Do American Jews Speak a "Jewish Language"? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness

By Sarah Bunin Benor

Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, Spring 2009

Jews past and present have spoken a variety of the local language (with the notable exceptions of postmigration Yiddish and Judezmo), making use of a distinctive linguistic repertoire as they present themselves as Jews and as members of their larger societies. Through examination of social and linguistic elements of Jewish American English, the author argues, first, that Jewish American English exhibits most of the features common among diaspora Jewish languages and, second, that studying contemporary Jewish languages can contribute to the understanding of historical Jewish languages.

Topic: Language, Sociology, Diaspora, Acculturation, Hebrew, Yiddish

Name of Publication: The Jewish Quarterly Review

Volume/Issue: Vol. 99/No. 2

Page Number(s): 230-269

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Genre: Scholarly Journal

Coverage: United States

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Benor, Sarah Bunin. Do American Jews Speak a "Jewish Language"? A Model of Jewish Linguistic Distinctiveness. The Jewish Quarterly Review. Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. Spring 2009: 230-269. http://www.bjpa.org/Publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=4797


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