultural anthropology; Educational sociology
Classification: 0290: Linguistics; 0326: Cultural anthropology; 0340: Educational sociology
Identifier / keyword: Education, Social sciences, Language, literature and linguistics, Language socialization, Ideologies, Israeli, Emissaries, Diaspora, Identity, Israel, Shlichut, Symbolic boundaries,; Transnationalism
Title: Language socialization and linguistic ideologies among Israeli emissaries in the United States
Number of pages: 144
Publication year: 2010
Degree date: 2010
School code: 0028
Source: DAI-A 71/09, Mar 2011
Place of publication: Ann Arbor
Country of publication: United States
Advisor: Baquedano-Lopez, Patricia
Committee member: Kramsch, Claire J., Boyarin, Daniel
University/institution: University of California, Berkeley
University location: United States — California
Source type: Dissertations & Theses
Document type: Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number: 3413403
ProQuest document ID: 749359605
Special Issue: House as Home in Israeli Culture
Separate spheres, intertwined spheres: Home, work, and family among Jewish women business owners in the Yishuv
Just ring twice: Law and society under the rent control regime in Israel, 1948–1954
The evolution of the inner courtyard in Israel: A reflection of the relationship between the Western modernist hegemony and the Mediterranean environment
The P6 Group and critical landscape photography in Israel
Visions of identity: Pictures of rabbis in Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) private homes in Israel
Soft power: The meaning of home for Gush Emunim settlers
Heading home: The domestication of Israeli children’s literature in the 1960s as reflected in Am Oved’s Shafan ha-sofer series
House and home: A semantic stroll through metaphors and symbols
Waisman, Orit Sônia. Body, Language and Meaning in Conflict Situations. A Semiotic Analysis of Gesture-Word Mismatches in Israeli-Jewish and Arab Discourse. Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics,62. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2010.
- Kuśmierczyk, Ewa. “Review.” Discourse Studies 14.6 (2012): 807-808.
Maschler, Yael and Gonen Dori-Hacohen. "From Sequential to Affective Discourse Marker: Hebrew nu on Israeli Political Phone-In Radio Programs." Discourse Studies 14.4 (2012): 419-455.
Previous studies of Hebrew nu investigate this discourse marker in casual conversation. The current study explores nu on Israeli political phone-in radio programs and broadens our knowledge both about the functions and grammaticization processes of discourse markers and about some particularities of Israeli political talk radio. The comparison to casual talk reveals both qualitative and quantitative differences. In casual talk, the main function of nu is a sequential one – urging further development of an ongoing topic (69%). In the radiophonic data, the most common role of nu is as a keying token (53%), functioning in the affective realm. Furthermore, the talk-radio data show a wider variety of keys constructed by nu – which range from joking to sheer contempt – clustering closer towards the latter, in contrast to the case of casual talk, manifesting mostly the joking key. Structurally, whereas sequential functions are generally accomplished by stand-alone nu, affective tokens are accompanied by same-speaker talk. The analysis sheds new light on how a sequential token might come to function in the affective realm.
Golan, Rinat and Malka Muchnik. “Hebrew Learning and Identity Perception among Russian Speakers in Israel.” Journal of Jewish Identities 4,1 (2011): 105-127.
The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics is conceived as a reference work that offers a systematic and comprehensive treatment of the Hebrew language from its earliest attested form to the present day.
Anyone interested in writing an article should contact Diana Steele, Project Manager, Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics at firstname.lastname@example.org. A pdf of available articles is attached. If you have any questions or would like further information regarding the encyclopedia or a specific article, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Enrollment for The Jewish Theological Seminary’s Summer Sessions has begun. We invite you to visit our website – www.jtsa.edu/academics/summer_sessions.xml - to see a list of all our course offerings, Application Information as well as the Summer School Application along with the Residence Life Application. We offer the Intensive Hebrew Language Session as well as two five-week sessions.
The Intensive Hebrew Language Session moves students, whether those just beginning or those more advanced, through one semester of modern Hebrew. The program runs for 10 weeks and classes consist of a combination of formal classes and individual tutorial sessions. Students new to JTS are required to take a placement examination in order to participate. Please be aware that this is modern Hebrew, not Biblical or rabbinic Hebrew.
Intensive Hebrew Language Session: Tuesday, May 25 – Thursday, July 29 Hebrew language classes meet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
The Summer Sessions comprise two five-week sessions, late May to late June and late June to the end of July. Courses include Bible, Talmud, Midrash, Jewish literature, Jewish thought, Jewish history and Jewish education. The faculty comprises distinguished professors from JTS and other academic institutions in North America, Israel and Europe. Undergraduate and graduate students as well as students entering their senior year of high school are eligible for admission. The Office of Student Life sponsors various social and cultural events throughout the two sessions, and air-conditioned residence halls are available.
Classes meet for 2 hours, 3 days a week, with exceptions made for holidays. Unless otherwise noted, courses are taught at the graduate level, are taught in English with texts in the original (although translations are generally available), are three credits and professors are JTS faculty. Students should consult the deans or registrars of their own institutions for credit approval.
The dates for Summer 2010 are as follows:
Session I open to undergraduates only
Sunday, May 16 – Monday, June 7
classes meet Sunday through Friday
Tuesday, May 25 – Thursday, June 24
classes meet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday http://www.jtsa.edu/Academics/Summer_Sessions/Session_II.xml
Tuesday, June 29 – Thursday, July 29
classes meet Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday http://www.jtsa.edu/Academics/Summer_Sessions/Session_III.xml
For further information, please contact the JTS Summer Sessions by telephone at 212/678-8886 or by email at email@example.com